8 Best Vape Pens We Reviewed [2021 Buying Guide & Top Pick]
If there’s one thing we know about the state of vaping in 2021, it’s that simplicity is definitely in. More than ever, people are skipping the big mods and opting for small pod systems and vape pens instead. Thanks to advancements like nicotine salt e-liquid, small vaping devices are more satisfying today than ever before. It’s no longer necessary to blow huge clouds across a room – or to use an entire bottle of e-liquid every day – to be completely satisfied with your vaping experience.
Vape pens have become relevant in a whole new way – and if you’ve been thinking about buying a smaller vaping device, you’re not the only one. Welcome to our buying guide for the best vape pens of 2021.
Quick Pick: The Aspire PockeX Is the Best Vape Pen of 2021
The Aspire PockeX is an all-in-one vape pen that’s great for beginners and ideal as a step-up device if you already own a smaller e-cigarette and are looking for something with better battery life and vapour production. Despite its sleek design, the PockeX features a beefy 1,500 mAh battery that delivers plenty of vaping time. It also uses sub-ohm coils, so it produces some stunning vapour clouds compared to most devices designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling.
The fact that the Aspire PockeX is an all-in-one device means that the tank is permanently attached to the vape pen and is not replaceable. Although the PockeX isn’t compatible with third-party tanks, the all-in-one design has several benefits. The first benefit is that the tank is extremely easy to fill; just twist the tank’s top hardware off to reveal the e-liquid reservoir. You’ll replace the tank’s coil in the same way.
The main benefit of the Aspire PockeX’s all-in-one design, though, is that the permanently mounted tank makes leaking from the bottom almost impossible. Most vape tanks have bottom air vents, and they can potentially leak e-liquid from those vents. Since the PockeX’s tank has no air vents on the bottom, the tank can’t leak as long as the device is held upright.
Vape Pens vs. Pod Systems: What’s the Best Choice for You?
If you’re on the hunt for a small vaping device, you’re essentially choosing between a vape pen and a pod system. Either type of vaping device is great if you’re the right type of user for that device, but only one type can be ideal for your particular needs. We’ll provide a few tips that can help you compare vape pens vs. pod systems.
Benefits of Vape Pens
In terms of its size and weight, a vape pen occupies the space between a smaller pod system and a larger box mod. Vape pens are always refillable, and they always use replaceable coils. With any vaping device, it’s necessary to replace the atomizer coil periodically. With a vape pen, the tank is a permanent accessory; you only need to replace the coil. With many pod systems, though, you need to replace the entire pod when it’s time for a new coil. Pods cost more per unit than coils do, so a vape pen is usually less expensive for long-term use than a pod system.
Although vape pens are slightly larger and heavier than pod systems, the increased size comes with major benefits in terms of battery life and vapour production. In the UK, the Tobacco Products Directive limits the nicotine strength of any e-liquid to a maximum of 20 mg/ml. The latest nicotine salt e-liquids might be extremely satisfying, but if you use a small pod system with a 20 mg/ml e-liquid, you’ll still get less nicotine per puff than you would with a tobacco cigarette. The extra vapour production of a vape pen could be exactly what you need if you’re experiencing strong cravings for cigarettes and are having trouble completing the switch to vaping.
Benefits of Pod Systems
Pod systems are the vaping devices that ushered in the era of nicotine salt e-liquid, and for that, we are thankful. Pod systems are always designed to deliver a great experience with nicotine salt e-liquid. While those devices tend to be light on battery life and vapour production, they make up for those shortcomings by being extremely small and portable. If you want to vape discreetly, you need a pod system. A pod system is usually so small that you can close your entire hand around it. Since pod systems don’t produce a great deal of vapour, you can use them without worrying that others might find your vapour clouds obnoxious.
If you’d prefer a vaping device that you don’t have to fill yourself, there are pod systems that give you that option with pre-filled pods that you can simply push in and pull out. Pre-filled pods make vaping as easy as it can possibly be. The downside of using pre-filled pods, though, is that they’re more expensive than bottled e-liquid. If you don’t mind filling your own pods, you’ll save money if you use a refillable pod system.
How to Choose and Buy the Best Vape Pen for Your Needs
Buying a new vaping device isn’t a small decision, so we’ll conclude this article with some information that can help you select the best vape pen for your needs. We’re going to discuss the four most important points that you should consider when buying a vape pen. By deciding where you stand on these four points, you’ll have no trouble choosing a vape pen that you’re going to love.
Choose Between a Removable or Permanent Battery
Most vape pens have permanent batteries, but a few devices have removable batteries. The benefit of using a device with a permanent battery is that the device will generally be smaller, lighter and less expensive. A device with a removable battery tends to cost more, and that’s before you pay for the battery, which is generally sold separately. The benefit of using a device with a removable battery, though, is that you can replace the battery when it no longer holds a charge. If you use a device with a permanent battery, you’ll have to replace the entire device when the battery reaches the end of its life.
