Hi Vaping Community, In this review i take a look at the Pandemic RDA from Unicorn Vapes. The Pandemic RDA was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this review by Trevor, owner of Unicorn Vapes Inc.
Unicorn Vapes Inc is a high end vape manufacturer based in British Columbia, Canada. Known for the Unicorn RDA in it’s various versions, Vert and MDX series of mechanical mods and their collaboration with Mass Mods for the Axial RDA they produce high end products without “fleecing you” with a ridiculous price tag!
The Pandemic RDA (no prizes given for what influenced it’s name) is a 26mm RDA with postless style deck and multiple airflow options. Coming with both a standard 510 and included BF pin the Pandemic was designed by Unicorn Vapes Inc (Trevor), PSDBD and BeardyMcvapeface. Let’s give it a look!
In The Pouch
Spare Grub Screws
The Pandemic RDA comes in a rather nice Blue Suede Pouch with logo and “Pandemic” in White with the Stainless Steel version and a Gunmetal with the Black. I was lucky enough to receive both colours and the Stainless Steel version is highly polished and absolutely gorgeous while the Black is more of a Matte with a slight sheen.
The main aesthetic features of the RDA is the shattering skull logo carved into the metal and the dual sided honeycomb airflow which comprises of 2 rows of 3, 2mm holes each side. The inner sleeve has heavy knurling and up top we have a low profile, goon fitting 810 drip tip.
Moving to the base we have the serial number and branding etched into the metal then the Silver plated Standard 510 protrudes perfectly to be hybrid safe! Overall first impressions is the machining, tolerances and overall build quality is first class!!!
Pandemic RDA Specs and Features:
26mm postless style deck
Material: Stainless Steel
Multiple air options
Silver plated 510 pin
Squonk pin included (Silver plated)
Knurled top cap for better grip
Skull design on sleeve
810 drip tip
Comes in pouch with pandemic logo
Colours: Stainless Steel, Matte Black
What You Receive?
Not a lot actually which does let it down ever so slightly. The Pandemic comes with a low profile 810 which isn’t to many vapers liking but no alternative is supplied although being a Goon fitting you can use one of your own. I was lucky enough to receive some coils but no coils or cotton actually come with the Pandemic and i have to be consistent with my belief that all rebuildables should come with everything you need to do at least one build. As well as the Pandemic RDA in a really nice Suede pouch what you do receive is one spare set of o-rings, one spare set of hex grub screws, Silver plated BF pin and an Allen tool!
It’s various Parts!
The Pandemic starting up top comprises of a low profile Delrin 810 drip tip which is a goon fitting so you can fit your own if you prefer. We then have the common inner sleeve/ top-cap and outer sleeve/barrel combination which work in tandem for airflow control. The Pandemic has a 26mm deck section with pre-installed Silver plated standard 510 pin, a Silver plated BF pin is also included.
The Pandemic offers multiple airflow options and the design is very well thought out and implemented. The outer sleeve has honeycomb airflow inlets which comprises of 2 rows of three holes each side but when i say honeycomb the holes are a fair size at 2mm in diameter so obviously what is being aimed at is a good balance between having a decent amount of airflow while giving a smooth vape!
The Inner sleeve has heavy top knurling which gives really good grip and it moves smoothly, quite often i find airflow adjustment on RDA’s very stiff but this is a joy, also when looking inside the inner sleeve it’s very smoothly domed, none of this stepped nonsense! The inner sleeve has corresponding 2mm holes that get lined up with the holes on the outer sleeve. We have 2 rows of 3 holes followed by just one row of 3 holes that line up with the bottom row on the outer sleeve and then after a gap which takes up the space of a row we have another row of 3 holes this time lining up with the top row on the outer sleeve.
Even the gap between the bottom row on the inner sleeve and top row is well thought out, it’s to avoid having pointless configurations like for example 2 holes open at the bottom and then the third hole being the top row, ideally there would have been a gap between the 2 rows and then bottom row as it does give funky options like having 2 rows open for 2 columns and then just the bottom hole open on the third column but having the design both sides there just isn’t enough room to allow for this extra gap!
So the options are having both rows fully open, just bottom row fully open or just top row fully open. You can also have just 1 column of 2 rows open or 2 columns of 2 holes and that gap between bottom and top rows on the inner sleeve also allows for either just 2 or 1 hole open on either the bottom or top rows.
This is where the design is really well thought out, usually the outer sleeve would lock onto the deck section with the airflow lined up with where the coils will be positioned which is great for if the airflow is fully open however many rows that is. The problem is just like with the Pandemic most allow for part rows to be open to give more restriction but with a fixed outer sleeve this means the airflow is no longer centred to your coils but out of line.
On the inside of the Pandemic’s sleeve we have a tab either side but instead of a notch either side on the outside of the deck section to lock the sleeve in place we have an indented section either side that spans the entire area where your coil will face allowing the tabs to move along these indented sections like being on a rail or track. This means if you go for only 2 or one column of airflow whether that be both, top or bottom rows the outer sleeve can be turned to realign the airflow with the centre of your coils, very well implemented!
A Massive Thank You
The Pandemic RDA’s were passed on to me from Unicorn Vapes Via Adie Jones, coil builder and owner of Kernow Coils who supplies Trevor (Unicorn Vapes) with his personal coils.
Adie was good enough to also include in the package 2 pairs of his Aliens 26/36 N80 1.1ohm per pair and 2 pairs of his Fraliens 8X.3SS / 2X28 / 36N80 0.09 - 0.11ohm per pair, all coils have a 3.0ID.
High quality, very well crafted handmade coils and i used a pair of the Aliens in the pictured build and a pair of the Fraliens in the Stainless Steel Pandemic with BF pin installed.
