If you’ve only just decided to start vaping, finding a beginner vape starter kit can be tricky.
This guide reviews 5 of my favourite best beginner e cigarette starter kits for 2021.
There are also tips on how to quickly identify essential vape kit features that you should look for as new or beginner vaper, so you can make better buying choices.
Which is the best beginner vape starter kit to buy in 2021?
Click on each beginner kit to see my full review of it:
- ePuffer XPOD – Best Basic Starter Kit for Beginners
- Uwell Caliburn – Top Beginner Device for Flavour
- Jac Vapour VIM AIO – Best Beginner Budget Starter Kit Under £30
- Innokin EQs -Best Beginner Pod E Cig for Nic Salts
- Jac Vapour Series S22 – Best Beginner E Cig Kit for Stopping Smoking
Both vape kits are affordable, easy for beginners to set up and use, and provide excellent flavour, strength and nicotine satisfaction.
Reviews of my top 5 beginner vape kits in 2021
1. ePuffer XPod
- Best basic e cigarette starter kit
For me, the XPOD from UK supplier ePuffer is the best all-round basic pod vape kit for beginners to start off with.
I’m calling this a basic beginners’ kit, because it doesn’t include any advanced features like power or temperature controls, choice of coil resistance, etc.
But in my opinion, features like these aren’t really a priority for all brand-new e cigarette users anyway.
Reliable relief from cravings
Despite its simplicity, what this e cig starter kit does offer is day-long battery life, rich vapour and reliable relief from cigarette cravings. The XPOD is an uncomplicated device, but it does promise a very satisfying vaping experience. It’s also small, super-light and easy to conceal.
Easy to use
Most importantly for beginners though, the XPOD vape kit is really easy to use right out of the box. What’s more, if you choose pre-filled pods, there’ll be next-to no setting up for you to do either.
This is a great little elementary device for anyone wanting to see how they get along with using an e-cigarette without having to commit to a huge spend. And if you do choose to buy a more complex kit in future, you can still hold onto your XPOD as a back-up vape.
To make it work, you simply take an pre-filled ePuffer e-liquid pod, slip it onto your power unit and suck. The two parts snap softly together (as if by magic) with hidden magnet connectors. No screws, buttons or clips to worry about at all!
Strong vapour and nicotine hit
The XPOD’s pre-filled 1.5ml pods taste strong (I ordered the 2.0mg tobacco and menthol flavours) and vapour was nice and thick. Just what you need when you’re trying to get settled with your new e-cigarette.
If you prefer an even stronger vapour and tighter draw, just cover one of the air holes with your thumb or finger. Just like playing the recorder!
Perhaps the biggest advantage of this rudimentary e-cig is its 375mAh battery, which charges quickly (45 mins) and gives you a day or so of use. This factor alone makes the XPOD a much better choice than “cigalikes” and JUUL alternatives, which run out of power fast.
Considering what you’re getting, the unsophisticated XPOD is great value for money and the perfect electronic cigarette to start with.
This kit comes complete with e-cigarette, charging cable and three empty pods. However, you’ll need to order either e-liquid or pre-filled pods to be able to start using it.
Top features of this e cig kit
- Simple to use: minimal maintenance and not much to go wrong
- Flexible: option to use either refillable blank pods (cheaper) or pre-filled pods
- Portable: light (23g), concealable and easy to carry
- Attractive: clean and simple build and appearance
- Reliable: good battery life and unlikely to leak
- Convenient: charges quickly via USB port
- Money savings: £22.50 with 10% discount available with this kit
2. Uwell Caliburn Vape Kit
- Best Beginner-Friendly E Cig for Flavour
If you’re looking for an beginner kit that gives you a supreme flavour experience, the Uwell Caliburn pod vape is a great kit to start with.
Thanks to its generous airflow and temperature control, it’s now become one of the most popular e-cigarette choices for UK flavour fiends.
Looser draw for richer flavours
The Caliburn is a pod e cig, though unlike most others, this one gives you a looser, warmer draw, meaning flavours really pop out. This is ideal if you prefer a little less draw resistance to give bigger puffs of rich-tasting vapour.
There’s also a choice of three quick-click custom power settings designed to satisfy your taste buds. These work by warming the vapour in your e-cig to get it tasting just the way you want it.
I find the highest power setting brings out tangy, sharp tones, so great for fruit-flavoured e-liquids. Meanwhile, the lower two settings are better for deeper more complex notes, such as vanilla or tobacco. I personally prefer the middle setting as it gives me the best of both worlds.
