RTAs, RDAs, RDTAs & Sub-Ohm Tank EXPLAINED – What’s The Best Vape Tank Option?

By Nick Jennings •  Updated: 12/10/18 •  7 min read

If you’re new to vaping, chances are you’re confused by the ALL the different types of vape tanks.

There are a few different options, depending on what type of vaping you want to do, but after reading this you’ll know exactly what the difference is between standard, vape tanks, RDAs, RTAs, RDTAs, and pod mod (AIO) vapes.

It’s actually not that complicated, once you know what they all do.

Rebuildable tanks, where you build and install your own coils, are usually favored by more experienced vapers.

These styles of tanks include:

All of these tanks are rebuildable vape tanks, meaning you have to install your own coils (either hand-made or pre-made) and then wick them with cotton.

Benefits of Rebuildable Tanks

There are many benefits associated with running rebuildable vape tanks, but the major ones are as follows:

Why People Don’t Use Rebuildable Tanks

Simple: they don’t want to mess around with coils and cotton.

They think it’s too fiddly or they’ll mess it up.



However, “They”, couldn’t be more wrong; modern rebuildable tanks are designed to be super-simple to live and work with.

All of the options mentioned below are all completely user-friendly – even if you’re brand new to vaping.

The Different Types of Vape Tanks Explained | RTAs, RDAs, RDTAs & Sub-Ohm Tank

Now we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at the different styles of vape tanks and how they’re different.

I’ll add in a few suggestions, based on our reviews, for the best options in each style of tank, so you know what to go for once you decide on the style of vape tank you want to use.

1) Sub Ohm Tanks

These are the types of tanks most users start with.

They’re powerful, come with most vape kits, and, in some instances, produce excellent flavor and performance.

With a sub ohm vape tank, you install pre-made coils and fill it up with juice. Once you’ve done this you’re good to go.


The UWELL Valyrian | 2018’s #1 Vape Tank ($37.95 via DirectVapor)

Set the wattage to match the coil’s performance and start vaping.

These are the easiest types of vape tanks to use and run; this is why they’re the most popular option for the vast majority of vapers.

PROS of Sub Ohm Tanks

What’s The Best Sub Ohm Tank Option Right Now?

My #1 picks right now are as follows. As I mentioned earlier, all the recommend tanks in this guide have all been extensively tested by the VapeBeat team

PicturesNameLatest PricesRatingReviewWhy You'd Buy This Tank

best vape tanks

Falcon KING 

(The #1 For Flavor)



  • Best In Class Flavor 
  • Insanely Good Mesh Coils
  • Premium Design & Finish 
  • 100% Leak-Proof 
  • Excellent Value For Money

top vape tank

OFRF nexMESH Vape Tank

(INSANELY Good Mesh Coils)



  • Amazing Design
  • Brilliant “Conical” Mesh Coils
  • Epic Flavor – Best I’ve Had In Ages
  • Premium Build Quality
  • 100% Leak-Proof & Shock-Proof

RTAs, RDAs, RDTAs & Sub-Ohm Tank EXPLAINED – What’s The Best Vape Tank Option?

Falcon Tank

(RDA-Grade Flavor)



  • RDA-Like Flavor & Mega Clouds
  • Coil Heads Are BRILLIANT
  • Solid, Well-Executed Design
  • Excellent Value For Money

best vape tank

UWELL Valyrian 2

(A True Classic)



  • AMAZING Flavor
  • Great Build Quality
  • Decent Locking Mechanism On Top Cap For E Juice Port
  • Reliable, Consistent Coils – Some of The Best I’ve Ever Used!

long lasting vape coils

GeekVape ALPHA Tank

(Amazing Coils & Top Notch Flavor)



  • Excellent Coils (They Last AGES) 
  • Brilliant, Precise Flavor 
  • Zero Leaks 
  • Easy To Set Up 
  • Wicks Quickly 
  • Solid, Reliable Performance

best vape tank

FreeMax Mesh Pro

(INSANE Mesh Coil Performance)



  • Excellent Design & Looks
  • Great Flavor + Long Lasting Coils
  • Triple Mesh Coil is INSANELY Good
  • Great Price (Only $27.95)

If you’d like more information, please check out VapeBeat’s Guide To The Best Vape Tanks Right Now.

2) RDA Tanks

RDA tanks are the #1 tank for flavor and overall performance. RDAs are stripped down tanks and you have to install your own coils and wick. Most are very simple to work with, however.

Until very recently, you had to constantly drip E Juice into your RDA, as they don’t have a “tank” like a sub ohm tank or an RTA. However, you now have squonk mods, and these effectively solve this issue.


The Dead Rabbit RDA + RAGE Squonk Mod

The squonk mod sends E Juice up to the atomizer via a simple squeeze; all you have to do is fill up the squonk bottle (they usually hold around 9ml of juice).

This is why RDAs are becoming increasingly popular; squonk mods have solved the #1 reason most people avoided RDAs. Dripping!

Now you can have the best of both worlds – just without constant dripping.

PROS of RDA Tanks

What’s The Best RDA Tank Right Now?

