If you're looking for an alternative to smoking or the right choice of vape pen, mod, or tank we have the best buying recommendations from vaping pros. The vape industry is constantly innovating and evolving and we will update this guide frequently.
Switch away from smoking with Vaping
Easiest way to still get nicotine and improve your health and wealth
The hardest habit for most people in their entire life will be to quit smoking. Finding a way to replace the addiction like that to nicotine is very difficult. Vaping? Patches? Gum? Go cold turkey? Switch to coffee? Eat candy and get fat?
Recent research has indicated that e-cigs are the most effective way to get away from smoking, even if you don't break your nicotine addiction.
E-cigarettes operated properly has been shown by U.K. scientists to have 99% less carcinogens than cigarette smoke. The vaper can control how much nicotine they intake without getting all of the horrible byproducts, carcinogens, poisons and side effects of combustibion.
The easiest and fastest way to switch to vaping with with a vape starter kit.
Joyetech Ego Aio Eco Kit Rating: 9/10
The Joyetech eGo AIO ECO is the latest in the very successful eGo series of starter kits.
The eGo AIO ECO is a kit with a simple, straight forward design that is perfect for people looking to switch off cigs to vaping.
Filling the tank is easy. The mouth piece acts as a complete top which screws on to the coil with stainless steel threading. Juice capacity on the ECO is 1.2ml, held by the glass tank that seals around the top of the battery and silicon gasket around the top.
Airflow on this device is fixed with air coming in the top, traveling down the coil and back up the chimney.
This kind of design provides a restricted mouth to lung draw that is very similar to a cigarette, good flavor production and won't leak.
The fire button has a rubberized silicone type of feel and is prominently featured on the device. It is placed for comfortable firing with either the thumb or fore finger.
Charging is simple with the side micro usb port. Pressing the fire button will blink the internal LED light indicating the current charge. While the LED is color is able to be changed to a lot of different colors, the LED color does not indicate charge like other devices.
The size of the device is fairly small compared to other AIO devices, making this a travel friendly device that can be thrown in a pocket or bag. Turn it on and off with the regular five clicks for safe travel.
The size, draw, and ability of the ECO to use high nic and even nicotine salt vape juice makes this kit great for smokers looking to switch to vaping.
- great for switch off cigs! perfect device for new vapers and ex-smokers
- this kit is designed for higher nicotine mouth to lung vaping
- very affordable kit and a the replacement coils are inexpensive compared to other coils
- simple design
- easy to use top fill - top screws onto coil with stainless steel threads
- comes in a wide array of colors
- airflow is not adjustable but provides a good mouth to lung draw similar to a cigarette by default
Innokin Endura T20s Kit Rating: 9/10
The Innokin Endura T20S is a fantastic, highly portable vape starter kit that provides a very enjoyable vape experience.
It is very simply to use with its single fire button, twist off top fill and straight forward design.
To replace the coils, the bottom of the tank unscrews and the new coil inserts like pretty much any other sub-ohm tank.
The kit uses a built in 1500mah battery, which is plenty for all day vaping, and can be charged using the included usb cable. The charge level is clearly indicated by the tri-color lighting around the fire button.
The default tip is an ergonomic lip shape and is perfect for the mouth to lung style vaping provided by this kit.
This kit provides a great mouth to lung vape experience, good flavor and a familiar draw. Thanks to its simplicity, this kit is a perfect fit for new vapers, ex-smokers and those looking for a portable mouth to lung kit.
- great flavor
- excellent mouth to lung experience
- perfect for new vapers and ex-smokers - makes a great gift!
- erogonomic lip shaped drip tip (also includes a cone shaped tip)
- simple to use single fire button
- top fill with twist off cap
- capable of high VG juice liquid
- tri-color battery indicator
- comes is a variety a colors
- the top cap is delrin instead of a stainless steel
Aspire Breeze 2 Aio Rating: 9/10
The Aspire Breeze 2 is an all in one type of system that has a pod so it is kind of a hybrid between the two types of starter kits.
The Breeze 2 is a compact device that is a rectangular shape with rounded edges compared to other all in one vapes that are more of a traditional tube or pen shape.
This shape and size the device lets it slip into pockets or bags easily. There is even a snap on lid to protect the device from any debris or lint getting in the tip, which is a plus.
Dual airflows, which are a series of five holes on each side of the mouth piece, are revealed upon removing the lid. Adjusting the airflow is done by rotating the ring around the chimney section that is found underneath the mouth piece.
The mouth piece is a contoured shape that fits the mouth quite comfortably but is a little hard to pop off.
To replace the coils, simply unscrew the chimney section under the mouth piece to pull out the coil.
3ml of juice is held inside of the pod and the fill port is hidden on the underside of the pod.
The whole pod can be removed by simultaneously depressing the buttons that are on each side of the device and pulling up on the pod.
As expected, the coils are easily replaced but so are the pods which is pretty nice, particularly for those vapers that like changing flavors through out the day.
The Breeze 2 includes two different coil types. One coil is a 1.0 ohm coil head with a narrow airflow for mouth to lung vaping and is well suited to thinner liquids with the best performance with a 50/50 VG/PG mix.
The other coil is 0.6 ohms and has a wider air flow for a more direct lung style of vaping. The 0.6ohm coil also comes with bigger wicking ports for thicker liquids (but not max VG).
Firing the device is comfortable with the thumb and the button is easy to find thanks to the pattern of concentric circles on the face of the button.
Built in LEDs will light the device when fired indicating the charge level, however the lights are hard to see due to the tinted pod particularly when outside. This device will fire while charging as well which is good.
Overall, the Breeze 2 is a very convenient pod system. While it may be wider than other pod systems it has great performance, is capable of both mouth to lung as well as a restricted direct lung, has 3ml of tank capacity and the coil heads are replaceable.
- great for on the go vaping, new vapers, and ex-smokers
- allows for restricted direct lung or mouth to lung draws
- simple to use
- compact travel size that easily fits small spaces
- has lots of features for an AIO system including two coil choices, adjustable airflow
- 3ml capacity is large for this style
- 0.6 ohm coils for standard vape juice and 1.0 ohm for use with nicotine salt based juice
- dual firing activation including a large button on the front
- 1000mah battery - direct voltage depends on charge level - tri-color led battery indicator
- mouth piece is a little hard to pop off due to a lack of grip
- LED lights are hard to see but the pod is easy to remove to see the reading
Innokin Endura T18 Rating: 9/10
This offering from Innokin is an affordable kit with awesome mouth to lung vape which is perfect for those wishing to switch from smoking to vaping.
- Perfect for a new vaper or ex-smoker. It makes a great gift!
- Fantastic assortment of tip styles included. Something for everybody!
- easy filling and charging
- sturdy design
- cartridge can seem to get a bit stuck when replacing it
Best Mods for Vaping
vaporizer box mods
Selecting the right mod depends on the role the mod will be filling. If you are at home, on the road, at work, looking for a stealthy light-weight mod or a high power TC mod for huge clouds, head over to the mod page to find the best mod for you. Some mods can meet every role and some can excel at a few.
New vapers that currently have no gear or are looking to get into vaping from smoking are going to best served by getting a full size vape starter kit. Once vaping turns into more of a lifestyle choice or hobby, upgrading piecemeal is the way to go.
Single Battery Mod
Geekvape Aegis Rating: 9/10
Got fumble fingers or like the great outdoors? The GeekVape Aegis is a very sturdy mod that is shockproof, waterproof and dust proof. This is the perfect device for the vaper who wants a durable, quality mod.
- Shockproof (drop resistant), Waterproof and Dust proof! This is the perfect outside vape mod. The Aegis has a very high build quality.
- Very durable, sturdy feeling mod with a bit of weight to it
- extremely fast firing! (the fastest we have tested). Firing seems near instantaneous and GeekVape claims 0.015 seconds.
- will fire down to 0.05 ohms
- large, ergonomic front firing button
- the Aegis is a single battery mod
- perfect fit for the 26650 battery size as well as the 18650 with the included battery adapter
- can handle all the temperature control wires, plus has TCRs and variable power curves
- Features a well laid out display screen with easily adjustable screen brightness.
- Takes a bit of extra time to replace the batteries that most people are used to as you have to unscrew a water tight cap.
- USB firmware upgrading is a serious pain due to watertight design but default firmware is pretty good.
Two Battery Mods
Smok Gx 2/4 Apv Box Mod Rating: 9/10
The Smok GX 2/4 APV (advanced personal vaporizer) box mod seems to be the spiritual successor to the Alien 220W. It is stylish, well designed, and powerful.
