The Vandy Vape Berserker V1.5 is the latest RTA from popular vape manufacturer Vandy Vape and Moldavian reviewer Alex from Vapers MD. It is the follow up to their original Berserker, which was an RTA notorious for its tight draw. The V1.5 is a single coil RTA that is made for MTL vaping at low watts, good for using nic salt e-juices which are becoming very popular these days.
The Berserker V1.5 is 24 mm in diameter and features two large ports for filling your RTA on top and five airflow adjustments to dial in your vape. It has a 3 mL capacity and comes with two tank options, a glass and a metal one.
The atomizer was sent to me by MyVPro for the purpose of this review.
Price: $31.99 (pre-order at MyVpro)
Colors: Stainless steel, black, gunmetal, and rainbow
The Vandy Vape Berserker V1.5 RTA has a pretty simple design, similar to many RTAs on the market. Not a bad thing by any means since there have been lots of good MTL RTAs to come out in 2018, but it’s nothing innovative or different. It comes with a metal 510 drip tip that has a screw off piece on the top where you can use the included Ultem or Delrin top part depending on your preference, and a full Delrin drip tip as well. The two-part drip tip really gives it a clean look in my opinion but would have preferred it in all metal instead.
The Berserker V1.5 a 24 mm RTA which some may consider “too big” for MTL vaping, but most MTL RTAs on the market these days are going the route of 24 mm. It’s rare to see many 22 mm RTAs these days, as it really limits build deck space and capacity. It’s also pretty short at 32 mm (not including the drip tip), but still has a solid capacity of 3 mL. The finish on the stainless steel one is flawless and looks simple and clean. My one issue with the build quality on this, however, is the top cap. It’s a standard screw off top-fill but there is a total lack of grip and is nearly impossible to take off. It took quite a few tools to make it; and even after that it’s just really hard to unscrew, which made me resort to bottom filling. Luckily, Vandy Vape said that they are aware of that and that they will take care of it.
Let’s talk about the airflow now, as airflow is very important on MTL atomizers. Similar to the original Berserker, the airflow only comes in from one side of the RTA, and you can only use one hole at a time. There are five different holes to choose from with sizes of 1 mm, 1.2 mm, 1.4 mm, 1.6 mm and 1.8 mm. The airflow control is very smooth and easy to adjust, comes with a stopper, and has some nice cutouts for grip as well. On the inside, it is bottom airflow with a slot design, shaped to spread it out over your coil better; that’s an update to the small round hole of the original. Some may not like the unbalanced feel coming in from one side, but it’s fine to me and a design used on most MTL RTAs to limit the amount of air.
Now, how tight is it? Well, it’s very tight. There is no loose MTL option on this RTA. At the lowest setting you really need to suck hard like trying to suck a milkshake through a straw, and even at the largest setting is very tight and takes some effort to inhale. Similar to the original Berserker, this RTA is not for people who like a loose MTL vape – restricted DL is absolutely out of the question.
Let’s talk about the build deck now — although there isn’t much to talk about at all. Some MTL RTAs like this one and the Hastur Mini are going full old-school style, taking a page out of some older products. The Berserker V1.5 deck is very similar to the deck of the original. It adopts a simple two post design with one post on each side, so when you wrap your coils, you’ll need your leads to be in opposite directions. They secure using the screw head to lock the leads into place against the posts. It works, but there are better decks out these days; I would have gone with a clamp system instead.
The screw heads are quite large (unlike the original), and the flathead screws are of high-quality, so no complaints on that. However, the included spares are Phillips head screws. I’ve never heard of any vaper that prefers Phillips screws and I would have preferred a matching spare set as to what comes pre-installed. The heads of the screws are big enough to cover the whole post which has raised edges, so your wire doesn’t slide out when installing.
Overall, it’s a simple build deck that can fit the required coil sizes, but it’s a bit outdated in design and the spare Phillips screws irk me a little.
The good news is, it’s really easy to build. Just loosen the screws a little, slide your wire under the head and tighten down. You can then cut your excess leads very easily and center your coil over the bottom airflow, so the air hits directly to the bottom of the coil.
Size wise, not many limitations on this RTA. I tried 1.5 mm, 2 mm, 2.5 mm, and 3 mm ID coils and recommend going with a 2 mm to 3 mm ID on this. I tested it with simple round wire between 24 and 28 gauge, but also a superfine fused Clapton that came in my Simple Ex kit (they include two of those coils in this kit as well).
Wicking on this was a breeze, but it is still an RTA, so it does take some experience to do it just right. I felt the 1.5 mm ID coil didn’t have enough cotton to fill the holes well as the wick holes are quite large — which is another reason I prefer the 2 mm to 3 mm ID coils. The deck is slightly raised and there are two large wick holes, one on each side. You’ll want to start by fluffing out your cotton like any RTA, and then trim to size. I suggest getting the cotton all the way through the holes and to the bottom. Some people like to cut their cotton so it’s just in the hole and not through it. This generally works great for RDTAs but not for RTAs and will most probably lead to flooding; just get the wicks to the bottom of the deck, and you’ll be fine.
New builders may need some trial and error with the wicking, as is common with any RTA on the market. If you use too much wick, you’ll get dry hits, but if you use too little, you’ll get flooding and leaks. Overall, it’s quite easy to build on and wick for any intermediate builder.
Now the performance — which is the main reason anyone chooses an RTA. No point in buying something that doesn’t perform. Lucky for me, I’ve got to review a lot of high-performing and flavorful MTL RTAs this year. So how does the Berserker V1.5 MTL RTA stack up?
Well, it stacks up pretty well in my opinion. The air on it is very restricted though, so it’s best used with round wires under 20 watts unless you want a really hot vape, which ruins the flavor. The other MTL RTAs were a bit more versatile in the builds they worked well with, due to more air options on them. This one is only for a very tight MTL vape and low watts. If you vape at 10 watts or less, this would be the one for you to pick but once you get to the 15-20 or more area, it loses to the other RTAs on the market. Still, with that said, MTL isn’t really for flavor chasing anyway and the flavor of this can stack up in some situations to the best ones on the market.
Vapor production itself is going to be very minimal due to the low watts and low air, so it makes for a great stealthy vape where you aren’t clouding the room up — if you are into clouds, you wouldn’t be interested in MTL vaping anyway. The air is quiet as well. No whistle and no turbulence; it is a little noisy just due to the restriction but that’s to be expected. It’s not quite as smooth as the others I’ve reviewed though.
So, does the Vandy Vape Berserker V1.5 MTL RTA stack up in today’s market overall? My answer to that has to be a no. It’s not a bad RTA by any means and the performance is good enough flavor-wise, but the outdated deck, and the lack of air options that only let you do a tight MTL vape are a big turn off. Another major con is the hard to remove top — an issue also shared in the original — but that will be fine as long as Vandy takes care of it as promised.
If you do vape under 15 watts it’s not a bad choice at all, but it’s overall not quite on par with many similar priced options. I’d personally take a pass on this one for one with more air versatility and a better build deck, that’s easier to fill and comes with a spare glass and not a metal tank.
What do you think of the Vandy Vape Berserker V1.5? Let me know in the comments.