Hellvape & SMM Passage RDA
You know…it actually makes a nice change to be given a device….any device….where it would appear that the designer has done me a huge favour, it’s almost as if they made it….with the sole purpose….of being reviewed by me. Obviously that’s not the case, but knowing how much of a humongous man child I am….
Albeit an internationally renowned award winning one…
Then it should really come as no surprise that my reaction when asked “Would you like to give your opinion on Matt Culley’s Passage?”….was….well…as expected really…
What?…..You didn’t expect weird?…….You know what is weird?…The fact that you didn’t expect weird……how bow dah…
Regardless, it looked at is if I was going to be forced to suck on Matt’s Passage no matter what I said, and with me being the wildcat, lady of the night, brazen, young (?) hussy that I am….I really didn’t put up much of a fight….Why?……Well…because this review was, pretty much, clearly going to write itself. SO….I gracefully accepted my quest – easy street for me, Matt’s Passage gets a thorough seeing to, and you all get to watch….and you know what kind of fun that sounds like?
That’s right ladies and gentleman…the fun kind of fu…..wait…what?
Welcome back unto the breach once more my bottom-feeding, cloud billowing bum chums, back again with more of the similar, and similar it most certainly is. I mean, it’s a 24mm dual coil RDA after all….let’s say similar…with a large shunt of difference…shoved right up the back Passage….oh get used to this, if the kind lady over at Sourcemore had asked me for a review without any sexual innuendos in it….I would have given her one..
Now, it’s been a while since I reviewed anything from the Suck My Mod stable, and in the past I’ve always found them to be excellently designed, yet tailored to the way that Matt Culley seemed to vape…..which differed from mine. They were always single coil like the Hermetic RDA, and Serpent RTA, or….made of alloy like the Nudge RDA, which I’ve never really been a fan of despite its obvious advantages with heat dissipation. They’ve also, more often than not, been kind of restricted, which some people much prefer..I’m not judging. All very good devices for a certain style of vaping, but as my own vaping style evolved over the years I found myself reaching for them less and less. But this time…..was different. This time….it promised to be way further up my back alleyway, so far in fact, that I was almost rimming with anticipation at the very thought of getting my fingers on Matt’s Passage as soon as I heard he was releasing it into the open…
And I’m pretty sure he was just as excited about it as I was..
So…..seeing as I have already pretty much told you what it is, and who designed it, I think it’s high time we get right down deep into Matt’s Passage, courtesy of Ema over at Sourcemore, I present to you…..or rather Matt does….the Hellvape & Suck My Matt’s Passage RDA….wait…that’s not right at all….
Now….before I get into Matt’s Passage we need to talk a little about the name, because believe me when I say that this thing is going to get a wHOLE lot of attention because of it. Some might harp on about how the word ‘passage’ only refers to the unique airflow on this thing, and that anyone who tries to twist that fact into some sordid filthy affair about bottoms, is painfully immature and an embarrassment to themselves as well as the vaping community on the wHOLE….not to mention you will be hurting Matt Culley’s feelings by tarnishing something that he’s put his heart and soul into, in the hope that people will take this device with the seriousness that was intended…Well….I’m calling bullshit on that one…
If you set aside the work that Matt does for vaping advocacy, which is loads, and is indeed of the utmost seriousness, and you watch him in any of the Youtube vaping shows that he frequents, then you will realise that Matt Culley has one of the driest sense of humours in the vaping industry. The man is funny AF, and I fucking love that. On top of that, his company is called ‘Suck My Mod’….which in itself paints a pretty picture. Was the name of this device an intentional innuendo?…..Of course it fucking was, and I, for one, applaud Matt for it – it’s a slice of marketing genius. Obviously, this doesn’t really change the fact that I am still painfully immature and an embarrassment to myself, so I shall absolutely thrust myself into this Passage review with all the gusto I can muster, while I get to the BOTTOM of what makes this device tick…so….let’s go balls deep shall we….
The Hellvape and SMM Passage RDA is yet another 24mm dual coil dripper, the staple diet of the dripper market if you will. On the surface it looks pretty much like any 24mm dual coil dripper…
It has a predominantly stainless steel construction which starts at 24mm around the base and goes out to 25mm around its chamber, and on this chamber you will find the Passage logo, which I’m pretending is actually personalised just for me…..and also a dual side airflow…
Which is adjusted by turning the beautifully fine knurled top cap….I can’t really explain why fine knurling has the effect on me that it does every time I see it…or get my fingers on it….it just…..urgh…*shudders*…
Sorry!….Moment of weakness……
and in to this erotically charged top cap you will also find a pretty standard 810 push fit drip tip….
And if you flip it you are greeted with…..well….the bottom of an RDA….which is never particularly overwhelming…even when it’s Matt Culley’s Passage..
