Ivogo Squape R
We received two of these units to test and review. I had to "snag" a picture of the box, the ones we received had crushed boxes during shipping.
It is not a 1:1 copy, but it is close enough to beg questions from other vapers. The differences are minor, such as the logo being slightly larger.
Let's look at the differences between the R and the original.
- Air flow. This is by far the biggest difference. The original had a very restrictive (tight) draw with air flowing through the 510 connector at the bottom. Unless you had a mod with slots at the top, you didn't get much of a draw. The Squape R now has an adjustable air flow ring with six holes: 3.1 mm, 2.2 mm, 1.8 mm, 1.4 mm, 1.1 mm, and 0.9 mm. The air flow ring has a "detent" type of movement that reasonably locks your choice in place. It works with a spring loaded ball bearing. The air flow ring can be removed for cleaning. It is an enormous difference in air flow from the original.
- Coil base. The original Squape came with a coil base with a non-conductive coating. It was fixed in place and your choices for wicking were reasonably limited. Wicking was a bit tricky, you had to get the "legs" of the wick the right length and make sure you did not block the eLiquid channels. The Squape R has inter-changeable coil bases:
- S or standard is best used with silica wicks that are approximately 2 mm.
- C or curved is best used with silica wicks that are 2 to 3 mm.
- W or wide is best used with cotton wicks where you can customize the size to the eLiquid channel.
- Polycarbonate tank has been replaced with PMMA plastic, making this a safer container for eLiquids. You need to be aware that some tanks (including the Ivogo) make the claim that these are "borosilicate glass inner tank" ... these are NOT glass, they are plastic.
- And, of course, the obvious outer design differences.
Overall, the Squape R is claimed to be a better overall device providing a much better vape. It does retain its main features appealing to beginners at rebuilding with the non-conductive surfaces. Even if you make a few mistakes in putting the coil in place, you really can't go wrong. The challenge with the Squape has always been wicking, though. That changes slightly with the different versions of coil bases, but you still have to be careful not to put the wick legs too far down the eLiquid channel.
I am a bit disappointed in this unit. I have had leaks and keep tweaking to get it leak free. At this point nothing is working, but I am not giving up. I like the original Squape clone, and this one is a major improvement on the design. For a tank with a 5 ml capacity and substantially improved air flow, it has to work. The original Squape was one of my favorites, and this Squape R holds the promise of being even better.
Some of its features:
- 304 Stainless steel construction
- Ematal/ceramic coated aluminum non-conductive deck
- Standard 510 atomiser connection with adjustable center post
- Airflow adjustment ring with 6 different hole sizes from 0.9 mm to 3.1 mm
- Approximately 5ml juice capacity
- Standard 510 drip tip connection
- Replaceable inner tank sealed with orings
I did remove the inner tank to verify the type of materials used to make it. It is not glass as claimed, it is a frosted PMMA plastic. There are two O rings on the inside stainless steel portion of the tank that sit inside grooves to hold the tank in place and prevent leaking. Once you remove the inner tank, the O rings will likely fall out of place and only patience and fiddling will get them back in place. It's nearly impossible to re-insert the tank without shifting the O rings (likely the source of my leaks now).
I am not one to give up too easily on problems, particularly ones that I created. I took the Squape R apart to figure out this leaking issue. I was pretty sure it was around the tank that I removed to verify its composition. As it turns out, when I tried to push the glass (plastic) tank into place, the resistance of the tank against the silicone O ring knocked the O ring out of place.
There are two silicone O rings, one at near the top of the glass tank and one near the bottom of the glass tank. The O rings sit in a groove in the stainless steel portion on the inside. Putting those back in is a challenge. Take your time. I used a tooth pick and worked it slowly until both silicone O rings were seated properly.
