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Inexpensive Pod Kits Hit the Market in 2021 to Compete with Disposables

In an effort to compete with the popularity of disposables, vape hardware brands are releasing inexpensive pod kits to give customers the best bang for their buck.

Are these cheap vape kits worth buying over disposables, and will they really save you money?

Let’s get into the pros and cons of some of the best cheap pod kits on the market.

What are disposable vapes?

Disposable vapes—often referred to as “puff bars” or simply “disposables”—are the trendiest vape product at the moment, with the popularity of disposables like the Geek Bar and the Elf Bar growing by the minute. 

Available at most local off-licenses, vape shops, and corner stores, puff bars are alluring to many vapers for their grab-and-go appeal, sleek design, and strong flavours. Disposables are ready to use straight out of the packaging and require no refilling and no recharging—no maintenance whatsoever. They’re used until they run out of E-Liquid—at which point, they are discarded.

Disposables are a great option for those who don’t want to lug their everyday kit around with them when they’re on-the-go, and they’re also an excellent window into vaping for newcomers who want to try vaping without having to purchase a whole new vape kit and E-Liquids. 

But as with everything, there are downsides to disposables that make them less conducive to everyday use. They’re not great as a primary vape because of the cost—both financially and ecologically.

Disposable Vapes

What are the cons of disposable vapes?

We covered this topic in-depth in another article, 2 Excellent Alternatives to Disposable Vapes, but it’s always worth reiterating. There are two primary cons of disposables.

#1: Disposables are more expensive than any other vape product in the long run.

In a single year, vaping one disposable a day will end up costing you around £1825, while using the same amount of E-Liquid in a starter vape kit for a year would only cost you around £500 (including the cost of the kit, replacement pods and coils, and E-Liquids). 

For comparison, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day would cost you about £4900 in a single year. This one is a bit of a no-brainer, although some people feel that disposables are worth the price for the sheer fact that they require no maintenance.

#2: Disposables are not eco-friendly.

Because a used puff bar contains both a vape battery and trace amounts of leftover E-Liquid, they can’t be tossed into your regular household rubbish, and many battery disposal services won’t take them because they contain leftover E-Liquid. This plus their mounting plastic waste makes disposables the least eco-friendly vaping option. 

Vape manufacturers are currently working on a number of pilot programmes for proper vape disposal, but until those are implemented and become widely accessible, we as consumers have to bear the responsibility for the waste we’re producing, which is becoming a mounting concern both for public health and for the planet.

Again, disposables are a good choice for on-the-go vaping or as a window for newbies to give vaping a try, but in the long run, they’ll harm the planet—and your overdraft—more than a starter kit will.

Disposable Vapes

What are pod kits?

Pod kits are a fairly recent innovation in the vape industry. Instead of using a glass/metal tank, pod kits utilise plastic replacement pods which are easier to maintain and refill. Many pod kits are just as slim, portable, and beginner-friendly as disposables are, and some even utilise pods with built-in coils, so you never have to worry about changing a coil.

There are pod devices on the market for every level of vape expertise, ranging from inexpensive pod kits with user-friendly features to more advanced pod kits with multiple coil options for experienced vapers. 

In 2021, vape hardware brands began releasing low-maintenance, inexpensive pod kits to compete with the popularity of disposables, offering a great selection of eco-friendly and wallet-friendly devices worth switching to from disposables.

Are pod kits better than disposable vapes?

It depends on what you value in a vape. If you want something you can vape right out of the box and you don’t care about the cost (honestly, who doesn’t?), then you might prefer disposables. 

However, money-savvy vapers and those who prefer a wider variety of flavour options will benefit from the purchase of a pod kit—and the planet will benefit, too.

What are the best cheap pod kits?

There are several inexpensive pod kits on the market right now for less than £15, but with the lower cost comes a few drawbacks. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the best cheap pod kits the vape world has to offer.

Eleaf IORE LITE Pod Kit

Eleaf IORE LITE Pod Kit

This modest little pocket-sized device from Eleaf weighs in at just 25g—for comparison, a Geek Bar weighs around 30g—and feels strikingly similar to a disposable.

The IORE LITE utilises pods with integrated coils, so once your E-Liquid starts to taste burnt, simply discard the entire pod and replace it with a new one.

No buttons, no messy coil changes, no fuss: a perfect step-up from disposables. This is definitely one of the best cheap pod kits on the market right now.

Pros:

  • Very low-maintenance
  • Fast USB Type-C charging in under 40 minutes
  • Buttonless draw activation
  • Everything you need is included in the box
  • Uses pods with built-in coils

Cons:

  • Small battery (350mAh) which requires recharging at least 2-3 times a day if used consistently
  • Only one pod is included in the box
  • No battery life indicator
  • Pods only hold 1.6ml of E-Liquid, while many standard kits hold up to 2ml, so it will need to be refilled slightly more often
Smok Solus Pod Kit

Smok Solus Pod Kit

Another sleek, inexpensive pod kit, this device is super user-friendly and low-maintenance, weighing in at approximately 32g. The Smok Solus also uses pods with built-in coils, making it a very easy kit to maintain, even without much vape knowledge.

Much like the Geek Bar, this vape features automatic draw activation, meaning you only need to inhale on the mouthpiece to vape—no confusing buttons or menu systems to mess with.

