Pod Mod Buying Guide
Why Are Pod Systems So Popular?
There are several reasons why pod mods have become so widely adopted in the last few years. Their incredible influence on the vaping industry is nothing short of stunning. Starting in 2017, when they first came out, pod mods began as almost a novelty that soon overtook most of the market. Within several months, the idea of using a pod mod vape was widely accepted, and this started a boom in the manufacturing of these types of devices.
Their users love the size and ease of use they provide, and the industry responded by releasing a ton of new devices into the market. Now let’s look at some of the reasons these compact vape devices are so popular.
The size of most vapes has deterred many smokers from using bigger vape devices. These larger vapes were not attractive to many users as they could not be carried easily in a pocket or purse. Pod mods changed that with their super-compact profile and sleek designs. Being able to pack a smaller device seems to be a prerequisite that many smokers were waiting for before jumping onto the vape bandwagon.
With a portable device, vapers can now discreetly vape when and where they want without attracting a lot of attention. For this reason, pod mods are the best vape for portability, or when stealthy vaping is desired.
Cheap and Affordable
Another feature that makes pod mods the best option for many users is their price. Most of these vapes come in well under $50, with a few exceptions. This price point has made it feasible for the budget-minded vaper to have access to these devices without a significant investment.
In comparison to some of the larger, more powerful vapes, this price point could easily be half of the initial cost of a usable vape setup.
Stylish and Functional
Using the ultra-compact frame, manufacturers were able to design these little vapes with more attractive form factors. Elegantly rounded corners and colorful designs soon became a common denominator that most all pod mods shared. Vapers can now enjoy having a vape that is both fun to look at and to use.
Being made out of mainly plastics, the outer-body of these devices could be any color and pattern imaginable. From bright hues of primary colors to iridescent swirling designs, this design flexibility also greatly attributed to their broad adoption among vapers and former smokers.
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The Features and Benefits of Pod Mods
Besides their great looks and compact form, pod mods have some impressive benefits that have helped them become a permanent staple in the vaping culture. These benefits have more to do with usability than fashion and are often overlooked. Let’s take a look at some of these advantages in detail.
Ease of Use
Smokers have been accustomed to just pulling out a cigarette and lighting it. Most vape devices are not as easy to use, as they require knowledge of power settings such as ohms, watts, or volts. Not to mention the frustration associated with replacing coils, tanks, and batteries when they expired. Pod mods make things easy again with their basic functions.
Just fill the pod with e-juice, and insert it into the mod, and vape. Easy-peasy! There is very little thinking involved, just like smoking. It is a simple task that you really can’t mess up.
Once the flavor of the vapor starts to taste funny, replace the pod or the coil.
While not the most powerful vape style available, pod mods provide a consistent performance that most users are happy with. With most models forgoing the adjustment options, pod mods have very little variables that could cause their performance to fluctuate.
As you probably already know, the smaller the vape, the lower the capacity of stored power, aka battery capacity. Pod mods are not cloud machines that fill up the room with vapor. They are more for casual use, stealth vaping, and vaping discreetly. Some of the higher-end pod systems go up to 40 watts but for the majority of these devices are well under that.
Using such little power allows these small mods to last longer between charges. So for this topic, we are going to be talking about mAh or milliamp hours, the measure of the amount of milliamps the device can store in the battery.
The Juul, for example, has a 200mAh battery. In comparison, the Smok Nord has an 1100 mAh battery, more than five times the capacity. Can you guess which one is bigger? Again, vape size and battery capacity are hand-in-hand with each other, and this is only important if you are vaping all day or don’t have a backup device.
Refillable Or Non-Refillable
There are two types of pods. We are talking about the e-juice reservoir that holds the liquid nicotine, not the device itself. There are non-refillable pods and refillable pods.
The non-refillable types are filled with e-juice in the factory, and when you are out of juice, you buy another pod to replace it. Juul is the most famous of these types of non-refillable types.
