After publishing for the vape community close to 7 years now, you won’t find anything in Spinfuel VAPE on the Juul Vaping System (made by Pax Labs). The reason is simple, if not unfair; Does the Juul deserve the accolades that make it one of the most “searched” topics on Google? The Juul Vaping System has its pros and cons, but more than anything, it just isn’t as good as most people think it is. Let’s see why.
You can ask every person you know, whether they vape or not, to name one brand of electronic cigarettes, and more often than not, they will say “JUUL”. If nothing else, the company has brilliant PR and advertising people on board. So, let’s talk about this device and discover the truth behind this most popular e-cigarette.
What is a JUUL
The Juul is what is called a “closed vaping system”. A closed vaping system means that the owner of a this pod mod cannot use any other tank or e-juices with it; they are stuck buying pre-filled “pods” to continue vaping the Juul. Once you spend the money ($34.99-$49.99), it’s money down the drain if you don’t like their e-liquids, and if you do like their e-liquids, then you must be prepared to pay quite a bit for replacement pods. (more on this later)
This closed system method, which was all the rage back in 2012, is very different from most other pod mod systems on the market today. Most pod mods that Element Vape stocks are “open tank systems” where the user fills their empty, larger, pods with whatever eJuice they want. Additionally, empty replacement pods cost a fraction of the price of prefilled JUUL pods, and if you use nicotine-salt eJuice or freebase nicotine eJuice, you’ll spend a lot less money filling your pods.
If you pay attention to the marketing of the JUUL, you’ve definitely heard things like how revolutionary this pod mod is. The thing is, it’s not revolutionary at all, and there are several dozen pod mods on the market that perform better than the JUUL, but they don’t have the marketing muscle behind them.
The JUUL Pod Mod Vaping System Starter Kit Includes:
- The e-cigarette device with its built-in battery
- A Magnetic USB charger
- Four nicotine-salt ejuice “pods”, including Cool Mint, Creme Brulee, Fruit Medley, and Virginia Tobacco.
- The pods contains just 0.7ml of juice with 5% or 3% nicotine strength, which is equivalent to 50mg and 30mg respectively, in each pod. (The actual amount of nicotine is 59mg per mL, remember that a JUUL pod contains less than 1mL of eJuice.)
The JUUL is definitely an MTL pod mod (all pod mods are). This device has one of the tightest mouth-to-lung draws that I’ve ever tried. The device itself however, does have an internal temperature control system, so the user will most likely never suffer a nasty dry hit, which is a big plus. Some users say it has a similar “draw” to that of a tobacco cigarette, however, for this reviewer the ‘draw’ is much tighter than any cigarette I’ve smoked in 20 years. (I quit smoking 7 years ago when hired at Spinfuel VAPE)
The battery is rechargeable of course, and it takes about an hour to recharge the battery fully. With the type of vaping most users vape when vaping 30 or 59mg nicotine ejuice, the JUUL will (supposedly) allow up to 200 puffs on a single charge. This would be excellent battery management, just remember that there will be much less vaping with such high nicotine levels, so the battery drains its charge slower than other mods.
Vaping the Juul Starter Kit
The Juul is small, smaller than many other pod mods we’ve reviewed. With a flat, small flute like design, it’s tiny as all get out. When assembled, the battery and the eJuice pod, it’s maybe a couple of inches long and weighs about 2 grams. Compared to other pod mods we’ve reviewed, the Juul is close to the lightest and smallest we’ve used.
When vaping with the JUUL, users place it between their fingers much like a tobacco cigarette. The JUUL has a small LED light on the battery section as well. This LED will light up when a Juul pod is first attached to the battery, and when the users takes a drag from the device.
The LED light can also be used to check the amount of battery life it has left. Tap the area directly below the LED light two times in quick succession and it will flash in one of these colors: green means it still has a full charge, the yellow LED means the battery is right around half-charged, and red means it needs to be recharged.
