Best RDA for Clouds & Flavor 2018: Top Rebuildable Dripper Atomizers Reviewed

Home / Best RDA for Clouds & Flavor 2018: Top Rebuildable Dripper Atomizers Reviewed

As convenient as tank atomizers are, every serious vaper knows that RDA’s are the perfectionist’s choice. You can customize coils to your heart’s content, and achieve your ideal vape every puff.

There’s a whole world of RDA’s on the market these days, though. Even an expert vape aficionado would have trouble parsing through them all.

That’s where we come in! Our team have put together this roundup of all our favorite RDA’s. In this guide, you’ll find our in-depth reviews of each recommendation, plus helpful guidance to point you in the direction of your ideal atomizer!

Best Inexpensive RDA

Best Midrange RDA

Ultimate RDA

best inexpensive RDA
best midrange RDA
CSMNT Cosmonaut RDA by District F5VE
Dark Horse RDA by Steam AngelHELLVAPE X HEATHEN DEAD RABBIT 24MM RDACosmonaut RDA by District F5VE
Our Rating: 4.5
Popularity: Medium
Our Rating: 5.0
Popularity: High
Our Rating: 5.0
Popularity: Low
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Best RDA Reviews

  • Dark Horse by Steam Angel Technology
  • Wotofo Troll V2
  • GeekVape Peerless
  • Wotofo Lush Plus
  • Hellvape X Heathen Dead Rabbit
  • Goon by 528 Customs
  • Cosmonaut by District F5VE

1. Dark Horse by Steam Angel Technology

AUTHENTIC DARK HORSE RDA by Steam Angel Technology

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“an absolute classic”

Steam Angel’s Dark Horse is a great RDA by any measure. It’s a dependable workhorse (if you’ll pardon the pun) for anyone who wants something affordable and fairly minimal. This 22mm RDA is simple, straightforward and solid. It has phenomenal airflow, and allows for a wide range of coil builds. In short, an absolute classic that’s now quite affordable!

Pros:

It’s very affordable. While the MSRP on these is still pretty high, they’re heavily discounted these days because the Dark Horse is an older design. Considering that it’s a classic with very few flaws, we think it’s a smart bargain buy. We’d gladly pay more than the asking price for one of these.

The best thing about the Dark Horse is its airflow. This thing has lots and lots of airflow options: 16 presets in all. They’re all machined into the AFC ring, and it’s dead simple to choose between them.

dark horse RDAThis thing is designed for massive clouds, both on the airflow end of the equation and in the coil deck arrangement. 2.7mm post holes make for massive clouds and support nearly any build style. You can get some serious volume out of this thing, which is even more impressive given the price.

“a perfect RDA to start on”

It’s versatile, as well. 16 coil configurations are possible in total (12 dual coil and 4 single coil). This is a perfect RDA to start on, since you can experiment with practically any style. Or, if you’re more experienced, it gives you plenty of versatility without costing as much as your mod box.

dark horse platedIt’s very well-made, even though it’s not the most expensive RDA we recommend. The Dark Horse’s gold-plated positive post is flattened to prevent spinning, and the square negative posts are milled into the deck. Most of the build is made from 316 stainless steel, with 3mm stainless steel contact screws and a gold-plated positive contact pin.

It’s a very nice RDA, but one reason we recommend it to newcomers as well is that it’s pretty easy to build on. It’s a safe testing ground as you start figuring out the world of coils.

dark horse drip tip optionThere’s a lot of value here, too. The Dark Horse comes with a few drip tip options: the standard Monster tip, and the SWB (super wide bore) fitting. Frankly, the Monster is more than enough for most people, but if you really want to rip, the SWB is hands-down the winner.

The tips are made pretty well, too–especially compared to others at this price. They’re nylon, which is safe to 500 degrees F. The matte finish doesn’t look cheap like Delrin, either.

The whole thing’s covered by a 1-year warranty.

