Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gear Review: Evolution Wrapz

A little while back I got to looking at my good ol' generic KR 808D-1 batteries I picked up from Vapor Kings.  Quick aside, VK is freakin' awesome. Local to me, fast response, fast shipping, great inventory, and awesome products. Click 'em and buy. They rock.

So, anyway... I had ordered up some pretty generic 808s from them and have been carrying them both around in my pocket for about three months. They've been bashing into my keyring, getting dropped on the floor, kicked about and experiencing various other abuses. If you look closely at the black one below you can see where the cap over the LED popped off and light dangles out of it like a popped out eyeball or something. Weird but fun in the dark.

In short, they were looking a bit scruffy.

Naturally I knew there would be a solution out there, so I went a-huntin' for wraps.  I checked out several sites and companies and, based on the designs available and price, settled on Evolution Wrapz of Twin Falls, Idaho. They have some truly wicked cool designs, so I ordered up a couple to spiffy-up my beat up 808s.

The website is snazzy, which I like. Nothing deters me from buying more than a piss poor website. Crappy fonts, bad pictures, and poor layout does not inspire me to whip out my credit card.  Evolution's site is colorful, displays their product well and is easy to browse.  Kudos on that score.

Ordering was a simple and standard affair, but payment arrangements are through Pay Pal.  Is there anyone who doesn't have a Pay Pal account now? Well, you'll need it for this.

Shipping was cheap at a buck-fifty for First Class. It did take about 10-11 days for them to arrive, which is odd in this day and age. Ok, so when I was a kid everything you ordered came with the standard disclosure "May take 6-8 weeks" but nowadays?  Meh. But I'm probably being too picky.  10-days isn't so bad, except when you're checking your mailbox every day, anxiously awaiting your new toy and .... digressing again... I know ....

One of the nicest things I like about Evolution is that they go out of their way to help make sure you get the right size wrap for you PV and then have a solid set of instructions on how to install the thing. There's suppose to be a video coming soon, but honestly it's pretty straight forward if you're using an automatic.  Manuals are a bit trickier.

Here's the package that arrived:

Included in a zip lock bag are the instruction sheet, the wraps, and a handy dandy alcohol swab.  The swab is a nice touch, since the instructions insist you need one to wipe down your PV before you apply the wrap. Since I don't think I've ever actually owned an alcohol swab (or a cotton ball... why do we need those? Nevermind) it's nice they stuck one in there.

The wrap itself is a sticker. It's a really, really nice sticker. But it's a sticker. Printed on a fancy printer on fancy paper, but when I first open them up, I was kinda... hey, it's a sticker printed on some dudes inkjet! Why I oughtta!

Then I started wondering "Well, what were you expecting? A little guy that pops out with a mini-airbrush to do a custom pimp-my-PV job on it?"  "Yes! That would be awesome," I answered!

I worry me sometimes. Sigh.

Okay, so it's a well done, glossy coated printing of the design, cut to fit your e-cig. If you tried to do this yourself, you certainly could, but I bet it'd be a royal pain in the ass. $4.99 each isn't a bad price.

First thing I did was ignore the instructions.  They don't have any tips on installing on a manual bat anyhow. Ha!  I measured everything off using the trusty eyeball method, wiped down the battery and started applying the sti... wrap.  As I go around the battery, everything is smooth until I hit the button.  At this point I whip out the X-Acto brand hobby knife and start hacking away to make a hole.

That wasn't as good an idea as I hoped.

Surprisingly, it still looks pretty good! Well, that crappy hack job on the button area doesn't look so hot, but that's my bad, not Evolution's.  In fact, these things look pretty damn sharp when they're applied. The colors are nice (hard to tell in the blurry photos, but what do you expect when I've got a camera and a bottle of Sailor Jerry, really?) and the finish is pretty sweet.  Love the graphics, too.

Some tips.  First, measure it out and trim it up.  Oh, and read the directions. They're right. True it fits the standard size 808 just right, but the overlap on the short side (horizontal) is a bit much.  Way better to trim that off with the knife a tad.  To keep it centered, trim a bit on both sides, test wrap it with the backing on it, trim a but more, and so on.

Also, plot out where you'll be cutting the hole and go slow, poking the wrap with the tip of the knife as you work around the button.  Slicing in a hurry will not do you any good.  Might as well take your knife to a five dollar bill. Same effect.

The second try went much better.

The cut for the button is much tighter on this one (I know you can't see it in the picture). Also, the black on black (or same color on same color) goes a long way to hiding any butchery.

The finished product is wicked sharp.  I'm duly impressed with these wraps.  Evolution Wrapz has a solid product and a great way to spiffy up those older, chipped, grungy looking batteries.  I'm thinking of trying one of thier holographic wraps for a VGo battery and see how that works out.  I'll letcha know...

I'd recommend these without hesitation for anyone who wants to jazz up a plain old battery. Bigger ones are available (1.5" X 3" is standard 510, 808, etc. while the bigger 2" by 3" works for Ego, Vgo, Tornado, etc.). They'll obviously work best on automatic batteries for the stick-style. Cutting a nice hole through the thick sticker is tricky. The big ones would work nicely on the bigger batteries without modification since the button is generally above the bat's body.

If you're looking for something a little different, cover up unsightly blemishes, add a little bling to your vaping, or just want a little vanity factor, give Evolution Wrapz a try. It's damn fine sticker.

Angel's Luck & Electric Dreams,

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