If you’re a new or intermediate vaper on the hunt for a new e-cigarette, there’s a good chance that two different types of devices will be on your mind the next time you shop at E-Cigarette Empire or another retailer: pod devices and vape pens. Between the two types of smaller vaping devices, pod systems appeared on the market more recently and definitely have their fair share of devoted aficionados. However, a pen-style e-cigarette uses tried-and-true technology and often offers options that a pod system doesn’t. How do pod systems vs. vape pens compare? Let’s explore the answer to this question.
Pod Systems Are Smaller and More Discreet
While a pen-style e-cigarette typically has a round glass tank, a pod device stores its e-liquid in a removable plastic pod. Since a plastic pod can be much thinner than a tank and doesn’t need to be round, a pod system can be very small and can have a wide variety of different shapes. Mostly, though, pod systems are extremely small. They are by far the most pocketable and most discreet of all modern vaping devices. If you want a vaping device that you can use in privacy just about anywhere, a pod system is almost definitely what you need.
Pods Are More Convenient Than Tanks
Out of all the different ways to use an e-cigarette, there is no way that’s more convenient than filling a pod and dropping it into your vaping device. Using an e-cig with pre-filled pods is even more convenient than that, of course, but U.S. lawmakers have banned all pre-filled pod flavors except menthol and tobacco. The flavor ban doesn’t apply to bottled e-liquid, so using a vaping device with refillable pods means that you can use whatever flavor you like.
Using a pen-style device with a tank is significantly less convenient than owning a pod system because tanks require periodic disassembly for coil replacements and cleaning. Replacing the coil in a glass tank can get a little messy, but that isn’t something that you need to worry about when you use a pod system. Just remove the pod’s stopper, fill the pod and drop it into your device.
Vape Pens May Deliver Superior Flavor
Taste is subjective, and the fact that millions of people around the world use pod systems suggests that most pod-based e-cigarette owners are completely happy with the flavor. However, it’s an important point of comparison to note that, while pod devices store their e-liquid in plastic, tanks are made from inert borosilicate glass. No plastic is completely inert, and there is always a possibility of some molecular exchange when you store your e-liquid in plastic. Some people find that pen-style devices deliver purer flavor and say that pod systems impart a flavor that tastes a bit like plastic.
A Vape Pen Generates Bigger Vapor Clouds
On average, vape pens are significantly bigger than pod systems. The larger size means that a vape pen typically has better battery life and stores more e-liquid compared to a pod system. That means that you can usually vape longer with a pen-style device before you need to refill the tank or recharge the battery. Those are good features, of course, but the even more important thing is that having a larger tank means that a vape pen also has a larger atomizer coil – and if everything else is equal, a larger atomizer coil generates bigger clouds than a smaller one.
If you want to chase big clouds but want to keep your vaping device on the smaller side, a vape pen is definitely the type of e-cigarette that you want – but keep in mind that using a cloud chasing device will require you to change the way you inhale if you are currently a smoker or a user of a smaller e-cigarette. Using a powerful tank means that you’ll use a lower-strength e-liquid and inhale the vapor directly into your lungs. A typical modern vape pen, in other words, delivers a ton of flavor but almost no throat hit. You’ll still get your nicotine, because you’ll be using so much e-liquid – but if you prefer a mouth-to-lung vaping style, you may not be completely happy with a vape pen.
A Vape Pen May Work With Other Tanks
One of the great things about owning a vape pen is that you don’t necessarily need to use the tank included with the e-cigarette. If you buy a pod system, you can only ever use pods designed to work with that system. A vape pen, on the other hand, usually has standardized threading that allows it to work with a wide variety of other tanks. If some company invents a tank with a revolutionary new technology that your tank doesn’t have, you can probably buy that tank and use it with your e-cigarette. You’ll never get that level of flexibility with a pod system.
Conclusion: Choose a Vape Pen for Flavor, a Pod System for Satisfaction
As you’ve learned from reading this article, pen-style devices and pod systems might both be smaller vaping devices, but they’re designed for fairly different types of users. Aside from the fact that a pod device is smaller and a pen-style device is more flexible, the most important difference between the two types of vaping devices is the fact that they work best for different vaping styles.
If you need an e-cigarette that’s designed for a higher-nicotine e-liquid and can give you a cigarette-like throat hit, you’ll want to buy a pod system and pair it with a strong nicotine salt e-liquid. A pod system can deliver satisfaction like a cigarette.
On the other hand, if you’re a longer-term vaper who no longer craves cigarettes and instead desires the best flavors that the world of vaping has to offer, you’ll probably be extremely happy with a vape pen. When you use a tank designed for direct-to-lung inhaling – and you pair that tank with a lower-nicotine e-liquid – you’ll experience big, bold flavors that you will absolutely love.
In general, pod vapes aren’t made for refilling, but surely there are some models that let you do that. You can check out some pod flavors on this page.