It’s safe to say that many people in the vaping industry were caught off guard by the rapid growth of e-cig and vape pod systems. I must I admit that I was one of them! While most vaping devices have been getting bigger, more powerful and increasingly advanced, e-cig pod mods are more like first generation e-cigs – low-powered, super compact and easy-to-use. But they offer one huge advantage – the use of nicotine salt e-liquid.
If you’re a smoker looking to quit, or just want a compact and effective device to deliver nicotine, vape pods and e-cig pod systems are one of the best options to consider; primarily due to their use of nicotine salts. For many, e-liquid made with nicotine salt is much more satisfying than standard e-liquid because it delivers higher amounts of nicotine without the throat irritation or harshness.
This is especially beneficial to smokers who aren’t used to inhaling vapor but need higher concentrations of nicotine to help them quit. A standard e-juice with the same amount of nicotine would be difficult to comfortably inhale, but nicotine salts make the experience much more enjoyable. This also means users will consume less e-juice – reducing their exposure and ultimately saving them money.
Pros & Cons of E-Cig Pod Systems
Besides the benefits offered by using nicotine salts, the best vape pod systems offer a number of advantages over larger, more complicated sub-ohm devices. They also have a few downsides; especially if you’re an experience vaper:
- Simple and easy-to-use – Most pod vape mods are either inhale activated, or operated with a single button. There are no complicated screens or settings to worry about. Plus, pods are quick and easy to refill or replace.
- Compact, low profile designs – E-cig pod mods are sleek and much more compact than traditional box mods. Some are nearly as small as a traditional cigarette! Discreetly tuck one in your pocket or almost anywhere.
- Super affordable – Although there are a few exceptions, e-cig pod systems are surprisingly affordable and will cost much less than than a complete sub-ohm device. On average, prices range from $20 to $40. And because nicotine salts are more effective at delivering nicotine, you’ll vape less frequently, consume less e-juice and reduce your long-term costs.
- More authentic experience – Because they’re smaller, have a smoother and more restrictive mouth-to-lung (MTL) style draw, vape pod mods are more like smoking a traditional cigarette than most vaping setups.
- Lower power, less vapor – One of the biggest downsides to pod-style devices is that they provide limited power and vapor output.
- Limited control and options – You will not be able to customize your experience with a pod vape system. For the most part, power output is fixed and your coil and / or refill options will be limited.
Top Pod Vape Systems (Closed)
Although a growing number pod vape systems are considered “open” – or refillable (see below), if you don’t want to refill pods yourself or worry about replacing coils, a closed pod system is the most convenient option and perfect for beginners. Here are our top picks for the best e-cig pod systems in this category:
The Juul e-cigarette is undoubtedly the best selling pod system on the market, primarily because of it’s compact size, easy-of-use and wide availability. Oh… and it performs exceptionally well too! Although it only has 200mAh of capacity, the Juul isn’t much larger than a traditional cigarette and it’s tight, MTL-style draw is perfect for transitioning smokers. It’s not the longest lasting or most affordable option out there, but the Juul is definitely best vape pod mod within the cigarette-shaped, closed-pod system category.
Also available: Ejuice Connect (no coupon available)
One of the few closed pod mod systems that isn’t shaped like a pen, the SMPO Pod Vape Kit has a larger battery than devices like the Juul (650mAh) so you’ll get significantly more battery life before needing a recharge. It also has larger 1.8ml pods so you’ll be doing a lot less swapping out as well. The SMPO is inhale activated and is modernly styled with attractive carbon fiber accents. A close runner up to the Juul, limited flavor choices is the only downside.
A direct competitor to the Juul, the MLV Phix Vape Pod Kit offers a slightly larger battery (280mAh) and higher capacity pods (1.5ml) to keep it running longer and requiring less maintenance. It works almost exactly like the Juul, but has a unique hexahedron chassis and quality cCell Ceramic Coils. Another excellent performer in the closed pod system space, it has the tightest draw of the bunch and produces outstanding, consistent flavor.
Top E-Cig Pod Systems (Open)
They might be slightly more complicated, but open e-cig pod systems are much more flexible than closed systems, allowing you to refill the pods with your favorite nic salt e-juice several times – and ultimately saving you money. Here are our top picks for the best vape pod systems in the open system category:
Considering all of it’s features, the Joyetech Autopack Penguin Kit is one of best e-cig pod systems on the market. Although it’s not the most compact, it has a sleek and attractive design, the battery has enormous capacity (2000mAh) and the pods can hold an astounding 8.8ml of e-juice. The pods are refillable and replaceable, and they’re compatible with replaceable Juice Vertical Injection Coils (JVIC) available in both MTL and DL versions. Extremely, versatile, affordable and operated with a single fire button.
We had a tough time choosing between the Suorin Air and Sourin Drop, but the Air won out because of it’s ultra compact card-style design. Although it’s not quite as small as a pen-style device, it’s much smaller than the Penguin and offers more battery life (400mAh) and e-liquid capacity (2.2ml) than products like the Juul. It’s inhale activated, and the plug-and-play refillable pod cartridges can be reused multiple times before being replaced.
It’s not exactly a vape pod system per se (it has a permanent built-in 2ml tank), but the Aspire Breeze E-Cig Kit is a compact, easy-to-use low voltage system perfect for use with nicotine salts. It has a nice size battery (650mAh), 2ml of capacity and is compatible with Aspire’s high performance 0.6 ohm U-Tech Coils. It can be either inhale activated or operated with a single fire button and has a sleek, ergonomic design that makes it worthy of our list.
The Kado Stealth Ultra Portable Pod Mod Kit is a unique, compact and stylish vape pod system. Like the Sourin Air, it’s super slim in stature and incorporates 2ml refillable pods with a modest 450mAh battery. The Kado Stealth is inhale activated and is available in black with several different stylish accent colors. Designed specifically for use with nicotine salt e-liquid, it’s definitely one of the better looking pod vape systems on the market right now.
Finally, if you’re looking for a small, pen-shaped device but don’t want to be forced to pay extra for prefilled pods, the Smok Fit and Infinix E-Cig Pod Kits are super affordable alternatives to the Juul and MLV Phix Kits (above). The two are virtually identical in terms of operation, with subtle aesthetic differences to mimic the Juul and Phix. Both the Fit and Infinix Pod Kits include 250mAh batteries, are automatic, refillable and can hold 2ml of e-juice.
Also available: Breazy.com (coupon “CIGBUYER”)
What’s Your Favorite Pod-Based System?
These are my top picks for the best vape pod systems, but there are certainly many more to consider. What are your favorite pod vape systems and why?