Vandy Vape Mutant RDA Review | Collaboration with VapingwithTwisted420
Product intro and specs
Of course, you can use it as a dripper or a squonker. The squonk system is similar to the inventive 502 RDA from Raven’s Moon in that its center post releases juice from above the vertical coils and below, into the 1.2 mL juice well. But the Mutant seems to be designed for clouds more than anything. It has copious airflow from four different airflow patterns, each designed to have its own character. Maybe one for each hero in a half shell? I’m going straight for Donatello!
- 25 mm Diameter
- 26 mm Length
- 1.2 ml Juice Capacity
- Vertical coil installation
- Four Airflow options
- Top filling and bottom juice return
- Mutant RDA
- Accessory Bag
- User Manual
- 2 x 0.39-ohm prebuilt coils
Build quality and design
From its looks to the fact that it’s a cloud atty for vertical coils with a very unique deck, I was intrigued. Although I prefer flavor-chasing RDAs over cloud makers, I couldn’t wait to try this. I was sent the all black and SS versions. They come with a colorful swirled 810-resin drip tip that’s slants in, and they’re comfortable to use. Somehow, the look of it makes me think of a turtle shell – but that could be me projecting. It’s a three-piece RDA and I mixed the parts of my SS and matte black together. With the matte black top cap on the SS deck, I think it looks sweet.
The two Mutant RDAs I received are from a pre-production run. Because of that, I can’t really speak to the quality of manufacturing like I want. But Vandy Vape has a good track record in that arena.
As mentioned, the Mutant has four separate airflow configurations. They get adjusted from a knurled top cap, and each one has a corresponding track system that perfectly centers and locks them in with the deck. That keeps the barrel from spinning freely, while also making the atty easy to take off of a mod.
It’s 25 mm in diameter and it stands about 32 mm with the included drip tip. Worth mentioning, the Mutant does not come with a spare drip tip. Although I like the angled 810, it would’ve been nice to have another option for those that don’t like this style of tip. But I have a sneaking suspicion that most interested in this RDA have plenty of extra 810s lying around.
This is a really clever build deck. It’s easy to install vertical coils and get them centered perfectly. But when I first saw it, I was stumped. It didn’t take long to figure it out though — after a quick watch of Twisted’s video.
It’s a strange looking dual-post deck that uses little hex screws and open-top posts. Wires get trapped from behind the posts they sit in. The way it’s done, it’s actually quite clever! If you use pre-made coils, you’ll need to bend back the leads a little so they go into the posts straight. The Ni80 triple fused Claptons included are already perfectly aligned for the Mutant build deck.
A center post in the deck squonks juice above the tops of the wicks and below into deck. Since this RDA is for vertical coils, it’s a way of wetting both sides of the coil’s wick simultaneously — something that automatically happens in horizontal builds. It squonks fine, but it’s too easy to over-squonk and cause a messy situation. Luckily there’s a 1.2 mL well to catch excess juice. But being a three-part RDA increases the likelihood of getting juice all over your hands when taking off the top cap and barrel.
Wicking is as straightforward as your typical vertical coil RDA. But vertical coil RDAs are not typical. Most of the ones I’ve purchased were from years ago (like 2014 and around there). Like the iHybrid Veritas, Norbert’s Origen V2, or even something like the 454 Big Block from Kryptonite Vapor (original and V2).
Nothing has changed with wicking a vertical coil. You do it either from the bottom up or top down. I think going up from the bottom is more finicky to bend a tail over the well, then under and up through the coil. I recommend wicking from the top down. You ultimately still do the same thing, but getting the cotton in is faster from the top down.
Twist an end, then pull the wick down (in short tugs) through the coil. Fine tip ceramic tweezers work great! Once you’ve got enough cotton in the well, cut off the twisted ends, fluff the remainder, and put them in the deck. I use a little more cotton in the well than I normally do, but I recommend not having too much excess wick in the top of your coil. You can obstruct your airflow and/or inadvertently suck up juice if too much liquid builds up near the tip. I try and trim mine down to around the height of the posts. This may feel weird if you’ve never built vertical coils. Don’t worry, it’ll wick fine.