It has one of the smallest and slimmest profiles of any two battery mod in the industry. This is the perfect size for almost any hand from small lady hands, all the way to large meaty man hands.
When the Alien was first released it was received extremely well. It was the everyday workhorse mod for a large number of vapers including myself. This mod has become started to take over that spot.
It has the ability to fire up to 350W when using four batteries and 220W in two battery mode. The mod features a slim profile squeeze or front firing bar that is natural feeling to depress.
Smok bills the GX2/4 as the smallest two battery mods on the market and when in 4 battery mode it isn't much bigger than some three battery mods.
If you are looking for a powerful mod that is also easy to use and also looks attractive, this may be the mod for you.
This mod is also featured as part of the Smok GX 2/4 Big Baby Beast vape starter kit.
- squeeze fired with a slim profile front fire bar (feels natural)
- two battery (220W) and four battery configurations (350W) with four battery door included
- very well designed, sleek and stylish looking , high build quality
- upgraded paint (very smooth like a waxed car) in a variety of colors
- can take 25mm tanks without overhang
- comfortable in the hand
- spring loaded 510 pin
- fire bar is slightly offset in two battery mode and perfectly centered when in four battery mode (may be a con to some)
Smoant Charon 218w Tc Rating: 9/10
The Smoant Charon 218w TC box mod is a very strong performing dual 18650 device. Shaped in a familiar kind of configuration for a two battery device, it comes in gold black, stainless and bronze and has lots of wraps that you can put on the battery door to make it more customized.
Using the Ant218 chipset, this device is able to fire down to 0.1ohm and can handle Ni200, titanium (Ti), stainless steel 316 (Sus316) and nichrome (NCR), as well as TCRs and custom temperature curves (supported through use of software).
Similar to the Battlestar in many ways, the Charon is very fast firing with no real discernible delay between pressing the fire button and getting action.
The menu system is super easy to use and switching modes is a snap.
Overall this is a very good device selection for any vaper looking for a versatile yet easy to use mod.
- very fast firing like the Battlestar with lots of protections built in
- fires down to 0.05ohm and features automatic resistance lock
- solid feeling device with no battery or button rattle (high build quality)
- clicky fire button
- very easy to use menu system and mode switching
- will handle up to 25mm tanks without overhang
- temperature control capable (Ni, Ti, SS) with TCRs for custom temperature control
- firmware upgradeable
- a good (and more affordable) alternative to DNA based devices
- battery venting is fairly prominent
- well fitting, easy to remove battery door with a enjoyable feeling leather wrap
- spring loaded 510
- Smoant products while very good, aren't available at most retailers.
- custom temperature curves are controlled with software instead of on device, but not many people actually mess with curves
Smoant Battlestar 200w Rating: 9/10
The Smoant Battlestar was first released back in the second half of 2016 and has been one of the vape community's favorite two battery mods ever since. It is powerful, feels good in the hand and is good looking.
Able to handle down to 0.1ohms, this mod is fast firing and is able to handle pretty much any build. The Battlestar with go up to 200w in wattage mode but can also handle nichrome, titanium and three types of stainless steel in temperature control mode. It even has TCR for a more custom TC experience.
It was the first two battery mod to feature the faux triangle shape that has become something of a trend. This shape gives it a comfortable hand feel and is easy to fire with the finger or thumb depending on positioning.
- powerful device, fires down to .1 ohms at wattage up to 200w and supports temperature control for Ni, Ti, three types of stainless steel and has TCR for customization
- ergonomic shape that feels good in the hand and can be fired with index finger or thumb based on your hand position
- recessed area around spring loaded 510 pin for handling seepage
- strong build quality and no more button rattle (Thanks Smoant for listening to customers)
- magnetic secured battery door
- usb charging and firmware upgradeable
- reverse battery, low resistance, low input voltage, short circuit, overheating protection
- only fires up to 1.3 ohm but that is low wattage vaping territory and this mod may be overpowered for that situation
Smok Alien 220w Mod Rating: 9/10
This squeeze-fired two-battery mod from SMOK, quickly became one of their most popular mods ever for good reason. This mod has inspired many of their more recently released devices, making this mod a classic. It is featured in one of the best selling two battery mod vape starter kits of all time.
The Alien has one of the most informative and well designed display screens. This mod utilizes a familiar button click pattern for powering on and off as well as adjusting the settings in the menu system.
It is a 220w, firmware upgradeable, high functionality vape mod that is easy to use and is very comfortable to fire. The Alien 220w has one of the best squeeze fire bars on the market, which has been imitated many times but never quite replicated.
Swapping batteries is fast with a quick release bottom battery door, saving precious time when you need to get some fresh power and get back to what you were doing.
- Two Battery - 220w device with Ni/Ti/SS TC modes as well as TCR
- Squeeze Fired instead of button triggered, an enjoyable feature and welcomed change from just seeing front fire mods
- Most informative and well-layed out display screens we have seen
- easily upgradeable firmware
- aesthetically pleasing with different color accents to match your style
- looks good with 24s and 25s
- secure bottom loading battery compartment
- bottom battery door can be awkward to open
- have seen reports of button bar rattle but have not experienced with pictured unit
Best Tanks (Sub-Ohm, RTA, Clearomizers)
Our favorites for everyday vaping
Clearomizer is a way of describing just your everyday common tank atomizer, which can have a coil pack or a build deck for using your own coils.
Typically when anyone talks about a tank they pretty much are talking about a clearomizer. There are dozens if not hundreds of different models on the market. With the wide variety of designs you can find a tank that will do clouds (probably won't win a competition) or really great flavor.
These are usually of stainless steel construction with the deck at the bottom close to pin with the tank above it, using gravity to resoak the wicks.
Best Mouth to Lung Sub-ohm Tank
This tank is perfect for new vapers, ex-smokers, low wattage vapers and mouth to lung (MTL) vapers.
Innokin Zenith Mtl Rating: 9/10
The Zenith is a fantastic, low wattage, mouth to lung (MTL) sub-ohm tank design by Phil Busardo and the Vaping Greek.
This tank is the perfect fit for current or recent ex-smokers. When paired with a higher nicotine content tobacco flavored e-liquid, shut the air down to one air hole and this tank could really make a change in someone's life.
It is also great for sub-ohm vapers looking for a good MTL flavor chaser.
Filling the tank is quite straight forward as the Zenith uses a twist to fill design featuring a quite large single fill port.
The tank portion itself is made of glass which is surrounded on the outsides by a metal exoskeleton as seen in other tanks. This gives the tank a juice window appearance which is good for checking the juice level.
The glass is partially protected by the metal but if the glass is somehow broken, it isn't replaceable.
There are five bottom airflow holes on one side of the tank, each of the same dimension, with a easily gripped bottom airflow ring for adjustment.
The airflow can use a single airflow hole up to using all five, which is considered fully open.
This tank is capable of some serious old school mtl flavor chasing with a single air hole (even one partially closed). A very restricted direct lung is achievable with the airflow wide open. The best flavor however comes from three or less airflow holes.
Included with the Zenith are two pretty good 510 drip tips. One of the tips is the standard straight tip and the other is a lip contoured tip. Both tips are quite usable.
Included with the tank are two kanthal coils, one 1.6ohm and one 0.8ohm.
The coils are pretty simple to install as they are pluggable and are notched to correspond with the chassis. The notches are used to align the wicking ports on the coil with a psuedo juice flow control that is closed when the top fill is opened and vice versa.
The weird thing about the coils is that the break-in time seems quite short on the 0.8ohm coil and 1.6 ohm coil takes half a tank or more to break in.
The coils are rated for best use under 18W, so pairing it with a small single battery regulated mod would be a good fit.
While none of the features are new on this tank, it is a great mtl sub-ohm tank that provides a rich, flavorful vape experience.
- Mouth to lung flavor chasing!
- pretty good airflow control allowing a single hole to be left open all the way to all five
- airflow is easily gripped with adjustment stops on either side
- twist to fill system is great and even closes off the wicking channels on the coils
- the coils use a plug style insertion system which is great
- includes two pretty good Delrin 510 drip tips; one regular and one contoured
- comes in stainless steel, black or red
- fill port doesn't match the color of the tank on the black or red version
- glass isn't replaceable as it is a metal cage (partially protected)
- break-in time on the 1.6 ohm coils fairly long compared to 0.8ohm coil
Sub-Ohm Tanks for Flavor
Freemax Fireluke Mesh Rating: 10/10
The FreeMax FireLuke Mesh is a fantastic 24mm sub-ohm tank with several unique design choices, coming in a hatched (to resemble a mesh grid) stainless steel body in several colors.
