Posted on October 29 2019
The pod vape kits category may already be a crowded niche, but only a few manufacturers turn heads with brand new releases. One of them’s Purge, a company who’s already well-known for top quality, if a bit pricey, mech mods.
Now, they enter the vape mods fray with the Purge Ally, a much-awaited product that’s often compared to the likes of Lost Vape’s Orion and the Orchid Vape. The release has been pushed back for months, but now that it’s finally here, let’s take the stylish entrant from Purge apart piece by piece to help you decide if it’s well-worth the hype.
The Ally comes in a sleek, black box with red accents printed with the Purge logo. Former smokers may notice similarities with the packaging for Marlboro’s Premium Black cigarettes.
Nothing truly noteworthy or new here. You get a small paragraph at the back that talks about the unit, a list of items inside the box, and some manufacturing specs at the bottom. Again, nothing particularly interesting, aside from the fact that it lets you know that the pod was designed in the USA and manufactured in China. This is unusual for Purge, which prides itself on All-American mechanical mods.
Inside the Box: What you’re getting
1x Ally Mod
1x Micro USB Cable
1x User Manual
2x Removable Doors
Breaking it down: The Build
The Ally comes in 3 colours and designs: Black Suicide King, Stainless Steel Silver, and Rainbow Heat Treated. It’s made of zinc alloy with interchangeable, magnetised panels--or “doors”--made of resin. Purge doesn’t sell doors themselves, rather has left manufacturing to custom parts companies and modders, which means you’ll be getting a lot of variety coming your way, maybe even get to design custom pieces of your own if you’re so inclined.
The body itself is made of solid metal, unlike other pods built with a fair amount of plastic. What will probably catch your eye first is the vibrant detailing on the interchangeable doors. If you’re getting the black variant, you’ll have Purge’s trademark Suicide King skull gracing the top cover. On the bottom right you’ll find an engraving of the Purge Ally logo. It features a nifty flip top cap for covering the pods--a nice little nod to classic Zippo lighters, so if you’re a fan this is a mod you’ll appreciate. The top covers with a satisfying snap and locks in place using a metal latch.
The whole thing measures in at 45.5x20.5x86mm, which makes it a tad wider and shorter than other vape pods in its category. But don’t let size fool you. There’s a satisfying heft to it, yet it fits nicely in the palm of your hand. Paired with the flip top cap, it can feel nostalgic for ex-smokers who love lighters.
Fresh out of the box opening and closing the top can feel stiff, but it gets smoother the longer you use it. We recommend breaking in the latch by opening and closing it 10 to 20 times before you insert an actual pod.
Ally’s pods are the standard, clear acrylic vertical mesh coil units you see used by other mods in the same category. Each refillable unit carries up to 2ml of juice, and unlike many others load from the side, not the top or bottom. The 4mm plug is made of silicone, which is great for preventing annoying leaks and virtually eliminates overflow. The pods are built with a dual air flow system, which means you can toggle between mouth to lung or direct to lung hits pretty seamlessly.
Unlike the Orchid, which comes with a transparent pod that’s completely visible and exposed, Ally’s pods are hidden away under the flip top. There’s no window or small hole to check your juice levels, which may be inconvenient for some. The only way to see if you’re due for a refill would be to pop the top and pull out the pod.
One thing you may have already noticed from above’s Inside the Box section is that we didn’t list extra pods. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a mistake--the Ally does not come with free pods, not even one that’s ready to use. This means that when you buy the kit, you’re not going to be able to start vaping unless you buy the pods separately.
Replacement pods come in pairs of 2, £9 a box, and 3 coil resistance levels: .6, .8, and 1.4ohm. The variety gives you absolute freedom to pick your poison, whether freebase e-liquid or salt nics. If you regularly vape each pod will last about a week with little to no flavour loss.
The mouthpiece is a smooth, black AFC drip tip. You adjust airflow by simply twisting the tip, no fiddling with the settings on the screen. Although it looks the same as the ones on Orion’s Lost Vape and the Orchid Vape, the fit varies by a small yet noticeable amount--those won’t quite lock onto the Ally.
The bottom of the drip tip has a notch that keeps it from popping off once locked onto the mod. The whole piece is concealed by the flip top cap, which makes the whole pod look amazing as well as protects the drip tip from dust and dirt.
Like the Ally’s doors, drip tips also come customisable. In fact, many manufacturers sell these parts in pairs, to help you tie together the aesthetic of your mod.
On the front panel you’ll find 3 buttons: the fire and positive and negative buttons. The fire button is intuitive and easy to access. All you need to control the Purge Ally are within a forefinger’s reach.
The control settings are displayed on a 17.5mm OLED screen. On the upper left side you’ll see the resistance of your coil, and beneath that there’s your puff counter. On the opposite side you’ll find your battery life, and under that a number that tells you how long you’ve been vaping in seconds. The wattage takes up the biggest space at the center of the screen.
You get a menu with three modes to tweak: Variable Wattage, Variable Voltage, and Temperature Control. You can toggle through and lock settings according to your preference with a few clicks. Clicking the fire button thrice brings the settings up. You’ll use the positive and negative button to scroll and change values, and holding both locks the menu so you don’t accidentally toggle through them while the Ally’s in your pocket. Five clicks turns the mod off. Turning if off resets the puff counter back to zero.
The Ally uses a top of the line chipset which gives you flexible wattage settings. You can set it anywhere from 5w and 30w, 200F to 500F, and up to 4.8 volts. Plus, it lets you choose by 1 watt increments, and the count restarts at 5w once you go past 30 so you don’t have to click all the way back just to set the wattage lower.
Purge’s Ally comes with a 950mAh lithium ion battery. If you’re a regular vaper one charge will probably be enough to last you until the end of the day, but more frequent users may find themselves needing to power up more often. However, it charges fairly quickly; you can go from zero to fully charged in less than an hour.
The USB cord is beautifully braided for maximum durability. The cable feels great to the touch, and looks like it can fully withstand numerous twists and bends without tearing.
Each mod kit retails anywhere from £50 to £70, depending on where you pick one up. The price tag is steeper compared to typical vape mods, and a whole tier above simpler, slim varieties like UWell’s Caliburn. Yet for a Purge product--which are marketed as branded, high end mods--it costs exactly as you’d expect.
Summary: Pros and Cons
- Stylish and one-of-a-kind design
- Interchangeable doors and drip tips means you can fully customise your mod, unlike many similar sub-ohm devices
- Leakproof pods
- Compatible with any e-liquid, freebase or salt nics
- Proprietary air flow control system lets you control the size of your clouds without affecting taste
- The battery life is poorer than you’d expect for a weighty unit that houses a 950mAh battery
- The kit doesn’t come with a pod, which feels a little unacceptable for a premium-priced product
- The latch feels very stiff when it’s new
- With no pod window and the puff counter resetting to zero every time you power down, checking for juice levels can be cumbersome
The Ally may be late to the scene, but it is proving to be a solid contender. While the hefty price tag is possibly off-putting to some, the mod justifies the cost through customisation options rarely seen for pod mods, stunning designs, and wildly flexible variable settings.