Deals well with thicker e-liquid flavours
This flavour control function of this kit is also a real bonus if you’re a fan of stronger, sweeter-tasting vapes. These kinds of liquid often clog up pod-type e-cigs, but seem to work fine in the Caliburn. That said, I’d recommend sticking to maximum 50-50 VG/PG for best results with this 1.4ohm coil.
Better flavours with even gentle suction
The most outstanding quality of this model is its responsiveness to suction. This has a big impact on enjoyment of whatever flavours you’re vaping. Literally as soon as you begin to suck (even gently) you can feel vapour filling your mouth. In this way, you can savour cooler, more subtle tones before vapour gets too warm.
This e cig kit comes with with vape power device, one empty 2ml refill pod, USB charging cable and instruction manual, but no e-liquid included.
Other top features of this e cig
- Choice of draw activation (suction) or button activation to release vapour and flavours
- High capacity 520mAh battery for longer vaping
- Traffic light charge indicator to show remaining battery life
- Micro USB port for fast-charging
- Easy to assemble and simple button operation so appropriate for all experience levels
Check available discounts in-store
3. Jac Vapour VIM AIO Vape Mod Kit
- Best Cheap E Cig for Beginners
Jac Vapour’s VIM AIO Vape Mod Kit is a satisfying and very affordable UK-designed starter kit that is ideal for new vapers. (15% discount on this kit – see below)
Thanks to refillable pods, the VIM pod vape is also cheaper to run than Juul and other low-price pod e cig models.
No issues with thicker e-liquids
The VIM Pod can handle pretty much any vape liquid you choose to put in it, and still provide an enjoyable vaping experience. It will take high VG (up to 70%) and even thicker nic salt liquids, which vapourise smoothly and without dry hits.
More battery power for less money
The bigger battery is another strong reason why this British e-cigarette model is the best of the bunch when it comes to finding a great budget kit. With its 2600mAh built-in power, you’ll get a day of vaping between charges, as long as you take it easy and don’t chain vape!
Refillable tanks for cheaper running costs
The VIM gives you the option to choose empty tanks to refill with your own e-liquid instead of using pre-filled disposables like JUUL. This way, you get a longer-lasting vape than with a mini pod vape but for much lower daily costs.
The AIO kit comes with 1 reusable tank, but you can choose pre-filled disposables in the drop-down options on the Jac Vapour site, too. If you stick with the tanks, you’ll need to order refill liquid and a few spare coils (the S-Coil 1.50ohm is the best one for new users in my opinion).
Other top features of this e-cig
- High capacity 2600mAh battery for all-day vaping
- Simple design with no adjustable controls – just press button and vape!
- Light plastic design and soft, ergonomic feel
- Easy to detach and replace tank units from device body
- Fast charging with micro USB
- Button activated draw (not suction)
15% off for new Jac Vapour customers with ECF discount code
4. Innokin EQs Pod Vape Kit
- Best Beginner E Cig for Nicotine Salts
the EQs Vape Pod Kit, promises beginners a smooth vape and no harsh throat hit even with thicker, high-strength nic salt juices.
Smoother vape with nic salts
The EQs is an MTL vape pod kit that offers one of the strongest and most satisfying vapes anyway, but using it with nicotine salts gives you even smoother and better-tasting vapour than usual.
Fine-tune your vapour
The EQs has three power settings, so that you can fine-tune vapour and nicotine strength to your own liking.
I found this mini vape device gives best results with 12mg nicotine salts at 13.W, which is the middle setting. This gives you a fairly warm vapour, which is strong, smooth and very satisfying.
Nic salts with Mesh 3D coil
The key reason why the EQs is so well-suited to nicotine salts is its MTL Mesh Plex 3d coil. This is hidden inside the pod section and is the part that converts nic salt e-liquid into vapour that you inhale.
The mesh coil works by spreading out any heat generated by the battery, and so eliminates hot spots and dry hits.
Mesh coils are ideal for any kind of e-liquid, and you won’t just find these types of coil in the EQs. In this e-cig however, the enhanced 0.48 ohm mesh coil maximises the effect of nicotine salts perfectly to give you a really rich-tasting vapour, and a smooth throat hit that hits the spot nicely.
This kit comes with one blank 2ml pod. E-liquid is also not included in this package.
