In the early days of vaping, there was a simple choice – a basic cigalike device or a massive mod device designed to block out the sun with its huge clouds.
Nowadays there are a huge variety of vape mods, and they all cater to different needs. There are mods that are super easy to use, mods for Mouth-to-Lung vapers, mods for cloud chasers and so on.
So when choosing a mod, there’s no single ‘best’ option, although we will share our favourites at the end of this post.
Instead, you need to match your needs to the mod that best suits them.
In this post we do exactly that, highlighting the best vape mods for different purposes.
What is a vape mod?
The term ‘vape mod’ has evolved over time.
Originally, the term referred to a modified device. In the early days of vaping, when choice was limited, modders built or adapted their own vape devices.
Manufacturers caught on to the popularity of these, and started producing mass-manufactured mods. Originally, many of these were box mods, which referred to the square, boxy design of these devices.
Mods were also increasingly distinguished by their increased power range and functionality.
They did have a drawback though, and that was their difficulty of use. So manufacturers like Innokin lead innovation in creating mods that were also easy to use and suitable for less experienced vapers.
Nowadays, mods come with all sorts of power ranges and experience requirements. Some are powered by replaceable batteries, while others use fixed internal batteries.
However, a mod is generally larger than a pod or pen-style vape. The tank screws into the device, instead of clipping on like a pod system. There is also usually more functionality than with a pen style or pod device.
You’ll also come across pod mods, which are essentially a stepping stone between a pod system and a mod device.
Vape Mod Overview
|Product name||What’s special?||Who’s it for?|
|Innokin Adept Zlide||Easy to use, best mod for beginners||All experience levels|
|Coolfire IV||Easy to use, reliable, brushed steel design||All experience levels|
|Innokin Sensis||Great flavour, auto-priming, refresh mode||Intermediate and above|
|Smok Gram 25||Compact, portable||All experience levels|
|Obelisk 120 FC||Super-fast charging||Intermediate/Advanced|
|Geekvape L200||Great for outdoors||Experienced vapers|
|iStick Power 2||Long-lasting battery||Intermediate|
|Innokin MVP5||Long-lasting battery & survival features||Intermediate/Advanced|
|Voopoo Drag X Plus||Best single cell||Intermediate|
|Smok Morph 2||Customisability, clouds||Advanced|
Best Vape Mods In depth
Innokin Adept Zlide: Best vape mod starter kit
Vape shops and websites often recommend a pod or pen-style device like the Aspire PockeX to new vapers. But not everyone wants a compact device. If you’re looking for something a big chunkier, with great battery life but still easy to use, Innokin’s Adept Zlide is hard to beat.
First, there’s the intelligent wattage selection. The device gives you a range of power options to choose from depending on the coil you are using. This is a great option for new vapers, as it takes the guesswork out of selecting which wattage to use. By avoiding user error, you can also expect better flavour and longer-lasting coils.
If you’re clumsy (like me!) you’ll also appreciate the toughness of this device. The Adept mod is IP67 dustproof, shock-proof and water resistant, meaning it can take the occasional drop (even into water!) and carry on working.
The device comes with a 3000mAh battery, giving it an excellent battery life. Overall this is a great mod both for beginners and vapers who prefer an MTL vape.
- Great for beginners
- Intelligent wattage selection
- Dustproof, shock-proof and water resistant
Innokin Coolfire IV: Best vape mod for reliability
The Innokin Coolfire IV is not a new device – in fact I first wrote about it in 2015. But when a vape mod remains popular for years, there’s usually a reason behind it.
For the Coolfire IV, one of these reasons is its reliability. This can be difficult to judge with a new device. But the Coolfire has proved itself over years of use – and, indeed, often lasts for years.
The Coolfire IV also comes with a brushed metal steel design which is reassuringly solid in the hand. As an older device, it won’t have all the latest modes, but it does comes with a few nice features, including puff count, puff length count and pass through charging. The on/off switch, which is a feature of the Coolfire range, is also a handy tool for preventing accidental pocket presses.
The Coolfire IV has a maximum wattage of 40 watts and works with coil resistance down to 0.3Ω. The 2000mAh capacity, while impressive at the time of launch, means it wouldn’t be suitable for all-day vaping at high wattages. While it’s certainly not for serious cloud chasers or Direct-Lung vapers, the Coolfire IV remains a great choice for Mouth-to-Lung vapers who want an easy to use, solid and reliable mod device.
What we like:
- Brushed steel design
- Easy to use
- Very reliable
Innokin Sensis: Best vape mod for flavour and long-lasting coils
In contrast to the Innokin Coolfire IV, the Innokin Sensis is packed full of new features. In particular, its auto-refresh and auto-priming mode is a real breakthrough in vape technology.
