Best RTA Vapes
Welcome to the Vaping360 Best RTA list.
2015/2016 was the year of ‘subohm’ tanks in the vape industry; 2017 is the year of the RTA/RDTA!
RTAs (rebuildable tank atomizers) are a lot like ‘subohm’ tanks with RBA decks, but typically RTAs will not come with an option for pre-built coils and they generally will offer more flexibility with fine tuning your vaping experience. With countless options for build decks, wicking channels, coil configurations and tank capacities for your e-liquid, RTAs may just be the optimal experience for convenience, performance, and for control of your vape!
Although RTAs have been out for years, and steadily coming out for the past few years, the recent influx of quality RTAs in the market is evidence of a growing trend in the vape industry. Vapers want their tanks, but they also want efficiency and control! Generally speaking, with RTAs, if your tank isn’t performing like you want, you just go back to the drawing board and rebuild—no need to use another coil head, i.e., spend more money! No need to break-in a coil head. No need to wonder if you got a bad batch of coils. None of that. With good RTAs, your vape is mostly as good as you can make it!
This Best RTA vape list will be a guide for all those out there that either vape with subohm tanks and want to start with RTAs, or maybe even those out there that already use RTAs but want a bit of help deciding on the next one. Even RDA users can easily adapt with tanks now since many rebuildable tank atomizers are increasingly designed like build decks on drippers (watch how many times we use the phrase “Velocity-style posts”!).
We made this list to show the Best RTAs we consider to be solid choices in an increasingly saturated market. Not all readers will agree with our choices in RTAs, but this is what we are going with until something else bumps an RTA out of its spot. And there won’t yet be specific rankings, but we will (eventually) separate groups of them by price brackets. For now, this list will be in an order of lowest to highest price. Updates and amendments will be on an ongoing basis and happening soon.
Sit back and enjoy our list for the Best RTAs. Vape on! Read on.
- 25 mm diameter
- 2 mL capacity
- Dual side wicking and fill ports
- Two post spring loaded build deck
- Triple rectangular central airflow
- 5 mm by 2.5 mm each
- Spitback resistant 11.5 mm bore drip tip and 10mm drip tip
- PEEK insulators
- Gold plated contact
Popular vape reviewer Rip Trippers has teamed up with Digiflavor (GeekVape) to produce the Pharoah Dripper Tank. The 25 mm diameter Pharoah features a unique build deck that allows single and dual coil builds in a variety of configurations. The deck features two posts with spring loaded clamps to hold coil leads. Unique wick and fill ports can be opened or closed as needed by the builder. Airflow configurations are endless with three adjustable central rectangular slots measuring 5 mm by 2.5 mm each, suiting both mouth to lung (MTL) and direct to lung (DTL) vaping styles. The positive connection is gold plated for stability using temperature control (TC), and the PEEK insulators will hold up to high powered cloud chucking. Three drip tip options round out the versatility: an 11.5 mm wide bore with spitback protection, a 10 mm option and a 510 adaptor for those who wish to add their own drip tip.
The only cons may be that the side fill ports require a bit of care while filling, and the 2 ml capacity may be small for some (but it holds more than most RDAs). Both flavor and cloud production are stellar. For vapers who are looking for an interesting new atomizer that allows creativity in builds with a bit of capacity, the Pharoah Dripper Tank may be just the ticket!
- 22 mm Diameter
- Two Post Build Deck
- Unique ‘Lay Down’ Terminals
- Leads Are Horizontally Secured
- Three Sided Design
- Easily Fit Large Leads
- 2mm Wide
- Single Coil Compatible
- German Made PEEK Insulation
- Gold Plated Airflow
- 4mm Diameter
- Bottom Airflow
- Dual Adjustable Airflow Intakes
- 10mm by 1.5mm Each Airslot
- Top Fill System
- 3ml Tank Capacity
- Dual Channel Slots
- Independent Build Deck and Reservoir
- Access Build Deck Without Draining Reservoir
- Gold Plated 510 Connection
The Serpent Mini is an amazing little single-coil RTA from Wotofo. Wotofo has brought vapers a number of exciting, affordable products, and the Serpent Mini RTA certainly qualifies! The Serpent Mini’s deck with two opposed posts makes single coils a cinch to install. The post holes are large enough to accommodate a Clapton coil. And wicking is straight forward due to the generous wick channels.
