Last Updated on August 13, 2019 by Team Spinfuel
Hellvape Passage RDA Review – Whenever I review an RDA, it seems to be one of those special “celebrity-edition” atomizers, complete with personalized branding and emblazoned signatures from industry rock stars.
To be honest, few of them ever live up to the hype – after all, there’s only so much you can do with an RDA, right? But this one – the Passage RDA – comes from Hellvape and the gentle souls at Suck My Mod. And that means we might have more to discuss.
Though this is still very much “another RDA,” there’s enough airflow innovation in the Passage’s minimalist format to warrant some digital ink, so let’s get to it.
Hellvape Passage RDA Specs:
- Collaboration with SUCK MY MOD
- 24mm Base Diameter
- 25mm Widest Point
- Deep Juice Wells
- Superior Stainless Steel Construction
- Knurled Threaded Top Cap
- Conical Top Cap
- Innovative Airflow System – Internal Honeycomb Airflow Holes
- Tracked Airflow Control – Individual Airflow Passages
- Two Post Expansive Build Deck – Top Secured via Flathead Screws
- Floating and Tracked Separation Block Per Post to Help Install Uneven Coils
- PEEK Insulator
- Dual Coil Configuration
- 810 AG+ Anti-Microbial/Bacterial Drip Tip
- 810 Frosted PMMA Drip Tip
- 510 BF Squonk Pin
- Gold-Plated 510 Connection
Available in Black, Matte Black Piano Black, Purple, Stainless Steel, Gold, and Blue
Hellvape Passage RDA Includes
- 1 PASSAGE 24mm RDA
- 1 Pack of O-Rings
- 1 510 Adapter
- 1 Spare 810 Drip Tip
- 1 BF Squonk Pin
- 1 PASSAGE Sticker
- 1 User Manual
Though it looks bigger in the middle, the Passage is actually 24mm in diameter at the base, and only a touch wider (25mm) in the middle. The exterior cap has very little adornment, outside of some minor logo nuances, and some slight knurling on the top cap to ease opening the RDA.
Sure, the included drip tips are nice, but knowing the RDA audience, there’s nothing special worth going out of your way to get.
On the inside there’s little we haven’t seen before. The Passage’s dual-post build deck is alarmingly similar to competing atomizers, with individual posts that allow for dual-coil builds, and a decent amount of creative coil placement. The deck design gives users a good amount of flexibility, and the raised format means you can place and position wire before snipping the leads.
Once they’re seated, the coils hold in place nicely under the flathead screws, and users will have plenty of room above the deck to position the coils as desired. Of course, placement won’t be as much of a concern on the Passage as on other RDAs, thanks to the device’s true standout feature…
HellVape Passage RDA Standout Features
Hellvape added a little innovation to the standard RDA by offering its latest attempt at unique airflow control within this limited format. Here, the airflow control system features a three-slot design that is further separated into 19 smaller honeycomb style airflow holes. Each passageway on the airflow contains 5, 9 and 5 holes, respectively throttling or opening the airflow. A track at the base of the top cap and edge of the build deck allow the airflow to remain pointed directly to the side of the coil structure no matter how the airflow is adjusted. It’s not THAT original, but it works well enough, for sure.
And the Takeaway?
Our takeaway was that the Passage RDA really sung when allowing as much airflow as possible, but we certainly appreciate how Hellvape is trying to appease several types of Vaper. Maybe the Passage is still best-suited for sub-ohm, cloud-chucking scenarios. But if you’re a restricted lung vaper, or just someone who wants to prioritize flavor over fog, the adjustable airflow options make it happen.
Vaping the Hellvape Passage RDA
Interestingly, like so many other RDAs, using the Passage was a comfortable, flavorful, and altogether predictable experience. And that’s not a bad thing to most of us. It’s safe to say we’re reaching a ceiling in RDA design and build deck innovations are going to arrive less frequently with each passing month. Yet, it’s comforting to see a company try to innovate in other ways, like they did with the airflow.
Building and Kanthal
That being the case, I first used a standard RDA Kanthal build – 0.20-ohm resistance – and attached it to my current favorite mod, the Voopoo X-217. The Passage sat flush on the mod, as it did on several other mods from my collection. (It didn’t hurt that it looked pretty badass, to boot.)
With this configuration the Passage RDA performed admirably. I quickly enjoyed fast-ramping, powerful draws, with ample airflow and surprisingly rich flavor for such a wide open configuration.
But considering the availability of restricted airflow, I was intrigued to see how the Passage would perform as a more MTL-focused RDA. Using the nicely knurled top cap, I closed down the airflow, and installed a spaced, 1.0-ohm build. The airflow was broad enough to keep the vapor flowing, but restrictive enough to intensify flavor.
One item of note, even with deep juice wells, the Passage managed to swallow e-liquid at an exponential rate, forcing me to install the BF pin and squonk the rest of my testing. I simply couldn’t keep up with the consumption rate. Thank goodness the squonking performance was strong, with few instances of leaking or erratic fills.
– Surprisingly strong restricted lung performance
– Good flavor clarity with any configuration
– Solid squonk performance
– Kind of a lackluster build deck
– Not the most unique thing, even with the SMM collaboration
– Thirsty beyond belief
Hellvape x SMM Passage RDA is a unique entry into the stagnant RDA market. While it’s seemingly the heir apparent to the divine Dead Rabbit RDA (it definitely shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor), the Passage’s unique airflow arrangement manages to separate it from the pack.
So, is the Hellvape Passage a “must buy RDA?” No, but I’m not sure one exists these days. Instead, the Passage DOES qualify as a versatile, solidly performing dripper with strong flavor and vapor production. For those who need to own every dripper on the market, that’s likely more than enough. And for those who are just getting into the RDA market, the Passage is as good a choice as any to get started.