What is an RDTA?
The easy way to explain what an RDTA is would be by describing it as an RDA that’s also equipped with a tank. By filling the tank with juice, you don’t have to re-drip continuously to vape.
Although in this regard – having a tank – they are similar to RTAs, they differ in that they perform like normal RDAs. You can install large coils just like you would in an RDA, wick them in the same way, and vape enjoying the best of both worlds.
How we rate
We didn’t choose the tanks in this guide based on a single factor, since each of them excels in some regard. Depending on your vaping preferences, you might give priority to flavor over ease of use. Or prefer MTL to DL vaping. Simple or exotic coils. So, the suggestions that follow take all this into account to offer everyone great options, no matter their preferences.
Despite their variety, a somewhat vague common point between them is that they are the cream of the crop. Some of them are dead-easy to build; others offer flavor that rivals the best RDAs. We are sure you will find one that will tick most boxes for you among our suggestions.
Vapor production is an impressive feat, but not as important as great flavor. To make sure they’re all at the top flavor-wise we relied on our tried and tested straight vanilla mix: 20 drops of Atmos Lab Vanilla (plain/classic) in 10 mls of 70VG/30PG 3mg base for our direct lung testing, or 10 drops in 10 mls of 50VG/50PG 12mg base for our mouth-to-lung testing.
We consider features and ease of use almost equally important, so you won’t, for example, find here tanks that would make you jump through hoops to refill them.
Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizers (RDTAs): Editor’s Choice
Wotofo Profile RDTA – Best RDTA of 2020
The Profile RDA was a great success with many fans all around the world, but also proved that a smartly designed deck could work just as great with both mesh and wire coils. Big, fat, chunky coils. Unfortunately, although those lead to its outstanding flavor and vapor performance, they also mean the Profile RDA is a juice guzzler. If you’re among the people who got tired having to constantly re-drip with it, you’ll love the new Profile RDTA.
The Profile RDTA is probably the best mesh RDTA on the market today – helped by the fact that, well… there aren’t many alternatives available. Thanks to its versatile deck, though, it’s also great as both a single coil RDTA and a dual coiler. To install either type of coil, you only have to unscrew two screws on its two side clamps. Throw either a single mesh coil between them or the (pre-cut) legs of typical wire coils. Tighten the clamps back into position, wick, juice, and hey presto: flavorful fluffy clouds!
What we like:
- Versatile but easy to use deck, can take both mesh and single or dual wire coils.
- Side airflow for great flavor, in a honeycomb pattern for smooth draws, and detailed adjustment.
- Can be used as an RDA with an included adapter. Especially useful when years down the road you break its glass and can’t find spares.
What we don’t like:
- Its deck allows massive coils, but the atomizer doesn’t have enough airflow for the largest of them (or for truly wide-open direct lung hits).
- Not the cheapest option for a mass-produced atomizer
- Not the best flavor-wise
Vapefly Galaxies MTL Squonk RDTA
At first glance, it doesn’t look much different than your average RDTA. With a closer inspection, though, you realize that the Galaxies MTL Squonk RDTA’s airflow options are more comparable to something like a Kayfun compared to, say, an Apocalypse GEN RDA. That’s rare as far as RDTAs go.
When looking at one of its sides, you can see six airflow holes on its barrel. On the other side, though, you will find only half of them. Three of the holes are mirrored on each side, for dual airflow, while the other three exist only on one side, for more restricted MTL vaping.
The Galaxies MTL Squonk RDTA offers a typical MTL setup’s Kayfun-like airflow hole directly underneath the coil. If it and broke, why fix it? It expands on that, though, by offering two extra holes on the posts, that reroute part of the airflow to hit the coil from the sides. Two screws inside these holes control the amount of side airflow.
The filling system is also original, with a metal tube on a spring keeping the refilling hole shut. When pressed downwards with a bottle’s nozzle tip, the spring is compressed, and the tube enters the juice chamber allowing easy, quick, and mess-free refilling. If you prefer, though, you can also use it as a bottom feed RDTA, refilling its tank with a squeeze of your squonk mod‘s bottle.
