Wednesday, October 14, 2015

REVIEW: Aqua V2 Clone

I'm seeing reviews all over the place on YouTube for the Rage system by Vapey Kool and Itsuwa which is supposed to be a SubOhm Tank, an RTA, and an RDA. Great, innovative idea, right? While the Rage is offering a 3-in-1 system, Youde UD - one of my favorite tank manufacturers, honestly - has been innovating, too by providing isolators that allow you to build a single coil on a dual coil deck. Again, a brand new idea, right?


Just about one year ago, vape designer (engineer... modder... what should we call these guys or gals?) Footoon introduced the Aqua V2. This came out about one year after the Aqua RTA.

The Aqua RTA suffered from a few shortcomings. It had knurled thumbscrews instead of philips, flat tip, or a hex screw for trapping the wires. And, you had to trap the wires as there were no post holes. The device also suffered from some restrictive, albeit adjustable, airflow, and it was a little stiff to adjust, honestly.

With the Version 2 of the Aqua, they tried to address all of these shortcomings, and add some features. They succeeded!

Gone are the thumbscrews replaced with philips head screws, and no trapping required. Instead, the posts have A LOT of holes...kinda Swiss cheesed, really, but with a purpose. Instead of inserting the legs of your coils through the same holes on each side and using a magnifying glass to snip the leads, praying all the while you don't accidentally clip the legs, you insert the legs at an angle and the excess comes out a different hole than the insert hole on the other side. It is MUCH easier to build this way. However, due to the sheer number of holes, the size of the holes suffers. You're not going to fit any claptons or 22 gauge parallel coils in there. It is, as was its predecessor, a dual coil deck. However, Footoon threaded the under the coil air holes so you can use one of the spare post screws to block one channel and build a single coil. Unlike the isolator provided with UD's latest run of tanks, the screw solution does not block the e-liquid ports, so a bit of wicking still needs to be packed in there. When building there is one little niggle. Since one post is taller than the other, you'll need to make one coil forward and one backwards. In other words, you want the top and bottom legs to be opposite each other instead of making both coils forward (as you would do on most other decks) so that the top legs are just staggered.

The tank comes with two sleeves - 1 in stainless steel and one in frosted polycarbonate (don't use any acidic, tank crackers here). Filling the tank is not too bad. Invert the tanks and remove, then put the e-liquid one of the four provided holes in the inside ring. The holes are small, so you will want a syringe, needle capped bottle, or a plastic tipped bottle/eye dropper and a lot of patience. Since this tank is a year old, the airflow is still going to be considered restricted... my, how times have changed. Still, it's open enough to take a slow lung hit. You're not going to do any serious cloud chasing with the tank, but with a little work, you can certainly fog up a room. With the RDA, though, the airflow is very nice.

Wait? RDA? Wasn't this a tank review?

The Aqua 2 system has a nice little secret. Remove the tank section (which is very easy to do, and access the coils without emptying the tank), and pop on another cap, and the device is now an RDA. Genius!

The RDA cap is a little oddly shaped, but again, there is a method to the madness. When the RDA cap is popped on to the base, you can access the same under the coil airflow you got from the tank, To use it, align the little semicircular cutout at the bottom of the cap with the hole on the side. That semicircular cutout is directly below the off-center 510 drip tip port. That's right, the drip tip is off center, and it's not a defect. It's a feature. For more airflow options you can use two adjustable cyclops style slots in the cap. The cap can also be rotated 180-degrees to completely close off the bottom airflow and use only the cyclops ports. When operating in single coil mode, the cap can be rotated to use only one cyclops port and/or the bottom airflow port. However - and here's the method to the madness I mentioned - when in single coil mode the off-center drip tip is directly over the active coil. The only drawback to the RDA mode is a lack of an e-liquid well which means you'll be dripping more often. With all of the airflow wide open and set to dual coil mode, the draw is closest to my Hobo V2 or V3 RDAs, more than the Omega, Trident or Helios, and less than the Velocity, Little Boy (with chuff cap), or Fishbone.

The 510 connector features an adjustable center pin and would be fine installed on a mech with a hybrid top cap. However, you can also remove the housing from the bottom of the 510, remove the 510 center pin and the plastic insulator, install a center pin adapter, and run this as a REAL hybrid on a mech with appropriate threads. It worked on my Stingray, but not my Origin (the Aqua V1 is designed to hybrid with the Origin).

Oddly enough, this kit which comes with a plethora of goodies does not come with a drip tip. Sigh...

I picked this one up at It's Just Vapor here in my home town for $24.95. That's a far cry from the $110 that the authentic is selling for, but let's take a look at the value... an authentic, very nice, configurable RTA with two tank sleeves AND a very nice multi-mode RDA for $110 (if you can still find it) is not too bad. Of course, it is a year old, and no longer even listed on Footoon's website. He's moved on...

Would I replace this if I lost it? Oh, yeah. I am HUGE a fan of versatility and where this device does not have the coil heads of the Rage tank, it does offer a decent tank and a decent RDA with oodles of extras in a fairly slick looking package.

  •     Finish 9/10 - Out of the box, I had to do a bit of cleaning to remove some of the machine oil. However, the threads were decent, and the O-Rings are nice and tight (should probably lube them up with some VG).
  •     Form 9/10 - The device is rather simple looking, but nice nonetheless. The off-center drip tip on the RDA cap is a bit of a head-turner and conversation starter. I was pleased that the kit came with a stainless tank section and polycarbonate section, as well as the RDA cap and hybrid adapter pieces (and a little blue screwdriver). I was disappointed that it did not include a drip tip, although that is a niggle.
  •     Function 9/10 - I can almost think of nothing bad to say about a system that includes an RDA and RTA, converts between modes easily, offers multiple mod connection options, and works well in both modes. However, after really thinking on it, I wish that the RDA (and in this case that means the deck only, not the cap) had a bit of a juice well. As it is, I have to drip every couple pulls. 
  •     Final - 9/10 A- grade.