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I’m just going to go right ahead and declare 2018-2019 as the years of vape pods. They’ve burst into life over the last few months, haven’t they? It seemed like everyone replaced their traditional cigalikes, vape pens, and box mods with something more compact, discreet, and easier to vape. And those are just the tip of the iceberg as far as pod-style vape device benefits are concerned. I can think of plenty of reasons why vape pods are now one of the most popular types of vape device on the market.
I’ve tried a handful of vape pods now, and I think my little collection probably started back with Vype and the ePen, followed by the little, yellow Pebble device. I really did love that device a lot (although, not so much the original ePen), and for something so small and cute, I actually found that it held it together pretty well when I was out and about and needed a MTL vape.
The Aspire Gusto Mini joined the party a little while after that, with its nicotine salt pods that are simply awesome for brand new quitters/vapers. The Wellon Tech Ripple then popped into my life, closely followed by Jac Vapour’s VIM and Wee VIM. And then, to replace the no longer available Pebble device, Vype came back with the ePen 3.
Those are just some of the pod devices *I’ve* tried. There are so many more out there, from all different brands, with a whole bunch of weird and wonderful looking designs. I’ve mentioned a few of them in Vape Question: What Are the Best Vapes for a Social Smoker and also Where Can I Find 0% Nicotine Pods?
Best Vape Pods 2019
Out of the few pod vapes I’ve tried, two have really stood out for me.
I’ve had my fair share of niggles with them both, but I still adore them both. They’re both sub-ohm AND mouth-to-lung compatible, although you don’t need to change the coil with the Gusto Mini. You do need to change the coil from a sub-ohm one to an MTL one (or vice versa) in Jac Vapour’s VIM.
But which one wins the battle of the pods … ?
ASPIRE GUSTO MINI VS JAC VAPOUR VIM
Ease of Use
In terms of ease of use, the Aspire Gusto Mini wins. As much as I love the versatility of Jac Vapour’s VIM, you really can’t beat a device that is literally as simple as plug-in-and-play. And that’s all you gotta do with the Gusto. Take the tentacles (LOL) out of the bottom of the pod, shake it around, pop it on, put the cover on, wait a few minutes, and then happily vape away, whichever damn way you like. You can take an MTL puff one minute, and a sub-ohm puff the next. What’s not to love about that?
Jac Vapour’s VIM is a tad fussier, with lots of options that could be seen as intimidating to a beginning. There’s also the changing of the coil once you figure out which one you need for the kind of vaping you want.
You *can* get pre-filled pods now that are also compatible with the miniature version of the VIM — the Wee VIM. These are only available in just four flavours so far — SMOKING Tobacco, SMOKING Tobacco Menthol, Blackcurrant Squash, and Strawberry Chew, and all have nic salt bases. A pack of three is £9.99, but the more you buy the cheaper you’ll get them for.
The VIM certainly does give you a bunch of options, but it can get a bit confusing. When *I* want something super simple, the Gusto Mini wins for me.
? EASE OF USE WINNER – ASPIRE GUSTO MINI.
This is where Jac Vapour’s VIM fights back. The VIM Vape Kit (£24.99 – ecigarettedirect) allows you to put any damn eliquid you like in the tank, making up for the fact that you’re limited to just four flavours in the pre-filled nic salt pods.
If you want mouth-to-lung vaping, throw in a low-VG or 50/50 VG/PG eliquid, along with an MTL compatible coil (0.45-ohm and 0.7-ohm Turbo S-Coils, or 1.0-ohm and 1.5-ohm MTL S-Coils).
I recently enjoyed vaping T-Juice Vamp Vape eliquid in my Jac Vapour VIM.
If you want sub-ohm vaping, just throw high-VG eliquid in your tank, along with a sub-ohm compatible coil (0.5-ohm and 1.0-ohm DL S-Coils).
You can literally use any eliquid you like in the VIM tank, including CBD eliquid. As far as I’m aware, there are NO options for CBD eliquid and the Aspire Gusto Mini.