Cons:

This is a very, very shallow dish, with basically no juice reservoir. So, you’re going to need to be careful not to drip too much at once, or it’ll come out the air holes. Definitely something to get used to, compared to some other RDA’s.

This one’s all about volume. It’s not as good for flavor, though it’s still better than most factory attys. If you want something more tasteful, check out the Wotofo Lush Plus below.

The nylon components don’t feel as good as some more premium options.

There aren’t any color options or finishes to choose from.

2. Wotofo Troll V2

Wotofo Troll RDA V2

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“strikes a nice middle ground between flavor and volume for a low price.”

Wotofo’s Troll was a great RDA in its own right, but the V2 is by far the best the company’s made for volume. It’s not quite as much of a powerhouse as the Dark Horse, but it strikes a nice middle ground between flavor and volume for a low price. When the Dark Horse stops being so steeply discounted across the market, this will be our budget pick again.

We think it’s a good 22mm starter RDA for people who want a mix of volume and flavor.

Pros:

While the Dark Horse seems to be cheap across the board right now, the Troll V2 is more reliably affordable. The MSRP is actually half that of the Dark Horse! So, if the discounted Dark Horse prices turn out to be a fluke when you’re reading this guide, you can count on this one to be just as affordable.

It’s actually even easier to learn on the Wotofo than the Dark Horse, since this is a simpler RDA design. This one has two posts, both dual-terminal. They’re oversized 2.7mm posts, which is great for starting out. The Troll V2 also has big holes, like the Dark Horse, so it gives you a lot of space for larger builds.

“it gives you a lot of space for larger builds.”

Like the Dark Horse, the Troll V2 fits practically anything, any mech or regulated mod with 510 threading.

Even though this doesn’t give you the wealth of airflow options you’ll find on the Dark Horse, you get two airflow controls. Horizontal and vertical configurations are both possible, and there’s enough variety here for most people.

the troll rebuildable drip atomizerIn fact, some starting builders might find this one a bit less intimidating. Even experienced people could enjoy the simplicity. We certainly do!

The drip tip is nice on this one, too. The Troll has a great “competition” cap with a wide bore adjustable chuff.

“it’s easier to fill this a normal amount without having liquid come out”

The biggest difference between the Troll V2 and the Dark Horse is the much deeper 10mm deck on this one. It gives you a lot more per fill than the Dark Horse, and it’s easier to fill this a normal amount without having liquid come out the air ports.

Overall, it’s a nice balance between flavor and volume. The Dark Horse is all about volume, and it does sacrifice flavor to some extent. The Troll V2 is a bit more moderate.

This one comes in both black and stainless. That’s one more option than the plain-Jane Dark Horse, even if it’s not a huge array of looks. Both are all-metal builds.

Cons:

There aren’t nearly as many airflow options as the Dark Horse on the Troll V2. If you’re all about cloud-chasing, or if you’re a stickler for that perfect airflow setting, you should go for the Dark Horse instead.

It’s actually not as phenomenal in the build quality department, even though it’s slightly more expensive at most retailers. It features less gold plating and just doesn’t feel as rugged (despite having more metal components).

This one only comes with one cap option. The Dark Horse includes two.

It’s only covered by a 60-day warranty.

That all makes sense if you think about the traditional price points of these two attys. The fluke is that most places have steep discounts on Dark Horses right now. Otherwise, this would certainly be the cheaper of the two.

Our more expensive picks do perform better in pretty much all departments. This is a great place to start out, but probably not the last RDA you’ll ever buy.

3. GeekVape Peerless

colorful RDA

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“a playground that won’t break the bank”

The GeekVape Peerless is another budget-priced RDA with a lot to offer. It’s a bit larger than the Dark Horse or Troll V2, coming in at 24mm.

We think it’s the best, cheapest way to play around with absolutely every build style and configuration. The staggered post design and included squonk pin give you room to try nearly anything.

