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Ultra-Portable Vaping: Everything You Need To Know About Vape Pods & Pod Mods

According to a recent survey by leading global consumer data provider Statista, over 58 percent of Americans want to quit smoking – and an even higher percentage would like to quit in favor of a safer alternative.

Enter vape POD systems, commonly called vape pods or pod mods. These highly portable, easy-to-use vaping devices might just be the perfect solution to the so-called “first vape” issue  for ex-smokers and prospective vapers. In this post, we go over everything from how vape pods work to why they've gotten so popular in recent years.

Personal vaporizers (aka vapes) have been a godsend for the tens of millions of people in search of effective solutions to their cigarette habits. E-cigs, dry herb vaporizers and vape mods have all provided a viable method for ex-smokers to undergo the slow wean away from tobacco towards non-combustible nicotine sources.

There is one challenge keeping many ex-smokers from making the switch, however. And that challenge is – well, actually making the switch. It's the notorious beginner and vape convert deterrent commonly called the "First Vape" issue.

The Psychology of The "First Vape" Issue, Explained
One of the most intimidating challenges for prospective vapers is picking the right device from out of the overwhelming selection currently circulating the market. These days vapes come in all shapes, sizes and types, and picking the right one the first time can require what seems like a daunting amount of time and research on the internet.

This often causes prospective vapers to procrastinate in actually doing their research, all the time needing their daily dose of nicotine. In many cases, this results in a continuation of cigarette use, for months on end or even indefinitely.


What Exactly Are Vape Pods & How Do They Work?

Vape POD systems are essentially designed similarly to cartomizers, only equipped with ready-to-use cartridges or "pods" containing the juice, wick and coil. Aside from being extremely beginner-friendly, pod mods also serve as a solid middle ground between disposable convenience store vape pens and the high-end box mods that cost upwards of $150.

How Are They Different From JUULs & E-Cigarettes?
While e-cigs and JUULs are device-locked to set wattage and voltage output settings, and their cartridges have a fixed amount of juice, vape pods are a very different story. Most vape POD systems feature multiple output presets, with higher-end devices allowing unrestricted adjustment within their allowable output ranges.

There's also a notable disparity in power between vape pods, cigalikes and JUULs. While e-cig type vaporizers typically top out at 180mAh, vape pods easily pass the 300mAh range. Some pod mods even use refillable pods instead of plain disposable ones, allowing more uses per pod to manage costs.

Overall, vape pods are considerably more versatile in terms of power ranges, output ranges and juice than their JUUL and e-cigarette cousins. And they do it all while remaining fairly inexpensive in comparison.


The Pros & Cons: Understanding The Surprising Popularity of Pod Mods

Ever since the first commercially successful e-cigarette was introduced by pharmacist Hon Lik in Beijing back in 2003, personal vaporizers have been getting bigger and bigger. Manufacturers went from e-cigs to vape pens, from vape pens to vape sticks or "tube mods," and from tube mods to box mods. Even today, vape product manufacturers are creating increasingly high-end box mods that can house bigger or more batteries in their chassis, making them even bigger.

This obviously doesn't come with drawbacks, however. While a high-end tank system with 3-4 different output modes, rebuildable hardware components and fully unlocked wattage and voltage sliders is incredibly attractive to hardcore vapers with plenty of advanced knowledge, the appeal usually stops there. For beginners and casual vapers without a lot of technical know-how, crème de la crème box mods can be confounding, inconvenient and even dangerous to use.

Enter vape pods once again, which come in light, ultra-portable form factors for vapers who prefer straightforward vaping. Vape pods are typically all-in-one systems which are incredibly easy to use, and feature no more than two output modes. Let's take a look at some of the other pros and cons.


  • Inexpensive even the top pod mods on the market go for no more than $50, as opposed to the average $150 and upwards for box mods and tank systems.
  • Wider Range of Appeal anyone can use vape pods – be it beginners, advanced vapers or first-timers looking to give vaping a passing try. You just turn it on and vape.
  • No Leaks thanks to the use of cartridges or "pods" instead of refillable tanks, there's virtually no risk of getting your e-liquid everywhere in the process of filling when getting ready to vape.


  • Battery Life if you're an all-day vaper, pod mods probably aren't for you. If on the other hand you expect to vape for no more than 2-3 ten minute sessions while you're out and about, they should be right up your alley.
  • Reduced Flavor Diversity while there are literally thousands of e-liquid flavors currently circulating the market, most of them unfortunately come in bottles. Vape pod users have to make do with whatever flavors are available in the cartridges or pods provided by their device manufacturers.


Wrapping Up: The Best Three Refillable Vape Pods of 2019

Let's close out this blog post with three of the best vape POD systems available in 2019. While these devices didn't necessarily roll out this year, they're currently among the top of the heap in terms of performance and user reviews. Let's take a look at them now, in no particular order:

  • The Nord Vape Pod Starter Kit by SMOK is a high performance all-in-one pod mod with a two coil replacement system to accommodate for both direct-to-lung (DL) and mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping. The device features a voltage-based output curve and a whopping 1100mAh battery, for stellar battery life to go with its versatility and performance. Amazingly, this SMOK powerhouse is available for just under $30.
  • The EQ S Pod System by Innokin is an improved version of the original Innokin EQ, and one of the easiest vape pod devices to refill. The EQ S features three output presets, an above-average built-in 800mAh battery and the ability to vape anything you can pour into its pods: from max VG e-liquids to salt nics and CBD oil. If you're not yet impressed, you certainly will be when you get a load of its $23 price tag.
  • The VFL Vape Pod System by Voopoo is one of the most uniquely-shaped pod mods on the market, but that isn't the only reason it's a standout. The VFL features three voltage presets, gold-plated proprietary connections and a more-than-ample 650mAh built-in battery. Voopoo is well-known throughout the industry for their low cost, high quality approach to vaping – and this pod mod is no exception at only $25.