I then looked at the glass tank. As I said before, it is called "glass" but it is actually plastic. The edges are straight and I wanted one edge slightly bevelled so that it would pass over the silicone O ring more easily. To bevel the ede, I sanded it down slightly with fine grit sandpaper. After cleaning it thoroughly from the sanding dust, I lubricated the inside of the stainless steel tank with emphasis on the silicone O rings. The lubricant I used is baby oil. I also lubricated the outside of the glass tank.
I used the corner of a paper towel over the end of my index finger to get some "bite" on the glass tank so that I could slowly spin it while pressing down. I did that slowly too so that I could make sure it was over the silicone O rings and not pushing them out of place again. I verified that the bottom of the glass tank was sitting firmly against the stainless steel edge, meaning that the glass tank had successfully passed over both O rings. I also could see the while silicone O rings were both in place through the clear glass.
Finally, all of the leaking stopped and I had a functional Squape R.
I used the C base and built a 2.4 ohm coil with four strands of silica wick. I cut the wick on an angle so that one strand would extend to the bottom of the wick slot and the top would be flush with the sides of the base. The wire is a 32 AWG with a 5/4 wrap. Flavor from this is excellent, throat-hit is excellent, and cloud production is excellent. All tested at the maximum air flow of the Squape R.
The air flow adjustment ring is quite innovative. It is unusual in that it is at the bottom of the unit. As mentioned above, there is a ball bearing/spring that has a detente effect so that the air flow ring hole lines up properly with the base hole. That in itself is not quite that innovative. The air flow ring is at the bottom of the unit – when you attach the Squape R to a battery, tightening it means that the air flow ring cannot turn. To adjust the air flow while vaping, you must loosen the tank and then adjust. Tighten the tank onto the battery again and the air flow ring is locked in place. Brilliant.
With the air flow set to maximum (3.1 mm hole) it is quite nice to do a lung draw and get maximum vapor production. At the smallest setting, 0.9 mm, you still get decent vapor production but a lung draw is not possible. Lung draws are possible starting at the 1.1 mm hole setting, but it is tight draw.
One aspect of this that you need to be aware of: you will need to reconsider your wicking if you plan on using all of the adjustments of the air flow. I noticed that the wicking style I used (angle cut) created a lot of leaking from the air flow holes 1.8 mm and below. For tight draws, you will need to wick so that you are blocking more of the eLiquid channel from the bottom all the way through.
I gave up on the C base and trying to adjust air flow. I used the W base, built a 0.8 ohm coil with heavy cotton wick and kept the air flow at the largest setting. No more leaking ... and I actually prefer it this way.
Filling the Squape R with eLiquid is no different than the original Squape. The air flow chimney is quite large and does not leave a lot of room to the edge of the stainless steel. You can either use a needle tip bottle or tilt the Squape and slowly fill it with a regular bit bottle. That's what I did ... despite going slowly to fill the tank, I still ended up with a bit of juice inside the chimney. If that happens to you too, you need to wipe out the inside of the chimney or risk some gurgling. It does hold a bit more than 5 ml of juice.
For a tank based system, I was thoroughly impressed with the cloud production. It's not quite as good as a dripper, but better than any other tank based system I have tried. Flavor was as I expected and it matches the flavor renditiong of the original Squape. It's impressive.
To beginners in rebuilding, I would still recommend the original Squape. It is the easiest tank to work on, easiest to build and install coils, and easiest to work on. The Squape R is an upgrade and needs a bit more fiddling – particularly with the air flow and wicking. Once you get used to the original Squape, upgrading the Squape R makes sense.
So, what's the verdict? Is it worth it? Yes, it's worth it. If you ignore the fiddling I had to do because of the problems I created removing the tank, this is a worthy tank. It does take a bit more consideration in wicking relative to the air flow you want, but once you get familiar with this, using the Squape R is a dream. I have heard some report that the logos and designs on the exterior annoy a few people, but I like them. The original Squape was a performer, the Squape R is superior to the original. The air flow is incredible and having the choice of various bases for different coil and wicking configurations is a user-choice I like having.