Posted on July 24 2018
Much like any technological creation, e-cigarettes are also subject to the laws of creativity. Those who started vaping a decade ago saw its evolution from cigalikes to vape pens to box mods and beyond.
A technology that is currently very of the moment in vaping culture are pod vaping systems. In much the same way that coffee pod machines like Nespresso have bridged the divide between instant coffee and complex barista style home coffee machines, this latest e-cigarette trend is touted as the bridge between disposable e-cigs and box mods.
Let me explain a little more...
What Are Pod Systems?
Instead of using an atomiser or a tank, a pod system uses a small plastic tank called a pod that already contains the coil, wick, and the e-juice. You simply have to push it into place or pull it out when you need to change your e-liquids.
There are a few distinct features of pods, namely:
- Tank capacity – Given its size, pods only have a 1 ml to 2 ml of capacity (although some may be bigger). Its tanks are smaller than cigalikes and are usually clear, allowing you to see how much e-juice you have left. This is as opposed to cartridges for cigalikes, which are not clear.
- Battery life – Compared to box mods, pods only have around 300 mAh of battery. For comparison, vape pens have around 650 mAh, while cigalikes have around 200 mAh of battery. You still have several hours of vaping with pods, however, and some pod devices have fast charging adapters which can give you full battery power in 30 minutes.
- Design – Since they came out to the market, there has been a variety of pod designs. Some come in USB-like appearances, while others can resemble box mods. Pods can also have manual buttons like vape pens and mods, while others will allow you to simply inhale from the tip like you would a cigarette (also called an auto-draw).
- Open and closed pods – An open pod basically means it’s refillable. With this, you can use whichever e-liquid that you prefer. A closed pod, on the other hand, is not refillable. You would have to dispose of it when the e-liquid is done.
- Nicotine salt – Having nicotine salt in its e-liquid, instead of the traditional freebase nicotine, is what makes pods stand out. Nicotine salt is its natural form and is the element found in tobacco before being extracted and processed as freebase nicotine (the current content of cigarettes and e-liquids, which the body absorbs).
Pod systems have stronger e-liquids (e.g. JUUL uses 59 mg/ml in its e-liquid), as opposed to ordinary e-juice (around 12 mg/ml). This, however, doesn’t mean that pods are harsher to vape, as pods add an acidic element to its e-juice, allowing it to keep the pH level from being too high (which then gives you the harsh throat hits).
In other words, vaping nicotine salt means you’ll get higher concentrations of nicotine without it being too harsh.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Pod Systems
As with any vaping technique, there are benefits and drawbacks to using pod systems. If you’re on the fence with using pods, take a look at both sides of the coin to help you decide:
Advantages of Pod Vaping Systems
- Greater satisfaction
Although people interact with nicotine in different ways, vaping a higher-strength e-liquid or those with very high nicotine salt is much more satisfying compared to standard e-liquids. On top of that, it does not compromise its smoothness or its flavour, as pod systems can keep the liquid’s pH level down.
- Higher nicotine consumption
Coming from the point above, a lowered pH level means e-liquids become less alkaline, allowing it to feel smoother and easier to inhale. Nicotine salts can also give you up to 50 mg of nicotine strength without any throat irritation. This is as opposed to only 18 to 24 mg from traditional e-liquids, which can be harsher to the throat yet still contain insufficient nicotine for long-time smokers.
This makes pod systems a great start for newbie vapers, especially those who are trying to quit smoking since you’ll be able to get your nicotine fix without getting harsh throat hits.
- Reduced use of e-liquid
If you’re familiar with how much e-liquid sub-ohm vaping devices consume, then pod systems will be a breath of fresh air. Pods produce small vapour clouds, which decreases the amount of e-liquid you’ll consume. Also, thanks to its high nicotine content, you won’t have to vape more often, allowing you to save more money.
Since pod systems remove the need for an atomiser or a tank, it becomes much more compact and easier to carry. It also won’t take up a lot of space in your closet or your desk.
If you’re coming from smoking cigarettes, you would find pod systems much more intuitive to use, as opposed to, say, box mods which makes you do a number of things—choose e-liquid flavours, clean its tank, change the coils, or understand and pick the right wattage for your chosen tank.
Pods can easily be attached and detached from the battery section. And depending on the design you choose, some pod systems will even allow you to simply inhale and vape. You would only need to charge the device when its battery runs low and refill/discard the pod when the flavour quality starts declining.
- Relatively cheaper
Although the price range varies, pod systems are more affordable compared to other vaping devices. You can also save up more on e-liquids since you won’t feel the need to vape as much considering its high nicotine content.
Not all vapers enjoy clouds. Since pod systems produce less vapour clouds, you’ll be able to vape in certain areas that box mods won’t allow you to.
Pod systems have a pre-built and disposable tank, which means you won’t have to deal with loosening caps on your device or the e-liquid seeping through any small openings.
Disadvantages of Pod Vaping Systems
- Too much nicotine
Although it’s one of the pod system’s main selling points, its high nicotine content is also one of its drawbacks.
For one, a 50 mg/ml nicotine strength may be what smokers need to feel that nicotine rush, but it may be too much for those who are already full-time vapers. Secondly, the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive limits an e-liquid’s nicotine strength to 20 mg/ml, which means you would have to buy nicotine salt from outside Europe.
