What is the Best RDA in 2016?
The Best RDAs of 2016 include:
|Best for:||Name||# of Posts||Price|
|Cloud Chasing||Geekvape Tsunami||2||$26.95|
|Flavor and Clouds
Easy to build on
|Mutation X V5||2||$26.95|
|Goon by 528 Custom||4||$55.95|
|Beginners||Wotofo Troll V2||2||$24.95|
|Single Coil Builds||Authentic Freakshow RDA||3||$18.97|
|Mutation XS Mini||4||$19.95|
What is an RDA?
In this article we review the best RDAs of 2016. If you are already familiar with RDAs you can skip the next few paragraphs which explain the various features of an RDA.
RDA stands for rebuildable dripping atomizer (or dripper atomizer), it can also be called a ‘dripper’. It is the type of atomizer you need if you want to vape by ‘dripping’. Dripping is when you apply e-liquid to the wick, through the mouthpiece, when it runs out. There is no tank to hold e-liquid so you regularly need to drip more e-liquid onto the wick.
The base of the dripping atomizer contains a juice well to hold some e-liquid. Originally RDAs had no juice well, however these days most RDAs have a juice well so that you don’t have to stop vaping to add e-liquid as often.
An RDA always contains a positive post and at least one negative post. It is common to have two negative posts but one or three is also possible. The positive post is normally located in the middle of the deck and the negative post close to the positive one. The positive post will always be insulated with heat resistant insulation and may have two terminators.
Different atomizers have different airflow designs. Airflow is important as it directly impacts the amount of vapor produced. All good RDAs have adjustable air holes which allows the airflow to be increased or decreased by adjusting the AFC ring.
Best for beginners
Geekvape Tsunami – $26.95
- Great flavor and vapor production
- Adjustable Bottom airflow
- Two post, four hole deck
- 5mm juice well
- Includes three different drip tips
The Tsunami RDA is one of the best RDAs available in 2016. The combination of its impressive flavor and vapor production, low price and how easy it is to build on makes this a perfect RDA for both newbies and experienced vapers.
An innovative two step airflow system allows for direct airflow to the coils while minimizing leakage. In a bottom airflow design leakage is often a problem so this is an important feature. Two large air flow slots allow for a range of vaping styles, from tighter draws to large clouds. The air slots are controlled by rotating the top cap.
Large post holes and generous spacing between the posts makes the Tsunami easy to build on, even for an entry level vaper. This is a good starter RDA but large builds are easily accommodated meaning you won’t quickly outgrow the Tsunami. There is also an option for a single coil which will be welcome for your initial builds.
The Tsunami comes with three different drip tips; an 11mm straight Delrin drip tip, an 11mm sloped Delrin drip tip, and a stainless steel 510 drip tip. The Delrin drips tips have competition size bores.
Tugboat V2 Authentic – $88.95
- High end, authentic RDA
- 3 Post deck
- Single or dual coil setups possible
- Adjustable airflow
The Tugboat V2 RDA is an improvement on the popular first Tugboat. The main improvements in this version are the adjustable airflow, deep juice well, and copper centre pin. The number of air holes has been doubled, allowing for much greater vapor production.
The stainless steel, 22mm diameter Tugboat has a three piece design; a top cap, barrel, and three post deck. The top cap has adjustable airflow, allowing it to accommodate single or dual coils. It has enough airflow to comfortably manage low ohm builds.
The Tugboat V2 is an authentic RDA and the high quality materials and machining is to the high standard you would expect. The American made Tugboat V2 is not cheap but it is good value for a USA-made dripper with superior quality and finish.
The Tugboat V2 comes with a matching drip tip that has a serial number engraved that corresponds to the serial number on the atomizer. The Tugboat logo and an American flag are engraved on barrel.
Best cheap authentic RDA
Mutation XS Mini RDA by Indulgence – $19.95
- Extremely compact – 17mm height
- 5mm Juice well
- 4 Post build deck
- Bottom and side airflow
- Includes heat reducing drip tip
The Mutation XS Mini is currently on sale so you can pick it up for under $20. That’s the cheapest authentic RDA you can find that still manages to produce great flavor and great clouds.
The Mutation XS is excellent value for money. For less than twenty dollars you get; high quality 304 grade stainless steel construction, a very deep juice well (5mm), and excellent flavor thanks to large bottom feed dual air holes.
304 Grade stainless steel is a high quality type of stainless steel that is used for its heat resistance and rust resistance. Despite the low price this is a quality product that will last years.