Pros:

  • Very low-maintenance
  • Decent battery size (700mAh), which should last you a full day before needing to be recharged
  • 2ml E-Liquid capacity (the EU’s legal maximum capacity for vape kits)
  • Uses pods with built-in coils
  • Coils are mesh, meaning better flavour & vapour production

Cons:

  • Micro USB charging (older model of USB charger with slower charging than the newer USB Type-C connection)
  • Does not include charger with the kit
  • Only one pod included with the kit
Vaporesso Xros Mini Pod Kit

Vaporesso Xros Mini Pod Kit

This pod kit packs a punch, with its high-capacity 1000mAh battery, durability, and lightweight metal build. This pod kit also utilises pods with integrated coils, and because the coils are mesh, they provide richer flavours with more generous cloud production.

Vaporesso is known for producing quality devices without skimping on features, and this pod kit is no exception.

Unlike some other inexpensive pod kits, the Xros Mini does include a charger in the box.

Pros:

  • Very low-maintenance
  • Buttonless draw activation
  • Hefty 1000mAh battery, which should last most vapers up to two days before needing to be recharged
  • Fast USB Type-C Charging (reaches full charge in just over an hour)
  • 2ml E-Liquid capacity (the EU’s legal maximum capacity for vape kits)
  • Pods are leak-proof
  • Uses pods with built-in mesh coils for more flavour & vapour

Cons:

  • Only one pod is included with the kit
  • Tight draw (too tight for some vapers); no adjustable airflow
Aspire Vilter Pod Kit

Aspire Vilter Pod Kit

This kit is the ideal portal into vaping for recent ex-smokers, dual users, or current smokers looking to quit for good. The feature that sets this inexpensive pod kit apart is its optional paper “filter” drip tip: a mouthpiece that feels identical to a cigarette filter.

The device is ultra-slim and very portable, and the pods with their integrated mesh coils ensure optimal vapour and flavour production.

If you’re using disposables to help you quit smoking, I would absolutely recommend this kit instead to save some money. Not only do you get more bang for your buck—you also get the option of a cigarette-like mouthpiece.

Pros:

  • Very low-maintenance
  • Paper “filter” drip tip
  • Buttonless draw activation
  • Fast USB Type-C Charging (cable included with the kit)
  • Uses pods with built-in mesh coils for better flavour and more vapour
  • 2ml E-Liquid capacity (the EU’s legal maximum capacity for vape kits)

Cons:

  • Small 450mAh battery which requires recharging two to three times a day if used regularly
  • No battery life indicator
  • Only one pod is included with the kit
Aspire Minican Plus Pod Kit

Aspire Minican Plus Pod Kit

This inexpensive pod kit from Aspire makes the list not only for its price point, but for its large battery capacity and no-nonsense design. The kit has Aspire’s usual stunning build quality, coupled with automatic draw activation and ease of use.

This kit is highly durable and reliable—any vaper worth their (nic) salt will rank this device among the best starter kits out there! 

As a side note, on top of the charger included in the box, you also get a lanyard with this kit—which adds to the device’s portability and style. Everyone loves a lanyard, right?

Pros:

  • Large 850mAh battery, which should last a full day before needing a recharge
  • Buttonless draw activation; no confusing menu systems
  • Uses pods with built-in coils
  • Charger included with the kit
  • 2ml E-Liquid capacity (the EU’s legal maximum capacity for vape kits)

Cons:

  • Only one pod is included with the kit
  • No battery life indicator
Elf Bar Mate 500 Pod Kit

Elf Bar Mate 500 Pod Kit

An honourable mention, this kit is a little different compared to the others on this list, as it takes pre-filled disposable vape pods rather than ones that you fill and refill yourself. When you buy this kit, you’re buying the rechargeable battery part of the device, and you purchase pre-filled pods separately in packs of two.

The pre-filled pods themselves are disposable, so once yours is empty, simply discard it and replace it with a new one.

Overall, this type of device is a good half-step up from disposables—but a half-step nonetheless. If you hate refilling your vape and don’t mind a smaller selection of E-Liquid flavours (which are all very tasty, for the record), this device is a solid choice.

The main downside to this vape is that it will end up costing you more than a pod kit in the long run—but it’ll still be cheaper than disposables or, shudder, smoking.

Pros:

  • Very very low-maintenance (only requires recharging)
  • Uses pre-filled disposable pods (sold separately)
  • No refills or coil changes

Cons:

  • Small(-ish) 500mAh battery meant to last up to 500 puffs before needing to be recharged (enough to last some vapers a full day, but not everyone)
  • Does not come with any pods
  • Smaller selection of flavours
  • More expensive in the long-term than refillable pod kits

Takeaway

There you have it: the best inexpensive pod kits that are taking the vape market by storm. 

Are these inexpensive pod kits worth buying over disposables? If you care about the planet and your spending, the answer is yes.

Will they really save you money? Yes.

Are they better than disposables? That one is arguable. Some say it’s a definite yes, while others prefer the grab-and-go disposable style. Refillable pod kits take more work, for sure, but it’s up to you to decide if they’re worth the effort. 

It’s the same question you face every day: order a Maccies or eat in? One will satisfy you momentarily, cost you money, and cause some delayed remorse—and while the other may be a bit less exciting, it’s better for your bank account and the planet. 

Vaping - Inexpensive Pod Kits
Written by:
Rachel Domanchich
Rachel Domanchich
A self-proclaimed American Weird Girl in London, Rachel Domanchich is a 25 year-old content writer with +5 years of vaping experience under her belt. She recently severed her decade-long love affair with Marlboro Reds using the Aspire Vilter kit and hasn’t looked back since. From sub-ohm mods to starter pod kits to disposables, Rachel vapes them all—with a penchant for tropical fruit, dessert, milk, and coffee flavours. Outside of writing (and vaping), Rachel is a multi-instrumental musician, singer, wife, and mother of two black cats. 

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