Best Vape Starter Kit 2018: Reviews of Good Vaping Setups for Beginners

Home / Best Vape Starter Kit 2018: Reviews of Good Vaping Setups for Beginners

Starting out in vaping can be a daunting proposition, to be sure! Vapes come in all different shapes and sizes, so to the newcomer, the sheer variety is often overwhelming. That’s not even to mention all the technical jargon and different components you’ll have to compare.

We’ve created this guide specifically to help you find your ideal vape starter kit! We’ve rounded up the best options in a number of different categories, such as vape pens, mods, and dry herb vaporizers.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know before buying your vape kit. We’ve also written in-depth reviews of all the models we recommend, so you’ll know exactly what you’re buying!

Check out our favorites!

Best Vape Pen Starter Kit

Best Vape Mod Starter Kit

Best Vape Starter Kit for Weed

V2 Pro Series 3X Vaporizer Kit complete
Eleaf iStick Pico 75W TC Starter Kit
v2 pro series 7
V2 Pro Series 3XEleaf iStick PicoV2 Pro Series 7
Our Rating: 4.5
Popularity: High
Our Rating: 4.5
Popularity: Medium
Our Rating: 4.5
Popularity: Medium
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Best Vape Pen Starter Kit Reviews

*these recommendations are just for juice and oils, with the exception of the V2 Pro Series 3X. For more pens that vape wax and dry herb, see our picks below!

1. KandyPens Slim

KandyPens Slim Vaporizer

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“the least you can spend for a vape pen that works well, satisfies, and lasts a long time.”

KandyPens’ Slim kit is the cheapest we recommend, though it’s not the cheapest on the market. This is the least you can spend for a vape pen that works well, satisfies, and lasts a long time. You can get it as cheaply as many e-cigs, even though it’s a far better performer and a more cost-effective way to vape!

We suggest it to folks who want to get into vaping without making much of an investment.


This is a zippy little vape pen! It heats in 5 seconds, faster than many full-size pens!

It’s as small as an e-cigarette. The Slim is very discreet, and super easy to carry around. You can fit it in your pocket, bag, anywhere. They come in black and white.

kandy-pens-slim-vaporizer all contentsThe best thing about the Slim is the value for money it provides. It’s actually cheaper than the cig-a-like Halo below! So, if you don’t mind refilling the pen yourself or having something that looks more like a vape than a cigarette, this one’s a very affordable choice.

You also save money over the long term, since the Slim refills just like full-size pens. Unlike pod systems like the JUUL, you’re not going to be locked into buying pre-filled cartridges at a premium cost. This one allows you to use any PG liquids you like, and you can buy in bulk to save money.

It works for both oils and e-liquids. The KandyPens isn’t the most sophisticated thing on the market, but it gets good flavor decent volume from any PG blend you use in it. At any rate, this certainly beats e-cigarettes from a convenience store! This probably won’t be your last vape but it’s the cheapest you can buy which will satisfy most people’s cravings.

“straightforward and easy to use”

Everything about the Slim is straightforward and easy to use. Its connections use standard threading, and all you have to do is puff to activate the battery. This is a direct-to-lung one, so it’s a bit different from a cigarette. You’ll get used to it in a few puffs, though!

kandy-pens-slim-vaporizer-apartThe battery lasts a lot longer than you’d think, for 180 mAh. The average user can probably get through a day, though heavier users may want to look at a bigger pen. It has USB charging, and the charger is included.

Most impressive of all: it’s covered by a lifetime warranty! That’s crazy-good for the price, and better than the warranty coverage on any of our other picks besides the V2’s. The generous warranty coverage is a key reason why this is one of the only pens in its price bracket that isn’t disposable.


It doesn’t come with any liquid or oil as is. You get empty applicator bottles, but be sure to add some supply in when you buy!

Replacement tanks are a bit expensive compared to your average atomizer, though the tanks do last a long time. In any case, they’re cheaper than cigarettes!

There aren’t many color options.

As you’d expect for the low price, the KandyPens has fairly cheap construction. It’s pretty sturdy, but it won’t last forever. If you spend more, you’ll find more metal parts.

This is a simple, no-frills vape pen. It has no adjustments, no controls, and no extra features. You’ll have to spend more for all those amenities.

It doesn’t do as well as the JUUL, V2 or Triton, from a performance standpoint. It’s about on par with the Halo G6, but our pricier picks are better in the flavor department, and they produce a bit more volume as well.

This one doesn’t have the option for pre-filled “pod” cartridges. If you want to go that route, look at the G6 or JUUL below.

2. Halo G6

g6 halo

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“the only true cig-a-like setup we recommend.”

Halo’s G6 kit is the only true cig-a-like setup we recommend. It’s fairly similar to your average e-cig from the outside, but it performs far above the level of your convenience store Blu! This is a true vape pen, even if it’s compact and simplified.

We suggest the G6 kit to anyone who wants a vape pen as close to cigarettes as possible. This has the classic look and feel, but has all the convenience, cost, and safety benefits as other vape pens. It’s more cost-effective than other cig-a-like’s, too, since you can get refillable cartridges for it!


One of the most frustrating things about the average e-cigarette is how short their working life is. Even if you get a rechargeable model, most cig-a-like’s will get you through half a day at most. Not only is the G6 not disposable, but it has surprisingly good battery life! At 280mAh, this will actually last longer than the (larger) KandyPens Slim!

The G6’s battery gives you about 200 puffs/charge. The average user should be able to get through an entire day with one of these. Even if you’re a steady puffer throughout your day, the G6 comes with a spare battery, so you can have a charged replacement on hand! They screw on and off, so it’s very easy to swap and keep your vaping going

Unlike nearly all other cig-a-like’s, which use only pre-filled pods, you can get both blank and pre-filled cartridges/cartomizers for the G6! Halo’s pre-filled pods are fairly reasonable, but being able to fill your own makes vaping with this much more affordable!

“The airflow is just like cigarettes”

It’s a cig-a-like, with the look and feel of a cigarette. If you’re someone who’s trying to kick cigarettes, but doesn’t want to switch to a bigger vape pen to do it, the G6 should be right up your alley. The airflow is just like cigarettes, too, so you don’t have to train yourself to breathe differently.

The best thing about the G6: it’s more like an e-cig than a vape pen in looks, but not in performance! This system will give you vapor quality on par with the KandyPens. It puffs out very good flavor, and decent volume, especially considering the size of the thing! There’s no burnt taste, either.

Overall, it’s the only cig-a-like vape pen we’ve reviewed that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re missing something. This won’t compete with the more expensive in the flavor department, but it’s actually really good with the Halo juices, since it’s optimized to work with them.

“the only cig-a-like vape pen we’ve reviewed that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re missing something”

Halo juices are made in the USA, unlike a lot of other inexpensive brands. They’re reasonably priced, and there are lots of good flavors with variable nicotine levels to choose from.

For something around the same price as the KandyPens Slim, there’s lots of value for money with this one! While the Slim doesn’t come with anything beside the vape pen and charger, the G6 is a total package.

