Will RTA’s and Subtanks Replace RDAs?

For a long time, RTA had been synonymous with pain in the rear. The learning curve going from a clearomizer tank to building Russians was very steep. Even those who built RDAs often had trouble with the small deck and screws on the Russian (myself being one of them). Not to say that they are impossible, or even difficult to build on now, but when I was first getting into RTAs they were.








Given the fact that an RDA is nice and open and easy to work with, one would think that a dripper would be an easy choice. But now we have some new players in the game of the RTA market. Devices like the Lemo or Subtank are making it easier and easier for people to get into rebuilding with an RTA.

My question to everyone is: Will these new tanks replace others like the Russian, and could they potentially replace RDAs as a means for getting that rebuildable quality flavor? As far as replacing expensive RTAs that are difficult to master, the answer is yes. But as far as replacing RDAs the answer is a hard no.

It is convenient to be able to fill up a tank and take it with you without the need to drip, without question. However, I still get a much better flavor, many more different coil combos, and the ability to switch flavors when I want when I am using my RDA. It’s just more practical for me personally as I am constantly switching and testing new flavors.

That is not to say that there may be people dripping now who have or plan to move to one of these types of RTAs. But I don’t think it will be as drastic of a movement as it was when we went from cartomizer tanks, to coil head clearomizers. Almost no one uses cartomizers for day to day vaping anymore, in the same way, no one drives a model T as their day to day transportation. It doesn’t mean that a cartomizer can’t offer anything to us, but rather that there is something that offers MORE in an easier to use fashion. This is just the natural evolution of the products we use, and should be something to look forward to. It means our devices are getting better and more efficient!

While shelving our used-to-be favorite devices can be hard to do, it is exciting to see what the industry is doing with innovation. In just one short year, we have seen regulated devices go from 15 watt tube style mods to 150 watt boxes with multiple batteries and Micro USB charging ports. We have seen more and more people move to advanced clearomizers like the Mini Nautilus or even the new sub-ohm tanks. The industry is constantly changing, and with it, us as well.

Written by: Grant

Tim Mechling

Tim is Mt Baker Vapor's resident creative weirdo. He writes, composes music, draws, designs, produces podcasts, investigates, and blows the trumpet for the Common Man.

  • Alex says:

    Great post. As someone without sight, I find it difficult (but not impossible) to coil and wick an RTA/RDA properly. For me, the sub-ohm clearo market with prefab heads has been an enormous help. I can pop a fresh coil head in and expect a week or two out of it, and get very good flavor and vapor density. It’s not an RDA, but I don’t expect it to be. Plus there’s so many more variables when working with an RDA/RTA wrapping your own coils and wicking methods etc. At the end of the day, it’s not as convenient for me as a sub ohm clearo where I don’t need to re-wick often and drip every five hits. However, they all keep a place in my rapidly expanding vape shelf.

    I’m actually considering the Lemo2 for its top-fill and more airflow.

    Vape on!

  • JeffZ says:

    Yeah I remember how much of a pain in the ass the Russian 91% was to build on. In fact I switched back to my trusty clearos after a week. What a waste of money that pos was…

    Anyways I dont think the new tanks will replace RDAs anytime soon but rather complement them instead. I know plenty of vapers that run both and the the sub ohm tanks and rba decks are just a convenience of not having to fiddle with drip and driving or leaks or having to drip every 3-5 hits or carrying a bottle of e liquid everywhere. As for myself I use my Kanger Subtank more than my drippers nowadays.

    While not as flavorful as a dripper the flavor and vapor of a good tank is still great and more than adequate for most vapers. This to me is a fair trade off for the added convenience. And the tanks are a lot cheaper as well!

    The people who are really benefiting off the rtas and sub tanks are the newbies. I really wish I had these instead of the crappy clearomisers I started with

    • Tim Mechling says:

      I definitely agree. Subtanks have made intermediate vaping and cloud-chasing accessible to new vapers. I think vaping is more fun when you have plenty of options, so I’m always buying new hardware. Thanks for your insight!

  • Etrain says:

    I don’t believe an rta will ever replace an RDA. As for reasons Jeffz an others replys stated. But for me its much more. I’m fascinated with the every aspect of vaping. See I was not only a smoker I was a drug addict, a junkie if you will. But along with getting me off stinkers. Rebuilding coils and DIY ejuice has givin me a new hobbie or addiction should I say. It keeps my mind preoccupied. So I’m proud to say I am mow a vapor junkie. So RDA RTA ot don’t matter to me I love it all. Vapor is a life saver. Sorry if I went off subject.

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