The Aspire Gusto Mini, on the other hand, is “not refillable”. You CAN refill it, but it’s a bit of a pain in the ass and terribly fiddly. Pull out little rubber stopper, try to get your eliquid inside the teeny-tiny hole, and then shove the stopper back in. It’s FIDDLY. The pods are disposable — designed to be used just the one time.
As far as I’m aware, you can only buy pods for the Aspire Gusto Mini in packs of three, for £9.99. (My source here is Vape Club.) You can’t buy mix n’ match flavours, so each pack of three pods is the same flavour. If you buy a new flavour and don’t like it, you’ve got two more flavours left that you’re never going to use. Unless you start a little swap club, obviously. Get on the ol’ Twitterscope or in Facebook vaping groups and I’m sure you’ll find someone else with a Gusto Mini who’d be happy to swap some unloved pods.
Shown: Nasty Juice Slow Blow NS10 Designer Nic Salts for the Aspire Gusto Mini.
Aside from the pack-of-three commitment, there are also only a limited amount of flavours/eliquid brands available in the pods for the Aspire Gusto Mini. Again, I’ve found quite a few on the Vape Club website — Vampire Vape, Nasty Juice, Dr Frost, Quiet Owl, Peak, Purp, Strapped, Primal, Riot Squad, SVRF, Purity, Sub Ohm Juice, The Lost Arts, and, of course, the original Gusto pod creators — Element Eliquid. These are only available in certain VG/PG ratios (mostly 65% VG), and also in certain strengths (mostly 10mg or 20mg).
I’m going to be honest … I’ve never heard of most of those eliquid brands too. If none of those options take your fancy, you won’t have anything to put in your Gusto Mini.
*The list of Gusto Mini pods is ever-growing, though.
? ELIQUID CHOICE WINNER – JAC VAPOUR VIM.
Again, Jac Vapour is kinda kicking the ass outta the argument here. You can pick from a whole bunch of different coils for your VIM, but you’ve only got the one built-in coil with the pods for the Aspire Gusto Mini. It’s a decent Aspire coil, don’t get me wrong, but it’s 1.2-ohm. You can’t change it for anything else. You’re stuck with that one option.
The list of compatible coils for Jac Vapour’s VIM is LONG. There are four “regular” S-Coils, two for sub-ohm vaping and two for MTL vaping. Then there are the Turbo S-Coils, which are MTL coils again, but ones that offer seriously kickass flavour.
With all of those coils options, though, comes great responsibility. You’ll need to get your hands dirty and actually change the coils from time to time, as well as working out which ones you need for your style of vaping. If you fancy sub-ohm vaping after a morning of mouth-to-lung vaping, you’ll need to switch the coils and eliquid out. With the Gusto Mini, on the other hand, you literally just inhale differently. You ain’t gotta change nothin’.
? COIL OPTIONS WINNER – JAC VAPOUR VIM.
(But the Aspire Gusto Mini is the cleaner, less sticky, less fiddly option.)
Switching It Up
Pretend you’re me for a moment. (You’d need to be in your PJs and not wash your hair for a week in order to make it authentic.) I like to MTL vape a tobacco flavour in the morning, switching to a more fruity or cakey sub-ohm vape later on.
With the Aspire Gusto Mini, I simply take one pod out and put another pod in. That’s it. Nice and easy. I also like to change the mouthpiece — thinner ones for MTL vaping, thicker ones for sub-ohming.
With the VIM, however, I need to take the tank out, empty it, change the coil, rinse the tank out, change the mouthpiece, find the right eliquid, fill the tank …
More work. Do you see?
If you like to switch things up on the regular, the VIM might be just a bit too fiddly and time-consuming for your liking. That is, of course, unless you opt for those pre-filled pods, but you’ve only got four nicotine-salt-based options to choose from so far. I also find them a bit more fiddly, often turning the pod around in the device a bunch of times before finding where it ‘clicks’ into place.
? SWITCHING IT UP WINNER – ASPIRE GUSTO MINI.
