RTA’s or rebuildable tank atomizers are a lot like ‘sub-ohm’ tanks but without the pre-built coils. Instead, they come with an RBA deck so you can fine-tune your vaping experience and build the coils to your preference. There are countless options in build deck styles, coil configurations, and e-liquid capacities – which means there’s an RTA out there to suit just about any type of vaper.
Our Best RTA vapes list is to help any vaper looking to start with RTAs and those that already use RTAs but want help deciding on their next one. Our list will frequently be updated, so keep checking back as new RTA’s are released and reviewed, the industry is moving fast, and there’s always something new and exciting around the corner – especially in the rebuildable market.
Here is our list for the Best RTAs.
Serpent Elevate RTA
The Wotofo Serpent Elevate RTA is another collaboration between Wotofo and Matt from Suck My Mod (SMM). Keeping true to Matt’s vaping style the Elevate is a restricted lung single coil RTA with a focus on flavor, and boy does it deliver. The Elevate features a postless deck, and leak resistant top airflow. It’s 24mm in diameter and has a 3.5ml capacity, 4.5ml with included bubble glass.
Savour MTL RTA
3CVape and reviewer Vaping V1ck teamed up to create one of the best MTL RTAs on the market, the Savour MTL RTA. It’s a 22mm RTA that features a threaded top-fill design, and a unique removable post build deck tailored towards both MTL or restricted DTL vapers. The Savour works excellently in both modes and delivers an amazingly smooth and flavorful vape. It comes in a TPD compliant 2ml capacity.
The Dawg RTA is a design collaboration between Asmodus and Alex from Vapers MD. It features a dual-coil postless build deck with dual bottom airflow. It may not have the largest juice capacity for a dual coil at only 3.2ml and keeps it simple with a threaded top-fill design. However the flavor and vape quality the Dawg delivers is exceptional.
GeekVape incorporated three interchangeable airflow chambers with the design of the Creed RTA. That makes it one of the most versatile RTAs on this list, capable of both single and dual coil builds, and it vapes great in either set-up. The Creed is 25mm and can hold up to 6.5ml with the included bubble glass, or 4.5ml in standard mode.
Hellvape & Heathen
Dead Rabbit RTA
It was only a matter of time that the ever-popular Dead Rabbit was turned into an RTA. Thankfully Hellvape and Heathen have done an excellent job of incorporating the raised build deck design with top airflow. The Dead Rabbit RTA delivers on flavor, is easy to build on and is leak-resistant. It’s a 25mm RTA with a 4.5ml capacity.
Ares MTL RTA
When two of the most famous MTL vape reviewers (Phil Busardo and Dimitris Agrafiotis) teamed up with Innokin, it was clear the result was going to be an excellent MTL RTA. The Ares is a 24mm single coil RTA with the focus on ease of use. It comes with a bundle of extras, has a 4ml capacity and is the perfect RTA for smokers transitioning into MTL RTAs.
Augvape & Mike Vapes
Augvape and Mike Vapes collaboration in the design of the Intake resulted in a top-to-bottom airflow and leak-resistant RTA, which produces a smooth & consistent vape with excellent flavor. It’s a 24mm single-coil RTA, that has a 2.5ml capacity, or 4.2ml with the included bubble glass.
Engine II RTA
The OBS Engine series has been a staple in best RTA lists for years. The sequel brings with it a unique dual-coil upside-down style build deck, an easy filling method, and top-to-bottom airflow. It’s another leak-resistant RTA that produces excellent flavor and a smooth vape. The Engine II is 26mm in diameter with a 5ml capacity.
Introduction to RTAs
There are three main styles of rebuildable atomizers: RTAs (Rebuildable Tank Atomizers), RDAs (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers) and RDTAs (Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizers). All three types require the use of a coil or coils, which are made by the user. This is done by wrapping a wire around a small rod; usually 24 mm in diameter. The user must then create a wick to help transport the e-liquid to the coil(s).