Other recommended features of this e-cigarette
- High capacity 800mAh battery for one day+ vaping
- Tight draw and wider mouthpiece
- Easy to use single-button interface and refilling system
- Ideal for all experience levels
- Just over one hour to fully recharge
- Power device is also compatible with older EQ pods (though results with nic salts may differ)
5% off with ECIGFIND discount code
5. Series-S22 Mesh Kit
- Best Beginner Vape Pen to Stop Smoking with
Jac Vapour’s Series-S22 Mesh Kit is the perfect choice of pod vape for people trying to give up smoking.
More portable than a serious mod-tank combo, this is a powerful and reliable kit designed specifically to help smokers quit.
Enough power and charge to keep you vaping
Reliable battery power means longer vaping time, which is useful for recent ex-smokers who don’t want to keep recharging. The Series S22 gives you a very adequate 2600mAh battery, good for around a day of vaping before you need another recharge.
Also really useful for smokers and recent ex-smokers is the adjustable airflow feature in this kit. This lets you adjust vapour suction (draw resistance) to make it feel as loose or tight as you wish.
Feels like a cigarette
Though the assembled S22 doesn’t look much like a real cigarette, it does have a long slender body which is easy to hold. In this way, you have a more “cigarette-like” feel than you might otherwise get with a bigger tank-mod combo.
The S22 comes with 2 MTL coils which can produce a vapour that more closely resembles tobacco smoke in terms of texture, warmth and strength. For this reason, either coil is fine for the needs of ex-smokers who want an e-cig to feel more like smoking to help them quit.
This product comes with one free e-liquid thrown in. If you do go for the S22, I’d recommend smokers choose the 12mg nic salt UK Tobacco e-liquid to go with it and vape with an MTL 1.0 ohm S-coil (not supplied).
This will give you the best chance of seeing how effective this electronic cigarette can be at smashing your tobacco cravings.
Other top features of this kit
- Top-fill tank for easy refilling for beginners
- Nic salt compatible coil
- Micro USB for fast charging
- 5-Click safety lock
- Full warranty and returns guarantee
- Full customer support from trusted British supplier
- 15% first purchase discount on marked price (see below)
Information about e cigarettes and vape kits for beginners
How to find the best e cig starter kit for you in 2021
To find a beginner vape kit that’s right for you, its best to consider your own personal preferences, circumstances and needs.
For example, is your ultimate goal in buying an e cigarette to stop smoking, or just to cut down? If so, are you a light, regular or heavy smoker?
You might also consider:
- What exactly is it that you want to get from vaping? (flavour, the sensation, nicotine buzz or social aspects)
- Are you a complete newcomer to vaping, or have you used an e-cigarette at some point in the past?
- Are you looking for a basic, easy-to-use vape pen to get you through the next couple of months? Or do you want a more reliable vape starter kit that you can keep using in the longer term?
These are all useful things to consider before you buy a beginner e cig kit in 2021. Once you know what kind of start kit you’re after, you can start looking around.
Which e-liquid to use with your e-cig starter kit?
Some starter kits come with e-liquid supplied, but most don’t. So you’ll usually need to order liquid separately.
But which type of vape liquid is the best for new users to start off with?
As a general rule of thumb, thinner e-liquids are your best bet when you’re a complete vape novice starting off with a new kit.
This is because less heavy types of liquid flow more smoothly in a wider range of devices. And this means they give you way more flavour and satisfaction than thicker liquids.
When choosing vape liquid for your new kit, look for liquids with high PG and low VG content. I would recommend a ratio of between 50/50 and 75/25 PG/VG for new vape users. This will give you a nice thin, smooth-flowing liquid that will be easy to vape and which won’t clog your coils.
Which kinds of e cig kit are most suitable for beginners?
In the last ten years, vaping has changed massively, and so have device types for new users. There are now more different kinds of e cigarette kits than you can throw a stick at. However, many of these vape kits are aimed more towards advanced users, while others are best for beginners.
So to clear up the confusion, here’s a quick run-down of UK-available e-cig kit types which are most suitable for newcomers to vaping. Compare features of each vape kit type to see which is the best choice for you.
1. Vape pen e-cig kits
Vape pen type e cig kits are often the first choice for new vapers because they are usually the simplest type of e cig to set up and use. They are also often very affordable.
Old-style vape pens (which do actually often look like pens) generally have only two sections: a small refillable tank and a very simple power unit with a manual power button. Vape pen tanks usually contain a basic wicking system which draws e-liquid onto a disposable coil to produce vapour.
