I love my JUUL but the prices for the pods are stupidly ridiculous. I looked around for pods that I could use as an alternative. As I was looking, I stumbled across a sale. This is what I found:
Those are the ZiiP pods that were on 5-for sale over at Electric Tobacconist. I was kind of excited that I found something made to work with the JUUL and that happened to be on sale. Where the JUUL pods are anywhere from $15 to $20 a packet of 4, these ZiiPs were $11.
The bottoms of ZiiPs look a lot like the JUUL pods while to tops (mouthpiece) is more narrow and sort of sloped. That's actually nice because it feels nicer to drag on. That's one positive.
Next up in the Pro column is that the flavors are varied. The first JUUL flavor I loved was the Mango. For the ZiiP, I chose a Mango and a Watermelon. The other choices were Strawberry Milk, Cappucino, Mint, and Tobacco. We all know by now that I abhor Tobacco flavors and, other than the Mint, none of the other flavors sounded that appealing. Anyway...
One annoying thing about JUUL pods is that they make a crackling sound when you draw on them. I don't know it that was designed on purpose - you know, to imitate the way a cigarette and draws - or not. I don't like it much and I've noticed that quite a few users feel about it the way I do. That's a kind of a minor and picky thing though. The ZiiPs don't have this "flaw" and the flavor is smoother than with the JUUL pods.
Moving a little into the less-than-positive column, I found that the ZiiP has a much more "airy" kind of draw than JUUL pods. I like that the JUUL pods have a "tight" feel to the draw. It's a lot like the difference between smoking a Regular vs a Light traditional cigarette. I hated light smokes and I would actually put tape around the filter. That's only because I didn't like that loose and airy feel of the draw. The ZiiP isn't as airy as an Ultra Light cigarette but the draw is definitely not as satisfying to me. However, just like with traditional cigarettes, there is a method to adjust the feel of the draw - you just place a finger over one of the side holes of the pod.
There are two bigger negatives to consider as far as the ZiiPs go - they empty a lot faster. A LOT faster. Also, the caps are much harder to remove if you want to refill the pod. I damn near broke a tooth trying to pry the cap off of one. I ended up using a nail file. I can pop the cap (haha!) off a JUUL with my fingers.
Despite these Cons, I would choose ZiiPs any day over the more expensive JUUL pods. Despite the refill hassle, the tanks are bigger capacity on the ZiiPs (1.0ml) vs the JUUL (0.7) and then there is the cheaper price. Oh - a big, big reason to choose ZiiPs over JUUL (even if you can afford not to) is that ZiiPs has more choices in nicotine strength.
ZiiPs are, in my opinion, a great alternative to the JUUL pods. You do have to realize they are different and need to be adjusted to, but... cheaper overall. The biggest test I think will be how many times I can get away with refilling the ZiiPs. I've done up to 6-7 refills with a JUUL pod before things got nasty.