Pre-Filled Pods vs. a Refillable Vape System: What’s the Difference?

Pod systems have skyrocketed in popularity among vapours over the past few years, to the point where they now constitute virtually the entirety of the fastest-selling vaping devices available. However, there are two distinct types of disposable vape that are often lumped together under the umbrella term “pod-based vaping devices,” and share little beyond the fact that their e-liquid is stored in plastic pods.

The way in which pre-filled and refillable pod systems are marketed and sold is one key distinction between the two types. Pre-filled pod systems are more common in places like convenience stores and gas stations, while refillable pod systems made by companies like Innokin are typically sold in vape shops.

Is it better to invest in a device that uses pre-filled pods or a refillable pod system? Here, we’ll break down the key distinctions between these two vaping options to help you make an informed purchase.

Exactly what is a Pod System?

First, we’ll go over what both types of vapes have in common—the pods—before we get into the specifics of how pre-filled and refillable pod systems differ from one another. A pod system is a vaping device in which the e-liquid and the atomizer coil are housed in a single, transparent plastic pod. The pod is a replaceable attachment that snaps into place or is held in place magnetically; it is easily detached by lifting it up and out of the device. The only pods that will fit in a pod system are the ones that came with the system.

To wit: what exactly is a refillable pod system?

An empty pod system vape kit is referred to as a refillable pod system. Both the vaping apparatus and the e-liquid are sold separately, and the user must refill their own pods. You will replace an empty pod with a new one. The flavour of a vape pod’s refills can be expected to degrade after a certain number of uses.

Advantages of Reusable Pod Systems

When comparing refillable pod systems to pre-filled ones, the most notable advantage is the greater variety they provide. Manufacturers of pre-filled pod systems can only sell tobacco and menthol flavoured vape pods in some jurisdictions due to legal restrictions. However, no pre-filled pod system offers more than a handful of flavours even in jurisdictions where doing so is legal. In contrast, with a pre-filled pod system, you fill your pods with bottled e-liquid, giving you access to an almost infinite palette of flavours.

Refillable pod systems are advantageous because they are technologically superior to pre-filled devices, resulting in enhanced taste and vapour production. In comparison, pre-filled pod vapes tend to be underpowered and have a “plasticky” flavour.

Last but not least, refillable pod vapes save you money because you can purchase e-liquid by the bottle instead of in single-use pods. Unlike pre-filled vape pods, which may only last a day, a bottle of salt nicotine e-liquid can last several days, even for heavy vapers.

Issues with Reusable Pod Products

Refillable pod systems’ only real drawback is the same drawback inherent in all pod-based devices: they are proprietary and only work with the pods designed for them. Some pod systems, however, provide more customization by allowing for a variety of pod or coil configurations. A refillable pod system can provide the same degree of versatility as a full-fledged vape mod, as you can achieve different vaping experiences by using a different coil or by installing a pod with a different coil.

Example of a Reusable Pod System An Updated Innokin Sceptre

Improves upon every aspect of the classic Sceptre. The Sceptre 2 is more compact than its predecessor while still boasting upgraded airflow, quick coil changes, and user-friendly adjustments.

The Pod System: What Is It and How Does It Work?

The pods in a pre-filled pod system are pre-filled with e-liquid at the factory and are not meant to be refilled. The pods are ready to use right out of the package and are typically sold in quantities of two or four. To start vaping, simply insert a pod into a charged battery.

Benefits of Prefilled Pod Systems

The convenience of finding pre-filled pod systems wherever tobacco products are sold is a major perk. These are the vaping devices sold at most supermarkets and service stations. Having vape kits easily accessible at brick-and-mortar tobacco shops is great news for getting smokers to give up the harmful habit.

Another plus of pre-filled pod systems is how easy and uncomplicated they are to use. Because of this, a pre-filled pod system is a good option for those who don’t like gadgets and don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining one; however, there is an even better alternative, which we’ll get into in a moment.

Issues with Pre-Packaged Pod Systems

If you’re on the fence about what kind of vaping device to buy, you should know that pre-filled pod systems have a number of drawbacks despite their convenience. Pre-filled pods often cost only a fraction of what cigarettes do because the device can only use its own pods and the e-liquid supplied by the device’s manufacturer.

Pre-filled pod systems also suffer from a lack of innovation; for the past few years, there have been hardly any new entries into this market. It’s been over five years since pod-based devices first hit the market, and not much has changed in that time. You shouldn’t expect much from them in terms of battery life or vapour production. Similar to the above, many people find that the flavour quality of pre-filled pod vapes is simply not very good when compared to refillable devices.

The limited flavour options of pre-filled pod systems are the last major drawback of these devices when compared to refillable models. Refillable pod systems allow you to use any e-liquid you like from a bottle. Since there is now a lot of competition among companies that make e-liquid, prices will go down and the flavour options will go up. You can find dozens, if not hundreds, of unique e-liquid flavours at most vape shops. Thanks to the variety offered, everyone can find something that suits their preferences. However, if you buy a pod system that comes with a predetermined flavour selection and you don’t like any of the flavours, you’re out of luck and will have to either live with the flavours or get a new device.

To illustrate the pre-filled pod system: C1 INNOBAR

This results in better vapour, quicker relief, and more distinct flavours than anything else available. Superb flavour and vapour production, unlike anything else in the vaping world.

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