If you’re looking for a playground that won’t break the bank, check out the Peerless.

Pros:

The Peerless is a bit bigger than our cheaper picks, which means only one thing: more room in the juice well! Not only is there more room in the tank, but there’s a lot of room right down the middle, thanks to the split-post design.

“you can wick this to hold a crazy amount of e-liquid.”

Having it split in the middle also means you can just drop juice in, without worrying about over-dripping. It’s a 10mm deep juice well, like the Wotofo Troll V2. The difference is that dripping is much easier, and you can wick this to hold a crazy amount of e-liquid.

peerless dripHaving more space inside the RDA also makes your job easier when you’re assembling your coils. You can work with bigger designs, too, without being so concerned about the tolerances on the casing.

So, let’s look at the post design. Inside the Peerless are two posts, both triple-terminal. They’re fixed with dog point grub screws. These are things the average person isn’t going to worry about, but the short of it is that they allow each terminal to be used to the max.

The posts are positioned one above the other. It’s an offset design which actually leaves a lot of room to maneuver and play with trickier coil designs. The result is an RDA that’s very, very versatile! You really can build absolutely anything on this.

“You really can build absolutely anything on this.”

Unlike the Dark Horse or Troll V2, the Peerless includes a 510 squonk pin, and is designed to work with it. That makes it easy to dabble with squonking using this one, where it’s a bit tricky with some of our other recommendations. Yet another reason why this is a great playground!

Peerless insulatorThe Peerless’s appeal is mostly its versatility for the price point. Still, it’s definitely well-made. This thing has a PEEK insulator, plus the deck and posts are gold-plated. This is 24K, too, so it’s not exactly cheap! The whole thing’s built from a mix of acrylic and aluminum components, aside from the gold plating innards.

This is much more of a flavor design than a cloud-chaser. If that’s the direction you want to be heading, the Peerless is an ideal choice! It still puts out plenty of volume, but it’s the richness of the vapor that really stands out to us.

It looks good, with funky top and bottom components and a CNC-engraved logo on the body. You can get this in lots of color and finish options, all with the signature neutral trim. If you’re going for a slightly off-beat look, this will be ideal.

Greek Vape tipThere are a couple of different tips/caps in the box: a 10mm bore drip tip (essentially the same as the Troll V2’s), and you also get an 810 fitted chuffer for more flexibility. GeekVape uses a PEI material that’s heat-resistant and durable.

As with our other RDA picks, the Peerless has adjustable airflow. There are 9 different 1.5mm air holes which you can fiddle with, and you can also form a single airflow. That’s not quite as many options as the Dark Horse, but it’s certainly more variety than the Troll V2 gives you. Again, variety is the name of the game here!

Cons:

Not everyone’s going to love the Peerless’s funky look. With the acrylic components and engraved decal, you can’t get this to be as unobtrusive as our other picks. So, make sure it fits the look and feel of your whole mod before you buy!

The PEI drip tip is good, but the Delrin on the other isn’t as good as nylon like you’d find on the Dark Horse. The glossy finish sticks out from the metal, and it’s not safe to such high temps (not that the average person will actually get something like this to melt).

It doesn’t come with a 510 adapter for the extra chuff cap, so make sure you throw one in at the checkout if you don’t have any handy.

Some people don’t like aluminum in their vapes. It’s used in most of the housing and the barrel of the chuff cap on this one, so if you have a particular hatred of aluminum, you might want to go in another direction. We don’t think it makes any noticeable difference, though.

We’ve heard some people have issues with gold plating flaking, although that’s not something we’ve actually run into. It must have something to do with the plating bonding. Since we didn’t have any firsthand experience with the flaking issue, we’d put that down to quality control issues rather than a design flaw. Anyway, at this price, we don’t complain too much.

There’s no warranty at all.

4. Wotofo Lush Plus

versatile RDA

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“perfect for anyone who wants to build with flavor in mind!”

