If you’ve ever looked into getting an RDA, you’re more likely to have read about The Goon by 528 Customs than most any other RDA out there. That’s because the Goon has reached a legendary status with vapers, as has 528 Customs. 528 is back at it again, and this time they’ve given us the Goon V1.5.
The Goon V1.5 is said to provide a Goon-grade experience in a more compact form factor without compromising in terms of quality. Is the new Goon V1.5 really that good?
We’re going to answer that question in great detail. Comparing it to the original Goon is holding it to the highest standard, but that’s what you ask for when you slap the iconic “G” logo on the front of your vapor cap. This is, in fact, a review and not a direct comparison.
That being said, when you review the successor to one of the greatest RDAs of all time, its predecessor will naturally come up a few times. I won’t focus on the original too much, but whether or not the Goon V1.5 lives up to the family legacy is one of the many questions I’ll be exploring. Will it be among the best, or will it fall short of glory? Let’s find out.
The Goon V1.5’s Build Quality
The Goon is essentially known for being the gold standard for RDAs. It just gets everything about the RDA right, and its build quality is certainly no exception. How does the V1.5 hold up?
In terms of durability, the V1.5 is essentially identical to its predecessor. That’s good! Don’t fix what isn’t broken. This sturdy little RDA has all of the stainless steel that you could want: a stainless steel cap, stainless steel screws, a stainless steel bridge post, stainless steel clamps, and even a stainless steel squonk pin.
It features peek insulation to keep it from getting too warm during your vape sessions, and it’s using some highly-durable O-rings to keep the cap firmly in place.
All of that stainless steel makes for an RDA that feels solid in the hand and premium to the touch. It’s made from nothing but high-quality materials, and it’s assembled extremely well. What can I say? So far, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
The Goon V1.5’s Design
Goon users everywhere will tell you how amazing the Goon’s design is, and they aren’t wrong. It’s truly something special, but what about the Goon V1.5? Does its design hold up to that of its predecessor? How does it hold up against the other RDAs on the market?
The build deck, like the overall construction, is nearly identical to that of the OG Goon. The Goon V1.5 is a 24mm RDA, while the Goon is a 25mm RDA. It has a smaller build deck, a smaller cap, etc. So far, this is basically a miniaturized version of the Goon, and I don’t think that anyone’s really going to be disappointed by that.
Whether you’re comparing the Goon V1.5 to the original Goon or any other RDA, the fact remains that the V1.5 an absolute boss. Comparing it to anything after comparing it to the original Goon almost seems redundant. If it matches the Goon, it’s slaughtering the vast majority of RDAs by default.
So far, the Goon V1.5 has managed to bear a striking similarity to the Goon, but in terms of airflow, it just can’t do that. See, with the V1.5’s reduced size, 528 Customs had to either deal with less airflow or change the airflow system to accommodate for the smaller size.
Either way, there’s no staying the same here. They went with the latter, significantly opening up the airflow slots. In fact, they opened them up so much that the V1.5 has even more airflow than the original Goon.
This airflow system was made to accommodate both single-coil and dual-coil builds. It handles dual-coil builds better, as most dual-coil RDAs do. The only RDA that effectively handles a single-coil build is a single-coil RDA, so I can’t really see this as a drawback.
The Goon V1.5 has the same domed interior top cap as its predecessor, which, according to 528 Customs themselves, provides enhanced flavor. We’ll discuss that claim more when we get into the unit’s performance. The airflow here isn’t looking too shabby.
In fact, it seems as though 528 Customs has made significant improvements in this area by maximizing the V1.5’s airflow while minimizing its form factor. I think that’s a big win for the V1.5.
You can dial the V1.5’s airflow back to get an experience closer to that of the original, but you can’t open up the Goon’s more-restricted airflow to mimic that of the Goon V1.5. Versatility is a strong advantage that the V1.5 proudly possesses.
The Goon V1.5’s Performance
So far, we’ve discussed every aspect of the Goon V1.5’s physicality: its design and its build quality. Those two things along with a couple of other variables (coils, juice, etc.) determine the RDA’s performance. So how does the Goon V1.5 translate in terms of everyday use?