You see, one of the problems with coils is that they can dry out. This can lead to a drop in taste and/or burning the coil.
The Sensis deals with this by automatically drawing in e-liquid to the coil between vapes. This maintains flavour and means the coils last longer.
The Sensis also has FO mode and ACM (alternative current mode) to further improve taste. FO mode has to be unlocked, either by solving a puzzle, looking for a code online or after using the device for a while. If you don’t want to wait, FO mode is also available in another excellent device – the new Innokin Coolfire Z80 (review).
Like the other devices listed above, we find the Sensis works best for Mouth-to-Lung (and restricted Direct-Lung) vaping.
What we like:
- Great flavour
- Longer-lasting coils
- 100% recyclable packaging to reduce waste
Smok Gram 25: Best compact mod
The term ‘vape mod’ often brings images of large boxy devices to mind. For years, though, there have also been vape mods that are also super compact – mods like the Smok Gram 25.
The Smok Gram 25 is just 8cm in length and less than 2cm in width. That makes it ideal for small bags and tight pockets. But it retains one of Smok’s most popular features. The large firing key stretches pretty much the length of the mod, making it easy to fire up with the palm of your hand.
Smok are famous for their Direct-Lung devices, but this is very much an MTL device, albeit with a straight-through airflow design for an extra-smooth Mouth-to-Lung inhale.
The Gram 25 provides up 25 watts of power and has a 900mAh battery. It’s certainly not a cloud device, but it is great for the MTL vaper who prioritises a small size over large clouds of vapour.
What we like:
- Super compact
- Large firing key
- Smooth airflow
Geekvape Obelisk 120 FC: Zero to full charge in just 15 minutes!
If you often get caught out by the battery dying just when you really need a vape, the Geekvape Obelisk 120 FC is the device for you!
Going from no battery to full battery in just 15 minutes (really – we tested it!), at the time of writing the Obelisk 120 FC is the world’s fastest charging vape device. (Do note that you need to use the included charging cable to be sure of achieving ultra-fast charging times.)
That’s even more impressive given that the device has a very respectable 3700mAh built-in battery.
The Obelisk comes with reverse charging capability, so it can also be used to charge other devices, such as your mobile phone. The mod comes packaged with the Geekvape Zeus tank, which, along with the Horizon Falcon II, is one of the best current tanks for Direct-Lung inhaling and cloud vaping.
What we like:
- Super-fast charging
- Reverse charging capability
- Great for clouds when using included Zeus tank
Geekvape Aegis L200: Best vape mod for the outdoors
When I first started drafting this blog post, I’d planned to include the Geekvape Aegis Legend. This device is super tough (even for Geekvape) making it ideal for hard outdoor use.
But Geekvape have upped the game. Whilst until now the toughest vape devices have been IP67 dustproof and waterproof, the Aegis L200 is IP68. The 6 measures how dustproof it is on a scale of 1 – 6, while the 8 means the device can withstand continuous immersion in water (up to 30mins in 1.5 metres) and still be functional. Geekvape have also worked to make the device more shockproof, meaning it should be able to withstand accidental drops.
The L200 mod is also designed to withstand extremes in temperatures – from -20 to 60 degrees celsius, making it suitable for everything from snow to the desert!
There’s more to this device than just toughness. The device is 15% smaller and 30% lighter than the original, but is still capable of outputting up to 200 watts of power.
The higher wattage range of this mod means it’s not suitable for novice vapers. However, it is ideal for experienced/advanced vapers who enjoy Direct-Lung vaping and larger clouds.
What we like:
- Works in extreme temperatures
- Waterproof, dustproof, shock proof
- Compact but powerful
Eleaf Stick Power 2: Long battery life
If you’re on the move, and don’t always have access to a charger, battery is important. If you don’t want a mod that uses external batteries, then one of the best options is the Eleaf iStick Power 2.
This device comes with a very impressive 5000mAh battery. That’s more than five times the amount some mods come with. When using this as a Mouth-to-Lung device, this mod should last most vapers a couple of days before needing recharging, and even using it at its 80 watt limit it should easily last more than a day.
The iStick Power 2 also comes with one of my favourite features – Smart Mode. When in use, this limits the wattage range to suit the coil. This both helps prevent the coil from burning out and increases the life of the coil.
The iStick Power 2 is not the best option for Direct-Lung or cloud vapers, but as an MTL device it’s superb, with the included Eleaf GTL pod tank delivering excellent flavour. The Smart Mode definitely lowers the experience level needed for this device, and most vapers with a modicum of experience should be able to use it without a problem.