The cyclops-style air hole on the deck exceeds 4 mm. Its adequately fed by two huge air-slots on the bottom, adjustable ring. The Serpent Mini RTA has juice control, activated by a top controlled ring allows for perfect wick saturation as well as simple top filling. The four top fill slots can accommodate eye droppers as well as unicorn bottles.
The visually sleek Serpent is available in both silver and black.
- 25 mm Diameter
- Upgraded Two Post Build Deck
- Dual Terminal Per Post
- 2.5mm Diameter Terminals
- Side and Top Mounted Philips Screws
- 11 mm Post Distance
- Dual Coil Compatible
- PEEK Insulation
- Quad Wicking Ports
- Sidewall Cutouts
- Gold Plated Positive
- Hardened Screws
- Single Coil Adapter
- Threaded Mid Section
- Access Into Tank
- Easily Wicked System
- Threaded onto Build Deck
- Innovative Side Fill
- Fill Port Positioned Centrally Between Top Cap O-Rings
- Sealed When Assembled
- 10mm by 3.5mm
- 6.3 mL Tank Capacity
- All Day Vape Capacity
- Dual Slotted Direct Airflow
- 15mm by 1.5mm Airslot
- Adjustable via Drip Cap
- Direct to Coil
- Knurled Top Cap
- Delrin Chuff Cap
- 11mm Bore
- Adjustable Gold Plated 510
- Detailed Paisley Engraving
- Stainless Steel and Glass Construction
The Limitless is the exciting RDTA from iJoy. With the standard Velocity-style posts, this enormous deck is straight-forward to coil, even for beginners! And it fits huge and fancy coils with ease. Anyone can learn to wick this atty due to the excellent placement of the generously sized wick ports. The Limitless RDTA has dual side airflow located on both sides of the top cap, like an RDA. Airflow is easily adjusted by turning the cap, and allows for a nice direct to lung (DTL) inhale when wide open. The Limitless RDTA shines for fantastic flavor, though it certainly chucks a nice cloud as well! Filling the Limitless is achieved via a port located at the top side of the tank section. Great RTA for the money.
- 25 mm diameter
- 17 mm build deck
- 6.2 ml capacity (6 ml for top airflow version)
- Velocity styled deck with 2 mm post holes
- Dual adjustable bottom airflow slots
- 13 mm by 2 mm each
- Single or dual coil design
- Top filling
- Gold plated 510 pin
- 510 drip tip adapter
- PEEK insulator
GeekVape took the vaping world by storm with the release of the Griffin RTA, and has returned with a 25 mm version. The updated atomizer is now available in two versions: with or without top airflow. The build deck is still suitable for both dual coil or single coil builds using the handy adapter, and has been increased to a huge 17 mm. The Griffin 25 retains the Velocity styled deck with four 2 mm post holes. Airflow beneath the coils has been enlarged to 4.4 mm by 3.5 mm and is fed by dual adjustable bottom slots measuring 13 mm by 2 mm each. E liquid capacity has doubled from 3 ml on the older 22 mm atomizer to 6 ml (top airflow version) or 6.2 ml on the 25 mm RTA. A stable connection for use in Temperature Control (TC) is achieved with the USA made PEEK insulator and gold plated 510 pin.
The Griffin produces both fantastic flavor and can chuck quite a cloud. This RTA is suitable for beginners to advanced builders with its simple coiling and wicking.
- 24 mm diameter
- 5 mL capacity
- Single or dual coil design
- 21 mm build deck
- 3 mm by 2 mm post holes
- Quad 4 mm wicking ports
- Dual adjustable side air slots
- 7 mm by 2 mm each (single option available)
- PEEK insulator
- Gold plated 510 pin
Geekvape had a massive hit with the Avocado RDTA and the new 24 mm version is a welcome addition. The gigantic 21 mm Velocity styled build deck features four 3 mm by 2 mm post holes and can accommodate massive coils. Between the deck and quad 4 mm wick ports, the Avocado is friendly for beginners. Capacity doubles on the new version to a whopping 5 mL. The innovative dual 3 mm fill ports with swinging cover make adding your favorite e-liquid a breeze. The Avocado 24 also has a lot of versatility in airflow options. Fully open, the dual adjustable side airflow slots measure 7 mm by 2 mm each. A quick turn of the top dial can throttle them down, and one air slot open is an option. Furthermore, the ceramic single coil adaptor has a 3 mm hole bored through it to offer additional airflow to single coil vapers.
