Pod Systems, Nicotine Salts, and You by Hosehead Vapes ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Good day, eh! Welcome to a Canadian Review, By a Canadian Hosehead.
The year of 2018 is the Year of the nic salt. Mark my words, this year we are going to see every major juice manufacturer release a high ohm salt line, and a bunch of them move away from freebase nicotine altogether and offer their standard subohm juices in nicotine salt equivalents.
Why? because nicotine salts work better. They get absorbed into the bloodstream faster, and provide the relief that former smokers, or people trying to become former smokers crave, Nicotine satisfaction. They are also much easier for people to vape. No more hacking and coughing like so many of us did with our ego pens and 18-36mg freebase nicotine juice, you know the kind, we paid 20 dollars for 10-15ml AND LOVED IT. (not really, there was just no other choice at the time). The truth is 12mg of nic salt feels closer to a 3mg of freebase nicotine, making it much easier to transition from analogue smoking to vaping.
So lets take a look at different salt nicotine systems. We’ve had them in our possession since before nicotine salts existed! Basically any ‘Mouth to Lung’ device (think of the way most people would smoke a cigarette) is a high mg salt nicotine device. Everything from ego pens, to kayfuns from svoemesto will work. Billet boxes were popular last year as salts were just emerging on the market. But this year several new challengers have appeared, Pod systems.
Pod systems are closed or open systems (disposable or refillable respectively) that use a small form factor for portability, and just enough power for a specifically designed coil for an engineered vape that is enjoyable for most former smokers. These are generally designed to be purchased with a specific ‘pod’ (coil, wicking material, and juice reservoir all in one) and these pods are thrown away once all the juice is used up (about a day to two of general use). some systems are refillable, meaning you keep filling the same pod up until the flavor changes and tastes burnt, in which case you buy another empty pod for around the 5 dollar mark and repeat.
So I’ve chosen a few to look at, pros and cons of them, and which I would recommend.
The first is the STLTH
Which I reviewed here https://www.vapecan.ca/review-stlth-stlth-vape
However there is a slight update to this. The apple crisp that comes with the device and has been reformulated. Its quite good now, versus my rather lukewarm reception to it initially. And the tobacco is a solid tobacco. I enjoy it and think it provides a better stepping stone for those smokers trying to quit, but wanting a familiar taste (but much better in my opinion).
Being a closed system, the juices are good, however the selection is limited to the 3 currently. The biggest draw of the STLTH is the size and cost. Only 25 dollars for the kit https://stlthvape.com/collections/starter-kits/products/stlth-basic-kit . It is a completely competent kit, and the cheapest on the market.
Next Up the Vladdin
More expensive than the STLTH (39.95 MSRP) the vladdin is a much sleeker looking device. functions very similarly to the STLTH, both have 350mah batteries, the vladdin is a 1.5ml pod, the stlth is a 2.0ml pod. However the Vladdin has one added flavor currently added flavor currently over the STLTH for a total of four, and have signed some other companies up to produce their own Vladdin pods as well. However the cost on the filled pods is the most prohibitive in this list. at 17.99 per 2 pack of pods.
As for the device itself, its comfortable to hold and use, feels good. it does not have the rubberized coating that the stlth has, however the pod is a little bit more wobbly than the STLTH (but its not going anywhere unless you pull it out intentionally). I’ts slightly longer than the STLTH but a little bit thinner, especially with the tapered sides. The only thing I dislike design wise is the base, since the device is metal except for the pod, at the base where the USB port is. and the bottom metal meets the tube, it has extremely sharp points which can tear clothing, or even scratch your hand if your not careful.
Now for the real reason why the Vladdin is more interesting than the STLTH. The Vladdin has confirmed to me that they are bringing in empty pods that you can refill yourself. So you can order or go to your nearest vape shop in a pinch to grab something for your device if your on the go. Or you can refill a few empty pods with whatever juices you may fancy (and there are plenty of great salt nic juices coming out).
This makes the Vladdin a very big winner in my books. You can start off with this device and their juices, then transition into filling your own juices as you get more comfortable. You can get 10% off the Vladdin at https://vladdin.ca/ with code ” VapeDeals.ca/Vladdin ” Thanks to Vladdin for providing us a code for our patrons!
UPDATE: Empty pods for the Vladdin have dropped and are officially out now on the Vladdin website here http://vladdinvapor.com/vladdin-open-pod-4pcs.html . Cost wise they are competitive with other refillable systems
And now the Bo+ Pods
The most expensive device in this list. the Bo+ comes in at a whopping $69.99 for the starter kit. The device itself has a larger footprint than any other device on this list, except for maybe the Sourin Drop, and while I like the larger profile of it, people looking for small and compact may not be attracted to its size. The best feature of the Bo+ is the 800 MAH battery, making it also the longest lasting pod device as well. Boasting a regulated output, the performance of the device lasts all the way until the battery is drained. meaning you have the same quality of hit every time. which is extremely nice.
