Master Guide to Vaping Part 5 – Intermediate Kits
Intermediate kits represent the most popular style of vaping across the board. They’re generally right in the middle in terms of just about everything. Average price, average performance, average battery life, etc. However, these intermediate kits serve just about any purpose you could ask for as a vaper. They can be a device for a first-timer since they’re only marginally more difficult to use than proper starter kits. They can be primary setups for just about anyone. Or, they can be backup or travel devices for more advanced vapers. Intermediate kits appeal to a wide range of vapers, and as such, they represent the majority of mods and atomizers on the market.
The most recent iteration of the intermediate kit varies quite a bit in aesthetics, but they all operate in the same way. In general, they all use an LED screen with 3-button operation. They mostly all have temperature control and variable wattage capabilities and come with some type of subohm tank. Some devices have an internal battery and some require separate batteries, but most intermediate mods only use a single battery and cap out around 80W as a maximum. However, for any device with a single battery, any power setting higher than 50W will drain the battery much more quickly. If you need to use a higher wattage, it’s recommended to get a device that uses two or more batteries, which would technically classify them as advanced devices. These will be discussed in a future article, but I should point out that there is some overlap between different classes of mods since there’s no “official” hierarchy. In general, even though advanced devices may not be more difficult to understand or use compared to intermediate mods, they’re designed for vapers that use either more advanced atomizers or rebuildables that require higher power in order to perform optimally. Of course, there will always be examples of mods and atomizers breaking from the norm and not conforming to the starter/intermediate/advanced archetype, so just be aware of that.
For a vaper coming from a starter kit, said starter kit should have given them some idea as to their vaping preference. Do you prefer mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping or direct-lung (DL) vaping? Do you prefer a warm vape or a cool vape? Are you a cloud-chaser or a flavor-chaser? Once you’ve determined the answer to these questions, you can look at which intermediate kits fit your needs. For example, if you’re a flavor-chaser and you prefer MTL vaping, you might consider one of the Kanger Subox kits, which feature adjustable airflow and a coil that’s designed for MTL vaping.
The other great thing about kits at the intermediate level is that you can mix and match. Unlike an AIO device, intermediate kits mostly require an atomizer separate from the mod. So if you’re a cloud-chaser who likes DL vaping, for example, you can get something like the iStick Pico Mega and pair it with the Uwell Crown V2 subohm tank. If you happen to like both MTL and DL vaping and want to be able to switch back and forth, you can get multiple coils for the same tank, or get multiple tanks and use them on the same mod. This is the primary difference between starter kits and intermediate kits. They’re much more modular and customizable.
For people looking to start vaping by jumping straight into intermediate kits, a little research is required. While not difficult to use, there is certain terminology as well as a sense of consensus about what is good and what is not. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to get information about vaping. Brick and mortar stores are far more common than they were 5 years ago, and there’s also several forums on the internet that are very welcoming and willing to help get you started. There will still be a learning curve in order to determine which vaping style works best for you, but certain tanks will let you try more than one style. Because of the nature of most intermediate devices, when you do dial in the best vape and have a better idea as to what you like, upgrading only requires you to get a new tank, not necessarily a new mod.
Intermediate kits are the most balanced and varied of all vaping devices, and therefore the most popular. They offer a good quality vape experience while remaining relatively inexpensive and easy to upgrade. Most of them allow you to swap the atomizer that you’re using so you can try new vape styles as well as experiment with new atomizers without having to buy an entirely new kit. Generally, if you’re willing to do a bit of research and/or talk to some vapers before buying, intermediate kits are a better investment than starter kits. Most people will upgrade from a starter kit at some point, but the majority of vapers settle in the intermediate range. For those of you interested in the cream of the crop, be sure to read the next article in this series to find out more about advanced devices!