Vaping can be a confusing world to enter for the first time, and it's very easy to get lost amongst the myriad e-liquids and brightly coloured disposable vapes. But fear not, because we've put together this beginner's guide to help initiate you and get you up to speed on one of the most essential pieces of vaping knowledge: vape kits.
What is a vape kit?
Let's get the basics out of the way first and start with the burning question, what actually is a vape kit? Simply put, a vape kit consists of your vaping device and a tank or pod to go with it. A vape and tank, for example, can be purchased separately however this can require a bit more knowledge and experience with vaping. A vape kit takes care of all the hard work for you, pairing ideal devices and hardware together for an optimum vaping experience.
Vape kits deconstructed
A vape kit will contain everything you need to get vaping right away, aside from e-liquid which is sold separately. It's important to know the separate pieces of hardware that make up a vaping device, and the role each part plays.
Your vape kit will feature an internal or external battery. This is housed in the chunky part of the vape kit that you hold. This part of your vape will also feature any buttons and screen that displays your vaping information.
This can either be a vape tank or a pod depending on the type of vape kit that is being used. The tank will sit nicely between the vape's body and the drip tip. Pods are clicked into the vape device and instead of a drip tip, there is a mouthpiece.
The coil is the part of your vape kit that is responsible for vaporising the e-liquid. Vape coils are usually made of stainless steel, nichrome or kanthal and come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. As well as this, vape coils come in a range of different resistances which will impact the amount of vapour that can be produced.
New vapers typically opt for a coil that has a resistance of 1.0 ohm or more, whereas more advanced vapers often prefer to use sub-ohm coils with a resistance lower than 1.0 ohm.
The coil is found inside either the vape tank or a pod, and is wrapped in a cotton wick which acts as an absorbent for the e-juice. This is what is referred to as the atomiser.
Different types of vape kits
Now, this is a really important section because this will dictate the style of vaping you will experience. Not doing your research properly can land you with an unpleasant experience if it is not what you want.
Disposable vape kits are the most user-friendly e-cigarettes on this list without a doubt, ready to use straight out the box. Disposable vapes come pre-filled and draw-activated, so there are no fiddly parts or buttons to worry about. Because of the cigarette-style simplicity of these vapes, disposables are favoured by ex-smokers.
The main downside to these e-cigarettes is that they are single-use, so once the vape juice has run out or the battery has died they will need replacing. As well as this, unlike the other vape kits and starter kits on this list, they also cannot be recharged so once they are dead they have to be disposed of. It's kind of in the name though, right?
Pod kits are another pocket-friendly e-cigarette which are really convenient to carry around for on-to-go vaping. They are typically small in size and fit nicely in your pocket, and due to their smaller size they often do not have higher wattage outputs. These are a great option for ex-smokers and smokers who have just made the transition to vaping due to the fact that they are a mouth-to-lung style of vaping.
Whilst pod kits certainly can have more features than that of disposable vapes, they are still a relatively simple option.
Vape pens are a firm favourite amongst beginner vapers. These vapes feature a slim, pen-style shape and much like pod kits they are designed with simplicity in mind. Often featuring a single fire button, just press it down and inhale to vape.
These pen starter kits are more often than not for mouth-to-lung style vaping, however there are some vape pens such as the Aspire PockeX Starter Kit that is compatible with both sub-ohm coils and mouth-to-lung coils.
Sub-ohm vape kit
Sub-ohm vape kits are designed for experienced vapers who are looking for a more powerful vaping experience. These kits generally include a higher-wattage battery and a sub-ohm tank, which uses coils with a resistance of less than one ohm. While it can be daunting for beginners, there are a variety of sub-ohm starter kits we stock to help introduce you to the exciting world of sub-ohm vaping.
The two style of vaping
Categorised by discreet vapour production and big flavour, mouth-to-lung vaping is often preferred by beginner vapers or those who have transitioned from smoking and are more concerned with nicotine consumption. MTL vaping is far more beginner-friendly from the way you inhale as well as the devices themselves, as they do not have too many features and are simple to use.
To mouth-to-lung vape, you draw the vapour into your mouth first and then into your lungs before exhaling. This is akin to traditional cigarettes which is why it is the preferred option for those who are attempting to quit smoking or more casual vapers. MTL vapers are more likely to experience the throat hit sensation similar to that of smoking a cigarette.
