Thinking of getting yourself a pod vape? Well, make sure you check out our post on pod vape PROS and CONS before you pull the trigger…
#1) Make Sure The Pod Vape is Refillable
This is super-important. You want a pod vape that you can refill yourself. Screw JUUL. Closed systems are cheaper to run in the short, medium, and long term. You also get to choose exactly what flavor and strength you want to vape. Never buy closed pod systems. They cost a TON of money to run and you have less choice when it comes to flavors.
JUUL is worth an estimated $16 billion and the reason for this is simple: it has a massive distribution network and it uses closed pods, so it gets higher margins on ALL of its sales. A four-pack of JUULpods retails for $15 and that nets you about 8ml of juice.
Conversely, inside the VapeBeat E Juice Store, you can buy 30ml bottles of Nic Salts E Juice for $19.99. Elsewhere, it’s a similar story – you get more choice, more flavors, and better value for money when you use an open pod system like the UWELL Caliburn and this, in the long run, will provide a better overall vaping experience – both in terms of flavor and value for money!
#2) Battery Life is SUPER Important
Because of their small size, a lot of pod systems come with very small batteries – I’m talking 250-300mAh. That is tiny. And if you’re a heavy vaper, you’re going to need one with a much larger internal battery.
Case in point: the JUUL’s battery is tiny. It lasts for about two hours. That is terrible. Meanwhile, my GeekVape FRENZY, which packs a 950mAh battery, will happily see me through an entire day’s worth of vaping.
Bottom line? ALWAYS check the battery rating – you don’t want anything less than 600mAh. Not if you want to use it all day.
#3) Removable Coils Are Great (Sometimes…)
A couple of my favorite pod systems (SMOANT Pasito; SMOK Nord; GeekVape FRENZY) use replaceable coil heads. This means you can buy a pack of MTL coil heads and a pack of DTL, sub-ohm coil heads and switch-up your vaping throughout the week. This is good. I like this.
But… you do get dud coils. Just as you do with vape tanks. Case in point: my UWELL Caliburn, which runs refillable pods, has never caused me any issues. The coils aren’t replacement; they’re inside the actual pod itself. But they ALWAYS work great.
The SMOK Nord is fantastic, for example, but you do get dud coil heads every now and then, which sucks. The replaceable coils, which reattach to the device’s pod, are great in principle but they can be funky. If you want a solid, reliable, always-excellent coil performance, get the UWELL Caliburn.
#4) Adjustable Voltage & Other Settings – Do You Want Them?
Pod vapes have come on leaps and bounds during the past 18 months. They come in all shapes and sizes, for instance, and many new additions now carry chipsets for advanced things like temperature control vaping, variable wattage/voltage, and the ability recognizes different coil types.
Adding in a chipset means you can do more with your vape. You can customize how it delivers power, and this will have an effect on how the device vapes. Do you need this? If so, you’ll want to go with something like the GeekVape or Lost Vape Orion DNA, as they’re just about the most advanced hybrid pods around right now.
Want something simple that just works great? Again, get the UWELL Caliburn – for performance, ease of use, and flavor, it is more or less impossible to beat.
#5) Pods Are Great For Stealth Vaping
I like an RDA as much as the next man, but sometimes I don’t want to be blowing out huge, billowing clouds. If I’m with friends or out on a night out, I much prefer using a pod vape simply because they’re more discreet and less likely to get you into trouble with non-smokers and anti-vaping types.
Travel a lot? A pod vape is an ideal companion. You can use them on trains and planes with too much fuss; just don’t go telling people I told you that, as it is completely against the law. But if you must vape while you travel, you’re best of using something discreet that creates smaller amounts of vapor.
#6) They Take Up Less Room In Your Pocket
Vape mods are great for precision and power. They can run anything from an RDA to an MTL rebuildable tank. But they are large and they do take up a fair bit of room in your pocket. This is one of the main reasons I take pod vapes with me on nights out or when I’m traveling.
You have less to think about; there’s no need to worry about coils, wick, or coil-building tools. You don’t need a battery charger for your 18650s. And a pod vape doesn’t take up any room in your pocket or bag. All you need is a microUSB charger, some spare pods, and you’re good to go for days or weeks at a time.