Airflow is provided by two bottom air holes and eighteen bladed adjustable air holes on the side of the barrel. The combination of side and bottom air holes creates a vortex effect, pushing the vapor down around the bottom of the coils. This design produces rich flavors so that you can taste every part of your e-liquid’s flavor.
The Mutation XS Mini is the best RDA if you want a mini dripper with a big build deck. The build deck is full size at 22mm. Four posts have large 2mm post holes for easy building.
Best for single coil builds
Freakshow RDA by Wotofo – $16.12
- Great flavor
- Great airflow
- 3 Post deck
- Only holds 5-8 drops
- Careful wicking needed to avoid leaks
This Authentic Freakshow RDA, designed by Wotofo, was designed with two things in mind; big flavor and big clouds. In the words of the manufacturer it was built for “extreme cloud chasers”. This is the best RDA for cloud chasing at an affordable price.
The deck features three posts in a deep juice well, perfect for either single or dual coil builds. Large dual air holes under the coils are responsible for the huge airflow. The two piece top-cap allows you to fully adjust the airflow.
Like all vertical airflow drippers the Freakshow is prone to leaking. Careful wicking can avoid this. Place the coil so that it doesn’t completely cover the air hole, ideally no more than halfway. Secondly, don’t let any part of the wick touch the rim around the deck. Also avoid over dripping.
There is also an inexpensive mini Freakshow available. There is not a clear agreement on which is better, it is down to personal preference.
The Freakshow is one of the best looking RDAs on the market right now. It is for sale online in three colors; stainless steel, black, and white. All feature the engraved skeleton logo and a unique serial number.
Best for flavor and clouds
Wotofo Sapor Authentic RDA – $25.95
- 22mm Stainless steel
- Top fill
- Deep juice well
- Adjustable airflow
- 4 Post deck
- 2mm Post holes
- No leakage
In the space of two years the quality of RDAs has improved beyond recognition. Today features such as; good flavor and good airflow, no leaks, and minimal spitback are now a given in quality RDAs. The Wotofo Sapor is the embodiment of this new generation of RDAs. The Sapor is well made and produces excellent flavor and vapor. For a balance between flavor and clouds the Sapor is the best overall authentic dripping atomizer.
The ability to pull the topcap off to redrip avoids condensation and leaking juice accumulating on your mod. The juice well is 6mm deep, making it one of the deepest RDA juice wells available. The deep drip well means you don’t need to redrip as often. The deeper well is a real advantage for those who over drip.
The dual top air slots pulls air down and around the coils for increased flavor and vapor production. The Sapor boasts big air flow with both air hole slots measuring 12mm by 2mm.
The Sapor is easy to build on with large post holes and a well designed four post deck. The grub screws are high quality and a Wotofo multi-tool is included in the box.
The Sapor comes with a wide bore drip tip and a 510 drip tip adapter.
Mutation X V4 RDA Authentic – $24.95
The Mutation X V4 is for cloud chasers and those with low resistance builds that require huge air flow. The bottom air holes ensure that even on the lowest setting there is strong airflow.
The build deck is well thought out and easy to build on. Four round posts and large post holes will accommodate just about any type of wire. Heat is managed very well thanks to the air slot placement and the heat dispersing fins at the top.
The wide bore drip tip that comes with the X V4 is not 510 threaded but an adapter is included. The adaptor also serves to reduce heat.
The Mutation X V4 is available in black, stainless steel, white, and pink.
Best for flavor chasing
Aeolus Lite Syntheticloud Authentic – $35.99
- 4 Post build deck
- Adjustable vertical airflow
- Anti leak design
- Anti spitback design
- Available in 12 colors
The Aeolus Lite is very similar to the high end Aeolus v2 Pro but thanks to the use of more affordable materials it’s significantly cheaper at $39.99. This is the best RDA for flavor chasers; a vertical airflow system and smaller air holes for tight draws make for unparalleled flavor.
The top airflow design not only delivers the best possible flavor but also eliminates spitback and ensures no leakage even when you over drip. The air holes are adjustable with a wide range of options ensuring a vaping experience tailored to your preferences.
The build deck features four posts with holes large enough to accommodate any type of build including; Claptons, parallels and aliens. The square centre post has an anti-spin design for easy building.
Best for cloud chasing
Phenotype L RDA – $58.49
- Massive airflow
- Three-piece, stainless steel construction
- 2 Post deck
- 4mm Deep juice well
- Easy to build on
The Phenotype L RDA is built for hard core cloud chasers who like big builds and prefer a more subtle flavor. As one of the best RDAs for clouds the Phenotype L is a good choice for competitions.