You get the two batteries, 5 cartridges (either blank or filled), plus the charger (USB and wall are both included). There’s also a carrying case included. So, you can get vaping right out of the box, which you can’t do with the KandyPens as sold.

The batteries also come in a lot more color options than the KandyPens, so this one’s easier to personalize.


You can easily lose one of these, since they’re fairly small.

As with the KandyPens, there aren’t any adjustments or different settings on the G6. Likewise, our more expensive picks do produce better flavor/volume results, even though the G6 is great for its category.

There’s no lifetime warranty on this one, sadly. The batteries are covered for 60 days, but that’s the only coverage offered. That’s only disappointing when you compare it to the KandyPens, though. The Halo is in line with other cig-a-like’s in the warranty department.

3. Halo Triton II

Triton II Starter Kit

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“our recommendation to people who want lots of volume from a vape pen.”

The Triton II is an update to the original Halo Triton, which used to be a mainstay in our buying guides! The new version is even sleeker, with some extra power and noticeably better performance. It’s also a phenomenal value, since it comes with a whole host of replacement components and accessories!

The Triton II is our recommendation to people who want lots of volume from a vape pen. It’s perfect for cloud-chasers, and while more advanced vapers use a box mod for volume, this is a nice compact option for newcomers who know they like a more voluminous puff! If you’ve been dissatisfied with weak volume and a tame throat hit on e-cigs and smaller vape pens, give the Triton II a try!


The Triton II is a sub-ohm vape pen–a rare breed on the market! Sub-ohm atomization is what you want for producing big clouds of vapor with VG e-liquids. Usually, it’s found only in mods. This pen offers that kind of volume in a much smaller, sleeker format!

“one of the smallest sub-ohm devices out there”

In fact, it’s one of the smallest sub-ohm devices out there (Halo claims it’s the smallest on the market, period, but we can’t claim to have tried every single pen known to man)! The Triton II is nice and discreet, and fits easily in the pocket. You’ll be surprised to see the kind of volume such a small setup can crank out!

That’s despite the far greater capacity this offers compared to vape pens like the G6 or Slim. It packs a bigger battery (700mAh), as well as a bigger tank (2ml). Combined, that’s more than enough for all-day usage even if you’re a heavier user!

“more than enough for all-day usage”

All those features are well and good, but surely you’re wondering how this one actually performs. Well, let’s just say it makes a serious statement! As you’d want from a sub-ohm vape, it cranks out lots and lots of vapor. You get a lovely, smooth throat hit, with more volume than any other pen we’ve reviewed. This one doesn’t sacrifice flavor, either.

The results are much more robust than the G6 in both volume and taste. If you’ve tried vaping with something like the Slim or G6, but found that you weren’t satisfied, this ought to do the trick for only a slightly higher price.

halo trito control

This one’s also a bit more sophisticated than our cheaper recommendations. It has adjustable airflow, so you can adjust how the pen works with your breathing. You can suit it to direct-lung hits, or mouth-to-lung puffs. As a result, it’ll be more satisfying to a wider range of users.

Like any good vape pen, the Triton II has simple controls that don’t take long to learn. There’s a basic twist adjustment for air flow, then one button to turn the pen on, turn it off, and lock it. That’s it! The manual explains everything, but honestly, this is the easiest sub-ohm device on the market.

“the easiest sub-ohm device on the market.”

While it has a higher price tag than the Slim or G6, it includes quite a lot for your money:

  • two batteries
  • two tanks (good for keeping a spare, or for switching flavors)
  • three coil heads (atomizers)
  • two standard mouthpieces (plastic)
  • a wide bore mouthpiece (metal)

With so many extra components included, you can basically build two pens out of the box, though we would advise keeping the extra components as spares.

Still, there’s a heck of a lot of value to be had with the Triton! We think it’s one of the best deals out there right now. You also get the usual USB+wall chargers, plus a manual.

It’s built surprisingly sturdily for the price. Most of the components are metal or glass, and the whole thing feels nice in hand.

The Triton II comes with lots of color options, too.

It’s not much more expensive than the KandyPens or Halo G6, despite the fact that it offers much higher capacity and much more value.


While it cranks out volume that can rival some mods, it can’t compete with dual-battery mods in the charge length department. You’ll still need to charge this daily.

You can adjust the airflow, but there’s no adjustable voltage on this one. If that’s something you know you want, get V2 Pro Series 3X below, or go for a mod.

It has a rather short coverage period: 60-day warranty on the batteries, 90-day warranty on the charging equipment.

It’s certainly larger than the KandyPens Slim and the Halo G6, although it’s still very compact.

4. Juul

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“a completely seamless, effortless device that couldn’t be easier to use.”

The JUUL is the only pod system we recommend as a vape pen. It’s a far cry from other pod pens, though! The JUUL is all the range in the vaping community right now. It’s won all sorts of accolades from professional reviewers and is featured in just about every big magazine, from WIRED to Men’s Fitness.

We like the JUUL because it finally fulfills the promise of pod-style vape pens. It’s a completely seamless, effortless device that couldn’t be easier to use. If you’re all about convenience, and don’t want to bother with things like refills, drippers, and tanks, the JUUL will be perfect for you! It performs unlike any other pod system we’ve reviewed, and takes the least effort to use of anything on the market.


Using the JUUL is an absolutely seamless experience. All you have to do is add a pod and puff. Aside from keeping it charged that’s all you have to do. You don’t need to refill your tank, mess around with dripper bottles, or make any adjustments. Heck, you don’t even have to turn the thing on!

As far as user-friendliness and ease of use, vapes don’t come better than the JUUL. It just works! That’s why it’s one of the best vapes on the market for beginners. If you don’t want to bother learning about atomizers, coils, and all those other components, this is a way to get a great vape experience without having to!

JUULOf course, pod systems have been available for years. This is the first truly great vape among them, though! The JUUL performs like a normal refillable vape pen, even though it’s much smaller and much simpler. The flavor and volume are really superb, especially given that this is the size of your average USB stick! It’s totally satisfying, even though it’s hard to see how the size makes that happen.

“performs like a normal refillable vape pen, even though it’s much smaller and much simpler.”

Part of that’s down to the e-liquid, which is made using a salt nicotine proprietary to JUUL. The other part is down to the innovative design, which has been optimized to a T. While it won’t be for everybody, this is what happens when a company engineers everything from start to finish. The temperature control and delivery system are far better than traditional pod systems have offered.

This is a simpler design than any of our other recommendations, which is good news for people who hate complication! There are only two pieces to the JUUL: the main battery unit, and the pods. The pods include the tank, atomizer, and mouthpiece. You can change them all at once, where on a traditional vape pen you have to keep track of the liquid level and atomizer life on your own.

It’s surprisingly nice to have the mouthpiece integrated into the pods, too. You get a fresh one every time you start a new pod, and it’s one less piece to take apart and put together again.

“packed with smart features.”