Traditional vape pen starter kits are still popular with new vapers. But more recent vape pen models include new features for added functionality while maintaining the small and simple appeal of the original design.
Benefits of vape pen e-cigs for beginners
- cheap to buy and replace
- small and portable
- easy to use
- usually refillable
- cheap replacement parts
- fast recharging
Downsides of vape pen e-cigs for beginners
- smaller batteries, so poor battery life
- small tank capacity (with older models especially)
- leakage issues on old-style models
- in some models whole tank unit needs replacing, and not just coil
- very limited functionality so less control over airflow, power, etc
2. Pod vape e-cig kits
Pod vapes are a relatively recent innovation, and started as a way to make vaping simpler and more appealing to beginners. In the UK, pod vape kits have really taken off in recent years, and there are now many different types of pod kit for new vapers to choose from.
Like vape pens, pod vape e-cigarettes are designed primarily for simplicity and optimum ease of use. But pod-style vape kits take this simplicity to the next level in several distinct ways.
Firstly, pod vape devices are much more compact and user-friendly for new users than other e cig types. This makes them more portable (and concealable). Unlike vape pens, pod vapes have juice pods (rather than tanks). These often connect to the power unit with a single click rather than a screw thread. When pods die, you replace the whole pod, not just the coil.
The pod vape is the best e cig for nicotine relief and nicotine salts
Secondly, pod vapes are designed for nicotine delivery rather than making pretty clouds. This makes them the most appropriate choice of vape device for new users and recent ex-smokers in search of instant nicotine relief.
Pod vapes are also built to run on nicotine salt vape juices, which can often clog up other less dedicated vape devices.
Benefits of pod vapes for beginners
- affordable initial kit purchase costs (£15 – £40)
- very reliable nicotine hit, especially with nic salt e-liquids
- a vaping experience which is very close to smoking
- some pod e cig systems are refillable
- great to use as back-up devices
- vapour usually generated by suction instead of power button
- lightweight and portable e-cig
- very user-friendly and simple to use
- very low e-liquid usage
- streamlined appearance
Downsides of pod vapes for beginners
- whole pod (not just coil) will need changing when it wears out
- pods can be expensive to buy
- cheaper pod systems have very basic airflow and power controls (or none at all)
3. Mini mod-tank combo kits
Mini mod-tank combos are smaller, more beginner-friendly versions of bigger “box mod” e cig models, which are for more advanced vapers.
This type of e cig kit is the perfect choice for new users who want a bit more control over power, airflow, flavour and other features of their vape. Even the most basic mini mods usually consist of three parts: a juice tank, a replaceable coil and a power unit.
While mini mod-tank combos do offer more flexibility, they can also be more complicated for complete beginners to figure out. Above all, make sure that have a coil that is compatible with the mod you’re using, and that your not over-powering your device.
Benefits of mini mod e-cig combos for beginners
- much more flexibility and control over vapour quality than with pods or vape pens
- cost of replacement coils is cheaper than for pods
- bigger battery so more power storage and longer vaping between charges
- wider choice of vape coils
- more juice tank capacity than with many vape pens and pods
- ability to mix and match mods, tanks and coils (but check compatibility of parts)
Downsides of mini mod combos for beginners
- higher initial kit costs (£20-£50)
- you need at least a basic knowledge of coil types, resistance and wattage
- more parts so more to go wrong
How much should you ideally spend on your first e cig kit?
You shouldn’t spend too much on your first e cig or vape kit purchase, even if you can afford it. After all, you don’t want to end up with a kit that’s too snazzy for beginners to understand how to use.
Even if you’re vaping on a modest budget, you should be able to get a device or kit that is more than sufficient for your needs for £30 or less.
Here’s a rough idea of what you can expect to spend on a vape kit in the UK in 2021:
|Vape kit type||Typical UK price range (2021)|
|Beginner MTL Mod-Tank combos||£20 – £60+|
|Basic Pod Vape Systems||£10 – £30|
|Cigalikes and Vape Pens||£10 – £25|
What beginners should look for in their first vape starter kit
Here are a few things to look out for and help you make the right decisions when making that first crucial vape starter kit purchase:
Easy set-up and usability
As a new vaper, you’ll probably want to be able to start using your starter kit right away, and without too many set up issues to worry about.
So check how many parts it comes with, and go for a kit that’s as simple as possible to put together. Basic pod vapes and vape pen starter kits are best choice in this respect as they usually have no more than two or three sections.
