Among the most impressive things to observe in the technology space are those times when someone comes up with a “better mousetrap” that’s far better than what it seeks to replace. This is the case with vape pen batteries from a small company called Vessel. They may be “just” batteries for 510 thread cartridges, but they are nothing short of gorgeous.
Vessel recently came out with two new lines, but this review will focus on their original design. It is still available and comes in a range of materials and colors. We’ll get to that in a moment, but first, let’s look at the technology and features that are coming across the product line.
Starting at $79 (they often offer one or two designs at a significant discount), Vessel’s batteries are far pricier than the batteries most people use. Those are available for only a few dollars and, whether you are using a 510 thread cartridge with CBD or live in a state that permits cartridges filled with other “materials,” they will work just fine. But while they get the job done, those cheap batteries feel cheap and don’t offer the features or the experience that you get with a Vessel battery.
Vessel batteries fit most 510 cartridges; they have a protected, cartridge drop-in design (more on that shortly), and a 240mAh lithium-ion battery powers them. There are three LEDs that indicate the available charge and power settings, and they offer three different power/voltage settings so you can customize your experience. (It is worth noting that there are two generations of Vessel batteries. The Gen1 batteries fit cartridges of up to 10.8mm in diameter, while Gen2 Vessels, which are marked with a +, fit those that are up to 11.5mm in diameter.)
Inside the box, you get the Vessel battery, a non-functional cartridge that is merely there to enhance the unboxing experience, and a USB magnetic charging port and cable. The battery measures 4.3” long by .5” in diameter.
At the bottom of the Vessel, the battery is a sealed magnetic charging port. The included USB cable has a round, magnetic charger at one end that snaps into place when brought int proximity with the pen’s bade. It is a clean design that is easy to use. Vessel offers an even easier and more elegant changing solution that we will explore soon.
The Vessel name is printed on two sides of the base but is so small that you won’t see the branding unless you are looking for it.
A small, flat area on the battery serves as the on/off and power control. Just above it at three LEDs that are impossible to see unless they are illuminated. Nothing indicates the power control’s presence except for it being a smooth, flat area on an otherwise curved device. It is subtle details like this that make using a Vessel battery such an enjoyable experience.
At the top of the battery, there is a cap (Vessel refers to it as a “Transition Module”) that can be removed from the rest of the battery with a few twists. Lifting off the cap reveals a female receptor for most 510 thread cartridges. It takes about one and a half turns to connect a cartridge to the battery. One might wonder why, if the cartridge can be used with the battery with the cap removed, one would want to have the cap installed.
The answer is simple; the point where a battery and a cartridge connect is the most vulnerable spot on the pen.
Having a cap in place protects this connection and creates one seamless and strong battery/cartridge combination.
As previously mentioned, the Vessel has one button that serves to turn it on and off and adjusts the voltage. To turn the Vessel on, you click the button five times. When you do, the LEDs will illumine. (Turning off the Vessel is as easy as clicking the button five more times. This isn’t an issue though since the Vessel has an auto-shutoff feature after fifteen minutes of inactivity.) Once the Vessel is on, you can click the buttons three times to toggle through the various power settings. The low setting delivers 2.8V and glows Cyan. The Medium setting delivers 3.2V and glows yellow. The High setting delivers 3.6V and glows magenta. No warmup time is required so, once the Vessel is turned on and at your preferred power setting, you press and howl the button while drawing on the cartridge. We prefer batteries that don’t need to be turned on or off, but the verbal experience with Vessel more than makes up for that one shortcoming.
When you do draw on the Vessel, you will immediately notice the ease with which it draws. These batteries have been designed to maximize airflow. It works, and it makes a tremendous difference.
All in all, anyone who uses 510 cartridges will find the experience significantly enhanced by using a Vessel battery. The three power settings give you control over your session. The 240mAh battery means those sessions can be longer. And swapping cartridges is as easy as a few twists of the pen.
All that, however, is just part f the reason Vessel batteries are so impressive. The other reason is they are beautiful and come in an incredible range of colors and materials. Yes, these refined batteries aren’t just about getting the job done. They are also about getting the job done in the most enjoyable way possible.
For example, there is the Expedition in Black and Red. This Vessel is made from “black anodized aluminum and knurled grip design for a commanding appearance.” It looks incredible, is cool to the touch when you pick it up, has significant heft, and feels great in hand. The Wood in White and Beechwood is made from real beech wood and aluminum that is painted matte white. While the Expedition looks like it means business, this wood Vessel is elegant. It is also a pleasure to hold. The Wood model is also available in Slate and Walnut and Bronze and Blackwood so, even here, you can find the Vessel that best fits your style. The Formula Series is “designed for speed and the technology enthusiast.” This Vessel has a matte white finish and a tactile, black silicone grip. The Expedition means business. The Wood screams elegance. The Formula series says, “We’re living in the 21st century!.” The Canyon series offers a full-grain leather body combined with anodized aluminum. It’s available in Silver and Taupe, Silver and Navy and Silver and Whiskey. Finally, there is the anodized-aluminum Style vape pen battery. Its smooth aluminum body is the simplest, most understated model.
The range of choices offered by Vessel is impressive. We were sent six different models, and each impressed us more than the last. And while aesthetics certainly aren’t THE reason to choose a pen for your vape pen, the ability to choose a design that speaks to you and know that, regardless of which design you choose, you will get a great product, is pretty awesome.
Vessel’s vape pen batteries take the vaping experience to new heights. Sure, they are a bit pricey but, having used them for some time, we are able to recommend them without reservation.
Vessel vape pen batteries start at $79, and they are available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review samples
What We Like: Great design; Smooth airflow; Easy to charge; Long battery life; Wide range of materials and designs available; Three power settings; Auto-shutoff
What Needs Improvement: Significantly more experience than other vape pen batteries; Must be turned on before use rather than offering “on-demand” use as we see in vapes like the Pax Era (we like Pax but, even though it needs to be turned on, prefer Vessel)