Pod vapes and cig-a-likes are among the more popular types of e-cigarettes today but they do have their differences, which is why some vapers opt for cig-a-like e-cigarettes while others insist on using pod systems. This guide explains the differences between these two popular types of vapes.
Not all pod vapes are the same, nor are all cig-a-likes are the same. However, there are some common points shared among many of these devices. Let's explore what's similar, and then we'll jump into what's different.
While cig-a-likes come in many forms, the typical cig-a-like is, as the name implies, like a cigarette but without the combustion and the smoke that it produces. Cig-a-likes are around the same size as conventional cigarettes and they're also about the same shape, but unlike cigarettes, cig-a-like e-cigs use a battery instead of a flame, a cartomizer filled with e-liquid instead of tobacco, and they produce vapor instead of smoke. Due in part to how easy they are to use as well as their appearance, which is like that of a conventional cigarette, cig-a-likes often appeal to smokers who are trying to switch from smoking to vaping. In terms of size, cig-a-likes are relatively small compared to other types of e-cigs. This adds to their desirability for some vapers as their small size makes them highly portable. While many cig-a-likes are designed to work with disposable cartridges that come prefilled with e-juice and not are intended to be refilled, there are cig-a-likes that offer refillable cartridges.
The average cig-a-like employs draw-activation technology that auto-senses when it is in use and produces vapor accordingly. Cig-a-likes are also small, making them portable, and they're conveniently accessible to many vapers through local convenience stores, gas stations, and vape shops. On top of all this, some cig-a-likes are refillable and can, as a result, be used with a wide variety of e-liquids. Add to this the fact that they resemble conventional cigarettes and it's perhaps of little surprise to find that they're among the more popular types of vapes available today. While not often the case, some cig-a-likes also offer variable voltage technology.
While the cig-a-like style of electronic cigarette has numerous benefits, it's not without its drawbacks. Its drawbacks include limited battery life and vapor production. While it is true that cig-a-likes are small, this also means they have small batteries. As a result, they're not as powerful as some of the larger vapes that are on the market. As for e-liquid capacity, cig-a-likes are among the worst due to their small size, which translates into limited storage space for e-liquid inside of their cartomizers.
Pod systems come in many styles but they all have some things in common with one another. They're all battery-powered, use "vape pods" instead of cartridges or tanks, and they all produce vapor instead of smoke. In some cases, pod vaping systems have variable voltage technology built into them, however, this is not always the case. Like cig-a-likes, they're often draw-activated, making them relatively easy to use. Pod vapes, like cig-a-likes, are available with both prefilled pods and refillable pods. As a result, they can be used with a wide range of e-liquids. Generally, pod systems are designed to be used with nicotine salt e-liquid. Modern vape juices made with nicotine salts are typically formulated to provide an improved throat hit sensation, faster nicotine absorption, and better flavor, although the flavor and throat hit aspects are both subjective.
The ability to use vape juice with nicotine salt is just one of the reasons why pod systems appeal to many vapers. They're also widely available at convenience stores, gas stations, and vape shops. While not all pod systems are designed to work with refillable pods, there are those that are, which makes them compatible with a wide variety of e-liquids. In some cases, they're also equipped with variable voltage technology. While the e-liquid capacity of pods varies somewhat greatly, they are capable of holding a fair amount of e-liquid. As some pod devices are equipped with batteries comparable to or better than some vape pens, they are fairly powerful in terms of vaping power and battery life.
There are not many downsides to pod systems, however, when compared to larger types of e-cigs like box mods, their batteries and vaping power are limited.
Speaking in terms of generalities, cig-a-likes and pod vapes have quite a few differences. Pod systems use vape pods instead of cartomizers or cartridges and while this might seem like nothing more than an aesthetic difference, pods generally hold more e-liquid than cig-a-like cartomizers. Pod systems are also typically designed to work with nic salt e-liquid, whereas cig-a-likes are generally designed to work with e-liquids made with freebase nicotine. But all this aside, the real differences between the two are exhibited in how much battery and vaping power they offer. Generally speaking, pod system vapes are more powerful than cig-a-like e-cigarettes. They have longer-lasting batteries and more powerful vapor production. Combine this with their higher e-liquid capacity and use of nicotine salts and it is perhaps easy to see why pod systems resonate well with vapers who want more power than what the standard cig-a-like offers without having to sacrifice too much portability.