‘Tis the season to upgrade your vape gear! Come to think of it, though, it’s just about always the perfect time to buy a great new vape kit because the manufacturers never stop coming out with a steady stream of new products – and these days, your buying decision is a more difficult one than ever. That’s because there’s an entirely new type of vaping device competing for your attention: the pod mod.
Pod vapes have been the hottest products in the vaping industry for some time now, and there is a very good reason for that: A pod-based vaping device is an absolutely ideal vaping product for a beginner.
As pod-based vapes have roared through the market, though, a funny thing has happened. Long-term users of pod systems are beginning to feel the call to upgrade, and they don’t want to buy full-sized mods with tanks; they want to buy upgraded pod systems. That desire led to the creation of the pod mod – a vaping device that has enhanced features but still stores its e-liquid in a pod rather than a tank.
The latest pod mods like the SMOK RPM 2 are so full featured, in fact, that they make for very compelling purchases even for those who currently use mods and have never used pod-based systems before – and that brings us to the subject of this article. How do pod mods vs. vape mods compare? What are the pros and cons of pod mods and vape mods, and what’s the best type of vaping device for you if you’re on the fence?
Let’s dig in.
What Is the Main Difference Between Pod Mods and Vape Mods?
Before we discuss the finer points of pod mods vs. vape mods, let’s discuss the main defining characteristic of the two devices. A pod mod stores its e-liquid in a plastic pod that’s removable and disposable. A pod mod is a proprietary device, and it works only with the model of pod intended for that device. A vape mod, on the other hand, has threading at the top for a removable tank. A vape mod will often come with a compatible sub-ohm tank, but you’re free to remove that tank and connect a different tank if you like.
Now, on the surface, you might wonder why anyone would want to buy a proprietary vaping device when they could buy a device that works with anything. That brings us to the first – and most important – benefit of pod mods.
Pod Mods Are Sleeker and Easier to Use
The biggest draw of a pod mod is that it offers capabilities approaching those of a vape mod in a package that’s significantly smaller, sleeker and easier to use. You don’t have to fiddle with attachment threading because the pod drops into the device. You don’t have to worry about whether you’ve installed a new coil correctly because the pods push in and pull out. You don’t have to worry about whether you’ve configured the device correctly because it only works with a limited set of coils and can recognize those coils automatically. A pod mod also doesn’t feel like a brick in your pocket as a vape mod often can. Quite simply, pod mods are the sleekest and nicest looking vaping devices on the market right now.
Pod Mods Are Proprietary Devices
Next, we’ll discuss the primary drawback of owning a pod mod. A pod mod is a proprietary device that can only work with the pods and coils built and distributed by the device’s manufacturer for that specific device. Obviously, a pod mod is designed to give you a great vaping experience out of the box, but the proprietary design does limit your ability to experiment. When you use a vape mod, you’re free to try every tank on the market and discover your favorite. With a pod mod, the only way in which you can really experiment is by buying different coils for your device if the manufacturer offers that option.
It’s also worth mentioning that a proprietary vaping device may one day become a useless vaping device. A pod mod only works with pods and coils made by that device’s manufacturer, and the manufacturer may one day choose to stop making those accessories. If that happens, the device in question effectively becomes useless.
Now, if you buy a pod mod from a major brand, it’ll likely be a couple of years before you might start to have difficulty finding pods and coils for that device – and by that time, you’ll be shopping for a new device anyway because the device you have will almost definitely no longer hold a charge. Still, it’s worth considering before you buy.
Pod Mods Have Capabilities That Rival Vape Mods
The greatest thing about today’s pod mods is that buying one doesn’t mean that you have to reduce your expectations for performance. A good pod mod these days will offer adjustable airflow, variable wattage, multiple types of replaceable coils and more. Even if you’re a committed direct-to-lung vaper and are only interested in chasing big clouds, you can have that experience with a modern pod mod. Today’s pod mods definitely aren’t the high-nicotine mouth-to-lung vaping devices that usually come to mind when you think about pod vaping devices.
Pod Mods and Vape Mods Have Similar Costs of Ownership
When comparing the long-term ownership costs of pod mods vs. vape mods, you’ll find that they’re about the same. In both cases, the main consumable components that you’ll need to buy repeatedly are the coils. Coils cost about the same regardless of whether they’re for a tank or a pod.
Vape Tanks Are Easier to Clean
Maintenance is something that you might not consider a great deal when you buy a vaping device, but it’s something that you may want to think about if you change e-liquid flavors repeatedly. It isn’t really possible to wash a vape pod. You can’t disassemble a pod, and although you certainly can try to rinse one, you’ll have trouble getting all of the water out.
If you change flavors often, your best bet as a pod system owner is to have a different pod for each flavor. Many people enjoy buying multiple pods because it allows them to change flavors whenever they like without the different flavors intermingling with one another.
Eventually, though, your pods are going to going to get grimy and will require replacement. With a tank, grime isn’t a problem because you can disassemble, rinse and dry a vape tank whenever you want.
Vape Tanks May Offer Better Flavor
One of the big differences between pods and tanks is that tanks are glass, and pods are plastic. Some people prefer to avoid plastic vaping accessories because they feel that the plastic somehow taints the flavor of the e-liquid. Glass, on the other hand, is inert and doesn’t interact with e-liquid at all. If you feel that you can taste a difference between plastic and glass vaping accessories, you may prefer the fact that a vape mod allows you to use a glass tank. It must be said, though, that plastic is almost impossible to avoid in vaping anyway since almost all e-liquid ships in plastic bottles.
Vape Mods May Last Longer
If you buy a vape mod that uses removable batteries, there is a chance that you’ll have a longer-lasting device than you would have if you bought a pod mod or vape mod with a permanent battery. That’s because, after a few hundred charge-discharge cycles, the capacity of a lithium-ion battery decreases permanently. Eventually, the battery will stop holding a charge at all – and that can happen fairly quickly when you’re recharging the battery once or twice a day.
So, what happens when your vaping device stops holding a charge? If the device has a permanent battery – as is the case with most pod mods – it’s time to retire that device. If the device has a removable battery, though, you can simply install a new battery and continue using the device. In that sense, a vape mod – if it has a removable battery – may last longer than a pod mod. That’s worth considering if you intend to use your vaping device for more than a year or so.
With the above having been said, there are exceptions to every rule in vaping. Pod mods with removable batteries are starting to become more common and should have the same longevity as vape mods with removable batteries. In addition, the battery isn’t the only part of a vaping device that can fail. While a vape mod with removable batteries should theoretically last longer than other types of vaping devices, it can also stop working due to the failure of one of its other electronic components. Vaping devices take a lot of abuse and fail for a variety of different reasons.
Pod Mods May Be More Tolerant of Abuse
Speaking of the abuse that vaping devices often take, it’s also work mentioning that a vape mod is often more resistant to abuse than a vape tank. A pod, after all, is plastic. If you drop it, it’ll probably be fine. A glass tank, on the other hand, can shatter if you drop it on a hard surface. You can buy replacement glass enclosures for almost every vape tank on the market, but you might want to consider the durability aspect if you are prone to dropping your vaping device.