Choose Between Regulated or Direct Voltage Output
Some vape pens use direct voltage output during operation. If the current voltage of the battery in such a device is 4.2 volts, for example, then the pen operates at 4.2 volts. If the battery is nearing the end of its charge and has a voltage of 3.5 volts, then the pen operates at 3.5 volts. A vape pen that uses direct voltage output tends to produce more vapour than a regulated vape pen when the battery is full. However, the vapour production decreases noticeably as the battery is discharged.
A regulated vape pen operates at a consistent voltage – usually 3.7 volts – regardless of the battery’s remaining charge level. So, while it may not produce as much vapour with a fully charged battery as a vape pen with direct voltage output, it also won’t decrease noticeably in vapour production until the battery is nearly dead. Some regulated vape pens also allow you to adjust the operating wattage to get your desired level of vapour volume and warmth.
Determine Whether the Vape Pen Has Affordable Replacement Coils
Regardless of which vape pen you ultimately decide to buy, you’re going to need coils on a regular basis – and if you’re using an all-in-one vape pen with a built-in tank, you have to use coils made by the vape pen’s manufacturer. It’s important, then, for the coils to be durable and affordable. Before buying any vape pen, check to confirm that you’re comfortable with the amount that you’ll be paying when you buy replacement coils for that device.
Choose Between Mouth-to-Lung or Direct-to-Lung Inhaling
Although there are some vape pens compatible with both the mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung inhaling styles, most vape pens are designed for only one style or the other. It’s wise to confirm a vape pen’s intended inhaling style before buying it unless you’re interested in changing the way that you vape. You can always confirm a device’s intended inhaling style by looking at the mouthpiece. If the mouthpiece is narrow like a cigarette filter, the device is designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling. If the mouthpiece is wide, the device is intended for direct-to-lung inhaling. Buy a device intended for your preferred inhaling style because, in most cases, just changing the mouthpiece will not give you the airflow characteristics that you want.
The Best Vape Pens of 2021
Innokin Endura T-18 II: Best E-Cigarette Pen in the UK
The Innokin Endura T-18 II is a vape pen that takes the traditional vaping experience of an e-cigarette to the furthest possible technological extent. It’s got the tight airflow characteristics that you want with a vape pen designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling – but because committed mouth-to-lung vapers are often very picky about things like airflow and heat, it’s also fully adjustable. The Innokin Endura T-18 II features an airflow collar that you can twist for a tighter or looser draw, and it also has three available power levels that allow you increase or decrease the warmth of the vapour as desired.
If you’ve never used an Innokin Endura vape pen before, the thing that makes the Endura T-18 II special will be evident to you from the first time you open the tank. For a mouth-to-lung vape coil, the Innokin Endura coil is absolutely enormous. It features some of the largest wick openings that you’ll ever see on any vape coil, and those openings allow the coil to remain completely saturated with e-liquid during even your lengthiest vaping sessions. All the while, you’ll enjoy some of the most vivid flavours that a vape pen can deliver as the Endura T-18 II reproduces the flavour notes of your favourite vape juices in crisp, stunning detail.
Vaporesso Orca Solo Plus: Best E-Cig Pen Starter Kit with Mesh Coil Support
Earlier in the article, we discussed the importance of making sure that you buy a vape pen with affordable replacement coils. During the time in which you own a vape pen, you may replace the coil many dozens of times. If you buy a vape pen with a good track record for coil longevity, the savings can really add up over time – and nowhere is that fact more evident than with a vape pen like the Vaporesso Orca Solo Plus. This is a vape pen with a unique and attractive feature set, including some unbelievable colour combinations, a high-capacity 1,200 mAh battery and three adjustable power levels. The real stars of the show, however, are the two atomizer coils selected by Vaporesso for inclusion with this device.
What’s so special about the atomizer coils for the Vaporesso Orca Solo Plus? The default CCELL coil uses a ceramic wick instead of the traditional organic cotton that most vape coils use. Replacing cotton with ceramic makes the CCELL coil impervious to heat – and since the wick can’t burn, you’ll enjoy longer coil life. If you stay away from coil-killing sweet e-liquids, you may find that you can use the same coil for weeks with no degradation in flavour. If you prefer larger vapour clouds and e-liquids with slightly lower nicotine content, the Orca Solo Plus also has a mesh coil that operates at up to 22 watts and produces some truly impressive clouds.
Innokin Go S: E-Liquid Vape Pen with the Features of a Pod System
If you’re finding it difficult to choose between a vape pen and a pod system, the unique hybrid design of the Innokin Go S might make your decision easier because it combines the benefits of both types of vaping devices. The Innokin Go S may be the only vape pen with a full-sized tank that’s completely disposable, and it deserves your consideration if you’ve been thinking about buying an e-liquid vape pen but don’t want to go through the trouble of replacing your atomizer coils. If you use a coil-friendly unsweetened e-liquid, the durable cotton-and-wood pulp wick should ensure that you get plenty of use out of each disposable tank.
