Disclaimer: I am in no way shape or form a professional reviewer in fact this is the very first review of vape gear that I have ever written. I however won this RDA in a giveaway by @Heaven_Gifts and kind of promised them to share my experience with it, so I thought why not write a small review, I mean … how hard can it be English is also not my native language, so bear with me if there is a few spelling or grammatical errors, or some odd wordings here and there.
The VLS is the newest RDA from Oumier, a company that is probably best know for the highly regarded Wasp Nano RDA. The VLS is however an entirely different beast with a completely different focus and as you will see, quite a few tricks up its sleeve.
The RDA is a standard size 24 mm, and it comes in three different colours and two different materials. White frosted PC, Black PC and Yellow Ultem. Personally I think I would have preferred the black one, but the one I was sent was white, which also looks quite good.
The drip tip is standard goon type 810 in the same colour as the cap, and let me say straight away that I am not a big fan of it! I don’t know who decided that drip tips suddenly should be shaped like tractor tires, short, fat and with knurling just in case having to place you lips on a burning red hot top cap wasn’t uncomfortable enough, but that is the exact opposite of what I personally want from a drip tip. This drip tip actually isn’t that bad, it is not knurled, only moderately fat and the top cap doesn’t really get that hot, warm like all other RDA’s but not burning red hot. It is however still too short for my taste. It also doesn’t come with an alternative drip tip or a 510 adapter, but as it is standard 810 you can always use your own 810 drip tip or 510 adapter, so I don’t consider this a major con.
Where things however start to get interesting is when we take the top cap off and look at the build deck.
As you can see the posts are two blocks on each side with air channels drilled through the blocks, similar to what we know from the Wasp Nano and other single coil RDA’s, but this is also where the similarities stop. On the top we have two vertical slots for the coil legs, and at the bottom there are two horizontal slots. The idea as you can also see on the drawing below, is that you can either install one single horizontal coil, stack two horizontal coils on top of each other, use one single centred vertical coil or install two vertical coils pulled to the side.
These options make this one of, if not the most versatile RDA on the market, and is also what makes this RDA special and intriguing.
Now if I was a proper reviewer I would probably try out all of the options, and give you detailed accounts of the pro and cons of each type of build … but I’m not … so I won’t. Also I already have a good single coil RDA, and I’m not entirely sure that stacking two horizontal coils on top of each other is really such a great idea, so dual vertical coils it is.
The package also includes two Ni80 fused claptons (thanks for stating the material) that looks nice, however as an avid user of TC it kind of annoys me that it is not SS coils. I know that we are only a minority that actually uses TC, and that every other manufacture also only includes non-TC coils, but there is really no good reason for not including SS instead, as they also work in wattage mode.
The lazy impatient part of me, which I must confess is often the dominant part, wanted to use them anyway, but the perfectionist in me had already taken out the drill and swivels
Installing the coils couldn’t be much easier. Just grab them by the legs and feed one leg into the bottom horizontal slot and the other into the top vertical slot, that the slots are different directions actually help holding the coil in place while you screw down the screws. Once installed there is plenty of room to snip of the ends, so you don’t have to worry about shorts, and you should use a coiling rod or screwdriver to push the coils as far to the side as you can. (I’ll explain the reason for this later) It works best if you wrap you coils counter clockwise and NOT clockwise as I did
The problem with having slots in different directions however is, that when using flat coils it also means that one of the coil legs will end up getting distorted, only with a single horizontal coil will all the screws clamp down of the flat side. Not a huge problem imo, but something that needs to be mentioned. Also the screws are slotted screws, probably my least favourite but everybody has different preferences, and the spare screws are similar, so there is no other option, they however seems to be of good quality.
The Wacky but also somewhat Ingenious
Now some of you might have noticed that there is a big gaping hole at the bottom of the build deck, where the bottom and 510 pin are usually placed.
There is however some meaning to this madness. Apparently the biggest problem with vertical coils is that there is virtually no space to pull your wicks through the coils. Solution: simply remove the whole bottom of the deck, so we can feed the wick through the coils from the bottom and grab them at the top without any fuss or aggravation Cut the wicks flush with the bottom of the hole, and flush with the top of the posts, and we are (almost) good to go.
Now we can of course not just have a big gaping hole at the bottom of our RDA’s, so it has a detachable base with a big metal disc connected to the 510 pin, and insulated from the rest of the base. The disc then act as the positive conductor for the majority of the build deck, with the negative post being insulted from the rest.
The big problem with this solution however is that it means that the build deck is detachable from the base, and it is reverse threaded. What that means is that if your have your RDA on your mod and want to adjust the top cap, then you are basically screwed, turn it clockwise and you will instead unscrew the build deck from the base, and if you turn it counter clockwise you will unscrew the RDA from the mod. Similar if you overdo it slightly when attaching the RDA to your mod you will also end up unscrewing the build deck.
Screwing the base on as tight as possible can somewhat alleviate the problem, but you will end up accidently unscrewing the build deck from time to time, and this is the only real major con with this RDA imo.
One last Trick
The RDA uses the tunnel kind of airflow, with 5 small holes drilled through the post blocks, to deliver the air as close to the coils where it is needed the most, and presumable this works fine when using horizontal coils or a single vertical coil. However when using dual vertical coils that is not good enough as most of the air would just go between the coils without hitting either directly.
Oumier has however also thought of this, and the solution is quite simple. Simply rotate the top cap 90 degrees so the holes in the blocks are completely blocked off, and the holes in the top cap hit each coil separately as standard side airflow.
The downside to this is that you can’t adjust the airflow when using dual vertical coils, fortunately the amount of air is pretty close to my ideal, perhaps just a μ too airy. (In case you haven’t noticed I can be very picky) When using the normal tunnel airholes it gets a little bit more restricted. (Yes you guessed it: a μ too restricted for my preference )
Theoretically you could also pull the coils close together at the centre, and use the tunnel airholes with dual vertical coils, but I got better flavour the other way.
The two big questions are of course: How is the flavour? And are vertical coils really better than horizontal?
If we take the latter question first, then I have absolutely no way of answering that. One is not a statistically significant sample size, and one is exactly the number of vertical coil RDA’s I have tried. So I will leave this for someone else to answer.
As for the flavour, then it is … good, if I was being generous I would even say excellent … but it is not exceptionally good, I get better flavour from its little brother the Wasp Nano, but the Wasp also beats most RDA’s when it comes to flavour, so that is not really a fair comparison.
So would I recommend this? Well … that depends entirely on what you are looking for in a RDA.
If you are a fan of vertical builds, or you are like me, and simply like to experiment with different attys and builds, then ABSOLUTELY! There are some cons but the pros outweigh the cons, and this RDA was build specifically for you, on top of that it won’t even blow you vape budget as it is also rather cheap.
If you just want a no fuss simple easy to use RDA with decent flavour and cloud, then … no! There are other simpler RDA’s with similar flavour and clouds that will suit you better.
And if you are on a quest for the holy grail of vaping that will take you straight to flavour heaven with each puff, then I’m afraid your quest isn’t over (and it probably never will be).
The RDA also comes with a squonk pin, but as I don’t own a squonker I haven’t tested it. I however don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work perfectly fine as a squonk RDA.