Pod Vapes: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide [2022]

By Drake Equation •  Updated: 11/25/22 •  14 min read

What are pod vapes and should you use them? Here’s everything you need to know about pod vapes inside a single article


The rise of the pod vape has been monumental. These compact, easy to use devices came out of nowhere in and around 2017 and since then have gone on to completely dominate the market.

And the reason pod vapes are so popular? They’re simple to use, they’re refillable, they’re more cost effective than disposable vapes, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

If you’re new to the concept of pod vapes, this guide will explain literally everything you need to know about pod vapes, including:

Let’s kick things off with a quick overview of what a pod vape is and how they work in practice…

What is a Pod Vape Kit / Pod Mod?

VooPoo Argus Pod

Unlike traditional vape mod and tank kits, a pod vape is an all-in-one, self-contained device, where the atomizer, juice, and battery, as well as as the other stuff, are housed inside a single unit.

The is advantageous for a range of reasons but the biggest USP is that you no longer need a separate vape mod and tank to start vaping. All you need to worry about are its coils (if it runs coils) or its pod (if it, instead, uses a pod-based coil system).

Pod vapes come in all shapes and sizes but they all work in much the same way. You have the battery, the atomizer, and the mouthpiece which is usually built into the device and acts as its “tank” where you add vape juice.

Once the pod vape is set up correctly, and you’ve added some vape juice, all that’s left to do now is switch it on and start vaping. Simple, right? It really is and this is the main reason why pod vapes are so popular.

In addition to this, most pod vapes – like 99.9% of them – run on non-removable batteries too, so you don’t even need to worry about handling external 18650 batteries – or charging them.

This makes pod vapes not only safer but also cheaper to run in the short, medium, and long term. External vape batteries like 18650 ones are not cheap.

Also, if you’re going to run into ANY dangers while vaping it will almost certainly be related to external 18650 batteries. They can and do explode when not used correctly.

With a pod vape, you don’t need to worry about any that, however, because pod vapes, like your cellphone, run on specially designed lithium-ion batteries that are not only safe to use for vaping but are also designed to recharge quickly too via your their USB-C port.

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Closed vs Open Pod Vape Kits

SMOK RPM 5

The world of pod vapes and company, all-in-one vape kits is very lucrative and profitable for vaping companies. Most users – like upwards of 90% – do not want to fiddle around with wicks and mods and batteries and tanks.

They like simplicity. They prefer something you unbox, fill up with vape juice, and start using. This is one of the chief reasons why disposable vapes have become so popular in the last couple of years – they’re incredibly simple to use.

With pod vapes, though, there are basically two main types: open-system pod vapes and closed-system pod vapes. And, as you’ll find out below, there is really only one type of pod vape you should be using – unless you like throwing money away.

In the short, medium, and long term an open pod system is infinitely better than a closed pod system like JUUL or VUSE. JUUL charges around $15 for a pack of its JUULPods. And each individual JUULpod contains around 2ml of vape juice – that’s 8ml in total.

If you buy your own vape juice, you can pick up a 30ml bottle of vape juice in whatever flavor you like from a million and one different brands for around $9.99 – usually less. That’s nearly 5x the amount of juice for 60% less in cost.

Basically, if you value having money in your pocket, like trying new flavors, and prefer to run a vape with decent, all-day battery life and lots of additional features, you will ALWAYS go with an open pod vape.

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Types of Pod Vape

UWELL Caliburn G2

Back in the day, the type pod vapes available on market were pretty slim. They were always MTL, on the small side, and ran tiny batteries, so battery life, on the whole, wasn’t great.

But as pods got more and more popular, innovation started to happen.

Brands like SMOK started fitting significantly larger batteries inside its pod systems, starting with the SMOK Nord, and then branched out into what I call hybrid-pod devices.

A hybrid pod device is essentially part vape mod, part pod vape.

The VooPoo Drag Max is a good example of this kind of vape. As is the SMOK RPM80. They look and function like pods but they vape and have features similar to what you’d find on a more traditional vape mod.

With these types of pod vape, you get access to way more settings, advanced features like Bypass Mode and Rapid Fire, as well as things like auto-resistance detection.

Beyond this, the main draw of these types of pod vapes is power – they can do as high as 100W and are great for sub-ohm vaping.

They also pack in significantly larger batteries too, so a couple of days’ worth of usage from a single charge is generally par for the course.

Of course, you can still get the more traditional, compact-style pod vape – those like the UWELL Caliburn G2 and the Vaporesso LUXE Q, for instance, which are both extremely svelte devices that pack in decent-sized batteries and a bunch of vaping modes and functions.

Again, the type of pod that suits you best will depend on your needs. If you like MTL vaping and using Nic Salts vape juice, you’ll want to stick to a lower power MTL pod vape, something like the OXVA Xlim SE or the Voopoo Argus Pod 20W.

If you want the ability to blow large clouds, run your pod at high wattages, and use High VG vape juice, you’ll want to go with one of the high performance hybrid pod vapes like the SMOK RPM80.

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Should You Buy A Pod Vape?

OXVA Xlim SE Pod 25W

Look, I’m not going to tell you what to do but there’s a reason pod vapes are the best selling vapes on the market.

They’re not quite as powerful or versatile as a vape mod and tank combo, but they’re a hell of a lot more convenient and the performance gap, especially on the hybrid pod systems, is now closer than it ever has been.

Pod vapes are simple to use, low maintenance, literally all you need to worry about are coils and vape juice, and they deliver tons of flavor and, thanks to supporting different coil types, you can alter the way they vape too.

You can get complex pod vapes and simple pod vapes. In this regard, the sky really is the limit – the designs and innovations in this segment of the market are constantly changing and improving.

