Beginner’s Guide: How to Choose & Use Vape Pod Kits

How to Choose & Use Vape Pod Kits

Vape pod kits have undergone a remarkable evolution since their introduction over six years ago. What began as a simple, easily defined system consisting of a pod and a device has transformed into a diverse range of options catering to various vaping preferences and experience levels. From entry-level devices to high-powered pod mods, and from prefilled to refillable pods with fixed or replaceable coils, the choices can be overwhelming for new vapers.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the different types of pod devices available, highlight which type of device is most suitable for different needs, and provide essential tips on how to use them effectively. We’ll also recommend our current favorite models based on reliability data, customer feedback, and in-house testing, ensuring that you have access to the most up-to-date and trustworthy information.

As a team of experienced vapers with years of hands-on experience testing and reviewing various vape pod kits, we are committed to providing you with accurate, authoritative, and in-depth information to help you make an informed decision and enjoy a satisfying vaping experience.

Understanding the Basics of Pod Kits

At their core, all pod kits consist of two main components:

  1. The Pod: This component holds the e-liquid and contains a coil that heats up to vaporize the liquid. Pods come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, each affecting the overall vaping experience.
  2. The Device: The device houses the battery and a computer chip that acts as the device’s brain, controlling various functions such as power output, temperature control, and safety features. Some devices also feature user controls, such as buttons to fire the device or adjust the wattage, while others rely on inhale activation.

Understanding the interplay between these two components is crucial in choosing the right pod kit for your needs and ensuring that you use it correctly to achieve the best possible vaping experience.

Types of Pod Kits: A Detailed Breakdown

Prefilled Pod Kits: Simplicity and Convenience

Prefilled pod kits are the easiest to use and make an excellent upgrade from disposable vapes. To use a prefilled pod kit, simply attach a pod to the device and inhale. When the pod is empty, dispose of it and replace it with a new one. Recharge the battery using a USB charger when needed. While prefilled pods are more cost-effective and produce less waste than disposables, they are still more expensive than refillable devices. We recommend transitioning to a refillable device when you feel ready to explore a wider range of e-liquid flavors and save money in the long run.

Our top picks for prefilled pod kits are the Elfa Pro and Crystal Plus devices, which closely mimic the draw and taste of disposable vapes, making them an ideal choice for smokers looking to transition to vaping or vapers who value simplicity and convenience.

Looking for Replaceable Pod Products?
Ecigator Sticky Prefilled Replaceable Vape Pod Kit

Ecigator Sticky Prefilled Pod Kit

The Ecigator Sticky Prefiiled Replaceable Vape Pod Kit is new kind of vape kit which the prefilled disposable pod can be changed.

That means you don’t need to throw away the whole kit but just change another pod. Also you can change the pods to taste different flavors.

Refillable Pod Kits: Customization and Cost-Effectiveness

Refillable pod devices allow you to fill the pods with your choice of e-liquid, offering a more economical and customizable vaping experience. These pods can be refilled multiple times before needing replacement, and you have access to thousands of different e-liquid flavors from various brands. Although slightly more complex than prefilled pods, entry-level refillable systems are still user-friendly and require minimal maintenance. Just remember to change the pod when performance starts to decline, which is typically indicated by a decrease in flavor intensity or vapor production.

We highly recommend the Xros 3 Mini for its reliability, ease of use, and excellent performance. This device has consistently received positive feedback from our customers and has proven to be a dependable choice for both new and experienced vapers. Another popular alternative is the Oxva Xlim Pro, which offers a sleek design, intuitive controls, and impressive flavor production.

Looking for Lite Open Pod Kit?
Ecigator Sticky Open Pod Kit

Ecigator Sticky Open Pod Kit

The Sticky Open Pod Kit is a contemporary vaping device that combines functionality with fashion. This kit is designed with a box-style form factor, offering a compact and stylish appearance that’s ideal for vaping enthusiasts on the move.