The 2-piece JUUL is one battery section and its pod. While it does feel sturdy, it’s not seamless… you’ll know where the pod is attached. Charging the JUUL using its magnetic charging dock is a nice feature and beats the MicroUSB cable used in most other pod mods. To charge the JUUL, place it into the dock slot, and it will start charging immediately.
The JUUL is a good-looking pod mod. Sleek, kinda sexy, and its different color finishes have a nice texture to them. Manufactured in San-Francisco, the JUUL has a better than average build quality. Though hardly revolutionary.
Observations while Vaping the JUUL
I’ll say upfront that I am not a regular user of pod mods or nicotine salt eJuice. I love big clouds, great, intense flavors, and very little nicotine. That said, the JUUL is my 9thpod mod review. Naturally, since I consider myself critical, I have to say that I did not have a great vape experience with the JUUL. But again, the vape experience with every pod mod is just not for me. For what it is, a tiny pod mod with less than 1mL of nic-salt juice, it also wasn’t all that bad. The eJuice used in the pre-filled pods have a chemical, or unnatural taste to them, and there are only so many flavors to choose from. I did, however, enjoy the Mango flavor, so there’s that.
The JUUL Pod flavors I liked better than the others included the aforementioned Mango, and the Virginia tobacco. The others, including an awful Cucumber and a horrible Menthol, reminded me of Chinese eJuice from 2012.
Putting that aside for now, my experience using the device showed me that pod mods like the Aspire Breeze, (review) the Wismec Motiv 2, (review) and the Tesla Sliver, (review) provide a lot more vapor, though still an MTL vape, plus the choice of eJuice, were better investments… for real vapers. Let me explain…
What I mean by “real vapers” are those individuals that enjoy the hell out of vaping, that like to experiment with different flavors, and different devices. I firmly believe that if someone loves using the JUUL they do so because the JUUL is the substitute for smoking cigarettes. Compared to the wretched taste of burning tobacco through a filter and the flavors of the JUUL pods, JUUL users prefer the limited flavors that JUUL offers, with good reason.
For me, the tight pull of the JUUL, the wicked throat hit from the 30 and 50mg nic-salt eJuice, and even that rare nicotine buzz I get when I used the Juul, made for an unpleasant experience. The vapor production was, surprisingly, okay for such a small device, but still comparatively sparse. Compared to my recent experience with Tesla TPOD, (review) however, the vapor production out-produced the TPOD by a factor of 3, at least. Still, devices like the Motiv 2 or the Shanlaan Laan (the most expensive pod mod) put the JUUL to shame with both flavor fidelity and vapor production.
That Old Problem of Comparing Pods to Packs
JUUL tells its potential customers that one of their pods can get about 200 puffs. In the old days of cig-a-likes, there was a standard used that said that the number of “puffs” the average person gets from a single cigarette is 12. 200 puffs divided by 12 tells us that a Juul pod should equal 16 cigarettes, nearly an entire pack. When you purchase a 4-pack of Pods you’ll pay $16.00, plus shipping and taxes where appropriate.
A pack of 4 pods makes each pod cost $4+, and “if” the user does indeed get the full 200 puffs, or 16 cigarettes worth of vapor, then $4+ might be cheaper than buying a pack of cigarettes in the United States. The bottom line than is, “Does the average user truly get 200 puffs from a 0.7mL JUUL pod? One answer I get when I ask users is “yes, I get about 200 puffs”, and the other is “I get nowhere near 200 puffs”. During my review period, I vaped through a dozen pods, and my average was closer to 100 puffs, making the JUUL Vaping System more expensive, but no doubt safer, then smoking cigarettes.
Naturally JUUL is going to state the maximum amount of “puffs” their pods will produce, and the truth is everyone will get a different number, depending on how they vape. So, I’ll leave at this; using a closed system like the JUUL, you will pay more for the privilege than smokers pay for a pack of smokes… but users won’t come down with the various diseases smokers will… so there is that.
