Across the world, high-end vape shops like E-Cigarette Empire are reporting massive sales of pod vaping systems. Pod systems have been around since at least 2015 – since the release of the JUUL e-cigarette – and it’s clear that they aren’t going away any time soon. Pod systems have supplanted cigalikes as the most popular vaping devices among those who are new to vaping and want to use e-cigarettes that are as close to tobacco cigarettes in size and shape as possible.

These days, pod systems are so popular in the vaping community that it sometimes feels as though the manufacturers in the industry are pouring more of their development resources into pod-based devices than they are into traditional vape pens and mods.

Pod vaping devices seem to have everything in the world going for them. They’re some of the least expensive vaping devices on the market, but they also feature some of the industry’s most recent technological advances. They’re also some of the world’s smallest vaping devices, but virtually everyone agrees that they’re capable of delivering a level of satisfaction that the small e-cigarettes of the past could never have matched.

If you’re reading this article, though, the chances are that you already know about the features that have made pod systems so successful. If you vape, you’re probably even using a pod system right now – and that leaves one question. Do you have any reason to upgrade to a larger vaping device? Are you already enjoying the ideal vaping experience, or are pod vaping systems actually overrated? Reading this article, you’re going to learn the answer.

Pod Vaping Systems vs. Mods

The primary difference between pod systems and traditional vape mods is in the way the devices store e-liquid. While a vape mod typically stores its e-liquid in a glass tank with a replaceable atomizer coil, a pod system stores its e-liquid in a plastic pod. The entire pod is typically disposable, but the line between pod systems and mods is sometimes blurred by the fact that some of the most recent pod systems have replaceable atomizer coils. One thing that hasn’t changed about pod systems since their emergence, however, is the fact that their pods are still plastic. So far, no company has released a pod vaping system with glass pods.

Inhaling Style

One thing common to almost all pod vaping systems is the fact that they’re designed for the mouth-to-lung inhaling style. Pod systems were developed for smokers and were designed to provide smokers with a simple solution that makes vaping as easy and appealing as possible. The idea is that a smoker should be able to put down the cigarettes and pick up a pod system without experiencing any major changes or inconveniences.

Most mods, on the other hand, include tanks designed for the direct-to-lung inhaling style. That’s the ideal inhaling style if you want your vaping device to produce the biggest possible clouds, and great cloud production is what most people want when they switch from pod systems to larger vaping devices.

Vapor Production

As we just mentioned, mods are often capable of vapor production vastly greater than that of pod systems. That’s one of the reasons why people upgrade from pod systems to mods; they see the enormous clouds coming out of their friends’ vaping devices, and they want to try cloud chasing for themselves. Cloud chasing isn’t just fun; it’s also the best way to enjoy the boldest and richest flavors when vaping.

On the other hand, there’s also value in the small vapor clouds that you get with a smaller pod system. When you use a pod system, you can be completely discreet and vape without drawing attention to yourself. Some people who vape are nervous that others will find their vapor clouds obnoxious, but you’ll never have to worry about that if you use a pod system.

Ability to Use Nicotine Salt E-Liquid

Since pod vaping systems produce smaller vapor clouds, they usually work best with a high-nicotine form of e-liquid called nicotine salt e-liquid. With nicotine strengths that start at around 25 mg and range up to 50 mg and higher, nicotine salt e-liquid can deliver nicotine to the bloodstream at almost the same speed as a cigarette. That form of e-liquid is only appropriate, however, with a vaping device that produces very small vapor clouds. With a high-output device, a high-strength e-liquid will be overpowering and unpleasant.

With a more powerful mod, you’ll use an e-liquid with a significantly lower nicotine strength; the most popular nicotine strengths for high-end mods are 3 mg and 6 mg. Since using a device with greater cloud production means that you’ll be inhaling more e-liquid, dropping the nicotine strength of your e-liquid doesn’t mean that your vaping experience will be less satisfying; you’ll still get plenty of nicotine. It does mean, however, that you’ll experience almost no throat hit. If you like to feel an assertive throat hit when you inhale nicotine, you’ll probably want to stick with your pod system rather than switching to a mod.

Long-Term Cost of Ownership

Up to this point, this article has mainly focused on comparing pod systems vs. mods. There are actually two types of pod systems, though – systems with pre-filled pods and systems with refillable pods. Mods – along with the two types of pod systems – can vary drastically in terms of their cost of ownership. We’ll explain.

  • The more powerful a mod is, the more e-liquid it’ll use. If you use sweetened e-liquid – like most vapers – you’ll experience poor coil life because sucralose leaves a residue that harms a coil’s performance and flavor. Between the frequent coil replacements and high e-liquid usage, mods can actually be quite expensive to own.
  • When you use a pre-filled pod system, you’ll buy your refills in packs, usually containing four pods each. As long as you use only one pod per day, you’ll probably find that using a pre-filled pod system costs slightly less than smoking depending on the cigarette prices where you live.
  • When you use a refillable pod system, you’ll buy empty pods periodically and fill those pods with bottled nicotine salt e-liquid. Since pod systems have lower vapor production, they don’t consume a great deal of e-liquid. For that reason, they’re typically very inexpensive to use.