I’m convinced RDAs are the new mixtapes. Honestly, when was the last time we reviewed a rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA) that wasn’t the brainchild of some vape industry rock star or two-headed company collaboration? Such is the case with the AURA RDA by Digiflavor and DJLsb Vapes.
If my next dripper comes in “featuring Pitbull” I wouldn’t be surprised.
Special guest star aside, is the Digiflavor Aura, designed in collaboration with DJLSB Vapes, worth the shout out? If you don’t mind a loud, sloppy mix, maybe. Otherwise, read on…
Inspecting the Digiflavor Aura RDA
Digiflavor certainly knows how to offer a lot inside a small box. Opening the Aura packaging reveals the Aura RDA, two 810 drip tips, a screwdriver, a complete coil jig set, 510 adapter, bottom-feeding pin, two Clapton coils, and a boatload of spare parts. It’s a really nice collection for the newcomer, and a great way to enhance an experienced vaper’s tool kit.
The 24mm Aura RDA is fairly innocuous in design, save for the 28mm height. Otherwise, my stainless steel edition is neither attractive or unique, neither of which matters as long as it vapes well. However, there are two notable design choices:
First, the ultem disc on the bottom of the RDA is a nice addition to help contain and dissipate heat between the atomizer and your mod. Though it adds a good amount of height, I’m all for heat control on RDAs, as they tend to get a little toasty after extended use.
Second is the dual airflow setup, with both a bottom airflow control and side slots to manage. One of these was a welcome addition. The other led to unbelievable annoyance when juicing this atomizer. In an odd design move, the deck features FOUR airflow slots, each positioned at a corner of the build deck, but the top cap only features two.
I’m guessing these slots offer options for venting and cooling larger builds, but I didn’t see any distinct advantage using one set over the other.
The Aura RDA deck is an interesting clamp setup. Using a “stepped” design, the non-spring-loaded deck is raised in a way to help install leads without losing positioning. I’m not 100% sure how the design makes it easier, but I had a better experience installing coils on the Aura than I have with standard Goon-style decks.
The Aura RDA is built only for dual-coil setups, as no adapters are included for single-coil arrangements. But given the ease of building, and the deep juice well, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Building the Digiflavor Aura RDA
As mentioned, building on the staircase deck (I’m patenting that term) was a breeze. Not only did the clamps easily accept the two included fused Clapton coils, but positioning them was just as easy, with plenty of room for larger, more complicated builds, and a wad of cotton just waiting to be doused with e-liquid.
This is where my problems began. First, I built the Aura RDA according to all best practices – by that, I mean YouTube videos, since the instruction manual assumes a lot of knowledge on the part of the user. That said, I had what I felt was a strong, secure build in place, with plenty of cotton to prohibit leaking.
I was wrong. Within seconds of installing the cap, my bottom airflow began hemorrhaging e-liquid at an unbelievable rate. No matter how well I controlled my dropper, the Aura just drew liquid to the base and out the AFC.
So, clearly the bottom airflow option wasn’t going to work for me. I closed it off, hoping and praying the odd side-mounted slots would provide enough throughput to create a memorable vape.
Vaping the Digiflavor Aura RDA
While there was indeed airflow, there was none of the bottom-fed turbine action I’ve come to enjoy in modern RDAs. Instead, I received muted flavor and a tight, excessively warm vape.
Even on lower wattages, I couldn’t rectify the flavor concerns, forcing me to strip out my build and start over. This time, I covered the entire juice well in cotton, allowing for zero drips and drabs throughout the deck. I also raised the coils a touch, to see if I could generate different airflow patterns.
Unfortunately, while the leaking subsided to a point, there was still excessive pooling near the bottom airflow, while raising the coils created unbelievable whistling and spitback – both from the drip tip and the side airflow slots.
No matter how I configured the Aura RDA, there was some level of difficulty creating a satisfying vape. Raising the coils allowed for better airflow from the side, but at the expense of flavor and leakage. In this configuration, when I decided to shut off the side airflow slots, the bottom airflow seemed to offer better flavor, but it was still muted with below-average vapor production.
However, I had to try one more time, in the name of journalism. The third time was indeed the charm. Using even more cotton than before, carefully blocking off the bottom AFC while still allowing a sizable gap, I juiced the cotton and lowered the coils back to the standard height.
And then came the clouds. Finally, after three builds and numerous paper towels, I finally got the Aura to vape the way it was intended. Now, before we plan a parade, please know I still experienced excessive moisture and leaking, and the side airflow still created a loud whirring noise, alongside more spitting.
But in between these moments were rare instances of vaping zen – flavorful puffs, dense clouds, and a comfortably warm vape. It was moments like this that saddened me, because the Aura comes so close to achieving this level consistently, but there are just too many design flaws to make it a regular occurrence.
I’ve reviewed a lot of RDAs this season, some of which offered a truly outstanding balance of flavor and vapor quality. Sadly, though it had its moments, the Digiflavor Aura needed a few more rounds of quality testing before it hit the market.
Perhaps master builders with patience to spare will have a better time with the Aura than I did, but as an experienced vaper, it shouldn’t take this much tinkering to get an atomizer to vape properly. And even when it did, the flavor still paled in comparison to much better drippers like the Anarchist Riot or the Hellvape Dead Rabbit.
This is a very nicely spec’d package from Digiflavor, but spare parts alone can’t save a bad vape experience. When considering its unbelievably fiddly wicking needs, and a tremendous leaking problem, the Digiflavor Aura simply misses the mark.
AURA RDA Specs and Package Contents
Digiflavor AURA RDA specs:
- 24mm Diameter
- Superior Stainless Steel Construction
- PEI ULTEM Disc Plate at Base Section
- Domed Top Cap
- Stepped Two-Post, Dual Terminal Design
- Bridge-Clamp Mechanism – Top-Mounted by Phillips (or Flathead) Screws
- PEEK Insulator
- Dual Slotted Side Airslots – Fully Adjustable
- Dual Slotted Bottom Airflow – Fixed
- Dual Angled Airflow Tubes Inside Chamber
- 15mm Wide 810 Drip Tip
- 18mm Wide 810 Drip Tip
- Squonk-Ready Bottom Feeding 510 Pin
- Gold-Plated 510 Contact Pin
Digiflavor Aura kit contents:
- 1x AURA RDA
- 1x 810 Drip Tip
- 1x Phillips Screwdriver Key
- 2x 2.5mm Coiling Tool
- 2x 3.0mm Coiling Tool
- 2x Prebuilt Clapton Coils
- Instruction Manual