A Budget Squonker Kit From A High End Company – So How Does The Crea Squonk Kit Vape?
The Arctic Dolphin Crea comes from a company best know for their mid to high end stabwood box mods – some of which can and have brought a tear of joy to this old vapers eye.
So it was quite a surprise to see the company enter the budget priced unregulated mechanical squonk kit scene with the launch of the CREA squonking kit.
This particular market is shall we say a little crowded with every man and his dog releasing what seems to all intents and purpose clones of clones of clones of each other.
In other words a simple box design – battery – squonk bottle – BF RDA and pretty much the same internal mechanism.
So has Arctic Dolphin managed to bring something new to the table or have they just jumped on the budget squonking bandwagon?
BTW as always I like to see where the company got the name of the device from and in this case the only references I can see for Crea are an online video game – Spanish for ‘linen’ and a suggestion it might be the acronym for the Canadian Real Estate Association…
Somehow I don’t think it’s the latter lol…
OK let’s take a closer look and as always my thoughts and opinion are my own – and you can bet you house on that!
Inside the Box
Clear tough plastic box with the extra bits ‘n bobs packed away inside the body of the Crea.
Inside you’ll find:
- 1 x Arctic Dolphin Crea Squonk MOD
- 1 x BF RDA
- 1 x Spare Parts
- 1 x User Manual
Crea Squonk Kit Specs
- Size: 81.5*51*25mm
- Material: ABS Fireproof
- Squeeze Bottle: Silicone
- Batteries Type: 1 x 18650 battery (not included)
- Thread: 510 thread
- Size: 22 x 27mm
- Thread: 510 thread
This is an unregulated single 18650 battery squonk kit and follows pretty much the same principles as the rest of the mechanical squonk mods on the market.
NOTE: as this is an unregulated device please make sure you are aware of all aspects of Ohms law and battery safety.
Key here is the safety lock device on the fire button – turn left or right to lock and unlock.
The internal connections are all silver plated which the manufacturers believe gives far better connectivity and the inside is extremely clean.
The main body has that wonderful rubbery feel to it and is ABS fireproof with swappable 3D printed panels.
The BF RDA is a tiny single coil set-up with top airflow and for its size a reasonably deep juice well.
The squonk bottle is food grade silicone and is soft to the touch – indeed I really like the bottle it’s very responsive.
Design and Build Quality
As you might expect from a reasonably high end vaping company the build quality on the Crea is very nice indeed.
I can’t stress enough just how clean the internals are – very tidy to this old clean freak!
Design wise it is a little boxy – like all of the unregulated squonk mods out there – but the black and white version I received has a certain simple elegance to it – other colour combos are available though no word on any spare panels to be sold.
The interchangeable panels pop on and off easily enough and the magnets make sure they stay in place firmly with no rattle whatsoever.
There’s a retro looking diagonal patterning going on which not only looks good but also helps with gripping the device.
The only thing I don’t really like is the printing of CREA down one side of the mod – or indeed the lock and unlock symbols on the fire switch – both I think cheapen the device – design wise – a little.
I’ve already mentioned the cleanliness of the internals and the addition of a ribbon means you don’t need to take the back panel off to remove the battery – a simple yet important feature.
Speaking of the fire button – the main part is silver however for some reason the designer has added a gold/brass outer ring which again cheapens the design slightly.
The unnamed BF RDA is simple yet effective however the positioning of the airflow – which I’ll get onto later – will have you scratching your head as to where to set it.
That aside and for the price this is an extremely well made unregulated squonker with overall a very nice design.
How Does the Arctic Dolphin CREA Squonk Kit Perform?
OK first up let’s look at the BF RDA that comes with the kit.
Given it’s a 22mm the deck is small but with my unmanly hands there was plenty of room to work with indeed I found it an extremely easy deck to build on.
Much of this has to do with the open sided posts – I did find a larger coil was a bit of a squeeze but nothing serious with a bit of jiggling about.
This would be an ideal set-up for simple micro coil in my opinion.
The flat head post grub screws are again a little on the small side but seem strong enough to take a bit of pressure.
