Just about everyone has heard of the JUUL device. In fact, the JUUL and it’s JUUL pods are probably the most well known electronic cigarette in America. JUUL was the first brand to use nicotine salts in their JUUL pods, which at the time was extremely rare to get great tasting e-liquid with high nicotine strength.
Now 11 years later there are a plethora of e-cigarettes to choose from, as well as a flooding of nicotine salt e-liquid in every type of flavor imaginable. Perhaps the most pressing question would be is how has the JUUL stood up to the test of time and developing innovation in this highly competitive electronic cigarette market? Let’s compare and contrast the benefits of the JUUL’s closed pod system to Suorin’s open pod system in the Vagon.
There are going to be several things to consider when comparing a closed pod system like the JUUL to an open pod system like the Vagon. We have to consider six specific topics such as flavor variety and nicotine strength, pod size, battery durability, convenience, and overall performance.
Flavor Variety and Nicotine Strength
JUUL offers the following eight flavors in their pods: Virginia Tobacco, Cool Mint, Creme Brulee, Mango, Cool Cucumber, Classic Tobacco, Classic Menthol and Fruit Medley. JUUL offers a variety pack as well. The JUUL pod is filled with 5% strength salt nicotine e-liquid and offers no other levels as of yet. Recently JUUL did announce that they would soon be releasing pods in limited quantities at a reduced 3% nicotine level in only the Mint and Virginia Tobacco flavors.
The Suorin Vagon pod system can be filled with e-liquid from any manufacturer you prefer. Suorin recommends salt nicotine e-liquid because it is a low wattage device, but freebase e-juice with VG/PG levels of 70/30 and 60/40 can also be used inside the pod. There are literally tens of thousands of flavors in several different flavor profiles and nicotine levels to choose from to put into a Vagon pod.
JUUL pods are .7ml. Once you choose a flavor you want to vape, it’s as simple as popping the pod into the device and puffing away. The JUUL pods are not refillable. There are some vapers out there who have taken it upon themselves to refill the JUUL pods against manufacturer recommendations. You could easily take the risk, but many people complain about the pods leaking, spit back of juice from the mouthpiece, dry hits and burnt hits.
The Vagon comes with a 2ml capacity pod that needs to be primed before you can start vaping. Suorin recommends filling the pod with your desired flavor of e-juice and waiting for ten minutes. After the atomizer is properly primed, you will be set to vape and refill the pod when necessary. Pods are good for 3-5 refills, but at times depending on vaping habits, pods will last longer.
Also Read: The Suorin Struggle: The Air Vs The Vagon
The JUUL has a fully charged 220mAh battery out of the box that will put out a maximum 9w with a 2Ω resistance. The charger that is supplied by JUUL is like a USB thumb drive that the battery connects to magnetically and necessitates a full hour to charge completely. The JUUL cannot be used while it is charging, which is not very convenient if you cannot wait an hour to vape again.
The Vagon’s battery also has a fully charged battery right out of the box. It is significantly larger at 430mAh that will put out a maximum of 12w with a 1.3Ω resistance. The Vagon’s battery will last for 2 days on a full charge. Suorin provides a micro USB cable and the Vagon will fully charge in 30 minutes. The Vagon can be used when charging, so you can still get your nic fix while you wait for it to fully charge.
Arguably the JUUL still remains the most convenient and easy to use just by the fact that there is no priming of the atomizer involved versus the Vagon pod that needs 10 minutes to prime properly. In addition, many might not enjoy the idea of dragging around bottles of e-juice to refill pods when JUUL pods are already pre-filled and set to go out of the packaging. But, if there is no official retail JUUL partners near you, it might not be so convenient to have to deal with ordering and shipping costs. Plus, the opportunity cost of convenience is lack of variation in e-liquid flavors and nicotine strengths.
When you consider that the Vagon has a 430mAh that will put out a maximum of 12w with a 1.3Ω resistance compared to the JUUL with a 220mAh battery that puts out a maximum of 9w with a 2Ω resistance, it is clear that with higher wattage and lower resistance, the Vagon is going to out perform the JUUL in vapor production and more pronounced flavor. Plus, the battery will undoubtedly last longer and even if the battery is running low, you can still vape while it is charging.