This style of vaping is often preferred by more advanced vapers due the more complex setups and features that these vape kits come with. Direct-lung vaping involves inhaling much larger amounts of vapour with every drag, as the vapour goes straight from the device into your lungs.
DTL vaping is categorised by big clouds of vapour which is produced by high-powered devices such as box mods. These mods are typically feature-rich and have a range of settings allowing vapers to customise and personalise their vaping experience. Due to this, this style of vaping is not often the go-to for beginner vapers as it requires a bit more knowledge and understanding of important information like ohm's law, the different features and tanks.
Check out our blog on mouth-to-lung vs. direct-to-lung vaping for a deep dive into these two different styles.
Knowing how much nicotine you want in your e-liquid is essential to picking the right vape kit for you. This is especially the case for ex-smokers as they are going to want to ensure they are vaping the right amount of nicotine to keep their cravings at bay. Also, a good rule of thumb is the higher power, the lower nicotine strength you should use.
For heavy ex-smokers who would get through more than a pack a day or more, it is best to use a high nicotine strength e-liquid such as 18mg or 20mg. TPD regulations in the UK will not allow for a higher strength than this. For those who would smoke up to a pack a day, 10mg or a 12mg vape juice is worth a try. If you were a light smoker there is the option of 6mg and 3mg too. These strengths are also ideal for vapers who are slowly trying to reduce their nicotine content and quit altogether. For non-smokers or anyone trying to go nicotine-free, you can opt for a 0mg juice.
The type of e-liquid you will use will be heavily dictated by the nicotine strength you want, which is why it's important to first decide what nicotine you want in your vape juice. In turn, this also has a direct impact on what type of vape kit you will want to be using.
E-juice is made up of two main ingredients: Vegetable Glycerine (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG). These two ingredients are in every e-liquid, however e-liquids can have different ratios of VG and PG and this will change what type of vape that particular juice is best for.
When it comes to pod kits, it's best to use e-liquids with a 50/50 ratio of Vegetable Glycerine and Propylene Glycol. PG is the ingredient that carries flavour, and is thinner in consistency than that of VG. This means it is easier to vaporise, and as such it best to use with lower-powered vapes. PG is also responsible for the throat hit, so if you're an ex-smoker or you just enjoy the sensation, then this is the way to go. It's important to mention however that if a 50/50 e-liquid is used with a more powerful device it can result in far too harsh of a throat hit and will be very unpleasant.
E-liquids that have a high VG ratio are called shortfills, and these are best used with sub-ohm devices for a DTL vape. VG is a lot thicker and it is the ingredient responsible for the vapour production. The higher the VG content, the more vapour the e-liquid will produce. However, you will also require a more powerful vaping device to vapourise the thicker e-liquid. Using shortfills with pod kits can clog up the device and cause permanent damage as they are not powerful enough to vapourise the e-liquid.
What are the best vape kits for beginners?
Vaporesso XROS Mini
The Vaporesso XROS Mini starter kit is ideal for those who are looking for an easy and convenient device. Vaporesso have included a built-in 1000mAh battery that can last vapers up to 2 whole days without needing to be charged, showcasing its impressive power despite its small size. The sleek diamond design on the body of the Vaporesso device makes for a unique and eye-catching look, as well as feeling great in the hand. This pod kit comes with a 1.2 ohm pod, making it excellent for MTL vaping as it produces great flavour and discreet vapour.
The Caliburn A2 by Uwell is one of the most popular and well-loved vape starter kits out there and for good reason. What sets this pod vape kit apart from others in the PRO-FOCS technology which helps to provide a deeper, enhanced flavour. It doesn't get easier to use than this vape, as it is extremely intuitive thanks to the button-activated or draw-activated design.
OXVA Origin Mini Kit
If you're interested in sub-ohm vaping, the OXVA Origin Mini Kit is a great entry-pod level pod mod for you to purchase. It still has the option to use coils up to 1.0 ohm, allowing vapers to experiment with different styles. It has a maximum power output of 60W, which isn't anywhere near as powerful as box mods but it does provide. A great starting point for vapers to experiment with larger cloud production and a few more settings, this kit by OXVA is an excellent option.
Well there you have it -- everything you need to know about vape kits. Of course, there's still a lot to learn, but that's part of the fun of vaping!
Ready to get started with your first vape kit? Browse Vaping 101's wide selection of kits and find your new favourite today!