There aren’t any controls or adjustments, but the JUUL is still packed with smart features. For instance, there’s a multi-purpose indicator light on the front, placed inconspicuously in the center. You just tap the surface twice to get a charge readout (green, yellow, or red lights). It also lights up depending on how strongly you pull.

Aside from the functionality, we couldn’t review the JUUL properly without talking about the fit and finish! It looks simply fantastic, and stands out with the distinctive pen-drive design. This thing comes in a few different colors, and they’re all a brushed metal finish which looks and feels super high-end.

“looks and feels super high-end.”

It’s very well made, too. Since it’s all metal aside from the pods, we can’t see how you’d do much to damage it. We haven’t heard of any other reviewers running into issues, either.

usb chargeAs with our other picks, the JUUL charges via USB. Its USB charger also doubles as a stand, and attaches magnetically to the bottom of the casing. It takes under an hour to get a full charge, and should last most people a full day.

It’s hard to overstate how incredibly compact this is. It’s really no bigger than a pen drive or a mini candy bar. You won’t find anything more inconspicuous or portable!

One thing that we were happy to find out: the pods aren’t all that expensive if you subscribe. They’re still pricier than refilling your own, but not by as much as you’d expect. You get a sample pack of 5 when you buy the JUUL, too.

It’s covered by a 1-year warranty, and while it’s only been on the market for a bit, has a superb track record so far.


There aren’t as many flavors as some other brands, and since you can’t refill pods yourself, there’s no way to expand your palette.

There are absolutely no controls or adjustments. You’ll either love it or not. If you know anybody with one, you may want to try theirs before you invest.

You can’t keep a spare battery handy, and the compact size does limit battery life. If you’re a heavier puffer, you’re going to have to charge this midday.

Something this small obviously doesn’t crank out the kind of volume the Triton II will. The flavor is definitely there, just not at a huge quantity.

It’s pricier than any other pod system we’ve come across, even though it’s relatively inexpensive for a vape pen.

Pods are always more expensive than refilling your own cartridges, even if you get a good subscription deal. You’re paying for the convenience of not having to fill your pen on a daily basis. If you’re fine with doing refills, save yourself some money with a different vape pen. If that kind of easy convenience appeals to you, the JUUL could certainly be worth it.

5. V2 Pro Series 3X

V2 Pro Series

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“the ultimate vape pen to start with”

Our top vape pen recommendation overall comes from V2. Their Pro Series has usually been at the top of our rankings, but this one is especially good. It’s an all-in-one which you can use to vape e-liquids, wax, or dry herb. It’s optimized for e-liquid, though, and gives you the kind of versatility and control you’d normally find in a big mod.

We think the 3X is the ultimate vape pen to start with, and the only one to choose if you’re planning to vape wax/dry herb along with your e-liquid. It’s versatile, portable, and powerful–an easy choice for the top of our rankings!


It’ll vape anything! The 3X is equipped to vape all manner of e-liquids, waxes, concentrates, and dry herb. If you buy one of these, it’s the only vape you need in your collection! That’s a lot of value for money, especially when you consider that it costs less than many pens which only do one thing.

“more versatile in the juice department than any juice-only vape pen!”

It’s particularly optimized for e-liquid, and is more versatile in the juice department than any juice-only vape pen! It comes with two cartridges, one for PG (flavor) and one for VG (volume). There are also 3 atomizers, interchangeable like the cartridges. The atomizers are each designed for a different kind of e-liquid.

By combining the cartridges and atomizers in different ways, you can cater the 3X to suit your exact e-liquid, as well as your personal preferences. Want lots of volume? The VG cartridge and sub-ohm atomizer crank out a ton. Vice versa at the other end of the spectrum. There’s really no taste you can’t cater to.

As well as being able to tweak the anatomy of the pen, you can change all the key settings. 3 variable voltage settings give you plenty of coil control, and they double as temperature adjustments in wax/dry herb modes. The atomizers also allow for airflow adjustments.

“As far as vape pens go, there’s nothing better”

To be perfectly honest, we’ve never used anything so versatile, short of a fully customized mod. And this is a lot more portable and user-friendly than a mod. As far as vape pens go, there’s nothing better for the perfectionist!

It performs admirably at any setting, too. The 3X has ceramic heating for even temp control, and high-end atomizers which produce very consistent flavor, with no burning whatsoever.

You get fantastic taste, and volume that competes with the Triton (as long as you’re using the sub-ohm atomizer). In short, it’s completely satisfying.

There’s nothing more satisfying than having completely leakproof cartridges, though, and that’s just what we found on the 3X. It’s all sealed up very tidily, and by far the least-messy all-in-one that’s crossed our paths.

“very user-friendly and straightforward”

It’s all very user-friendly and straightforward. There’s a battery life indicator light at the bottom, and it comes with a magnetic USB charging cord, like the JUUL. All the connections drop or click into place, so changing all the components is a lot easier than it might seem from the outside.

Perhaps the biggest convenience this one has over our other pen picks: pass-through charging! Pass-through charging lets you vape as the pen’s juicing up. Obviously, that’s a heck of a lot more convenient than having to wait. One charge should certainly last you all day in any case!

Despite the fact that it does so much, it’s still quite compact. This isn’t any larger than the Triton II, but it packs by far the most features inside. It edges out the Triton in capacity, too!

While it’s pricey compared to our other picks, it’s still relatively inexpensive. Most other all-in-one’s cost more, and work less well.

This is covered by a lifetime warranty. That certainly makes the high price tag a lot easier to stomach! The 3X hasn’t been on the market that long, but it feels solid to us, and we couldn’t find any reports of issues with reliability.


It’s optimized for e-liquid, which is the main reason we’ve recommended it here, and chosen the Series 7 (which is optimized for dry herb) for the dry herb/wax category. The 3X does a good job on everything, but it particularly excels with e-liquid.

This is very reasonably-priced considering how much it does. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s expensive as a starter kit, though. This is one to only buy if you know you’re sticking with vaping and will make full use of the V2’s many features.

The dry herb cartridge isn’t included in the kit. You’ll have to buy it separately if that’s something you want to vape.

Best Vape Mod Starter Kit Reviews

1. Eleaf iStick Pico 75W

Eleaf iStick Pico 75W TC Starter Kit

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“a perfect starter mod for the new vaper!”

The Eleaf iStick Pico 75W is a perfect starter mod for the new vaper! It covers all the basic features you want in a mod, with a simple, accessible design. Newcomers can easily find their way around the Pico! What we especially like is that it offers room to grow, too.

Since it’s available at a price comparable to vape pens, the Pico proves mods don’t have to be overcomplicated and super expensive to give you a good experience!


It’s super inexpensive, at least compared to other mods. The Pico doesn’t cost more than the average vape pen! It’s far less pricey than our other mod picks, but provides many of the same functions.