For the wire, a variety of material types can be utilized. The most common is Kanthal A1, which can only be used in variable wattage (VW) mode, but has a very stable resistance when heated. Titanium and ni200 or two other wire types, however, due to their varying resistance when heated, they can only be used in temperature control (TC) mode. Stainless steel has become far more popular recently because it can be used in both VW and TC modes, as it has a slight variation in resistance when heated.
Many different types of wicking materials can also be used for vaping in rebuildable atomizers. Cotton or rayon being the most common.
What is an RTA?
Why is an RTA different from other types of atomizer? RTAs have a building deck where the coils are placed at the bottom, while the tank for e-liquid will sit above the deck. RTA’s do vary in size but can hold anything from 2ml to 10ml of e-liquid. They then have what is called a chimney section surrounding the deck, which allows air to flow up from beneath the deck, hit the coils and flow up the chimney to the mouthpiece or drip tip. Some newer RTAs also have top airflow which can come down the outside of the chimney stem to hit the coils, and then back up inside the chimney to the drip tip. RTAs will contain slots or holes in the deck to allow e-liquid to feed on from the tank through to the cotton wicks in the coils.
An RDA will have significantly less liquid capacity than an RTA, as it doesn’t have a tank to hold the e-liquid, it only has a small well in the bottom. The coils also positioned in the bottom of the atomizer, and the wicks will dip into the well of liquid to feed the coils. Since the juice is below the level o the coils they do not require a chimney section, which also means the coils and therefore vapor is closer to the user’s mouth generally providing better flavor and more vapor production. They also have a top cap that sits on top of the building deck. Air will enter from the top, bottom or sides and then rises from the top cap to the drip tip.
RDTAs are like a combination of both an RDA and an RTA. It features a tank, like an RTA, but it sits beneath the atomizer and the build deck like an RDA. Making it is similar to having a very big RDA well. RDTAs also have a top cap like an RDA, so the air flows from that directly up to the drip tip.
Advantages of RTAs over other Atomizers
Ok, so what are the benefits or advantages of having an RTA over a Sub-ohm tank?
The primary advantage over Sub-ohm tanks is the freedom from not having to buy factory coil heads. Because you are wrapping your own coils, there are huge savings to be made. An entire roll of wire, irrelevant of the material type is approximately the cost of two factory coil heads. A roll of wire can also make several coils and potentially last you months or even years. Likewise, a pack of organic cotton or rayon for wicking is also very cheap and could last months and years. Users also have the potential to keep the coil in place, and just replace the wick given the built coils a longer lifespan. Furthermore, users of sub-ohm tanks have to rely on manufacturers continuing to provide the bespoke coil heads for their tank, which sometimes with new advances in coils can make them tricky to find.
What are the advantages over an RDA?
The first is e-liquid capacity. If you are using an RDA, you have to drip more e-liquid onto the atomizer to keep vaping continually. This means vapers of RDAs have to carry a bottle of e-liquid with them, whereas with an RTA (especially one with large capacity) may provide vaping enjoyment all day before refilling is required. The second benefit over an RDA is that most tanks do not leak e-liquid when they are tilted sideways or inverted. However due to the nature of the design of RDAs, as they don’t use a chimney section, they can leak easily if placed sideways or inverted.
Tips and Tricks for RTAs
Here are a few helpful tips if you are using an RTA. The first piece of advice is to be sure the coils span to cover the air slots, especially on bottom airflow atomizers. If the coil length is too short, it may allow e-liquid into the air holes, which can lead to flooding and gurgling. Another tip to prevent flooding is to make sure the wicks do not allow e-liquid to flow past them and onto the deck. The tails of the wick must adequately block the juice feeding holes and slots.
However, if an RTA begins to give you dry hits, then it might be that you have used too much wick, which is then blocking or hindering the flow of e-liquid. At first, it can be tricky finding the right balance, but it is key to having a top-performing RTA, and practice makes perfect. Some RTAs, especially new ones are more forgiving and easier to build on, and you will also find most allow you to access the build deck even when the tank is full. This means you can re-wick it at any point if you have problems, and these types of RTAs are definitely a better choice for beginners. Finally, be careful when filling the tank, make sure you don’t overfill it. Leaving an air bubble allows the e-liquid to flow better to the wicks.