Skip to content
WARNING: Vaping products contain Nicotine, a highly addictive chemical - Health Canada
WARNING: Vaping products contain Nicotine, a highly addictive chemical - Health Canada

Open vs. Closed Pod Systems (& Which is Best for You)

Open vs. Closed Pod Systems (& Which is Best for You)


  • Open Pod Systems offer refillable pods that let you choose from a wide variety of e-liquid flavours. Buying e-liquid and filling your pods with it by yourself can also save you money, since replacing pre-filled pods costs more.
  • Closed Pod Systems offer a simpler “plug-and-play” experience since their pods are pre-filled, but have more limited flavour options.
  • Open systems can be more complicated to set up and risk "flavour creep", where the flavour of one e-liquid remains present after the pod is filled with another.
  • Closed systems are generally more beginner-friendly, but generate more waste since the pods need to be disposed of once they’re empty.
  • U Vape carries high-quality options for both open and closed pod systems. Explore our collection to find the ideal device for you.

Open vs. Closed Pod Systems (& Which is Best for You)

If you’re thinking of investing in a new vape device, you’ll need to make some decisions ahead of time. One of those should be deciding on whether you want an open pod system or a closed one. Some users prefer the range of flavour options that come with open pod systems, whereas others enjoy the reliability and ready-made convenience of closed pods.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s begin by covering the key differences between open and closed pod systems, then dive into what each type is best for so you can choose your next pod system with more confidence.

What Is an Open Pod System?

Open pod systems come with refillable, reusable pods. You can fill these pods with your choice of e-liquid, which makes these systems ideal for people who want more control over their vaping experience.

However, if you’re going to invest in an open pod system, it’s vital that you know something about e-liquids and how to choose them. You’ll also want to make sure you’re not filling the same pod with too many different flavours, which can cause residue from previous e-liquids to affect the taste of the e-liquid your pod is currently using (this is known as flavour creep).

What Is a Closed Pod System?

Closed pod systems are much easier to set up and start using, because they come pre-filled with e-liquid and typically snap right into your device. No need to refill these pods—you just chuck ‘em when you’re done with ‘em and snap in a new one.

Using a closed pod system can help you maintain better quality control over your e-liquids, since you’ll be limited to choices made specifically for your device. Of course, that’s also the downside with closed systems: they don’t offer as wide a range of potential flavour options.

Pod System Pros & Cons

Take a look around the internet and you’re bound to find a broad spectrum of opinions on whether open or closed pod systems are better. Instead of giving you our subjective opinion on the matter, we’ve opted to compile a list of the benefits to each system.

Open Pod System Pros

  • Far greater variety when it comes to flavours
  • Reusable (less waste)
  • Less expensive
  • Open pod systems may have more advanced features

Open Pod System Cons

  • More difficult to set up
  • Can leak if not filled and installed properly
  • Risk of flavour creep
  • Potential safety concerns with unregulated e-liquids

Closed Pod System Pros

  • Simpler to set up and start using
  • More quality control for available flavours
  • No risk of flavour creep
  • A good introduction to vaping for new users

Closed Pod System Cons

  • More expensive, since new pods must be purchased more often
  • More waste created by disposing of empty pods and packaging
  • Fewer available flavour options
  • Most closed pod systems have fewer customizable features than open ones

Popular Open & Closed Pod Systems

Numerous high-quality open and closed pod systems are available in Canada. Here’s an example of each kind we recommend for new users:

SMOK Novo 4 device open pod

Open Pod System: SMOK Novo 4

The SMOK Novo 4 is a relatively small and light open pod system that’s easy to store and carry with you on trips. It gives you adjustable airflow controls, and comes with an easy-to-read OLED screen. Here are a few other key features:

  • Price: $59.99 (starter kit)
  • Size: 93.5mm x 26.5mm x 17.7mm
  • Weight: 51.7g
  • Battery capacity: 800 mAh
  • Charging port type: USB-C
  • Charge length: Approx. 60 minutes (with supplied charger)
  • E-liquid capacity: 2 mL
  • Compatible coils: LP1 coils
  • Activation type: Draw-activated
STLTH device kit closed pod

Closed Pod System: STLTH Vape Device Starter Kit

The STLTH is designed to closely mimic the experience of smoking cigarettes for people who have recently made the switch to vaping. It is designed to be extremely compact, light, and simple to use—and its pods are recyclable, which helps solve the issue of waste that occurs with some other closed pod systems.

  • Price: $29.99 (starter kit)
  • Size:19.1mm x 11.1mm x 85.5mm
  • Weight: 26g
  • Battery capacity: 420 mAh
  • Charging port type: USB
  • Charge length: Approx. 60 minutes (with supplied charger)
  • E-liquid capacity: 2 mL
  • Compatible coils: Magnetic ceramic coils included in pods
  • Activation type: Draw-activated

Pod Systems: An Open & Shut Case?

Now that you know the differences between closed and open pod systems, choosing the right kind for you should be much easier. If you still have questions or are considering a different type of vape, just contact us and ask one of our friendly representatives for advice. We’ll be happy to help you find the type of pod system for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Open & Closed Pod Systems

How can I avoid flavour creep in an open pod system?

To avoid flavour creep:

  • Clean your pods regularly.
  • Avoid mixing different e-liquid flavours in the same pod.
  • Consider using a dedicated pod for each flavour.

What type of e-liquid should I use in open pods when MTL or DTL vaping?

For MTL vaping, use e-liquids with a higher PG to VG ratio for a stronger throat hit.

For DTL vaping, use e-liquids with a higher VG to PG ratio for denser vapour production.

Can I open a closed pod to refill it with my own e-liquid?

Closed pods are designed to be disposable and are not intended for refilling. Opening them can compromise the sealing, causing leaks and potentially damaging the device.

Can I change the coils in a closed pod?

Typically, the coils in closed pod systems are integrated and cannot be changed. You’ll need to replace the entire pod once the coil reaches the end of its life.

Recent Posts

  • Variety of STLTH vapes next to each other with purple background

    STLTH Loop 2 FAQ

    Learn everything you need to know about the STLTH Loop 2 system so that you can make the most of this compact and useful device—courtesy of the vaping enthusiasts at U Vape.
    Read now
  • STLTH Vape laid out on pink background with white hearts

    The Ultimate Vape Gift Guide for 2024

    What pod system or disposable device should you buy for the vape lover in your life? Getting great vape gifts has never been easier, thanks to this ultimate guide from the U Vape team—which also includes recommendations for e-liquids and more.
    Read now
  • Woman with snapback on ghost vaping

    How to Ghost-Vape Like a Pro

    Ghost vaping lets you create a large cloud of vapour, then make it disappear almost instantly—a challenging but attention-grabbing trick for vape enthusiasts. Learn how to master this skill with this step-by-step tutorial from U Vape.
    Read now
  • STLTH Loop 2 Unboxing & Review

    STLTH Loop 2 Unboxing & Review

    The ultra-portable STLTH Loop 2 system is reusable—but has disposable pods. How does that work, and is it worth your money? Find out in U Vape’s unboxing and review of the device so you can choose whether to try it out for yourself.
    Read now