Upgrading from Disposables: How to Choose your First Vape Kit

Love disposables? So do we, but they have a few major downsides. For example, disposable vaping can be expensive, it causes a lot of plastic waste, and there are few things worse than realising your last disposable is at the end of its battery life and you're nowhere near a vape shop.

Moreover, it's impossible to get the best possible vaping experience using a disposable vape - they simply don't have the power, modes, or coil and e-liquid compatibility to offer a top quality vaping experience. 

If any of these problems sound familiar to you, it's likely that you've been considering upgrading from your trusty Elf Bars or Geek Bars to your first vape kit. If this is the case, you're in luck: we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you choose your first vape kit. 

What's the difference between a disposable vape and a vape kit?

If you've only ever used disposable vapes, you might not be sure what exactly a vape kit is. Basically, a vape kit consists of the same main components as your favourite disposable: a battery to power the vape, a tank or pod which contains the e-liquid and the coil, and a mouthpiece from which you can inhale that delicious vapour. 

The key difference is that while a disposable vape is a closed system that cannot be refilled or recharged, a vape kit can be used over and over again. You can replenish the e-liquid levels by adding new e-juice into the tank or, in the case of some pod kits, switching out the empty pods for new pods full of vape juice. Moreover, you can charge a vape kit by using its USB-C charging port, or, in some more powerful kits, by removing the batteries and charging them in an external charger. And, when the coils eventually burn out, you can replace these too. 

Another key difference between disposable vapes and vape kits is the nicotine content. While disposable vapes in the UK usually contain a standard 20mg of nicotine (a high nicotine strength), vape kits allow you to choose an e-liquid with your desired nicotine content. Furthermore, while disposables only support Mouth-To-Lung (MTL) vaping with limited vapour output, vape kits allow you to use high VG e-liquid and sub-ohm coils for Direct-To-Lung (DTL) vaping which provide those massive vapour clouds that cloud-chasing vapers love. 

Finally, vape kits tend to be larger and more durable than disposable vapes. These e-cigarettes are designed to be longer-lasting which means that they are less likely to leak and some even make use of shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof technology. 

In summary, here are the main differences between a disposable vape and a vape kit.

Feature Disposable Vape Vape Kit
E-liquid Cannot be refilled - the vape is useless once the e-liquid runs out Can be refilled as many times as you like
Battery life Lasts a limited amount of time (around 600 puffs for most disposable vapes) and then dies forever Has a longer battery life and can be recharged over and over again using USB type-C charging or an external battery charger
Coils Cannot be accessed or replaced - the disposable e-cig is a closed system Can be replaced when they eventually burn out 
Nicotine strength 20mg nicotine is standard Depends on the e-liquid you choose - can be anything from 0mg to 20mg nicotine 
Vaping style MTL vaping only MTL or DTL vaping
Vapour cloud size Small Ranges from small to huge
Vape device size


Ranges from small vape pens and pod kits to chunky box mods, depending on your preferences

What are the different types of vape kits?

There's a huge amount of variety in vape kits - from the simple cig-a-like to the big, high-performing box mod or pod system. Here are the key features and benefits of each type of vape.

Vape pens

Vape pens are vape kits that are distinguished by their cylindrical, pen-like appearance. These are slim, pocket-friendly, lightweight, and great for beginners. Although some vapers may refer to any small e-cigarette as a vape pen, on the whole vape pens tend to have a tank and feature a single button for activation. 

Pod kits

Pod kits are a fairly new addition to the vaping market but they've taken the world of vapers by storm. While 'traditional' vapes include a tank which can be refilled with e-liquid, pod kits use replaceable pods which hold the e-liquid instead. These pods are super easy to click in and out of the vape because they often use a magnetic connection.

Prefilled pods also exist which come prefilled with a specific e-liquid and cannot be opened for refilling, which means they can only be used once, while others are compatible with refillable pods that can be refilled around 10 times with e-liquid before disposal. 

Pod kits, also sometimes called pod vapes or pod systems, are the ideal beginner vape kit for anyone making the switch from disposables. This is due to a few reasons:

  • Pod vapes are super easy to use and no expertise is necessary
  • Replacing e-liquid and coils is very simple 
  • Pod kits often use nic salts - the same type of e-liquid that fans of disposables enjoy
  • They're perfect for MTL vaping
  • Pod vapes are often draw activated, meaning you don't have to press any buttons and that it will never accidentally fire in your pocket

As the vape kit most similar to a disposable vape, pod kits are a great option for anyone looking to upgrade from disposables. 

Starter kits

'Starter kit' is a general term that refers to any vape kit (pod kits or vape pens included) that are a suitable option for beginners. This means that a pod kit or vape pen might also be referred to as a starter kit if it's simple and easy to use. 


Designed for more advanced vapers, mods, also called box mods, mod systems, or vape mods, are vape devices which offer greater power and adjustable modes such as variable wattage or temperature control to give you greater control over the vaping experience. These often are compatible with sub-ohm vape coils which allow you to enjoy all the benefits of sub-ohm vaping. 

There are two main types of vape mods. Regulated mods are the main kind that you can buy from online vape stores like Vaping 101. These have safety features that keep you and your vape protected from short circuiting, overheating, or any other problems you might encounter while vaping. This means that regulated mods are the safest way to vape. In contrast, mechanical mods, also called mech mods or unregulated mods, do not have any of these safety features. Consequently, vapers need to have a very good knowledge of ohm's law and vaping safety to keep them protected while using a mech mod. 

We do not recommend opting for a vape mod as your first vape, simply because these can be expensive and require more vape knowledge to get the best vaping experience. However, once you've got to grips with your first starter kit, upgrading to a vape mod can be an exciting and rewarding experience. 