This tank is also available with varied colors of Resin and Carbon Fiber for vapers that don't find the hatched grid look appealing.
The FireLuke has classic clearomizer design features such as adjustable two slot bottom airflow, basic coil configuration and screw on top fill with large kidney shaped juice ports.
So what is so special about the FireLuke? The mesh sub-ohm coils!
Building with wire mesh is a real pain but these sub-ohm coils are simply incredible!
The flavor coming from these coils is top notch and the best part is that the coils keep performing well for a really long time!
With most sub-ohm coils, the flavor really starts the drop after around 50-60ml or a few days but these coils keep vaping like new for far longer up to two weeks so far.
This tank keeps putting out incredible tasty vape and the coils keep on trucking for weeks? Imagine the savings when you don't have to pop a new coil in every few days!
- Great Flavor!
- the coils last a really long time!
- Big savings with long lasting coils
- classic design with slotted bottom airflow
- easy to use classic screw on top fill with really wide fill ports
- lots of different designs with either hatched stainless steel, carbon fiber and resin
- lots of different color choices and matching coil colors
- 810 drip tip capable and comes with one
- default grid hatching may not be for everyone but the tank is available with a Resin or colored Carbon Fiber exterior
- no 510 adapter but not really a big deal
Horizontech Falcon Sub-Ohm Tank Rating: 10/10
Looking at the HorizonTech Falcon nothing seems to really jump out about it. At first glance actually resembles the Uwell Valyrian quite a bit, but the looks are secondary on this tank.
The top fill on the Falcon is threaded but the top can be undone with just a quarter to half turn making refills pretty quick.
The best thing about the Falcon, is the awesome flavor being produced by this sub-ohm tank. While it also produces quite a bit of vapor, like most tanks these days, the flavor is top shelf.
The Falcon family of coils are really something new that we haven't seen before. Instead of plain organic cotton for wicking material, the coils that come with the tank (F1 and M1) use a combination of 70% organic cotton and 30% wood pulp.
The F2 and F3 coils, which aren't included, contain flax fiber and flax paper respectively.
Adding the wood pulp helps the coils really soak up the juice quick which helps to reduce the chance of getting a dry hit on chain drags.
This new combination of material really doesn't have much a break in period either! Right from the start the flavor is pretty fresh.
The F1 coil that comes with the tank comes with the enhanced wicking material and in a parallel coil configuration. The flavor from the F1 is pretty good.
The best coil for the Falcon may not be the F1 but the M1 mesh coils.
Like the FreeMax FireLuke Mesh, the Falcon when utilizing the mesh sub-ohm coil is fantastic. The mesh M1 coils produce simply incredible flavor and last what seems like forever.
The best part of them lasting so long is they don't experience a degradation in flavor like your standard sub-ohm coils.
With the Falcon you can install some enhanced wicking sub-ohm coils, like the F1, F2, or F3 and get decent performance but you really should stick with the M1 mesh coils.
Amazing flavor and the coils really last.
- Great flavor!
- Amazing coils! (particularly the M1 Mesh coils)
- these innovative coils utilize a combination of organic cotton and wood pulp for maximum wicking
- good vapor production and nice airflow
- high capacity 5ml and 7ml respectively depending on tank glass
- half turn top fill
- wide range of metallic colors
- recommended rest time after first filling the tank is 10 minutes which is a bit longer than normal
Aspire Cleito Exo Rating: 9/10
The Cleito EXO is the update to widely popular Cleito sub-ohm tank. Some big changes have been made but this tank still delivers amazing flavor at an amazing price.
The design for the Cleito was very straight forward, as well as traditional, and delivered great results. The EXO got rid of some standard features such as bottom controlled airflow along with the glass tank in favor of top down airflow built right into the PCTG barrel that is impact and chemical resistant. No more breakage and it is also designed to prevent leakage. The new airflow design provides a non-adjustable restricted lung hit that is a similar draw to the Augvape Merlin.
The design of the tank is based around the coil, which uses it as the entire chimney. Aspire altered classic Aspire Cleito coils, which it is still able to use and even comes with one, to have a wider chimney housing. It still contains the same clapton wire but now has a lower resistance and has an extra wicking port.
However when the EXO coil is in place the tank capacity drops from 3.5 ml with the classic coil down to 2 ml making this tank TPD complaint for the U.K. Both coil types perform well, but I prefer the .4 ohm classic coil.
At under $20 for the tank and the coils are widely available thanks to backwards compatability, picking up one of these toppers is an easy choice.
- huge flavor! The clapton wire inside the coil insert really shines.
- smooth draw with a restricted lung hit. A very enjoyable vape.
- comes with a .16 ohm EXO coil and a .4 ohm classic Cleito coil
- no glass to break! This feature is quite nice for the more accident prone among us, believe me.
- uses a delrin sleeve instead of an actual drip tip
- if you are looking for controllable airflow and/or glass check out the classic Aspire Cleito!
Sub-Ohm Tank for Clouds
Vaporesso Cascade Rating: 9/10
The Vaporesso Cascade is a 25mm diameter sub-ohm tank that can hold 7ml of e-juice and can handle up to 200W (although the GTM 8 coil gives the best performace under 150W).
Filling the tank to capacity is easy with the slide top fill port.
The liquid sits in the glass up top as usual and the juice cascades down to sit around the coils, instead of the coil just being parked in the juice.
It comes with two GTM coils, one 0.4 ohm (40-80W) and one GTM8 coil (0.15 ohm quadruple vertical coil) that can go from 80 to 200W.
Vaporesso also included a GT coil adapter that lets you use GT family coils for the Vaporesso NRG tank as well as Smok TFV8 Baby Beast coils which is pretty cool.
The coils themselves have double o-rings and are plug style just like the Uwell Crown 3, which is a convenient feature.
Around the base is triple adjustable airflow which provides more than enough airflow to give a pretty huge cloud. The adjustment ring is smooth and has some raised shapes around the ring which provides plenty of grip.
Using the GTM 8 with the quad coil and the airflow open, the flavor is pretty good and the clouds are gigantic! The Vaporesso Cascade provides plenty of vapor production that is sure to satisfy pretty much any cloud chaser.
- Huge clouds! Particularly on the GTM 8 coil, but could get similar results with the coil adapter
- Pretty good flavor
- easy to use plug style coils
- cool coil adapter for using Vaporesso NRG coils and Smok TFV8 Baby Beast coils
- comes stainless, matte black, Rainbow metal as well as metallic blue and red
- kinda weird to have such a big tank and no 810 drip tip
- has a bubble glass appearance that may not appeal to everyone but the design does accomodate more juice
Uwell Crown 3 Rating: 9/10
Version 2 wasn't as well received as the original but now the Uwell Crown 3 has been released and has brought a lot of attention. Everyone is talking about how the new version has brought back the glory to the Crown sub-ohm tanks and this may be the best version yet.
This tank is a real beast. Amazing flavor, great airflow, lots of vapor.
The Crown 3 is a 24.5mm wide vape tank that can hold up to 5ml of juice. It features an anti-leak top fill system that has two 3mm by 6.5mm fill ports.
The "precision adjustable triple airflow system" that has three 11mm x 2mm bottom airflow slots which provide all the air needed for any vaper.
The Crown 3 coils use the new "plug and pull" system that has no threads! Just unscrew the bottom of the tank, pull the coil, plug in the replacement and that's it. Super easy!
Uwell has included 2 stainless steel (sus316) coils one .25ohm (80-90W) and one .5ohm (70-80W) which are parallel vertical coils with 3 juice channels for fast, even wicking.
Another feature is a two piece locking system, which consists of a locking nut and key, that keeps the tank from coming apart when unscrewing the top or bottom. Interesting but if you don't like using it, you can just remove it as it is not necessary.
Overall, this a very good sub-ohm tank (under 100w) that goes well with two battery mod.
- Great Flavor!
- Lots of vapor production!
- coils are super easy to replace and have a very short break in period
- The build quality of this tank is high. It has a really well thought out design and excellent machining.
