What is a box mod?
Basically, it’s a mod (a term referring to the part of the e-cigarette that holds the batteries, but you probably already knew that) that’s shaped like a box.
Don’t be confused though, since many “box” mods aren’t even shaped like boxes!
A good rule of thumb in differentiating box mods from tube mods is that if it isn’t shaped like a tube, it’s a box mod.
Many vapers believe that they are the next logical step in the evolution of electronic cigarettes – more battery life, the ability to produce throat-searing amounts of power, and (in my opinion) they look very classy.
Joyetech eGrip II 80W
- Small size
- Temp Control Modes work great
- Appealing design
- Battery life could be better
- Some spitback
- Can’t be used for lung inhales
The first eGrip was a hit among AIO fans. In fact, it helped kickstart the AIO movement with Kanger following suit with its Nebox, Aspire with its Plato, and Joyetech upping the ante with an OLED equipped eGrip.
The follow up to the massively successful eGrip is the aptly named eGrip II. This version improves on the original by more than doubling the wattage output to 80W and adding temperature control as well. The OLED screen is retained and the built-in battery has a respectable 2100 mAh capacity.
The eGrip II comes with three pre-built coils, but most importantly, an RBA head is included if you wish to build your own. There is a 510 adapter included, in case you want to use your own atomizer, though this counters the point of AIOs. However, the option is there if you so choose.
Ergonomics of the device is top-notch, giving users a comfortable grip while vaping. As with most AIOs, the eGrip II is very easy to use and gives out great vapor production and flavor.
Oh, and if you find yourself bored in a no vaping area, the mod has a Flappy Bird game. Seriously. In case you don’t have your phone with you, you can still get your Flappy Bird fix anytime, anywhere. Is it useful? Not really. But it does give the mod something others don’t have.
Eleaf gained fame with its original iStick, a diminutive device that’s potent and pocketable. The company has come out with various iterations of the iStick brand, but the iStick basic is its first AIO mini device.
The Basic comes with a fairly powerful (for its size) 2300 mAh battery, enough to last users a day of vaping. Of course, usage may vary. The battery is built-in, which means you don’t have to purchase a separate one when you buy the mod. Besides, because of its size, it’s impossible to shoehorn an 18650 battery anyway.
What relegates the Basic to second place though, is its lack of variable wattage/voltage/temperature. This means you are stuck with the power output it puts out. If you wish to alter the power output, the only way to do so is swap out the coil heads. The Basic uses GS Air Atomizer Heads and they come in 1.5 ohms, 1.2 ohms, and 0.75 ohms.
The mod comes with its own tank of course, and it it can hold up to 2ml’s of e-juice. While this may not seem much, remember, this is not a monster mod or tank. When you want to go stealth, you’ll have to make some sacrifices. That said, 2ml is a decent capacity and you might find yourself refilling maybe only once or twice a day. The tank is removable for cleaning and it is held into place by magnets. Looking at it, it seems you can also use 510/eGo style atomizers as well, which is a huge plus.
Wismec RX Mini
- Same chip used with the RX200
- Vaping modes
- Comprehensive safety features
- Battery life could be better
- Tank is mediocre
Wismec RX Mini
Known more for its multiple battery mods, Wismec is on a roll. Not wanting to miss out on the stealth wagon, the company put out its own in the form of the RX Mini. Though not as small as other stealth mods, the RX Mini more than makes up for it with raw power.
Able to put out up to 80 watts, the Mini makes sure it can handle the load by using a built-in 2100mAh battery. Unless you use the mod at full power, the battery will last you up to a day of moderate vaping. The Mini also has TCR, Bypass mode, temperature control, and its firmware is upgradeable. Similar features found in its big brothers, which will surely make experienced vapers happy.
The mod also feature a large OLED screen that’s easy to read. Despite the smaller size of the mod, Wismec made sure users won’t have to squint when adjusting settings. The mod may be small, but its weight is substantial. Not as heavy as regular sized mods, but definitely heavier than its stealth competitors.
