Vandy Vape Requiem Mechanical BF Kit
Health Cabin have kindly sent the all new Vandy Vape Requiem BF Kit to be reviewed.
Offer price: $41.99 (RRP around $55.99)
It has been ages since I have reviewed a proper mechanical squonk kit so I was keen to see what Vandy Vape have come up with.
- Exquisite and small, solid and durable
- Full mechanical mod, single 18650 battery
- Silver contact, different alloys, maximum conductivity
- Safety switch to lock power button
- Three methods of the bottle to refill
- Compatible with part of the BF bottles
- Size: 72.5x24x42mm
- Capacity: 6ml
Vandy Vape are one of the few mainstream manufacturers to cater for the squonk market and certainly one of the very few to produce fully mechanical mods. Their previous successful PULSE (original) BF kit was extremely popular and I still use mine today, the Requiem BF is a far cry from the plastic lightweight PULSE as Vandy Vape have gone from lightweight to heavyweight with the all metal body.
What the heck is a ‘Mech’?
The simplest way I can describe a mech (short for mechanical) over regulated vape devices is that there are no electronics in a mechanical device and generally no wiring either. The principle is a simple circuit with a ‘mechanical’ switch with your battery power going directly through the wire coil, heating it up like a lightbulb along the way.
Mechanical devices aren’t for the novices or the faint hearted as they require a basic understanding of Ohm’s Law at the minimum, there are no safety features that you get in regulated devices which means that if you get it wrong, then there’s a risk of your battery exploding from thermal runaway/venting.
Battery safety is important anyway but especially so in a mech device as you have no safety precautions built in. I’m not going to go too in depth, but I strongly suggest you do your homework before using a mech mod. There are plenty of online resources including one here on POTV:
Better still, pop onto the forums for more advice or to have any questions you have answered by some of the experts on there. I have been vaping for years but still learn new tips and knowledge on there (plus they are a friendly bunch).
The Requiem kit comes in a rather fancy display box which shows the mod and RDA through the clear panel.
Opening it up reveals a couple of 24mm beauty rings which proved to be a rather nice touch and made the RDA look much better in my opinion.
Once you remove the mod, then the foam layer is easy to remove and you get to the rest of the goodies.
The bundle of extras is pretty impressive, one of the most generous I have seen from Vandy Vape in fact. I won’t list everything as the photo says it all, but the inclusion of battery wraps, the optional RDA tops, beauty rings, and spare squonk bottle are the highlights. There’s only one thing missing for me and that’s the cotton which I found odd considering Vandy Vape manufacture their own brand.
One of the most striking things was the weight of the mod, it’s pretty heavy for its size and feels really solid. This was something I rather liked and felt was different to what I was expecting. It is possibly the heaviest single 18650 mod I have held.
That aside, I was also struck by the high quality panel detailing. It looks like it was CNC engraved but I saw no machining marks so it’s possibly cast or forged – no clue but I like it! Examining the outer mod further, I also like the square squonk bottles appearance as it sits flush to the panel. The Requiem logo features on the fire button and on the back side, being honest I haven’t the foggiest idea what this logo is, it looks more viking or satanist to me, especially the pentagram behind it, but either way I’m not fussed what it means as I just like the look of it.
Removing the panel was a little awkward as it was pretty thick and has a rubber seal around it, this was actually pretty novel and presented no panel rattle at all. The panel itself is pretty thick and weighty with three strong magnets on the inside to add to its security.
For a simple mechanical mod, I found the inners pretty interesting. There’s an essential fire locking dial doofafirkin, a manual 510 pin adjuster (I will reserve judgement on that), but it was the battery contact strip that impressed me the most. This was quite thick, sturdy and plastic coated which also covered the positive terminals excess. One of the issues I had with the Pulse mech was that the strip was too flimsy and needed maintenance.
The inside also appeared to have some sort of coating, at first I thought it might have been a non-conductive coating but Vandy Vape have no mention of it so I can only assume it’s a passivate. I think the body is die-cast as there’s a post underneath the squonk bottle that holds a magnet, and the battery orientation is embossed.
Before I get on to the RDA, it’s worth mentioning the included battery wraps. I really like these as they really suit the mod and are an easy way to partner a couple of batteries purely for this mod. That said, you will need to remember the battery spec but I tend to only use 25Amp in my mechs so I don’t find it an issue.
If you have never re-wrapped your batteries before then don’t be put off as it’s very easy to do, I have a heat gun for mine but it can be done with a hair dryer:
- Remove the original wrap carefully with something like ceramic tweezers.
(ensure you retain the top plastic washer from the positive end)
- Slip the new battery wrap over the battery and roughly centre it so each end is even.