Wotofo’s Lush Plus is perfect for anyone who wants to build with flavor in mind! It’s a versatile deck like the GeekVape, but with some smart airflow upgrades and less of a funky appearance.

A lot is similar between the two, from the 24mm body to the split post structure under the hood. But where the GeekVape doesn’t have any particular bias, this one’s build for flavorful puffs. This is a sleek, sophisticated workhorse for the tasteful vaper!

Pros:

The Lush Plus is a split dual-post design, a lot like the GeekVape. Under the hood, it looks very similar indeed, with split positive and split negative posts. Each has staggered terminals, with the inners are placed higher than outers. That makes your foundations easier on dual-coil builds. It’s not quite as off the beaten track as the GeekVape, but it’s still above-average in the versatility department!

The deck on this one is milled to heck to increase the usable space you have in the juice well. It’s a small design tweak, but it means you can get even more e-liquid in this as you can with the GeekVape!

One big difference between this and most of the other RDA’s we recommend: it has a fixed airflow system. The reason that’s not a con is that it’s optimized, and not just stuck in place.

The Lush Plus has better airflow at the bottom of the RDA than anything in its price bracket, and most of the pricier options. The exterior has two ports each side of the deck: 4mm by 2mm air slots with 4x 3mm raised air holes above. The resulting pull is very smooth, as smooth as you can get on most RDA’s where the airflow is adjustable.

“absolutely perfect for flavor”

This RDA is absolutely perfect for flavor, without cramping volume too much. The airflow is the main reason it’s so good for taste, since it’s fixed right at that sweet spot. Of course, actual taste performance always depends on your coil build and wicking, but this one really helps you out in the flavor department.

“just plain enjoyable to use.”

It’s just plain enjoyable to use. The smooth airflow is nice to draw on, and the flavor hits really clean. There are plenty of smaller tweaks that make it a nice RDA to have in your life, too:

The fixed airflow design means you can pop the cap on and off without having to worry about lining things up. Plus, the concave top cap adds grip, which makes removing it super simple. It’s a nice little ergonomic upgrade you won’t find on others.

“these things look great”

It’s a sexier RDA than the GeekVape, by far. The Lush Plus comes in stainless steel and black finishes, both with a buffed surface that’s somewhere between chrome and matte. Basically, these things look great, whichever option you go with.

The Lush Plus is built super well, too. It’s not as flashy as the gold-plated innards on the Lush Plus, but everything here is rock-solid and machined a lot more tightly than you’d expect for the price point. It uses titanium post screws that are virtually indestructible. All the other components are stainless steel apart from the drip tip and the 510 threading at the base, where you’ll find a gold-plated pin.

We were surprised to be such big fans of the drip tip on the Lush Plus. We’re usually suspicious of anything proprietary, but this is one case where the manufacturer does seem to know best.

It’s a 9mm bore Delrin drip tip. That’s an odd size, but it’s actually great–fits well, and doesn’t impede airflow at all. We also love how it fits in: two o-rings inside the cap give it a nice tight berth–still easy to remove, but leak-proof.

Cons:

One note: standard 510 drip tips are NOT compatible with this one! You won’t be able to use an adapter, either. And since this is a proprietary 9mm component, you can’t swap in any standard 10mm’s either.

The airflow design is certainly innovative, but it’s not adjustable. If you don’t like it out of the box, you’re not going to be able to make any tweaks. Keep that in mind if you buy this one!

Between the airflow and some of the proprietary components, this isn’t as modifiable as our other picks.

There’s no warranty.

5. Hellvape X Heathen Dead Rabbit

HELLVAPE X HEATHEN DEAD RABBIT 24MM RDA

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“a smart and innovative atty which is right at the front of the pack.”

Getting into the high-end RDA’s, the Dead Rabbit is one of the best newcomers to the market in a long time. It’s a collaboration between Hellvape and one of the most popular vape reviewers and bloggers on Youtube, Heathen.