There are four options of airflow configurations in the barrel, mirrored on both sides since it’s a dual coil deck. Whatever option you choose, you have to put the barrel on with that airflow facing the coils.
Each airflow option has a track system that centers and locks it in. That means that to try another airflow pattern, you’ll have to take off the barrel again and put it back on (since it won’t spin.)
Each option is super airy when totally open. I’ll lay out the order of the most airflow to the least, based on how it feels to me.
- Grid pattern of 3 x 4 airholes (about 1.3 mm each)
- Grid pattern of 4 x 6 airholes (about 0.7 mm each)
- Rectangular pattern with angled slots (about 1.3 mm in diameter; varying lengths)
- Diamond pattern of 5 horizontal slots (about 1.3 mm in diameter; varying lengths)
Even with the diamond pattern, it’s still really open. But, each option does have the ability to be adjusted down to a tight restricted lung hit. Particularly those patterns with little slots of varying lengths.
Unfortunately, the airflow options don’t have as much individual character to them as I hoped. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some difference to them, but not enough that I feel like the vape changes much. If anything, what they offer are different options to fine-tune the amount of air you want, but not necessarily the feeling of the air.
Airflow selection made easy
Adjusting the airflow is a no-brainer. But selecting the airflow you want can be messy if you take off the top cap and barrel separately. You don’t need to do that. Instead, try this:
When the atty is on your mod, turn the top cap to the airflow you want to use, then remove the top cap and barrel at the same time; just pull up on the bottom of the barrel. Place the whole thing back on the deck with the selected airflow in front of your coils. All set.
Mutant RDA performance
This RDA does exactly what it’s supposed to do: crank out the vapor. Even having its air shut down to a restricted lung hit, it still gets rather cloudy. But know that the Mutant RDA has a very large and open chamber. The top cap is somewhat conical but, with this much open space, it’ll need more than a conical chamber to increase flavor. You’re going to have to find the right build if that’s what you’re after.
The coils that come with the Mutant are 5-wrap, triple fused Ni80 Claptons with a 3 mm ID. I used them in the 100+ watt range. They were just okay. I think the ID of those coils is too narrow for this deck. Trying to squeeze as much flavor out of this RDA as I could, I stepped up to 4 mm ID coils (I’m not sure what type they were, but they were some kind of Claptons). I was able to get closer to the air holes while also filling up some of that empty space. It vaped better than the 3 mm coils that came with the Mutant. I just ordered some spooled fused Claptons and some alien rods to test next with a 4 mm ID.
In another attempt to get more flavor, I took a page out of the 454 Big Block and installed quad coils of Vapefly’s mixed twisted wire. Although there was very little clearance between the barrel and coils, I got it built safely (no hot spots or shorts). The vape was crazy intense and more vapor than I ever need to see coming out of my mouth. It was flavorful but too hot at 120 watts, even with the grid airflow option totally open. With quad-coils of 3 mm IDs, I obstructed the airflow. I’m going to try 2.5 mm IDs next for quads because 3 mm was flirting with problems.
Pros / Cons
- (+) Cool and unique aesthetic
- (+) Comfortable drip tip
- (+) Clever build deck
- (+) Can fit quad coils
- (+) Decent juice well
- (+) Squonks from above and below
- (+) Lots of airflow options
- (+) Can give a nice restricted lung hit
- (+) Cranks out the vapor
- (-) Airflow options don’t feel different enough
- (-) Can get messy if over-squonking
- (-) No extra drip tip
Although this RDA doesn’t really suit my style of vaping, I had a lot of fun with it. Normally, I prefer a more reduced chamber and less need for power. But the Mutant has a lot of cool features and I look forward to trying more builds in it.
If you’re into this type of RDA and want to try vertical coils, I think the Mutant RDA is a good buy. Myvpro currently has it on pre-order for $30.99. However, if you’re just not that into vertical coils, I get it. There’s nothing I would say to try and change your mind. But if you’re just intimidated by vertical coils, don’t be. The Mutant makes them easy.
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