(I chose to place mine upside-down so that it would be the right way up when fitted)
- Apply hot air with either a heat gun or hair dryer, rotating and heating evenly around it as you go, the battery will start clinging as you keep on applying heat, paying attention to the ends, if your fingers or indeed the battery are getting too warm then pause for a minute and repeat until the wrap is fully sealed.
If you are unsure about this then watch a couple of YouTube vids and you will see how simple it is. Once you’ve wrapped one, then you will never go back.
It’s good to see Vandy Vape included five wraps. I wrapped a couple so that I always have a charged spare to hand and there’s three left for replacing when they start to wear.
This RDA is new to me, but from what I have read it is a slight upgrade/downgrade from the earlier stand-alone release. I will just judge it as-is.
As with most RDAs, the construction is simple with just a build deck, a top-cap and a drip-tip. You can strip the deck down further if maintenance is required or you want to change the 510 pin, but it’s good to go as is for this kit.
Since the Requiem is a mechanical mod, you will need to build the RDA on a regulated mod or a dedicated build deck so you can check for short circuits and verify the Ohms.
With the Requiem RDA being a single coiler, I found the build to be piss easy. The only quirk I found was that the coil legs go into the inside of the screw heads (see photo) which I thought were going to be awkward, but in reality this proved to be dead simple as they clamped down perfectly as long as you use a 2.5mm coil rod to position the coil and prevent it moving. The coil height is also determined by the coil rod sitting into location notches, I slightly spaced mine so hot-spots didn’t require strumming out. Snipping the excess legs off was also easy as there’s plenty of room to get to them.
Wicking is fairly forgiving but if you cut the length to slightly longer than the diameter of the base, you should have no problems. Slightly longer is still fine as they tuck into the juice-well easily, just ensure there’s enough touching the base of the well.
Being a squonk kit, I didn’t pre-soak the coil as I wanted to see the squonking in action. I have left fitting the RDA until last for a good reason, you will need to adjust the 510 pin on the mod (by default it will be too high – see photo).
This might feel like an unnecessary faff compared to the more common spring loaded 510 pin but it only takes a minute. Vandy Vape claim this method provides a better connection, but I would have preferred a spring loaded 510 pin as I have never really had an issue with them. My only concern with the manual adjustment is if it slackens over time, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Fitting your chosen top-cap is also a bit of a faff, lubing the O-rings up first helps but the fitting is so damn tight that adjusting your airflow is really frustrating. The solution to this is to remove the very bottom O-ring which is fine and more like it should have been. I also had this issue with the Pulse 22/24 RDAs and had to remove an O-ring from them, so Vandy Vape should know better by now.
Once I fitted the RDA, I felt like the 24mm beauty ring would improve the overall look so I had to fit that and then adjust the 510 pin in the mod accordingly. Once done, I was much happier with how this kit looked complete. I was sceptical about the top cap being plastic but it looks great with the contrasting drip-tip and beauty ring.
Obviously this section will be dependent on your build, all I can do is tell you how it performs with the included coil (mine came out at 0.3Ω) and a Samsung INR 25S. This battery is more than enough for the included setup and will be safe for lower ohms builds too (within reason), I generally never go below 0.15 ohms to be on the safe side. Anyway, the Clapton coil provided is Ni80 so requires less of a ramp up, and as a result the vape was pretty instant. The flavour grabbed me the most. For a fairly small single coil at 2.5mm inner diameter, this is the best I have tried on a 22mm RDA. The top-cap left the vapour nowhere to go but into your mouth with little turbulence. The vapour production also surprised me, I’m not one for chucking clouds but this setup should satisfy most that do, but don’t expect as much as you would from typical competition style devices, but it’s not too shabby.
With the influx of stuff to be reviewed, I have neglected my favourite way of squonking and this was a proper treat for me. A simple mech and single coil RDA is the perfect balance for me, and the Requiem kit vaped really well all round. The squonking action was spot on with the square bottle that only required a gentle squeeze, and the clear top-cap helped you see how much to squonk. As with most squonk RDAs, most of the excess juice is sucked back into the bottle. So far I have had no leaking from oversquonking as the airflow ports are slightly angled upwards.
Airflow is adjustable but I found that fully open was just right for a single coiler. Again, don’t expect a full on airy cloud chucker, this RDA is aimed more towards flavour chasers like myself and does it bloody well. The nearest I can compare it to is the old Recurve RDA but this one is slightly more restrictive and the narrower 510 mouthpiece makes it feel more restrictive.
The mouthpiece turned out to be one of my niggles though as I opted for the matchey metal one. This is a very low profile one and brings your mouth closer to the coil, and this became too hot for my lips pretty quickly to the point that I felt I had to change it. The plastic one was much better but it didn’t have the same charm as the metal one. It is not a big issue “BIG ISSUE – BIG ISSUE” (sorry I was just practicing), but worth mentioning. I have tried a couple of taller wide bore drip-tips but the included one gave me the best vape.