The deck itself makes it single-coil installation easy, as long as the coil matches the screw placement. Place your coiling rod in the two cutouts at the deck’s edges and move the coil to the center of the deck. There, place each of its legs under each of the screws, tighten them down, pull out the rod, and that’s it: optimal coil placement without much fuss, and an all-around great vape.
What we like:
- Very easy to build
- Highly adjustable airflow
- Flavor almost on par with smaller, more restricted MTL RTAs
- A real, rare unicorn in the form of an MTL RDTA
What we don’t like:
- With four more holes on its barrel and wider side airflow channels, it would also be great for restricted DL vaping. As it is, DL fans might find it too limited.
- Not the most versatile deck, designed to accommodate only single coils of a particular size and length
Thunderhead Creations Tauren Max
Thunderhead Creation’s Tauren Max RDTA is a highly original design that will make you hate gravity.
You see, it’s another one of those rare tries to make coil placement work upside down, designed by people who probably don’t realize how gravity works. Theoretically, you can leave your coils hanging, screw them down, and adjust them later. Practically, this leads to more deformed results than traditional decks.
And yet, it’s worth the first botched tries until you familiarize yourself with this upside-down way of installing coils since this very deck also works as a rerouted airflow channel. When added to the typical airflow from the barrel’s holes, it ensures full coverage of the whole coil’s body. Combined with how this mass of metal takes up most of the chamber’s space, the result is one of the most flavorful RDTAs that ever hit the market.
What we like:
- Awesome flavor.
- Ample airflow that doesn’t dilute the flavor (when matched with appropriate builds).
What we don’t like:
- Annoying to build.
- Feels taller than it should be (for its capacity).
- One coil is closer to the insulator than we’d like.
Vandy Vape Pyro v3 RDTA
The Pyro series of RDTA tanks are known for their easy-to-build decks and their great flavor. The newest, third member of their family, the not-so-creatively named Pyro v3 RDTA, improves both points.
Vandy Vape pulled this off by managing to create a deck that can accommodate large coils while in a constricted chamber that improves the flavor. It’s a postless deck with side screws that takes advantage of the whole atomizer’s space. You can just as easily install single or dual coils. It screams for trying single but huge velociraptor coils in it, with room to spare.
The magic happens thanks to its airflow, designed so that the coils are placed dead-center. When the screws are tightened down, the actual deck and build end up being very compact. With the barrel and top cap on, the airflow channels take up the space right next to the deck. Those create walls around the coil chamber that occupy almost all the available space, while also directing the incoming air directly on the coils.
What we like:
- Easy-to-build postless deck for single or dual coils.
- Can easily take huge single coils (that we happen to love).
- Side and bottom airflow.
- Adequate capacity (Hello Wasp Nano)
What we don’t like:
- We would like even more airflow when using huge coils, plus an emphasis on the bottom airflow (that boosts flavor).
Vandy Vape Mato RDTA
Unlike its Pyro v3 bigger brother, designed for both dual and single coil use, the Mato RDTA is strictly a single coiler. Its coil chamber is even more restricted, thanks to the two protruding airflow channels that bring the incoming air at an upward angle to engulf the coil.
It’s also worth noting that its deck comes with only two screws for the coil legs, optimal for clockwise-rolled coils.
Although also a big tank, the Mato is less airy than the Pyro v3. It also has what we consider a better feeling system, with a hole on its side revealed when you pull up the barrel, but without having to remove it entirely. You need a bottle with a nozzle to refill through this hole, though, since it’s closed with a plastic gasket to minimize leaks.
Designed to perform great with simple single coils and with a 5 ml capacity, the Mato can be an excellent all-day-vape for those that don’t like ultra-high Wattage vaping, constantly re-dripping or refilling their tanks, but also find mouth-to-lung setups too restricted. In other words, those who prefer restricted direct lung vaping, offering both great flavor and more than adequate cloudage.
What we like:
- Easy to build deck even for beginners (two screws, can’t get any simpler than that).
- Under-side targeted airflow that engulfs the whole coil to maximize flavor.
- Easy refilling (if you use bottles with nozzles).