Protruding insulated pin and….words…
So…that’s what you’ll be greeted with when you take it out of the box, it is…in all its glory….a pretty standard dripper, a nice looking and well presented dripper….but a dripper nonetheless…
However….there is absolutely NOTHING standard….about this RDA, and as you go deeper into the Passage you will find out exactly why…
Firstly…something that you’ve seen already – that drip tip. Yes, it’s a standard 810 tip with Hellvape’s signature beauty ring around its base…
But then on the other side it has the letters Ag+. When I first saw it I didn’t even give it a second thought, but as it turns out, what this actually means is that the tip is the first to be made out of an Antibacterial material. No more nasty germs growing their own little ecosystem on your mouth piece, and no….this doesn’t give other people the right to pick up your rig and take a hit. Just because it’s germ repellent, it doesn’t make it okay to suck on another man’s Passage. I don’t go around sucking on other vapers’ Passages….so don’t suck on my Passage…..not without some sort of payment first being arranged anyway…..I mean everything has a price right?…
Next is the all important heart of the matter, because here is where it gets real. The deal breaker with any RDA – the build deck and subsequent airflow. Time to take this little fella’s clothes off while I probe deep inside Matt’s Passage…
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a Velocity build deck had a one night stand with a Clamp system build deck?…No?….Really?…Man, I think about that all the time – does that make me weird?….Ooh…best not pull at that thread, well….this would be the resulting bastard – yes, it’s a Velocity deck but with a Clamp system….and it’s fucking amazing.
You will of course work it out as soon as you clap your eyes on it…it’s a very simple system consisting of one block of grooved metal which is kept in place via a runner on each side. Simply unscrew the flat head screws and the angle cut block runs freely up and down the post….and when you do this, you will soon come to realise that you are open to options regarding how you want to install your coils.
Now…if you want to, you can simply use this like any clamp system – open it up, push in both legs of your coils under the block, trim, and tighten up. It’s always been a fiddly system for sure, and can be quite the pain in the ass for people like me who possess fat sausage fingers….however….because the distance between the bottom of the screw and the metal block is so vast, you can actually also use it just like any Velocity deck – simply put one leg under the block, and then in the other post put that leg over the block and directly underneath the screw, thus…avoiding having to twist your coil to get both legs parallel…
And believe me, this Passage can take some serious girth…when it comes to coil choice.
Wicking is also about as easy as it can possibly be, there’s simply so much room for it, just stuff the fluff and lube it up….
As is quite the norm these days, the Passage comes with a standard pin pre-installed. But for all you bottom feeders out there, a BF pin is also included in the package, and what with the recent upsurge of people discovering….or indeed…re-discovering…the advantages of having liquid injected straight up their bottom thanks to the release of a certain dual battery squonker….this will probably be the first thing you do….as was the case was me, and the reasons for that soon become very clear once you look inside Matt’s Passage…
Firstly…there’s the juice well, man…I gotta tell ya, Matt’s passage is so deep it can take a whole lotta liquid…
That in itself is a huge bonus for any squonker…..but even this isn’t the most squonk-friendly thing about the Passage – that accolade…would belong to the airflow…
It just looks like any side airflow from the outside right?…Wrong. What Matt has actually done is create an airflow that is damn near impossible to flood, because you see those three ridges inside the airflow?……Well they are where the Passage…apparently gets its name from – they form three passages that go down to where the air intake actually is…
…and this does two things; it brings the airflow lower, thus coming in underneath your coils….which is always a good thing, and it stops your liquid pouring out of your airflow should you be a tad overzealous with your pumping…in short…you can literally submerge your coils in liquid and it still won’t leak…
And that hole in the middle of Matt’s Passage is so wide that it sucks the excess liquid straight back down again almost instantly..
Which gives you what every squonker desires when looking for a decent squonker….a good old..
And just to add to this already impressive airflow, the chamber itself has a locking stop with enough travel on it to enable you to perfectly line up the airflow with your coil, regardless of where you have it set. It’s obviously not the first to have this feature, but it shows that Matt has put a lot of thought into his Passage.
Well…let’s look at the evidence so far. The airflow is honeycombed which, as we all know, creates a very smooth draw. It’s also very low so that it hits your coils underneath, and the walls of the chamber, as a result of this airflow, are very thick….
Which makes less room in the chamber, thus condensing the vapour. Put all of this together and you get one of the best flavour performing RDA’s that I have ever tried. In fact…..I’ve been sat here trying to think of another 24mm RDA which has come out this year that trumps the Passage in terms of flavour production….and nothing at all jumps out at me..
