January 21, 2022 14 min read
Vape mods have improved dramatically since the earliest days of vaping. They can vary greatly in size, but most are designed for sub-ohm vaping at high wattage settings. They are ideal for high-VG e-liquids.
A cursory glance may suggest that the vape mod format has not changed much in the last five years. A Smok Morph 2 looks an awful lot like a Smok Alien with a screen. The original Smok Morph looked like an Alien with a touch screen.
Most vape mods look very similar. They are a square box with a screen, fire button that locks the device and two little buttons to navigate the menu are standard. A large glass tank is affixed via a 510 connection. There is some variation in size, which is worth watching unless you want your tank to overhang the size of the mod, but otherwise they all look familiar. Outputs haven’t changed much either and who really vapes at 230 watts?
Don’t be deceived by superficial appearances. There have been significant technological innovations and improvements that make it worth investing in a new vape mod in 2022.
The PMTA process and wide availability of powerful vape mods for over half a decade would seem to leave little room for innovation in vape mod design. Afterall, what is a vape mod but regulated device that vaporizers e-liquid on a heated coil.
Except for synthetic nicotine, e-liquids are largely unchanged since the advent of salt nic juices in 2015. There are high-VG juices with lower nicotine strengths, salt nic juices with high nicotine strengths, and not much in between. High-PG, high nicotine freebase juices were once popular. They have largely faded from the market with the e-cigarettes that were once used by so many adult vapers.
Despite the challenges erected by regulators and already efficient technology, the vaping industry continues to raise the bar. Innovative designs, improved performance, superior ergonomics, greater reliability, more user friendly interfaces and superior durability were all focuses of the vape hardware industry in 2021. The fruits of these labors can be enjoyed in the new and innovative vape mods of 2022.
Innovative Vape Mods for 2022
Why not start the discussion with a throwback design. The original Voopoo Drag and gorgeous Voopoo Drag 2 were smash hits right out the box. The Drag 2 was a big upgrade on the original and still a favorite of vapers today.
Voopoo has updated the Drag 2 starter kit and dubbed it the Refresh edition. It is the same beautiful and practical mod that has been available for 3 years. But the innovative tank design takes it to a whole new level.
The biggest change versus the original Drag 2 kit is the addition of the PnP Tank. This tank is redefining vaping and is moving us closer to a universal coil and tank design. While the PnP tank arrives ready to work on the 510 threaded Voopoo Drag 2, the 510 adapter can be removed and it can then be snapped into place on any of Voopoo’s Mod Pods. The Voopoo Drag is powered by a pair of lithium-ion 18650 batteries (sold separately).
The Voopoo Drag 2 Refresh Edition is basically unchanged, and this is a testament to a timeless and reliable design. The 177-watt maximum output remains the same. The GENE.FIT remains cutting edge with lightning fast fire speeds. The bulletproof ergonomics and reliability of the Drag 2 are still exemplary. The refresh occurred in the tank, which might be the biggest vape mod innovation of the last several years.
The PnP Tank is referred to as a Mod Pod tank by Voopoo. This tank provides compatibility with the full family of PnP coils. This is no small deal. There are a ton of PnP coils, and they cover just about every style of vaping.
Any box mod worth its salt has adjustable wattage, but not many take advantage of the lower range of their power band. There are not many 510 tank coils with high-resistance that fire at low wattage.
The PnP Tank can be affixed to the Voopoo Drag 2 Refresh Edition, or any compatible vape mod, with 510 threading. When the 510 adapter is removed, it fits magnetically into place on a Voopoo vape pod.
The universal atomizer is coming. The line between pod and mod is being blurred. The PnP tank shows how this revolution will work, allowing a storied sub-ohm mod to fire coils designed for higher nicotine vape juices.
If you are looking for a classic vape mod, the Vaporesso Gen S starter kit is a perfect entry point. The lines are classic box mod. An innovative rubberized coating gives this mod better grip and higher quality feel. It was designed to provide years of good service.
The Vaporesso Gen S begins to stand out from previous generations of vape mods with its 0.91” OLED screen. It is easy to navigate. The SKRR-S tank is an innovative vape mod design and is compatible with QF coils. The improvements made to this tank’s airflow and coil structure provide a good performance edge over the previous generation of Vaporesso Gen.