At the heart of this kit is a Refillable Open Pod System, with a capacity of 2ml, perfect for accommodating a variety of e-liquids. The pod is equipped with a high-quality Mesh Coil that not only ensures a rich and flavorful vaping experience but also boasts durability for up to 8 Refills.

Fixed vs. Replaceable Coils: Balancing Convenience and Cost

Pods contain a coil that heats up and vaporizes the e-liquid. Over time, these coils need to be replaced to maintain optimal performance and flavor quality. With fixed-coil pods, you dispose of the entire pod when the coil reaches the end of its life, which is usually indicated by a burnt taste or reduced vapor production. Replaceable coil systems, on the other hand, allow you to replace just the coil, which is more cost-effective in the long run. Modern coils feature a push-pull design, making replacements quick and easy, even for beginners.

When choosing between fixed and replaceable coil systems, consider your priorities and vaping habits. If you value simplicity and convenience above all else, a fixed-coil system may be the better choice. However, if you’re looking to save money and don’t mind the slight learning curve associated with replacing coils, a replaceable coil system is the way to go.

1706113799 Lost Vape URSA Nano Pro Pods

Pod Mod Kits: Bridging the Gap Between Simplicity and Performance

Pod mod kits bridge the gap between entry-level pod systems and advanced mod devices. They offer more power and functionality than smaller pod devices but are easier to use and less powerful than high-end mods. Some pod mods, like the Voopoo Drag E60, feature a Smart Mode/Smart Power Selection that automatically sets the correct power output based on the coil resistance, taking the guesswork out of wattage adjustment.

If you’re looking to experiment with different airflow settings, produce more vapor, or try Direct-Lung (DL) vaping, pod mods are worth exploring. Just make sure you have some experience with refillable devices and take care when setting the wattage level to avoid burning your coil or experiencing dry hits.

When choosing a pod mod kit, consider factors such as battery life, power output, and compatibility with your preferred e-liquid and coil types. Our top pick for a fixed battery pod mod is the Luxe XR Max, thanks to its compact yet long-lasting battery that can output up to 80 watts, making it suitable for both Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) and DL vaping. For replaceable battery devices, we love the Smok RPM5 Pro for its stunning design, superb flavor, and impressive vapor production.

1713178384 vape mods

Fixed vs. Replaceable Batteries: Convenience and Flexibility

Pod mods offer the choice between fixed internal batteries and replaceable (external) batteries. Fixed batteries are straightforward – simply plug the device into a USB port to charge. This option is ideal for vapers who value simplicity and don’t want to worry about carrying spare batteries or using an external charger.

Replaceable batteries, on the other hand, provide the flexibility to charge them in the device or using an external charger, and you can swap in fully charged batteries to continue vaping without interruption. This option is better suited for vapers who prioritize longer vaping sessions and don’t mind the added complexity of managing multiple batteries.

If you opt for an external battery device, keep in mind that the battery is usually not included, and you’ll need to purchase the appropriate battery type (typically an 18650 or 2100) separately. Always ensure that you use high-quality, authentic batteries from reputable brands and follow proper battery safety guidelines to minimize the risk of accidents or device malfunction.

1713100117 Innokin Trine Pod Vape Kit

Other Considerations for Choosing the Perfect Pod Kit

Inhale or Button Activation (or Both): Finding Your Preferred Firing Method

Some pod devices are activated by inhaling, while others require pressing a button to fire. Some devices offer both options, allowing you to choose your preferred firing method. In the past, button-fired designs were preferable due to the hard draw required by some inhale-to-fire devices, which could be uncomfortable or difficult for some vapers.

However, with advancements in technology, both options now perform well, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you’re used to the simplicity of disposable vapes or cigarettes, an inhale-activated device may feel more natural. If you prefer more control over your vaping experience or enjoy the tactile feedback of pressing a button, a button-fired device may be the better choice.

Airflow Control: Fine-Tuning Your Vaping Experience

Airflow controls allow you to adjust the amount of air that flows through your vape, enabling you to achieve a tighter, more restricted inhale (MTL) or an airier vape (DTL). While airflow controls are mostly found on higher-end devices, the best pod systems have optimized the draw to such an extent that it may not be a crucial feature for most users.

