Our Dog3 RDA review takes a look at the latest dripping atomizer from the popular Doge series: does the new incarnation improve on it’s predecessors, or would you be better off sticking with an older version?
Is it worth buying?
The Dog3 RDA continues in the proud tradition of its predecessors, and the result is a truly exceptional RDA. It’s comfortable to build on, has a straightforward, no-nonsense layout and design, uses high-quality materials, has a huge range when it comes to airflow setting and produces plumes of vapor and robust flavor.
The price – $39.99 – is also pretty good for an RDA, not as cheap as they get but definitely much better than many of the higher-end options on the market, and for a knockout device like the Dog3, it’s an absolute bargain. In the unspoken battle with the Troll for the best combination of solid RDA performance and dank memes, my vote goes to the Dog3.
Although sub-ohm tanks offer similarly awesome performance without the hassle of dripping, RDAs are still the best way to vape in the eyes of many. While wrapping your own coils might seem like pointless hard work, the satisfaction that comes with vaping using a coil you built yourself is hard to top, and when you add the exceptional vapor production and flavor into the mix, it’s easy to see why many vapers still use drippers.
Congrevape’s Doge series of RDAs is one of the most widely-loved in the industry, and the Dog3 is the latest addition to the line-up, featuring a split positive post with 2.2 mm post-holes, square PEEK insulators, a huge 9 mm juice well and more. But does the RDA have what it takes to compete with the multitude of options on the market? Does the performance justify the $39.99 price-tag?
We’ve put the RDA to the test in our Dog3 RDA review to find out.
Note: This RDA was received as part of a Vapebox – check out our full review to find out about more of the awesome gear and juices you can get as part of your subscription.
What You Get
The Dog3 RDA comes in a small black box with the “DOG3” logo across the front and the key bits of info about the device on the back. The box opens to reveal your RDA nestled in a foam block, with a bag of spares in a slot to the side, including a mini screwdriver, spare copper and stainless steel (single) center posts (with larger, 3 mm holes), two sets of three spare screws (in copper and steel), a spare PEEK insulator set and some extra O-rings. This is a solid set of extras, with the spare center posts being a particularly handy inclusion for anybody who prefers a non-split center post.
The Dog3 RDA has a straightforward but effective design, with a 22 mm diameter cylindrical, stainless steel top cap covering the deck and a wide-core, ceramic drip tip in the top. The RDA looks pretty unassuming, with the “DOG3” logo on one side blending with the black of the top cap aside from the three lines from the 3, which are accented in your chosen color. The other side bears an endearingly simplistic sketch of the classic Doge meme logo, although my version from Vapebox has their logo in its place.
The RDA has two large airflow slots between the two logos, towards the bottom of the top cap and adjustable by simply rotating it around the base. There are two taller sections at the sides of the atomizer, with cutaway sections in front of your coils so the airflow is direct. The slots measure 2.5 by 10 mm each, giving plenty of space to get air to your coils, and they can even be adjusted down to a mouth-to-lung friendly size if that’s your thing.
The deck itself has an excellent layout. The split center post – which is copper as standard – means its well set-up for dual coils, and the negative posts are right at the edge of the deck to give you plenty of building space. The juice well is also very deep, with your coils mounted comfortably above it so you can get a pretty impressive amount of juice in with every drip if you fill it right up to the lip of the deck.
The post-holes are a substantial size, which means you can get thicker wire gauges or even things like Clapton coils in there with no problems, and the slightly larger holes on the solo center posts make connecting dual coils about as easy as it can be. The screws in the top are flat-heads, and are generally really well put together: they’re easy to loosen and tighten with the included screwdriver or virtually any other flat-head one you have.
The 11 mm wide bore ceramic drip tip keeps the airflow huge, provides good heat resistance so your lips don’t get burned when you’re vaping for a long time, and looks good with the rest of the device. The size might not be to everyone’s taste, and you don’t get an adapter for standard 510 options, but the included option will be OK for most vapers anyway.
Finally, the 510 contact point on the bottom of the device is made from copper for conductivity and can be removed with a flat-head screwdriver. The bottom of the device also has a “Dog3” logo and “ceramic, steel, copper” written on the steel, with 3s in place of the Es to fit with the name of the device.