Similar to vape mods, rebuildable vapes are not recommended to new vapers. As the name implies, rebuildables allow you to build your own coils with your preferred resistance, customising the vaping experience to your liking. There are a wide range of different types of rebuildables such as Rebuildable Dripping Atomisers (RDAs), Rebuildable Tank Atomisers (RTAs), and Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomisers (RDTAs). 

Most rebuildables are designed for sub-ohm vaping and are loved by cloud chasers who want to blow the biggest and densest vape clouds. However, there are also rebuildables suited to MTL vaping.

What's the best vape kit for me?

Now that we've explained all the different types of vape kit, you're probably wondering which kit you should choose. Here, we've listed some of our favourites that are perfect for new vapers first making the switch from disposable e-cigs. 

GeekVape G18 Starter Kit

If you love the Geek Bar disposable pods, the Geekvape G18 from the same manufacturer is an obvious choice for your first vape. This is a classic looking vape pen that provides a smooth MTL draw and even offers three adjustable power modes so you can enjoy learning your vaping preferences. Small, compact, and easy to slip into a pocket for vaping on the go, this vape pen also has type-C fast charging so you can use it over and over again with little downtime. Moreover, its sleek appearance and range of colours and designs makes this an attractive vape pen that will be the envy of all your disposable vape loving friends. 

So, if you're looking for something a little more permanent to replace your favourite Geek Bars, this vape pen from GeekVape is the starter kit for you! 

Innokin Endura T20-S Starter Kit

Another excellent vape pen on this list, the Innokin Endura T20-S is an easy-to-use vape pen with a single fire button and a built-in 1500mAh battery for long battery life. It can be used with two different drip tips (mouthpieces) which provide an airier or more restricted draw, making this perfect for new vapers learning their preferred ways of vaping. Furthermore, the simple twist off cap makes refilling the tank super easy. 

Offering great performance for a low price, this budget-friendly kit from Innokin is a great first vape. 

OXVA Xlim SE Pod Kit

For an e-cigarette that costs little more than a few of your favourite Elf Bars or Elux disposables, the OXVA Xlim SE pod system is a surprisingly impressive vape. It's super simple to use - the firing is draw activated and it automatically detects the resistance of your pod's coils in order to provide the correct power output. Adjustable airflow is offered via a slider on the side of the device so you can get the best performance out of your e-liquid, while the type-C USB charging recharges the 900mAh battery in no time at all. 

For new vapers who want to explore the possibilities of their e-cigarette, this pod kit from OXVA is a great choice because it is compatible with a range of different pods. The pods come in coil resistances of 0.6 ohm, 0.8 ohm, and 1.2 ohm, allowing you to experiment and find your preferred resistance. Moreover, the disposable pods use easy side-fill and have an anti-leaking design so you can use them multiple times without issues. 

With eye-catching colourful gradient designs and a super lightweight build (less than 50g!), this is the perfect vape for anyone upgrading from disposables for the first time. 

Uwell Caliburn G2 Pod Kit

The Uwell Caliburn series has for a long time been one of our favourites to recommend to new vapers. Both the Caliburn A and the Caliburn G Pod Kits make amazing starter vapes, but our number one favourite is the Uwell Caliburn G2 which combines the best features of these two predecessors. A small and pocket-friendly pod kit, this is powered by a 750mAh battery and charged using a fast charging USB-C cable. You can use the draw-activation feature or press its single button to fire. It features a new vibration interaction to give haptic feedback to users, notifying them of low voltage, short-circuit and vaping timeout. It also boasts a wheel adjustment for the airflow which allows you to easily customise the vaping experience. 

Using the original Caliburn G coils as well as the included Caliburn G2 1.2 ohm meshed coil, this pod kit is a great option for your first vape. It’s simple and easy to use while also providing a pretty impressive range of features that new vapers will love.

Elf Bar ELFA Pod Kit

Love Elf Bars? Did you know that the Elf Bar brand has also created a reusable Elf Bar ELFA pod kit?

This looks almost exactly like the Elf Bar disposables but after around 600 puffs it can be recharged instead of being thrown away. Just replace the ELFA pre-filled pods of delicious nic salt when you run out of e-liquid and vape to your heart's content.

Note: unlike the other vape kits on this list, the Elf Bar ELFA uses pre-filled pods instead of refillable pods. This means that when you buy them they already have vape juice inside which cannot be refilled when it runs out. As a result, you will need to buy more disposable pods for this vape.

What type of e-liquid do I need for my vape kit? 

Once you've chosen your new vape starter kit, the next thing you'll need to do is choose a vape juice to use with it. For these low-powered MTL devices, you will need a 50/50 e-liquid or nic salt. We recommend that new vapers opt for nic salts - these are 10ml bottles of tasty e-liquid that comes in a variety of nicotine strengths. Nic salts, also called nicotine salts or salt nic, are so named because they contain nicotine in the original form that it is found in in the tobacco plant. Nic salts allow the nicotine to be absorbed rapidly into the body, providing that fast and satisfying nicotine rush that you will be accustomed to from using disposable vapes. They also have a smooth throat hit that makes them easy to vape over and over again. 

Not sure which nic salt to choose? Some of our favourites include Pacha Mama nic salts, Twelve Monkeys nic salts, and Doozy Salts

Final Thoughts

Now, you're ready to choose your new vape kit and start vaping. If you've only ever used disposables, you'll be amazed at how much better a real vape kit can be. 

Not inspired by any of the great beginner vapes we've listed? Browse our full range of starter kits here to find your perfect vape pen or pod kit. Or, if you've got any questions about buying your first vape kit, get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

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