The results that you get from the V1.5 aren’t as similar to that of the original goon as you might think, despite being similar in so many ways. The fact of the matter is that an RDA’s airflow greatly determines the overall experience, and that was the one aspect that the Goon V1.5 significantly altered.
It seems that the V1.5 is actually boasting performance superior to that of the original Goon. There are pros and cons to each, but at the end of the day, it’ll down to individual preference.
The Goon V1.5’s superior airflow allows it to improve upon its predecessor’s vapor production. The ample airflow allows you to really rip this RDA. Pulling air from the airflow slots directly onto the coils keeps your vapor from getting too hot too fast.
This provides a steadier stream of cool vapor that the original Goon just can’t replicate. So far, the V1.5 is really proving itself to be a true upgrade as opposed to just a variation.
The Goon V1.5’s flavor is very similar to that of the original Goon. Granted, with the airflow slots all the way open, your flavor will become slightly muted, but increasing the airflow like this will have the same effect on any RDA.
The Goon V1.5 features adjustable airflow slots so that you can tweak your airflow until you’ve found your ideal balance. You could hypothetically fine-tune your Goon V1.5 to produce vapor that closely resembles that of the original Goon. Granted, it wouldn’t be exactly the same, but it would be too close to call either better or worse.
The Goon V1.5’s Look and Feel
The Goon V1.5’s overall aesthetic isn’t a huge departure from that of the original Goon, but I do think that it’s an improvement. The Goon has more of an industrial design, while the Goon V1.5 features more vibrant, modern color options. Additionally, it has an updated “G” logo that looks more modern than the one found on the Goon.
These are a couple of very slight yet noticeable differences. Despite those differences, the two RDAs are more alike aesthetically than they are different. This redesign isn’t a stylistic overhaul so much as it is an update. The V1.5 brings a modern touch to a tried and true classic, and it works splendidly. The Goon V1.5 couldn’t look better.
My Overall Impression
The Goon V1.5 improves upon a near-perfect classic, which is a very admirable feat in and of itself. It manages to preserve the fantastic flavor offered by its predecessor while offering greater airflow and a smaller, more compact design.
528 Customs kept the stainless steel design that was first used in the original Goon, and they presented it with an updated style that’s nostalgically reminiscent. It looks absolutely great. Plus, the flavor and vapor production couldn’t be better. The reduced size couldn’t have come at a better time, because 25mm mods are becoming less and less common.
As batteries become smaller, the accessories that we use with them will begin to shrink as a direct result. 24mm seems to be the sweet spot for minimal size and maximum functionality right now, and the Goon V1.5 is currently dominating that size category.
Best Coils for The Goon V1.5
If you’re looking for some new coils to pair with your new Goon V1.5, or any RDA for that matter, you’re in luck! I have a couple of suggestions that’ll take any RDA’s vapor game up a notch or two.
Pre-built coils aren’t as cost-effective as spools of wire, but they often feature advanced designs that builders just can’t replicate. This means that pre-built coils usually have an edge in terms of overall vapor quality.
On the other hand, a lot of vapers prefer to use spools of wire to build their own coils, not just because they’re cost-efficient, but because DIY coils offer the most customizability.
Best Pre-Built Coils
If you prefer pre-built coils, you’ll love Alien coils. I regularly recommend them over other pre-built coils because they utilize a special design that provides an unmatched surface area.
More surface area means more vapor, and that’s why Alien Coils will make the most of your RDA. Changing your coils can make it feel as though you’re using an entirely different RDA, and Alien Coils provide what feels like a massive upgrade to your RDA.
Best Coils for Builders
If you prefer to build your own coils, no one can blame you. After all, you can get some great flavor and vapor production this way. Plus, it’s by far the most cost-effective way to vape.
Clapton wire is some of the best RDA wire that you can get due to its innovative design. It features one central wire with another wrapped tightly around it, providing the most surface area in terms of DIY coils. This design also makes it very easy to build with, as Clapton coils tend to easily retain their newly-coiled shape.
The Goon V1.5: An Update to a Beloved Classic
The Goon V1.5 is everything that I could’ve hoped for and more. I had initially hoped that it would manage to retain all of the Goon’s positive qualities despite the limited amount of space it has to work with. It does just that, and it even provides a wider range of airflow options to choose from. This is a true update, and I can’t recommend it enough.
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Featured Image Credit: /u/BluntDamage