So What’s The Difference Between a RBA, RDA, RDTA, RTA, Genesis and GTA Atomisers?
I’m glad you asked! RDTA’s, RDA’s, RTA, RBA’s and so on..
The terminology used to explain things within the vaping industry can be a bit of a minefield to navigate, and it’s easy to get lost and confused amongst a sea of acronyms!
We’ve put together a quick, and hopefully easy to understand, guide to the different types of rebuildable atomisers.
Not all will suit every vaper so have a vape and see which of the following atties will best suit you.
What’s A RBA (Rebuildable Atomiser)?
This is the easiest one so let’s get it out of the way first.
An RBA tends to be a catch-all term to describe any type of rebuildable atomiser these days. From RTA right through to RDA.
You’ll also commonly find this term applied to rebuildable coils supplied with sub ohm clearomiser tanks, the RBA coil having been popularized by the hugely successful Kanger Subtank.
Below we will cover the different RBA types available…
What’s A RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomiser)?
A Rebuildable Tank Atomiser, or RTA for short, is comprised of a build deck with channels to feed liquid to your build, which is enclosed by a chamber and has a chimney which funnels vapour up to a drip tip.
The tank itself actually holds a certain amount of e-liquid, and gravity as well as pressure feed the liquid from the tank itself through the juice channels to your wick.
Rebuildable Tank Atomisers are commonly built with a coil as well as a cotton wick, however some users do prefer different types of wicking materials.
Some RTA’s are capable of being built with more than just one coil.
The first rebuildable tank atomisers began to hit the market in 2012, with Kir Fanis, Svoemesto (of Kayfun fame), Golden Greek and Vapourart leading the way.
These were sold in very small batches on vaping forums, and very quickly sold out. They definitely weren’t easy to build, however offered a vape far above anything else that was available at the time.
Word soon spread about the capabilities of these rebuildable tank atomisers, and the industry exploded quickly from there!
As recently as 18 months ago, many RTA’s in general were an absolute nightmare to build, constant fiddling with coil placements and wicks were needed to obtain a decent vape and prevent catastrophic leaking.
They were also extremely expensive and out of the price range of many vapers.
These days, with the rapid advancement of different deck designs available plus the introduction of juice flow control, RTA’s have become far easier to build, cheaper, almost leakproof in some instances, much more forgiving, and as such have become a very popular option for vapers.
Popular RTA choices at the time of writing include:
What is a RDA (Rebuildable Dripping Atomiser)?
A Rebuildable Dripping Atomiser, or RDA for short, is comprised of a build deck with a small juice capacity and a top cap is placed over this.
This vastly reduces the distance that vapour has to travel, as no chimney or chamber is required.
For this reason RDA’s are credited with being able to produce the best flavour out of any type of rebuildable tank, however they do require constant refilling of juice (known as dripping) due to the lack of a tank capacity.
As more manufacturers experimented with RDA’s, more rebuilding options opened up and decks got larger, meaning people had more room to build with.
Coupled with airflow getting larger and larger, RDA’s began to offer bigger and bigger clouds and are the atomiser of choice for the hardened sub ohm cloud chaser.
RDA’s are renowned for offering the easiest build, best flavour and biggest clouds, however the trade off is that there is no tank capacity meaning RDA’s aren’t ideal for out and about use…that is of course unless you use a squonker! (Check out our guide to squonking here).
Imeo Athanasis, of Golden Greek fame, is credited with bringing the first drippers to market, and other manufacturers quickly caught on when they noticed that these offered flavour performance and ease of build that was unparalleled at the time for the rebuilding enthusiast.
Early RDA’s bore little resemblance to RDA’s of today, these were a single coil affair with air holes no bigger than 1mm- airy cloud chasing RDA’s were still some way off!
Popular RDA’s include:
- See our Best RDA’s
What is a RDTA (Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomiser)?
A Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomiser is a relatively new type of rebuildable to hit the market, one of the first commonly available reliable RDTA’s was the Steamcrave Aromamizer RDTA.
A true RDTA essentially is an RDA that features the tank capacity of a RTA beneath it.
You’ll get a fully fledged RDA styled build deck at the top, and you make sure your wick trails down into the tank capacity underneath to absorb e-liquid.
RDTA’s have been designed to bridge the gap between an RDA and RTA, and they are getting very close indeed!
They tend to be easier to build than an RTA, as they offer an RDA styled rebuilding experience.
Plus you get the benefits of RDA performance with an RTA capacity, making it a great choice to take with you out and about.
Popular RDTA’s on the market today include:
What is a Genesis Tank (Gennies)
Genesis tanks, or gennies, have been around since the early days of hobbyist vaping, first making an appearance in 2011.
One of the first to discuss using this method of vaping was Raidy on ECF.
He termed the name Genisis = GENIal SImpler Siebdampfer translated to “ingeniously simple mesh steamer”
Instead of a cotton wick, a rolled up stainless steel mesh straw or stainless steel rope is used for wick, with the wire wrapped around this.
A correctly built genesis tank will give you a build that lasts ages, and arguably the purest flavour experience available.
These definitely aren’t for super sub ohm builds or cloud chasing, only the flavour purists need apply here.
The use of cotton in a genny is anathema to a true genesis tank aficionado- only mesh will do!
Genesis tanks are arguably the most difficult to build out of any rebuildable tank, and as such are only recommended for advanced users- I’d go as far as saying these are only for the hardcore!
I can attest to how frustrating building a genesis tank can be!
However, once you nail a mesh build with a genesis tank, you won’t need to rebuild your genesis tank for a long time (potentially 12 months plus).
With the occasional dry burn you will get the most mileage from your build, and arguably you will experience flavour from fruit and tobacco e-liquids quite unlike any experience you will get from a cotton wick!
Popular true genesis tanks are hard to come (authentic ones) but include:
- In’Ax MKIII by Athea
What is a GTA (Genesis styled Tank Atomiser)?
Lastly, we come onto the Genesis styled Tank Atomiser, or GTA for short.
This is a relatively new development within the industry, and we are starting to see the GTA acronym bandied around more and more.
It’s inspired by Genesis tanks, as well as RDTA’s, and essentially a GTA features a sealed build deck that sits centrally inside a tank, with the wicks trailing down into the tank reservoir.
Hopefully the guide above has made things a little clearer for you, and has explained the different types of atomisers that currently are available!