- has a minimum juice indicator on the side of the chimney / coil housing that helps prevent those dry hits
- comes with 2 SS (SUS316) coils (.25ohm and .5 ohm), a nice 510 but is easily replaceable, one replacement quartz glass, a uwell crown key (a tool for locking the tank to prevent disassembly) and the usual spare parts
- The top fill system always seems to have a bit of juice on it but not a big deal.
- The coils may be slightly underrated. They seem to perform best at the upper end of the recommended wattage range.
Uwell Valyrian Rating: 9/10
The Uwell Valyrian is the new sub-ohm tank from Uwell that takes several design cues from its sister tank, the enormously popular Uwell Crown line.
Uwell designers tried to up the ante when they decided to add some extra features and a new quad coil system to make this a high quality sub-ohm tank with high performance.
One of the major pluses of this tank is the push button flip top. Filling is made fast, easy and convenient with its hinged design. The top is lined so leaking isn't a worry, however the hinge feels a little loose but doesn't effect the utility of this design.
The Valyrian features a new 0.15ohm quad coil design with the coils attached with the standard style threading.
Having quad coils packed into a wide housing really boosts flavor and vapor production. With lots of surface area on the coils to breath and come into contact with the wicking, ramp up time is very low and the vapor is thick and flavorful.
The coils also features wide wicking ports which help for those rapid succession chain hits we all love.The draw back to fast wicking, thick vapor production and high power is the Valyrian is a bit of a thirsty beast.
In addition to the new coils, Uwell also features a new design element: swappable shaped airflow pins. There are two pins included, in addition to the default pin. These shaped pins are actually the contact with your mod and extend into the chimney opening in the coil.
By default, the normal pin is installed, which doesn't extend. This one can be replaced with a spiral shaped pin to swirl the air giving it a kind of vortex or a wave pin which takes up some extra space boosting the flavor by condensing the air. Pretty cool little customization feature for sub-ohm vapers.
Overall, Uwell has released a high quality, high powered sub-ohm tank that really provides a very enjoyable experience with lots of flavor and vapor production.
- hinged push button release top fill cap (Very Nice!)
- very good, easily controllable triple airflow
- lots of vapor production from the wide sub-ohm quad coils
- fast coil break-in period on the coils
- widely available coils
Aspire Cleito Sub-Ohm Tank Rating: 9/10
This is a very simple designed sub-ohm tank that delivers plenty of air flow for good vapor production but was designed for max flavor.
The coil uses a vertical spaced clapton coil and acts as the chimney also making the flavor go right off the chart. Coils come in two resistances and are very common, available at pretty much every vape shop.
If you are looking for an affordable, straight forward, direct lung flavor chasing sub-ohm with controllable bottom airflow, this is the tank for you.
- designed give the most flavor!
- The coil pack / coil heads for this tank are widely available and relatively inexpensive.
- simple chimney design that provides plenty of airflow
- since the coil and chimney are connected right to the top cap, the top can heat up but Aspire included a heat sleeve to prevent discomfort.
The Best RTAs (Rebuildable Tank Atomizer)
Build your own coil and save money
Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTAs) are the perfect way to get a really nice custom vape and save a few bucks while you are at it.
An RTA is definitely the way to go if you are tired of having to spend five bucks (or more) at the vape shop every time your coils get burnt out. Some RTAs do have the optional coil pack insert that replaces the deck if you aren't ready to give up the easy factor just yet.
Enhanced flavor for flavor chasers
Geekvape Zeus Dual Coil Rta Rating: 9/10
Following up on the hit single, the Geekvape Zeus Dual Coil RTA is a real strong performer with lots of great benefits from great flavor and easy builds, but the best part is that it is LEAK PROOF!
Being leak proof is a feature of the top airflow, bottom loading deck design we have seen a few times before, such as with the OBS Engine and the Digiflavor Themis, both really awesome RTAs.
For those that are unaware, GeekVape and Digiflavor are sister companies who often borrow innovations from each other to enhance their own products.
There are several similarities between the Zeus dual and the Digiflavor Themis including the overall leak proof design, quarter turn top fill, the build deck, internal airflow and sloped base. There are obvious external differences including Zeus lacking the metal cage around the chimney found on the Themis.
Airflow on the Zeus comes in to top airslots, then into the barrel, where in flows past the deck and then back up the two air slots cut into the deck, giving it a pseudo bottom airflow performance. With this design, the deck doesn't need to be locked in place as the airflow is the same no matter how the deck is aligned.
The deck on the Zeus is the standard four terminal postless build deck that will take single or dual coil builds. There are raised air channels on the sides and two large wicking channels cut into the side. When building this deck, leave the wicks just long enough to tuck into the base to prevent choking the juice flow.
After building the deck, it loads right up into the chamber, tighten and it couldn't be easier.
Filling the tank is very simple. The top comes off with a locking quarter turn, which is easy and secure. On the underside of the top is a silicone gasket for preventing any seepage. Straight from the factory, Zeus holds only 4ml of juice, but can be expanded to 5.5ml with a bubble glass but unfortunately it is a separate purchase.
Overall, this is a really good top airflow RTA with great flavor and NO LEAKS!
- LEAK PROOF design
- smooth top airflow
- great flavor and vapor production for an fantastic vape experience
- easy to build postless deck
- standard four terminal postless build deck for single or dual coil builds
- easy to use large wicking slots
- 810 drip tip compatible (comes with a decent one)
- includes a drip tip adapter
- comes in matte stainless steel, gunmetal, matte black and a metallic blue
- the screws and holes could have been bigger for easier access
- bubble glass separate but cheap (would recommend adding to your purchase)
Flavor RTAs typically have a different design than the more general use tanks or cloud chasing tanks. With a flavor RTA you are looking for a tank that has a smaller chamber and a shorter chimney. This design provides a nice warm flavorful vape without the headaches of a RDA.
Geekvape Blitzen Rta Rating: 10/10
The GeekVape Blitzen is a fantastic RTA that looks good and performs like a champ.
It has several features, like the honeycomb side airflow among others, that remind me of the killer UD Bellus from back in the day.
This deck has a low profile 2ml glass section that provides a sleek look but the tank is convertible to 5ml by installing an included chimney extension and bubble glass.
Juice comes down from the tank well through slots right to the wicks. The wicking ports are quite large and moon shaped similar to other postless decks.
The Blitzen features a four terminal postless build deck for a large single coil or dual coils. This RTA works best with dual coils.
The deck is fairly easy to build, particularly if you're familiar with this build style.
The deck locks into the tank chassis with the help of matching notches to align perfectly with the side airflow.
The airflow utilizes a rotating middle ring with oval shaped cutout over 16 air holes configured in a honeycomb pattern. This design makes airflow very smooth and easily controllable.
The airflow can go from providing a fairly tight restricted lung hit all the way to a vaporous direct lung hit. At a little less than half open the vape is very smooth, warm, dense and flavorful.
The flavor being produced on this RTA is simply unreal. At halfway open the clouds are thick with a bright, saturated flavor.
The Blitzen is 810 drip tip compatible and comes with a pretty good looking low profile resin 810.
Overall, this RTA is a real badass! It has huge flavor and the clouds are real dense. The flavor rivals any RTA and is really into RDA flavor territory in my opinion. Don't pass up this RTA just because of the bubble glass look!
- Great Flavor!
- plenty of vapor production, dense flavorful clouds!
- smooth airflow and plenty of control thanks to the hole configuration and ring shape
- honeycomb style side airflow - airy when wide open but dense flavorful clouds at little less than half way open
- easy to use postless build deck
- notched deck for perfect alignment with the airflow
- convertible from low profile (2ml capacity) to larger 5ml capacity with included bubble glass
- cool metallic look in various colors with matching 810 resin drip tip
- matching o-rings included
- comes with a chimney key to assist in tank disassembly
- the bubble glass look isn't for everyone but it sure is nice having more juice
Digiflavor Themis Dual Coil Rta Rating: 9/10
The Digiflavor Themis a leak proof, top airflow, dual coil post-less build deck RTA. If you liked the OBS Engine, which is a great RTA, you will like the Themis RTA.
It is LEAK PROOF! There isn't any seepage collecting under or around the bottom, it doesn't flood (unless there isn't enough cotton) and it doesn't drain if it gets left on its side. If you have problems wicking other RTAs, this is one to try.
The build deck is a four terminal post-less design that can handle single or dual coil builds as usual.
The build deck loads into the bottom of the RTA and locks into the chimney keeping the coils perfectly aligned with the airflow slots.
The deck features two half moon wicking channels that have small holes in the bottom to allow juice to come in from the bottom and get soaked up by your wicks.