We’ve seen a lot of reviewer collaborations in the past few years, but this is the only reviewer-designed RDA that isn’t a gimmick. Others (looking at you, Pharaoh!) were disappointing, but this one’s a smart and innovative atty which is right at the front of the pack.

The Dead Rabbit is a 24mm, top terminal design with lots of posts and lots of room to maneuver. It takes inspiration from post-less deck designs, and has lots of clever design tweaks to make your life easier and your vaping better.

Pros:

The quadruple posts on this one are its most distinctive feature. Sure, there are other 4-post designs, but the Dead Rabbit is inspired by post-less options rather than any traditional quad atty. Its unique “r” shaped posts are very convenient to build on. They branch out from the center, so you have an easier job building, and more room in the center for dripping.

In fact, dripping on this is easier than practically anything on the market. You can quite literally blast in down the drip tip without having to avoid anything on the deck. It holds a heck of a lot of juice, too, for something that only has a 5mm well.

“dripping on this is easier than practically anything on the market”

Since the top cap doesn’t have to come off for dripping, you can essentially use the whole thing as a well. You don’t want to fill it up to the air holes or anything, but you can load this sucker up a lot more than others. The double seals keep it all neat and tidy, and there’s a lot of clearance under the air holes to prevent leakage.

While the format is anything but typical in the RDA world, a lot of common features carry over. The Dead Rabbit has gold-plated positive posts, and each post has a single terminal, at 2.5mm. They’re nice and big, so you can use whatever gauge coil you like. It’s shipped with side-mounted hex screws, but flatheads are also included if you prefer to work with them.

HELLVAPE X HEATHEN DEAD RABBIT pinAll in all, this is one of the most versatile RDA’s out there. You can use it for single and dual-coil configurations, with a nice amount of space for larger designs and gauges. It’s excellent for squonking, too. This one comes with the pin right in the box, so you can jump right into building a bottom-feeder.

“this is one of the most versatile RDA’s out there.”

It’s also convenient. We’ve mentioned a few of the user-friendly tweaks already: all the space in the middle makes for effortless dripping, and the outward-facing posts make building less fiddly. There’s more, though!

Heathen designed the Dead Rabbit’s posts to allow you to drop in your coils without the usual fussing around when you pre-cut the ends. You can just drop coils in at a rough guess, and pop them into the posts. Since there’s a gap under the “ear” of each post, you can snip from the bottom if anything is left.

hellvape dead rabbit coilA lot of other reviewers were up in arms because the packaging on the Dead Rabbit marketed “no pre-cutting”, when obviously you still have to do a rough cut. They’re missing the point. This takes so much of the fiddliness out of loading coils, and we think Heathen deserves more kudos for coming up with it!

Another distinctive feature is the airflow, which is set very high but goes down at an angle. It’s something that seems like it wouldn’t work in real life, but this is where it pays to have an avid fan do the brainstorming. Air really does hit the optimal angle, and goes easily under your coils.

The resulting pull is extremely smooth, and since the holes are so high, you can add even more juice. You can adjust it however you like, too. There’s even a knurled grip for easier airflow tweaks.

“a stellar performer”

So, let’s look at results! The Dead Rabbit is a stellar performer, if you want the short version. It produces plenty of volume, especially opened up. The pull is super duper smooth. Best of all is the taste. The airflow design and deck layout make for fantastic flavor. This is truly one of the best RDA’s you can get right now.

Hellvape-Dead-Rabbit different tipsIt’s a nice value. This isn’t super expensive, despite the excellent design. It comes with two different 810 drip tips, resin and Delrin. You also get an adapter to use your favorite 510 component in this one. The box includes a spare parts pack, allen key, and all the necessaries.

It’s a rugged little tank. There are double o-rings to prevent leeks, plus a PEEK insulator. Aside from gold plating on the 510 connection, positive posts, and the squonking pin, everything is made from 304 stainless steel.

