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

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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 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?

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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?

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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!