So…to summarize, sucking the air through Matt’s Passage is super smooth and bursting with flavour…
- 24mm Base Diameter going up to 25mm
- Deep Juice Well
- Stainless Steel Construction
- Knurled Threaded Top Cap
- Conical Top Cap
- Innovative Airflow System – Internal Honeycomb Airflow Holes
- Tracked Airflow Control – Individual Airflow Passages
- Two Post Expansive Build Deck – Top Secured via Flathead Screws
- Floating and Tracked Separation Block Per Post to Help Install Uneven Coils
- PEEK Insulator
- Dual Coil Configuration
- 810 AG+ Anti-Microbial/Bacterial Drip Tip
- 810 Frosted PMMA Drip Tip
- 510 BF Squonk Pin
- Gold-Plated 510 Connection
- 1 PASSAGE 24mm RDA
- 1 Pack of O-Rings
- 1 510 Adapter
- 1 Spare 810 Drip Tip
- 1 BF Squonk Pin
- 1 PASSAGE Sticker
- 1 User Manual
My final thoughts on the Hellvape Passage RDA would be thus…..yes…it’s yet another 24mm squonkable RDA, but how often do we actually see a really good one?….It’s not as often as you’d think, and it’s only when you lift the lid on Matt’s Passage that you come to realise just how much has gone into it..
Every inch of Matt’s Passage has been given a thorough going over…..in fact, I’m betting when Hellvape themselves asked Matt just how much he wanted to go into his Passage…he simply replied…
And all of it…is what he got….from tip…to base.
Firstly, the build quality is excellent, yes you can see some machining within the airflow passages, but generally speaking this is a very well made and solid device…and I do like my solid, heavy RDA’s
The airflow is simply genius. It’s slightly turbulent, but it is only slightly, and it’s also expected because you get that anytime you bend the airflow at right angle. The result is more than worth it – not only does it bend the air lower to whip under your twisties, but it also makes it nigh on impossible to over-squonk in such a way that it will leak any juice at all.
Then there’s the build deck. Velocity decks have always been one of the easiest to build on, and Matt’s twist on that involves an incredibly wide clamp system that has a chamfered block on runners, which open up as soon as you present your coil leg to it…is brilliant. You just simply don’t get the amount of options on either a Velocity deck or a Clamp system – when it comes to installing your coils – that you get on the Passage. Fans of either will love it, haters of clamp systems will love it, people who like chunky coils will love it, in fact…it’s hard to think of a group of vapers that will have anything but love for the way you can build in this thing.
Then there’s the juice well. For a 24mm dripper this has one of the deepest wells I have seen to date, couple that with the innovative airflow and you get a squonkers dream deck.
Of course, all this is pointless if the flavour from the Passage sucks ass…..(sigh)….but both the flavour and vapour production are really quite phenomenal – right up there with anything I have tried in my eight years of vaping…at least from a 24mm side airflow RDA.
And the literal cherry on this innovative cake is the drip tip – an antibacterial drip tip….how has that not been done before?….I expect to see this on many, many devices in the future, and it’s a reassuring thought that I can suck on Matt’s Passage knowing that my lips will be utterly germ free afterwards….who doesn’t want that?
No, it’s not…
Then of course, this is a Hellvape product, and just like the Dead Rabbit this thing comes in more colours than you can shake a shitty stick at….
All in all…I have nothing bad to say about this RDA. It ticks every single box for me and is by far my favourite SMM device to date. Maybe that’s because it suits my style of vaping with it being a dual coil device and airy enough, but this review is my opinion, and my opinion is that Matt’s Passage is the best thought out, most flavoursome and squonk friendly device that I have tried so far…it’s simply that good….and it’s not even expensive.
At the time of writing, Sourcemore have the Passage RDA on sale for a measly £27.80/$35. At that price point I simply can’t recommend it enough, it’s priced to sell and believe me, you get a lot of RDA for the price….find that deal here..
The ONLY thing, which I almost forgot about during all the fan-girling going on, that has a very slight black mark against it….is the fact that you don’t get any coils with it. I can understand it from the point of view of keeping the cost down, but a pair of nice coils cost pence to a manufacturer and these days it’s pretty hard to find a company that doesn’t include coils in the kit. Alas….this is not the case, and I would have happily exchanged the 510 adapter or the extra frosted 810 drip tip for a nice pair of tri core stapled coils…..just my opinion obv…
I’m sure Matt Culley and Hellvape have hit a home run with the Passage RDA, regardless of the missing coils. I wish them all the success in the world, and I am very confident that Matt will feel an extra sense of jubilation knowing the pleasure he will give many a vaper as he forcefully demands what you should all do with his Passage….
Well done sir….I applaud your Passage, it’s really quite…quite special.
Fuck….I am innuendo’d out…
As always, the doors over at Steampugs are open 24/7, and there you will find a plethora of awesome write-ups from myself as well as the rest of the Steamteam, and if you’d like to come and talk to us in person, as well as a whole host of other knowledgeable vapers, then head on over to our little corner of the vapeverse that we like to call our Vape Forum, just click this link…
And join for free, we promise a wonderful drama free experience that will give you joy beyond your wildest dreams….not my wildest dreams you understand….you’re simply not ready for that weirdness….just….normal amounts of….joyful…dreams…or something…(?)
Until next time
Hellvape & SMM Passage RDA£27.80
- Excellent build quality
- beautifully executed and easy to build deck
- Incredibly squonk friendly with a deep juice well and leak proof super smooth airflow
- Antibacterial drip tip and gorgeous fine knurling.
- Flavour & Cloud production is on point
- No coils included