What we don’t like:
- – Could have two more screws to allow the installation of anticlockwise-rolled coils.
- We don’t find the metal rods help with wicking as much as actually tilting the tank without them installed.
- The filling gasket helps prevent leaks but also helps make a mess when pulling out the bottle after refilling. Have a handkerchief handy.
Steam Crave Aromamizer Ragnar 35mm RDTA
Aromamizer Ragnar is the newest RDTA by Steam Crave, and a tank designed specifically for the subset of the subset of vapers that a) aren’t afraid to flaunt around an RDTA the size of a lightsaber but, also, b) have a mod able to take it.
By “take it,” we mean both large enough not to look as ridiculous as a bobblehead figure with it on top, and powerful enough to feed with enough power the chunky coils you have to use. For if you are not going to use humongous coils to fully take advantage of such a large tank to blow equally impressive large clouds, what’s the point of choosing it over something more… reasonable?
Unlike the other RDTAs we saw, that work more like a typical RDA with a tank underneath, the Aromamizer series of atomizers is closer to RTAs by having the juice tank over the coil chamber. The juice from the tank drips downwards in a barrel under the coil chamber from where it is pulled upwards, to the coils.
Thanks to this design, all Aromamizer RDTAs, including the Ragnar, excel at wicking since gravity ensures a constant juice flow to the wicks. Unlike “normal” RDTAs, here you don’t have to tilt the tank to moisten your wicks and avoid dry hits. Unfortunately, though, this also means that if you don’t wick it correctly, the Ragnar, just like all other Aromamizer RDTAs, is as prone to leaking as any RTA.
If you are willing to put in that time to learn how to wick it properly, though, and aren’t afraid of its gargantuan size, the Aromamizer Ragnar can be your “endgame” atomizer. Its unmatchable wicking abilities and conveniently large deck that can host almost any type of coil, combined with its ultra-smooth and finely adjustable side airflow, will allow you to tune your vape precisely as you like. We admit it’s probably not the best option for MTL lovers, but everyone from restricted DL and upwards will love it.
Did we mention it’s also compatible with all extra decks released for its Aromamizer Plus siblings, by using an (included) adapter?
Plus, vaping on it can be a good exercise for your arms when used with a similarly large (and heavy) mod.
What we like:
- Highly adjustable, buttery-smooth airflow
- Easy to build – and you can use extra decks (velocity-style, single, mesh, etc.) if you prefer “building a different way.”
- A ridiculous amount of liquid
What we don’t like:
- – Will make you guzzle ridiculous amounts of liquid
- Looks way oversized on 99% of the available mods. Don’t even think about it on single 18650 ones.
Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizers (RDTAs) - Specifications
|RDTA Tank||Diameter||Tank Capacity||Height||Price|
|Wotofo Profile RDTA – Best RDTA of 2020||25mm||6.2mL||52.7mm||
|Vapefly Galaxies MTL Squonk RDTA||22.20mm||2mL||28.50mm (without drip tip)||
|Thunderhead Creations Tauren Max RDTA||25mm||4.5mL||41mm||
|Vandy Vape Pyro v3 RDTA||24mm||4mL||37mm||
|Vandy Vape Mato RDTA||24mm||5mL||44.6mm||
|Steam Crave Aromamizer Ragnar RDTA||35mm||18mL 28mL (depends on configuration)||58mm 75mm (depends on configuration)||
How do RDTA's Differ?
The Aromamizer series of tanks by Geek Vape popularized the term “RDTA,” making it hard to explain what an RDTA is. You see, in most cases, an RDTA is an atomizer with a tank underneath. It works almost precisely like an RDA would if its juice well was extended downwards to increase its juice-hosting capacity. That’s why, for example, the Mjolnir RDA tip-toes between the RDA and RDTA terms, since it’s first and foremost an RDA with no extra tank underneath, but it’s juice well is as large as a tank’s. Does that make it an RDA or an RDTA? The terms are somewhat blurred.
