Updated: September 2021
Despite all the advances in vaping technology, for years if you wanted something that looks and feels like a cigarette the only option has been the humble ‘cigalike’.
Now, at least when it comes to feel, that may change.
The Innokin EQ FLTR could be a game changer for smokers who want to switch to vaping but miss the soft feel of a cigarette on their mouths.
That, plus being inspired by positive feedback on Twitter (some of which you’ll find quoted in this post), is essentially why I’m writing about it.
We list too many products to review them all on this blog, but occasionally one really catches my eye. I have a feeling this could be a game-changer for smokers who are struggling to switch to vaping, but find it just too different from smoking.
What’s to like about it?
The EQ FLTR has a snazzy design, feels light (but not flimsy) in the hand, has a good build quality and delivers a pleasant taste.
But the key to this device is the filter.
The filters resemble the end of a slim cigarette and means that when you vape it, the experience is really close to that of a cigarette in terms of how it feels on the mouth.
In fact, when we gave it to a new recruit who has recently switched to vaping (and has tried several starter devices), she told us it finally felt that she was smoking a cigarette.
The filters come in a pack of 5 (an initial pack is included with the kit), and Innokin told us they recommend changing the filter after refilling the pod 2-3 times. Handily, though, you aren’t confined to using the filters, as the kit also comes with a standard drip tip.
To use the device after filling, simply inhale and the device does the rest of the work for you - just like a real cigarette.
While easy to use, this is an open pod which you can use with the e-liquid of your choice, although we recommend using it with an e-liquid with a VG:PG ratio in the region of 50:50 - it will also work well with nicotine salts.
The device is also very economical, with e-liquid lasting a lot longer than the Smok Novo X pod system I was using alongside it, and so far has avoided any leaking or condensation in the tip.
I also really like the fact that the filters are biodegradable, reflecting one of several areas where Innokin are working hard to reduce their impact on the environment.
These days a 350 mAh battery is nothing to write home about.
The economical use of e-liquid and a 1.2Ω coil means you can just about get away with a smaller battery, but if you are a heavy user you will probably need to charge it more than once a day. There is also no indication of battery power to let you know when your device needs charging - which could leave you off guard with a flat battery.
I also found the tank slightly awkward to fit on - I ended up sort of pushing and twisting it to get it to fit neatly.
The device is easy to refill via a hole in the pod, but do be careful to only remove the large part of the plastic bung - if you remove the small part it’s almost impossible to replace. (Innokin have told me this should be fixed with the next iteration of the device.)
Do note that since I first wrote this post, I have seen several people complaining about the pod getting stuck in the device.
Who is it for?
This device is great for vapers who are looking for an ultra easy-to-use device which replicates the soft feel of a cigarette filter on your lips.
The small hole in the filter means this device delivers a thin stream of vapour with a throat hit which is on the gentle side - vapers who prefer a harsher throat hit or more vapour might be better off with the Aspire PockeX.
The compact design and discrete nature of the device (with the cap on you would think it was a pen) makes this an ideal solution for use in the office.
When we first wrote this post, the Innokin EQ Filtr was the first of its kind that we’ve tried. Predictably, though, other manufacturers have started to follow in their footsteps - even using some similar names!
The Aspire Vilter kit is a lightweight, easy-to-use device that also comes with an optional soft tip filter. The soft tip lends itself to a very soft vape, while it has a slightly stronger throat hit with the included standard drip tip. The Vilter filters are not, as far as we can tell, biodegradable. Still, this remains an easy-to-use device that helps replicate the experience of smoking.
A more recent alternative, the Uwell Whirl S2 vape pen has a more robust design than the other products mentioned and also has the option of fibre filter tips for a cigarette-style feel. A slightly more advanced and customisable device with replaceable coils, the Whirl S2 is still very easy to use and has the benefit of adjustable airflow and a choice of coil resistances for both MTL and RDL inhale styles.
For years Innokin has produced, in my opinion, some of the best starter kits and Mouth-to-Lung devices on the market. The Innokin EQ FLTR is really a bit different, and I think it will go down very well with both new vapers and for people looking for a discrete back-up device. That said, it's not perfect, as there have been problems with the plug for the filling hole and with the pod getting stuck in the device.
I’d love to know your thoughts, so if you’ve tried the EQ FLTR, do let me know what you think of it in the comments below!