Not MTL, Not DTL, But RDL Vaping - What is it?

There's no denying that vaping can get a little confusing at times, especially for the uninitiated. The world of vapes is a big one, and with lots of different styles, vape kits, hardware and more it can be hard to keep up. On top of that, you have to figure out what bits of hardware go with what vape device! By now, you may well be clued up on terms MTL and DTL, and after finally getting your head around those you're smacked with another term RDL. So, what's the deal with RDL?

In this blog we're going to break down exactly what RDL vaping is, how it differs from the other styles of vaping and a few of the very best RDL vape kits for you to get your hands on right here at Vaping 101. So whether you're a beginner or an experienced vaper, read on for all the info you need to start RDL vaping today!

What is RDL vaping?

RDL stands for restricted direct-lung vaping, and it is a style of vaping that has been developed and is becoming increasingly more popular amongst vapers. It’s often considered a middle ground between MTL and DTL vaping. When using an RDL vape, you inhale the same way as you would with a direct-lung vape but use a more restricted airflow. This allows you to enjoy a compromise between MTL and DTL, with more flavour and vapour than MTL and more of a satisfying throat hit than DTL. 

Vaping styles

Mouth-to-lung vaping

Mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping has steadily become the most popular way to vape. When performing a MTL vape, vapour is held in the mouth after taking a drag from the device, then it is inhaled into the lungs. MTL vaping closely resembles that of smoking a cigarette with its tighter draw and throat hit which is why it is often preferred by ex-smokers.

Higher PG vape juice, such as 50/50 e-liquid and nic salts are used with MTL vaping which results in more discreet vapour but big flavour. These e-liquids are also available in higher nicotine strengths, and whilst nic salts provide a smoother throat hit, e-liquids with freebase nicotine in them offer that throat hit that many ex-smokers enjoy. 

MTL vaping has become so popular not only because it resembles smoking a cigarette, but also because it is a much more accessible way to vape and requires less overall knowledge. Pod vapes, vape pens and disposable vapes are all common types of MTL vapes that you can find on the market, and these are low powered, compact, and often more affordable devices.

Direct-to-lung vaping

Direct-lung (DTL) vaping involves taking a deep breath and drawing the vapour directly into the lungs. This method is also known as sub-ohm vaping, and this is because these devices use coils below 1.0 ohm which creates the big clouds of vapour associated with sub-ohm vaping. The lower the resistance of the coil, the larger the clouds. However, to get these clouds, the device needs to be more powerful. That’s why DTL vapes are much larger and more powerful than MTL devices. These are often referred to as mods which are feature-rich allowing vapes to really control and modify their vaping experience with various modes. Some even operate up to 200W.

Restricted direct-to-lung vaping

So, how do these compare to RDTL vaping? For a long time, vapers only had the choice between MTL and DTL vaping. However, as vaping has grown in popularity and better technology is being developed all the time, new ways to vape are being created. As we've mentioned, RDTL is the middle-ground in terms of inhalation style between MTL and DTL. It offers vapers a bit of both styles, providing more flavour than DTL devices and thicker vapour than MTL devices.

Restricted direct-lung vaping essentially means that the airflow is restricted as you inhale, despite inhaling directly into the lungs. This restricted airflow means that RDL vaping will still feel like a cigarette, even when using high VG juices.

What coils do I need for RDL vaping?

RDL vapes use coils with a resistance that are between MTL and DTL, typically ranging between 0.5ohms and 0.9ohms. Now, I know we said that resistances below 1.0ohm are considered sub-ohm. and whilst this is technically true, coils above 0.5ohms will not produce the large clouds of vapour that we associate with direct-lung vaping. However, an RDTL coils will produce more vapour than a MTL coils would whilst still producing good amounts of flavour.

What e-liquids can I use with RDL devices

RDL vape kits are unique in that they have the capability to be used with both high VG e-liquids and high PG e-liquids. For example, you can use your favourite shortfill, nic salt or 50/50 e-liquid and then adjust the wattage appropriately to allow you to create an experience that works for you. RDL coils offer a good amount of flavour 

The best vape kits for RDL vaping

RDL devices are not as large as sub-ohm vape kits, and are closer in size to pod vapes. As such, the vape devices are not as powerful.

Vaporesso Gen Air 40

The Vaporesso Gen Air 40 is a pod system that has proven to be a big hit amongst those who enjoy RDL vaping, and for good reason. Capable of performing as both an RDL and MTL device, vapers really do have a lot of room for experimentation and personalisation with this device from Vaporesso. The built-in 1800mAh battery gives this device a 5-40W power range, meaning it's capable of producing a satisfying RDL vape experience. The Vaporesso Gen Air 40 pods are very unique in that it is the pods that have an adjustable airflow feature built-in, not the device itself.

Despite its compact build, the Gen Air 40 still has some impressive features that allow vapers to curate a perfect RDL vape experience. The adjustable airflow on the pods allows vapers to fine-tune their inhalation style and really fine-tune their experience. Switch between a more loose or tight inhalation to find that sweet spot that works for you. As well as this, Vaporesso have designed this pod kit with 4 power levels which dictate the warmth of your vapour. 

In terms of aesthetics, the Gen Air 40 is a sleek device that is available in a wide range of colours. It sports a modern design, which is subtle with the black body of the device and allows the bright colours on the side of the kit to pop. 

Uwell Caliburn G2 pod kit

Uwell are considered the kings of MTL vaping by many, and whilst the Uwell Caliburn G2 pod system is typically used as a MTL device, it is just as capable of performing as an RDL vape. This pod kit comes with two pods in different resistances of 1.2 ohm and 0.8 ohm resistance. Use the 0.8 ohm pod for an RDL vape and adjust the airflow to your liking with the intuitive wheel design to create your ideal RDL vape. Alternatively, you can also loosen the airflow of the 1.2 ohm for a loose MTL draw. 

The Caliburn G2 replacement pods have a 2ml e-liquid capacity feature as an easy refill design. Simply click the pods into the top of the device and you're ready to vape. 

The Caliburn G2 looks as good as it tastes, keeping the classic Caliburn design of the sleek, pen-style look. The Pro-FOCS technology that has made Uwell so popular amongst flavour chasers makes this vape perfect for those who want a flavoursome RDL vape. 


RDL vaping is quickly growing in popularity amongst vapers of all levels and is no longer bound to the more experienced who spend their time perusing and studying the vaping subreddits. With new technologies, RDL vaping is becoming more accessible than ever, thanks to many devices operating as both a MTL and RDL vape allowing users to dip in and try something new. 

Versatility defines this style of vaping as it blends everything vapers love between MTL and DTL, using RDL coils between 0.5ohm and 0.8ohm to offer a taste of both styles in one. Combined with adjustable airflows and high VG or high PG e-liquids, vapers can now closely fine-tune the vapour production and flavour to find their sweet spot.

If you have any more unanswered questions about RDL or vaping in general, do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email. Our dedicated team of vaping experts are hands on deck, happy to help you with any questions and queries you might have.

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