But as well as a simple set-up, you should also choose a device that’s really easy for beginners to use.
Handy features like airflow and adjustable power controls are worthwhile in any vape starter kit. But if it’s simplicity you’re after, you may choose to forgo these options in favour of a more fool-proof design.
For beginner vapers, the wisest choice of vape device is a “mouth-to-lung“, (or MTL) device. MTL refers to the type of “coil” or vapour-making device inside your e-cigarette.
MTL-type e-cigarette devices, kits and parts are usually the first choice for beginners because they give you:
- a tighter draw (suction resistance)
- cooler vapour
- stronger flavours
- a more cigarette-like feel
- longer battery usage (more vaping time)
- easy set-up and maintenance
Some models are branded as “generic”, meaning you can switch between MTL and DL (direct-to-lung) modes. But in the beginning, it’s best to choose a dedicated MTL vape kit.
Disposable and pre-filled cartridge options
Though not the most flexible or economic option, kits with disposable or pre-filled cartridges, pods and vape coils are by far the best choice for beginner vapers at first.
Disposables work out more expensive in the longer term, but they do offer new vapers more simplicity and ease of use in the beginning.
Disposable cartridges are usually either blank (for you to refill yourself) or pre-filled (which you dispose of when flavour disappears).
The right shape, size and feel
For new vape users, that first device needs to feel right in terms of size, shape and texture, both in your mouth and in your hand. But these days, many e-cig devices are huge, bulky – and totally unsuitable for beginners.
In general, buying a smaller vape device is the wisest step for most new vapers. This is because they will:
- take you less time to charge
- be easier to carry around
- cost you less money
The right mouthpiece
New vape users often underestimate the importance of the mouthpiece (the bit you suck on) that come with their starter kit. But choosing a kit with the right size and shape mouthpiece can be make or break when it comes to feeling comfortable when you start vaping.
Many vape starter kits these days come with a choice of two or three mouthpieces, though they can also be bought separately.
If you’re new to vaping, it’s best to go for devices with thin, narrow mouthpieces if possible.
This is because a thin tip will give you more concentrated flavours by focusing more vapour onto your tongue. It will also generally feel smaller and more comfortable between your lips.
Power and charging features
Choosing a device with “built-in” power means you don’t need to access or remove the battery, and this is the simplest choice for beginners. With this power set-up, you just charge and recharge your vape device directly from a laptop or wall charger.
Ideally, beginners will need around enough battery power for one full day’s vaping. Most modern pod vapes, vape pens and mod tank starter kit packages will give you at least this much vaping time between charges.
Adjustable power gives you the option to make vapour stronger, warmer and tastier. And not having adjustable power functionality in your vape device means you will have less control over these factors.
That said, some new users prefer the simplicity of fixed power over the flexibility that variable power options offer.
Check “maximum output” of any device you want to buy. For MTL vaping purposes, maximum output need only be around 40W. This is because MTL coils generate less heat and generally work best at very low voltages (10-15W).
Finally, it’s best to check estimated charging time on whichever vape kit you have your heart set on. Acceptable charging times start from 30 minutes to one hour. After all, no beginner wants to wait much longer than that for their vape pen, pod or mod to recharge.
Kit contents checklist
As a brand-new vaper, it goes without saying that you’ll be looking for the best value for money in your first vape starter kit. And that means making sure you get as much stuff in your kit as possible. But what things should you expect to get in a good starter kit?
Use this checklist to make sure your new e cig starter kit contains these items as a bare minimum:
- power device (or “mod”)
- tank (if part of a mod-tank combo or vape pen)
- charging cable (ideally micro usb as well as wall charger)
- at least one spare vape coil or pod (some starter kits give you two or more)
- battery (unless device has built-in power)
- a choice of mouthpieces
- spare parts if relevant (glass tank parts if mod-tank-combo, rubber seals, screws etc)
- instruction manual
If you’re a total newcomer to vaping and just want to see what e cigs are all about, I think either ePuffer’s XPOD or Jac Vapour’s VIM are good kits to start with. These are relatively cheap kits to buy, are very simple to set up and use, and (unlike most other pod systems) can be refilled. Most importantly, I think both of these kits offer excellent flavour production and nicotine satisfaction.
Whichever e cig starter kit you end up choosing, bear in the mind the key features you should look for, and don’t rush into anything too quickly.