In all, the Wismec RX Mini is one of the best stealth mods in the market today. It may not be be able to put out up to 200 watts, but feature-wise, it stands up to many larger mods.
Eleaf iStick Pico 75W
- Firmware upgradeable
- Light and portable
- Temperature Control is accurate
- Powerful for its size at 75 watts
- Extended battery cap can be a nuisance
- Adjustment buttons can easily be pressed accidentally
Eleaf iStick Pico 75W
From the company that paved the way for stealth mods, the Eleaf iStick Pico 75W is one of its more successful models. Where other stealth mods use built-in batteries to keep the size small, Eleaf found a way to use replaceable 18650 batteries while still keeping a modest profile. This is due in large part to the battery cap that extends a few millimeters from the body of the mod.
Though not as powerful as the Wismec RX Mini, the iStick Pico doesn’t lag too far behind, able to put out up to 75 watts of power. And because the battery is replaceable, users can go sub-ohm the whole day provided they bring extra 18650s.
The Pico also features temperature control that supports Nichrome, Titanium, and SS coils as well as having TCR input. The mod can read resistances up to 0.05 ohms in TC mode, which will surely satisfy many TC fans.
Just like the RX Mini, the Pico is firmware upgradeable as well, giving users a sense of security in knowing that their mod is future-proof, at least for a few years.
Pioneer4you iPV D4 80W TC
- Small size
- Easy to use
- Non-Micro USB charging port
- No firmware updates
A few years ago, Pioneer4you was a company that very few have heard of. However, ever since they used YiHi chips on their mods, that changed. YiHi chips challenges Evolv’s DNA chips in terms of features and reliability. Some users even swear that YiHi is vastly superior over DNA. No matter which camp you fall on, there’s no doubt YiHi is one of the best.
The iPV D4 is an 80W device powered by YiHi’s SX310H chipset, which immediately makes it stand out over other mods. The chipset features a power output of up to 80 watts and temperature control. The mod uses replaceable 18650 batteries, and in case you don’t have a spare when you run out of power, it can be charged using the charging cable with passthrough capabilities.
The mod itself is a no nonsense design. No fancy cuts or outlandish flourishes. The edges are rounded for an ergonomic grip, while the screen is bright and easily readable. The fire and adjustment buttons are large and very hard to miss, giving it a nice tactile feel. The size is pocketable and the overall feel is one of durability.
The only issues with the iPV D4 are that features are limited and the charging cable is proprietary, meaning once you lose or break the included cable, it won’t be easy to find a replacement.
Despite the cons, the Pioneer4you iPV D4 is one of the best single battery mods today. If you don’t really care for too much bells and whistles on your mod, the D4 is perfect.
- Interchangeable battery sizes can be used
- Can accommodate atomizers up to 35mm
- A bit large for a single battery mod
- Menu system a bit complicated
How many times have you invested in a nice mod, only to have it ruined by something mundane such as rain or a fall into the toilet? Not too many I hope. But if you are the kind of user who abuse their devices, then the Aegis from GeekVape is for you. Built tough, the Aegis is a solid piece of vape tech that can withstand all kinds of abuses. Oh, and it’s waterproof as well.
Powered by a single 18650, the Aegis is a little bit larger than other single battery mods because you can also use a single 26650 to power it. However, despite the increase in size, the mod is still a pleasure to hold due to its ergonomics. The button is solid and the body is partially covered with fine leather.
It is capable of putting out up to 100 watts and has temperature control, TCR, and watts curve to help users achieve the perfect vape. The 510 deck is 35mm diameters, giving users a wide range of tanks and atomizers to choose from without fear of getting an awkward overhang.
Tough, powerful, full of features, yet still easy to hold, the GeekVape Aegis is one of the best single 18650 mods around.