However, if you enjoy experimenting with your vape or using different types of e-liquid and variable wattage, airflow control becomes more valuable. By adjusting the airflow, you can fine-tune your vaping experience to suit your preferences and the specific e-liquid you’re using. For example, a tighter airflow is often better suited for high-nicotine, MTL-style vaping, while a looser airflow is ideal for low-nicotine, DL-style vaping with high-VG e-liquids.

Variable Wattage: Customizing Your Vaping Power

Variable wattage refers to the ability to increase or decrease the power flowing from your device to the coil, allowing you to produce more or less vapor and adjust the intensity of the hit. Variable wattage is typically found on higher-end devices and requires a bit more knowledge to use effectively.

It’s essential to match the power level to the coil you are using (usually displayed on the coil and on the coil pages of our website) to avoid burning out the coil or experiencing dry hits. As a general rule, lower-resistance coils require higher wattages, while higher-resistance coils work best with lower wattages.

Variable wattage devices offer greater control over your vaping experience, as you can use them with different coils for a completely different vape. For example, you can use a coil suited to a VG:PG 50:50 e-liquid, lower the wattage, and enjoy a Mouth-to-Lung (restricted) vape. Alternatively, you can switch to a coil designed for high VG e-liquid, increase the wattage, and enjoy a Direct-Lung vape with impressive vapor production.

1713023949 Vaping Technology

Essential Usage Tips for Optimal Pod Kit Performance

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable vaping experience, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Changing Coils: When your vape becomes scratchy, the flavor deteriorates, or vapor production decreases, it’s time to change your coil or pod. For fixed-coil pods, replace the entire pod; for replaceable coil pods, simply replace the coil. Aim to do this every couple of weeks or as needed based on your vaping habits and the e-liquid you use.
  2. Priming the Coil: To avoid dry hits when using a new coil or pod, allow the e-liquid to soak into the wicking material before using it for the first time. For most devices, this involves filling the pod with e-liquid and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before vaping. For more advanced devices, consult our guide to priming a coil for additional tips and best practices.
  3. Choosing the Right E-Liquid: Entry-level starter kits work best with nicotine salts (for a smooth throat hit) and regular (freebase) e-liquids with a balanced VG:PG ratio (such as 50:50). These e-liquids provide a satisfying nicotine delivery and a balanced flavor and vapor production. VG-heavy e-liquids (70% VG or higher) are better suited for higher-end pod systems with higher wattage and low-resistance coils designed for high VG e-liquids. Many advanced pod systems can also work well with nicotine salts and regular e-liquids by swapping the coil and reducing the power.
  4. Cleaning and Maintaining Your Device: Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for ensuring optimal performance and longevity of your pod kit. Clean your device and pods regularly with a soft, dry cloth to remove any e-liquid residue or dirt. Avoid getting the electronic components wet, and always ensure that your device is completely dry before using it. Store your device and pods in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures to prevent damage or e-liquid degradation.
Open Pod vape system


Transitioning from disposable vapes to a rechargeable device may seem intimidating, but manufacturers have put significant effort into making these devices increasingly user-friendly and accessible to beginners. If you’re new to vaping, starting with a prefilled pod system can be an excellent way to ease into the world of rechargeable vapes, as they are just as easy to use as disposable devices.

When you feel comfortable and ready to explore a wider range of flavors and customization options, progress to a refillable system for better flavor selection, lower costs, and reduced waste. By understanding the different types of pod kits available, considering your personal preferences and vaping goals, and following our essential usage tips, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the perfect device and enjoy a satisfying, hassle-free vaping experience.

Remember, the key to success with vape pod kits is to start simple, experiment gradually, and always prioritize safety and proper usage. With the right device, e-liquid, and vaping habits, you’ll be able to make a smooth transition from smoking to vaping and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

Matthew Ma