#7) Generally, They Cost Less To Run (Generally…)
Because pod vapes are designed for Nic Salts E Juice, technically you should vape less when using them. Why? Simple: Nic Salts E Juice is stronger – some bottles can go up to 55mg. And that’s more than enough for a potent hit from a couple of drags.
I use 3mg E Juice in my RDAs and vape tanks. It tastes fantastic, but it doesn’t always hit the spot, so I vape more and more. With a pod vape running 20mg Nic Salts E Juice, I’m perfectly happy with a couple of toots every 30 minutes or so.
In the long run, this means you save on E Juice, as you use much less, and you aren’t vaping quite as much. Technically. Why technically? Well, I know plenty of people that hit 20mg E Juice like it was 3mg – so there’s always that. But in principle, you should (and likely will) vape less with stronger Nic Salts E Juice.
#8) Closed-Pod Systems Are The Work of Satan
JUUL is worth $16 billion. You know why? Because it has its system locked down – meaning it makes you use its own, over-priced e juice and there’s no way around it. And if you’re a vaper, this really does suck; it’s like having a TV with only four channels.
Closed systems (like JUUL) are WAY more expensive to run, offer zero innovation with respect to design and features, and, generally speaking, create more problems than they solve. You want choice, you want to pick your own flavors, you want to save money. If you want all of these things, never buy a closed pod system like the JUUL.
#9) If The Pod Breaks, You’re Done (And You’ll Need A New One)
Vape products aren’t the most well-built things on the planet. They break all too quickly, which is why it’s important to get a good warranty if at all possible. With a vape mod, you can sometimes fix them. It might be the door or the 510 pin. If so, these can be fixed. With a pod, no chance!
Because pod vapes are ALL-IN-ONE (AIO) devices, when something breaks it tends to ruin the entire device. You can’t take them apart very easily to fix and solder things, nor can you bring a dud battery back to life. For this reason, if you go the pod vape route, don’t spend too much money – no more than $30.
Why? You don’t need too. All the pod vapes listed below in my “most recommended pod vapes” table, with the exception of the Lost Vape Orion DNA, retail for around $30 or less. And because they’re cheap, it doesn’t matter if something breaks after 9-12 months.
What Pod Vapes Do I Recommend?
|IMAGE||NAME||BEST PRICE||KEY POINTS||RATING|
(Best Pen-Style Pod)
(Best All-Round Performer)
(INSANE Value For Money)
(A KILLER Pod Vape)
(Great Value + Performance)
(Unique & Brilliant)
(Cheaper Than MiPod)
(Perfect Flavor, Great Coils)
(Cheap, Will Sub Ohm)
My Three Go-To Pod Mods Right Now (What I Use & Why)
I own over 30 pod vape systems, and most of them are crap. I mean it: 90% of the pod vapes I have bought or had sent to me for testing SUCK.
Right now there are three pod vapes that I use, love, and recommend above all other systems. And they are as follows:
- UWELL Caliburn – My #1 pod vape, the one I use nearly all the time. It’s small, lightweight, and it delivers some of the best flavor of any pod device I have ever tested. And if that wasn’t enough, the coils in the pods last for weeks at a time. A near-perfect pod vape in every way.
- SMOANT Pasito – The SMOANT Pasito is the world’s first rebuildable pod vape. That’s right: with a neat little accessory, you can build and install your own coils inside this device. Don’t want to do that? No worries, it also runs standard MTL coils and sub-ohm mesh coils.
- Lost Vape Orion DNA – The most advanced pod vape of them all. The Lost Vape Orion runs EVOLV’s DNA Go chipset, and this brings with it a TON of functionality. It’s the most expensive pod on this list, but it is damn good. Especially if you want a pod that isn’t MTL.
If you’re looking for some bangin’ Nic Salts E Juice, check out my #1 juice right now – Tobacco Peanut Butterscotch. I’ve been vaping this stuff like crazy for the past few months. If you like RY4’s it’s a damn-near perfect vape juice!