I don’t know if I actually have a winner for this point because they’ve both been thrown around pretty violently. I’m a pretty violent kinda person. (Lol, I’m not. I’m just clumsy AF.)
The Aspire Gusto Mini’s cover slid off once in my bag, but I think that’s pretty much it. That’s the only thing I can think of, for both of them. Neither of them has a scratch on them. None of the paint has come off. The VIM looks a bit grotty now, but that’s why I don’t tend to buy myself white vape devices. I think they get dirty really quickly, and sometimes they’re a real b*tch to clean. Thankfully, the VIM comes in a few different colours – white, slate, and orange + grey.
? DURABILITY WINNER – IT’S A DRAW.
Aspire Gusto Mini pods only work in the Aspire Gusto Mini. The Aspire Gusto Mini only works with Gusto Mini pods. Nothing is compatible with anything else. Apart from the drip tip.
If you’ve already got some Jac Vapour stuff in your collection, you might already have a few of the accessories you’ll need for the VIM. All S-Coils and Turbo S-Coils are compatible with the VIM, the Series-S17 tank, and the Series-S22 tank. You can also get an adaptor to make the VIM 510 drip tip-compatible. I was lucky enough to get a little pack of three different sizes for mine. The pre-filled nic salt pods are also compatible with both the Wee VIM and the VIM.
? CROSS-COMPATIBILITY WINNER – JAC VAPOUR VIM.
*But only if you’ve already got Jac Vapour vape bits n’ pieces in your collection.
You’ll need to carry more ‘stuff’ for Jac Vapour’s VIM. Let’s say I’m going out for the day. I’ll throw the VIM in my bag. Then I’ll need to add whatever eliquid I’m vaping, especially if I’m sub-ohm vaping. (I vape a tank of eliquid much faster.) Spare coils are a must too. You know how they love to taste like a piece of garbage at the worst possible moments. Then there’s the charger and portable charging unit thingy.
(Unless I use VIM pre-filled pods, but I’m not a fan of blackcurrant, wouldn’t vape menthol on a daily basis, and don’t want to vape tobacco all the time. My options are limited.)
If I’m packing the Aspire Gusto Mini, I only need the device, the charger and portable charging unit thingy, and a spare pod.
? VAPE BAGGAGE WINNER – ASPIRE GUSTO MINI.
Price / Cost of Vaping
Aspire Gusto Mini
The device is £19.99. (Vape Club.)
I use one pod every 2 or 3 days for MTL vaping or one pod in about a day for sub-ohm vaping. In one month, that’s approximately 10 pods for MTL vaping OR 25-30 pods for sub-ohm vaping.
10 pods = 1 x 9-pack for £23.99 + 1 x 3-pack for £9.99 = £33.98.
30 pods = 3 x 9-pack for £71.97 + 1 x 3-pack for £9.99 = £81.96.
So, your first month will cost you £53.97 for MTL, £33.98 each month after that if you’re an MTL vaper.
If you’re a sub-ohm vaper, your first month will cost you £101.95, £81.96 each month after that.
>> You’re probably already spending somewhere between £250 – £350 a month on cigarettes.
Obviously, if you mix and match between the two (MTL + sub-ohm) or vape less than I do, the figure will be somewhere between those two.
Jac Vapour Vim
The device is £24.99.
I go through a 2ml pod of eliquid in about 1-2 days for MTL vaping. If I’m sub-ohm vaping, I can get through two or three 2ml tanks of eliquid in a day, sometimes more than that.
The JAC Originals – Complete Collection gives you 6 x 10ml bottles of eliquid, one of each flavour from the collection – British Blend Tobacco, Cherry Tart, Classic Menthol, Ice Menthol, Turkish Blend Tobacco, and American Blend Tobacco. You can pick strengths from 6mg, 12mg, and 18mg, and the collection is £19.99.
If you fancy giving some Jac Vapour eliquid reviews a read before you make any decisions, check out all of mine here.
That 60ml of MTL eliquid would last me between three and four weeks. Ish. Let’s add on another bundle of 3 x 10ml eliquids, from the ‘Standard’ range, for £11.97. You know, just in case the 60ml isn’t enough.