With its friendly build deck and filling, the Avocado 24 is suitable for beginners to advanced builders. Huge plumes of tasty vapor should leave you smiling.
- 25.4 mm RTA
- 4.5 mL capacity
- Velocity-style dual coil deck (G2 Edition)
- Quad coil deck (G4 Edition)
- Four infinitely adjustable bottom airflow cyclops slots
- Adjustable E-liquid flow control
- Top fill with Swiveling Cap
- Designed for maximum flavor and vapor production
The SMOK TF-RTA is the first RTA in SMOK’s “Taste Furious” (TF) series of high-power tanks. About the same size as SMOK’s original TFV4 sub-ohm clearomizer tank, the TF-RTA is the new 800-lb. gorilla of the RTA world. Everything about the TF-RTA is big: big coils, big flavor, big vapor. Design, quality of construction, fit/finish, and performance are all high quality. The tank is ideal for vapers who want to test the limits of extreme vaping. If you are nimble with building, check it out.
- 22mm Diameter
- Dual coil design (Velocity-style)
- 2mm Post Holes
- Top Fill Method
- Four Cyclops Adjustable Airflow Holes
- Adjustable Top Airflow
- E-liquid Control
Vaporesso’s Gemini RTA is a new tank that competes head-to-head against the very popular Geekvape Griffin RTA. Similar to the Griffin in design and appearance, the Gemini is easily superior to most previous-generation RTAs.
The Gemini incorporates all the features now considered standard in the RTA marketplace, as listed above. Building dual coils on the spacious deck is easy
Performance is very good. The Gemini is more a flavor tank than a cloud machine, but vapor production is certainly adequate for a mid-power sub-ohm tank. In our review, the sweet spot for a simple dual-coil build was around 50 watts. As with all RTAs, however, performance is largely dependent on the build and wicking, and the inherent capabilities of the tank probably go well beyond the 50 watts used in our review.
So many new and terrific RTAs are being released this year that the Gemini may not end up at the top of heap. It is, however, a very good RTA, and deserves our positive recommendation.
- 22 mm diameter
- Single coil design
- 4 ml capacity with glass tank section; 5 ml capacity with stainless steel tank section
- PEEK insulator
- Top filling
- Juice flow control
- 3.2 mm below coil air hole
- Externally adjustable airflow with 4 settings (1.8 mm
- 2.2 mm
- 2.7 mm and 3.2 mm)
- 316 grade stainless steel
SvoeMesto’s line of Kayfun RTAs have been immensely popular with vapers for several years, and the Kayfun v5 continues the tradition. Less moving parts than the previous v4 allows for easy disassembly, cleaning and repair. The build deck has been enlarged from previous versions allowing for Clapton and other fancy coils, and the significantly increased 3.2 mm below coil air hole allows for direct to lung (d2l) to enjoy the v5 as well. The 22 mm Kayfun v5 has a two post build deck and coil leads are trapped beneath the screw heads like all previous versions. Top filling and anytime access to the build deck without emptying juice are features retained from the v4, but the v5 has increased the size of the juice feed holes to better allow use of high VG e liquid. Wicking is very similar to the previous version and easily mastered.
Airflow is adjusted externally and features four settings: 1.8 mm, 2.2 mm, 2.7 mm and 3.2 mm. For those who wish to reduce the below coil air hole, an aftermarket kit with airflow reducers is available, allowing for a wide range of settings to suit both mouth to lung (m2l) and direct to lung (d2l) vapors. Kayfuns have long been cherished by their owners for their outstanding flavor production and the v5 is no exception.
Introduction to RTAs
There are three styles of rebuildable atomizers: RTAs (Rebuildable Tank Atomizers), RDAs (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers) and Genesis atomizers. A fourth category called an RDTA, for Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer, has also been created, but for the purposes of this article they will be considered the same as RTAs. All three styles use a coil or coils made by the user by wrapping wire around a small rod; generally 24 mm in diameter. The user then must also create a wick to transport the e liquid to the coil(s).
Vapers use a variety of wire to wrap coils. Kanthal A1 can be used in variable wattage (VW) mode on all mods because it has very stable resistance when heated. Other wire types must be used in temperature control (TC) mode due to their varying resistance when heated. These wire types would be ni200 and titanium (ti grade 1). Stainless steel has a slight variation in resistance when heated and can be used in both VW and TC modes.