SMOK Alien 220W TC
- Performance is great
- Firing bar
- Firmware upgradeable
- Great design
- Firing bar can get stiff
SMOK has been around since the early days of vaping, and while many of its contemporaries have come and gone, the company is still going strong. SMOK has come a long way since its days of making cheap tube mod copies, coming up with mods with features never before seen. One of these is the touch bar, replacing the regular fire button that’s been used everywhere. The Alien 220W TC is one of the first mods to utilize the touch bar, and it works well, resulting in smooth lines that would normally be broken up by unsightly fire buttons.
Despite being a dual 18650 mod, the Alien is still easy and comfortable to hold. The battery door has a lock to secure its contents from dropping and the mod features a large, bright OLED screen on its side.
As its name implies, the device can fire up to 220 watts of power and has temperature control, custom TCR, as well as three preheat modes. There is the option to use custom user profiles, and a battery monitoring system that comes standard with all SMOK mods these days.
Battery life on the Alien is exceptional, and the usual safety features are in place such as internal temperature monitoring and reverse battery protection. All these features in a sleek looking mod makes the Alien 220W TC one of the best multi-battery box mods around.
Wismec Predator 228W TC
- Small size for a dual-battery mod
- Firing bar
- Can support 2A charging
- TCR modes
- Firing bar can get stiff
- 510 connection is a little weak
Wismec is on a roll. It seems every time they put out a mod, it turns out to be a hit. Whether it’s stealth mods, triple batt mods, or even mechanical mods. In this case, the spotlight is on a awesome two battery mod, the Predator.
Despite being powered by two 18650 batteries, the Predator still manages to be quite portable, bordering on stealthy. Capable of putting out a whopping 228 watts of power and able to handle 0.01 ohm coils, the Predator is ready for most anything you throw at it. It has a generous 510 deck where you can use atomizers up to 29mm in diameter. Aside from variable wattage, the mod also has temperature control with support for Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel coils.
Taking a cue from SMOK, the Predator also uses a firing bar in lieu of a fire button, this gives the mod a sleeker appearance. However, it can be a little stiff to press, meaning you’ll have to exert just a little more pressure than usual.
The OLED display is situated on the size and is large and bright to read even under direct sunlight. When it comes to charging, the device has support for 2A charging, ensuring quick charges whenever you need to top off the batteries.
If you are on the market for a multi-batt box mod that can produce massive clouds, look no further than the Wismec Predator.
Lost Vape Drone BF
- 166 watts of power
- Large capacity squonk bottle
- TC modes are accurate
- A bit bulky
Lost Vape is a relatively new company, yet the mods they put out are some of the best in the market. Following the success of the company’s Therion and Triade mod, Lost Vape has come out with its own squonker mod, the Drone BF.
Not usual with other squonker mods is the Drone’s use of two 18650 batteries. Most squonkers use a single 18650 to make space for the squonker bottle, but Lost Vape decided to use two batteries. This is likely because the Drone uses a DNA 250 chip capable of putting out 166 watts of power. If you use that much power, a single battery won’t suffice.
The bottle has a generous capacity of 10mls, more than any squonker can hold. The only thing that matches it in terms of capacity is the Therion BF, which is also made by Lost Vape.
The body of the mod is made from die cast zinc alloy which makes it tough, and its OLED screen is bright and clear. It also has temperature control, able to utilize Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel coils. For variable wattage mode, the Drone can handle up to 0.2 ohm coils, while in TC mode, it can take up to 0.1 ohms coils.
Vapers who need power and convenience should look at the Lost Vape Drone BF as one of their top choices. Aside from its power, the more-than-enough capacity of the bottle ensure you’ll be vaping soundly, without the need to change batteries or refill e-juice, the whole day.
VT Inbox by Hcigar
- Light weight
- Customisable panels
- Evolv DNA chip
- Some rattling with battery door
Don’t let the awkward name fool you, the VT Inbox by Hcigar is a pretty awesome squonker. Powered by a single 18650 battery, it can fire up to 75 watts of power as well as offer temperature control.
The mod doesn’t break ground in terms of aesthetics, sporting a classic box shape with the 510 connector right in the middle on top. Its fire and adjustment buttons are located on side with the OLED screen placed in between them, and taking a page out of Lost Vape’s book, it has replaceable panels pretty much like what the Therion has.
