Vandy Vape’s latest edition to the Kylin series of RTAs was released in mid-summer. Upon first glance, the Kylin M is an interesting design, although it’s not like the other Kylins. It’s a mesh-based 24 mm rebuildable tank with generous amount of airflow from a from top-fed honeycomb airholes, which makes it virtually leak proof. It also comes with two tank sections that can hold either 3 mL or 4.5 mL, and four strips of mesh.
What caused a little fuss with this RTA is that the deck is essentially the same deck as the Profile Unity RTA. It even has a spring-loaded ceramic block for lifting cotton sag. The Kylin M does have a few notable differences, but I pre-judged it and passed on it awhile back. There ended up being a lot of love and a lot of hate toward this RTA. Curiosity got the best of me. I had to try it out.
This RTA was sent to me free of charge by MyVpro for the purpose of this review.
Colors: black, gold, stainless steel, blue, rainbow, gunmetal, matte, frosted grey
The Vandy Vape Kylin M is solid atty! It beefier than the Unity. All the tank’s parts are easy to screw together and they all have buttery threads. It can be completely disassembled for cleaning, and the only evidence from the machining process is in the bottom of the deck (typical machine marks).
The Kylin M is 24 mm directly at the base and 26 mm at its widest point.The extra 4.5 mL bubble glass extends out to 30 mm. I think it has too much of a muffin top with the bubble glass, however it’s the one I choose to use because, unlike the Profile RTA that has a 5 mL tank, you don’t need a chimney extender to use it. Furthermore, it won’t add to the chimney height which I’d argue can diminish flavor.
With either the 3 mL or 4.5 mL tank on, the Kylin M stands about 34 mm from the base to the top of the drip 810 drip tip platform, which makes it a few mm shorter than the Profile Unity with just the regular tank section on. With the tip on, the Kylin M stands about 41 mm off the mod.
The Kylin M has a nice resin 810 drip tip with a subtle funnel that starts out at about a 9 mm ID and goes out to about 11 mm. Overall, it’s a nice-sized bore. Other Goon-compatible tips will fit this tank, but the Kylin M tip has a shorter connection, so other tips may leave a slight gap at the bottom. One tip I have that works and looks good on this tank is the Wotofo (OFRF) nexMesh Sub Ohm tank tip. I happen to really like that tip, but it won’t replace the nice resin Vandy Vape tip.
The top cap is a screw-on design, and once it’s removed, you’ll see deeply recessed fill slots sitting inside a bowl that can be “overfilled” all the way up to the O-ring on the outside of the chimney. This extra reservoir for liquid may seem odd to use, but you can just pour in juice. Because the chimney extends beyond the top of the refills section, liquid won’t get into the chimney either.
The airflow adjustment ring that holds the honeycomb air holes can be removed, and under it you’ll see downward slopping slots. Looking down into the tank with the top cap and the airflow ring off, you’ll notice how clever the design is. The air comes in and funnels down into slots sitting inside of a conical chamber. It’s difficult for me to describe in text, but the outside air slots look so close to the inside fill slots that they look like they work out of the same channels. They don’t, obviously. But it’s quite cool.
*Check the kit contents drop-down menu to see all included parts and extras
As stated, the build deck of the Kylin M is basically the same as the Profile Unity RTA with a few differences not immediately noticeable the big thing that this deck has is the ability to remove the tank from the deck while it stays on the mod. Can’t do that with the Profile RTA.
For those that don’t know the Profile RTA, the Kylin has a clamp-style deck for use with a single strip of mesh that gets trapped by Phillip’s head screws. The mesh strip gets placed inside the clamps for a horizontal build of an arched piece mesh. One minor difference between this and the Profile is that the clamps are spring-loaded and have a section inside to keep the mesh from dropping down too low. With just a slight turn of the post screws, the clamp will pop out just enough to use the mesh strips. Simply drop in the formed mesh. It will be in the perfect spot automatically.
The big bone of contention for fans of the Profile RTA deck is that the Kylin uses the same kind of spring-loaded ceramic platform that pushes up against the cotton to alleviate any sag. But the ceramic platform doesn’t have the same push as the Profile RTA; I think it’s a weaker spring. Considering the cotton ends up being so thick from ID of the “coil,” the size and weight of it once its wet doesn’t allow for much pushing up (from what I can tell).
Included in the Kylin M kit are four pieces of a Kanthal mesh heating element. And in case you’re wondering, yes, the OFRF mesh strips will work just fine in the Kylin M. More on that shortly. What you get with this kit:
When you go to install the mesh, just bend the mesh strip over the coil rod. Make sure that its arc is even and in a perfect semi-circle. This is not something to balk at! Even if you think you know how to build a mesh RTA, take this seriously. The strip needs to be as perfectly arched as possible, while keeping the surface of the mesh free of bends, waves, and dips. This is not a small matter. If not, you will not be happy.