Unlike most other cheap mods, you don’t need to worry about finding a replacement tank. This one should last the life of the mod! The Pico comes with a sub-ohm tank, made from stainless steel and pyrex glass. It’s got a 2ml capacity, top-fill design, and integrated/hidden airflow controls.

eleaf preloaded coil setWe like that it comes pre-loaded with a coil set already, but also gives you another option right from the get-go. It comes with a few coils in the box: 0.3 ohm and 0.5ohm Kanthal’s. The 0.5 ohm coil comes pre-installed, so you can vape on day one. It’s nice to have another option on hand, though, for when you start to get confident and want to tinker.

“gives you lots of room to grow!”

eleaf vape partThe tank on this one gives you lots of room to grow! The Pico mod can handle anything from 0.05-3.5 ohms, depending on the mode you use. Nickel, titanium and stainless steel heating elements are all supported. As you figure out what you like, and experiment, it’ll be easy to modify along the way.

At the business end, the Pico really sets itself apart from your average inexpensive mod. Most that we’ve reviewed at this price cheap out on the mouthpiece, but this one doesn’t!

“the Pico really sets itself apart from your average inexpensive mod.”

It has a 510-threaded, drip tip mouthpiece. The key upgrade is that it’s heat-insulated, which is a rarity in the budget range! It doesn’t get too hot when you use it, even at the higher settings.

It only needs a single battery, which makes life easier for newcomers. You don’t have to worry about pairing batteries, or syncing the charges. Plus, it makes for a more compact mod.

eleaf quirky look

It’s very compact, at that! The Pico measures 45mm x 23mm x 70.5mm. It fits easily in your hand, and the battery sticks out 5mm to offset the mouthpiece. The whole thing is a neat little package which is easy to hold and easy to pack.

It’s cute, too. Most other mini mods don’t have a protruding battery, so the Pico definitely stands out with its quirky look. We know others might not love it, but we do. It’s like a little tank engine! It comes in 5 different colors/finishes, too.

“the Pico definitely stands out with its quirky look.”

It has all the basics you expect from a mod:

  • temperature control: 200-600 degrees F
  • wattage control: 1w-75w
  • custom temperature control modes (if you get to the point where you want to be coming up with your own coefficients. Chances are, if you’re buying something like this, you won’t be remotely close to doing that).

eleaf controlsWhile it’s not lacking in the features department, the controls are fairly straightforward and it’s easy to tell what you’re doing. The Pico has a nice, clean OLED display which tells you wattage, atomizer resistance, output temperature, and battery life.

There’s one big fire button on the edge and other controls on the bottom. Overall, it’s much easier to navigate than other inexpensive mods, which can be truly frustrating to make work.

eleaf pico micro-USB port

You can expect a decent amount of future-proofing, too. The Pico has a micro-USB port for firmware upgrades. Most other inexpensive mods aren’t updated at all, so it’s a decent advantage if you plan on expanding or modifying in the future.

This is a lightweight mini mod, but it’s anything but flimsy. It’s got nearly all metal parts, and they fit nicely together. The buttons are a bit plasticky, but at this price, that’s hardly a deal-breaker. It comes with spare O-ring seals to keep all the upper components leak-free, too.

All the components have 510 standardized threading, so you can swap them out easily as you expand/evolve your vaping.


You’ll need a single 18650 battery, since the kit doesn’t come with one-check our guide for recommendations!

Don’t forget to buy some e-liquid, too!

There’s only a 30-day warranty. We’re linking to MistHub, where you can get a few years of extra coverage at checkout, without adding too much to the price tag.

Obviously, this won’t last as long as something with dual batteries. We think pretty much anyone should get a full day from this, but you’ll definitely need to charge overnight.

2. Kanger Topbox Mini 75W

Kanger Topbox Mini 75W Starter Kit

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“a compact mod that has full-size build quality.”

Kanger’s Topbox Mini 75W mod kit is one of the most popular on the market. While it doesn’t have many features you won’t find on the Pico, it’s got even sturdier build quality and a few more conveniences to make your life easier. Think of it as the best in this format! We recommend it to people who want a compact mod that has full-size build quality.


The most obvious difference between the Topbox Mini and the Pico is the tank component. The Danger has a much bigger tank than the Pico–twice as big, in fact. At 4.0ml, it lets you go twice as long without filling, so this is a more practical compact choice for the heavy vaper.

“a more practical compact choice for the heavy vaper.”

vape-kits-kanger-topbox-mini-75w-starter-kit-8_grandeDespite the larger tank, we think this is still a very nice little package. Even with the extra room at the top, it still fits nicely in your hand. It’s a nice way to get some more capacity without moving up to a dual-battery mod.

At the business end, you’re looking at basically the same design as the Pico. The Kanger has a top-fill drip tip, insulated against heat transfer. So, nothing too remarkable here. It’s simple and serviceable. The only real difference: the Topbox can also be filled from the bottom, so do whatever floats your boat.

So, how does it actually perform? As similarly to the Pico as you’d expect from the specs! You get lots and lots of volume, plus flavor however you like it. The factory setup is catered to lower wattages, you you can make whatever tweaks you like.

It’s about the same in the versatility department, too. It features temperature and voltage control modes, just like the Pico. You can adjust between 7-70 watts, and you get a few different sub-ohm coil options in the kit. There are nickel (0.15 ohms) and stainless steel (0.5 ohms) Kanthal coil heads in the box.

As with the Pico, the Kanger has adjustable airflow integrated on the tank. There’s a nice range of tweaks to be made on the airflow, but you can also get specific mouth-to-lung atomizer heads separately, if you want something closer to a cigarette experience.

“built like a tank.”

This thing is built like a tank. While the Pico is far from flimsy, build quality is where Kanger really excels. The casing is all 304 stainless steel, and the tank is a combination of stainless steel and pyrex glass.

The Topbox has a sleeker look than the Pico, despite the larger tank. The battery doesn’t stick out on this one, and all the controls are located along the front. Where the Pico is quirky and unique, this one’s sleek and unobtrusive. It comes in 4 color options including a rugged stainless steel.

While the tank is the only major difference between the Kanger and the Pico, there are lots of clever design tweaks which make this one worth the extra cash. The logo doubles as the battery vent, leaving a simpler look. It’s better ergonomically as well: all the buttons are on the front, and the fittings are grooved on the outside, for easy twists.

Best of all the conveniences, you can charge it via micro USB! There’s no need to take the batteries out and purchase a special 18650 battery charger (as you have to do with the Pico and most other mini mods). You can just plug the whole mod in. Whee!

The Kanger supports all the same coil types as the Pico (nickel, titanium, stainless steel, and nichrome, plus Kanthal). You can expand it pretty much however you want, like the cheaper model. As low as 0.1 ohms atomizers are supported, and you can use its 510 connections for expansion and customization.

We particularly like that the Topbox comes with lots of accessories to justify the higher price. You get 0.5 ohm clapton and stainless steel coil heads, plus the Kanthal options we’ve already mentioned. Most impressive is the RBA you get, for building your own coil deck. This is really great to have when you start getting more confident and begin branching out. You can experiment with dripping and designing your own coil heads without buying anything extra!