The Gen S has a lofty 220W output but weighs just 107-grams. This lightness does not equate to cheapness but makes for a convenient box mod to tote about all.
The AXON chipset provides tremendous performance. An innovative feature is Vaporesso Pulse Mode. This is a firing program that is automatically activated when selected. It literally pulses the coil to create densely flavored vape clouds. The Gen S can be charged using a Micro-USB port but does require a pair of 18650 batteries.
The bubble glass design of the Vaporesso SKRR-S Tank comes installed. It manages to not appear outsized and still has an e-liquid capacity of 8ml. The straight glass replacement Pyrex reduces vape juice capacity to 5ml.
The Vaporesso Gen S starter kit comes with two coils. The QF Meshed Coil is preinstalled and has a 0.15 ohm resistance. The QF Strip Coil has a 0.2 ohm resistance. Both coils have a recommended wattage range of 65 to 75 watts.
Operating off two 18650 batteries, the Geek Vape L200 Aegis Legend 2 200w Vape Mod must hold the record for the most confusingly named consumer product in history. The successor to the popular GeekVape Aegis Legend, the Legend 2 is a major upgrade. It is designed to be the most durable and user-friendly vape mod on the market.
GeekVape Legend 2 L200 Starter Kit Features
The Aegis Legend 2 by Geek Vape is IP68 certified. This means it is resistant to shock, water, and dust. The durable zinc alloy chassis looks imposing but fits comfortably in your hand. The 1.08” TFT screen is large and easily read in bright sunlight. The 200 watt output is impressive, and the Z 2021 tank is superb. This is innovation in 2022. A vape mod that avoids pocket firing, can withstand submersion, and is durable enough to take a bump off the coffee table.
Improved durability is one of the biggest vape mod innovations of 2022. The Smok Scar 18 has IP67 certified water resistance. The TFV9 tank and IQ-X chip provide great performance and efficiency.
With 230 watts of power available at the press of button, the Smok Scar 18 can go toe-to-toe with the vape mod heavyweights. Not that it is overly heavy. But it is a hard hitter. Protected from splash and immersion damage, the Scar 18 has a full suite of standard safety features.
A durable zinc alloy chassis and grippy leather should reduce the odds that you will put the Scar 18’s water resistance to the test with accidental drops or spills. The Scar-18 also has a cool industrial look that exudes the power and durability. Power and durability define this excellent and innovative vape mod.
The full potential of the Scar 18 kit is easy to unlock with a 0.96” screen. Powered by two 18650 batteries, the Smok TFV9 Tank has cutting edge low-resistance coils that tap into this strong power base. The Scar 18 kit comes standard with a pair of V9 Meshed 0.15 ohm coils. This strong sub-ohm tank has an e-liquid capacity of 6.5ml. The list of heavily protected vaping kits is short. Seriously consider the Smok Scar-18 if you vape outdoors.
The Smok Morph has been upgraded and replaced by the Smok Morph 2. The HD touchscreen of previous model is gone. An intuitive 0.96” OLED display with button navigation has replaced the controversial HD touchscreen. Power still comes from a pair of 18650 lithium-ion batteries, but power has been bumped up from 219 to 230-watts.
Simplification and reliability are the big innovations found in the Morph 2. Vapor production has been enhanced with the new Smok TFV18. It replaces the TF tank on the original Morph.
The Morph 2 uses the IQ-S Chip. With a firing speed of 0.001s, it is one of the fastest drawing mods around.
The Smok Morph 2 has a TFV18. The e-liquid capacity is an impressive 7.5ml. The coils are press-fit. Most of the innovation and improvement in this tank are not visible unless you dig deep. Leak reduction was the top priority. The TFV18 Meshed 0.33 ohm Coil is pre-installed and operates best at an imposing 100 to 110-watts.
The Smok Morph 2 also comes with a 0.15 ohm Dual Meshed Coil. It works best in the same power band. Big wattage, big vapor, and ease of use. These are top priorities for most adult vapers. The Morph 2 delivers on all three.
The previous entries on this list of innovative vape mod designs are all classic box mods. The Vaporesso Sky Solo is a tube mod and a perfect starter kit for novice vapers. With the performance of a box mod and a form factor like a vape pen, the impressive Sky Solo by Vaporesso is an outstanding starter kit for novice vapers.