Digiflavor utilizes a quarter turn locking top which makes for easy filling and remains securely fastened. On the underside of the top is a silicone grommet to keep the juice for seeping out the top.
Included is an 810 drip, but also included is a 510 and an adapter. This RTA takes other 810s as well and 810 seems like the perfect size.
The Themis RTA has smooth and abundant airflow at wide open for plenty of vapor production. At slightly closed it seems to have a sweet spot with a semi-restricted lung hit which is great. This RTA does get a bit noisy when shutdown half way or more.
The vape you get off this RTA is pretty good. It gives a big cloud with an enjoyable draw. The flavor is also pretty good but the RTA isn't designed around flavor like some other RTAs. The main feature is the top airflow and leak free design.
Overall, the Digiflavor Themis provides a great vape experience, good flavor with plentiful clouds and the best part is no leaks!
- No Leaks (even when on the side)! Goodbye seepage!
- Good Flavor
- top down airflow provides plenty of smooth airflow for cloudage
- deck locks into place keeping coils perfectly aligned with airflow
- great price
- post-less build deck can handle single or dual coils and easy half moon wicking channels
- easy to use quarter turn top fill
- don't have to empty tank to take out the deck
- 810 drip tip, 510 drip tip and a 510 adapter
- mesh version available
- the midsection width is 27mm so it is big but the bottom won't overhang on slimmer mods
- gets a bit of a whistle with airflow cutdown most of the way but wide open is the best on this RTA
Vandy Vape Kensei Rta Rating: 9/10
The Vandy Vape Kensei is a very wonderful, well performing flavor RTA and is the spiritual successor to the fan favorite Kylin RTA.
Featured on the Kensei is a staggered terminal two post build deck like the Geekvape Peerless RDA, which is easy to build and has wide terminals which can accommodate large coil builds.
To build the gold plated deck you just slide the coils in from the side, adjust and trim like any other horizontal coil deck but the great thing about this deck is the top mounted screws prevent any coil mangling like side mounted screws.
On the deck are fantastic bottom airflow slots which have a honeycomb pattern which smooth out the airflow and spread the air over the entire width of the coil, which is helps to provide an even draw and flavor enhancement.
There are unified wicking ports on this deck which are shared between the coils and the juice port cut out is very wide. While the juice has plenty of access to the coils, which will help the wicking keep up with the chain vapers, this design requires plenty of cotton to be used to fill the space so a larger diameter coil is recommended.
There shouldn't be an leaking issues with the Kensei as long as enough cotton is used to fill the wicking ports.
The Kensei's juice flow control on this tank works great and there aren't any leaking issues. There are large slots that can be adjusted to hit the unified wicking ports but in actual usage it is either all the way open or closed for filling.
Vandy Vape decided to go with a classic screw on top fill, with huge grip cutouts for easy access which reveal very large fill ports underneath.
The fill port section is very thin so gripping it disassemble the tank for cleaning or installing the bubble glass is made easy with the included metal key.
Out of the package, the Kensei is pre-configured with the normal glass which has a 2m capacity but can be converted to 4ml with the use of the included bubble glass.
The Kensei comes with a very colorful acrylic 810 drip but can be switched for pretty much any other tip. There is no raised drip tip port so all tips should be flush with the top.
Overall, the flavor is great, the airflow is smooth with plenty of warm vapor production, the juice keeps up, and it is easy to build.
- huge flavor and a great vape experience!
- easy to build
- juice flow control
- smooth airflow
- no leaking with the cotton wicked correctly
- comes with a bubble glass for increased 4ml capacity
- takes 810 drips but includes 510 and a 510 adapter
- thirsty and slightly lean capacity
Vandyvape Kylin Rta V2 (Flavor) Rating: 9/10
The Kylin RTA from Vandy Vape is a fantastic flavor chasing tank that has several really stand out features that make this a pretty solid pick for a lot of vapers out there.
This tank comes with two assembly modes. One shorter, smaller capacity 2ml mode and one larger, taller 6ml mode. The 2ml mode puts out more flavor but the 6ml has more convenience. The tank comes with two chimneys and two glass sections.
The Kylin RTA has a screw on top fill system with wide kidney shaped fill ports. The top is secured with a knurled cap. Included with the tank are several drip tips of varying sizes to suit any vaper. All of the tips were good to use.
It has a very good gold plated build deck. The deck is postless meaning the coils stand vertically out of the deck instead of jutting horizontally. This has the benefit of allowing the coils to be packed inside the chimney in a way that cuts down on empty space, increasing the flavor thanks to more dense vapor.
This deck is perfect for two clapton coils but is more thank capable of taking a single larger diameter coil if desired.
Build into the side of the deck are two very wide wicking channels. This design assists in single coils builds but really aids in the cotton wicking very fast due to the fact that so much surface area is exposed to the juice in the tank. Dry hits are going to be pretty rare on this tank (unless the tank doesn't get filled)!
The deck has built in bottom and bottom side airflow ports that really makes the flavor pop thanks to the air hitting the coils from all sides.
The vapor production is pretty good on this RTA thanks to dual air slots. There is a clicky bottom airflow control ring. The airflow is pretty smooth and there isn't any whistling when the air is shutdown.
- great flavor and smooth airflow
- The deck is great to look at but provides an innovative air flow design (bottom and under-side) for great flavor
- takes claptons well in single or dual coil builds. (Single builds will require larger diameter coils to have enough cotton to fill wicking channel)
- very big kidney shaped top fill ports w/ large notch styled knurling along the top
- multiple RDA style wide bore drips which are all pretty good
- 510 adapter included in case you have a favorite tip
- doesn't whistle
- some people reported leaks on the first version of these tanks which has been remedied according to the manufacturer. I haven't experienced leaking this issue with the new version.
- as the deck is postless and vertical, you may have to clip the leads on the coils a couple of times before get the right distance
- recommend the stainless version as paint can chip from colored versions
Best Value RTA
Great features at low price
Vaping on a budget? There is always some company that is looking to edge its way in to the market by appealing to people that want some nicer features, such as an easy to use velocity build deck, but don't want to pay for the name or the fancy box.
Toboeco 25mm Super Rta Rating: 8/10
This large RTA (25mm) offering from Tobeco brings the features of more popular RTAs like the Griffin at a great price; under 20 bucks!
- Budget Vaping Friendly! Great price for the features and performance
- easy build
- clouds and flavor
- stuck with tip that doubles as the tank cap
- some drilled holes aren't centered but doesn't impact function
Best RDAs for flavor and cloud chasing
Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDAs) are designed for more hardcore hobby vapers. RDAs require more attention than a tradional tank style atomizer and require the vaper to manually drip more juice on the wicks / tank well to keep dry hits at bay, hence the Dripping in the name.
The appeal is a super customized rig that performs the way you want. Huge Clouds, great flavor or both.
Augvape Btfc Rda (Squonk) Rating: 10/10
Augvape and VapnFagn have released a collaboration RDA called the BTFC, which stands for Bottom Airflow, Top Airflow, Flavor Chasing, Cloud Chasing, an acronym that shows this RDAs goals.
The BTFC is a 25mm diameter, squonk (bottom feed) capable, RDA with an innovative build deck that supplies a customizable mix of bottom and top airflow for the flavor and cloud performance you are wanting in your vape experience.
Want a restricted hit? Cut both top and bottom down half way. Want max flavor? Shut off the top airflow and reduce the wattage a bit. There are lots of airflow options here.
The deck is really easy to build with long diagonal slots built into the post section for fast building. This deck can take larger single coils but really performs best with two 3mm coils.
With an 11mm deep juice well and elevated bottom airflow, the BTFC can take a large amount of juice before experiencing any overflows.
Augvape and VapnFagn have produced a high quality, well designed RDA that is great for both flavor, clouds or both!
The BTFC is a versatile, fantastic performing RDA that is a strong pick for the vaper looking for a easy build and a well-tuned vape experience.
- lots of flavor
- dense clouds
- top AND bottom airflow
- DEEP juice well
- high build quality and well designed
- great squonker with easy to install bottom feed pin
- easy to use 4 post build deck with a sloped, slotted terminals
- pre-built clapton coils work quite well with wide terminals
- smooth, simple to tune airflow controls for a personalized vape
- comes in black, stainless, metallic gray, metallic rainbow
- two 810 drips included but will take other 810s
- can develop a slight whistle when the airflow gets real tight (most won't experience)
- no 510 adapter - the smaller included 810 has the same mouth feel as a regular 510 but doesn't look as good as a wide 810
Digiflavor Drop 24mm Rda Rating: 10/10
The Digiflavor Drop is a 24mm RDA, with a four post drop in build deck which simulates the way coils drop into a post-less deck but is way better.