“it’s the best place to start if you want to keep it compact.”

Like the Pico, it’s a relatively straightforward mod. The USB charging makes it less of a hassle to maintain, and having the controls all in one place will help newcomers as well. Overall, we think it’s the best place to start if you want to keep it compact.


It’s a lot more expensive than the Pico, for something that doesn’t provide much extra functionality. The Topbox actually has less of a range in wattage than the Pico. You’re mainly paying for the sturdier construction quality, as well as all the extra conveniences we’ve mentioned. There’s also the larger tank.

The painted (color) options aren’t as durable as the stainless steel, for obvious reasons. Any paint can eventually chip, so if you’re buying this for the sturdiness factor, you should probably go the all-metal route.

The manual’s not as good as what comes with the Pico. There’s a wealth of resources online, though, and this is a relatively uncomplicated design to navigate.

Despite the rugged build, the Kanger has an imperfect reliability record. Quality control is the main issue, as far as we can tell. We haven’t run into any issues ourselves, but some buyers reported issues right out of the box.

It’s only covered by a 30-day warranty. We’re linking to Mist Hub, where you can get one of these with extended coverage.

As with the Pico, you’ll need a battery and e-liquid.

3. SMOK Alien 220W


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“a good first mod for people who want to get serious”

SMOK’s Alien is at the top of nearly every box mod ranking you’ll find. There’s a good reason for that! It’s high-powered and provides a heck of a lot of value. While this is getting into advanced mod territory, we still think it makes a good first mod for people who want to get serious, and are prepared for a bit of a learning curve.

We recommend it to people who have used vape pens before, but are looking for a first mod that they’ll never grow out of. The Alien is actually the most powerful output box we recommend in a starter kit. Here, it’s paired with a smart, compact tank that packs lots of functionality into a more reasonable package.


With a whopping wattage range, this isn’t something you’ll ever grow out of. It tops out at 220W! So, if you’re after sheer power, the SMOK is where it’s at.

“this isn’t something you’ll ever grow out of.”

The box mod itself, the Alien, has temperature and wattage control, just like our cheaper picks. The difference is that the extra battery and the high-powered design adds a lot more oomph. That’s why this tops out higher than any of the other mods we recommend. It can be set between 6-220W, or 200-600 degrees F.

SMOK alien logoThere’s also a unique mode that’s more taste-based than specs like wattage or temp. You can vape using hard, normal, and soft presets. They adjust to your coils automatically, and they give the new user something more accessible to start out with. These settings are a key reason we recommend something like this as a starter kit, not just as an upgrade choice.

The SMOK’s grunt power is thanks to two 18650 battery ports, rather than the single battery you’ll find on the Pico or Topbox. Having an extra battery gives you higher wattage options, and it also means you’ll go further on a single charge.

“You may eventually want something fancier, but you won’t find more capability in another mod.”

As with our other mod picks, this is expandable and easy to customize. It has 510 threading and the box is compatible with atomizers ranging from 0.1 ohm to 3.0 ohm. Between its versatile capabilities and high wattage range, this isn’t something you’ll outgrow in a hurry. You may eventually want something fancier, but you won’t find more capability in another mod.

We know it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have this much range and this many settings. Thankfully, there’s a more elaborate screen on the SMOK. It tells you all the same things as the Pico and Kanger, plus battery readouts for each cell. There are also readouts for things like puff counts, vaping timers, and more.

Smok-Alien-220W-TC-Box-Mod-GoldThe upgraded OLED display makes it easy to keep track of everything on the box mod, especially if you’re not an expert. At the same time, the level of control and detail it gives you really suits someone who wants to get geeky. So, this is still accessible to get into, but takes you as far as you might want to go.

The Alien mod comes paired with SMOK’s Baby Beast sub-ohm tank and coil set. It’s a midrange tank size, coming in at 3ml. That’s right between the Pico and Topbox. Like our other picks, it has adjustable airflow, stainless steel/glass construction, and a top-fill drip tip.

The Baby Beast is something we recommend as a component by itself, so let’s just say we’re super pleased to see it on a kit at this price! This is a great way to get it with a box mod which will make full use of its capabilities.

Out of the box, it comes with two coil head options:

  • dual coil 40-80 watt
  • octuple coil 50-110 watt

They’re as much as most people will need starting out, but the Baby Beast is capable enough that you can also use practically any coil you like.

As with the Topbox, you can charge it via USB. You can also get firmware upgrades that way, and make sure you’re set to run this for the long haul.

It’s rugged and reliable. It’s all metal, glass, and carbon fiber. All the many finish options are equally well-made, too, so you don’t have to worry about picking one that won’t last as long as the others.


It’s expensive. This will probably cost as much as twice the price of the Pico. We don’t suggest it to folks who aren’t positive they want a mod.

You should have some experience vaping before buying something like this. It’s simple to navigate, but having so many options and settings will be overwhelming if you’ve never even used a vape pen.

Something this powerful can be dangerous, if you don’t know what you’re doing. Start with the included coil sets and then make sure you watch plenty of tutorials before experimenting with your own coils.

Can you find a better box mod? Definitely. We’ve got higher-end recommendations in our box mod guide. But for a starter kit, we think this is as good as you need.

Top Vape Starter Kit Reviews for Wax and Dry Herb

1. KandyPens Mini

KandyPens MINI Vaporizer

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“If all you want to do is vape wax, look no further!”

vapes: wax

The KandyPens Mini is our favorite starter kit for vaping wax. It’s simple, affordable, and a surprisingly good performer. While advanced users might want something fancier, the Mini has the same functionality and consistency as most models twice the price. If all you want to do is vape wax, look no further!


It’s nice and compact. Some wax pens can be quite bulky, but this one’s comfortably hand-sized. It’s wider and squatter than other wax pens, which allows for a bigger heating chamber in a smaller package!

While a lot of small wax pens take ages to get to a usable temperature, the Mini heats quickly, in about 5 seconds. There’s no frustrating lag, and in our experience, it gets to temp reliably every time.

“it gets to temp reliably every time.”

Unlike the vast majority of cheap wax pens, it has variable temperature control. That’s important for getting each specific wax to vape well without burning or under-producing. You can choose between settings at 350°, 390° and 430°F. It’s as much of a range as most people need, and it gives you something to suit nearly all waxes.

It has a smart timer built in, too. The Mini automatically shuts off after 10 seconds to prevent burning. You might think that would be an obvious feature on any wax pens, but a lot of starter models leave it out.

“a remarkable performer, given how compact and affordable it is.”

The Mini is a remarkable performer, given how compact and affordable it is. Wax pens aren’t known for their volume, but this provides a satisfying throat hit as well as ample flavor. You don’t get any of the burnt notes that you’d normally expect from something so inexpensive.

kandypens_mini coilThat’s all thanks to the coil-less atomizer, which uses the same kind of ceramic plate as much pricier pens. It gives you slow, even heat so that you get a lot of vapor from your concentrates without pushing them to burn. You can also get a newer quartz version, but you have to buy it separately (we think the ceramic one is fine).

kandypens_mini_atomizer_1Another common issue with cheap wax pens which the Mini avoids is leaky heating chambers. This one has a deep dish and elevated airflow design, which keep things from leaking when you travel around. And, of course, everything’s as nicely sealed as you’d want.