What we like:
- Massive 5000mAh battery capacity
- Excellent flavour
- Smart Mode for longer-lasting coils
Innokin MVP5 | Mod: Best box mod for features
The Innokin MVP5 raised eyebrows when the specs first landed on our desktops. The features go far beyond those of the standard vape mod with a range of survival tools that include a flashlight (with multiple modes), compass and barometer. Reverse charging capability also means it can be used to charge other devices.
But when the device landed it proved to be far more than a gimmick – in fact, I had to wrestle our sample off Will, our product manager, to try it because he liked it so much.
Unlike some of the other devices here, I find this works well both as a Mouth-to-Lung and Direct-Lung device. The features aren’t limited to survival either – with the device offering up wattage mode, custom wattage curves and preset wattages.
Do note that to get the most out of this device, you will either need some experience or be ready to go through a learning curve (this tutorial will help.) But an intermediate vaper who didn’t want to use all the functions should find it easy enough to use.
What we like
- Survival features
- Huge battery capacity
- Power bank function
Voopoo Drag X Plus: Best single battery mod
The highly respected Voopoo Drag X Plus again breaks the mould of the traditional, weighty box mod with a device that weighs just 113 grams (excluding the battery).
This device uses replaceable batteries which means that if the battery runs out, you can simply swap it out for a pre-charged battery and keep on vaping. It also has the benefit that the life of the device is not tied to the life of the battery.
Of course, using external batteries in a mod is not unusual, but the Drag X Plus has the advantage that it works with two types of batteries – 18650s and 21700’s. 18650s offer a slightly lighter option, while 21700 batteries have a longer life.
The Drag X Plus may be light, but it can also deliver up to 100 watts of power and comes with a range of functions which include Smart Mode and power-free RBA Mode. With a 0.001 second firing time, the Drag X Plus is a great choice for experienced vapers who prefer a Direct-Lung inhale.
What we like:
- Choice of batteries
- Choice of modes
See all Voopoo Drag devices compared.
Smok Morph 2 Kit | Mod: Best vape mod for clouds
The mods listed here start from low-powered devices suitable for new vapers who prefer a MTL. The Smok Morph 2, however, very much goes to the other extreme.
The Morph 2 mod can output up to 230 watts, powered by dual 18650 batteries (not included), making it a very powerful device. That’s combined with a device that can handle resistances as low as 0.1Ω, There’s no Smart Mode either – this device is made for the sort of advanced vaper who chortles at the thought of a mode designed to make a device easier to use.
You do have the options of power or temperature control mode (for improved flavour and coil longevity). The kit version comes with the TFV-Mini V2 tank, but this mod will work with any tank with a 510 connection. That said, it’s important to use a serious sub-ohm tank with this device, such as the Falcon II or the Geekvape Zeus.
The Morph 2 is made from Zinc Alloy, which makes it both light and strong, while leather is used to increase comfort.
What we like:
- Huge power range
- Super choice for cloud vapers
- Strong but lightweight
How we selected these mods
To select the mods here we’ve used a combination of our own ratings, the popularity of these devices, both in terms of sales and ‘on the scene’, as well as taking into account customer feedback. Very occasionally we’ll add a just-launched mod to the list – but only if it totally blows us away in testing.
All the kits here are made to UK standards and are compliant with EU and UK regulations.
What’s the best vape mod overall? Our team’s take…
When we write posts like this, the approach we always take is to match different devices to different needs. After all, we might love the Smok Morph 2, but that’s certainly not the best vape mod for someone who needs a basic Mouth-to-Lung device.
But I thought it might also be useful to share a personal perspective, so here’s a few of our favourite mods (all of which meet our own different needs!)
When Kayleigh, our content writer, joined us she still mostly smoked, and it was a combination of advice on nicotine strengths and trying different devices that helped her to make the switch in just 6 weeks. The mod device that helped her the most was the Innokin Adept Zlide.
Will, our product manager, has probably tried more devices than anyone else. He chose the Obelisk 120 FC, explaining:
“Fast charging has been a game changer for me – I’ve always been a chronic vape-while-charging person, forever attached to a cable, and deteriorating my battery quality because of it.
“I’m also a fan of the subtle yet attractive aesthetics too, with the stealthy understated look and glass side panels. It suits me perfectly on the power and modes side, given that I prefer medium wattage direct lung vaping, and tend to stick to power/wattage mode. The Power bank feature is nice too when my phone inevitably dies at the beach!”
For myself, despite its age, I was tempted to go for the Coolfire IV. I love the design, the feel – and how reliable it is. But as a (mostly) MTL vaper I am also very impressed with Innokin’s new auto-refresh and coil priming technology, so the Innokin Sensis and Coolfire Z80 are my current preferred devices.
What’s your favourite mod and why? Let us know in the comments.