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Vapefly Jester Review: First Rebuildable Dripper Pod?

Jeremy Mann
October 7, 2019

Product intro and specs

The Jester by Vapefly is an interesting new device for MTL vapers. It’s a pocketable pod vape-style AIO that takes replaceable coils as well as an RBA deck. It comes in two different kits: a “meshed edition” with two types of MTL coil heads, and a rebuildable kit that comes with an RBA deck and one MTL mesh coil head. The pods have a 2 mL capacity and the replaceable coils have adjustable airflow. Powering the Jester is a 1000 mAh internal battery with three power levels.

Vapefly is calling the Jester the “first rebuildable dripper pod system.” For drippers out there, you’ll immediately notice that it’s more along the lines of an RDTA instead of a dripper since it has wick ports and it sits over a little tank. Even though Vapefly is a tad bit off in their marketing of what this actually is, I was still game to try it out.

Vapefly sent me the rebuildable Jester edition for the purposes of this review.

Colors: Black, Matte Black, Silver, Skull, Ghost, Jester, Joker
Price: $31.95 (at Element Vape)

Kit Contents

  • Jester Device
  • Jester Meshed Cartridge
  • Jester Rebuildable Cartridge
  • 0.5-ohm mesh coil
  • 2 x 1.0 ohm Pre-Made Coils
  • 2 x Cotton Pad
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Pack of Spare Parts & Tools
  • User Manual

Specifications

  • Measurements: 91 mm x 33 mm x 18 mm
  • Built-in 1000 mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • Direct Voltage Based Output
  • 3 Power Levels - 3.3V / 3.8V / 4.8V
  • Coil Resistance Range: 0.5-3.0ohms
  • Zinc-Alloy Chassis Construction
  • Intuitive Firing Mechanism
  • Snap-In Pod Connection - Pod Release Button
  • Two Pod Options - Replaceable Coil or RBA Deck
  • Vapefly Jester Pod Series
  • Refillable Pod - Replaceable Coil
  • 2mL Pod Capacity
  • Top Fill System - Silicone Stoppered
  • PCTG Plastic Pod Construction
  • Bottom Plug n Play Coil Installation
  • Threaded Coil Airflow Control Ring
  • 0.5-ohm Meshed Pod Coil - rated for 15-21 W
  • 1.2-ohm BVC Pod Coil
  • 0.8-1.5ohm Rebuildable Deck Pod
  • Low Voltage Protection
  • Short Circuit Protection
  • 10S Cut-Off Protection
  • Overheat Protection
  • MicroUSB Port

Build quality and design

The Vapefly Jester is at first glance not much different than all the other pod vapes out there. It’s basically the same size as a SMOK Nord, but it’s a couple mm shorter and a  thicker. The measurements of the Jester are 91 mm x 33 mm x 18 mm. The Jester weighs about 56 g, which is lighter than the Nord by about 25 g.

It’s operated by a circular fire button that’s clicky and almost flush-mounted. It’s a glossy and smooth button which is a different texture than the matte feeling of the device. Also, along the sides of the Jester are two spring-loaded side buttons that release the pod when squeezed together. I think Aspire was the first to do this with the Breeze 2. It’s a useful feature in that it should keep the pods secure and easy to remove, but it adds extra points of failure with unnecessary mechanical parts.

Other than those minor points, it’s all standard fare. What makes this device unique is in the pods/cartridges. But because there are two separate kits, first you need to know which one might be right for you.

Meshed vs. RBA edition

As stated, the Jester comes in two different editions. Both editions are geared toward the MTL vaper. The RBA edition should only be considered by vapers that know how to safely rebuild a coil with appropriate wire and resistance. The meshed version is for everyone, from novice to experienced.

RBA edition

  • RBA deck/pod
  • 0.5-ohm replaceable coil and cartridge
  • plus 2 x 1.0-ohm prewrapped 28-gauge Kanthal coils

Meshed edition

  • 0.5-ohm mesh coil
  • 1.2-ohm mesh coil

I received the RBA version which doesn’t have the 1.2-ohm Jester coil head. If I get a chance to try that coil, I’ll update this review with my thoughts on it vs. the 0.5-ohm coil.

Operations

Five clicks to turn it on, and three clicks to select the voltage. Selecting the voltage will change two little lights on the power button that correspond to the power level.

Purple: 3.3 V
Blue: 3.8 V
Green 4.8 V

If your coil resistance is below 0.8 ohms, you’ll only be able to vape the 3.3 V and 3.8 V levels. However, you can still select the 4.8 V option with the 0.5-ohm coil, but it won’t fire. At first, I thought it was malfunctioning and not firing. All the other included coils and heads besides the 0.5-ohm one work with all three levels.

RBA pod, cartridge, and coils

The AIO cartridge has an adjustable airflow ring on the base of the head, but you have to remove the cartridge from the battery to adjust it. The airflow goes from a tight MTL to a loose MTL.

It has a flip top mouthpiece cap hinged on one side, so you can access the single-port rubber refill plug. The refill port will accept most droppers. You can fill it while it’s in the battery or when it’s out. If it’s in the battery, you have to wiggle it back and forth and pry on the non-hinged side to open the cap. When it’s out of the battery, push the tiny little square button near the base on the side and it’ll flip open. I’m not a fan of either way.

Unfortunately, my AIO cartridge got damaged the first time I used it (one pod release button got stuck and I had to yank out the pod). It’s still usable, but it sometimes won’t make a connection and now it sits in the battery lopsided.

