In the first decade of its history, vaping has unquestionably become a global phenomenon. Throughout most of the industry’s evolution, Chinese device manufacturers – churning out vaping devices by the millions – have been the primary drivers of innovation. The pod vaping system trend, however, may be a sign that other parts of the world have begun to exert a more global influence on the future direction of the industry.
So, what are these pod vaping systems that have everyone talking? Should a pod system be your next vaping device? Are pod vaping systems here to stay, or are they just another short-lived trend that’s going to disappear when the next big thing comes along? Reading this article, you’re going to learn the answers to those questions. If you still need help, the vaping experts at Vaper City have compared the best pod vaping systems on the market and published their findings online. We’re happy to help make your buying decision an easier one.
Let’s dive into the history of one of the biggest trends ever to hit the vaping industry.
What Are Pod Vaping Systems?
A typical vaping device stores its e-liquid in a glass tank. The tank either screws into threading at the top of the device or is a permanent part of the device. A pod vaping system, on the other hand, stores its e-liquid in a drop-in plastic pod. Some pods snap into place, and others are held in by magnets. In a typical vaping tank, the glass enclosure and metal hardware aren’t disposable. The only replaceable part is the atomizer coil in the center of the tank. In a pod vaping system, though, the entire pod is disposable. When you find that your device doesn’t produce as pleasing a flavor as it once did, you’ll discard the pod and begin using a new one.
The final defining characteristic of pod vaping systems is that the pods are almost always proprietary. Most vaping devices use industry-standard threading that allows them to accept a wide variety of different attachments. A pod vaping system, on the other hand, usually only works with pods intended specifically for that device.
Why Are Pod Vaping Systems So Popular?
The history of pod vaping systems began with the release of the JUUL e-cigarette in the United States in 2015. Thanks to some innovative new technologies – and a major promotional push – the JUUL became incredibly popular almost immediately. It is now America’s best-selling e-cigarette. While the JUUL isn’t officially available outside the United States at the time of writing, it influenced the vaping industry so strongly that it became the originator of the pod vaping trend. Today, though, you can find a multitude of other devices that provide experiences similar to – and often better than – that of the JUUL.
The JUUL e-cigarette influenced the vaping industry in three key ways:
- It was the device that popularized the drop-in pods all pod vaping systems now use.
- It was the first device that used nicotine salt e-liquidas a primary selling point.
- It popularized the flat, narrow shape that many pod vaping systems now use.
What Are the Benefits of Pod Vaping Systems?
Pod Devices Are Incredibly Easy to Use
Pod vaping devices are simple, intuitive and ideal for beginners. To prepare a pod device for use, all that you need to do is fill the pod, push the pod into the top of the device and inhale or press the button to vape. If you use a device with pre-filled pods, vaping is even simpler – just push in a pod and enjoy. Some pod vaping devices have automatic puff sensors. When you puff on an automatic vaping device, it detects the change in air pressure and generates vapor. Pod vaping systems use plastic pods with clear windowed sides. Depending on the design of your device, you can either look at the device or pull the pod out to see how much e-liquid remains.
Pod Devices Outclass Cigalikes in Every Way
Pod vaping systems are popular because there’s never been a more compelling vaping option for beginners. Cigalikes– the small e-cigarettes available in most convenience stores – have the familiar look of tobacco cigarettes, but that’s really the only feature that they bring to the table. Any given cigalike brand only has a few different e-liquid flavors available, and those flavors are generally mediocre. Since cigalikes are the smallest of all vaping devices, their battery life is incredibly poor – and since a small vaping device by necessity has a small atomizer coil, the vapor production of cigalikes is also poor. With only a slight increase in size and weight, pod vaping devices outclass cigalikes in every way that matters.
What Are the Benefits of Nicotine Salt E-Liquid?
Greater Nicotine Absorption With Less Irritation
Most e-liquids contain the freebase form of nicotine. Nicotine salt e-liquid, on the other hand, adds an acid to the mix to convert the nicotine to its salt form. Adding acid also lowers the pH of the e-liquid. The resulting vapor is smoother and easier to inhale. The smoothness of nicotine salt e-liquid makes it possible to use a higher-nicotine e-liquid without throat and lung irritation. With the small vaping devices of the past, many people found it difficult to absorb enough nicotine to attain complete satisfaction because high-nicotine e-liquids were too unpleasant to use. With nicotine salt e-liquid, even the smallest vaping devices can deliver enough nicotine to satisfy long-term smokers.
Discreet Vaping and Reduced E-Liquid Consumption
As we’ll explain shortly, nicotine salt e-liquids are perfect for lower-output devices like pod vaping systems. That may be of special interest to you if you already vape and use a higher-output vaping device. Do you ever wonder if others find your enormous vapor clouds obnoxious? Would you like it if you could spend significantly less on e-liquid without compromising the satisfaction you now enjoy? You may find that you enjoy your vaping experience far more if you switch to a pod vaping system with a nicotine salt e-liquid.
Do Pod Vaping Systems Require Nicotine Salt E-Liquid?
