Closed-Pod Devices, Open-Pod Devices, and MODS: Let's Talk
Good morning/afternoon/evening—really whatever applies to your current time zone! Today we're going to be exploring closed pod devices (Juul, Vype, Phix, STLTH, etc) and what makes them different from other units (Open Pod Devices, MODS, Variable Wattage, Ohm levels, all that fun stuff)!
So, we're sure you've heard of the Juul or the Vype or the STLTH. These are all examples of a Closed-Pod Device (CPD). What is a Closed-Pod Device? Well, a CPD is a device that primarily is a closed system in the sense that it's an all-in-one unit. The batteries are usually internally built-in and smaller than a traditional external battery (CPDs typically are 650mAh and lower). These units are super simple to use, in the sense that there are no coils, just pods already pre-filled with liquids that you pop in and go with. Unfortunately, the pre-filled pods are usually set in their nicotine levels with very little room for actually quitting (i.e. there's CURRENTLY no option for 0 nicotine). Once that pod is done, the whole pod is thrown away, and you install a new one. They typically have no variable wattage function (no increasing or decreasing the power being received by the “pod” in this instance), as well as no differing ohm level for their pods, so there's no altering the draw or amount of vapour you receive.
While these devices may seem ultimately simple in their user-friendliness, they're not always, especially when being purchased from a convenience or grocery store. I've been sold the wrong pods for some units I use when I've stopped at a non-specialty store in a pinch. It's not the devices fault, as the device cannot walk and talk for itself; however, a lot of service workers in convenience/grocery stores do not have the adequate information to properly sell these devices. They don't know offhand what pods the unit I use takes, and—as it's not a specialty store—the products are kept well beyond sight and reach of the consumer. I spent over 10 minutes directing one worker to the proper pods and was still sold the wrong ones, as they were not the size or nicotine strength I was looking for. This can be frustrating for the user and is not typical at most dedicated vape stores you visit. Vape employees have one job: to know the vapes they're selling and to do their best to be acquainted with the ones they don't. They know to ask what size of the bottle, what nicotine strength, what flavour, etc. A convenience clerk has you and twelve other people in line waiting with pop and gas and and and that they want to purchase. Their attention is not solely on you.
We always recommend purchasing vape products from a dedicated vape store to get the level of service and help that you deserve.
We mentioned 2 separate types of units: Open-Pod Devices (OPDs) and MODS. We'll explore each of these separately.
Open-Pod Devices are similar the CPDs—except they're not. An OPD, first of all, is open. You control what e-liquid goes into the pod, which opens you up to a whole variety of liquids. You're not tied down to needing specific pods that were only designed for your unit (see the story above of being sold the wrong pods), or few choices of nicotine levels and flavors. That being said, these units typically are specific to the coils and pods that they use (for example, the SMOK Nord takes NORD coils and uses NORD pods). So, free-range on e-liquids, but not total free range in terms of accessory hardware. Unlike CPDs, you DO NOT throw these pods away (there are exceptions to this rule, like the SMOK Novo or the Uwell Caliburn) but instead you change the coil inside the pod once those have reached the end of their life span. These units usually have larger internal batteries than their CPD cousins (ranging from 1000mah and up). We're starting to see OPDs on the market now with variable wattages (for example, the SMOK RPM40, which has a variable wattage range of 1-40W) which allows you to control the vapor production more freely; but, before there was variable wattage open pod devices there were ohm levels of their coils.
The ohm level of a coil also helps determine the amount of vapor produced, as well as many different ohm level coils, were designed with a “tighter draw/more open draw” format. So, an individual looking to mimic a cigarette type draw would want a higher-ohm coil (typically above 1.0 ohm) and consequently, an individual looking for more vapor production would want a lower-ohm coil (typically below 1.0 ohm). These units are generally sold as starter kits, which gives you everything but the e-liquid needed to start your smoking cessation journey.
Now MODS are completely different. A MOD refers to the powerhouse of the e-cigarette. They're sold in both starter kit (example: SMOK Morph 219W kit) and MOD only format (example: Aegis Legend 200W MOD), with a starter kit, generally including the MOD and it's given tank and the MOD only format being just the unit. MODS give the user ultimate flexibility, as the user controls essentially everything about the unit—from the type and size of batteries being used to the tank that goes on top, the e-liquids being used, and all the way through the wattage and settings of the unit itself. MODS, due to their size and general power, are typically used ONLY with regular freebase nicotine and NOT with Nic Salts (however there are exceptions, for example, the Aspire Zelos 2.0, which can do either or and has a built-in internal battery). Their number one difference is the size of the unit, as MODS (in both starter kits and MOD only format) are almost always larger than a pod device. Another difference is generally flavor; most mods use larger tanks which consequently take larger coils. A rule of thumb that we've found to be pretty accurate is: the size of the exposed cotton on your coil can be correlated with flavor production. More e-liquid being absorbed by the cotton means more flavor as well. Pod devices have little coils because they're used with salt nicotine, so they don't NEED to absorb a lot of e-liquid to deliver the appropriate nicotine. Lastly, MODS require a little more upkeep and understanding about vaping to be used. This doesn't mean they're difficult to use or understand, and any vape store would be more than happy to walk a user through the set-up, filling, and starting process. Just, comparatively between a CPD that you only need to install a pod on, or an OPD where you primarily just have to get the correct coils for your unit, and a MOD device: there's going to be a little bit more of a learning curve. Up until about two years ago, across Canada and North America, MODS were the default for most individuals vaping—regardless of age or experience level—and they worked. Without salt nicotine. Many many many people have quit smoking with these devices, and they're no more or less valuable or usable than any Closed-Pod or Open-Pod Device on the market. So, if you're questioning whether you need a high nicotine content: there are alternatives. It's all up to user preference, and we're more than happy to help you through this decision process. Some individuals value size and travel-friendliness of their unit, other individuals need a unit that can go with them to job sites and perform, some people might use both MOD kits and POD devices. Whatever the case may be, only the end-user can decide what device they prefer to use.
Thank you for stopping in to learn about Closed-Pod Devices (CPDs), Open-Pod Devices (OPDs), and MODS. We hope that this helps you answer any questions you may have had while looking at these units to make the decision that's right for you. We hope that we were able to help make your shopping experience (whether with us, or your local vape store) easier. Happy vaping!