My First RDA – Smok Caterpillar RDA Review

When I first got into advanced vaping back in January I knew I would eventually get into dripping and rebuildable atomizers. It took me about a month of research and watching videos before I felt ready to start building my own coils. Grimm Green was one of the first expert vapers that I started following on YouTube and as I was going through his older videos I came across his review of the Caterpillar RDA, which was what drove me to buying one.

Back in February, I bought an authentic Smoktech Caterpillar RDA from Madvapes.com for $12.50.

Smok Caterpillar Specs

  • Adjustable Airflow
  • Large Diameter for Easy Building
  • Stainless Steel
  • 1.5 ohm coil pre-installed
  • 3 posts for dual coil or single coil

Design

caterpillar-box

You wouldn’t expect a lot out of a $12 RDA, but the Smok folks went above and beyond with their Smok Caterpillar RDA. The box is a heavy duty cardboard clamshell box and the RDA was seated nice and tight in the box.

The Caterpillar RDA looks and feels like a high-quality piece of equipment. It’s made of stainless steel and looks great on top of most devices. It’s 22mm wide so it fits clean and flush on iSticks.

caterpillar-on-istick50

My mech mod is 24mm so the Caterpillar looks a little small on it, but it doesn’t look terrible (see image below). The gold airflow ring is a nice touch as well.

caterpillar-on-fuhattan

Building on the Caterpillar RDA

The deck is large and the posts are easy to access. The post holes are decent too, although it would be nice if they were a little bigger. The largest gauge wire you can fit in the post holes when doing dual coil is about 26 gauge.

caterpillar-deck-posts

I’ve tried a lot of different builds on it and my favorite is a single coil with 28 gauge wire, 1.2mm diameter at about 1.2 ohms. I like that build because it heats up fast and is easy to change or re-wick.

One important thing to note about single coil builds on the Caterpillar is that you cannot close off the air holes on one side of the RDA, which means if you run a single coil build, you’ll have air coming into the atomizer on one side of the RDA that doesn’t have a coil installed. That won’t do you any favors regarding flavor but it’s not that big of a deal.

Airflow and Vapor Production

This was my first RDA coming from a Nautilus Mini. The Nautilus Mini isn’t a cloud chasing tank so transitioning from it to an RDA was quite the difference. The Caterpillar RDA produces much more vapor and the vapor has more density too. With the right build, you can take the RDA up to 50+ watts for even more vapor production, which isn’t possible with tanks like the Nautilus Mini.

The Caterpillar has five airflow holes. The lowest airflow setting is too tight for me. I prefer the airflow settings wide-open. If you haven’t used an RDA before, the airflow will be just fine but after having used several different RDAs and tanks now with much better airflow, I think the airflow of the Caterpillar is too restricting.

Nicotine Delivery

When comparing the nicotine strength from the Nautilus Mini to the Caterpillar, there is a world of difference. The nicotine is much stronger in the RDA. I’ve used 18mg nicotine e-juice in my Nautilus Mini and it has nowhere near the effect that 6mg nicotine juice has in the Caterpillar. I actually felt a little woozy and nauseous after taking 10 or so hits off the Caterpillar.

Final Thoughts

using-caterpillar-rda
The Caterpillar RDA works great, it produces a nice amount of vapor and the flavor is nice too. It’s also a great RDA for beginners because there’s nothing complicated about it, there’s plenty of space on the deck to work with and the post holes are fairly large too. There are much better RDAs on the market, but if you’re just jumping into RDAs for the first time and you want an authentic RDA at an affordable price, the Caterpillar RDA is a good one to start with.

You can buy an authentic Smoktech Caterpillar RDA from Madvapes.com for $12.50.

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