So you’re looking to step up your game from a budding vaper to a real cloud chaser? In that case, I’ve got a few tips to help you decide which type of rebuildable tank atomizer (RTA) is the one you want.
Our list of best RTAs of 2019 starts a few sections below, but for those of you unfamiliar with the terminology, stick around for a moment.
Best RTAs - Australia 2019
#1 Geekvape - Zeus X RTA
- Easy top fill design
- Easy to wick
- Simple to build
- Excellent build quality
- Comes with a 4.5ml bubble tank
- Multiple sets of spare parts
- Good airflow control
- Great taste
- 3.5ml tank is kinda small
- No coil cutter
- Airflow makes a whistling noise
The Zeus X is the third iteration of Geekvape’s, you guessed it, Zeus line. At 25mm of diameter, this big boy is made of stainless steel, has a maximum juice capacity of 4ml, and has the option to be configured into either a single or dual coil build.
Due to its design, this thing is pretty much leak proof. Using a “chimney inside a chimney” design, this all but guarantees that shaking around your RTA isn’t going to make it spew juice everywhere. That said, it’s still possible to flood the chamber so make sure you use plenty of cotton. The tank itself is spacious enough you can stuff it without worrying too much.
Performance wise, I can’t complain. As RTAs intended for dual coil use can cause some burning, I decided to stick with using two coils. Vapor production is excellent, and the taste is also something I can’t complain about. As for the body, the Zeus fits perfectly in my hand, and the grip feels secure.
The method used to top fill the tank is also super convenient. Instead of screwing off completely, this RTA uses a quarter turn design to make filling up the tank an easier endeavor. This build is also simple to take apart and put back together. The ease of maintenance of rebuilding is a major plus in my book because while tinkering is fun, there’s only so many times I can build an RTA and shout “It’s alive!”
Don’t judge me. We’ve all done the giddy dance after putting together our first rebuildable.
#2 Augvape & Mike Vapes - Intake RTA
- Good flavour
- Is leak resistant
- Clever airflow system
- Good vapour production
- Lots of space for a coil
- Easy to open and fill
- Airflow is slightly weak
- Easy to overwick
- Can’t install dual coils
This RTA happens to be a collaboration piece from Augvape and Mike, hence the name, that I’ve heard good things about. It uses a clever design to circulate air from the top vents all the way to the bottom underneath the coil. This airflow system makes this RTA leak resistant, and also enhances the flavor compared to traditional top flow systems.
At a 24mm diameter, this product comes standard with both a 2.5 and 4.2ml tank. It’s a single coil system that is also fairly simple to build. I haven’t had any problems installing a coil, but one downside is that this RTA doesn’t come with a prebuilt coil.
It was a minor inconvenience, sure, but that didn’t stop me from grumbling as I built a coil from scratch.
Now I said before that the Intake measures at 24mm in diameter, but it gets a little fatter around the bubble tank at 26mm. It’s not a major issue for me, especially with the excellent build quality of this RTA. Something I was leery of though, were the low profile drip tips.
Most drip tips of this type have problems with heat buildup. It’s not exactly the kind of scorching kiss you’re looking for either. However, the design of the Intake makes this a non-issue, but you can still use taller 510 or 810 drip tips for your peace of mind.
#3 Vandy Vape - Kylin V2 RTA
- Excellent build quality
- Very easy to put together
- Great flavour
- Coil lead cutting tool included
- Bubble glass included
- Comes with a premade coil!
- 3ml tank is small for dual coil
- But doesn’t come with cotton!
From Vandy Vape, the Kylin V2 is the newest iteration of the line. It boasts improved flavor, performance, an easier to use build deck, and addresses the leaking issue of the first version. The V2 measures in at 24mm, and the tank is able to carry 5ml worth of juice.
This holding capacity of this tank doesn’t come without a price. The middle of the bubble tank folds out like a particularly fat roll that measures 30mm of girth. If this bothers you, it also comes with a slimmer 3ml tank.
So upon opening up the goodies, the first thing I noticed off the bat was the postless build deck. Being a quad terminal, this RTA can be configured in single or dual coil mode. I’ve had a few issues before with postless decks, and while I generally have good experiences with them, there were a few times where I had trouble with pre-cutting my leads.
That wasn’t a problem with this RTA. The package comes with a well labeled measuring tool that made cutting the leads a cinch. Another possible problem I thought I might have was installing the leads, but it was an overall smooth process. The wicking process also didn’t pose any difficulties. In fact, this entire build caused me very little trouble to put together.
This ease of installation makes Kylin V2 great for beginners, and I wholeheartedly encourage looking deeper into this product if you’re new to rebuilding.
#4 OFRF - Gear RTA
- Easy to build
- Doesn’t leak
- Flavour is excellent
- Can fit bigger coils
- Comes with numerous addons
- Low e-juice capacity
- Takedown can be difficult
- Its starting to show its age
This venerable single coil RTA has been on the market for some time. I’m putting it on the list because it’s a fan favourite despite its growing age. The Gear is known to be incredibly easy to build and just as simple to wick. The major downside to this otherwise excellent atomizer, is that the tank sizes are fairly small.
The low profile of the design means that standard tank is only able to hold 2.3ml. The bubble tank it comes with holds 3.5ml of e-juice, but it’s still a little disappointing. On the other hand, the short distance between the deck and the top of the RTA gives a tremendous boost in flavour. The Gear is hands down one of the better tasting RTAs I’ve gotten my hands on.
Sadly, while this RTA still works well, it might be getting to be that time where good old Gear needs to be taken out into the woods and replaced with a newer model.
The OFRF Gear is pretty good, don’t get me wrong, but there are better options out there. Yes the flavor is good, and the build is fairly straightforward, but there are several downsides.
