How To Choose a Vape Starter Kit?
The time has come. If you've decided that yes, vaping sounds like the right choice for your situation, and you want to get started, it’s time for a starter kit. Great! But still, you may be thinking, with so many different devices out there, how do I go about picking the right one?
Let's quickly go over your options, and lay out some of the reasons you might choose one over another. If your first need to understand what a starter kit is and what it includes and doesn’t include, check out our article in this series, “What's a Starter Kit?”
What they are: Cigalikes are small, roughly cigarette-sized e-cigs. Charge the battery, screw on a flavor cartridge, and go.
Who wants them: If you're not really sure if you're going to end up vaping in the long run, or you need an emergency backup device to tote around that you're not worried about losing, cigalikes are a low-cost fit.
Who doesn't: Most people who become regular vapers quickly abandon cigalikes for better-performing gear. Some people are even so turned off by the cigalike experience they go back to smoking. If you're convinced you want to give vaping a real shot, you'll save money in the long run by skipping this step and checking out the other starter kit category options below.
What else you need to know: Beyond the initial starter kit purchase, you're going to want to buy replacement cartridges (one cartridge is roughly equivalent to a pack of smokes). If you're using the device a lot, you may need more than one battery to get through the day if you don't have easy access to a place to charge.
What they are: Vape pens are bigger than cigalikes, but still small and cylindrical. Vape pens (also known as eGos) combine a battery with a refillable tank and, in some cases, an option to adjust the power level.
Who wants them: Pen-style e-cigs are gradually fading from the scene, but they're still a cost-effective first device that will give you more flexibility and choice when it comes to e-liquid than cigalikes.
Who doesn't: As pod mods come into their own, they're largely supplanting eGo pens as the go-to "my first vape."
What else: You're going to need a bottle of liquid to go with your starter kit, along with a pack of replacement coils for when the one in your tank burns out (these last anywhere from a few days to a week or so).
What they are: Pod Mods range in width from cigalike-sized to about half the size of a traditional vaping device. Instead of cartridges, they use small plastic tanks (pods) of e-liquid; some are one-use disposables while others can be refilled a few times.
Who wants them: Pod mods are a great entry point for new vapers, and even experienced users will often have one on hand as a spare or a subcompact on-the-go device. Because they're designed to be used with salt-based nicotine, they can pack a punch equal to (or often stronger than) combustible cigarettes, which make them appealing to recent converts fighting off nicotine cravings.
Who doesn't: If you're concerned about high nicotine levels, saving money, or sparing the environment from tons of non-recyclable disposable plastics, pod devices probably aren't your best bet.
What else: If you're buying closed-system (pre-filled) pods, you're going to need spares–one pod is roughly equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. For an open system (you fill the tank yourself), you're going to need a bottle of e-liquid, along with some spare pods (refillable pods can be used 3-5 times before they burn out)
Regulated Mods/APVs (Advanced Personal Vaporizers)
What they are: Mods consist of a separate power unit (the "mod") and atomizer for converting e-liquid into vapor, usually in the form of a tank. They come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, most offering users the ability to swap out rechargeable batteries and fine-tune settings via an onboard microcomputer to personalize the vaping experience.
Who wants them: Most experienced vapers will have at least one or two mods in their rotation, because they offer performance, battery life, and customization options that pod systems can't touch. They provide the widest range of choices both in terms of vape experience (cloud size, vapor heat, airflow) and flavor (most of the thousands of traditional e-liquid offerings are best experienced in a mod). While advanced in terms of capabilities, most are designed to be intuitive and simple to operate, even for beginners.
Who doesn't: If you're really scared of a technology learning curve, or if the idea of carrying around a device that takes up at least as much space as a mobile phone is a major turn-off, it may be better to look for something smaller in the pod category.
What else: Unless the mod has a built-in battery, you'll need some high-discharge batteries safe for vaping, along with a standalone charger. You'll also need a bottle of e-liquid and some spare coils for your tank (like with vape pens, these coils last anywhere from a few days to a week or so).
Mechanical Mods/Bottom Feeder ("Squonk") Mods
What they are: Mechanical mods offer no computer control, relying instead on the mastery of skill and electrical currents to keep the user safe. Squonkers offer an alternative to "dripping," another practice that's largely the domain of experienced vape enthusiasts.
Who wants them: Expert vapers, vape enthusiasts, and general hobbyists who love to tinker and aren't scared of a steep learning curve and a bit of hard work.
Who doesn't: Anyone who's new to vaping would be better served learning the basics before attempting to graduate to a finicky, potentially dangerous device.
What else: You'll need some e-liquid, batteries and a charger, wire and wick for building your coils, an Ohm meter, and at the bare minimum a few dozen hours' worth of browsing vape forums to learn about battery safety, get build ideas, and studying the principles of Ohm's Law as it applies to vaping.
Check out Breazy’s vast library of vaping resources here.