“should comfortably get you through your day.”

With a 950 mAh battery, the Mini should comfortably get you through your day. A lot of other wax pens will only last a few short vaping sessions before they need to be charged. This is a very capable lithium ion battery, which is not a given on inexpensive pens!

The battery is also easier to maintain than on other small wax options. It has pass-through charging, so you can vape as you power up. And since via mini USB, you can charge just about anywhere.

It has an auto shutoff for safety, so you don’t end up with the vape heating up in your bag.

It comes in 6 color options, and all the components attach via 510 threading. So, you can mix and match different color components for funky looks.

KandyPens are very safe investments, since they’re covered by lifetime warranties! Compare that to other wax pens under $50, which are pretty much disposable. This is a no-brainer if you’re trying to spend money wisely.

Everything you need to get vaping is in the box, aside from wax. It comes with a charger, dab tool and a helpful manual.


It only vapes wax and waxy concentrates. If you want something more versatile, have a look at one of the V2 Pro Series models below!

You may or may not find that the ceramic heating plate floats your boat. We like it well enough, but quartz is definitely the way of the future. Still, even if you add on the cost of the quartz atomizer, this is more affordable than a Dr. Dabber that does the same thing. We think this is all you need to pay for a wax starter kit.

Having said that, it’s a lot pricier than a comparable pen for e-liquid. That’s generally true of wax and dry herb pens, though.

2. V2 Pro Series 7

v2 pro series 7

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“our recommendation to people who want to vape primarily dry herb, with some wax or e-liquid on the side.”

vapes: dry herb, wax, oil, and e-liquid

V2’s Pro Series is where it’s at for versatility these days. The pens in the Pro Series vape absolutely everything well. The V2 Pro Series 7 is our recommendation to people who want to vape primarily dry herb, with some wax or e-liquid on the side. While pricey, it offers lots of value for your money, and it’s a super user-friendly design.


Its wider body gives it a bigger capacity than other all-in-one pens, such as the V2 Pro Series 3X. These two models are the only all-in-one’s we recommend.

They’re about the same level of quality and performance, but the 7 is optimized for dry herb where the 3X puts an emphasis on e-liquid performance. The 7 is also the larger of the two.

Thanks to the larger casing, the 7 fits more in battery and in the cartridge. At 1800mAh, all-day use is easy to get on one charge. And packing dry herb into this one is much easier than the 3X. You can get more hits from the same cartridge, too!

“more compact than most other dry herb pens, not to mention all-in-one’s.”

That’s all despite the fact that it fits easily in your hand, and doesn’t abandon a sleek pen profile! The Series 7 might be the larger V2, but it’s still more compact than most other dry herb pens, not to mention all-in-one’s.

Of course, size isn’t everything. The 7 also excels in the precision department. Its variable voltage and temperature settings give you lots of control over the quality of your vape.

“excels in the precision department.”

You have three different levels to vape at, in any mode. If you’re picky about your dry herb vapor, you’ll really appreciate the precision. It’s good for getting the best results from your wax and e-liquid as well.

As we mentioned, the 7 is optimized for dry herb. In addition to the larger chamber, it has fast 30-second heating time for the heating chamber, and replaceable mesh filters to help keep things tidy as you go through your herb.

Switching between vaping modes is easier than with any other all-in-one we’ve reviewed. That includes the Series 3X! The 7 has cartridges for each mode, which click into place magnetically.

The cartridges have integrated mouthpieces, so all you have to do is pull one out and drop another in. Bam. Compared to taking half your pen apart and putting it together again, this is much, much more convenient.

Another very convenient feature: the system automatically recognizes each cartridge type. Once you’ve dropped one in, it’ll choose a voltage/temperature setting it thinks is appropriate. Then, the light flashes to let you know it’s ready.

You can also select your settings manually, but the automatic feature is handy for folks who are new to vaping. The 7 will give you the results most people prefer, then you can tweak further if you want. Our favorite starter pens have a balance between accessibility and adjustments and the 7 strikes that perfectly.

So, how’s the performance? Pretty phenomenal! A lot of it’s down to being able to dial in your settings for each vaping mode. Regardless of which you use, though, you get lots of volume and the flavor is excellent. Even the high temp settings won’t burn your herb.

“hits are extremely smooth, and they have a deep, rich flavor.”

It’s especially good with dry herb, though that shouldn’t come as any surprise. The hits are extremely smooth, and they have a deep, rich flavor. This one really suits someone who buys quality herb.

It’s much easier to keep this one neat than other dry herb vapes. There’s a removable screen in the dry herb cartridge, which makes your cleaning easier. The 7 comes with a brush and scraper tool, as well.

There are smart design features all over this thing, but the charging setup is our favorite. The 7’s charging cord attaches magnetically. It’s a USB charging format, so you can plug it in practically anywhere, including through the wall outlet that’s in the box. Best of all, the pass-through design allows you to vape as you charge (something most dry herb pens don’t allow for).

While this isn’t as stunning a design as something like the DaVinci IQ, it looks great. You can get it in black, blue, or steel.


It doesn’t include the wax cartridge as-is. Plan on adding that to your cart if you want to vape wax with this setup.

It’s bulkier than the Pro Series 3X, which is the other all-in-one we recommend. Check that out if you want something slimmer which does everything

This one doesn’t offer as much control for e-liquid vaping, either. The 3X is much better in that department, although it’s not as good as the 7 for dry herb. The 7 has only one liquid cartridge, where the 3X has different interchangeable atomizers and cartridges to suit different types of e-liquid.

This is getting into the pricier end of the spectrum, though it’s by no means the most expensive vape pen for dry herb. The 3X is a more affordable choice, but we do recommend that people who vape mainly dry herb invest in this one.

3. DaVinci IQ


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“the best on the market right now for dry herb.”

vapes: dry herb

The DaVinci is one of the most expensive options on the market for vaping dry herb. Still, we think it’s a worthy starter kit for dry herb vapers who know they’re going to get their money’s worth from it! The IQ gives you the kind of control, customization, and overall quality that even the Pax and Firefly can’t match. It’s truly the best on the market right now for dry herb.

If you know you’re going to be vaping dry herb regularly, and are picky about both your herb and the vape experience, this is the ultimate way to get it perfect from the start.


We love the DaVinci because its designers clearly appreciate the fact that everyone likes their kush a bit differently, and that every different strain of herb deserves its perfect treatment.

That’s something you can see in the precision and customization you get with the finished product. You can find a mode or path to suit any preference, and get exactly the temperature you want for your herb.