This fact goes to show that people love the convenience and ease of use of not refilling pods.
On the other side of the fence, in a much bigger field, is the refillable pod type. Most pod mods are refillable and are simply filled with juice when you run low. They usually have a tiny rubber plug in the bottom or side of the pod that you have to open to refill. That little plug can be frustrating to use if you have issues with grabbing tiny things or your vision is not so good, so consider that when choosing your device.
The refillable types are cheaper to use for heavy vapers and are also relatively easy to refill.
Open System Vs. Closed System
The next thing to consider when buying one of these vapes is how you replace the heating element or coil. True pod mods do not have removable coils and are referred to as a closed system, but in the last few years, the industry has been coming out with pods that you reuse and replace the coil, referred to as an open system. These types are still referred to as pod mods in general, but you might see them labeled as “pod-mod-style” or “pod style” mods.
In a closed system, the coil is built into the pod and when you need a new coil, you replace the whole pod, coil and all. These are easier for vapers who find it hard to work with tiny parts or just don’t want to deal with changing out coils, but they are a bit more wasteful and tend to be more expensive to replace than just replacing the coil.
An open system describes a pod with a removable coil, so you only need to replace the coil and not the whole pod. You remove the spent coil from the pod and replace it with another one. Most open systems make it easy to replace the coil, but again, if you have issues with tiny parts, an open system may not be as convenient for you as a closed system.
In addition, pods with replaceable coils usually have more choices in the types of coils that will work with the device. Some of the higher quality devices out there offer an option between sub-ohm coils for a stronger hit, or the less powerful MTL (mouth-to-lung) coils that are above 1 ohm. Depending on the coils you use, you can use either regular e-juice or nic-salts — more about that in the next section.
Types Of E-Juice You Can Use
Another one of the great benefits of pod mods is the ability to use different kinds of e-juice. E-juice is, of course, the liquid that contains the nicotine and flavorings that you vaporize. Pod mods have helped to make popular another, newer kind of juice called nic salts.
Nic salts have more concentrated levels of nicotine that is perfect for smaller, less powerful devices like pod mods. Most of these vapes are designed to be used with nic salts, which is too strong to be used the bigger vape devices like box mods.
Nic salts are popular because they still deliver a satisfying nicotine level even without a large amount of vapor. This means that you don’t have to fog out a room with vapor every time you want to enjoy a good vape. This also allows a more discreet way of vaping in places you would rather not be seen vaping.
Nic salts are more expensive and don’t have the same flavor selection as regular e-juice, however for many pod mod users, that’s not as important as the ability to carry around a small device and also reduce the amount of vapor they produce.
Regular e-juice is also an option for most any pod mod. Light users and casual users might prefer the cost saving and lower nicotine levels that are associated with regular e-juice. E-Juice is cheaper and available in more flavors and price points compared to nic salts.
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We have talked about the advantages that pod mods delivery on, but they are not for every vaper. There are some things to consider, and now we will take a look at some of the drawbacks to pod mods.
Power and Battery Life
As mentioned earlier, pod mods are not as powerful as most the other vape devices out there. We also discussed how nic-salts have helped overcome this with a concentrated form of liquid nicotine called nic-salt. But not all users are happy with the low vapor production that these mods deliver.
Part of the hurdles that smokers face when switching from smoking to vaping is adjusting to the throat hit and vapor production they are used to with tobacco. They want to feel the slight burn on their throat and exhale the thick vapor that comes from a cigarette. Pod mods do not satisfy these desires, and therefore, are not the best choice for vapers who craves a big cloud of vapor.
On top of the vapor production being reduced, the battery life is also a concern with pod mods. However, with their reduced power use, they can last just as long or longer between charges. The issue comes from the internal battery that all pod mods use.
With an internal battery, there is no option to replace the battery when your mod runs low on power. Your only option is to recharge the whole device by plugging it into a charger. This boils down to either going without your device while it charges or buying two devices to alternate uses with.