The Bo+ also breaks market trend by using USB-C to charge, great for very fast charging. However if you’re like me, and dont have any USB-C devices, your stuck using only the included cable. I wouldnt say its a con in my book, as USB-C will surely become more standard in the next few years, however it is something to definitely note.
Bo caps are also filled to 1.5ml like the Vladdin, and unlike the STLTH’s 2ML. However the pricing on the filled Bo caps are competitive at $17.99 for freebase nic caps, and $19.99 for salt nic caps in packs of 3. Not quite as economic as the STLTH pods, but still better than the Vladdins prefilled cost. Another big advantage Bo has right now, is their selection of prefilled juice pods is much larger than the other systems currently, and they are expanding their filled pods offerings aggressively.
No offering of a refillable pod, makes this a great system for those who have absolutely no interest in refilling pods, but want the stellar battery life and features of the Bo system, and still want access to a large library of juices.
However Jwell recently released La Carte, which is a refillible 2ml pod system, which I am extremely excited for.
But at its heart, the Bo+ is a fantastic pod device, It does everything well, it just has a prohibitive startup cost for people who want to experiment with pod systems.
The Stig, by VGOD
This pod device is less of a pod device, and more of a strictly disposable ecig. It uses the same technology as pod devices, however there is no pod in said device. you use up the 1.2ml prefilled device, then throw it away. It has the highest concentration of nicotine at 60mg/ml than any other consumer grade juice or product I’ve seen, And it definitely has the throat hit that some people so desire.
The footprint is also the smallest device out of all these listed, and it functions well. Its a good super high nicotine vape, but the disposable aspect just does not sit well with me. I didn’t start vaping so I could fill landfills with batteries and plastics every few days. A rechargable battery has a year life at least and not being able to re-use the reusable aspect just adds in cost to the consumer and garbage to our landfills.
No charge port, No refill port, the device is completely self contained with only a simple blue LED on the bottom to indicate its working. Pricing is still up in the air. as this is a pre-release device, I think VGOD was shooting for 20 dollars US per pack of 3, which also makes this the most expensive system long term out of anything on the market.
The juices themselves are very good. if not a little overshadowed by the really high nicotine content, But both Cubano (VGOD) and Tropical Mango (SaltNic) give a satisfying MTL vape. I would opt to simply buy the juices directly for my other devices given the choice. The Cubano is an especially good cigar flavor and actually works really well at 60mg, the Tropical Mango is less satisfying than Cubano, but still not bad at all.
This device would likely be great for those travelling and don’t want to carry their gear with them. Just land, grab a pack for your vacation, and throw them away before you leave for home. I could not justify purchasing these otherwise just on a cost basis. But even if the cost was brought down significantly, Ethically I don’t think I could purchase them either.
Please VGOD, Make these devices rechargable with a replaceable pod! You’re smart guys over there I know you can redesign this small cute device with some reusability!
UPDATE: As Majorvapes pointed out in his review, His Stig Died well before he got through his 1.2ml juice. If this is indicative of these devices It should be an easy avoid for most everyone.
And lastly the Suorin Drop
This is a strictly refillable device. No prefilled pods here.
With only a 310mah battery however, it actually has less capacity than the STLTH and Vladdin. Its not a large difference, but it is still a difference, especially when talking about MTL high ohm devices.
Aesthetically the drop looks great and works great. a 2ML pod on the top which houses the coil and your juice, also acts as your tip like any pod system. Ergonomically however, I much prefer the pen style of the previous devices.
Design wise, the drop really does look something different, being able to see liquid levels without having to pull anything out is a real plus for a refillable. A nice LED lights up the cart so you can see your power level while your vaping (blue is good battery level, red is requiring a recharge).
And cost wise its also extremely competitive, Obviously anyone would have to factor in the cost of some juice as well, but at $34.99 its a great entry point for people that want to avoid prefilled devices and either make their own juice or want to use their favourite brand Salt Nic lines. Extra cartridges are $4.99 each which is completely reasonable.
So while I do like the Drop, as soon as the refillable pods come out for the Vladdin, im going to switch to using that device instead for my refillable needs. I may still bring out the drop every now and then, but the Vladdin is really more my speed as far as feel and features.
And that concludes this mashup review. 2018 will surely bring out many more salt nicotine devices and it would be impossible for any one person to cover them all. However if your interested in purchasing a salt-nic device, you will absolutely want to figure out whats most important for you. Cost? Battery life? Looks? Once you narrow that down, Everything relating to pod based systems becomes much easier to absorb (pun intended).
NOW TAKE OFF EH!