If huge airflow is the top of your wish list then look no further than the Phenotype L. This dripper has more airflow than most cloud chasers will know what to do with. Four 3mm wide by 6mm high vertical air slots provide enough air for competition level clouds. The design allows for a good range of airflow, the topcap can be moved down to almost completely close off the air slots.
The huge vapor production keeps the vapor cool; depending on your preferences this could be a pro or a con.
If you are a flavor chaser than this is not the atty for you. The Phenotype-L is perfect for those who don’t like overwhelming flavor.
The Phenotype L is made “by builders for builders”, huge builds are no problem. Dual posts with large post holes makes building a lot easier when compared with the average RDA.
DOG3 Competition RDA – $36
- Competition level clouds
- High quality materials and machining
- 4 or 3 Post build deck
- 9mm Juice well
- Dual air holes
- Heat resistant ceramic tip
- Available in five colors
- Compatible with hybrid mods
The DOG3 or Doge V3 from Congervape has taken everything Congervape has learned from its previous competition level RDAs and created the ultimate cloud chasing dripping atomizer. At under $50 is one of the most affordable dripping atomizers.
Every aspect of the design has been tailored to deliver more focused and powerful airflow. An improvement on previous DOG3 drippers is the integration of the top cap and barrel into one piece. This design increases airflow intake by directing air intake straight to the core. Two large 10mm by 2.5mm air slots maximise air flow.
The build deck has four posts but the copper plated center post can be swapped for a triple post setup. The thin walls of the barrel has increased the amount of build space available to a spacious 20mm. Large builds are no problem for this atomizer.
The juice well is 9mm deep, to put this into perspective the next deepest juice wells on this list are 6mm. Not only will you need to drip less often but the deeper well makes it easier to place the wicking material.
Biggest post holes and deepest juice well
Authentic Double Vision by Compvape – $47.56
- Dense clouds
- Air flow control
- 2 Post deck
- Huge 4mm post holes
- Easy to build on
- 6mm Juice well
- Parts are interchangeable with other Compvape atomizers
- Delrin drip tip
- Includes a second deck
Compvape is the brand responsible for other top rated RDAs such as the Twisted Messes, El Cabron, and 13 Heavens – 9 Hells. With a track record like that you know you’re in good hands. Compvape claims this is the best RDA ever made and while the accolade of best dripper will ultimately come down to personal preference the Double Vision is a serious contender if you’re a flavor chaser. Not only is the flavor great but this dripper also offers superior cloud production.
The juice well has an above average depth of 6mm so you will not need to drip as often.
Two large air slots on either side of the barrel are adjusted by rotating the base.
The Double Vision’s deck is one of the easiest decks to build on of any atomizer. The build deck is simple with just a positive and negative post, compatible with both single and dual coil builds. The post holes are gigantic at 4mm, opening up the possibility for all sorts of crazy builds. There’s an identical second deck included so that you can test different builds more easily. The build deck is compatible with the other Compvape atomizers, as are all other parts.
The barrel is small at a height of 3mm. This design choice produces denser vapor with more flavor. The smaller barrel also leads to a cool vape. This property opens up build possibilities that would produce uncomfortably hot vapor on other setups.
More great options
Aeolus V2 Pro RDA by Syntheticloud – $67.49
- Great flavor and vapor production
- Very smooth draw
- 3 post build deck
- Huge airflow adjustment range
- Holds 20-40 drops
- Enough space for big builds
- Compatible with hybrid mods
This top fed airflow RDA, is the updated version of the original Aeolus RDA. The first Aeolus dripping atomizer was widely regarded as one of the top RDAs on the market at the time. The biggest changes in Aeolus V2 Pro is the smaller size, the chamber is much smaller which increases flavor.
First of all, the build deck is one of the best looking ones you’ll find. The contacts and deck are 18K gold plated. There are three posts and the deck is a two piece one. There are square post holes that are big enough to easily accommodate clapton coils or thicker wire. The center post is squared which is a design feature to stop the deck from spinning.
The standout feature of the Aeolus V2 pro is probably its vertical airflow system. The maximum airflow is three times greater than the original. If huge airflow is what you’re looking for then the V2 Pro may be the best dripping atomizer for you. The airflow system directs air over and around the coils which leads to a smoother and more intense flavor. The air holes on the side are smaller than on the first Aeolus in order to enhance the flavor of the vapor. There has been some criticism of the AFC, the small size of the controller (which is a ring on the drip tip opening) means some people find it difficult to use.
Other features of the V2 include anti spitback and anti leak systems. The only things that come with the V2 are O-rings and screws. It does come in a pretty nice barrel shaped box however.