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What is a Pod System and How Does it Work?

The first modern e-cig, or vape, was invented in the mid-2000s and started out similar to a cigarette. Since then, these cig-a-like involved into vape pens and box mod kits that are typically more bulky, offered in a variety of styles and power functionalities. Lately, pod system have emerged from the vape industry, garnering more and more popularity as major manufacturers are expanding and refining their products and technology. If vaping is new to you, you may ask, “What exactly is a pod system?” Read on and let's break it down.

What is a Pod System? What does Pod mean?

According to Oxford’s Dictionary, a pod is a detachable or self-contained unit. A pod system gets its name from having a removable container to hold the eJuice and is usually paired with a replaceable coil inside. The pod is attached to the body, or the battery portion of the system, to fire the coil within the pod vaporize the eJuice within. A pod system can come in a variety of shape, inspired by a vape pen shape or in any other types of design for ergonomic portability reasons. There are two main types of pod systems, “Open” and “Closed”

Closed System Vape - Non-refillable device with the most popular and recognizable option would be JUUL. Similar to JUUL, an vaper only needs to order pre-filled pods, containing the juice and coil. Once it is empty, the pods can be thrown out and disposed of when replacing the closed system pods. Other popular option includes products from well-known companies such as Vuse, NJOY, Blu, KILO, PHIX, and more. Due to the recent Federal regulation, flavored pre-filled pods will not be available for sale with the exception of Tobacco and Menthol flavors in the U.S.

Open Pod System - A refillable pod option. Open pod systems are not pre-filled but come packaged empty. They feature a fill port, allowing users to fill any juice that suits their preference. Most of the time, pods will be secured by a silicone stopper or top-fill with some sort of mechanism, removing only to refill the juice when empty. Some open systems facilitate coil removals and changes, saving additional cost by eliminating the need to purchase replacement pods but rather a set of changeable coils. This results in reducing waste and can be a more frugal decision.

Choosing the Right Juice 

So you have a Pod System, but now you need to select an E-Liquid . For closed pod system, you can only purchase pre filled pods in the limited option offered by the manufacturer of the device. Due to the simplistic nature of prefilled pod, flavor options are limited along with the nicotine salt strength.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, open pod systems are much more versatile, allowing users to use their own eJuice blends or from prominent E-Liquid manufacturers, typically using high-standards of manufacturing process. When purchasing E-Liquid for pod system, we typically recommend nicotine salts E-Liquid over free-based E-Liquid.

Nicotine Salts are more optimized for lower-power devices such as pod system as it is typically less harsh to vape on which allows for better tolerance of higher nicotine strength (usually starts out at 20mg). You can also use free-based E-Liquid on higher power pod system but it will not be as effective due to the low amount of nicotine. Another thing to note is PG/VG Ratio but this won't matter most of the time unless you are mixing your own E-Liquid or experiencing technical issues such as leaking.

How does a Pod System work?

There are three types of firing mechanism that follows basic principals for the most part. Almost all pod systems have a single built-in battery and must be charged via MicroUSB Port like a cell phone. When fired, the integrated battery provides ample power to the coil, heating the internal coil inside the pod to vaporize the E-Liquid. So what are the three types of firing method?

Draw-Activated Fire - These are simple devices that are activated by a simple puff, similar to a cigarette. An example would be the Suorin AIR PLUS shown above.

Button Fire - This type of vape are button-operated, requiring pressing the button activate the pod system. An example would be the SMOK NORD shown above

Dual Type Option - Some pod systems can be fired in both ways -- either draw-activated or by a single firing button. An example would be the Uwell Caliburn shown above.

Deciding between the types and options can be difficult, but ultimately, it's up to user preference. Some vapers prefer the draw-to-fire method as it recreates the resemblance of a cigarette, while others prefer the button fire. Or, you could choose a pod system with both types to see which one best fits your preferences.

Style of Pods

Pod System can come in various shapes and sizes. Like many things in life, the style you choose is quite subjective as pod system can be shaped in an elongated design that's known to be a "pen-style", or it can come in a multitudes of shapes!

What is a Pod Mod? (In a short description, it is type of pod system inspired by the more typical and larger box mod functionality)

Nowadays, pod systems have involved and getting more complex. Users who starts out using pod system are requesting for more functionality while traditional vape users are looking for a more portable option. Pod Mods is the result of this convergence, offering a portable, smaller device with the complex functionality that comes with a traditional box mod. These pod systems now offers more sophisticated technology that elevates the vaping experience, such as Bigger Battery, Display Screen, Power Adjustments, and Airflow Control.

 Now that I understand Pod System, which one should I buy?

If you feel like a pod system is best fitted for you, choosing a specific model and style can be difficult. Due to the subjective nature of most vaping products, make sure to make an educated purchase decision after narrowing down your preferences in terms of designs and functionality.  

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