Ehpro Kelpie RDA a new single coil RDA from Ehpro. Promising great flavour. But how does it perform? Is it a flavour chasers dream? Let’s find out.
The review product has been purchased by Make ‘N’ Vape for the purpose of an impartial review. Furthermore the thoughts that you find below are mine. Moreover they are no way biased by the fact that this was a paid for item.
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which help to fund the Make ‘N’ Vape website.
Without a doubt the Kelpie RTA produced wonderful flavour if a little restricted. However can the Kelpie RDA, a new cooperation piece from Vaping with Vic and Ehpro, improve the airflow suitable for an RDA. Is it a flavour powerhouse and an answer to every flavour chasers dreams. Let’s delve into this review and find out.
Below is a quick breakdown of what you may expect to see included with the Ehpro Kelpie RDA.
|Ehpro Kelpie RDA Box Contents|
|1x Ehpro Kelpie RDA – Standard 510 Fitted|
|2 x Coils and Cotton|
|1 x 510 Squonk Pin|
|Allen key, Screwdriver|
|Spare Screws, and O-Rings|
|1 x Warranty Card|
While the packaging for the Ehpro Kelpie RDA is somewhat uninspiring, it is a shame that the text “a Vaping with Vic project” on the front of the packaging is unreadable. Nonetheless alongside the Ehpro and Kelpie Logo’s is a silver outline of the Kelpie RDA. While on the sides are some more logos, and a barcode on one side detailing the colour of the supplied Kelpie RDA.
Additionally on the back are the package contents, a security code checker and the usual governing compliance logos.
Upon removing the lid of the box, the Kelpie RDA is directly to hand, sat neatly in its inlay. Furthermore to its side is a little black box containing the bag of spares, the squonk pin, Allen key and screwdriver. In addition to this are two rather nice looking coils, possibly framed staple coils, and some cotton.
Interestingly there is no warranty card or user guide supplied with my purchase. However if it had a quality control sticker I would have probably launched it back at them. But more on that in a bit.
Manufactured as a two part RDA, comprising of the top cap / airflow control, and the base deck. The machining of the top cap exterior is reasonably well milled, with the turret themed knurling a little hit and miss in some spots. However the Kelpie logo is cut well even in the finer details.
Additionally the airflow inlets on the sides form a honeycomb formation with an additional single air inlet below. While a little intriguing, they are nicely cut, clean and with no burring.
Without a doubt when it comes to the post-less deck, things are a little different than most RDAs. While instantly you notice the large juice well, you also notice how badly the Kelpie RDA from Ehpro has been milled. With rough edging, uneven surfaces and machining marks abundant. Moreover as someone who has made a purchase the machining is leaving me thinking I made a mistake with this purchase.
Furthermore the airflow inlets that sit underneath the coil while have no burrs are roughly cut, with gouges on the perimeters. Wether this will effect the smoothness of the airflow is yet to be seen.
In stark contrast the airflow channel itself that leads to the edge of the RDA are well milled. Additionally so to is the hole allowing e-liquid back into the juice well. However again the build quality is let down by the use of some rather soft screws. Despite having hex heads, on first use they are already churning.
Importantly due to the design of the deck and juice well, I am wondering how well the Kelpie RDA cleans after using for a good period of time. Especially as the build deck is actually riveted in place, with access to the juice well and base limited to the wicking holes.
Top Cap – Internal
Turning next to the inside of the top cap and it looks like someone at Ehpro has been practising arc welding. While this may be part of the process, it appears that no finishing was attempted. A point of note despite the horrendous look, the weld line is below the airflow and as such shouldn’t affect performance.
Nonetheless, the feeling of bitter disappointment is more profound than ever. Without a doubt the urge to instantly return the Ehpro Kelpie RDA before even trying it is immense. Nonetheless I have been keen to try the Kelpie RDA, and besides if and it will need to be a big IF. The Kelpie turns out to be an amazing flavour machine, then I would have missed out.
Additionally included with the Kelpie RDA is a rather nondescript albeit perfectly functional 810 drip-tip with the wording “Kelpie” written upon it. However the join lines are a gunk magnet.
Dimensions – How big is yours.
Minus the drip tip and the 510 the Ehpro stands at 23.5mm tall, with an outer diameter of 24mm. Moreover the Kelpie RDA is what I would refer to as a medium sized RDA.
The Ehpro Kelpie RDA is nice to build on, with coil placement and wicking particularly easy. However not as easy as dripping e-liquid into the Kelpie RDA. But more on that in a bit.
Featuring a post-less deck, the layout on the Ehpro Kelpie RDA is a clean and simple affair. Moreover with its curved bottom fed airflow, and good sized wicking holes, aesthetically the Kelpie RDA is pleasing to the eye.
With the airflow inlets riveted in place. For me at least, it would have made sense to have used screw fittings, allowing for future airflow configurations. But more importantly allowed for easier cleaning and replacement peek insulators.
