Oh, HELLO, UWELL Rafale… you sexy bastard.
The UWELL Rafale is a brand new sub-ohm tank from one of the best sub-ohm tank-makers in the business, UWELL. Not so long ago, the UWELL Crown came out of nowhere and, quite literally, blew everything else away.
I’ve had mine for 18 months or so (it could be less) and it is still going strong. I have tried other tanks in the interim, but none have matched the Crown for flavour, assembly, ease of refilling and heat management. This thing is the Mercedes C-Class of sub-ohm tanks. Reliable. Consistent. Good-looking. Powerful — a gift that keeps on giving, basically.
UWELL has recently confirmed that it will be releasing a second-generation Crown tank. Called the UWELL Crown V2, the new setup features a completely new design, a new Bullet Coil system, which the company promises will deliver TONS more flavour, and a couple of additional features for good measure.
The UWELL Crown was one of the best sub-ohm tanks in the business. Personally speaking, I’ve yet to find anything quite as good despite getting acquainted with A LOT of new tanks in 2016, including the very impressive Aspire TRITON 2. How the UWELL Crown V2 will shape up is anybody’s guess. I have a strong suspicion, however, that it will be absolutely bloody amazing
UWELL’s coils are also utterly superb. They last around triple the time of competitor setups, meaning you only have to switch them out every couple of weeks — in some cases once a month. This for me, along with the Crown’s superior flavour creation and heat management, is one of the tank’s biggest USPs and the reason anyone serious about vaping should definitely own one.
I won’t bore you with the details here, though. If you want a full breakdown of why the UWELL Crown is one of the best sub-ohm tanks on market check out VapeBeat’s verdict here — UWELL Crown Review: The Best Tank. Period.
Right: back to the here and now. I recently had a great opportunity to test the UWELL Rafale out in the wild — a Stag Do. These things are always boozy affairs, so I knew the tank would get plenty of action during the three days I was away. How did it do? Are the coils as good? What’s the vape like? Any complaints? All these and more will be answered below. Enjoy!
UWELL Rafale: Packaging
First and foremost: this thing is packaged like a mother-fucking KING. I have never seen a tank shipped in such finery; the metallic cylinder it comes inside looks amazing. So premium. I love it. The tank itself is wrapped in some kind of NASA-grade bubble wrap to protect it from bumps in transit. In this regard, the Rafale is a BIG update from the CROWN.
UWELL provides you with a bunch of rubber washers, which you can attach to the tank, a spare 0.2 coil, and a couple of extra rubber covers for the non-removable drip tip.
UWELL Rafale: The Tank
The tank itself is bigger than the CROWN; it takes 5ml of juice. It also has a bunch of new features, which you will notice right away. You can fill it from the top, using the holes either side of the drip tip, or at the bottom. The airflow ring is raised slightly and this makes it easier to locate by touch — nice touch. The Quartz glass tank is pretty wide too (24mm) and the whole thing stands 65mm tall. You will notice the size difference too, but not in a bad way.
The drip tip, as mentioned earlier, is non-removable. The reason for this is because of those refill holes at the top. In order to refill from the top you turn the drip tip counter clockwise and this lowers the holes, so you can add your juice. Once full, turn clockwise to seal the tank. You can refill from the bottom too; this is my preferred entry point too because the holes at the top are kind of small which means there is leakage, depending on the size of your dripper.
But here’s the rub: the overall design of the UWELL Crown and, specifically, how you get juice inside it is VASTLY superior to the Rafale. I see what UWELL tried to do here, but the holes at the top are just too damn small — none of my drippers fitted inside it and I’m sure as hell not going to buy a new one just for this.
On the Crown, refilling is breathtakingly easy: you unscrew the top and bosh your E-Liquid in. That’s literally it and it takes less than 30 seconds to fill her up; on the Rafale you’re looking at way more legwork and about double or triple the time, which again doesn’t really feel like a step forward to me. All of this is negated if you have a super thin dripper on your E-Liquid. It’s just that none of my juice — and I have A LOT — got anywhere close. And believe me, I tried them all. This means if you’re serious about using this tank you are first going to have to put your juice in a separate bottle with a suitably sized dripper. And I cannot see many people wanting to do that.
UWELL Rafale Review: Performance & Hit
The hit is large, the flavour big and the clouds enormous. All par for the course though, really, when you’re dealing with a brand like UWELL. It is a WAY hotter vape than the Crown, though, and this may affect whether or not I use it long-term as my daily driver. I prefer a kind of lukewarm vape, another PRO for the Crown. But that’s subjective to my own personal nuances, you might be different.
The UWELL coils are very good, as we all know. The one’s here are setup in a dual parallel structure and can handle A LOT of power, so if you’re using a powerful box-mod this thing will see you through all the way up to 200W.
UWELL Rafale Review: Verdict?
Ahead of testing the UWELL Rafale, I was seriously excited — new-iPhone levels of excited. The packaging it comes in is amazing. No expense has been spared in this regard. Ditto for the construction, build materials and general look and feel of the tank itself as well.
This is a very good sub-ohm tank. Excellent, in most respects. But the one thing it had to do was — somehow — beat the UWELL Crown. Now, that is a huge act to follow and deep down I think even UWELL would admit it was always going to be a tall order. For me the Rafale is a very competent tank, one I’ll come back to again and again.
But it isn’t as good as the Crown. Not even close.
And that, my friends, is all I have to say about that.
You can pick-up the UWELL RAFALE HERE ($39.99)