A pod vape is infinitely preferable to a disposable for a variety of reasons too with the most important being that they’re WAY better for the environment as they’re not single-use products.

Another cool thing about pod vapes is that they’re cheaper to run long-term, as you can buy in loads of vape juice for relatively little money and bulk-order coils too, so you never run out.

If you’re looking for a simple, reliable vape that hits like a cigarette, allows you to run whatever vape juice you like in it, and has a battery that’ll get you through a full days’ worth of vaping, then, yes, a pod vape is a very good option for you.

Additional Resources:


Pod Vape Benefits (PROS)

We kind of touched on this above, but let’s now dig a little deeper into the PROS and benefits of using pod vapes. Here are the five main reasons why pod vapes are better than vape mods and disposable vapes:

  1. They’re Compact and Portable – pod vapes are designed to be compact and easily fit pretty much anywhere. For this reason, they’re way less cumbersome to travel with and use on a day to day basis. On nights out or on road trips or holidays, a pod vape is the ultimate vape device to accompany you.
  2. They Vape Like Cigarettes – A lot of vapers, especially those coming over from a smoking habit, find high VG vape juice too weak and, in some cases, unpleasant as you have to inhale it differently (DTL; Direct To Lung), whereas most pod vapes are MTL devices and have an inhale similar to what you get with a cigarette.
  3. They’re Discreet – A pod vape is arguably the most discreet of all vape devices. Most are low power, so they don’t produce billowing clouds like a sub ohm tank and this makes them an ideal choice for people that don’t like literally blowing their vapor in peoples’ faces or fogging up an entire room with a couple of hits.
  4. Better For The Environment – One-use products like disposable vapes, while convenient, aren’t exactly great for the environment. They’re made of plastic, are not recyclable, and, more often than not, are not disposed of correctly (find out how to do that here). With pod vapes, you can use them for years at a time.
  5. More Versatile Than Disposables – with a disposable vape, you basically have one setting and one type of draw. That’s it. The design is locked into the configuration it is set. But with pod vapes, you can completely change the way it vapes either by altering its settings or changing its coil, opening the possibility of DTL and MTL vaping on a single device.
  6. Cheap To Run Long Term – With pod vapes, all you need to worry about are coils and vape juice. Both of these things are affordable too, especially when compared to the cost of running a closed pod system like JUUL or RELX, whereby additional pods cost quite a bit of money.

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What Type of Vape Juice Should You Use In Pod Vapes?

CBD Bioavailability Comparison

Most pod vapes – like a good 98% of them – are designed, predominantly, to run on Nic Salts vape juice and 50/50 vape juice. The reason for this is that they’re MTL devices, so you need a certain amount of “throat hit” to simulate the sensation of vaping.

You can run high VG vape juice in an MTL pod vape but it’ll be like vaping air – meaning there will be no discernible hit and the overall experience will be extremely dull.

For maximum performance on an MTL pod vape, always use Nic Salts vape juice and/or 50/50 vape juice. It’ll deliver a better vaping experience and you’ll get WAY more flavor too.

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Best Pod Vape Overall
Best Pod For Features
  • Pros:
    • Exceptional Flavor Production
    • Loads of Vaping Modes & Features
    • Brilliant, Long-Lasting Coils
    • Fast Charging Via USB-C
    • Premium Look & Feel
Best Pod Vape For Simplicity
  • Pros:
    • Mega Battery Life
    • MTL & DTL Support
    • 100% Leak-Proof
    • Compact, Robust Design
    • Great Flavor
Best Pod For Versatility
  • Pros:
    • Amazing Battery Life (1100mAh)
    • MTL & DTL Vaping Supported
    • Solid, Robust Design
    • Loads of Color Options Available
    • Excellent Performance
Best Pod Vape For Performance
  • Pros:
    • Insanely Powerful – 80W
    • Perfect For Sub-Ohm Vaping
    • Vape Mod-Grade Controls
    • Compact Design
    • Amazing Flavor & Coils
    • Insane Battery Life
Best Pod Vape For Beginners
  • Pros:
    • Amazing MTL Draw – One of The Best
    • Decent Battery Life (Much Improved Over OG Caliburn)
    • MTL and RDTL Coil Options
    • Sleek Design
    • Extremely Simple To Use
    • Coils Last An Eternity
Best Pod Vape Overall
Pros:
  • Amazing MTL Draw
  • Excellent Coils
  • Great Battery Life
  • Super Lightweight Design
  • MTL & DTL Support
Best Pod For Features
Pros:
  • Exceptional Flavor Production
  • Loads of Vaping Modes & Features
  • Brilliant, Long-Lasting Coils
  • Fast Charging Via USB-C
  • Premium Look & Feel
Best Pod Vape For Simplicity
Pros:
  • Mega Battery Life
  • MTL & DTL Support
  • 100% Leak-Proof
  • Compact, Robust Design
  • Great Flavor
Best Pod For Versatility
Pros:
  • Amazing Battery Life (1100mAh)
  • MTL & DTL Vaping Supported
  • Solid, Robust Design
  • Loads of Color Options Available
  • Excellent Performance
Best Pod Vape For Performance
Pros:
  • Insanely Powerful – 80W
  • Perfect For Sub-Ohm Vaping
  • Vape Mod-Grade Controls
  • Compact Design
  • Amazing Flavor & Coils
  • Insane Battery Life
Best Pod Vape For Beginners
Pros:
  • Amazing MTL Draw – One of The Best
  • Decent Battery Life (Much Improved Over OG Caliburn)
  • MTL and RDTL Coil Options
  • Sleek Design
  • Extremely Simple To Use
  • Coils Last An Eternity

Drake Equation

Co-founder and Editor of VapeBeat. I make the words.
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