E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings


Eleaf iStick RIM Kit Review

Eleaf is one of the oldest and most respected companies in the vaping industry, and for good reason. Their products have always been user friendly and affordable, but also innovative. From the battery chamber of the iconic iStick PICO, to the tiny iCare, the precursor of the modern pod system, Eleaf have always come up with new and interesting things. But they’ve really outdone themselves in terms of innovation with the new iStick RIM. From a new and advanced surface treatment technology that makes the paint finish nicer, to USB Type-C charger support and a dry-hit protection system, this little kit has tones of ingenious features. Let’s have a look:

A Look at the Contents

The new iStick RIM comes in a white cardboard box featuring a plasticized image of the device on the front, and a list of kit contents, some technical specs and information about the manufacturer on the back.

Inside the box we have the shiny iStick RIM vape mod and the Melo 5 tank sitting in a Styrofoam holder. Take that out and you’ll find all the accessories that this kit includes: a spare glass section for the tank, spare o-rings, a second coil-head (another is pre-installed), a USB charger, as well as user manuals for both the mod and the tank.

One of the first things I noticed was that the charger had a micro-USB head, which was kind of odd since the RIM mod clearly has a Type-C port, but then I realized it was only an adapter that goes over the Type-C head, so you can use it with other devices as well.

Design and Build Quality

The iStick RIM is a looker! With its ergonomic “flattened oval” design and glossy finish, it’s definitely one of the most stylish devices I’ve reviewed recently. It measures only 30.3mm x 36mm x 80mm and fits really nice in the hand, but what really caught my attention was the paint job. I received the “rainbow” version, which is kind of a turquoise to purple gradient, but you can also find it in camouflage and resin patterns, among others. Thy are all super glossy and smooth, which is apparently to a new technique Eleaf is using, called IML (IN Molding Label). It allegedly brings out the color more and makes the paint finish more durable. We’ll have to see about that last part, but for now it looks awesome.

On the top of the device we have the connection plate featuring a gold-plated, spring-loaded 510 pin. You can fit a 26mm atomizer on the RIM without overhang, but anything bigger than that is going to look weird. On the sides of the device we have the control panel – a large, oval fire button, a black-and-white display and the usual ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons – and opposite that is a small rubber section that should probably improve your grip on the mod. Finally, on the bottom we have the USV Type-C charging port.

The location of the charging port is one of the few things I don’t like about the iStick RIM. It means you have to lay the mod on the side to charge it, and that not only increases the risk of scratching the gorgeous paint, but may also increase the chances of e-liquid leaking out of the tank if you don’t take it off. It’really counter-intuitive and I really hope Eleaf moves the port to the side, if they ever come up with a version two of the iStick RIM

The metallic buttons of the RIM mod are chromed, as are the top and bottom of the device, which increases the glossy factor even more, they are nice and clicky, and don’t rattle one bit. The screen is kind of a let down. It’s a really outdated, low-resolution display that doesn’t really hold a candle to the awesome screens of other modern vape mode.

All in all, the iStick RIM is a really nice-looking vape mod that could have been even better if not for some small design errors and an old display.

Menu System and Navigation

The iStick RIM has a simplified version of the same menu system that I leaf has been using on its devices for a few years now. To access the menu, all you have to do is hold the ‘+’ or ‘up’ button and the fire button pressed simultaneously for about two seconds. Once you see some small icons on the display, you can scroll through them with the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ buttons, and make your selection with the fire button.

The menu features most of the same options we’ve seen on mods for a while now, like the ability to change the subparameter displayed on the home screen (from ‘puffs’ to ‘time’ and ‘volts’), enable and disable Stealth Mode, adjust the power and duration of the preheat, set the cutoff time to 5,10, or 15 seconds, check the hardware and firmware versions, and check the current voltage of the built-in battery.

To turn the mod on and off, just press the fire button five times in rapid succession. To lock the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ buttons and prevent any unwanted presses when carrying the mod in your pocket, just keep those buttons pressed simultaneously until you see the ‘lock’ message on the display. To unlock them, just do the same thing again.

That’s pretty much all there is to the menu. As you can see, I haven’t mentioned Temperature Control. That’s because the Eleaf iStick RIM doesn’t have that feature, it only works in Wattage Mode. Luckily, it does have some sort of dry burn protection, but more on that later.