The RBA pod does not have adjustable airflow. It’s a loose MTL that gets close to a restricted lung hit, but not quite. It has a press-fit cap and a similar refill as the AIO cartridge. The cap on the RBA pod comes off easily yet is held on firmly (similar to a top cap on a typical RDTA or RDA). But this is a pocketable device. I wish this cap had a lock of some sort because the deck leaves the coil exposed, and it’s conceivable that the cap could come off in the pocket—and could accidentally fire if the button gets pressed. I just try to remember to turn off the device when using this cartridge and travelling with it. Also, there is a high potential for leaking due to the RDTA design in a pod, though I haven’t experienced any leaking besides typical condensation.

RBA deck

Recommendations:

  • Coil ID: 2 mm ID – 2.5 mm ID coils
  • Resistance: 0.8-ohms – 1.5-ohms

The deck is a simple two-post design with a direct-to-coil bottom-fed airflow. It uses tiny Phillip’s head screws where you trap coil leads under the heads. I used the pre-wrapped Kanthal coils because they’re what I would wrap for this style deck. They’re spaced coils which makes sense because you don’t need to dry burn spaced coils. You can dry burn them on the Jester if you like, but it’s not necessary.

Installing a coil is straightforward if you know what you’re doing, although it’s a fairly cramped space. Since there’s no screen to check your resistance and there’s no 510 on the cartridge, you can’t just chuck it on a mod to give a reading. But experienced builders can ballpark a build with pretty good accuracy. Again, the RBA deck is not for the beginner.

Inside of the RBA cartridge cap, there’s a conical chamber and small chimney that theoretically increases flavor. The RBA deck sits over a small 2 mL tank with little kidney shaped wick ports. Your wick tails sit inside of the ports like a normal RDTA. Don’t pack them in there, just make sure they touch the bottom of the ports but not the bottom of the tank. Since the wick tails won’t be in constant contact with the liquid, especially when the liquid gets depleted some, it’s advisable to occasionally tilt it to wet the cotton. Of course, you could simply drip directly onto the coil like a dripper, but you’d have to remove the mouthpiece because you can’t drip through it.

Mesh coil 0.5-ohm

To remove or replace the coil head, simply turn the airflow ring until it stops, then continue turning against the resistance. Aside from my issues with the hinged cap, this coil has worked great. It’s a BVC coil head, and it does look almost like a Nautilus head. It has a very narrow ID, so even though it has adjustable airflow, it’s going to stay in the realm of MTL.

I’ve only gone as high as 50% VG because it has such a legit MTL draw, I’m using nothing but high nic with it. Most high nic juice is 50% VG.

Performance

Setting aside some of the design choices I’m not a fan of, I really like the performance of the Jester. Lately, it’s been the device that I want to take with me on the go. I haven’t had any problems with leaking, spitting, or flooding with the RBA or the AIO cartridge.

The RBA head vapes well. It has a good throat hit with decent flavor (but it will also be determined by your build and wicking). The 0.5-ohm coil head performs above average. I think it’s better than the Aspire Breeze NXT mesh coils for flavor and longevity. I’ve refilled the AIO cartridge 4x so far and it’s still as good as the first fill. My Breeze NXT tastes off damn near after the first refill.

All three power levels work great on the Jester RBA head, though I like to keep mine at purple (3.3 V) or blue (3.8 V) so I can take long drags without excess heat. With the green setting (4.8 V) on a 1.0-ohm coil, I find the vapor a little too sharp for the length of draw I like.

With the 0.5-ohm head, I keep it at purple (3.3 V) which can take longer hits without obscuring the flavor. Like all mesh coils, it fires up quickly, but long drags with the top two voltages can get uncomfortably warm for me and the flavor can taste too toasty. No burnt or dry hits though.

Battery life and charging

Like many other comparable-size AIOs, the Jester has a 1000 mAh battery. I don’t think a rebuildable AIO/pod device should have any less capacity than this. With this battery, you could get a full day of moderate to heavy usage, but not much longer.

The charge isn’t that long though. I recently reviewed a device with 400 mAh that took 45 minutes to charge, yet the Jester was just over an hour. And it has pass-thru charging.

Pros / Cons

  • Versatile
  • Better than average flavor
  • Great MTL draw
  • Solid throat hit
  • Adjustable airflow on AIO cartridge
  • RBA head means you won't have to buy coil heads
  • Coil head needs to be screwed in tightly or it won't seat properly in the battery
  • Hinged-cap on AIO cartridge could be better
  • No way to check the resistance of the coil
  • Release buttons can get stuck

Verdict

If you’re an experienced builder and like the size of pod vapes, you should consider trying the Jester rebuildable edition. It’s a little finnicky to install a coil due to the cramped space, but I enjoyed building on it. It’s a versatile device that performs well with the rebuildable section as well as with the replaceable coils. I haven’t tried the 1.2-ohm coil, but the 0.5-ohm mesh coil worked great. If you’re not a builder, I strongly recommend you stick with the Meshed edition.

Of course, the Jester is not without its cons and little hiccups. I’ve had some issues with the pod release buttons and I’m not a fan of how you have to access the refill plug on the flip top AIO cartridge. Those details could be fixed in a version 1.5. Regardless, I will continue using the Jester even after this review gets published. I’m comfortable recommending it.

I'm the chief editor here at Vaping360 and I reside in southeast Michigan. I've been vaping since my first ecig purchase in 2010. For more reasons than I can list, vaping has been a lifesaver for me. Now, my goal is to help other smokers make the switch.

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