It doesn’t take long at all to vape through your juice reservoir. That’s honestly not a major problem if you carry a juice bottle with you, but this RTA can also be difficult to take apart. The lack of ridges to grip on means that half the time I’m trying to take off the top cap, the air flow ring comes off with it. In other words, there are more convenient options on the market in 2019.
#5 Vandy Vape - Triple RTA (28mm)
- Big, voluminous clouds
- Deep flavour
- Easy to take down
- Dual or triple coil configuration
- This thing is pretty big
- E-juice goes fast with three coils
- Wicking can be tricky
This RTA isn’t designed around single or double coils, but three.
Yeah. Three. Triple coils.
Reading about this RTA had me pause. Actually holding in my hand and looking at it? I was positively giddy to try this new toy out.
Measuring at a fat 28mm diameter, this RTA comes with a tank that can 4ml worth of e-liquid. It comes with the ability for either dual or triple coil, and uses a postless build deck with six holes.
To start off, this thing is huge. Like, bodybuilder huge when compared to some of the other products on this list. The wide and knobby knurling made this RTA a breeze to break down into its component parts. The ports for filling e-juice are also super sized. I could literally just uncap my bottle, and dump the contents inside without worrying about a piddly little dripper.
So far I’ve noticed that everything about this atomizer is big with a capital B. It’s not the most unnoticeable RTA ever, but size does matter in this case.
Those of you with bigger hands won’t have problems fat fingering the components during the building process. The caveat is that while I had no trouble installing the coils, threading the wicks through did take a little finesse on my part.
Beyond that the flavor is great and the cloud production is outstanding.
My Personal favorite RTA of 2019
I’m going to have to pin the Geekvape Zeus X as the winner of this roundup. When it comes to the overall convenience factor, this RTA edges out at the top of the competition.
While the Kylin V2 may have slightly more tank capacity, the Zeus X has more than enough to be comfortable while being slimmer. Refilling the tank is also ridiculously easy due to its design. Furthermore, this atomizer hasn’t leaked yet in my experience, and I doubt it will unless I put it through a serious torture test.
The Zeus X is also easy to build and take apart. While the OFRF Gear is renowned for its ease of buildability, breaking it down can be a real chore. And when comparing the two in regards to juice taste, I can’t say Geekvape’s RTA loses out in any major way.
What is an RTA?
An RTA is a type of Rebuildable Atomizer (RBA). The short version is that an RBA system allows you to build your own coils. Literally, you take a coil, wrap it, tack it onto a device, and thread a wick through said coil.
Now the big difference between the types of RBAs is how you feed the wick.
As noted by the acronym, an RTA is a tank type of feed system that uses a rebuildable coil. All you need to do after building your atomizer is to screw off the top, access the tank, and fill it with e-juice. Then you vape, use up the liquid, and go for a refill once you’re out.
Types of RTA Configurations
The beauty of building your own atomizer is that you know exactly you want in the finished product. There are a whole slew of nifty things you can do to customize your vape to your liking.
Airflow, Top or Bottom?
There are two ways you can go about introducing airflow to your RTA. The top system draws in air from the top or sides of the coil. While this system helps to prevent leaking issues, some designs end up messing up the flavor as the coil may start burning the wick.
A bottom system draws air in from under the coils. This type of system ensures maximum flavor by moving air from the beneath the coils to simultaneously cool them while drawing in e-juice through the wick. Though this system has a tendency to leak, properly building your RTA will minimize this chance greatly.
Direct Lung and Mouth to Lung
This topic concerns the size and number of the airflow holes that you’re pulling from. Smaller, and less numerous, holes are designed for a mouth to lung style of vaping.
Atomizers with bigger, more numerous air channels, produce more vapor. It is also geared towards vapers who tend to use the direct lung technique.
RTA and Genesis (GTA)
The difference between these two types of builds is the difference in atomizer placement.
RTAs are placed directly on the build deck. This leaves less room for a wick so the cotton tends to be shorter on this build.
GTAs use a raised deck that places the atomizer higher up in the tank. This allows extra room for a longer wick which lets your device soak up more e-juice.
Number of Coils
Most RTAs use either a single or double coil as heating elements. The key differences between the two are what type of draw they are meant for, the amount of airflow, and vapor production.
A single coil build is geared towards mouth to lung draws due to the decreased contact with air. This also means that vapor production isn’t as great as a double coil design.
Double coils are meant to do the opposite. While you are able to use them for mouth to lung, primarily they are meant for increased vapor production which leans towards the direct lung technique.
Advantages of an RTA
One of the major selling points that is true of all RBA, is that they end up saving you money. Compared to sub ohm tanks with their replaceable coils, building your own is a much cheaper alternative.
You can get a roll of coil and a bag cotton for about the same price as a pack of proprietary coils. Except the abundance of material means they can last you for months at the very least.
Moving on, the greatest advantage that an RTA has over other builds, is convenience.
When compared to a rebuildable drip atomizer (RDA), the tank type build has a far larger e-liquid capacity. Instead of having to drip fresh liquid every few draws, an RTA allows you to vape all day without carrying your juice with you.
Even rebuildable drip tank atomizers (RDTA) are beat out in the instance of compactability. RTAs are generally smaller and easier to wick than their bigger, do it all brother.
Disadvantages of an RTA
Regrettably, an RTA has a major weaknesses compared to the other kinds of RBAs you can build. Namely, cloud size.
Trading vapor production for convenience, an RTA isn’t quite as good as an RDA at producing huge, voluminous clouds. Given it has more parts than an RDA, tank atomizers require a little more skill to put together, but that’s a minor nitpick.
If you want a combination of not having redrip every few puffs, a compact size, and overall cheapness, an RTA device will suit your needs well.