Amazingly the Vandy Vape Mato RDTA is now the third tank in just over a year that has decided to use steel rope as a wicking material.
For something that we thought was consigned to history with the Genesis tanks, it’s a surprisingly popular choice!
Vandy Vape has teamed up with the German reviewer Nebelfee for this tank, he has previously put his name to the ColdSteel 200 by Ehpro. Apparently Nebelfee translates as “Fog Fairy” in English.
What Can We Expect From the Vandy Vape Mato RDTA?
As I mentioned, this is another top coiler RDTA that uses steel rope wicks to bring your e-liquid up to the deck.
Vandy Vape has gone down a slightly different route, with the Mato being a single coil RDTA designed for direct to lung vaping.
You can read more about the difference between Direct to lung (DTL) and Mouth to lung (MTL) here.
It’s also a slightly shorter tank than the Brunhilde, which I’m sure some people will be pleased about!
With a clean and simple design, I’m really keen to see what Vandy Vape can do with a single coil. Is it one of the best RDTA’s I’ve tried recently? Let’s find out.
This was sent over free of charge from New Vaping (thank you) and as always, this in no way impacts my review, and I shall report back honestly with what I find.
Inside The Box
- Mato RDTA
- Squonk Pin
- Coil Lead Guide
- 4x3mm Steel Wire, 4×2.5mm Steel Wire
- Triple Core Fused Clapton Coil
- Instruction Manual
- Spares Bag
- 510 drip tip Adapter
- Plastic Tank Section (packaged separately)
NB: My version came with a plastic dummy piece inside the base, the actual tank section was packaged separately in an unmarked cardboard box.
I’m unsure whether this is because of TPD regulations due to the fact that the tank holds 5ml.
- Dimensions – 24mm x 44.6mm
- Weight – 155g
- Coil – Single Coil
- Capacity – 5ml
Design and Build Quality
The Mato is a a pretty tall tank due to it’s steel wire wicking. It’s available in 5 colours, Matte Black, Frosted Grey, Stainless Steel, Gold and the Gun metal that I received.
This is obviously quite a tall tank, so it’s very much down to personal preference whether you will like the look or not. I personally quite enjoy a long tank, and the extra capacity you get from it is definitely welcome.
It breaks down into a few pieces, and everything is very well finished.
The first thing to do will be putting it together, replacing the dummy section of the tank with the one supplied separately (if you’re in a TPD country) and installing the 4 steel ropes.
If you have a choice, I recommend the 3mm. But more about this later.
One thing to note is that I would recommend not touching the steel ropes with your bare hands. The oil and grease on them can transfer over and prevent it wicking as effectively.
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Drip Tip
It’s a standard 810 fitting, double o-ringed on the inside, so if you prefer you can swap this out for your favourite drip tip.
The drip tip that comes supplied is a rather nice two tone resin, with a double wavy line moulded around the circumference. It’s hard to capture a good photo of it, as it has a slight sparkle to it like tigers eye.
You do also get a 510 drip tip adapter in the box, should you want to use a smaller drip tip.
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Top Cap
The top cap is devoid of ornamentation, with the exception that the top and bottom sections of it have flat edges, rather than being totally circular.
There’s 18 sides in total, Google tells me this makes in an “octadecagon“…So don’t say I never teach you anything!
In the middle of the two octadecagon pieces, is a normal round section with a large hole for your airflow, mirrored on the other side.
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Airflow
You have side airflow coming into the tank, which you can reduce by spinning the top cap around to close of the external hole.
One small thing that I appreciate, is that the top cap has stops at fully open and fully closed, so you can set it quickly by feel.
Internally, that airflow hits a honeycomb wall that splits it with 13 smaller holes.
The walls containing these holes are slightly angled, so they are closer together at the bottom and lean back away from your coil. This should mean that you get slightly more directed air hitting the lower section of your coil.
It also means that there’s a little more space if you want to install something enormous!
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Deck
It’s a single coil, postless deck, with the walls on either side giving you your airflow.
Where your wicks sits, you can see the top section of the 4 stainless steel ropes.
There’s lots of space for your wick, but the wells aren’t terribly deep, so it’s important to get your wicking right to encourage the e-liquid up from the tops of the rope.
The coil that it comes with is a 3.5mm ID coil, but as you can see here and in the build section, you have space for a much bigger coil.
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Tank Section
The tank section is made of a few different parts.
You have the metal cage that goes around it, with the word MATO engraved at the bottom. On a personal note, I’m glad that there’s not much branding on it!
On the bottom is a gold-plated, nicely protruding 510 connector, and also the regulatory marks, the name of the tank, Vandy Vape and Nebelfee’s logo.
Inside this goes your PSU tank section.
This was made out of PSU rather than glass so that it wouldn’t break if it fell over, and hopefully it should be resistant to tank crackers as well, which is often a worry with plastic tanks.
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Steel Ropes
The four stainless steel ropes drop down from holes in the deck, and run down the length of the tank. Each of the ropes, is made up of 7 bundles, of 19 individual wires.
Interestingly the tank comes with 2 packs of ropes (or at least, mine did). 4x3mm which is what I used, but also a pack of 4×2.5mm and a single 3mm.