Overall, the Dog3 RDA does a fantastic job from a design perspective: it keeps things fairly basic and non-descript, and although the big Doge image might not be to everyone’s taste, the look is great on the whole. Functionally, you can tell that Congrevape has put some time into putting together a comfortable building platform, with plenty of little features to make the process as easy as possible.
Ease of Building
Following on directly from the generally excellent design, the Dog3 is a pleasure to build on. Removing the top cap reveals a spacious build deck, and the screws in the tops of the posts are high-quality and unscrew nice and smoothly without too much effort required to get them started. After opening up the post-holes by loosening the screws, it’s hard to see where you could go wrong when it comes to rebuilding.
When you’ve put your coils (or coil) together, the sizable post-holes mean you can get the legs inserted through them very easily, and the split center post design really helps for multi-coil builds. The 22 mm diameter deck and space-boosting layout of the posts give you more than enough room to get your build completed, with no need to push your coils up too close to the posts to leave a comfortable amount of space between them and the inside of the cap. Everything screws back down cleanly when you’ve attached your legs, and the split center post makes snipping away the stray ends much less fiddly than with non-split designs.
Since the juice well is super-deep, you have to leave your wicks fairly long so they reach the bottom, but the ends are easy to push into place with some tweezers, and nestle in the D-shaped cut-out sections at the bottom.
In short, if you’ve ever made a coil before, you’ll have no problems whatsoever with the Dog3. It’s very easy to build on, thanks to some good design choices and generally high-quality materials, so there are no complaints in this department at all.
So far our Dog3 RDA Review has covered all of the basics of the device, but the question is: does the RDA work like you want it to for the day-to-day needs of a vaper?
The answer is a firm “Damn right it does!”
As long as you’ve made a good coil, it’s hard to see any vaper being disappointed with what the Dog3 has to offer. The vapor production is solid, thanks to the nice wide-bore drip tip, the excellent conductivity and the sizeable airflow slots positioned just below the level of your coils. With the slots all the way open, you get a cool, airy and oh-so-cloudy vape and a very smooth, light draw. With the slots closed down as low as you can reasonably go, it’s tight enough to support mouth-to-lung vaping but the vapor production is still great. I sit somewhere in between these two extremes, and the simplicity of the airflow control system makes it very easy to make slight adjustments to your draw.
The flavor is also fantastic all-round. Even on the most open airflow setting, you get tons of flavor from your juice thanks to the under-coil placement of the slots, and although it would probably be better if the airflow was directly below the coils, it gets no complaints from me.
The juice well is another design feature that really pays off in use. The amount you can fit in there means that you don’t have to drip too often at all, and if you top up before starting to vape, you’ll probably have set your mod down for a little while before you drain everything you have in there. Although some vapers will still find the regular dripping a little annoying, the Dog3 makes it about as painless as it can be.
The combination of the positioning of the air slots and the deep juice well also means that leaking out of the slots is pretty much a non-issue. Through my testing of the RDA, I barely ever had a serious leak from the air slots, and since that’s usually a big annoyance for me, this is a huge plus-point that makes the Dog3 my day-to-day RDA. There is some leaking from around the bottom connection, but this isn’t a huge issue because it isn’t excessive, just a little ring of build-up after a few hours of use.
When it comes time to re-drip, you can do it by just removing the drip tip, but the top cap works so smoothly I just take that off each time. It has just the right amount of resistance so you won’t pull it off accidentally – I can even support my whole dual-battery mod by holding it – but it comes off very smoothly when you try to remove it. The slight downside to this is that sometimes the threads at the bottom of the RDA are tighter than the O-ring friction holding the top cap in place, so you end up spinning the cap when you try to unscrew, but if you grip the RDA more firmly you can get it going.
Aside from these very minor complaints, everything on the Dog3 works like a dream. Building is a breeze, the vapor and flavor is exceptional, the airflow system does exactly what you want it to without making things unnecessarily complex, and the issues with leaking are so minor I’d still count it as a plus-point for the device. You’ll be one happy vaper with the Dog3.
The Dog3 is excellently put together. The high-quality materials are one thing – with a copper contact and center-post, ceramic drip tip, stainless steel body and PEEK insulators – but the whole package works just as you want it to. The threading is solid, the top cap connects perfectly, the post-screws are very easy to use and the RDA is very durable, overall. The finish can pick up a few scratches, but if you aren’t as careless as I am you won’t run into issues.