Wicking is as you might expect easy enough and I found fanning the legs out and resting on the deck worked best.
It’s the positioning of the airflow that might prove a little shall we say interesting.
The deck design means the post holes are always in the way – so you can never line the coils up with the ports fully.
However they are cut at a slight downward angle so I’m guessing the air bounces up from the deck smacking the length of the coils from underneath.
Being a bit OCD on this kind of thing I found myself forever fiddling with the top cap looking for the optimal air flow position – truth be told wherever I set it the airflow felt the same.
Vaping on the Arctic Dolphin Crea Squonk Kit
The squonk bottle top has a nice thread to it and after a few fills it comes on and off nicely and makes a good seal.
The squonk action from the bottle is perfect for me with the softest of touches.
The supplied BF RDA has a nice deep juice well and given this is a top angled air flow I have not had any leaking from over squonking – it’s actually a very nice little dripper.
I’ve put x3 different builds in the Crea RDA and found with a simple 0.18 ohm build the vape was very good indeed.
We reviewers tend to measure these types of devices on ‘how hard they hit’ which as I’ve said before is purely relative.
What I can say is to me this gives as good a vape as I’ve had for a long time with almost instantaneous firing from hitting the button to vaping.
Despite the drip tip being a 510 – I use 810s these days – I actually quite liked the stubbiness of the one supplied.
The flavour off the little RDA is very good indeed after all we are close to the coils and the top cap does have slight doming.
Vapour production was also good with all three builds – though this is more a flavour chasers set-up than cloud chuckers.
As to battery life – I’ve used this all over the Christmas period and find after 3 to 4 hours of normal vaping the battery will drain and obviously being unregulated the vape experience will drop considerably.
Make sure you take spares with you if going out any longer than that – and DO keep them in a battery condom or case for safety reasons!
NEVER put un-protected batteries in pockets or bags!!!
Which brings me nicely to the lock on the fire button – and sadly this is where it lets itself down a little.
To lock and unlock you need to press the fire button and turn to the left or right and my goodness it can be a bit fiddly.
There’s no knurling and being so shiny it can be difficult to get a purchase to turn it – a minor niggle but an important one for safety reasons.
I do suggest you test fire when it’s locked – just to make sure!
Despite that and overall I’m extremely impressed with this nifty budget priced little squonk kit.
What I Like
I absolutely love the care that’s gone into the cleanliness of the internals – you really do have to see it to believe it.
Compared to other similar priced mech squonkers this has a high end feel to it with a good fire action – lovely squonk bottle and pleasing to touch finish to the body and panels.
There’s no lag between hitting that button and vaping which makes vaping on this a pleasure.
And of course the top angled airflow means whilst over zealous squonking ‘could’ result in leakage – I’ve not had any at all.
Good flavour from the included dripper too!
What I Don’t Like
After a few vapes and this is a real pain lol – the lock button can and does move locking the device – a little niggle but annoying nonetheless!
The lock and unlock symbols aren’t really necessary and do detract from the overall design of the box as does the boldly written CREA along one side – a personal thing but if that had been stamped in to match the body colour [like the Boxer squonkers] it would have looked amazing.
Final Review Verdict
The obvious question here is how does the Arctic Dolphin Crea fair against the VandyVape Pulse?
To be honest there’s not a lot between them – both squonk ‘n vape very well indeed for what they are.
As devices both have lovely clean internals – though the Pulse does have a lot more going on inside – so to be honest it will be down to personal preference as performance wise there’s the finest of lines between them.
So if you’re looking at buying either of them – I wouldn’t put you off er either of them!
As to the Crea – this could be a budget mech squonk kit that slips under the vapers radar – but it really shouldn’t as it does the job admirably.
Let’s put it this way if I left mine at the next Canadian Real Estate Agent’s annual conference would I replace it?
Given you don’t need to take out a second mortgage to buy it and it vapes well – I would indeed!
- Safety lock
- Clean internals
- Fireproof body
- Good design
- Flavoursome RDA
- Great price
- Safety lock can be a little fiddly!