Vapefly Optima 80W 18650 Pod Mod Kit - Review

Discussion in 'AIO' started by Timbo, Feb 7, 2021.

  1. Timbo

    Timbo Well-Known Member

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    Hi Vaping Insider members, In this review i take a look at the Optima 80W 18650 Pod Mod Kit from Vapefly. The Vapefly Optima 80W 18650 Pod Mod Kit was supplied for the purpose of this review by Ella from Sourcemore.

    https://www.sourcemore.com/vapefly-optim...d-kit.html

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    Introduction

    Vapefly consistently offer more innovation and experimentation when it comes to rebuildables than any other manufacturer i can think of. The Optima offers two different rebuildable options in the form of an RDTA mesh/coil pod which is a separate purchase and also a rebuildable mesh coil option which is included along with it's own pod. The Optima also comes with a standard pod which houses Vapefly's FreeCore mesh coil heads!

    As well as it being claimed it's the first rebuildable mesh coil pod system it's also claimed it's the slimmest pod mod to accommodate an external 18650 and i am not going to dispute either claim.

    The Optima offers 3 different pre-heats with the default smart wattage and also USER (curves) and DIY modes, let's check it out!

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    In The Box

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    Contents:

    TPD Edition

    1 x OPTIMA Mod
    1 x Pod Cartridge(2ml)
    1 x FreeCoreTM Mesh Coil(0.3ohm)
    1 x FreeCoreTM Mesh Coil(0.6ohm)
    1 x RMC Accessories Pack
    1 x RMC Pod Cartridge(2ml)
    1 x Type-C Cable
    1 x User Manual


    Standard Edition

    1 x OPTIMA Mod
    1 x Pod Cartridge(3.5ml)
    1 x FreeCoreTM Mesh Coil(0.3ohm)
    1 x FreeCoreTM Mesh Coil(0.6ohm)
    1 x RMC Accessories Pack
    1 x RMC Pod Cartridge(3.5ml)
    1 x Type-C Cable
    1 x User Manual

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    Aesthetics and Ergonomics

    The Optima comes in cardboard packaging and has 5 different colour options which are Blue, Red, Silver, Gunmetal or Black, i received the Blue option. Each colour option has different design panels on the sides which i am pretty sure are just stickers but done well! The device has a Zinc Alloy construction and is quite tall but very slender and with it's easy to find protruding pill shaped fire button on the narrow face just feels great in the hand and comfortable to use.

    Other features are the almost figure 8 navigational rocker towards the bottom on the face followed by a Type C USB port, below the fire button and above the rocker we have the screen. The spine has "OPTIMA" carved into the metal and moving to the base we have printed branding and safety marks but no visual venting, this doesn't concern me as the movement on the battery panel suggest far from an air tight fit!

    Up top to the rear the pod is completely unseen apart from the flat Black top and Proprietary delrin fixed drip tip but at the front we have a square viewing window and looking from the sides a void that allows air to the airflow inlets.

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    Optima Specs and Features:

    Dimension: 22.4 x 30.7 x 115.0mm
    Input: Type-C 5V/2A
    Screen: 0.91inch
    Coil: 0.3ohm mesh coil(30-40W) & 0.6ohm mesh coil(20-28W)
    Pod capacity: 3.5ml, 2ml(TPD)
    Battery: external 18650
    Output wattage: 5-80W
    Creative DIY Meshed coil
    Normal Cartridge/RMC Cartridge/RDTA Cartridge(Separately Sold)
    Type-C quick charging interface
    Flexible airflow control and honeycomb air intake structure
    Colours: Blue, Red, Silver, Gunmetal, Black

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    The Pod

    The standard pod comes pre-installed with the 0.3ohm mesh coil head and has a capacity of 3.5ml (2ml TPD version). The pod has a slight tint to it but it's light enough to see your liquid although most of the pod fit's within the bay just leaving the front viewing section that actually surprised me how fit for purpose it is and grooved chevrons at the rear for pod removal.

    To the sides of the front viewing window we have a cut-out each side, this is where on the main section of the pod the air enters and does a "U" down and then up through the coil head for a leak resistant design!

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    Looking at the base of the pod without a coil head installed we have rectangular magnets both front and rear and the cylindrical opening for the coil head. On the pods side we have a silicone flap with fill plug which when lifted reveals a generous fill port. I much prefer top-fill so i don't have to remove the pod to fill but filling was hassle free so no complaints!

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    The Coil Heads

    The coil head gets fitted like so many of these pod mods by simply press fitting into place. We have one flat edge to both the opening and to the base of the coil head so fitting correctly is straightforward!

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    Pre-installed is the 0.3ohm mesh coil head which is rated between 30 and 40w, also included is the 0.6ohm mesh coil head which is rated between 20 and 28w.