No. You can use a pod vaping device with whatever e-liquid you like, although it’s wise to heed the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the e-liquid’s VG/PG ratio. Most pod systems work best with e-liquids containing no more than 50 percent VG. A pod vaping system also isn’t necessary for enjoying nicotine salt e-liquids, although pod systems are uniquely suited for those e-liquids because the higher nicotine strengths necessitate a mouth-to-lung vaping style. A nicotine salt e-liquid typically has a nicotine strength of 25-50 mg. You wouldn’t want to use such a high-nicotine e-liquid in a sub-ohm device designed for direct-to-lung inhaling.
Do Pod Vaping Systems Have Any Drawbacks?
Pod Vaping Systems Have Restrictive Airflow
A pod vaping system will work best for you if you intend to use a high-nicotine e-liquid and inhale the vapor from your mouth to your lungs. In other words, you should use the inhaling style that you would use if you were smoking a cigarette. Pod vaping devices aren’t for cloud chasers. If you prefer a direct-to-lung inhaling style, you will find that the airflow of a pod device is too restrictive.
Replacement Pods Aren’t Cheap
Compared to a vape pen, a pod vaping system might be slightly more expensive to own. In a pod system, the pod is a self-contained unit with a built-in atomizer coil. When the quality of the vaping experience begins to decline, you’ll need to replace the entire pod. When you use a vape pen, on the other hand, the tank’s atomizer coil is the only item that you’ll need to replace periodically. Atomizer coils for vape pens usually cost less per unit than replacement pods for pod vaping systems.
At a Glance: Pod Vaping Systems vs. Vape Pens
- Vape pens often cost more up front but have lower long-term ownership costs.
- Vape pens usually have better vapor production but are slightly more complicated to use.
- Pod vaping systems are inexpensive and very easy to use.
- Pod vaping systems are often much smaller and sleeker than vape pens.
Pods for Less Popular Devices May Become Hard to Find
The fact that most pod vaping systems use proprietary designs means that many of those designs are quite innovative. Freed from the requirement to give every pod vaping device an industry-standard 510 connection, makers of pod devices have created devices that are light and sleek while still offering great performance. A proprietary device does have a potential downside, though, in that the maker may one day stop producing it. When a device goes out of production, the pods for that device will become difficult to find. You’ll eventually need to begin using a different device. By the time that happens, though, you might want to purchase a new vaping device anyway.
How to Buy the Best Pod Vaping Device
Are you considering buying a pod vaping device? Here are two pointers to help ensure that you’ll have the best possible experience.
Buy a Pod Device With a Manual Fire Button
A pod vaping system with an automatic puff sensor is fun because you can hold it like a real cigarette. The problem with a puff sensor, though, is that it’ll have a slight delay before it begins to generate vapor. If you want a pod device that produces the biggest, most satisfying vapor clouds possible, you should buy one with a manual fire button.
Choose Your Preferred Pod Type
When you shop online and in local vape shops for a pod vaping system, you’ll notice that some use pre-filled pods, and others use empty pods that you can fill yourself. There are benefits to both approaches. If you buy a pod system with pre-filled pods, you’ll never have to worry about whether a given e-liquid will provide a good experience with your vaping device. You’ll also enjoy an almost entirely maintenance-free vaping experience – just keep the battery charged and swap out the pod periodically.
If you buy a pod vaping system with refillable pods, you’ll need to add filling the pods to your list of periodic maintenance tasks. Filling a pod takes a bit longer than simply exchanging an empty pod for a new one, but filling your own pods has two major benefits. The first is that bottled e-liquid costs much less than pre-filled pods. The second benefit is that, when you fill your own pods, you can fill them with any e-liquid you like. There are hundreds of different e-liquid flavors in the world, but a pod vaping system that uses pre-filled pods only works with a few of them.
The Bottom Line: Pod Vaping Systems Aren’t Going Away
Pod systems have added an entirely new product category to the vaping industry, and we believe that product category isn’t going away any time soon. If you’ve looked at the pod vaping systems on the market and decided they aren’t for you, it’s probably because pod systems aren’t necessarily meant to appeal to all experienced vapers.
Pod Vaping Systems Are the Ideal Devices for New Vapers
A pod vaping system isn’t a replacement for a high-end box mod; it’s a replacement for the cigalikes that many of us used when we started vaping. Compared to a cigalike, a pod vaping system is infinitely more capable. It offers better battery life, better vapor production and a far more satisfying form of e-liquid in a package that’s just as easy to use and only slightly larger. If you choose a pod system as your first vaping device, you may find the experience so satisfying that you never have any desire to upgrade to a larger device.
You May Love a Pod System Even if You Already Vape
If you’re an experienced vaper – and pod vaping systems intrigue you despite the fact that you use a larger vaping device – we suggest giving them a try. Some people use large vaping devices because they enjoy big vapor clouds. Others use larger devices as a means to an end; they tried smaller devices in the past and didn’t feel completely satisfied. The lack of satisfaction caused them to switch to larger devices. Paired with nicotine salt e-liquids, pod vaping systems are the first small vaping devices that can truly satisfy the nicotine needs of just about anyone. If the idea of smaller, more discreet vapor clouds – and vastly decreased e-liquid consumption – appeals to you, we strongly recommend trying a pod vaping system.