RBA Reviews

Steam Crave Meson RTA

Antony got his hands on the Steam Crave Meson RTA. Let's get building!

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Steam Crave should be a name familiar to anyone who’s been into rebuildable atomisers over the last few years with their much lauded series of RDTA style tanks. Their latest release, the Meson RTA, is a single coil version with a top down airflow system so I thought it would be worth a look and our friends over at Healthcabin have been kind enough to send one over for review.

Specifications

  • 25mm diameter
  • Single coil deck
  • Restricted top airflow designed for 20~50 watts
  • 5ml straight glass / 6ml bubble glass
  • Designed for use with the Hadron lite and Hadron Mini mods

The best way to describe most Steam Crave atomisers would be “over engineered”, and the Meson is no exception. Out of the box it comes with a 5ml straight glass fitted, but if you want to use the included 6ml bubble tank then you’ll have to strip down quite a few parts to achieve this:

Steam Crave Meson RTA changing the glass

First up remove the top cap with Steam Craves signature 810 drip tip, this exposes two generously sized fill ports, and you’ll notice that the chimney section has a couple of slots. These have been designed for you to unscrew the chimney section freeing the top section of the tank.

Putting the larger bubble glass in place wasn’t as straightforward as I’d initially hoped either as you have to watch out for the O-rings at the top and bottom which have a habit of trying to make an escape bid. With things lined up, I then proceeded to try and screw the chimney back in place but couldn’t get any purchase. It was at this point I took a look inside the RTA and realized that the airflow piece inside the atomization chamber is also held in place by the chimney section so you have to hold that in place whilst you’re screwing down the chimney whilst also bearing in mind that the lower airflow piece needs to be in the correct orientation. 

Steam Crave Meson RTA airflow

Whilst the tank doesn’t look too offensive with the 6ml glass fitted, the Meson RTA has really been designed for use with the Hadron Lite side by side mod which is where I would be using it, and here you only have room for the 5ml straight glass so photos done, I had to repeat this process all over again! D’oh! At least I’m hopeful at this point that the honeycomb side airflow system should give good flavour as I’ve had good results from similar designs in the past.

Steam Crave Meson RTA top and bottom

As with other Steam Crave RTAs, the build deck is accessed by unscrewing the base and pulling the deck away from the main body. The deck is a self-contained system with a postless deck design, wicking ports, and the 510 connector all in one compact unit.

Steam Crave Meson RTA build

The deck is very compact with a postless design. Those posts are quite close together and the chamber is quite small as well so you won’t fit any monster builds in here, and in fact Steam Crave recommends a 2.5mm inner diameter coil although you can fit a 3mm coil at a push.

The recommended leg length quoted in the manual is 4mm, but I found with this that the bottom of the coil was actually contacting the build deck, so I had to loosen the grub screws off and lift the coil up. I’d say that a 5mm length would be much better fit here but of course feel free to experiment, bearing in mind that you don’t want to go too long as you’ll risk hitting the top of the chamber/chimney section.

One issue I had with my initial build was getting a stable connection. With the deck removed, I realized that the screws holding down the negative block and the positive pin on the 510 connector weren’t tightly screwed down, a quick nip up on all of these soon fixed that. A minor annoyance, but something you might want to do yourself when you first remove this from the box.

Wicking is the standard Steam Crave method, cut the wicks about 1cm from the coil then fluff the hell out of the tails before tucking it away in the ports. Two key points here are that you don’t want it too tightly packed in the ports and you don’t want any wick poking out of the bottom of the deck or you’ll choke the wicking off.

I happened to have just enough of the triple core fused clapton I made a while back to comfortably fit in place, but this meant I ended up at just 0.22 ohms which means I was having to run this at 50~55 watts, right at the upper end of what Steam Crave advise for the Meson RTA. I’ve always struggled to wick Steam Crave atomisers reliably, but after a couple of days trial and error I did get this running quite well with solid flavour. The downside was that I was having to rewick every day as this higher power build was burning the centre of the cotton.

Pros

  • Good flavour
  • Well built

Cons

  • Fiddly to wick
  • Smaller builds only

Conclusion

The Meson RTA has been designed as a lower power restricted direct lung tank so if you’re used to Steam Craves monster dual coil tanks, this might come as a bit of a shock as it really is quite restricted even with the airflow fully open. I’d definitely recommend a higher ohm build with lower power requirements for the best results. Another issue I ran into was that I tended to find that the chimney would gradually become loose with successive fills so that’s worthwhile keeping your eye on and giving a quick nip up every so often to head off any issues.

I’m quite happy with the results so far but I certainly wouldn’t recommend this as your first RTA as I’m sure it would put someone new to rebuildables right off. However if you’re used to Steam Crave’s decks and are looking for a little bit more chilled than their usual cloud chuckers, then this might be worth a look.

Many thanks to Healthcabin for sending the Meson RTA over for review.

Antony Lord avatar

Antony Lord

Reviewer at POTV
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I was a twenty a day smoker for 25 years and like most smokers I was always going to quit "next week". Having hit my mid forties and having the usual smokers cough and difficulty with anything more than moderate exercise it was obviously time to give up the cancer sticks. I bought my first e-cigarette in 2013 when they were expensive, difficult to find and quite frankly... crap. I used it for about a week then went back to the roll ups, mark up another failed quit attempt. The fact that I had just changed jobs and was under quite a lot of stress probably didn't help. Move on to 2016 and whilst I was browsing eBay I noticed that one of the suggested items that would occasionally pop up was for a cheap e-cigarette. It looked similar to the one I'd bought 3 years earlier but it was only £5 (about 8 times cheaper than before) so I decided to give it another go on a whim. Once the kit arrived I managed to gradually replace the cigarettes with my new kit over a two month period and got into watching YouTube reviews for newer kit. My cheap and cheerful kit was replaced by a more upmarket affair, and being a noob I made a mistake once it arrived... I put in the supplied direct lung coil, this was of course a complete revelation and I haven't touched a cigarette since. Oh and I no longer spend the first five minutes of every day having a coughing fit either.

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