- Not suited for cloud vaping
Due to its high nicotine strength, nicotine salt e-liquids will not work well with sub-ohm devices. This means you’ll produce lower vapours and will not be able to blow huge clouds.
- Closed pod system has limited flavour options
If you prefer a closed pod system (non-refillable pods), you won’t be able to switch to any e-liquid that you prefer. You would need to make do with flavours that the manufacturers have provided.
- Smaller battery
Due to its compact size, a pod system is incapable of accommodating batteries with power comparable to box mods.
A box mod user will not find this as much of a problem since they would only switch to pod systems when they are travelling. An exclusive pod user, however, would need to vape more sparingly, as batteries can last anywhere between two to three hours of mild use. Even pods with higher-capacity battery would still pale in comparison to box mods.
- Less liquid capacity
Of course, given its size, a pod system will not be able to carry a lot of e-liquid. The smallest pods can carry up to 1 ml of e-liquid, while those that are relatively larger can go up to 2 ml.
Should You Choose Pod Systems?
The vaping device that you’ll choose would depend largely on your preferences and lifestyle.
Pod systems would fit you best if:
- You prefer something more discreet to be used in public, as pod systems do not produce as much vapour. This, of course, means you won’t be able to perform cloud chasing techniques.
- You are a beginner in the vaping world and feel intimidated by the complexities involved in the process of using vape pens, tube mods, or box mods.
- You prefer a stronger nicotine hit, which is especially helpful for those who come from a long history of smoking and are planning to reduce use or quit altogether.
- You want to reduce your vape use since the nicotine hit from nicotine salts are much more satisfying even in smaller amounts.
- You prefer smoother throat hits and would like to do away with irritation or unpleasant experiences associated with using freebase nicotine. This is especially helpful for those who find it hard to inhale vapour without coughing.
Pod systems will not be a good fit for you if:
- You prefer less nicotine content. This is especially true for those who have been vaping for a long time since your tolerance for nicotine has already been reduced due to your vaping use.
- You want to vape heavily, as a stronger nicotine hit will not be a good experience when done plenty of times.
- You find stronger throat hits more satisfying than smoother ones.
- You are a cautious vaper, who prefer to wait for more conclusive studies to be published on nicotine salts before using it.
Pod Vaping System Reviews
If you prefer intuitive and grab-and-go vaping device, read on for our reviews of the best J Well pod systems available in our store:
The BO+ is a leg up from its previous incarnation, the BO One, as it doubles the battery life of the latter with an 800 mAh battery. It also comes with a USB-C connection cable that will charge your device in 15 minutes.
Don’t be fooled by its name, however, as the BO+ Starter Kit can also fit veteran vapers’ preferences. You’ll have disposable liquid pods, which you can easily activate by inhaling.
Design-wise, the gloss vaporiser finish and matte battery is the perfect balance between simplicity and chic. All these features are packed in a sleek, high-quality leather cover.
- Unique disposable liquid pod mod system
- Lightweight and ergonomically designed
- Fast USB-C Charging
- 800 mAh battery
- 1.5ml pod capacity
- Dimensions 95 x 24 x 12mm
- Improved airflow
- 1 BO+ Kit
- 1 70cm USB charging cable
- 1 Faux leather pouch
- 1 Instruction manual
2. Le Cube Kit
Another pod mod by J Well, Le Cube is compact yet full of surprises. Don’t underestimate this device, as it comes with a 1,750 mAh battery and a 3 ml pod capacity, making it perfect for users who vape daily. This can also carry higher VG juices of up to 70 VG.
Order it from us and you’ll also get a free 10 ml, 3mg e-liquid. We also have refill pods available.
Le Cube Features:
- 1750 mAH battery
- 2ml fill pod
- LED control system
- 0.6ohm coil install
- Carbon fibre wrap
- USB charge
- Ultra small and compact design
- 35mm x 55mm x 20mm
Le Cube Contents:
- 1 x Le Cube mod
- 1 x Le Cube pod
- 1 x USB lead
- 1 x user manual
3. La Carte Kit
Smaller than your credit card, La Carte Kit by J Well is a user-friendly portable vape that can easily fit in your pocket when you travel. It has a 2 ml refillable pod, which is easy to fill and is activated when you inhale.
This pod mod’s innovativeness also shows with its charging capabilities, as it can power up your device to full battery in less than 20 minutes, thanks to its USB-C port with 2A charging.
Take your pick from its black or stainless colours. You can also choose your e-liquid from these seven available flavours: apple, cherry, double menthol, blackcurrant, lemon sherbet, premium tobacco, and pineapple. Want a stronger nicotine hit? La Carte can give you 6 mg, 12 mg, and 18 mg of nicotine content.
If you order this from us, you’ll also receive a free 10 ml bottle of e-juice. We also have La Carte refill pods available.
La Carte Features:
- 2ml pod easy fill system
- Ultra-thin design
- 400mah battery
- Inhale activated
- 2A USB charge
La Carte Contents:
- 1 x La Carte
- 1 x Easy fil pod
- 1 x Leather Pouch
- 1 x USB C charger
- 1 x User manual
Bridging The Gap
Pod vaping systems successfully bridge the gap between beginners and veteran vapers, as its features can appeal to both target audiences. This device has convenience and performance all wrapped inside its small shell.
If you plan to switch to pod mods or want to start your journey as a vaper, give us a call at 01179 669309 or email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions.