The term “vape pen” has taken on an entirely new meaning for the vaping community over the years. In the beginning, manufacturers in the vaping industry used the term “pen-style” to denote an e-cigarette that was slightly longer and more powerful than a cigarette-shaped device. The original pen-style vapes were nothing like the vape pens of today. Although they did generate slightly bigger clouds than cigalikes, the difference wasn’t that significant. As time went by, manufacturers improved their vape pen designs. For a long time, though, buying a vape pen still meant that you were getting an inexpensive and underpowered device packaged in a blister pack.
Today, vape pens are nothing like the devices of the past. A vape pen is significantly more powerful than the small e-cigarettes that you can find in convenience stores while remaining extremely small and portable. Many vape pens can even compete with full-sized vape mods in terms of performance, with the only real trade-off being that you won’t get quite the same battery life with a vape pen. For many people, though, owning a vape mod isn’t so desirable because they don’t want to own a vaping device that’s too large and heavy to be carried comfortably in a pocket.
Performance and portability – that’s what you’ll get with a modern vape pen. The only question is: Which vape pen should you buy? That’s where we’re going to help. These are our picks for the best vape pens of 2021.
Uwell Caliburn G
Throughout their years in the vaping industry, the people at Uwell have made their company famous for one thing above all else: great flavor. Uwell earned its name in the vaping industry primarily on the strength of its Crown series of sub-ohm tanks, which have always sacrificed just a bit of vapor production in favor of giving users the biggest, boldest flavors possible. That’s exactly what Uwell’s many flavor chasing fans want – and it’s Uwell’s flavor production technology that has made the Uwell Caliburn the top choice for so many vape pen owners.
In the beginning, pod system owners really couldn’t expect a lot out of their devices. The average pod system had an extremely small atomizer coil and produced tiny clouds. The Uwell Caliburn broke the mold by outfitting a pod-based system with the same type of coil that you’d ordinarily find in a full-sized vape tank. The public responded in a big way, and the Uwell Caliburn became the first must-have refillable pod system. For a long time, it was sold out just about everywhere.
Today, the world of pod systems has evolved, and putting a tank-class coil into a pod system is no longer a novelty on its own. Uwell has had to respond to changing market conditions, and the Uwell Caliburn G is that response.
How does the Uwell Caliburn G differ from the original Caliburn?
- The Caliburn G now has replaceable atomizer coils. The replaceable coils give you more options for customizing your vaping experience. They also help you save money, since you can replace the atomizer coil in your pod while continuing to use the pod.
- The Caliburn G has fully adjustable airflow, allowing you to enjoy a mouth-to-lung vaping experience or a restricted direct lung hit.
- The Caliburn G has a better power system with a larger 690 mAh battery and USB-C charging.
Read our Uwell Caliburn G review to learn more about the best vape pen of 2021.
SMOK Novo 3
The SMOK Novo 3 is perhaps the ultimate vape pen if you want a platform that delivers performance comparable to a mod but don’t want to deal with the complexity of a full-blown vape tank. With the Novo 3, when you want to change your vaping experience, it’s simple – all you need to do is use a different pod.
Although you’ll enjoy a great selection of pods when you use the SMOK Novo 3, the real star of the show is the 0.8-ohm mesh coil pod, which uses a super-efficient mesh coil to deliver the same type of performance that you’d get with a traditional vape mod.
What makes mesh coils so special? In a traditional vape coil, a spring-shaped wire provides the heating surface. That works well at lower temperatures, but it’s not what you want if you’re looking for a vaping setup that’s capable of producing really large clouds. In a cloud-chasing setup, a traditional vape coil will tend to give you problems such as popping loudly during operation and spitting hot e-liquid into your mouth.
A mesh coil fixes the problems inherent in traditional vape coils by substituting the coiled wire for a strip of mesh. The mesh provides a large heating surface spread out over a wider area. It provides for instant heating even with low-wattage devices. When you’re using a mesh coil, e-liquid also doesn’t condense and form pools like it does with a traditional coil. That means a mesh coil doesn’t make the loud pops during operation that a traditional coil does. The mesh coil is simply the most important technology to hit the world of vaping in many years, and the SMOK Novo 3 allows you to enjoy that technology with a small vape pen.
Not sure which SMOK vape pen is right for you? Read our SMOK Nfix, Nord 2 and Novo 3 comparison.
Before there was the Uwell Caliburn, there was the world-famous Suorin Drop – the first refillable pod system that really caught on with the vaping community. The Suorin Drop earned instant fame when it was released because no one had seen anything quite like it before. Until the Drop hit the market, the standard shape for a pod system was something akin to the rectangular shape of a USB thumb drive. There was a huge potential market for a vaping device with a more unique and eye-catching shape, and the svelte Suorin Drop delivered exactly that. For a while, you could find the Drop in seemingly every vape shop in the world.
As always, though, time doesn’t stand still for any vaping device. No matter how successful a product manufacturer is, it has to innovate, or it risks being left behind. Suorin has responded to the changing times with the release of the stylish new Vagon vape pen. It’s a pod-based system with a shiny zinc alloy body and a curved shape that resembles the profile of a sports car – and it is absolutely stunning.
Who should buy this device? The Suorin Vagon might be ideal for you if you’re currently using a beginner-oriented vaping device with pre-filled pods. Using a pre-filled pod system is a fine way to introduce yourself to vaping, but pre-filled vaping devices have a serious shortcoming in that they’re only available in tobacco and menthol flavors. Do you want a vaping device that has two different flavors available, or would you rather use a device that allows you to use any e-liquid flavor on the market? As far as we’re concerned, the choice is obvious. The Suorin Vagon is a perfect step-up device for newer vapers because it provides the tight, cigarette-like airflow characteristics that you want when you’re new to vaping and are using a high-strength nicotine salt e-juice.
SMOK SCAR P3
For anyone who doesn’t mind the idea of owning a vape pen that’s just a bit larger than the standard size, the SMOK SCAR P3 is a do-anything vaping device that packs the full power of a vape mod in a package that’s sleek and easy to carry in your pocket. It’s also one of the first vape pens ever that’s designed from the ground up to resist dust and water. It can even withstand most drops on hard surfaces and keep right on working without a problem.
Now that we’ve waxed poetic about the durable and stylish design of the SMOK SCAR P3, what can you expect in terms of performance with this device? First, the SMOK SCAR P3 is one of the only vape pens on the market with full variable-wattage operation and a digital display. With most vape pens, variable power levels aren’t available at all. If you can vary a vape pen’s output, it’s usually just a very granular “low-medium-high” type of thing. With the SMOK SCAR P3, you can set the device to any power level you like – from 1 to 80 watts.
Unlike most vape pens with this level of power, the SMOK SCAR P3 is a pod-based system that gives you the convenience and ease of use that you’ve grown to love if you’ve been using pod systems since you started vaping. To fill the pod, just lift the silicone filling cover and add e-liquid through the hole.
When you remove the pod from the SMOK SCAR P3, you’ll find a feature that most of the pod systems on the market still lack: a replaceable atomizer coil. To install a new coil, all that you need to do is pull the old coil out and push the new coil in. The SMOK SCAR P3 has two mesh coils available, allowing the device to support both the mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung inhaling styles.