A colllection of vape starter kits on a table.

9 Best Vape Starter Kits For 2020

Updated: May 2020

When we wrote our last ecig starter kit round up, we said that 2018 had been the year of the back-to-basics device. We also predicted that 2019 would see a continued trend in pod systems, and that’s certainly been the case, with both an explosion in the range as well as increased variety. You can now buy pod systems with more power, better battery life and more functionality.

There are always some devices which remain popular even in the face of continuous innovation. For years we’ve seen the combination of the Aspire Mini Nautilus and the Mini Coolfire mod retain its popularity against newcomers.

That’s finally waning now (although it’s still the only vape my mum will use), but the PockeX seems to have taken its place, winning a huge fan base among vapers and, indeed, many of our staff. So as well as highlighting some of the best new devices, the Aspire PockeX wins a write up here too.

Types of vape starter kits

In this post you’ll find four types of beginner vape devices.

Pod Systems: Vape pods are super easy-to-use and come with a pod that clips into a compact battery. They come with either pre-filled or refillable pods.

All-in-one vape devices: These devices contain everything you need to get started. AIOs distinguish themselves by having no separate pod or tank, with e-liquid simply being filled into the top of the device itself.

Pen-style devices: Just as the name suggests, these devices are like an oversized pen and fit easily in the hand. Think chunky marker pen as opposed to a biro and you’ll be along the right track.

Mod/tank kits: Mods are usually larger, more powerful vapes, often with a box design, which also come with a separate tank.


So as we enter 2020, here’s 9 of the best starter kits to choose from. Read on to see each device in more detail.

ProductTypeWhat’s special?
GeekVape Aegis PodOpen PodTough, water resistant, great for outdoor use
Uwell CaliburnOpen PodBest for flavour
Aspire PockeXAll-In-OneMost popular, great build quality
Hexa V2Closed podHybrid e-liquid for great throat hit
Innokin Go STankLack of fiddle, ease of use
Eleaf iJust AIOOpen podPush-fit coils, easy refill
Innokin Adept ZlideModTough, best battery life
Smok NordOpen podStylish, can handle different e-liquid types
Innokin Jem PenPen-style Classic style

Best for outdoors: Geekvape Aegis Pod

The Geekvape covered in water.

If you’re an outdoors type, or simply tend to give your vape a hard time, the Geekvape Aegis Pod could be the vape for you! This lightweight and compact device is seriously tough, and comes with outer zinc alloy shielding along with anti-fracturing and anti-deforming technology to give it the strength to withstand drops. It can also withstand immersion in water of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

The device is seriously light and compact, and is slim enough to fit into the coin pocket of your jeans. In testing, the coil has proven to be long lasting and provide consistent flavour. Do note that the 0.6Ω coil will give off more vapour than many other starter kits.

What’s to like about it:

  • tough
  • waterproof
  • long lasting coil

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Best for flavour: Uwell Caliburn

The Uwell Caliburn has taken off in the USA and is rapidly gaining traction in the UK too. That’s probably because of its reputation for being one of the best pod systems for flavour. This is an open pod system, which means you can put any e-liquid in it – although with a 1.4 ohm resistance coil it’s best used with a balanced VG:PG ratio of around 50:50.

What’s to like:

  • Great flavour
  • Open system – use with your favourite e-liquid
  • Strong aluminium frame
  • Works well with nicotine salts

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Most popular: Aspire PockeX

Aspire PockeX in different colours.

The Aspire PockeX has been around for a while now – indeed, it made it into last year’s round up – but its popularity shows no signs of slowing. The PockeX was one of the first devices to combine a traditional pen-style device with a lower resistance coil to create some real oomph in an otherwise easy-to-use starter kit. Indeed, many of our staff continue to use the PockeX, which is saying something given they are exposed to a constant influx of new devices.

What’s to like about it?

  • Easy-top-fill
  • High quality vape
  • Great build quality

Top tip: It’s well worth putting a vape band around the top tank. These cost just one pound, but help to protect the tank if it is dropped.

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Best pre-filled pod system: Hexa

When we first trialled the Hexa, I was very surprised to see our mod-loving, cloud-chasing product manager using this Belgian pod system constantly. We’ve since brought it into our stores, and when customers try it they frequently choose it over the far better known JUUL.

What makes it popular? While it’s a great device in its own right, I believe the key to the success of the device is at least partly down to the e-liquid used. Most systems use either freebase nicotine (which has a stronger throat hit) or nicotine salts such as Nasty Juice Reborn (smoother throat hit, faster delivery of nicotine).

In contrast, the Hexa is one of the first devices to use hybrid e-liquid, which combines nicotine salts and freebase e-liquid. This gives less of a hit than freebase, but is more recognisable than nicotine salts and provides a particularly satisfying vape.

What’s to like:

  • Super easy to use
  • Light and compact
  • Great throat hit

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No-Coil Changes: Innokin Go-S

Innokin Go-S in different colours.