Many different types of wicking materials can also be used for vaping in rebuildable atomizers. Cotton or rayon are most commonly used in RTAs and RDAs. Stainless steel mesh rolled into a tube is usually used in Genesis atomizers.
What is an RTA?
How does an RTA differ from other types of atomizers? RTAs generally have a building deck where the user puts the coil(s) at the bottom, while the tank for e liquid sits above the deck. Depending on the size of the RTA it may hold anywhere from 2 ml to 10 ml of juice. A chimney section surrounds the deck. Air enters the deck from beneath or next to the coils and rises through the chimney’s stem to the drip tip. Side airflow RTAs are often termed RDTAs. Many newer RTAs also have top airflow that comes down through the outside of the chimney stem to the coils, and then back up to the drip tip. RTAs contain slots or holes in the deck to allow e liquid to feed through the cotton wick(s) to the coil(s).
An RDA differs from an RTA by having a small well in the bottom to hold e liquid, and tend to have significantly less capacity. The coil(s) also are in the bottom of the atomizer, and the wick(s) dip down into the well of juice to feed the coil(s). They do not have a chimney section since the juice is below the level of the coil(s). Instead they have a top cap that sits on top of the building deck. Air enters from the top, bottom or sides and rises up from the top cap to the drip tip.
A Genesis atomizer seems like a combination of an RDA and an RTA. It has a tank, like an RTA, but it sits at the bottom of the atomizer below the build deck. Due to the location of the tank section it is similar to a very large RDA well. Wicking is achieved by rolled stainless steel mesh tubes which feed the e liquid up to the coil(s). Genesis atomizers also have a top cap like an RDA and, likewise, air flows from that directly up to the drip tip. Many current popular atomizers are a hybrid of the Genesis style by having a bottom tank and upper build deck, but use cotton wicking like an RTA. Some of these hybridized style atomizers are also termed RDTAs.
Advantages of RTAs Over Other Atomizers
RTAs offer some advantages to vapers compared to Subohm tanks, RDAs or Genesis atomizers. The primary benefit over Subohm tanks is the freedom from buying factory coil heads. Wrapping coil(s) offers a huge savings over purchasing them. An entire roll of wire can make several coils at approximately the same cost as one or two factory made coil heads. Additionally, the user is less likely to run out of wire at an inopportune time since a roll of wire may last months or years. Similarly, a package of organic cotton or box of rayon for wicking may also last months, years or even decades. Moreover, the user of Subohm tanks must rely on the manufacturer to continue providing coil heads for purchase, while the RTA user does not. With FDA regulations in effect, factory coil heads for Subohm tanks may no longer be available to US vapers in two years (or less).
RTAs edge out RDAs in two categories. The first is e liquid capacity. Users of RDAs must continually drip more juice into their atomizer. Vapers of RDAs must carry bottles of e liquid with them, and this can create a dangerous situation if the user is dripping and driving. An RTA with large capacity may provide vaping enjoyment all day at work before needing refilled. The second merit of RTAs over RDAs is that most do not leak if they are not kept upright. Because an RDA does not use a chimney section it will dump juice if sideways or inverted.
Many vapers find RTAs easier to coil and wick than Genesis atomizers. This is because the user must oxidize the stainless steel mesh on a Genesis, and then work out hot spots where the mesh makes contact with the coil(s). Also, like RDAs, Gennys tend to leak when not kept upright.
Tips and Tricks for RTAs
A few helpful tips can guide vapers in using RTAs. The first suggestion is to be sure the coil(s) span the air slots, especially on a bottom airflow atomizer. Too short coil length allows the wick(s) to drip e liquid into the air holes, which leads to gurgling and even flooding. Another trick to prevent flooding is to be sure the wick(s) do not allow e liquid to flow past them onto the deck. The wick tails must adequately block the juice feeding slots or holes. However, if the RTA begins to dry hit, then the user has too much wick blocking or hindering the flow of e liquid. Finding the perfect balance is key to top performance. Most modern RTAs allow the user to access the build deck at any time for rewicking, and are highly recommended for beginners and reluctant builders. Finally, be sure not to overfill the RTA. Leaving an air bubble allows juice to adequately flow to the wicks and exchange air for vaporized liquid.