Cons:

There’s no warranty.

It does rip when you open up the airflow all the way, but it’s not really a cloud-chaser. You can definitely get more volume from the Dark Horse.

The rabbit-ear post design is nice to work on, but this isn’t exactly a beginner component. We only recommend it to intermediate and advanced users.

6. Goon by 528 Customs

Goon RDA by 528 Customs different colors

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“a perfect choice for folks who want lots of volume”

You won’t find a list of the top RDA’s that doesn’t include the 24mm Goon, and for good reason. This thing is an absolute legend in the vaping world. We think it’s about on par with the Dead Rabbit (if not a bit better), and a nice cloud-chasing alternative for a similar price. Its unique bridge-style deck makes building a breeze, and it’s made very well.

This one’s a perfect choice for folks who want lots of volume, and the versatility to build elaborate coils with thick gauges.

Pros:

Like the Dead Rabbit, the Goon is a bit off the beaten path when it comes to RDA designs. It ditches the usual posts for a pair of “bridges” on the deck. These bridge clamps allow for massive gauges that won’t fit easily in the slots on most pins. They’re also easy to replace!

directvapor_goon bridge clampMost importantly, they’re dead-simple to build on. You have all sorts of room to maneuver, which makes the Goon surprisingly accessible for new builders, though you should really have a clear idea what you’re doing before you mess around with something like this.

“dead-simple to build on.”

The Goon is ideal for using bigger coils and bigger gauges, which means one thing: big clouds, and lots of them! This is a superb high-end choice for the cloud-chaser. You can get volume approaching Dark Horse territory (the fact that the Goon doesn’t match the Dark Horse for sheer volume and airflow is less surprising when you consider that this model is typically the cheaper of the two.

“a superb high-end choice for the cloud-chaser.”

Goon airflowThe Goon shares some similarities with the Dead Rabbit in its airflow design. The Goon’s airflow ring is the height of the top cap, and a separate component. The top cap fits neatly inside, so even when you remove the top cap, you still have a relatively leak-proof chamber.

Combined with a deep well, the airflow “wall” means you can get lots of juice in this at once, much like the Dead Rabbit. Likewise, twisting the top cap gives you versatility in the airflow department, so you don’t have to adjust or remove the airflow ring. You can load this sucker up, and only take it apart when you want to rebuild everything.

Unlike a lot of cheaper cloud-chasers, it’s not going to do too much to your flavor. It’s more of a cloud-chaser than the Dead Rabbit, but it’s still very respectable in the taste department.

It has all the basics you’d expect at this level: 510 threading, compatibility with hybrids, and a PEEK insulator. The kit comes with spare o-rings and screws.

On the business end is a nice 9mm Delrin wide-bore drip tip. It’s got a smooth draw, and a nice fit in the mouth. Delrin isn’t our favorite material, but this one’s nothing to complain about. There’s an additional 1/2” drip tip in the box as well, but we think most folks will want to stick with the wide-bore.

Everything on this RDA is made with high-quality materials. You get a copper contact pin, gold-plated bridges and clamps, then stainless steel on the rest of the construction.

goon different colors

The Goon is a real looker! It’s definitely one of our all-time favorites in the aesthetics department. You can get it in a few different finish options: black, stainless, gold, and rose gold. They’re all high-quality stainless steel, and they feature really nice engraving work.

Cons:

It’s not quite the best of the best, even though it’s very good. The Cosmonaut is our ultimate pick, since it’s a true post-less design and comes with gold plating over everything. This is the next best thing, though, if you don’t want to spend so much money on the Cosmonaut.

The Goon isn’t for squonking, and doesn’t come with a botton-feed pin. Plan to drip this as normal.

It’s getting to the pricier end of the spectrum. Only the Cosmonaut is more expensive.

You can’t pour juice in quite as easily as the Dead Rabbit. There’s not a huge difference, but some coil configurations are easier to deal with after you remove the top cap on the Goon.