You can look up “Kernow.coils” on Instagram!
The Deck And Build
I built both supplied Pandemics but decided on the Matte Black to take photos of the build to show off the rather nice Blue Anodised Posts. The build was using a pair of Kernow Aliens and with the Stainless Steel Pandemic i installed the BF pin and used a pair of the Kernow Fraliens for the build!
The deck essentially works like a postless design with block posts and terminals running vertically through the blocks so your leads get fed in from above and fixed in position from the sides. The block posts are quite substantial and the positive blocks are joined in like a “zig zag” so they are at diagonals to each other so the negative posts also face each other diagonally!
The terminals are large and elongated so you can fit beefy coils if you wish, the hex (my favourite) grub screws are also nice and broad to fill the terminal void, there really is nothing to dislike about this deck. If there was a build speed comp and you could pick whichever deck you wanted then you really can bung a build in the Pandemic in next to no time, very simple!
Looking at both how raised the blocks are and airflow height i would be looking at about 4.5 - 5mm for my lead lengths but the airflow has no angle so i wanted to push the coils out from the centre and quite close to the airflow inlets so went for 6mm, it worked great so kept this length for my second build.
So open up the terminals and with pre-cut leads lower your coils into position and tighten up the hex screws, both terminals and screws are so beefy it’s a breeze and not fiddly at all. Now using a coiling rod or fit for purpose tool pull the coils out from the centre to position quite close to where the airflow outlets will be lined up. Now just double check the screws are still nice and tight then just pulse the coils, i went for quick 35w pulses but didn’t need to rake as there wasn’t an hotspot in Town (with either build)!
Wicking is equally a breeze, the coils i received had a 3.0ID and shoelace style cotton is the ideal thickness. You want your cotton ends to line up with the lower o-ring on the outside of the deck, so just cut the access and fluff up your ends but absolutely no need to thin out to any great degree!
Then simply tease your ends into the wells and juice up! When putting the sleeve into position it’s a good starting point to line the tabs up with the centre of the rails which will line the complete airflow up centred to the coils.
Checking the ohms after doing the build before putting on a mech and it came out at 0.11ohm, exactly what Adie predicted!
How It Vapes? And Thoughts!
It’s been a while with pod mods dominating the market since i have reviewed an RDA but it was well worth the wait as the Pandemic is a cracking, well thought out atty which shows some effort rather than being a basic design, you can follow the thought process when using this and appreciate the pride that has been put into it’s design.
Doing a build on the Pandemic is a doddle and wicking equally straightforward, love the large terminals and chunky hex grub screws. The coils i was sent are excellent and have an inner diameter of 3.0ID but much bigger coils can be used as the terminals are large and there is so much space for your build!
The airflow design is standout for me not just for the options which are plenty or the clever way the outer sleeve can be adjusted to keep the airflow centred when using part rows. Not even because tight airflow adjustment on RDA’s is a bug bare of mine and while not being loose the airflow can be adjusted with ease, but because i never quite seem to get quite as smooth airflow on an RDA as i do my favourite RTA’s unless they are very restricted but the airflow on this is as smooth as a baby’s bottom across the board and i’m talking baby without “nappy-rash”!
You will get RDA’s that give more air than this but due to the honeycomb holes being quite large fully open this gives much more air than expected. It’s not quite full on DL with no restriction but a very loose semi-restrictive draw which can then be adjusted to what airflow you want for more restriction, it’s a balancing act between airflow draw, flavour and warmth but with the airflow options i felt fully in control of being able to dial in the exact flavourful vape i was after. That brings me to flavour and this can deliver in spades and because the airflow is straight rather than angled the coils can be brought close to the airflow outlets which increased flavour rather than being a flavour killer which is the case doing this with angled airflow, cloud production is none too shabby either!
The Stainless Steel Pandemic i built after swapping out for the BF pin using a pair of Adie’s Fraliens. The wells are not the deepest but with a double o-ring seal and airflow set quite high it worked great as a bottom feeder, just don’t get over zealous with the squonking.
Finally the machining and tolerances are all spot on so did i have any complaints? Well actually only a few petty ones first being although i made sure the supplied drip tip was in all the photos i have a confession, i have been using both Pandemics with my own drip tips as i just don’t like low profile drip tips and i know i’m far from being on my own in that regard. The other main con for me is a trade off as many of the pros boil down to the fact it’s a 26mm RDA but that does mean that i get overhang on most tube mechs i have which are designed for 24mm. Finally although it does come in a rather nice Suede pouch not much is included so no alternative drip tip, coils or cotton! I have to be consistent finding it a con when no coils are included but i do kind of get you wouldn’t just want to throw in a couple of cheap mass produced coils with this so it would of increased the price, as it is in my opinion for the build quality and performance this is not expensive leaving you with a bit left over to buy decent coils!
Excellent build quality (impressive machining)
Spot on tolerances (including airflow adjustment)
Aesthetically pleasing (subjective)
Well thought out airflow design
Multiple airflow options
Nice inner doming
Outer Sleeve on track for realignment
Spacious build area
Large Hex grub screws
Large terminals (can fit large coils)
Very easy build
Nice blue Anodised post blocks (Black version)
Very smooth airflow
Good cloud production
Experienced very good flavour
Worked well as a BF RDA
Don’t like the low profile drip tip (subjective)
26mm so will have overhang with 24mm tube mechs
Comes with the bare essentials and that’s it!
I would once again like to thank Trevor (Unicorn Vapes Inc) for supplying both Pandemic RDA’s for the purpose of this review and another shout out to Adie Jones, owner of Kernow Coils, thanks for reading and stay safe!