There are a total of 4 different running modes:

boost: cranks things up to the max for a strong hit with lots of volume

smart path: 4 predetermined temperature path settings, all of which are fun to try out. They give you different arcs to your vape session, and adjust the temp automatically throughout. For instance, you can have a slow burn to the finish, a big hit at the end, or a big hit at the beginning, then a gentle let-down.

precision mode: adjusts the precise temperature of the chamber, so you can do things exactly how you like. The heating chamber can be adjusted between 250-430 degrees F, and you can get control right down to the degree! It’s much more precise than the Series 7 above.

“shockingly easy to navigate.”

For something that doesn’t have a screen, the IQ is shockingly easy to navigate. You can of course see exactly what you’re doing when you use the app, but the housing on the actual vape has a set of 51 LED lights in a matrix, which turn into a display of sorts.

davinci temperatureThey’ll spell out temperatures, show the different smart path icons, etc. We thought it’d be a gimmick at first, but it’s rather brilliant.

Like all the best gadgets these days, the IQ is fully connected. It’s bluetooth-enabled, so you can connect it to your smartphone. That’s how you can use its innovate app controls for the ultimate in smart vaping!

“the ultimate in smart vaping!”

There are buttons, too, for when your phone isn’t handy and you just want something simple (you can do nearly everything manually, but it’s much, much easier with the app).

The app is great because it’s the furthest thing from simple two-button controls, and having to remember all the different things each button does. Everything’s more intuitive, and you don’t have to remember any different presses, taps, or anything like that.

It also expands the IQ’s functionality, which is why we don’t recommend to this to people who don’t have a smartphone/don’t want to use one for vaping. It’s through the app that you really get the full experience.

davinci phone appThe app lets you program your own temperature paths for your ideal vape session, and it keeps records so you can test things out and see which temps you want to tweak. That’s all more than beginners will do at first, but it’s the kind of thing which means you won’t be growing out of the IQ.

We love how zippy and intelligent the heating system is, too. The IQ heats up even faster than the V2, taking just 16 seconds. It also has haptic feedback built in, which lets you know when you’re ready to go!

“zippy and intelligent”

Now that we’ve covered all the key features, we’re sure you’re wondering how much of that design comes across in the final product. Pretty darn close to all of it! The IQ demonstrates phenomenal performance, in every mode. The vapor taste is outstanding–clean, smooth, with zero harshness. It makes a surprising volume from a dry herb vape, too!

A lot of the taste factor is down to the IQ’s all-ceramic airway. Zirconia ceramic is 20x hardier than glass, but it has glass’s ability to preserve the taste of your herb without anything muddying things up. Everything up to and including the mouthpiece is made from ceramic. The IQ also has a secondary taste chamber which cools the vapor slightly and allows it to concentrate further. All in all, it’s the best tasting dry herb vape on the market right now.

“the best tasting dry herb vape on the market right now.”

If you want an even smoother experience, there’s a 10mm water adapter included as well. It makes a nice extension to the mouthpiece, and gives you yet another option for an already versatile device.

This is a very compact pen, about the same size as the V2 Pro Series 7. Even with the compact, hand-friendly footprint, it’ll definitely get you through a day’s vaping. The IQ’s 2g chamber gives you all the herb most people need in a day, and the battery offers about 1.5 hours of total vaping time.

Unlike the vast majority of dry herb pens, you can replace the battery! It’s not a proprietary power cell–just a standard 18650 you can buy anywhere. It’s very easy to pop one out and pop a new one in.

That’s a key advantage for two reasons: first, you can swap batteries to get more runtime before you charge up. More importantly, when one battery wears out, you can just get another, rather than getting a whole new vape. With the integrated batteries most vape pens use, you have to replace everything once the battery goes kaput.

As you’d want from a premium pen, it has USB charging, and a pass-through design. Not only can you charge the battery in the pen, but you can keep vaping while you do so.

davinci cleaning tools

It’s as easy to maintain as the V2 Pro Series 7. The DaVinci actually comes with more cleaning tools in the box, too.

It’s sleek, sexy, and comes in 4 finishes. In fact, this might be the best-looking dry herb vape pen we’ve ever reviewed.

While expensive, the IQ is definitely a safe investment. It has no reliability or durability issues, plus it’s covered by a10-year warranty.


It only does dry herb. This can’t be modified or accessorized to do wax, oils, or e-liquids. It’s for someone who just vapes dry herb.

The ceramic construction does get a bit warm if you use it at the highest setting for a long session. It’s never dangerously hot, though, and we’ve never found it uncomfortable.

This is mighty expensive, especially if you’re thinking of getting it as your first vape. Don’t spend this much unless you know you’ll be a daily user and get your money’s worth from all the features. If you’re not super fussy about temperature and things like that, just get the V2 above.

If you don’t have a smartphone, you’re definitely missing out. The manual controls do pretty much everything, but it’s all smoother through the app, and being able to customize suits picky people really well. We only recommend this to people who will actually use the connectivity.

See also:

V2 Pro Series 3X

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The V2 Pro Series 3X is a lot like the Series 7 we’ve recommended in this category. It’s a premium all-in-one from V2, only sleeker than the 7. The 3X is also optimized for e-liquid, where the Series 7 is optimized for dry herb. The 3X does a good job on everything, though, and it’s more affordable than the 7. We’ve got a complete review above, in our vape pen starter kit category!

KandyPens Slim

KandyPens Slim Vaporizer

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The KandyPens Slim features in our recommendations for vape pen starter kits, too. We usually recommend it for e-liquid, but you’ll also find that it’s great for oils/concentrates. If those are the only things you want to vape besides e-liquid, the Slim is a super affordable, convenient choice! Check out our full review above.

Buying Guide

As you’re considering which of our recommendations would be your ideal vape starter kit, there are lots of different things to bear in mind. In this portion of our guide, we’ll help you narrow down exactly what you’re looking for. Here are the key things to think about:

Know what you want to vape

All vapes are designed to vape specific things. Some are only meant for e-liquid, while others are meant just for dry herb. Some work for 2 different kinds of vaping, and some do absolutely everything. Before you start comparing specific models, be sure you know exactly what you want to vape! That’ll help you narrow down your options quickly. We’ve also sorted all our starter kit picks into categories, including one specifically for vaping wax or dry herb.

Decide on a format

If you’re going to be vaping e-liquid, there are quite a few options before you. One way to quickly narrow down what you want is to choose a format. Vapes for e-liquid come in the form of either a vape pen, or a vape mod.

Vape pens are the smallest and sleekest, since they’re shaped like a pen. They’re thin, long, and very easy to pack/carry. The upsides are obvious: vape pens are the easiest to carry around during your day, and they’re the least conspicuous to use. The downside is that they don’t have the kind of battery life or tank capacity that you can get in a larger mod.

Vape mods are often marketed to advanced users, but the fact is that they can be a practical alternative for many people starting out with vaping. Mods are usually boxier than pens, although some are still cylindrical. Mods are different because they have larger batteries (many have 2), larger juice tanks, and more controls. They’re a good way to start for people who want lots of puffs through the day. Also, if you’re a perfectionist who likes lots of adjustments and controls, they’ll be a lot more satisfying to use.

