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VU202 Upgrading From a Starter Kit

It's that time, and I think we all know it. When you were a freshman vaper, that starter kit made perfect sense. It was convenient, and tiny, and it taught you what you needed to know: that vaping was right for you.

Over time, though, the limitations of a starter kit have started to show. What once was adorable diminutiveness is now a lack of battery life; what once was convenience is now a straightjacket. You've outgrown your starter kit, but you're not really interested in shopping around for a separate tank or rebuildable atomizer, plus a regulated mod. You want to keep it simple, but you want more flavor, more battery life, and more flexibility. You want a kit, but not a starter kit. Congratulations: you're not a freshman anymore, you're a sophomore - which, contrary to folk wisdom, doesn't mean "sophisticated moron", but rather actually means "clever device". So let's look at some clever devices and see what the next step might entail for you.


There are a number of reasons to upgrade from a starter kit, and each of them match an advantage to the next step in hardware, which is a mod and tank. Often, mods and tanks are still sold together as kits, but we'll be offering some recommendations for well-matched hardware that doesn't come in a kit, as well.

The Good Kind of Regulation

All the mods we're going to recommend are regulated mods, which is to say they've got circuitry in them that regulates the flow of electricity, from your battery, to your coils. Regulated mods are not only generally safer, as they include a number of battery safety features built in, but they also make sure the voltage you're getting from your mod stays consistent throughout the day. As you may remember from your Intro to Vaping course, unregulated devices like starter kits leave you at the mercy of your battery charge: if you've only got half a charge, you only get half a hit. Regulated devices keep your battery feeding the same power until it's no longer able to.

The Power to Make Your Own Decisions

Separate tanks include a number of features that starter kits don't, including a variety of prebuilt coils, lots of drip tip options, and touches like adjustable airflow that help you tune your vaping experience. Their coil ecosystems usually include not just one or two, but several options for airflow, resistance, and ideal voltage, all with different tastes and feels.

Box mods, though, are where the real customizability is at. Most regulated mods - and all those we're recommending - allow variable wattage / variable voltage (VW/VV), which lets you choose how much energy is reaching your coils, how hot the vapor is, how much vapor is produced. From a cool draft to a hot wind, you can control exactly the experience you're looking for from vaping, if you've got a regulated mod with variable wattage. Beyond that, most high-end regulated mods generally include temperature control functionality, which you might not need right now, but which we think you'll find - after our lesson on the subject, of course! - quite delightful.

These step-up box mods are also simply more powerful, jumping from the barely-double-digit wattages of starter kits up to hundreds of watts, but they can do all that and everything in-between. If you're looking for a warmer, more flavorful vape, with better vapor production, you've got to set aside the starter kit and make the next leap.

Batteries and You

Box mods generally have much larger batteries than starter kits, and this is one of their major benefits, but be aware mods come in two types: internal batteries and removable batteries. Internal batteries are convenient, and allow for easy on-the-go charging from any USB port, but once they're empty, you can't swap them out for a new battery: you have to charge them in the device.

Conversely, removable battery mods use standard vape batteries, generally in 18650 sizes, which can be swapped out at any time, but which generally cannot or should not be charged in the device, meaning you need a little more kit to make the most of them, including a vape battery charger to charge your cells, and vape battery cases to store and transport them. Damaged vape batteries, like any battery, can be dangerous, so it's very important removable batteries be stored and transported safely. If you're not quite ready for that responsibility, perhaps an internal battery is an easier choice!

Higher Capacity Everything

Whether internal or removable, box mods have larger, longer-lasting batteries, and tanks have much larger juice capacities. Tired of recharging and refilling? Yeah, it's time for a box mod and a tank.

Recommendations, Tho?

So enough about considerations, how about some actual examples, along with pros and cons for each of them, to help you decide which box mod and tank you want. We're going to give you four options, including a couple of alternate options, and talk a little about how each of them address the considerations above.

Eleaf iStick 40W Mod with Kanger Genitank Mega Tank

A fantastic step above the basic starter kit, the Eleaf iStick 40W is an internal battery device that's small and easy to use, but has additional features like temperature control that give you some room to grow. The Kanger Genitank Mega is legendary, and uses Kanger VOCC-T vape coils, for ease of replacement and great flavor.

Kanger TOPBOX Mini TC-75 Starter Kit Alternate: Kanger TOPBOX Nano TC Starter Kit
Kanger's TOPBOX Mini is virtually identical to our alternate, the TOPBOX Nano TC. Both are single-battery removable 18650 devices, and both take Kanger's truly exceptional Kanger SSOCC vape coils, which also come in Kanger SSOCC Clapton coils for added flavor, and Kanger Ni200 SSOCC temperature control coils! The major differences between the two kits are the Nano's smaller size (and thus tank capacity), a small wattage difference (75 watts for the Mini and only 60 for the Nano), and the selection of colors (the Mini comes in black, red, and white, while the Nano comes in black, pink, and purple).

Eleaf iStick Pico Mod with Smok TFV8 Baby Beast Tank Alternate: Smok Alien 220W Mod with Smok TFV8 Big Baby Beast Tank

The Eleaf iStick Pico - also available in the beautiful Eleaf iStick Pico Resin variant - is a high-quality single-18650 removable-battery mod with a maximum wattage of 75 watts. It pairs perfectly with the Smok TFV8 Baby Beast tank, whose small diameter is perfect for the space limitations of the Pico. The Baby Beast uses the excellent Smok TFV8 Baby Beast coils, which come in a wide variety to suit your needs, whatever they may be.

The alternate here is for someone looking for a little bit more, all around: the Smok Alien takes two removable 18650 batteries, for increased battery life, and goes all the way up to 220 watts. By eliminating the Pico's clearance issues, it also allows the full-sized Smoke TFV8 Big Baby Beast, which uses those same great TFV8 coils, but has a massive 5 ml vape juice capacity.

Geekvape Aegis Kit

Finally, we reach the Aegis. This mighty mod is virtually indestructible, and is IP-rated for waterproofness and dust rejection, as well as shock resistance. This is the mod for the hunter, the hiker, the soldier, the first responder, or just those of us clumsy enough to get sick of constantly replacing our mods. The Aegis kit comes with the excellent Geekvape Shield tank, which accepts those awesome Smok TFV8 Baby Beast coils we were talking about before. This is the step-up if you measure your years in number of busted phone screens.

And Finally...

As always, if you have any questions or need any one-on-one tutoring, stop into one of our local Mister-E's or BloNoSmoke vape shops and try out a variety of devices! If that's a long walk, hey, we're online, we get it: please don't hesitate to contact us, either by phone at 855-647-8373, by email at, or via live chat on any page of If social media's more your thing, you can find us on Facebook or Instagram: we're always happy to help!

Thank you for joining us today at Vape University. Class dismissed!

If you'd like to get all this information without the troublesome reading, check out the video version of today's lesson, below!

WARNING: This product contains nicotine.
Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

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