You’ll need to add on the cost of coils too.
The regular MTL S-Coils can last me for three or four weeks, with the DTL (sub-ohm) ones usually lasting about a week or two. The Turbo S-Coils offer better flavour, but you need to replace them much more frequently in my experience.
I’d need one or two MTL coils per month, so a pack of 5 would cover me for the first couple of months unless I want to switch flavours all the time. That’s £9.99 for a pack of 5. You also get one coil in the start kit, so you’ve got 6 of them to see you through.
Vaping the VIM would cost you £66.94 for the first month, £36.96* per month after that, if you’re an MTL vaper.
*I added on £5 for half of a pack of 5 coils. This will change depending on how fast you go through the coils/change flavours/use thick eliquid/etc.
If you wanted to sub-ohm vape instead, you could grab a 50ml short fill bottle of one of the Bryn’s Special Sauce range for £12.99. I’d probably need three of those 50ml bottles. Actually, let’s go with four, just to be on the safe side. And let’s say four coils per month — one a week — costing you £9.99 for a pack of five. A month’s worth of sub-ohm vaping with Jac Vapour’s VIM would cost £61.95 (ish) each month, after shelling out £86.94 for your first month. (Device + 4 x 50ml bottles + pack of 5 coils.)
- Aspire Gusto Mini MTL – £87.95 for the first TWO months vaping.
- Aspire Gusto Mini sub-ohm – £183.91 for the first TWO months vaping.
- Jac Vapour VIM MTL – £103.90 for the first TWO months vaping.
- Jac Vapour VIM sub-ohm – £148.89 for the first TWO months vaping.
? PRICE / COST OF VAPING WINNER – IT’S A DRAW.
*The Aspire Gusto Mini is cheaper for MTL vaping. Jac Vapour’s VIM is cheaper for sub-ohm vaping. All based on my regular, non-reviewing pace of vaping.
Aspire Gusto Mini vs Jac Vapour Vim – The Winner
- EASE OF USE WINNER – ASPIRE GUSTO MINI.
- ELIQUID CHOICE WINNER – JAC VAPOUR VIM.
- COIL OPTIONS WINNER – JAC VAPOUR VIM.
- SWITCHING IT UP WINNER – ASPIRE GUSTO MINI.
- DURABILITY WINNER – IT’S A DRAW.
- CROSS-COMPATIBILITY WINNER – JAC VAPOUR VIM.
- VAPE BAGGAGE WINNER – ASPIRE GUSTO MINI.
- PRICE / COST OF VAPING WINNER – IT’S A DRAW.
- We’ll give half a star for the draws.
Aspire Gusto Mini – 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Jac Vapour VIM – 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Well, it’s a draw.
That’s not helpful …
It all comes down to what you’re looking for.
If you want something that you can just plug-in-and-vape, nothing too fancy, and you’re not bothered about trying a whole bunch of flavours, go for the Aspire Gusto Mini. I also think it’s less intimidating than the VIM and its many options.
If you want something that gives you the freedom to choose what kind of coil you put in, as well as the eliquid, go for the Jac Vapour VIM.
So. Many. Options.
Which one of them is my favourite?
I use my Jac Vapour VIM more than I use the Aspire Gusto Mini, but that’s mostly because of the restriction in flavours/brands in the pods. I think I’d use the Aspire Gusto Mini a LOT more if I had the option of buying refillable tanks/pods. My white VIM is proper grubby-looking now, whereas my Gusto Mini still looks virtually brand new. That’s only because I have the white one, though. The Gusto is definitely the easiest of the two to work.
You can find more information about the Jac Vapour VIM here.
You can find more information about the Aspire Gusto Mini here.
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*Prices & information correct at time of writing.
HONESTY POLICY: The Jac Vapour VIM + accessories were sent to me by Jac Vapour for a review. The Aspire Gusto Mini + pods were sent to me by Vape Club for a review. I did not pay for these vape products. I was not paid for this post. All opinions are mine and in no way influenced by the store, brand, or manufacturer.
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