There’s only a 60-day warranty.

7. Cosmonaut by District F5VE

CSMNT Cosmonaut RDA by District F5VE

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“ the best RDA we’ve ever reviewed”

The Cosmonaut has been hands-down our favorite RDA ever since it came out. We’re not alone, either. As any passionate atty builder will tell you, it’s the ultimate workhorse.

This is the best RDA we’ve ever reviewed, both in overall build quality and performance. Best of all, while it’s as premium as you could ask for, it’s still very user-friendly to the experienced vaper! If you’re looking for the best of the best, this is it!

Pros:

Both the Dead Rabbit and Goon RDA’s are inspired by post-less designs. They use innovative “ears” or bridges to make their decks more maneuverable and versatile as you build. The Cosmonaut takes things to the next level. It’s completely post-less!

“basically a wide-open playground for ambitious coil builders!”

So, you can basically mount right into the deck! There are some protrusions to give you a sense of where the poles are, but this is basically a wide-open playground for ambitious coil builders! You can use the largest gauge coils you can find, even with thick cotton wicking.

CSMNT coilHaving no posts means the whole deck feels very spacious, and it gets everything out of your way! While you’re going to need some experience to know what you’re doing on this thing, it’s one of the easiest for experienced folks to build on.

There are massive 4mm lead inserts on the Cosmonaut, too. They’re what you want for the safest tandem builds, and they’re so big that they work for any type or gauge of coil. If you’ve ever been frustrated by the constraints of your RDA, you’ll absolutely love this thing.

Since you can use absolutely any coils and configuration on the Cosmonaut, it’s hard to be super specific about how it performs. But in our experience, both flavor and volume are absurdly good, no matter which coils you use! This is volume that’s on par with the Dark Horse, and flavor that edges out the Dead Rabbit. In two words: fantastic hits!

CSMNT wide airflow collar componentThe Cosmonaut uses a wide airflow collar component, like the Dead Rabbit and Goon. It has big ports, but even though they’re right in the middle, you can load this thing up with its of juice without worrying about leakage too much. Plus, it has double o-ring seals just like those two models.

“Build quality doesn’t get better than this.”

Build quality doesn’t get better than this. Everything under the hood is plated in 24K gold, from the deck to even the screw and pin. The pin is copper, and the housing is all high-grade stainless steel. It’s rock-solid, and we’ve never heard of any flaking with the gold coating on one of these.

There are two drip tips in the box, both of which are stellar. One is a Delrin wide-bore drip tip, and the other is a yellow Ultem drip tip with a standard bore. The wide-bore Delrin is obviously the better choice for ripping fat ones, but the Ultem impressed us the most. It does an excellent job cutting heat, so here’s to more drip tips in that material soon!

CSMNT drip tipAs with the Goon, the Cosmonaut fits anything you want it to. It’s fitted with standard 510 threading, so short of squonk mods, you can get it set up with any box you like.

You’d expect anything this expensive to look fantastic, and the Cosmonaut doesn’t disappoint. It comes in stainless steel or matte black. Both have a really nice buff on them, and the logo engraving is awesome.

Cons:

This is easy for an experienced person to build on, but’s absolutely not for beginners. Don’t buy this unless you’ve got some experience rebuilding atomizers under your belt!

The Cosmonaut is very expensive. In fact, it costs several times the price of our cheapest picks. This is for high-end users with high-end mods.

We rather like the color, but we also know the look of the Ultem drip tip won’t be for everyone. That’s one reason we wish they’d have used the same material for the black one as well (made from Delrin).

This one’s not for squonking.

It’s covered by a 60-day warranty, but nothing beyond that.

Buying guide

RDA’s are a niche product, no question about it! We want this guide to be helpful both to connoisseurs and to new mod builders who are trying to get into the world of coils and configurations. That’s why we’ve included such a range of options. At the same time, we know that having so many different recommendations can be overwhelming. So, with that in mind, we’ve come up with this list of pointers. It’ll help you establish what you’re looking for, and to narrow down our picks to make your choice easier.

