ATX Cloud Technologies Stratus Glass Mod
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Chris Mellides began vaping in 2012 and witnessed the rise and fall of the cartomizer tank firsthand. A multimedia journalist with five years ofnewsroom experience, he has contributed to various local and national publications and has worked for WSHU Public Radio and as a public relations professional for Tattoo Lou’s. Mellides is sponsored by Limitless Mod Co., works weekends at one of the first vape shops to launch on Long Island and lives in a fortified compound near Queens, N.Y.
By Chris Mellides
Photos courtesy of ATX Cloud Technologies, LLC
ATX Cloud Technologies is based in Austin, Texas, and the Stratus Glass Mod appears to be the company’s first product offering.
The Stratus Glass Mod is 25 mm in diameter, accommodates a single 18650 battery and is designed with a hybrid top cap. The hybrid top cap is a feature of mechanical mods that has grown increasingly common in recent history, and for very good reason. Since the 510 pin of your atomizer makes direct contact with the positive end of your battery, voltage drop is reduced substantially. Giving users of the Stratus and other mods like it that extra kick in the teeth.
The exterior housing of the Stratus is constructed from a high-quality 145 Tellurium copper, and is available in a matte black cerakote and will soon be available in clear-coated silver and copper finishes.
A painted quartz glass tube easily slides inside the caged housing and is held firmly in place by two sets of O-rings. The tubes are available in a myriad of colors including: Cherry Red, Lime Green, Snow White and Jet Black. The glass adds to the overall aesthetic and is clearly visible through the cutouts of the body of the mod.
The device is lightweight, yet durable with an overall solid feel to it. Included with the kit is a set of strong beefy magnets as well as a spring. When the mod is fitted with the spring, a firm press is needed to fire the atomizer, but you needn’t press too hard. When used in this configuration I did not experience any misfires whatsoever. I’m also happy to report that there’s no crunchiness associated with the switch, and under heavy use this mod is also free from any hot button issues.
Giving the switch a magnetic upgrade seemed to shorten the throw for me. Of course, by adjusting the delrin insulator you can easily customize the throw of the switch and make any necessary battery adjustments.
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Additionally, the delrin sits atop a very large copper contact, which insures maximum conductivity. Overall, when compared to the spring, the magnets do not show a noticeable difference in user experience and the magnetic switch is free from any discernible issues.
The Stratus is undoubtedly unique. I haven’t seen a single mech mod that has a similar aesthetic. So, ATX definitely gets points there. However, there will be people who will find the look of the mod off-putting. Admittedly, I found myself in that camp. That is until I started using the device extensively, and before long I was smitten by just how neat it really looks.
Make no mistake, the Stratus Glass Mod is a heavy hitter. The machining on the unit is top notch, and the threads on the device are nice and chunky to minimize the possibility of cross threading the top cap and switch when screwing them into the body.
Despite the cutouts on the body of the mod, it feels very comfortable in the hand, and there are positively no sharp edges to be felt. Because of the materials used here, this device packs a wallop. It’s copper, after all, but because it comes in a cerakote finish there’s no need to worry about polishing the mod or having it leave your hands with the unwanted scent of a fresh roll of pennies.
I’ve also found that because a good chunk of the mod is made up of glass, the Stratus never gets hot. In other words, that glass does an amazing job at displacing heat, which is great if you like to sub-Ohm. I’ve personally wrapped as low as 0.12 Ohms and after excessive use the mod got slightly warm, but never too hot to the point where it was uncomfortable to hold.
It’s important to note that because a large part of the body is comprised of glass, I can’t be certain as to how well it will hold up if you accidently dropped it on a hard surface.
Another potential issue that I’ve noticed with the Stratus is very much inherent in its design. Atomizers leak. And because there are cutouts in the body of the Stratus, juice does have a tendency to drip over the cutouts and onto the glass that houses your 18650. Since the glass tube doesn’t create a perfect seal around your battery to allow for venting, I fear that there may be a chance for that spill to reach your battery. If you’re mindful of not over dripping and deal with leaking immediately, you shouldn’t have an issue, but know that cleaning a juiced Stratus takes a little more effort because the glass will likely need to be removed to give it a good wiping down.
I do like the fact that the Stratus is manufactured entirely here in the States and that ATX Cloud Tech offers a lifetime warrantee on the coating of their devices. If the cerakote on your mod ever chips (and mine hasn’t) then you can presumably send them your device and have it returned to your door factory-fresh. I really do like that you’ve got a company here that stands behind its product.
ATX Cloud Tech has a website, but at the time of writing this review it is under construction. If you’d like to purchase the Stratus, it is available online at Dallas Vapor Supplies.
The Stratus retails for $254.99. And that’s a lot of wampum. However, if you’re in the market for an excellent performer that’s built to last, American made and that’s different from the heap of seemingly identical mechs currently on the market today, then the Stratus Glass Mod might be the right buy for you.