To trap the mesh, hold the coil in place while tightening the screws. If you don’t hold the strip while trapping, it will get bent out of shape and look like a newb installed it. You want to avoid that because uneven contact with the cotton will create wicked hot spots that can ignite. This RTA, and any kind of mesh rebuildable, is not at all an RTA to learn on.
On the plus side, another thing that’s not the same as the Profile deck is the juice feed. The Profile RTA wicks from the top and the bottom, which causes you to have half the wick in the port and half the wick facing up to wick from above. I’m a bit vain when it comes to wicking, and I never liked the look of that combo mohawk/mullet wick. With the Kylin M, it’s a relatively normal looking wick, just much thicker.
Use the same rules for wicking different brands’ cotton as with the Profile RTA. However many cotton strips you have to use, just make sure it’s tight! If your mesh looks wavy or sloppy and your cotton is not making equal contact all around, you might end up kissing a fire-breathing dragon! Insert the cotton while pressing down on the ceramic section. Just cut your tails close to the outside of the deck; fluff them and tuck them neatly in the ports. I trim down the under-sides of the wick so the top portion falls over somewhat smoothly. But it’s going to take some finesse and finagling to get it perfect. I’ve had a couple bad wicking jobs in this tank and... yeah, be careful! Don’t rush it!
The top-fed airflow is of course leak resistant. It’s a honeycomb design with 19 holes adjusted by an airflow ring. For me, this RTA actually has too much airflow when its fully open. I typically use it about halfway open and it’s still plenty air. The airflow control can be reduced enough to give a legitimate restricted lung hit as well. It’s smooth and not very noisy, but that also depends on how you aggressively you take your hits.
The one thing I don’t care for with the airflow is the adjustment ring. Although it has a really nice resistance to it, and it won’t move on its own, it’s hard to see where it’s set. That’s the case often with honeycomb airflow. I had the same issue with the Passage RDA. With the Kylin M, most of the time I don’t even look to see where its set. I adjust it based on how the airflow feels. It has such a wide range of airflow, finding your ideal spot is intuitive.
I mentioned earlier that you could use the OFRF mesh strips with the Kylin M. Using those strips made a world of a difference in performance. Specifically, the 0.13-ohm OFRF mesh strips. The Vandy Vape mesh strips were not good to me at all. I tried them with their recommended wattages, tweaked the build, but got forgettable performance. I was actually upset about how poorly it performed. But with the 0.13-ohm OFRF mesh strips, the flavor is ridiculous! Maybe I’m going crazy, but it’s night and day between the two brands mesh. With the OFRF mesh, my juices all taste like they should, but amplified. Rocking it at about 65 watts and I couldn’t be happier with the flavor from this style RTA.
The big question is, which is better for flavor between the Profile Unity and the Kylin M? In my opinion, the Kylin M wins…when using the mesh that comes with the Profile Unity. Go figure. I’m sure that’s not the endorsement Vandy Vape wants, but it is what it is.
I tried the exact same coil in the Kylin M that I had in my Profile Unity and it was at least a couple steps above in flavor. I’m still a fan of the Profile Unity, but this is now my go-to RTA for those OFRF 0.13-ohm mesh strips. Obviously, the Profile RTA deserves the credit for the design of the deck; and the coils also come from another brand, so take that for what it’s worth.
This is awkward. The Kylin M is not like other Kylins. Plus, the deck is the same as the Profile Unity, and I needed to use the mesh from the Profile Unity to reach satisfaction with the Kylin M. In other words, the Kylin M lacks some identity in my book. But I’m not so caught up in that because, quite frankly, any tank with a chimney—among numerous other designs on the market—first came from the Golden Greek. The vape industry has taken his designs for years with barely a peep out of anyone! I digress.
When it comes to reviewing, normally I try focus my reviews specifically on what comes with the kit. In the this case, I’m glad I didn’t just stick with the Vandy Vape mesh. If I had, I would’ve thought the Kylin M had bland flavor at best. Using the OFRF nexMESH 0.13 coils, I got great flavor.
Compared to the Profile Unity RTA, I think the Kylin M is easier to build and wick, and I love that you can remove the tank while the deck is still on the mod. But even with this being easier to build on, the wicking is not to be taken lightly. It’s got to be right or you could be in for a world of problems, not just poor flavor. This is not for novices. And I think even experineced builders could have issues if their ego gets in the way. Mesh can ignite easily!
I’m not recommending this or trashing it. Just know that if you are interested in trying the Kylin M, you should really know how to wick a mesh coil properly. And it’s imperative that they’re no dips, bends, or sloppiness to your mesh coil. I will keep using my Kylin M…as long as I have some of the OFRF mesh.