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    Fitting The Pod

    Looking inside the pods bay we can see the Gold plated, spring loaded contacts and then a flat metallic surface for the magnets on the pod to attract to. The pod fits very securely needing the use of the mentioned chevron grooves towards the rear to get a good grip before giving it a tug to remove, very good!

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    RMC Accessories

    As well as the standard pod you receive the RMC pod which is identical apart from having a chamber for the RMC coil head. You also receive the rebuildable Mesh coil head to give it it's full title and unlike other RBA's which are coil heads with a mini build deck this is basically a rebuildable stock coil which is a new one on me and it's claimed is the first pod system to utilise a rebuildable of this type! You also receive 2 mesh sections and 2 strips of cotton as well as a few spare parts and O-rings for the rebuiladable coil head itself. The final thing you receive is a tool which is used to bend the cotton and mesh around and is also used for sliding the prepared mesh with wicking into the coil heads shell!

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    The whole point is the mesh and cotton strips are going to be available in packs of 10 for only $5 (seen them as low as $3.99) so instead of buying 10 stock coils for $20 you just build your own at a quarter of the price, the only downside is at least at the time of release you only have a 0.2ohm option.

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    What i found really good about the RMC coil head is how well Vapefly have designed it to be so easy to build. I built it with just one hand while taking photos with the other and it took less than 5 minutes, looked ok and performed great!!!

    All you need to do is place the mesh on the centre of the cotton and bend both around the tool. The casing has an outer section that unscrews revealing the inner section with a slot down one side for the access cotton to protrude through as using the tool you slide the mesh with wicking into the shell leads first so they will poke out of the base. You then press one lead into an outer notch on the base of the shell (this will be negative) and place the heat resistant Grommet in place with the remaining lead going through the centre. You then place the positive Gold plated disc in place where again there is a little notch on the side for the remaining lead.

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    Its now just the matter of snipping your leads as flush as you can get them and trimming the access cotton before pulling the tool out leaving the completed coil head! The coil head just gets press fitted into place the same way as the standard stock coils making sure the flat sides line up, then just fill the pod and wait for a few minutes to allow the cotton to get saturated!

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    The RDTA Pod

    Also available as a separate purchase there is an RDTA pod with Stainless Steel replenishing rods, a profile style spring loaded ceramic seat and full honeycomb adjustable airflow!

    The design is basically like an RDA up top with the pod acting as an e-liquid reservoir below. It also has a standard 510 drip tip fitting so your own drip tips can be used if you prefer and the build deck allows for either a mesh or wire coil build!

    When you purchase the RDTA it also includes spare rods, tri-tool, mesh bending tool, grub screws and O-rings. You also receive both a wire coil and 2 pieces of Mesh as well as 2 shoelace Firebolt Mesh Cotton. Spare rods and different types of mesh are also available separately!

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    Fitting The Battery

    The Optima accommodates a single 18650 battery which gets fitted by removing the back panel which has an indented slot either side to get your fingernails in. We have a magnet both top and bottom and although fitting securely it does have side to side movement also Orientation is Black on Black which is not so easy to see!

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    The Display

    The Optima has an old school bright display which is quite busy but laid out well to give all the information required. The left side of the display has the resistance top with voltage underneath, at the bottom we have the mode. The right side of the display has a vertically positioned elongated battery status bar!

    The central section of the display has the wattage top with a padlock either in the open or locked position to the right. Bottom central we have the puff count to the left and vape duration to the right.

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    Operating The Device

    The Optima is the usual 5 clicks of the fire button to turn on and five clicks to turn off and once on pressing up and down together locks the navigational rocker but the device will still fire.

    The device has smart wattage so will automatically adjust to an appropriate wattage and unless in DIY mode also has max wattage limitations dependant on the coils resistance. It adjusts in point 1 increments with single presses or 1w increments with a button held down and scrolls really quickly. The wattage round robins but is useless because it only works without a coil installed instead with a coil installed when it reaches the max limitation or even 80W when in DIY mode it constantly just keeps displaying "MAX WATTAGE" preventing the round robin feature to work.

    Pressing the fire button 3 times in quick succession highlights the mode which allows you to click fire to select or use the navigational rocker to highlight puffs, when pressing fire with the puff count highlighted it gives you the option of resetting. With the mode highlighted pressing fire brings up a screen with all your options which are your 3 pre-heats Norm, Soft and hard then also USER which is curves and DIY which is actually just standard variable wattage so turns the wattage limitations off but it still has a form of smart wattage as it will adjust to an appropriate wattage when it recognises a new coil, not having wattage restrictions is much better for the rebuildable options.

    It's a super easy menu system but my only issue is having DIY in the same options as everything else means you can't use pre-heats or the curves feature when in the DIY mode!