There’s also a decision to make within the vape pen category. Vape pens are made either as pod systems, which use pre-filled “pods” of e-liquid, or as refillable tank and atomizer combos. Pod setups are more convenient, since you don’t have to bother dripping liquid into your tank and so forth. Refillable setups are much less expensive to use long-term, since e-liquid is cheaper in bulk, and you won’t be stuck with proprietary pods. Think about which is more appealing to you. Remember that even a pod system will be cheaper than buying cigarettes!

You can learn more about the anatomy of a vape pen by visiting our complete Vape Pen guide!

Know your interest level

Regardless of what you’re going to vape, and how you’re going to vape it, you should take a moment to think about what your interest level is. Figure out whether you want something simple and straightforward, or whether you really want to “get into” vaping with adjustments, settings, and options.

If you’re just looking to wean yourself off cigarettes, you may want something simple. A lot of simplified vape starter kits can give you a satisfying experience without having to fiddle with buttons, settings or adjustments. Likewise, if you want to vape dry herb or wax, and aren’t super picky, you can save money by getting something simple.

On the other hand, if you want to enjoy vaping as something more than a smoking substitute, you may want something that gives you more options and control over the vaping experience.

The same is true for people who are picky about their dry herb or wax. More elaborate vapes let you tweak the temperature, the vapor quantity, and other factors like those. These are also good choices for people who aren’t easily satisfied by vaping, since you can get exactly what you need to keep the cigarette cravings at bay.

So, think about how picky you are, and where you see yourself going with vaping. Are you a perfectionist? How much control do you need/want? What kinds of juice, herb, etc do you buy? Thinking about all of this up front will help you make the perfect choice.

Figure out how much you want to spend

It always helps to have a firm grasp of your budget before you shop! That’s certainly true of shopping for vape starter kits. The recommendations in this guide range from ~$25-~$250, so there’s certainly a wide spectrum of options.

First things first, figure out how much you can actually afford to spend right now. There’s no point thinking about things like a vape’s long-term costs if you don’t have the cash to actually by the starter kit in the first place.

Then, think about what you consider a reasonable amount to spend. To help you narrow things down, ask yourself: are you looking for something to try, something to get you through until you buy something better, or something to keep for good?

Here are some ballpark figures to get you started:

  • Vape pens generally cost between $25 and $75 (with the exception of all-in-one’s, which usually cost $75-$200).
  • Vape mods start around the same price ($25), but can cost as much as $300. The starter kit mods we recommend top out around ~$75.

Dry herb and wax vape pens are the priciest things to buy. Plan to spend between $75 and $300 for one of these, even if you’re looking for a basic entry model.

Be sure to know the long-term costs of a particular vape setup before you commit to buying!

Vape pens for e-juice have some of the highest long-term costs. You’ll have to buy either replacement pods, or replacement refillable atomizers. Pods usually last a day or two at most, while atomizers usually last a week or two each.

Dry herb and wax pens tend to last very well without replacement components. They don’t use coils, and the ceramic/quartz heating components in their chambers don’t wear out often. So, the only upkeep costs you’ll have are cleaning implements.

Mods need to have the coils and wicks changed. That’s much cheaper than changing the atomizer on a pen, but takes more effort and skill from you. Or, you can buy preset coil heads from the manufacturer. Even these are cheaper than entire atomizers for pens.

We always like to remind readers that while a given vape kit might look pricey up front, even the most expensive will be significantly cheaper than cigarettes long-term. And for dry herb vapers, you’ll find you get a lot more out of each gram!

Think about size

Whether you’re looking at vape pens or mods, there’s a pretty big range of sizes to choose from. You can find super compact models in any category, and the same is true of larger options.

Think through how you’ll be carrying your vape around, and where it might need to fit. Do you need it to fit in your pocket? Or will it be carried in your bag?

It’s also a good idea to think about conspicuous you want your vape to be. Think about where you vape, as well as who sees.

If you’re in a home, workplace, or social circle where nobody really thinks twice about vaping, this may not be a concern. But especially when it comes to dry herb vapes, you may want to consider how obvious a vape you’d want to be seen carrying or using.

Also be sure to know what fits comfortably in your hands. There are ways to find something comfortable in any category! For example, mini mods are perfect for people who want a bit of extra capacity and customization without all the bulk.

Remember that the smaller your vape is, the smaller the battery and tank will have to be to fit inside. Make sure you don’t get something so small that it’s impractical for you. Many light to average users can get a full day from something small. If you need lots of puffs/hits to stay satisfied, you may want to look at something larger.

Controls vs. convenience

We’ve already talked about whether or not you might want something simple or something more complicated. On a similar note, you’ll want to weight convenience vs. controls. The more controls a given vape has, the more effort it usually takes to use, and vice versa. On the other hand, if you can’t get the experience you want from something simple, then the fact that it doesn’t require as many clicks doesn’t help you much at all. Try and find the right balance for you!

Get the real thing

As with any gadget or appliance, knock-off vapes are all over the market. There are lots of scummy companies trying to make a buck at your expense, so be sure to buy from an authorized reseller or the manufacturer themselves.

There are any number of reasons to carefully avoid knock-off vapes. They’re dangerous, for one thing. They won’t have properly inspected or manufactured batteries, so they’re a fire and explosion risk. They often don’t have any heat insulation or overload protection, either. Disreputable knock-offs can produce harmful fumes from poor manufacturing, too.

More than anything else, e-liquid from knock-off sources or cheap importers can be downright toxic. Studies have found chemicals like formaldehyde in many e-liquids, so be sure to get yours from an American manufacturer who uses FDA-approved ingredients and discloses all the ingredients online.

All the links in our buying guides are to reputable vendors or manufacturers’ web stores. Using our links is the quickest safest way to get a legitimate, authorized vape starter kit.

Figure out what else you need

Before you head to the checkout with one of these vape starter kits, check to make sure it has everything you need in the package! If not, be sure to add everything in before you buy. A lot of kits come with some e-liquid, but many don’t. You may also need to throw in an 18650 battery or two, if you’re buying a mod. We’ve made sure to note in our reviews whether you’ll need to buy anything extra.

Room for expansion?

Last but not least, remember that this is a vape starter kit. You’re buying it at the beginning of your vape journey, but you don’t want to grow out of your kit in a hurry. So, be sure your kit does everything you want it to do. If it doesn’t, check to see whether you can modify or upgrade it later. Are there add-on accessories you can get? Doing lots of research is the key to making a good long-term investment!

What’s Next

Hopefully, you’ve found at least one or two vape starter kits here that are up your alley! To find out more about any of our recommendations, click on the links in our reviews! That’s the best way to check current prices, and to buy from an authorized reseller!

If you’re still searching for your ideal vape setup, head to our homepage! We’ve written buying guides and tutorials to cover all your vaping needs! Check out our guides to RDA’s, 18650 batteries, and more.