After the coils are dropped in the corresponding terminals, adjusted and secured, the excess leads are easily clipped from the inside of the posts. This cut out post makes building the Drop a breeze.
The juice well is measured at 5mm but seems deeper with the amount of juice it holds.
The bottom of the RDA has two sloped ridges with matching cut outs on the barrel which prevent the RDA from rotating when adjusting the airflow, keeping the air perfectly aligned with the coils.
Airflow on the Digiflavor Drop is amazing with a semi-grid style airflow is arranged in a T-Shape. The top cap is really genius in the way it is shaped in a step formation which can cut each of the airflow holes off one at a time, starting at the top.
The top cap is easily rotated for smooth and accurate adjustment making the airflow control on this RDA simply unmatched.
With the airflow fully open, the Drop provides incredible flavor and lots of vapor production. Shutting off the top row of holes with give a restricted lung hit and a warm dense vapor.
While the airflow is two sided and can't be shut off completely on side, the air flow can be cut down to just one small airflow hole. The limited airflow, a single coil and a 510 drip tip will allow for pretty good mouth to lung RDA flavor chasing.
Digiflavor ships the Drop with a standard 510 protruding pin pre-installed but have included a raised bottom feed pin for those vapers that love squonking.
The flavor produced by the Drop is just delicious, saturated and bright. The draw is very smooth.
Overall, the Digiflavor Drop is simply amazing, very versatile RDA that every RDA enthusiast should have in their arsenal.
- Enormous Flavor!
- Incredible Air-Flow Control
- versatile build deck that can take single or dual coil vertical builds
- locking barrel with easy rotating top cap
- squonk capable with easy install raised bottom feed pin
- 810 drip tips
- lots of color choices
Vandy Vape Bonza Bf Rda Rating: 10/10
While the Vandy Vape Bonza doesn't come up with any new innovations, what it does is combine a bunch of the best RDA features to form a super RDA, like the All-Star team or Voltron.
It has an easy to use yet versatile build deck capable of single coil but really shines with big dual coil builds. The Bonza has build deck that is very similar, but reverse positioning, to the OBS Cheetah II, which was also a pretty good RDA.
The deck is a gold plated, dual post, quad terminal style build deck, which basically means it has one wide standard terminal and a clamp on each of the posts. This deck style makes it super easy and quick to build and it can accomodate fairly large exotic coils. The clamps have some texturing which will grip the coil and make sure they are secure.
While this RDA can handle single coil builds, the airflow can even be shut off on one side, it really shines with larger two coil builds.
This deck style makes this RDA a good fit for beginners all the way to advanced RDA enthusiasts.
Side airflow on this topper is very similar to the Digiflavor Drop. The airflow style really makes the Bonza perform amazingly well.
The airflow consists of a grid pattern of 15 holes (3x5) on each side, which provides excellent control and smooth air flow from wide open all the way down to closed off.
With the airflow wide open, the Bonza produces huge clouds while still giving good flavor, but for an extra flavor boost, try it at a little more than halfway open.
This RDA is optionally bottom fed (BF) thanks to the included 510 squonk pin. After installation the squonk pin will protrude about 1mm and since the juice well is pretty deep, you can really give the bottle a few good squeezes and not flood.
The build quality on this RDA is pretty high thanks to the 304 stainless steel, pleasing design, gold plating, quality engraving (particularly on the top) and matching resin 810 drip tip. If resin isn't for you, Vandy Vape included an ULTEM and a traditional black Delrin 810 drip tip.
This RDA is a good fit for pretty much any vaper, including beginners and pros alike. The Vandy Vape Bonza brings the flavor, the clouds, looks good and is easy to use!
- very easy to use build deck with terminals and clamps (good for beginners all the way to pros)
- Great flavor and huge clouds
- single coil or dual coil capable but is great for large dual coil builds
- air can be shut off on one side if using single coil
- Amazing air flow and air flow control (15 air holes per side for maximum tuning)
- deep juice well
- comes with three 810 drip tips (Resin, Ultem and Delrin)
- stylish knurling at the top to allow some grip
- big flat head screws on the deck
- doesn't include a set of pre-built coils which is a bit weird these days, but isn't a big deal
Hellvape Dead Rabbit 24mm Rda Rating: 9/10
The Hellvape Dead Rabbit is a 24mm squonkable RDA.
It is made from 304 stainless steel with a hatched texture knurling on the top cap which provides a pretty good grip. While some may not like the hatched look, it really plays well with the cool looking dead rabbit logo along with the colored resin 810 drip tip.
The Dead Rabbit RDA is built around a top terminal, four post build deck that simulates a post-less deck.
The opposing positive and negative posts are different colors, with the positive terminals gold plated and the negative left stainless. This is a good feature that provides clarity for the builder.
With this build deck, it has space for you to cut any excess coil length off from underneath of the post which is easier than post-less as you don't run as much of a risk of ruining a coil due to cutting a lead to short.
The terminals themselves are quite large, which can handle larger coils and are secured with either flat heads or hex screws.
As with most post-less build decks, you can build a single larger coil instead of dual coils, if desired.
There aren't any clear wicking channels, which means you can just cut them enough to tuck into the well and reach the bottom.
The juice well isn't very deep, coming in a 5mm, but the side airflow is place fairly high on the barrel so it may be OK to over fill, just don't take the top off with the juice level higher than the well.
The barrel has a slotted top side airflow that is angled downwards. Placing the angle in the airflow slot allows the air to hit the coil at an angle before coming back up the the top cap and it really works out.
The air is smooth and isn't too airy. It provides more of a restricted lung hit than just blasting vapor. The airflow, shape of the top and the coil position combine to provide great flavor.
The Dead Rabbit also includes a squonking pin, with a matching allen key, and a specially designed pre-installed PEEK insulator that helps evenly distribute juice.
Overall, this is a great flavor RDA with some pretty good easy to use build deck, smooth airflow and a enjoyable slightly restricted lung hit.
- Great vape over all. Really good flavor and a smooth semi-restricted lung hit
- the aesthetics of the Dead Rabbit are good with the resin drip tips and the logo looks cool too
- 4 post build deck that simulates a post-less build deck and is actually easier to use that normal post-less decks
- clear which post is positive and which is negative
- protruding 510 pin, also includes squonking pin with directed juice flow
- hatched knurling for airflow adjustments
- comes with a pretty cool matching resin 810 drip tip, but does include a Delrin 810 and a 510 adapter
- comes in the standard black or stainless steel (plus others) with a choices of green, red or purple resin 810 drip tip
- The juice well could be deeper. 5mm is a bit shallow these days.
- Hellvape markets saying the coils don't have to be pre-cut but in reality you just don't have to be as accurate (more of a gripe than a con).
Vandy Vape Pulse 24 Bf Rda Rating: 9/10
The Vandy Vape Pulse is a 24mm squonk ready flavor RDA designed by Tony B and Vandy Vape. The Pulse 24 is squonk ready out of the box but an adjustable 510 pin is included that needs to be assembled.
It has a well designed post-less build deck capable of both dual coil and single coils builds. This RDA is a damn good squonker thanks to the build deck being designed to evenly split the juice right into the wicking channels.
The airflow is interesting and fairly unique. It has two fixed airflow jets on each side coming in and angled down. This design forces the air to constrict and shoot at the bottom of the coils.
The airflow jets are fixed in as they are attached to a locking midsection, which locks to the build deck with corresponding notches, but the airflow is controllable with a rotating top cap.
If the well is overfilled the juice will have a pretty good chance of staying in the RDA thanks to the angled airflow jets.
The wicking channels, large half moons on each side, are the deepest part of the juice well, so any juice squeezed in or dripped in will flow towards the wicks. This design help prevent dry hits and is a really great benefit to this build deck.
The Vandy Vape Pulse 24 is a really great post-less flavor RDA that really shines with a squonk mod but is still great as a standard RDA with the regular 510 pin installed.
Overall, this RDA provides a great vape experience with lots of flavor and it looks good too.
- Huge flavor!
- thick, dense clouds!