PictureProduct NamePriceRatingWhy It Rocks

best RDA tanks




Grimm Green’s second RDA, the Recoil Rebel RDA is one hell of a setup. It’s more expensive that the DROP, but it packs in much the same level of performance and flavor. I love the styling and design of this tank. I also really love its deck; it’s super simple to set up and get working. The flavor and clouds on this thing are incredible. If you don’t mind paying a little extra, the Recoil Rebel RDA is definitely something everybody needs in their collection.

best RDA tanks




Do you like massive flavor, excellent performance, and super-smooth airflow? What about great design and a great price tag? If so, you HAVE to check out the Bonza RDA. It is fantastic.

best RDA tanks

Dead Rabbit RDA



A lot of reviewers have been called the DEAD Rabbit RDA the perfect RDA. And while this is a rather bold statement, I am kind of inclined to agree with them. The price is excellent, the design is superb, it vapes brilliantly, runs cool at high temps, and it kicks out some of the best flavour I have ever had from an RDA

best rda

District F5VE Layercake

  • Outstanding Build Quality
  • Chassis Made From Ceramic & Steel – Excellent For Heat Retardation
  • Awesome, Clamp-Based Deck 
  • Squonk Compatible
  • Runs Dual or Single Coils
  • MEGA Flavor

best RDA tanks



The CSMNT RDA is a well put together RDA that blends all the power of a standard RDA setup with the convenience of postless design. It looks great and is massively powerful, which is probably why it is so very popular these days

best RDA tanks

Wotofo Recurve RDA



The Wotofo Recurve RDA, for me, is currently the benchmark by which ALL other single coil RDAs are measured by. It’s well priced, looks stunning, features a simple and easy to use deck, and it kicks out immense flavor. If you’re looking for a single coil RDA for squonking, the search is over – the Wotofo Recurve RDA is the ONE.

If you’d like more information on RDA tanks, please check out our Best RDA Tank Guide: The #1 Options Right Now. 

3) RTA Tanks

RTA tanks are basically an RDA and a sub ohm tank combined. You have a rebuildable deck, as you have on an RDA, paired with sub ohm tank-style E Juice capacity.

In this respect, an RTA is a great option for anyone that doesn’t want to squonk. You get a rebuildable tank that can hold anywhere from 3-5ML of E Juice.


The Beautiful Kensei RTA! Click Here For Latest Prices

RTAs used to be VERY fiddly to get right. A lot of people had issues with leaking on them. But things have changed quite a bit during the past 18 months.

Nowadays you can get a bunch of RTAs that are A) 100% leak-proof and B) super-simple to setup.

Even if you’re a complete beginner.

Needless to say, the RTAs listed below are great examples of just how easy an RTA can be to live with.

PROS of RTA Tanks

What’s The Best RTA Tank Right Now?

NamePicturesRatingBest Place To Buy?Why You'd Buy This RTA?


(Best All-Round RTA)

best RTA


  • Outstanding Flavor 
  • 5ML Juice Capacity 
  • It Never Leaks 
  • Powerful, Dual-Coil Design 
  • Great For Clouds
  • Insanely Cheap


(Best Dual Coil Option)

top dual coil rta


  • Solid Design + Beautiful Deck
  • Vapor Production is NUTS
  • Great Flavor (Especially At Medium Power)
  • 100% Leak Proof

Vandy Vape Kylin Mini 

(INSANE Flavor)

best RTAs


  • Brilliant Design
  • Big Deck; Easy To Build On 
  • Smooth Air Flow 
  • Brilliant Flavor + Cloud Production 
  • A Classic Mid-Ranger, Ideal For Newbies

Augvape Intake 24mm RTA


best RTA tanks


  • 100% LEAK-Proof
  • Once Wicked, Works Like A Sub-Ohm Tank 
  • Awesome Deck 
  • Super-Easy To Build & Set Up
  • Great AFC

Wotofo Serpent ELEVATE RTA

(Best For Flavor & Clouds)

best smoktech mod


  • Single Coil RTA – Great For Battery Life 
  • Excellent Design (Both Tank & Deck) 
  • Simple To Use & Setup
  • Great, Thick Flavor 
  • Doesn't Leak

If you’d like more options, please do check out our Guide To The Best RTAs – here you’ll find all of our favorite RTAs for performance and ease of use.

3) RDTAs

RDTAs are basically RDAs with juice capacity; you have a small chamber below the atomizer where E Juice is stored. This means you don’t have to drip E Juice directly onto the atomizer as you do with traditional RDAs.


The dotmod dotRDA (AKA: The Best RDTA for 2018)

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The rise of squonk mods have kind of spoiled this unique selling point for RDTAs, but there are still plenty of great options and reasons for using this type of vape tank.

They’re great for clouds and flavor chasing. And if you’re not 100% sure squonking is for you, an RDTA is the simplest style of rebuildable tank to run next to an RDA.


What’s The Best RDTA Around Right Now?

Simple: you got two really good options when it comes to RDTAs in 2018.

The dotmod one can also squonk, which is a major USP of this RDTA.

If you’d like to know about what the best options for RDTAs are, do check out our detailed guide to The Best RDTA Tanks For Right Now.

Nick Jennings

Reviews & Tutorials Guy. If You Can Build It & Vape It, I'm Your Man!
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