Although the Innokin Go S makes it possible to enjoy the convenience of a disposable tank, it’s also a completely functional vape pen with 510 threading and can therefore work with most other smaller vape tanks down to a minimum coil resistance of 0.6 ohm. It’s regulated to deliver a constant output of 15 watts and has a built-in battery with a capacity of 1,500 mAh.
Uwell Whirl S: All-in-One Vape Pen with a Twist
Manufacturers in the vaping industry are always looking for opportunities to give consumers more options, and it’s becoming increasingly common for companies to offer devices that combine the simplicity and convenience of pod-based systems with the features of more advanced vape mods. The Uwell Whirl S is one of the best hybrid vape pens we’ve seen, with a full-featured vape tank that connects to the device magnetically and lifts away for easy cleaning and coil replacements.
Amazing flavour has always been the primary selling point of Uwell’s products, and the Whirl S is no exception to that trend. The Uwell Whirl S has a mesh coil featuring Uwell’s new Pro-FOCS flavour technology, and the bottom of the tank has an adjustable vent that allows you to configure the device for mouth-to-lung inhaling or for a slightly restricted direct-to-lung hit. You can vape with the Uwell Whirl S by holding the activation button or by simply puffing on the mouthpiece. When it’s time to recharge the battery, you’ll be glad that the Whirl S has a high-speed USB-C charging port.
SMOK Vape Pen V2: Direct-to-Lung Vape Pen with Impressive Coil Options
Some people want a vape pen that behaves more like an e-cigarette – something with a tight draw for mouth-to-lung inhaling. Others, however, love vape pens because they enjoy a vaping device that packs an impressive amount of power into a small package. If you fall into the second category, the SMOK Vape Pen V2 might be the vape pen for you because it does an excellent job of combining the simplicity of a vape pen with the power of a full-fledged vape mod. The SMOK Vape Pen V2 uses direct voltage output and operates at a maximum power level of 60 watts to accommodate SMOK’s wide selection of Vape Pen coils.
If you’re the type of person who loves to customise your vaping experience, you’re going to enjoy the fact that the SMOK Vape Pen V2 has no fewer than five different coils available. The Vape Pen V2 comes with SMOK’s 0.15-ohm mesh coil, which provides enormous vapour clouds and operates at up to 50 watts. SMOK also offers a strip coil for the Vape Pen V2 along with three different dual-coil atomizers. In terms of power for the size – and for the price – the SMOK Vape Pen V2 is truly hard to beat.
Vaporesso Sky Solo Plus: Box Mod Power in a Vape Pen Package
The Vaporesso Sky Solo Plus is the first product on our list of the best vape pens with the same class of atomizer coil that you’d expect to find in a sub-ohm tank for a box mod. With a 3,000 mAh battery and a maximum power delivery of 90 watts, this is a device capable of producing some truly room-filling clouds – and it can give you ample vaping time before you need to recharge the battery.
With its simple all-in-one design, changing the atomizer coil in the Vaporesso Sky Solo Plus is a breeze. All that you need to do is unscrew the tank’s top hardware, lift away the glass enclosure and screw the new coil directly into the top threading of the battery. Although the Sky Solo Plus provides a spectacular experience with the included mesh coil, there are three other compatible Vaporesso GT coils that you can also try if you’d like to add some variety to your vaping experience. We love the long-lasting CCELL coil, which has a ceramic wick for superior heat resistance.
Freemax Twister 80W: Vape Pen with Next-Generation Technology
More than any other product on this list of the best vape pens in the UK, the Freemax Twister 80W is truly a device that delivers the features and performance of a full-sized box mod in the body of a small vape pen. It includes the famed Fireluke 2 vape tank, and it’s a vape pen with true variable power delivery. To adjust the wattage of the Freemax Twister 80W, you’ll simply twist the dial on the bottom of the battery. As you’d expect from the name, the device operates at a maximum power of 80 watts. With its built-in 2,300 mAh battery, the Twister has absolutely no trouble providing the power you need for all-day vaping.
With most vape pens, the best that you can expect to get from an atomizer coil standpoint is a single-coil mesh atomizer. The Fireluke 2 tank included with the Twister 80W, however, is a full-fledged 510-threaded vape tank of the same type that you’d use with a box mod. The Fireluke 2 has dual-coil and triple-coil mesh atomizers available, and the difference in cloud production is something you’ll simply have to see to believe. Although we think that the Fireluke 2 will provide all of the vapour and flavour you’ll ever need, the fact that the Freemax Twister 80W is a variable-wattage device means that you’ll have no trouble getting it to work with third-party tanks if you want to. The Twister 80W can safely deliver a current of up to 30 amps and has a minimum coil resistance of 0.1 ohm.