The Vaporesso Sky Solo has only a single button. It does not require menu navigation. The Omni Mini Chip and GT Coil take all the work out of vaping. Performance does not suffer with this simplified design, and it is easy to see why tube mods were at one time extremely popular.
One big advantage of the tube mod design is that the lithium-ion battery is built into the design. The Sky Solo is powered by an integrated 1400mAh battery.
The tank is also integrated. The coils plug directly into the base. The bubble glass tank holds 3.5ml of vape juice. There is also a Vaporesso Sky Solo Plus which has a 3000mAh battery and 8ml tank.
The Sky Solo Kit is no slouch in terms of vapor production. Output is up to 90 watts. Only 4 inches in length, it is not much longer than a disposable vape. Unlike a disposable, Sky Solo is built to last. You can save a ton of money by switching from a prefilled to a refillable device. The Vaporesso Sky Solo is a fine starting point.
With no menu or adjustable wattage, the performance of the Sky Solo is dictated by the coils installed. The kit comes with a pair of 0.18 ohm Meshed Coils. This flexible coil operates best between 65 and 80 watts.
There are four optional Vaporesso GT Coils that totally change how the Sky Solo performs. The GT CCell has a resistance of 0.5 ohms and meets the needs of vapers looking for less vapor and more flavor.
This higher-resistance coil can handle more potent e-liquid strengths and turns your Sky Solo into a high-performance vape pen. It may never be mistaken for a diminutive Lost Vape Orion DNA Go Vape Pod, but the Sky Solo offers innovative performance that never goes out of style.
With luxurious leather topping a durable zinc alloy frame, Voopoo has always known how to make striking vape mods. The Voopoo Drag 3 is not just than a pretty face. This enhanced and innovative vape mod offers plenty of power, convenient features, and innovative tank technology.
One upgrade over previous generations of box mods is the use of a Type-C dock. This can increase battery charging speeds by 50 percent. The batteries are a pair of 18650s. Compared to the Drag 2 reviewed above, the 1.08” TFT screen is a huge upgrade.
The innovative TPP Tank is the real star of the show, and the improved TPP coil designs take full advantage of this efficient vape mod’s flexible power delivery. This box mod just might be Voopoo’s flagship and best choice for cloud chasers.
The Drag 3 kit comes with two TPP atomizer coils: the TPP-DM1 0.15 ohm and TPP-DM2 0.2 ohm coils. The Drag 3 uses an improved GENE.FAN 2.0 Chip. The major innovation, apart from improved efficiency, is High Burst Super Mode.
The Voopoo PnP tank does not come standard with the Drag 3 but is compatible. The PnP tank is a step towards a universal atomizer, as it can attach to a mod with a 510 adapter or snap into one of Voopoo’s amazing Mod Pod kits.
If you are looking for a swag vape, or just a compact one, the Vaporesso Swag start kit has always been a great option. This compact mini-mod is powered by a single 18650 battery. The compact Vaporesso Swag 2 improves upon its popular predecessor the Vaporesso Swag. It has the rubberized touch surfaces first made popular on the Vaporesso Gen mods family.
The Swag 2 is not much taller than a pod system when held in your hands, although it is certainly wider than a tiny pod system like the Lost Vape, but it offers a huge upgrade in power. The Vaporesso Swag 2 delivers big mod performance in a discrete and convenient package.
The Swag 2 kit includes a 3.5ml NRG SE tank with a pre-installed 0.4 ohm coil. For fans of stronger e-liquids, it also comes with the GT CCell Coil, which has a resistance of 0.5 ohms. Consider this mini-mod an alternative to a pod mod.
The Vaporesso Swag 2 features a nice 0.91” OLED screen and up to 80 watts of power. While there are devices with more power on this list, most vapers will not require a vape kit with much more than this. Even the mightiest coil design listed above requires just 110 watts. Most require far less.
An output of 80W is impressive for such a small device, it can handle vape tanks with up to a 25mm diameter. With the same Axon chip found in larger Vaporesso vape mods, the Vaporesso Swag 2 packs a lot of performance into a mod that is only 4.25” tall with the tank affixed.
If you like the idea of a mini-mod but want a built-in battery, the Vaporesso Gen Nano is an ideal choice. With an integrated 2000mAh lithium-ion battery, it has plenty of power for most vapers. It is a small vape with the form factor of a larger mod and all the safety features.