Both pod systems are lightweight enough to pocket and have with you all day long. Vapor production is satisfying, yet discreet enough for times when large clouds are not appropriate. The JUUL is still rather pricey. Their pods have a ridiculously small amount of liquid for the cost and is just extremely limiting as a kit with only 8 flavors to choose from at one nicotine strength. JUUL really has to start stepping up their game to continue to compete with all the newer e-cigarettes out on the market today that provide a more versatile vaping experience and longer lasting batteries sold at much lower price points.
The JUUL Starter Pack comes with a fully charged device with a four pod variety pack. You can choose which flavor you want to vape first, pop in the pod and puff away. It’s super simple and easy. The JUUL is extremely lightweight and feels somewhat like cheap plastic. It is constructed of an aluminum shell that is heat resistant and food grade plastic. It is a 220 mAh lithium ion battery that contains a circuit board, USB magnets for the charging dock and a pressure sensor. The pressure sensor activates a battery indicator light when you gently tap the device to inform the user of the remaining battery life.
The JUUL is on-draw activated and contains a stainless steel vapor path. The pod contains a nichrome coil heater and a silica wick. The drag quality is adequate and supplies the same satisfaction one would come to expect when smoking an actual cigarette. Good throat hits, vapor production and decent flavor. All pods contain 5% nicotine strength and the four pack contains a total of 2.8ml of e-liquid.
The JUUL battery is known to not last all day. It seems administer around 3 to 4 hours of good vaping before having to charge it at some point in the day. The real bummer is that you cannot use it while it is docked on the charger. It takes an hour to completely recharge the battery, so if you want to vape during that time, you would need to either be patient for an hour or have two devices to alternate between.
Like the Juul, the Vagon comes fully charged out of the box. It has some significant weight to it, yet It is still light at 56g, but it does not feel as cheap as the JUUL. It is made out of zinc alloy and is contoured nicely to fit a multitude of ways in your hand. Sourin worked a clip into the design at the lower half of the device, which is useful if you are prone to losing things. The Vagon has a V-shaped battery light indicator that lights up when the device is drawn from.
The Vagon’s battery is 430mAh that will put out a maximum of 12w with a 1.3Ω resistance. The battery lasted least two days before I had to charge it and I could vape even when I was charging it. I could see it possibly lasting three days if I vape just a couple times a day. It is quite nice to get through the day without having to worry about charging it. Plus, when you do need to recharge, the Vagon takes 40 minutes or less to fully charge.
The Vagon pod has a 2ml capacity and can be filled with any e-liquid of your choosing. Suorin recommends salt nicotine e-liquid because it is a low wattage device, but freebase e-juice with VG/PG levels of 70/30 and 60/40 can also be used inside the pod. I put VGOD’s Cubano Silver SaltNic (2.5% nic) inside of the pod and the flavor was great. Vapor production was ample, it gives nice throat hits and was a pretty satisfying vape experience overall.
The JUUL has several downfalls like e-juice selection is limited to only 8 flavors that you have to purchase from JUUL or hope to find pods at a nearby shop somewhere before you finish all your juice. Then there is the battery situation. The battery just won’t last and you can’t vape while it’s charging. Whereas, with the Vagon, you can fill the pod with whatever e-liquid you want, each pod will last several refills and you could have a multitude of filled pods to change it up whenever you feel like it. There is a time factor though. If you can’t wait at least 10 minutes to prime the atomizer in the pod, you might like the JUUL pod system better. But, the Vagon’s battery will last a significant amount of time longer by comparison to the JUUL and you can be worry free all day long.
Ultimately, the Vagon is simply more versatile, better constructed, has a much longer battery life than the JUUL and is a lot less expensive. Both systems produce great vapor and are easy to use, but JUUL really has to start stepping up their game to continue to compete with all the newer e-cigarettes out on the market today. Plus, their e-liquid only comes in 5% nicotine and if you’re trying to cut down on nic strength, you don’t have any other choice but to eventually buy another type of e-cigarette device. So, save yourself some time and money, and go with a more versatile device like the Vagon instead, so you can enjoy an endless amount of flavors not just eight.