Battery Life and Performance

When I first read about the iStick RIM and learned that it has a built-in battery, I thought to myself that an external battery that you could just swap out instead of charging would have been much better. But I didn’t know Eleaf planned to integrate USB Type-C charging, which explained their choice. The RIM has a 3,000mAh battery, which is not bad for such a small, elegant mod, but what’s really great about it is that you can charge it from dead to full in just 40 minutes, thanks to the fast USB Type-C port. Still not as good as an external battery, in my opinion, but definitely safer and more beginner friendly.

USB Type-C has been around for a while now, but for some reason tech companies have been slow to adopt it, and vape mod manufacturers are no exception. This is actually one of the first USB Type-C compatible devices I’ve ever seen, but I definitely hope to see more in the near future.

Regarding performance, there’s really not much to say. This is just a simple variable wattage mod with a maximum power output of 80W. It works about as well as you’d expect it, battery activation is virtually instantaneous, power ramp-up is ok and can be tweaked thanks to the pre-heat function, and there are no convoluted options to get lost in. It’s just a simple, user-friendly vape mod.

As I mentioned, the iStick RIM does not have Temperature Control, but it does have dry hit protection. It’s an interesting if fairly limited function. It’s not clear exactly how it works, but you can only use it when vaping at under 30W and only with one of the two coil-heads included in the kit (EC-S o.6Ω). Basically, what id does is cut off the power from the battery whenever it detects your tank is empty. You’ll notice the mod stops firing and you’ll also get a “Dry Protection” message on the display. It’s a cool feature, but again, it only works with one type of coil-head and only in certain conditions.

The Melo 5 Tank

Usually, tanks that come bundled in starter kits aren’t very interesting, but the new Eleaf Melo 5 is a refreshing exception. Like the iStick RIM it has some ingenious features I for one have not seen before.

First of all there’s the rubberized spiral around the glass section which is meant to act as a buffer in case you drop the tank. Glass tanks break very easily, and bubble tanks, because of their design, are even more vulnerable, but this extra layer of protection should give users some peace of mind. Unfortunately it’s not the coolest-looking thing in the world. At least they could have made the spiral match the color of the mod it comes with instead of just making it white.

Then there’s the childproof fill port, which I for one could not figure out at first. After checking the manual, I learned that it’s not just push sideways and fill, like the old Melo tanks. This time you have to first pull the top cap upwards and then push it to the side to access the fill port. If I couldn’t figure that out, a child probably won’t either, so mission accomplished, Eleaf!

Finally, Eleaf also implemented an easy coil-replacement system, which allows users to swap out coils even when the tank is full. Basically, they’ve come up with a way of isolating the juice in the tank even when detaching the base and the coil completely. They use a couple of o-rings between the bottom of the chimney and the glass section, as well as a pressure system which closes the e-liquid ports on they chimney whenever the base is detached. Then, after you’ve replaced the coil-head, screwing the base back together opens the ports once again, allowing the e-liquid to reach the new coil-head. It’s actually pretty cool.

The Eleaf Melo 5 comes with two different coil-heads, one EC-S 0.6Ω coil-head, and an EC-M 0.15 Ω head, both featuring mesh-style heating elements to really bring out the flavor in your favorite e-liquids. It holds up to 4ml of juice with the pre-installed bubble tank, and 2ml with the spare classic glass section.

The airflow is kind of interesting as well. Apart from the two large, cyclops slots we usually see on sub-ohm tanks, the Melo 5 also has two small holes that can be used for a more restrictive direct lung draw, or even a loose mouth-to-lung. All you have to do is rotate the airflow control ring to close off the large airflow slots and leave these small holes, or just one of them open.

The Eleaf Melo 5 may not be the most impressive-looking sub-ohm tank out there, but it definitely has some interesting features and is one of the most versatile atomizer I’ve seen recently.


For me, the Eleaf iStick RIM was a very nice surprise. I expected yet another generic vape kit, but instead I got a really cool-looking, elegant mod and a shock-resistant tank designed to make replacing coil-heads a breeze. The RIM mod could definitely use a color display and a better USB port location, but those are some minor flaws that shouldn’t stop anyone looking for a nice, ergonomic vape setup from considering it.

The iStick RIM was sent to me for the purpose of this review by the nice people at VapeSourcing. They currently have it in stock for $60.97.

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