If you’re looking for a luxury vaping device that’s made in America then the Vape Syndicate Guardian should be on your short list. Constructed primarily from titanium — an expensive metal that’s crazy strong and ridiculously light — the Vape Syndicate Guardian is a hybrid mod that comes with several accessories. While many titanium mods cost $400 for the mod alone, the Guardian comes with a Genesis-style atomizer, two tubes (18650 and 18500), and a 510 cap for when you don’t want to go hybrid. While the $475 price is high compared to most mechanical mods, compared to other titanium mods the Vape Syndicate Guardian is something of a bargain.
Build Quality and Construction: The Vape Syndicate Guardian is made from a thick cut of titanium. The company starts with a 99.9-percent block of type-two titanium, as opposed to prefabricated tubes other companies use. The mod has a luxurious feel, while also being simple to maintain.
The mod’s contact points are made from brass. While it’s a tried-and-true metal for contacts, I would have liked to have seen something more conductive to match this mod’s premium feel. Silver-plated copper/brass or rhodium-plated copper/brass would have been excellent, as well as more conductive.
The caps and switch are totally straightforward. Vape Syndicate chose to go with a simple magnet system for the firing mechanism, as opposed to a complicated spring-switch. One minor gripe I have with the Guardian is its 510 cap — the contact isn’t easily adjustable.
The Genesis-style atomizer has a few nifty tricks up its sleeve. First up is the ceramic-covered center post. This is a great feature for novices and veterans alike; the ceramic isolator increases your margin for error when building and helps prevent shorts. The atomizer also has a vented negative terminal screw, allowing you to refill quickly.
The aforementioned quibbles aside, the Vape Syndicate Guardian is a well-constructed device. The quality of the titanium is easily noticeable, the craftsmanship is strong, and the mod has a high-end feel.
Design and Ergonomics: Vapers that have never used a titanium mod will be in for a surprise with the Vape Syndicate Guardian. Titanium is noticeably lighter than stainless steel or brass. The Guardian will feel surprisingly light to many vapers. With a full tank of juice, the mod has a top-heavy balance, which feels different from similarly sized hybrids.
Once you get used to the lightness of the body and the atypical balance, the Vape Syndicate Guardian feels lovely in your hand. The mod’s firing button is smooth, with a medium-light touch and a medium throw. The button is recessed, allowing the mod to stand without firing. Button feel is, of course, subjective. For my tastes, I liked the touch, but would have preferred a shorter throw.
As for looks, the Guardian reminds me of a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica. It has bold rings on the main tube and a red tank on the atomizer. Most vapers will find its style futuristic, masculine, and rugged.
Performance: There are two factors that help give the Vape Syndicate Guardian strong performance. Obviously, it’s a hybrid so there’s direct contact to the battery. Secondly, the magnet system is “lossless.” Those features help compensate for the relatively modest conductivity of brass and titanium. While the mod delivers a solid vape, I have used hybrids that offer stronger performance.
As for the Genesis-style atomizer, I was really happy with its performance. It’s easy to work with and delivers a hearty vape. The relatively small chamber helps deliver great flavor, while the staggered air holes (0.7 mm and 1.2 mm) offered a satisfying draw. Keep in mind that my personal preference for air flow is tight to medium. Vapers that prefer an airier draw will likely want bigger air holes.
Verdict: Whenever I talk about the Vape Syndicate Guardian, I always describe it as star-spangled awesome. I love that such a great high-end mod is made in the USA. When I open up the Guardian’s box at vape shops, I picture eagles flying by and Hulk Hogan’s “Real American” theme song playing. Seriously though, the Guardian is a really well-made hybrid that offers strong performance. While the $475 price is more than what most vapers are willing to spend, it is a better value than many competing titanium mods. I’ve seen a few titanium mods that cost $400 for the mod alone. With the Vape Syndicate Guardian, you get two tubes, a Genesis-style atomizer with some innovative features, a 510 top cap, and a case. Yes, it’s expensive and certainly not for everyone, but compared to other mods in this price range, the Vape Syndicate Guardian offers a lot for your money.