Updated: March 2021
Coils are one of the areas of vaping where evolution seems relentless. I remember briefly feeling like I understood coils, and then I started to notice a lot of chatter about Clapton coils.
That’s OK, I thought, learning what Clapton coils were and trying them out. Then the permutations came: fused Claptons, staged Claptons and on and on. They’re all derivatives of the Clapton format, I told myself, I’ve still got this. What? Ceramic coils? How do you even make a coil out of ceramics? I asked, later learning that you just encase or coat a kanthal coil in ceramic. Notch coils? Oh for God’s sake...
Keeping up is challenging, to say the least. That’s why you’d be excused for letting out a weary sigh when first hearing about Plexus coils. It feels like these endless variations on a simple coil are just being pumped out to give a new tank a “buy me!” gimmick and not because vapers actually need it.
But Plexus coils, such as those in the Proton Plex Kit, really are something else. They look more like a miniature loop of chain-link fencing than a traditional vaping coil, and make a lot of promises when it comes to the performance you can expect and what they can do.
So what is a Plexus coil? Why would you try one out? And what vape tanks support them?
Here are the answers you’re looking for.
- What are plexus coils?
- The benefits of plexus coils
- Types of plexus coils
- How to get plexus coils
- Are plexus-like coils the future?
Plexus coils are unique in design. The coil is composed of a flat strip of Kanthal with a honeycomb-like array of holes in it, leaving the strip looking like a piece of mesh. The mesh is wrapped around into a loop, with legs at either end for connecting to the coil housing. Organic cotton surrounds the mesh loop, maximising the surface area of the coil making contact with the wick (ready to vaporise your e-juice) at all times.
This large surface area is the big selling point of the coil from a design perspective. The mesh is thin, which helps minimise heat-up time, but once it gets going you have a lot of kanthal in contact with your e-liquid, which has huge benefits when it comes to vapour production and flavour.
Really, this is what vapers have been trying to do with things like the Clapton coil for some time, but with the manufacturing might of Innokin working on the problem, they’ve really taken the theory approach to the next level.
Also see: What are Mesh Coils?
So Plexus coils have a unique design that maximises surface area, but what does this mean for you as a vaper? What does the coil do for the performance you get from your device?
- Fast heat-up and cool-down: The time between pressing the fire button on your device and getting huge plumes of vapour from a Plexus coil is notably reduced. This is because the kanthal sheet is very thin, despite having a large surface area.
- Quicker wicking: Plexus coils cover a large proportion of the wick, but the even vaporization and quick heat-up and cool-down time contribute to fast wicking for the coils. They also cope with higher-VG e-liquids really well, which is great for the modern era of vaping where 70% VG or higher is common.
- Long-lasting: The Plexus coils last longer than standard vape coils. Most of the time, when your coils die it’s really because the wick material has gotten burned or gunky over time. The quick wicking of the Plexus coils makes it less likely you’ll fire your coil before the wick has had time to soak up e-liquid, and the fast cool-down time means that the wick isn’t exposed to heat for longer than it needs to be. In testing, the Plexus coil remained in a usable condition after 150 ml of e-liquid was vaped using it, while a standard coil was reaching its limit after 50 ml.
- Excellent flavour: The large surface area of the Plexus coil in contact with the wick means that the flavour from Plexus coils is hard to beat. This is essentially because the more e-liquid you vaporise with each puff, the more flavour comes through. Plexus coils produce astounding flavour, arguably beating the majority of sub ohm tanks on the market.
The original Plexus coil is the 0.13 ohm option that’s designed for the Plex tank. This coil is rated for between 60 and 110 W, and although the vapour gets notably hotter towards the upper end of the range, it works well throughout it.
The coil housing has sizeable, oval-shaped windows to let your juice soak into the wick, and a sheet of organic cotton is wrapped around the outside of the coil. The internal diameter of the coil is pretty big, and this makes this version of the Plexus coil perfect for high-wattage, direct-to-lung vaping.
But that isn’t the only type of Plexus coil on the market. Some Z (or Zenith) coils also use Plexus mesh. These work with the Zenith D22 tank, which was designed by Innokin in collaboration with Phil Busardo and Dimitris Agrafiotis (the Vaping Greek).
These coils still has the same mesh design, but a smaller internal diameter, which restricts the airflow a little and makes it much more suitable for MTL draws. The performance is still great, but it’s ideal for smokers just switching over to vaping.
Plexus coils are currently available in a whole range of Innokin products, including the Plex tank and the beginner-friendly Innokin Adept Zlide.
You can pick up the Innokin Plexus tank alongside the impressive 235 W Proton Plex mod in a kit for just £62.99. It comes with the mod, the tank, a 0.15 ohm Plexus coil, a standard Scion coil (0.36 ohm), a spare glass tube for the tank, an extra drip tip, a USB charging cable, some spare O-rings and a vape band.
If you’re looking for something easier to use, consider the Innokin Adept Zlide (featured below). Although a mod, it is very easy-to-use, comes with a long-lasting battery and has proved popular with people new to vaping.
Innokin tell me that there are likely to be more devices using Plexus coils in the future, and these may include pod systems.
Vaping technology will undoubtedly continue to evolve at a dizzying pace, but the Plexus coil looks set to make a real mark on the industry. With hard-to-beat longevity, excellent flavour and an impressive, efficient design, you can expect to hear more about them as more vapers try them out, and similar coil designs could well become the new standard for high-performance tanks in the near future.