- high build quality
- the build deck can take two smaller coils but is capable of handling a larger single coil build
- smooth airflow with the angled jet design
- great for squonking (capable of standard RDA usage as well)
- two 810 drip tips included as well as a 510 adapter
- the adjustable 510 pin has to be has to assembled from what looks like a bottom feed pin and a gold plated flat head
Geekvape Loop Bf Rda Rating: 9/10
GeekVape continues to innovate with the release of the Loop RDA. The GeekVape Loop is a bottom airflow, squonk ready, beast RDA that has an interesting W-shaped build deck. The W shape is something new and pretty cool.
GeekVape designed the deck of the Loop to maximize the airflow hitting the coils from the bottom of the coil but fed from the sides. The airflow is very smooth for having such as weird shape, but it is coming in from the sides hitting the coils and going up.
This thing produces a lot of dense vapor and it has a smooth draw! Some other huge cloud chucker RDAs really wash out the flavor but this RDA still has pretty good flavor.
When you look at the build deck, you can see that the leads from the two coils will cross if they are left too long, so this makes trimming the leads a little more difficult than with other postless decks. The fact that there isn't a base to lead insertion terminal makes trimming the coils a bit of a guessing game. This isn't a problem for experienced RDA users but could be strange for a beginner RDA user.
Try to get one lead just about right by placing the lead at the correct height clamping down to get a mark on it, then clip a bit longer than the mark, then match the other coil leads.
GeekVape did decide to go with some beefy flat head screws on this on the deck which could be a pro or con depending on the vaper.
Another big plus for this deck is easy wicking. The Loop has those really wide half moon shaped wicking ports which are fantastic to use with a looser cotton. All that is required is a bit of fluffing, followed a quick snip and tuck. (Insert joke here)
This RDA is good for traditional drippers and squonkers alike. The deck has this center ramp that allows juice dripped from the top to hit the center part of the W deck get evenly distributed to each side of the RDA, but you need to drip it with the RDA held in a straight up and down position and not an angle.
Squonkers obviously just give a couple of good squeezes, but this RDA performs a bit better with classic dripping.
This RDA provides a pretty good vape experience in general with flavor similar to other RDAs, it provides lots of vapor with a smooth draw, easily adjustable airflow with a locking top cap and to top it all off it looks pretty damn good.
- huge vapor production without turbulent airflow
- classic RDA flavor profile
- Good build quality with innovative design at an affordable price point
- easy adjustable airflow with smooth intake
- Notched top cap to lock cap
- Bottom airflow for max flavor and vapor
- W shaped (something new!) build deck splits juice for even distribution of juice
- Squonk Ready 510 pin included
- 810 drip tip with 510 adapter
- uses thick flat head screws
- The postless build deck layout requires an awkward lead insertion and lead trimming
Vandy Vape Phobia 24 Bf Rda Rating: 9/10
The Vandy Vape Phobia is a 24mm bottom airflow RDA that is designed by Alex from VapersMD (a popular Russian vaper), who has designed other hit products for Vandy Vape. This may be one of his best RDAs so far.
At first sight, the Phobia is striking in stainless steel with its two barrel sections in the packaging. It has one barrel section for use with a very large chuff cap that takes up the entire diameter of the barrel.
The other included top section that is preinstalled is the traditional top that fits an ULTEM 810 drip tip but also includes a 510 drip tip adapter.
Both tops work well, but the 810 is more for a mix of flavor and clouds, while the chuff is the reverse with more clouds than flavor.
Using the chuff cap top and the airflow wide open will produce quite a huge cloud.
The really stand out design decision on this RDA is the quad terminal postless build deck. It has big, beefy post screws milled right into the bottom of the RDA and base looks like it is milled from one solid piece (except for the PEEK insulator around two of the terminals of course!).
In between the terminals, on opposing sides, are two sets of matching bottom airflow holes designed to hit the bottom and bottom-side of the coils for catching maximum flavor coming from the surface of the coils.
The airflow, bottom airflow slots placed right at the lower edge of the barrel, is easily controlled by twisting the top cap like normal. Twisting the barrel is smooth but is also a bit snug.
Since the airflow holes on the deck are basically air jets for hitting the coil, the RDA can be a bit loud.
Building the RDA is very straight forward on this deck and is made easy with the large 3mm terminal openings which are capable of holding quite wide prebuilt coils.
This deck design is capable of single or dual coil builds like any other postless deck but performs better with a two coil build installed due to the bottom airflow. With two coils, building closer to the air flows is easier, but a larger diameter single coil build will work.
The juice well is 5mm deep has a special raised cutout over the 510 for even distribution of juice when the bottom feed pin (squonk pin) is installed.
The Vandy Vape Phobia is a strong performing bottom airflow RDA that is easy to build and performs like a champ. It has great flavor, big billowy clouds, is great for squonking, has several unique features, high build quality, looks great and has a great price.
- great flavor
- high build quality and design
- easy build postless deck
- beefy post screws
- bottom feed (squonk) pin included
- squonk pin evenly distributes juice in the well
- fantastic bottom airflow with plenty of air hitting the bottom and sides of the coils
- comes in stainless steel, matte black, gold and rainbow
- a bit loud
Wotofo Troll V2 Rating: 8/10
Wotofo has made some significant upgrades to the Troll for version 2 making it one of the best, affordable RDAs. Significant airflow, deep well, and deck improvements provide a mix of great flavor and huge clouds.
- Huge Vapor Production for dense clouds
- great airflow and air control options
- easy to control airflow for good flavor
- deep juice well
- easy to build and use
o-rings and fit can be tight (can counter by lubing with a bit of juice)
A RDA with a tank best of both worlds
RDTAs (rebuildable drip tank atomizers) are a newer type of hybrid that takes its design cues from both RTAs and RDAs. Instead of the tank at the top, it is at the bottom as if replacing the well on an RDA, where the wicks sit in some limited amount of juice, with a tank.
The result is the performance, airflow and flavor reminiscent for RDA with out the constant dripping.
Vandy Vape Pyro Rdta Rating: 9/10
The Pyro RDTA from Vandy Vape is definitely one of the best RDTAs to date. It takes a similar build deck and wide wick ports that was used on the hit Kylin RTA (minus the bottom airflow), familiar adjustable side airflow and has a simple yet profound juice hole plug system built into the top cap.
Refilling the tank now is as simple as on most tanks and RDAs; pull the top, squeeze and recap.
The deck utilizes a post-less system making the coils vertical rather than horizontal. The deck is capable of housing two regular sized coils or one larger single coil if desired. In single coil mode, the diameter of the coil needs to be wider to have enough cotton to fill the very wide wicking ports.
Building the deck is fairly straight forward, however, since it is post-less the coil leads need to be trimmed before you put them in place. Make sure the leads are too long rather than too short before putting them in place.
I love the performance of the Pyro RDTA, particularly in standard two coil setup. Lots of flavor with enough air to produce thick vapor clouds.
- Strong flavor profile
- enjoyable vape experience
- very similar build deck to the well received Vandy Vape Kylin RTA
- single or dual coil builds
- gold plated philips and allen (grub) screws included
- very wide wicking ports help prevent dry hits
- well controlled side airflow
- 810 Drip tip default (1 ultem and 1 delrin included)
- 510 adapter included
- top knurling could be more pronounced and middle section can be awkward to grip for removal
Geekvape Avocado 24mm Rating: 8/10
This is an interesting offering from GeekVape. This single/dual coil RDTA, is a little different but provides great flavor and plenty of vapor.
- Dual or Single Coil Options
- Plenty of air flow
- Nice, wide Drip tip included
- clear or frosted glass, replacement glass is cheap
the wicking system works best with the single coil mode
Best Sub-Ohm Starter Kits
Innokin Proton / Scion 2 Starter Kit Rating: 10/10
The Innokin Proton 235W TC box mod is very reminescent of the Alien, an all time classic mod, thanks to its overall size, shape and fire mechanism.
It has a fire bar, meaning the device is squeezed to fire, that has a very satisfying click when engaged. Also located on the fire bar is a cool looking proton logo.
This mod will fire fast! The chip that Innokin used in the Proton is pretty good. This mod has tons of options that can all be controlled. The mod is capable of all the latest temperature control options, including curves, TCR and even can do bypass. The TC even calibrates for optimal presets.
Innokin selected a huge, bright, color screen (TFT display) with well designed menu system.
The Proton uses a joystick control that actually works pretty well. The joystick can be held to the right or left to begin changing the wattage or pressed a few times to access the menu system.
The spring loaded 510 pin is offset on top of the mod in a way that will accommodate up to a 30mm tank.