The VT Inbox’s firmware can be upgraded, making it future-proof (at least for a couple of years), and the squonk bottle has a capacity of 8ml. Though not as impressive as the Drone, it can still last you a day or two of vaping before needing a refill.
The mod comes with a Haze RDA, and if you choose to use your favorite atomizers, you can do so as long as it doesn’t exceed 24mm in diameter. Any more and you will get an awkward overhang.
For the money, power, customization options, and convenience, the VT Inbox by Hcigar is one of the best squonkers in the market today.
Best Box & Vape Mods 2017
Buying Guide and Advice
With so many choices, buying the perfect box mod can be a daunting task. Here are a few pointers in choosing one that fits your vaping style.
Battery types Explained
18650 battery – As you have probably noticed, box mods usually come in single-18650 battery, dual-18650, or built-in li-poly batteries that cannot be easily replaced.
The first thing to take into consideration when choosing a box mod is the fact that batteries are often the first component that needs to be replaced. If you have a faulty 18650 battery, then buying new batteries would be easy and inexpensive.
However, if your mod has built-in li-poly batteries, then unless you have experience in electronics replacing the battery is impossible – you have to get a new mod, or pay someone to do it. It is more expensive, and I generally avoid all mods whose batteries cannot be easily replaced.
li-poly battery box modThe second thing to keep in mind is the number of batteries. Single battery devices are smaller, but cannot sustain high-power vaping for extended periods of time. If you are okay with bringing along spares, then it is no problem. Dual 18650s in parallel (such as those in the DNA40) last twice as long as a single 18650, and will most probably last you a day of vaping.
Just remember that devices using 2 batteries in series double voltage, but not the mAh/hour rating so it will not last as long as 2 batteries in parallel.
Different Vape Mod Sizes
This is an important factor that is commonly overlooked by buyers. If you vape at home, or spend most of your time in front of the computer then getting a bigger box mod is no problem.
However, if you are usually on the move, or if your work requires a degree of physical exertion, then smaller and lighter box mods (like the Cloupor mini or Kbox) paired with small atomizers definitely have the size and weight advantage.
Which Vape Mod style
Truth be told, 99% of vapers will not vape above 50watts as their normal “every day vape”. In fact, many are satisfied with the cooler vape provided by 20watts and a decent microcoil – it provides a more-than-satisfactory vaping experience while not being too hard on the batteries and juice.
I actually use the mods listed in the “beginner” section more often than my 150w mods. But if you feel the need to blow “fat clouds bruh”, then by all means get a high power device. Just remember that you are paying a whole lot more for a few dozen of watts you probably aren’t even going to use.
Unregulated box modAccess to replaceable batteries is important, especially if you like to use an external charger and rotate batteries (this practice greatly extends battery life). Some Box mods are designed with this in mind, and use magnetic door covers making changing batteries very easy.
Others use screws, or threaded caps, which will get stripped over time with repeated use. If you use a device that is capable of charging batteries internally via a usb port, then this is not really a problem.
Clone vs. Authentic
Clone vs authentic Box ModClone vs authentic Box ModIf you haven’t noticed by now, the mods listed are all regulated devices; they can be expensive, but cheaper clones are available.
The question is, are you willing to trust a shady Chinese company halfway across the world, who probably doesn’t have the best quality control to accurately reproduce the sensitive electronic components in a regulated mod?
While I dearly love my mech clones, I tend to stick with authentic regulated devices. They are cheaper in the long run since I do not have to replace them after a week, and they have warranty incase something goes wrong.
The Take Away
When looking for a new device, it is important to try out potential mods before actually making a purchase. It has to feel just right, and you must also like the way it looks. Even the most expensive mod with all the fancy bells and whistles can’t satisfy you if it isn’t something you like in the first place.
With these few tips, you can narrow down the many possible choices and decide on a perfect box mod.