Without further ado, here’s how to shop for your ideal RDA:

Think about price

As with any kind of vape equipment, your options will become a lot clearer once you’ve established your budget! So, think about how much you can afford to spend on your RDA. These tanks cost between $15 and $100, though the most expensive we recommend is well under $100. Still, there’s quite a range to choose from.

In general, we do think it’s worth paying more if you can afford to. The pricier RDA’s have better build quality, more innovative designs, and better versatility. The more you pay, the more versatile you can expect a tank to be. You’ll also find that the priciest tanks have the best design tweaks to solve things like leakage, airflow issues, and so forth.

However, if you’re relatively inexperienced, premium RDA’s won’t be appropriate in the first place. There’s no need to spend more than $40 if you’re buying your first RDA.

Know your coils

If you’re shopping for your first RDA, you probably don’t know all that much about coils. Don’t worry! You don’t have to rush into things, and it’s safest to learn at your own pace. Still, we recommend that anybody have some elementary knowledge of the basics. So, before you start shopping, watch an intro video like this:

Once you’ve got a handle on the basics, you’ll be able to understand the specifics of our reviews a bit better. That way, you know exactly what you can and can’t build on each of our recommendations.

Know your skill level

While RDA’s have different features and specs, they’re mostly differentiated by skill level. We’ve indicated in our reviews which of our recommendations are suitable for novice builders, and which are best for intermediate or advanced folks.

Please, please don’t bite off more than you can chew! RDA’s can be dangerous if you don’t have a proper grasp of Ohm’s Law, coil types, and so forth. It’s better to start with something that’s on the easy side than to go for something premium that you don’t understand.

Even our “beginner” picks leave you lots of room to grow!

Think about compatibility

Since and RDA is just one component on your mod, be sure your new tank will be compatible with everything you’re intending to connect to it. If you’re trying to build something for squonking, make sure it’s intended for that and comes with a suitable pin. If you’ve got a certain drip tip you love, make sure your RDA is threaded appropriately or comes with an adapter.

Consider your goals

In general, there are two ends to which all RDA’s aim: cloud-chasing, or flavor production. Think about what your priorities are. Do you want massive clouds or rich flavor more? Paired with a good coil build, the best RDA’s will give you both. Most are definitely optimized in one direction, though. So, it’s better to know which side of the spectrum you want to end up on.

Remember to think about size and looks

Size certainly isn’t everything in the world of RDA’s. You can find these tanks in a whole range of diameters and heights, and size is no indicator of functionality. Sure, you’ll need a bit more finesse to build on a smaller deck, but it shouldn’t affect performance. With that in mind, figure out what size RDA makes sense for your mod. In general, compact RDA’s go best with mini mods, while full-size boxes are complemented by 22-24mm RDA’s.

It’s also important to have a mental image of how you want your tank to look on your mod. Are you going for an all-metal industrial look? Something more funky? Most of the models we recommend come in a range of finish options, so be sure to click on the links in our reviews to see pictures of all your choices.

Always buy authorized products

Last but certainly not least, a reminder that vaping components aren’t toys, and that RDA’s are not for the casual user! They can be dangerous if they’re not used properly, and likewise if they’re not made correctly. So, always be sure to buy from an authorized reseller! The best way to know? Follow the links in our reviews. We always link to product listings at vendors who are authorized to sell these RDA’s and other products from the same manufacturers.

What’s Next

Think you’ve found your perfect RDA in this guide? Awesome! All you have to do to check prices or make a purchase at an authorized reseller is click the links in our review. We’re glad you found what you were looking for!

If you enjoyed this guide, and want to see more of our comprehensive buying guides, head to our homepage! That’s where you’ll find links to all sorts of helpful guides and how-to articles written by our team.

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