It would be a bit silly to comment on battery life. One thing I soon got used to with mechs is getting to know when the battery performance is at the point that it needs recharging. Running a battery too low is a no-no as there’s no battery protection from it running under-voltage so you need to be aware when the performance is dropping off. You kind of get a feel for it, but I always play it safe and swap it over once I start noticing the power dropping off. This little setup was ideal for a longer battery life. I was getting over half a day from a single 2500mAh which I was more than happy with, I tend to always have a 2nd battery for my mechs so charging time isn’t an issue and I get a full day of vaping.
Vandy Vape have made a thing of boasting it has ‘3 ways to fill’ but in reality neither of these methods were ideal.
Filling in situ with the top bung was just messy and airlocks were annoying so there was no way I was going to use this method again, and removing the bottle and filling via the spout was just silly. The easiest was middle option, unscrew the cap and fill it up that way, but this was still a faff.
The best way to fill up wasn’t listed. Using a 510 screw in refill bottle from the top has been my go to way to fill up squonkers (search ‘Squonk Refill Bottle’ and you should find one), I’m not really going to consider filling the bottle up as a con since this is pretty much the standard way, I just don’t think Vandy Vape should have made a feature of it. They tried, they failed.
Any other niggles?
Well just the one; the battery fitting. Since there’s no rear panel, then the only way to remove the battery is to try and slap it out on your hand, however the hardness of the corners made this actually painful. The battery contacts are so tight that this method was soon dropped by me, and I ended up taking the squonk bottle out and wrestling the battery out that way, but I can soon see the battery wrap perishing before too long. The answer was an old ribbon from a dead mod I had kicking around but there’s little room for error in the thickness so only a thin ribbon will do.
I’m not quite going to do a full compared to as preferences will play a big part in whether you like the Requiem or not, though I have photographed it next to a couple of other Vandy Vape squonk mods and the similar Geek Vape Athena:
The little Simple EX (we’ve all had one of those!) is regulated but a dedicated MTL squonker with a plastic top cap (also a bugger to take apart) whereas the original Pulse was all plastic body and a metal RDA, it also took up to a 20700 battery so it is larger as a result. I would say that the Requiem sits somewhere in-between the two. It’s not quite the full on sub-ohm cloud lobber and it’s more of an airy DL/RDL to a borderline MTL when almost closed. It reminded me of the Geek Vape Athena in its size, but again the Athena RDA was a dual coil full DL setup. Obviously you can pop on a different RDA onto the Requiem which will make it a different animal, but I like it as is and it is certainly one of my favourite single coil DL setups.
In this age of pods, pods and more pods, it’s great to see Vandy Vape still catering for vaping hobbyists with this true mech device. It is also good to see that the Requiem is bundled with a middle of the road single coil RDA which is ideal for a single 18650 mod. Plenty of flavour with not such a heavy toll on the battery. This is quite a heavy mod for its compact size and something you should consider. Overall, I think Vandy Vape have done a great job with this kit, it’s not perfect but is one of those kits you love regardless of its flaws.
If you are new to mechs and are prepared to do your homework (or ohm-work), then the Requiem BF kit is a cracking piece of kit to start with. The reasonable little 0.3 ohm coil is pretty safe for most 18650 batteries (20amp minimum to be on the safe side), and you should encounter few problems while learning. Battery safety is the most important thing to learn though.
- A well-engineered mechanical mod
- 22mm RDA packs a punch with great flavour
- Generous bundle
- Square squonk bottle
- Simple yet very stylish
- Efficient RDA combo gives good battery life
- Solid and weighty (might be a con for some)
- Squonk's not dead
- Manual adjusting 510 pin
- Battery removal can be tricky
Writing the pros and cons was a little strange, there didn’t appear to be too many outstanding pros yet this kit is better than that reflects. The cons are slight and the pros far outweigh them. This is one for enthusiasts though, a good starter mech kit for those willing to do their homework.
The screen is dreadful and the controls are confusing, the pod is strange as you have to build your own coil and it holds next to no liquid!...... Oooops sorry I picked up the wrong kit, this is a mech squonk kit, plain and simple, but it is really well done in my opinion, one that will take pride in my rotation and won’t go out of date.
Going back to look at the price Health Cabin are offering this kit for, then it would be a no-brainer for me to buy one. $41.99 for this kit is superb, I quite fancy the look of the Ghost Samurai one next.
- Quality: 8.5/10
- Performance: 9/10
- Vapour production: 7/10 (build dependant)
- Flavour: 9/10
- Value for money: 9/10
Overall Score: 9/10
I know the maths don’t add up but it’s worth a 9 in my book.