The updated Scion tank, the Scion 2, uses a slide top fill system that works well and holds a 3.5ml of juice that can be expanded with the included, good looking, bubble glass.
This tank uses the new Innokin Plexus coils, which are pretty good. The kit includes the standard quad coil pre-installed but the spare mesh coil is where it is at however.
The Plexus mesh coils have amazing flavor and are long lasting.
The Proton starter kit comes in a few color choices, which are accent colors to the main matte black color, all of which look pretty good.
Overall the mod is very attractive, has a great form factor and works like a champ. The Scion 2 sub-ohm tank is pretty awesome with the new Plexus coils, particulary the mesh coils.
If you are looking for a great dual 18650 sub-ohm starter kit , this is a seriously good choice!
- long lasting Mesh Coils with huge flavor! Dense, Warm Clouds!
- fast firing! Great Chipset!
- love the squeeze to fire - the fire bar is great
- big, gorgeous color screen with good menu system - custom menu color
- easy to navigate menu with joystick - lots of settings and controls - pretty much everything can be controlled
- temperature control works well and the chip will calibrate for the wire type
- compact size for dual 18650
- the spare bubble glass looks pretty good
- comes with two coils - one 0.15 ohm mesh coil, one 0.36 ohm quad coil
- 810 Delrin drip tip
- comes in a few colors but mostly black
- plastic screen cover will scratch
Wotofo Flux Kit (Flux Mod / Flow Pro Tank) Rating: 9/10
The Wotofo x RigMod Flux two battery vape starter kit is a simple to use but powerful, well rounded direct wattage sub-ohm kit.
It features an easy to read display and simple menu without an endless amount of settings to figure out. A pretty much a set the wattage and vape away type of sub-ohm kit.
The Flux is a wattage only mod that adjusts in single watts only, which is great. The mod comes with a tinted color screen and customizable vertical LED lighting under that lights up when fired.
This mod has a very fast startup and automatically turns on after a battery change, which is just a huge quality of life improvement. Upon squeezing the satisfying, clicky fire bar, the mod fires very fast and has pre-boost settings for even quicker hits.
Wotofo and RigMod have produced a well designed mod and kit with great aesthetics, readable color screen, nice paint and strong performance.
The mesh coil sub-ohm tank has huge cloud production with good flavor and can take the very common baby beast coils from Smok in addition to the standard mesh Flow coil.
This is a really great starter kit that is perfect for beginners and vapers that just want their stuff to just work right away!
- Look GREAT! Well designed, powerful, direct wattage kit that is easy to use!
- LOTS of vapor with good flavor
- very fast start up - instantly on after battery change!
- can use Wotofo Pro Coils AND Smok Baby Beast coils
- comfortable hand feel with satisfying *clicky* squeeze fire bar
- wattage moves in full increments watts only (no TC/TCR to mess with)
- simple, readable color display with wattage, battery levels, ohms and voltage
- customizable LED fire lighting looks pretty cool and can be changed or disabled easily
- straight forward menu system with easy to use three button control interface
- lots of color options available
- tinted screen is better suited to indoor visibility
- top o-ring seem to stick
Smok Alien - Baby Beast Kit Rating: 9/10
The Smok Alien 225W Baby Beast starter kit is one of the best selling two battery vape starter kits of all time and for good reason.
It includes the highly regarded Smok Alien mod and a TFV8 Baby Beast sub-ohm tank.
The Smok Alienis a high powered two battery mod that is a squeeze to fire that has a comfortable hand feel. Firing the mod feels very natural.
The Alien is loaded by opening a hinged bottom door at the base of the mod.
It has pretty much every feature you could ask for in a modern box mod including all the safety features in addition to the wide array of firing modes that include direct wattage and temperature control that supports Ni200, titanium and stainless steel wires.
The display is well organized, large and bright.
The Baby Beast tank has a variety of coils that it can take each with a different configuration and includes two different option included with the tank.
Each coil typically provides warm, dense clouds that have a wet, saturated flavor.
Overall, this a classic vape starter kit is a safe bet for anyone that is new to vaping. The mod has lots of options that can grow with new tanks and the baby beast performs quite well with coils available pretty much everywhere.
Smok Alien 220w mod with:
- an amazing display with a lot of information
- easily upgradable firmware
- Ni/Ti/SS TC modes
- TCR mode
Baby Beast Tank which is a fantastic little sub-ohm tank with great vapor production, swivel top-fill and V8 baby coil heads.
dense, wet, flavorful clouds
- 3ml max capacity on the Baby Beast
Smok Al85 Alien Baby 85w Tc Starter Kit Rating: 9/10
SMOK announced they were creating a smaller version of the insanely popular Alien mod, and the vape community went bananas in anticipation. Whatever type of vaper can use the SMOK Alien AL85 Kit it does not matter if you are a new vaper or a novice. AL85 Kit consists of AL85 mod and TFV8 Baby tank.
- small, compact design with a comfortable hand feel
- easy to use, squeeze fire
- the screen has lots of data and is easy to read
- secure single battery compartment
- sub-ohm tank (Baby Beast) is a strong performer with widely available coils packs
Lack of battery venting
Best 18650 batteries, battery chargers and Vape Accessories
Best Cotton for Coil Builds
Cotton Bacon V2 Rating: 9/10
Wick'n'Vape has come up with a really great wicking cotton blend here in Cotton Bacon version 2.
Cotton Bacon was designed with the goal of making a 100% safe, pure and durable wick. Some organic cottons can still contain some traces of organic pesticides or fragrances, but not Cotton Bacon.
Wick'N'Vape uses a U.S. grown dual fiber blend that has been cleaned thoroughly and had all non-cellulose fiber removed. This process leaves just super clean pure cotton wicking material behind.
In the resealable pouch you get several 4" 'bacon' like strips which can easily be separated, torn or cut. No more cutting a strip off your cotton pad or trying to deal with cotton balls. This stuff is very easy to build with and looks very clean.
Wick'N'Vape claims no break in period as it is a 100% tasteless wick. When tested it actually did have a very short break in period but it was only a handful of drags as opposed to the half a tank or more break in with other cottons.
Cotton Bacon can keep up with my chain vaping.This is a very absorbent wick and I have only experienced dry hits when I accidentally let the tank get too low. When this occurred, the cotton was able to recover without giving me that residual 'dry hit' burnt flavor.
Love this stuff. Provides a great vape, easy to use, and it is fairly inexpensive for the amount of cotton strips you get.
- U.S.A grown cotton, processed and cleaned for a safety
- looks great
- very short break in period and tasteless
- fast wicking, which helps prevent dry hits on chain vaping
- easy to use, separate and tear
- comes stacked in a resealable pouch; just pull a bit out like big league chew and reseal
- doesn't burn as easily when a dry hit does occur
- very low flavor retention when switching juices w/o rewicking which could be effected by the coil itself
Best General Usage Batteries
Mid Range Wattage Vaping with Decent Battery Life
18650 batteries are a far and away the most common battery used by mods on the market.
Some mods have pass through charging built in but this feature typically is very poor and can lead to the mod breaking down over time. Most of the USB ports on mods are for upgrading the firmware only and is just plain safer to avoid using built in charging to keep from getting in a bad habit.
We strongly recommend getting a multiple battery charger for safety and convenience.
Lg Hg2 20a 3000mah 18650 Rating: 9/10
Often referred to as the Brownies, the HG2 provides a great mix of long lasting life (3000mah) and a suprising 20A continuous drain that will suit most vapers needs.
- 20A continuous drain
- very popular and highly regarded
- Can also come in a three pack for savings
Lg He2 18650 2500mah 20a Rating: 8/10
Low Wattage / Long Lasting Batteries
Lower Continuous Drain (A) - Higher Capacity (mAh)
Samsung 30q 3000mah 15a Rating: 9/10
The Samsung 30Q is a great 3000mah that provides long battery life for low wattage all day vaping.
- Long battery life
- Mooch has tested this battery to be 20A, higher than the 15A advertised by Samsung
Best Battery Charger
Efest Luc V4 Battery Charger Rating: 9/10
This high quality, 4-channel battery charger will charge most 3.7V Li-ion or LiMn batteries including 18650 and 26650 at variable power rates of 0.5A, 1A and even 2A.
- 4-channel, variable power modes
- has additional USB output that can charge most consumer electronics
Built in safety features:
- reverse polarity protection
- short circuit protection
- over-current protection (will stop chargin when batteries are full - HUGE)
- Zero voltage activation function