Coiling on the Ehpro Kelpie RDA offers the users two ways of sitting the coil. Firstly you can have both legs facing the same direction and clamp down. Alternatively you can run both legs in opposite directions to one another. While neither method effects flavour, which method to use purely comes down to the coils you are placing into the Kelpie RDA.
Despite coiling being somewhat a simple and easy affair. However due to the width of posts, all but the widest of coils will get stretched out, including the enclosed coils. Moreover if you are not a fan of gaps between coils wraps. Then if the coil type allows, you are going to need longer leg lengths on your coil. While adding a kink or bend to prevent the coil from opening.
Width of posts aside, the Kelpie RDA remains a nice and easy build. However the coil placement might not be as close as you first imagine. Moreover if the coil is too close to the air flow it becomes hindered and leads to a much warmer vape with a reduction in flavour. However it is a simple fix to remedy, simply place a coiling tool inside the coil and lift slightly.
While initially struggling to gain decent flavour from the Ehpro Kelpie RDA, I decided to change tactics. Swapping out the included coils for my own 3mm dual core fused Kanthal Claptons (24×2/32 AWG). Moreover this completely changed the vaping experience and the Kelpie RDA is supplying plenty of flavour.
With the coil installed, wicking is again super easy. However ignore any reference on the Ehpro website on where to cut the wick. It is completely wrong. Instead you want the cotton to reach the base of the deck.
A quick and effective method is to lightly push the cotton against the outside of the Kelpie RDA, inline with the base of the deck. Not only does this serve to give you a mark line to cut. But additionally it ensure there is enough cotton reaching the base of the deck, plus a little extra.
After trimming the cotton give the cotton a light comb with a pier of pliers, to remove the loose strands. Especially in the Ehpro Kelpie RDA where the base of the deck is going to be awkward to clean out loose bits of cotton.
Tidy the ends of the cotton with some scissors again if need be, and lift the cotton into place working from the back to ensure the cotton isn’t balling up on itself. Furthermore if you have a long coil tool, it is perfect for making sure the cotton is reaching the base of the deck.
Once completed, prime the coil by dripping some e-liquid onto the coil and tops of the wicks. Moreover now is a good time to see the effectiveness of the airflows ability to release the e-liquid back into the juice well. So don’t hold back it can handle a good amount.
One big advantage of the Ehpro Kelpie RDA is its ease of reloading the cotton with e-liquid. Wether squonking or dripping the Kelpie has a very deep juice well that is super easy to refill. Moreover if you are dripping you can literally keep squeezing the e-liquid bottle, within reason. However if dripping, it is worth leaving it to sit for a little bit. Allowing the e-liquid to flow through the air chamber and back into the juice well.
Is it a tight one SIR?
While the airflow can be vaped almost completely closed down, it is far too warm a vape for me personally. While wide open the airflow is a mildly restricted direct to lung vape, and not as restricted as the Kelpie RTA. Moreover the airflow itself is reasonably smooth.
However, the airflow on the Ehpro Kelpie RDA takes a little getting used too. Furthermore there is no real visual of the airflow control, you have to gauge it by how it vapes. Personally I prefer the Kelpie RDA either wide open or slightly closed down.
A somewhat puzzling element to the airflow is the use of a single air inlet hole below the main airflow inlets. While undoubtedly it serves a purpose, it seems too small to make a difference to the airflow. Perhaps I am wrong, or maybe it serves to help the e-liquid through the airflow without becoming blocked. I am only surmising, as to be fair I don’t really now its purpose.
Lifting the coil a little higher, coupled with my own personal favourites completely changed the vape for me. Custards come alive, and in particular the richness from the icing in a custard slice e-liquid was tongue bitingly good. While the flavour production of a lemon curd e-liquid is a smooth and mellow vape. Moreover the flavour tonality that the Kelpie RDA produces has quickly made it a favourite of mine
Extremely poor build quality has to be the first major niggle with the Ehpro Kelpie RDA. Moreover I have never seen any vape equipment this poor. Nonetheless it is still important to remind readers it doesn’t affect the flavour and doesn’t appear to affect performance.
Secondly, cleaning of the Kelpie RDA is hampered due to the use of rivets on the build deck. A screw placement would have been far more practical for the end user.
Additionally with the Kelpie RDA that I purchased the paper work is missing, not that I expect the warranty to cover the poor build quality.
Something to consider is with the peek insulators. If they become damaged then that’s the end of the Kelpie RDA. Moreover there is no way to be able to replace them even if you could get spares.
Without a doubt the Ehpro Kelpie build quality has let itself and its customers down. Moreover Ehpro has a lot of ground to make up in order to reassure many, of its ability to provide quality vape products. Moreover if you supply poor quality controlled products, you will lose your customers. Business 101.
Build quality aside, if you can close your eyes at the build quality then you are in for a treat when it comes to the flavour. Moreover the Kelpie RDA is the best flavoured single coil RDA to-date that I have experienced. Furthermore the Kelpie RDA is super easy to wick and coil on. Which is credit to both Vaping with Vic and the design team of the Kelpie RDA.
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