As we saw with the Aromamizer Ragnar, this family of RDTAs flips their “anatomy” upside-down. So, the phrase “they’re like RDAs with their well replaced with a tank underneath” isn’t the best way to describe them. If you look strictly at the coil chamber, you could say they all share another point, “the wicks pull the juice upwards from a well like an RDA.” But doesn’t the Kayfun type of deck do the same thing? Aren’t GTA tanks like the Siren similar in their wicking?
All this “bleeding” of features and structure from one type of tank into another makes their classification into strict groups harder. We believe this is part of the reason RDTAs aren’t as popular today. Their definition can only be somewhat vague, at best, based on individual characteristics, like:
- RDTAs are usually tanks with large coil chambers that can accommodate large coils like typical RDAs.
- RDTAs, in most cases, have a tank underneath and huge juice channels (compared to RTAs) that help with wicking.
- RDTAs used to offer as much airflow as RDAs back when most RTAs were restricted in that regard, but this has changed lately with ultra-airy RTAs.
- Their deck is usually as comfortable as an RDA’s, unlike more cramped RTAs that have to fit their deck in a coil chamber underneath a chimney, inside a tank filled with juice.
- Their deck is closer to the mouth, like an RDA.
- They can hold as much liquid as a typical RTA, if not more.
- Unlike an RTA, you *can* drip on them like with an RDA, but with most of them, you can’t drip *as much* as you would on an RDA.
- You usually install the wicks in an RDTA like on an RDA, hanging and touching the bottom of a well or in a tank.
Why Choose One Over an RDA?
RDTAs are better than RDAs as far as ease of use goes since you don’t have to continuously re-drip to vape. Unfortunately, having a deck as spacious as an RDA’s and a tank as large as an RTA’s also means that they’re the largest of the bunch, looking like giants next to typical RTAs and RDAs.
Just like if you had just dripped in an RDA, they are easier to leak than RTAs if you turn them to their side or upside-down, so you can’t carry them in your pocket. Many stuff cotton in their juice holes as a solution to this problem, but this approach chokes their wicking abilities and puts limits on their performance.
They also share another significant problem with RTAs: unlike most RDAs made almost wholly out of metal, RDTAs use glass or plastic tanks like RTAs. Those can break after a nasty drop, rendering the atomizer useless if you don’t have a spare replacement tank.
Why Choose One Over an RTA?
RDAs are known to excel in flavor and vapor production compared to RTAs, as well as being much more comfortable to build thanks to the ample space of their decks. RDTAs are no different, so they tend to offer better flavor and produce fluffier clouds compared to an RTA. Their very design and structure help them perform better for restricted lung hits and up to wide open airflow, using large coils.
It’s for the same reasons that they tend to perform worse as mouth-to-lung atomizers. MTL vaping demands restricted space in the coil chamber and very targetted and tight airflow. There are exceptions to the rule, with newer designs like the Galaxies MTL Squonk RDTA catering to the MTL crowd.
As we said initially, this isn’t a guide where there’s a clear winner among our choices, because they’re all different. The “top performer” changes based on what you prioritize, so the Vandy Vape Mato, that this humble writer loved, might not be your cup of tea.
If you like the smooth, different feeling mesh offers when vaping, you should pick up the Profile RDTA. As a bonus, it works with “typical” coils as well. Still, the primary reason to choose it over the alternatives is strictly its mesh support. For wire coils, we believe the other contenders fare better.
For single-coil lovers, if you like relatively restricted lung hits, look at the Mato. For more airflow and dual coils, turn to the Pyro. If you prefer mouth-to-lung vaping, your only real choice is the Vapefly Galaxies MTL Squonk – the alternatives don’t work as well with restricted airflow, nor is it as targetted to the center of small-ish coils like in Vapefly’s RDTA. Finally, the Aromamizer Ragnar isn’t an MTL atomizer, but can perform equally good in the broadest range of airflow settings than the other RTDA tanks, from (very) restricted Direct Lung hits to fully wide open. But it’s clunkier and more complicated than the other options, and a true behemoth that will look ridiculous if you don’t pair it with an equally large (and heavy) mod.
According to how you prefer your vapor and the priority you give to ease-of-use and versatility, the final choice is yours. Do tell us which you chose and why, in the comments section below.