Nicotine Over Consumption
My biggest complaint about nicotine salt eJuice is nicotine over consumption. If you over consume nicotine, you’ll know it; a sickly buzz and a strong bout of nausea. You won’t die, but perhaps you might want to. (just kidding) If you decide to use these 30mg and 50mg nic-salt eliquids, just be careful not to over vape.
Unboxing and Vaping the JUUL
The JUUL is only compatible with official JUUL pods that the company manufactures, though I’m beginning to get email from Chinese manufacturers claiming to make pods that work with the JUUL. I suggest for the best vape experience, you might want to stick to official American made JUUL Pods, at least for now.
There are five flavors as I write this review. These five flavors are flavors you will like, or not. If you don’t like them, you’ve wasted your money. If you do like them, and they keep you off cigarettes, consider it a successful product.
Note* Way back when, I was a huge fan of Blu Cigs because of their flavors. The eJuice in the Blu Cigs cartomizers were made by Johnson Creek (now defunct), and for some reason Blu switched out to another company for their eJuice and it all went to hell. This other company couldn’t come close to the fantastic flavors from Johnson Creek, so before long I ditched all my Blu batteries and moved on to my fist real box mod and atomizer. Locked into a closed system like Juul or Blu Cigs, you don’t have the luxury of choosing your own eJuice.
Subscriptions, and more…
Oh, how we used to rage against companies that sold “subscriptions”, or “auto-ship” their cig-a-like cartomizers! Well, today, in 2018, JUUL still uses the Auto-Ship method. Unlike 2012/2013, IF you like the flavors JUUL offers in their small Pods (the pod mods we usually review have eJuice capacities of 2mL, more than twice the 0.7mL of the JUUL), and you need the high nicotine to stay off the cigarette, then the Auto-Ship program might not be a bad idea. With their auto-ship program you get substantial discounts on the pricing of their pods. For every 5 JUUL pod packs you purchase, you get one free. That works out to, what, 20% or 25% off their regular pricing? (Math is not my strong suit here)
As for battery life, it depends on how you vape and how often. Light vapers might just get a day’s worth from a single charge. I didn’t. My fully charged JUUL battery lasted me about 4 hours, sometimes 6. The best way to avoid draining the battery is to leave attached to its charger when not using it. Its over-charging protection will keep the battery charged, and when it is fully charged it shuts off the power going to the battery. Using this method, you’ll always leave the house, or the office, with a fully charged battery.
Somehow Pod Mods are still a growing market. I don’t get it, and I probably never will. But new pod mods are coming to market every single day. The JUUL sits in the middle when it comes to quality of the pods and battery, but as a closed system it loses a lot of appeal for me. The draw is very restricted and it’s impossible to get a good head of vapor going in such a device. The pods are way too small for my tastes, the old cartomizer system had the same 0.7mL capacity, and I would go through them like crazy.
This small e-cigarette has a loyal following, and as long as ANY vaping device keeps people away from tobacco burning cigarettes, then I’m fine with it. That said, there are so many pod mods on the market that allow you to use your favorite eliquids, produce larger vapor clouds, and contain larger, longer lasting batteries, I just couldn’t recommend the JUUL to anyone, not really.
The JUUL Starter Kit includes one battery and 4 pods for $49.95. The battery and one pod kit are $34.95. Element Vape carries dozens of pod mod systems that cost a lot less, and you can browse them HERE
Whatever you decide, as long as it keeps you from smoking, its fine. Some people love this thing, some don’t. Are you willing to spend the money to find out?
For what it’s worth, I’ll be publishing my review on the SMOK Novo pod mod soon. This pod mod is my current favorite. A 450mAh battery, 2 empty and refillable 2mL pods, and awesome design and colors… for just $21.95. Choose your Nic-Salt eJuice at Element Vape as well, there are dozens and dozens to choose from.