What is An RDA Tank? A FULL Explanation (And Why I Use Them)

By Drake Equation •  Updated: 11/26/19 •  5 min read

What is An RDA Vape Tank? Full Definition & Guide

RDA stands for Rebuildable Drip Atomizer. These types of vape tank are popular with vapers that like big clouds and maximum flavour. You have to install your own coils, wick them with cotton, and traditionally they do not have much juice storage capacity – hence why they’re called drippers (you have to drip juice onto the coil before using them).

However, things have progressed A LOT in the last few years, thanks to the rise of squonking, whereby vape juice can be stored inside a vape mod and sent up to the RDA via a simple squeeze. This negates the need to drip and solves one of the #1 issues levelled at RDAs – juice storage.

The Anatomy of An RDA Vape Tank

RDA tanks are designed to be simple: you have a deck, a mouthpiece, and a tank. And that’s pretty much it. You have postless decks and decks with posts, as well as new plug-n-play RDAs like the GOAT RDA that require ZERO building. You just plop a modular deck in and go.

The simplicity of RDAs is one of the main reasons they’re so popular with vapers. You get maximum flavour and huge clouds and, because they’re rebuildable, you can customise how it performs by augmenting your coils, their position, and also their resistance.


📸 – VapingVibe

On top of this, you can replace the drip tip to something more your style and experiment with your wicking technique in order to extract more flavour from each hit. Adjustable airflow is also a common feature on RDA tanks, allowing you to close off (tighten) the draw or open it up to make it more swooshy.

Best vape juice for RDA tanks? You should ONLY use High VG Vape Juice inside RDAs. The higher the better. I tend to use 80% VG blends, as these deliver the most smoothness and flavour. Anything less will taste harsh and ruin your vaping.

MORE: USA-Made High VG Vape Juice (Perfect For Your RDA)

RDA Pros (Why They’re Awesome)

  1. Never Have To Worry About Coils Again
  2. Cheaper To Run Than Sub-Ohm Tanks
  3. Best Flavour of Any Style of Tank
  4. Simple To Use (Even For Beginners)
  5. Less Prone To Leaking Than RTAs
  6. They Look Awesome
    Massive Clouds, Loads of Customization Options

Different Types of RDA:

My #1 Favorite RDA Vape Tanks Right Now


best rda

District F5VE Layercake

(Best For BIG Builds)


best RDA


(2020's Finest Flavor Monster)


top rda tank 2019


(Amazing Deck & Flavor)


best single coil RDA


(Best For Mesh & Flavor)


What Vape Mod Should I Use With My RDA?

Whether you’re running a dual-coil RDA, a squonk RDA, or a single-coil MTL RDA, you need a vape mod to power it. I’d always recommend going with a dual-18650 vape mod. With RDAs, you want to have plenty of power (over 100W, ideally) and solid battery life.

You can use single 18650 mech mods, though I don’t tend to mess around with them as they’re not as safe as regulated vape mods. Right now, my #1 picks for vape mods that are suitable for use with RDAs are as follows:

PICTURESNameBest Place To BuyRatingWhy You'd Buy This ModPrice

best vape mod

GeekVape AEGIS X Kit

($68.95 w/FREE SHIPPING)

  • Simple To Use 
  • Great Systems UX; Tons of Vaping Modes 
  • OLED Display 
  • Comes With A Solid Sub Ohm Tank 
  • Ideal For New Vapers 


best vape mod

VooPoo DRAG 2 Kit

($79.95 w/FREE SHIPPING) 

  • Brilliant Design + Super Robust 
  • GENE Chip is Ridiculously Good
  • Great All-Round Performer 
  • Excellent Value For Money 
  • Tons of Vaping Modes 
  • Hits Like A Freight Train

best vape mod

Vandy Vape Jackaroo 100W

($59.95 w/FREE SHIPPING) 

  • One of The Best Looking Kits Around 
  • Stunning Mod Design 
  • Brilliant Performance Across The Board 
  • TONS of Vaping Options – TC, Power, ByPass, Curves 

best box mod

SX Mini G Class 200W

($239.95 w/ FREE SHIPPING)

  • Unparalleled Accuracy & Performance
  • Amazing For Temp Control
  • Ultra-Premium Design
  • Bluetooth Control (iPhone & Android)
  • 100% Accurate Power Delivery
  • Gorgeous Settings Menu & UX


best vape mod

GeekVape NOVA Kit

($71.95 w/FREE SHIPPING)

  • Stunning Design + Proper Old School Box Mod 
  • Cerberus Mesh Tank is Phenomenal 
  • Great Performance, Plenty of Vaping Modes 
  • One of The Best Looking Mods of 2018 
  • AS Chip Ensures Fast Firing + Lots of Safety Features

$71.95 (FREE SHIPPING) / (UK) £74.99

Battery life and power are the #1 things you need when using RDAs. Make sure you get a vape mode that has 100W and over and runs dual-18650 batteries. With these two things in place, you’ll have more than enough power to run all kinds of RDAs – from dual coil RDAs to single coils RDAs.

Best Place To Buy Coils & Cotton For Your RDA

If you’re using an RDA, you’ll need to stock up on coils and cotton. Plenty of places sell pre-made Clapton and Alien coils. Even Amazon. You can pick up a box of pre-made coils that’ll last you months at a time because RDA coils if maintained properly, can last for a couple of months easily.

With cotton for wicking, I tend to pretty much exclusively use Cotton Bacon. It’s organic, it wicks great, and it’s cheap – plus a single pack will last your about six months! Once you have these, you’re also going to want to invest in a coil-builder kit; these have all the tools you need to install, test, and augment your builds. I couldn’t imagine living without mine!

Anything Else I Need To Know?


No, we’ve covered just about everything! All you need to do now is decide which RDA to go for. I’ve highlighted my current #1 favourite RDA tanks for right now, so take a look at that post and see which one takes your fancy. They’re all excellent RDAs, so whichever you go for you’re going to be very impressed.

Any questions just hit me up on Twitter or Facebook 😉

Drake Equation

Co-founder and Editor of VapeBeat. I make the words.
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