In my preview of the Vandy Vape Iconic RDA, I noted just how “plain” and stripped-down the device seemed, when compared to so many other Drippers on the market. And I still feel like it looks like another “me too” RDA. But with a name like “Iconic” I was hoping Vandy Vape had something more memorable in store – and they did, in a big way.
Like any RDA, a lot of the Iconic’s performance depends on the skill of the user, but in experienced hands, Vandy Vape’s latest collaborative device is a top-quality Dripper, with flavor and cloud-chucking performance to spare. Let’s take a closer look at this wolf in sheep’s clothing, to see if it’s the next big thing for your collection.
Initial impressions of the Vandy Vape Iconic RDA
The Iconic is actually the result of a collaboration between Vandy Vape and noted vape reviewer Mike Vapes. Though name-dropping usually means nothing for review purposes, Mike is known for his focus on simplicity and user-friendly design, and the Iconic represents that in several ways.
Once you open the streamlined packaging, prepare to be underwhelmed. The Iconic is certainly well-machined, polished and professional looking. But it’s also nearly identical to countless RDAs we’ve seen over the years and save for some colorful 810 drip tips and some logo work, the Iconic doesn’t really match up to the name.
Well, on the outside, anyway. On the inside, users will enjoy a well-stocked package of items. In addition to the 24mm Iconic, they’ll get three drip tips, extra standard 510 pin, a gold-plated squonk pin, tools, spare parts, a pair of coils and a well-done manual. Bottom line, if you only want one RDA in your collection, this is a hell of a way to start.
(Though we would have loved to have seen an adapter in place to accomModate single-coil builds. This is a cloud-focused, dual-coil RDA, but options are always welcome.)
Diving deeper into the seemingly simple design, the dual-clamp build deck makes the absolute most of the Iconic’s 24mm diameter, meaning build enthusiasts will have a ton of playground to explore here. And, in a nice touch, this two-post deck has staggered terminals, which makes coil placement a breeze, with minimal adjustment needed once they’re set.
Looking beneath the deck is what excited us the most – the ridiculously spacious 7.5mL juice well, which can hold up to 2mL of e-liquid. That’s practically a small tank’s worth of juice, and a squonker’s dream scenario. I tend to be an “over-dripper” and “aggressive squonker” so it’s always nice to have a little leeway, while also reducing the number of times I had to re-wet those large wicks.
The airflow presented one area of concern – one that manifested more than once during testing – because there’s just too much of it. With both side and bottom-positioned airflow slots, the Iconic is clearly aimed at room-filling vapor production. While it wasn’t as open as I first anticipated, this is still a tremendously airy vape. I just wish I had a little more control over closing them off.
That said, each slot is nicely beveled, and leaking was practically nonexistent, even with a full juice well and heavy vaping. Even the bottom airflow – always a concern with large juice capacities – stayed dry during intense use.
Building the Vandy Vape Iconic RDA
Like I mentioned earlier, the staggered dual-post setup made coil placement and adjustment a pleasure. Though the clamps were stiff and unwieldy at first, they quickly loosened to the point that I could engage them without much muscle.
And this is a good thing. Because when they grabbed hold of my test coils, they secured the leads like rabid dogs. There was no play, no movement and no erratic resistance readings. I’ve used countless deck configurations over the years, and this is one of the best, by far. The Iconic may not look advanced on the outside, but this deck is firmly planted in 2018.
As a cloud-focused RDA, the Iconic’s clamps might have a little more trouble holding down thinner wire gauges. But my standard 24-gauge Kanthal builds held beautifully. Thinner titanium builds might require some additional positioning, but all in all, this deck is a highlight.
Vaping the Vandy Vape Iconic RDA
Once my coils were set, I replaced the top cap and juiced it up with healthy dose of Abide, by Vape Dudes. The airflow, while adjustable, is best used as Vandy Vape intended, and that is with the stock “direct-to-coil” configuration. It might be a little too windy for my liking, but the angled slots are designed to maximize flavor through direct airflow, and my best experiences with the Iconic came from that setup.
I started with the included Kanthal Clapton coils, which came in at a respectable 0.2-ohms. Using the awesome Tesla Punk Mod, the Iconic sat flush and looked awesome – yes, the simple RDA looked great against the ornate throwback design of the Punk. Go figure…
Starting at 80 watts, the Iconic ramped up beautifully, and immediately filled my office with thick vapor. The warm custard goodness of the Abide really shone at these settings, with nuanced layers of this sweet dessert liquid coming through in every draw. The Iconic never faltered with wicking or dry hits, giving consistent flavor and vapor throughout.
I switched builds and went to a standard 24-gauge Kanthal setup, reading at 0.15 ohms. I switched to a different Vape Dudes liquid – Blueberry Ice, to be exact – and tested to see if the bright menthol notes would rise above all the airflow and vapor. Happily, it did just that, with the sweetness coming through first, then cut with a fresh kick of coolness to keep things tempered.
Finally, I swapped pins and set up the Iconic for my GeekVape GBOX squonker. I was happy to see how seamlessly the RDA switched into a top-tier bottom-feeder, and enjoyed near-flawless performance. As advertised, the deep juice well prevented any leaking or buildup. And it filled surprisingly well with minimal squonks needed.
The only hiccup came from some initial struggles with the BF pin, which didn’t seat as well as the standard pin. I didn’t experience any leaks, but several squeezes seemed too “loose” with minimal juice flow. It always self-corrected, but these moments were annoying all the same.
I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of flavor I got from the Iconic, even with the initial airflow concerns. Even with room-filling clouds, the Iconic never sacrifices flavor performance, regardless of build type. The direct-to-coil setup might be a subtle feature, but the design just works.
In terms of vapor production, the Iconic trails slightly behind one or two of my other RDAs, but make no mistake, this RDA can produce those thick milky clouds with the best of them. And most of those other RDAs don’t deliver this level of rich flavor.
Wrapping up, and Score...
It’s not the prettiest girl at the dance, but the Iconic RDA performs like a prom queen. This deceptively simple dripper is a top-flight performer, with appeal for flavor and cloud chasing vapers. I might secretly wish it could be adapted for MTL or single-coil setups, but chances are most customers will be too busy enjoying the Iconic to care about those oversights.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a cloud-chucking, flavorful RDA, that squonks well and drips better, put the Iconic on your shortlist. You’ll see why beauty is more than skin deep.
Specs and Package Contents
Vandy Vape Iconic RDA Specs:
- 24mm Diameter
- Stainless Steel Construction
- 2 Post Clamp Design
- Designed For Dual Coil Configurations
- Staggered Post Holes
- PEEK Insulator
- 5mm Deep Juice Well
- Approximately 2ml E-Liquid Capacity
- Dual Adjustable Side & Bottom Airflow
- Direct Airflow To Coil Alignment For Optimal Flavor
- Squonk Mod Compatible
- Adjustable Gold-Plated Pin
Vandy Vape Iconic RDA Contents:
- 1x Iconic RDA by Vandy Vape
- 1x 810 Resin Drip Tip
- 1x 810 Delrin Doc Tip
- 1x 810 Frosted Doc Tip
- 1x Gold Plated 510 Pin
- 1x Gold Plated Squonking Pin
- 1x Bag Of Spare Parts
- 1x User Manual