The Vaporesso Gen Nano is one of the smallest vape mods on the market and among the most versatile. This is thanks to the Vaporesso GTX tank and compatibility with the GTX coil family. With adjustable wattage, you can install the highest resistance GTX coil and have a mod that functions much like a vape pod. Despite its small size, it still sports a 0.91” screen.
The two standard coils are not suitable for the most potent salt nic juices but the 0.6ohm GTX Mesh Coil can handle higher potency e-liquids. It operates best between 20 and 30 watts. The 0.2ohm GTX Mesh Coil works best between 45 and 65 watts. This is plenty of power for big time vapor cloud production. Both coils are press fit, and there close to another GTX coil designs sold separately. The Gen Nano can handle any style of vapor. This makes the compact Vaporesso Gen Nano perhaps the most innovative vape mod of all.
The devices reviewed above are all vape starter kits and represent the most innovative designs of 2022.
You can purchase a vape mod separately with no vape tank but purchasing a starter kit is a better value.
Due to safety concerns, 18650 batteries are sold separately rather than pre-installed. Otherwise, a vape mod starter kit contains everything you need to start vaping. Several of the vape mods we review are powered by integrated batteries and all you need to do is hook them up to the charger cord to get started.
If you exclusively vape salt nic juices, there are plenty of starter vape kits featuring vape pods. These are better suited to your needs than the mods described above, with the notable exception of the Vaporesso Gen Nano when the high-resistance coils are installed. But as a rule of thumb, you should not be vaping nic salts out of a sub-ohm tank system.
If you purchase a vape mod that uses 18650 batteries, it is best practice to purchase a standalone battery charger. A high quality battery charger will allow you to have back-up batteries on hand and can prolong the life of your 18650s.
Vape mods come in all shapes and sizes. There are tube mods which have few features but a fire button, battery, and sub-ohm tank. The Vaporesso Sky Solo is a great example of this style. There are mini mods which have the same form factor as a larger vape pod but at 2/3rds scale. Then there is the whole confusing business of vape pods, mod pods, and pod mods.
What is the difference between a vape pod and vape mod? This question would have been easier to answer three years ago when refillable vape pods were small and vape mods were big. At the time, manufacturers were in a wattage arms race that pushed peak outputs to 230 watts.
Even today, there is no mistaking a gas station prefilled vape pod that only offers tobacco flavored e-liquid and a vape mod sporting all the newest technology.
But in 2022, there is some grey area. There are powerful vape pods that can handle high-PG and max-VG juices. Even small refillable vape pod kits like the Vaporesso XROS or Smok Novo will have a low-resistance pod that can handle higher-VG juices.
There are now vape pod models that turn out 40, 60 or even 80 watts of power. Referred to as pod mods, the Smok RPM40 was one of the first vape pods to blur these lines.
Even the most powerful vape pod mods turn out less wattage than a full-sized vape mod. But with advances in mesh coil technology, 40 to 60 watts is just about all the power a typical vaper using a sub-ohm coil will need to generate massive vapor clouds.
To make matters more confusing, vape pods are generally moving away from the fixed coil set in a pod. The old design style was wasteful. The plastic pod is basically unscathed, even if the coil is shot. With swappable coils, a refillable pod can last for months or longer. You just need to swap out the coil when it starts to fade.
The newest Smok Novo 4, the lineal descendant of one of the original refillable vape pods, now has swappable coils. Vape pods with swappable coils are sometimes referred to as AIO or all-in-one vape pods.
There may be hundreds of devices and an overlap in performance, but the difference between vape mods and vape mods is simple. Vape mods use standardized 510 threading for the vape tank.
Some tube mods will have a tank directly affixed to the battery, but this tank is invariably based on a 510 threaded sub-ohm tank and is compatible with vape mod coils.
This means that you can use compatible 510 tanks from other manufacturers on your mod. There is less reason than ever to adopt that approach because vape mod starter kits will include a tank optimized for the vape mod and coils. But the option is available if you are wed to a particular tank or coil design.
Vape mod starter kits are a great value. At Eliquid.com, we make a point of stocking all the best hardware. The kits described above all have innovative features but are not identical. It is worth researching each model before making your selection.
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