With plastic being the most common building material used in pod mods, they are not as durable as some of the other vape styles that are made with metal or carbon fiber bodies. Granted, because of their weight, dropping a pod mod will not generate the same impact as dropping a box mod., but they are still susceptible to cracks and pressure breaks that can happen with regular use.
Plan on using a pod mod for a few months before it needs to be replaced, as they are not as durable or built with the same quality as some of the more expensive vape devices out there.
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Are Pod Mods For You?
Pod systems are the best choice for smokers or vapers who need a compact device that is super easy to use and provides enough nicotine to satisfy their cravings. They don’t want to mess around with building a tank or having to think about what wattage or temp to set their vape at each time they change their liquid. They just want a simple and convenient device and are willing to give up all the technical mumbo-jumbo for a smaller, less powerful device.
But if you are a big vape mod fan, you might have some issues trying to adapt to using these small, less powerful vapes. Most vapers who are already vaping at higher watts find that pod mods don’t produce the amount of vapor they are used to. However, many of these advanced users are switching to pod mods as they realize the amount of vapor does not always equate to the amount of nicotine.
The added fact that pod mods don’t produce as much vapor also is attractive to users who are concerned about the unknown effect of vaping. The less vapor in the lungs, the less risk right?
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Tips To Buy The Perfect Pod Mod
You might think that there is a wide variety of prices out there for this style of vaping devices, but that is not the case. Even the highest quality pod mod is usually under $50 and the cheaper devices are under $30. So you could easily say there are two price points, the $10-$30 range, and the $30-$50 range. Not much of a difference in price and not worth an elaborate explanation, but the more you pay, the better chance you will be satisfied.
However, there are some unique setups that go over this price range, but most of them are specialty devices that can vape several types of material such as dry herbs and e-liquid.
To sort by price goto the pod mod page and use the “filter products” section to see the prices low-high or vice-versa.
Go For Looks
Colors and looks are probably the most common deciding factor when choosing any vape device. Most vapers want their vape to look nice and have a little personality. There is nothing wrong with shopping by looks as long as you are willing to sacrifice somewhere else for the perfect pod mod. There a ton of colors and styles to choose from so if looks are a priority, head over to this page and sort by color in the “filter products” area and find the device of your fancy.
Research Cost Of Ownership
Look at the cost of the replacement coils or replacement pods before you buy any device. Often times, you might find a sweet deal on a starter kit, only to realize that the coils are twice the price you expected. You don’t want to get suckered into that money pit (think printer ink). Most replacement coils are around $2-3 per coil and usually come in packs of 4-5, and replacement pods are about $3-$8 each and are sold as singles or packs of 2-3.
If you are paying more for your replacement coils than that, they are either premium quality, for a high-end pod mod like the Orion DNA, or your getting ripped off. So do your research on replacement coils/pods before you buy any mod.
Buy The Best Device You Can Afford
Try and buy a quality pod mod with a good capacity battery and better than average build quality. There are many choices to choose from that have both, but you might spend a few extra bucks. Dropping another $10 on a device you use every day is not much in terms of price if it lasts you six months. So if you have the coin, spend a few extra bucks on a reliable and trusted device.
For the most part, if you are a beginner vaper or a light user, you should be happy with any pod mod you choose, once you find the right blend of e-juice or nic salts. As long as you research and understand what the features each device has and how they can benefit you, you should be able to find the right device the first time.
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Picking The Ideal Pod Mod
Now that you are familiar with some of the pros and cons of pod mods, it will be easier for you to find the perfect pod system for your needs. Start by thinking about the features and benefits that pods mods offer. Then compare these features to the disadvantages mentioned above to see if you would be satisfied with less vapor and fewer options. If so, take a look at the best pod mods we have listed above and find one that fits your personality and lifestyle the best.
Don’t be intimidated; these vapes are the easiest devices to use and are the most popular for a reason. They are easy to use and cheap to buy, so pick one that fits your style and fill it with some yummy nic-salt or e-juice and enjoy!