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    Protections:

    Short Circuit Protection
    Low Voltage Protection
    Over Charge Protection
    Over-Current Protection
    Over Temperature Protection

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    Charging

    If charging is your only option then i am pleased that the Optima has both Type C and a 2A max charge rate. When charging a battery status bar is displayed as well as the charge as a percentage, it also supports pass-through!

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    Using The Optima and My Thoughts!

    It's really hard to believe this is able to accommodate an 18650 when its first seen, yes it's quite tall but so slender and can be easily slipped into your pocket or is very comfortable as a device to just carry about. The 18650 gives it superior battery life over pod mods with an in-built battery and if you do need to charge in the device it has Types C, a 2A charge rate and supports pass-through!

    The main con for me is that there is no adjustable airflow when using either the standard or RMC pods so you are solely governed by the bore of the coil head, for that reason i found the 0.6ohm coil head the best as it gave a restricted direct lung draw to my liking, i preferred this at just 20W while the 0.3ohm was much more of a looser semi restrictive draw that i found best at 32W but just too much air for me, all options i tried gave a smooth draw and despite testing some top notch RTA's lately the flavour still held it's own, not up there with the previously mentioned RTA's but very good, no complaints at all!

    The rebuildable options for this is great but again as far as the RMC rebuildable coil is concerned you need to like a semi restrictive draw to really appreciate it as apart from needing an extra 10W to match the warmth the draw and flavour was almost identical to the 0.3ohm included coil. If you do like a looser draw though i love how Vapefly have executed the rebuildable coil to make it so easy to build, as mentioned in the review because i needed to take constant photos i did it with just one hand while holding my iPod in less than 5 minutes. Also building your own coil costing only 25% of the cost of buying coils can only be a massive pro!

    I will be getting one of the RDTA pods as going by the photos, specs and what is both included and available for this makes it very appealing and ticks so many boxes including having full adjustable airflow!

    The battery panel does have quite a bit of movement when checking for it which needs mentioning but it's not noticed during use, i also wish i could fill without removing the pod and could fit my own drip tip but the fixed ones are adequate. A bit of a harsh con as most pod mods don't have pre-heat options and curves but by having the DIY mode (which simply gets rid of wattage limitations) on the same menu tier as the pre-heats and curves feature means when using DIY mode these other features become redundant!

    This really is a nice device and that's coming from someone who only really is suited to the 0.6ohm coil draw but is eager to use with the RDTA pod but i have tested enough stuff to tell if you prefer a looser draw then you will love this and really benefit from the rebuildable coil and RMC pod!!!!! Another winner from Vapefly!!!!!

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    Likes

    Very nice build quality
    5 Colour options
    Slender ergonomic device
    Accommodates 18650 battery
    Pre-heats (Norm, Soft or Hard)
    Custom Curve (USER) mode
    Use with or without (DIY) wattage limitations
    2 different included coils
    Both coils gave very good flavour
    0.6ohm coil gave RDL smooth draw
    0.3ohm coil and 0.2ohm RMC coil head gave semi restrictive DL draw
    Included RMC rebuiladable coil
    Build own coil at 25% of the cost
    RMC coil head very easy to build
    Also available RDTA pod (plenty included and has both adjustable airflow and standard 510 drip tip fitment)
    Can see juice level at all times
    Quick and easy fill method (would prefer top-fill)
    Fires out the gate and had zero issues
    Old school bright display with a wealth of information
    User friendly UI
    Type C USB with 2A max charge rate
    Good charging feedback given and supports pass-through


    Cons

    No adjustable airflow with standard or RMC pods
    More suited to looser draws (with what is included)
    Need to remove pod to fill
    Movement with battery door
    Can't use own drip tip with included pods
    Can't use pre-heats or curves when in DIY mode
    Black on Black labelled battery orientation
    No visible venting (no doubt built with venting in mind but more for piece of mind like to see some form of evidence in way of venting holes or slots)

    I would once again like to thank Ella from Sourcemore for supplying the Vapefly Optima 80W 18650 Pod Mod Kit for the purpose of this review, thanks for reading and stay safe!

    https://www.sourcemore.com/vapefly-optim...d-kit.html


    Coupon code: RDTIM (8% off sitewide, weekly deal and clearance items excluded)

    Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Sourcemore or benefit in any way from the use of the above code but was asked if i would include it in my content!

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    Vapin4Joy and pete67 like this.
  2. Vapin4Joy

    Vapin4Joy Staff Member Moderator 3 year member reviewer

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    Great review Timbo. :emoji_thumbsup:
     
    Timbo likes this.
  3. Timbo

    Timbo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks mate, much appreciated!:emoji_relaxed:
     
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