I’ve heard some suggestions that the 2.5mm wick slightly better, but as they are a little small for the holes in the deck, that they flop about a bit.
I’ve reached out to Vandy Vape to see if I can get some more clarity, and I will update this if I hear back!
How To Build the Vandy Vape Mato RDTA
- Unscrew the 2 grub screws on the outside of the deck
- Trim your leads, you can use the lead guide that comes in the package, but I am using the awesome Coily tool here. Vandy Vape recommend 7mm, but I found 6.5mm was a better length
- Pop your coil legs into the holes, tighten the screws and position the coil so that it’s central between the two airflows
- Dry fire the coil, and rake the surface with a pair of ceramic tweezers to get rid of any hotspots and get it glowing evenly
- Push your wick through and cut so that it’s a little longer than the the diameter of the tank
- Fluff the ends up, and place it down so that the wick is covering the top of the steel ropes. Imagine you’re wicking a dripper and you won’t go far wrong
- Get your coil and wick really saturated with e-liquid. As any excess will just run into the tank, you can afford to be generous
How To Fill the Vandy Vape Mato RDTA
You need to remove the top cap to fill the tank.
Next to one of deck screws, there is a second hole that has a plastic membrane covering it.
To fill the tank, you push the tip of your bottle through this membrane and squeeze to fill up.
Although I’m not usually a fan of thin coverings like this on fill holes, I haven’t had any issues in use.
You do also get replacements in the spares bag, so you can replace it if it wears out.
It also means that there’s a bit more protection to stop e-liquid escaping if you accidentally have it on it’s side for a bit.
All of my bottles have fit with no problems, but it might be something to keep in mind if you have any bottles with particularly chubby tips.
How Does the Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Perform?
I’ve been using the triple core fused clapton that comes in the package for most of my testing.
Wicking the Vandy Vape Mato RDTA
The coil came out to be a 0.22Ω, and I’ve tested it from 40W up through to 85W. – the sweet spot for me was around 65W.
At 65W I could happily chain vape on it, and I never got close to a dry hit.
Although the steel ropes don’t seem like the ideal wicking material, their capillary action, combined with the slight tilt that you naturally do when you’re vaping, kept the coil well supplied with e-liquid.
Pushing the coil further, and I found that anything above 75W meant I had to slow down my vaping slightly.
With a bigger coil that can hold more e-liquid though, you could certainly push this up higher.
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Airflow and Cloud Production
Fully open, and there is just a slight restriction.
On a 1 to 10 scale, from tightest imaginable to totally open, it’s about an 8.5.
However you can close this down more if you prefer a slightly more restrictive vape.
Cloud production is very impressive for a single coil, there’s lots of air slamming into your coil, and you can comfortably get a big coil in the space on the deck.
The coil it comes with is a 3.5mm ID, but you could easily go a bit bigger or more complex.
Airflow is very smooth, with just the tiniest amount of turbulence.
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Flavour
One of the benefits of a top coiler RDTA, is that since the coil is so close to your mouth, the vapour doesn’t have far to travel at all. This means that in theory, it should be capable of RDA levels of flavour.
The Mato certainly doesn’t let you down in this regard, flavour is strong and punchy, with good separation of the flavour notes.
It’s maybe not quite as pronounced as a dual coil would be, but it’s not far off, and I’m sure if you put a larger build in here, you could eke out some more flavour.
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA Squonking
Although squonking might seem like an odd thing to add to an RDTA, I’m a big fan of it’s inclusion.
With a 5ml capacity in the tank itself, and an extra reservoir of e-liquid in your squonker, you can happily get away without needing to refill for a long time.
When you squonk on it, it just fills up the tank, so you never really need to worry about over-squonking like you would on a dripper. You can just use it as a way to keep your tank topped up for those long trips!
When you squonk, it fills up from the top of the tank. You can just about see the squonk hole, which is in the same place you would put the nib of your bottle when you’re filling up normally.
- Great flavour
- Wicks Flawlessly
- 5ml Capacity
- Squonk option
- Silicone seal for refilling feels very delicate
- Need to avoid touching the steel ropes with your bare hands
Final Review Verdict
I was hunting around a bit to find any real cons for this tank!
The fit and machining on it is absolutely top notch, everything disassembles and reassembles very smoothly, with no scratchy threads.
I’ve also been impressed that is hasn’t leaked at all, even when I up-ended the tank (full of liquid!) to take some photos of the base, I didn’t lose any e-liquid.
Obviously I would want to keep it upright as much as possible, but if you do find it’s been on it’s side for a bit, then it’s not the end of the world.
It’s interesting to see such a big tank be a single coiler, but I’m actually glad they went down this route. For starters, it means that it has something different to the other steel rope tanks on the market.
Also, with so much space available to you on the deck, it means that if you want to put a particularly large coil in this, then you’ve got plenty of room to do so.
So have you used any of the steel rope tanks?
Is this one on your ‘must buy’ radar?
Any thoughts or opinions let me know in the comments below!
If you’re in the market for a single coil tank, with a large capacity, and something a bit different, then you could do far worse than this!