The Innokin Go S is a simple and easy-to-use device which has proven popular with customers and staff alike. Although this is a tank system, the device is really easy to use, and is ideal for people who struggle with coil changes, as the coils are built into the tank. Despite its simplicity, the Go S produces an excellent vape.

What’s to like:

  • Super easy to use

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Easiest to Fill: Eleaf iJust AIO

The iJust AIO held in a hand.

Coming with a simple twist-to-fill mechanism, the iJust AIO is one of the easiest pod systems to top up with e-liquid. Handily, the device also comes with push-pull coil fitting, which makes changing coils a breeze.

The device comes with three power settings, which allows you to choose between a soft, medium or strong vape, and you can further refine this by switching between two coils, 1.2Ω (best for throat hit) or 0.6Ω (for more vapour). When you’ve changed the coil, the device will automatically adjust your wattage settings, which is super handy if you’re not familiar with the different power settings needed for different coils.

What’s to like:

  • automatic wattage adjustment
  • easy filling
  • push fit coils

Toughest device: Adept Zlide Kit

If you vape outdoors a lot, or have a job which involves knocks and scrapes, the Adept Zlide might be the device for you. Water-poof, dust-proof and shock-proof, this vape kit is designed to last even when conditions are not ideal.

But there’s more than toughness to this tank system. For a start, it comes with a very impressive 3000mAh battery meaning that it has tonnes of battery life, while an intelligent wattage selection mode automatically selects the right power settings for the coil you are using. This takes the guesswork out of selecting the right coil and helps ensures the coils last longer.

What’s to like:

  • Built to withstand knocks
  • Superb battery life
  • Auto-wattage selection means longer lasting coils

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Stylish, compact, versatile: Smok Nord

Smok Nord in hand.

One of the most popular vape devices over the last 12 months, the Smok Nord is a simple to use pod system that comes with a single button operation. This stylish device comes with a duck billed mouth-piece designed to fit comfortably with the contours of your lips.

It’s also a versatile device as, depending on the coil you use with the device, it works with both direct-lung e-liquids (e.g. juices with a VG:PG ratio of 70:30 or 80:20) and mouth-to-lung e-liquids (e.g. juices with a VG:PG ratio of around 50:50).

(We debated including the Smok Nord 2, but the additional power that the device comes with really means that it’s best to have some experience before upgrading to the Nord 2.)

What’s to like about it:

  • can handle two types of e-liquid
  • stylish
  • comfortable mouthpiece

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Classic pen style: Jem Pen

While pod systems have taken the vaping world by storm, many people prefer the classic vape pen. And for this category we’ve selected one of the best from one of our favourite manufacturers, Innokin.

Built from stainless steel, the Jem Pen is a simple to use, no-fuss all-in-one vape device (Yes it’s also an AIO!), coming with higher resistance coils that mean it offers a great mouth-to-lung hit and a slim design which fits neatly into the pocket.

  • Easy to use
  • Mouth-to-lung vape
  • Classic style

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Most Similar to Smoking: Podstick

Vaporesso PodStick.

When we first received Vaporesso PodStick samples, members of our staff who still missed smoking were blown away by the device. The tight, restricted vape is probably the closest experience to smoking they’d experienced. 

Lightweight and easy to use (an external filling mechanism means there’s no need to remove the pod before filling it), this device is suitable for new vapers and for people who still miss smoking regular cigarettes. 

  • similar experience to smoking
  • lightweight
  • easy-to-use

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Smallest Pod System

I.O Pod System pictured in the hand.

The Innokin IO Pod System is the dinkiest vape system we have seen for a long time. 

As always with tiny sizes, compromises have to be made and with a 310mAh capacity it’s not going to win any prizes for battery life. For that matter, the 0.8ml capacity pod is pretty small too. But if you want something small, discreet and easy to use this might be the right option for you! 

  • super small
  • auto-draw
  • super easy to use

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Also worth considering: The Smok Mico is also a tiny, square shaped device which fits very neatly into the palm of your hand.

The future?

As we always see from our annual predictions post, which rounds up predictions from vape experts around the world, predictions are hard to make (or, more accurately, easy to make but hard to get right).

That’s particularly the case with innovation. Time after time, innovative vape companies have come up with solutions that no-one has dreamed of yet.

That said, one possible new trend for 2020 could be hybrid nicotine salts. The Hexa has been one of the first devices to use hybrid salts, and we’ve seen it’s popularity boom. Could hybrids be the next new trend (and can anyone come up with a better name for them?) Only time will tell.

5 thoughts on “9 Best Vape Starter Kits For 2020”

  1. Been following your posts for some time now (5 years). Always informative. Sorry to be so pedantic but: “So as we enter 2020, here’s 7 of the best starter kits to choose from. Read on to see each device in more detail”. Then you list 9 as per your headline.
    Great read though..
    Thank you.

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