Last updated on May 28th, 2022
UPDATE! The Ripstick has been discontinued! We now recommend the Smok Novo 4 Mini Vape.
Is the Ripstick Really One of the Best Closed System Pod Vapes?
Nictech, the makers of the Riptide Ripstick ultra-portable Pod Vape calls their device the “next generation in nicotine experience”.
I soon learned that this statement is not just flashy promotional bravado. The nic juices in the Ripstick’s pre-filled pods are like nothing I’ve experienced in any other pod vape.
Nictech uses a different formula of e-liquids – one that is tobacco free and benzoic acid free…and it tastes great.
The Ripstick device is also well designed – lightweight and very ergonomic. Just charge it, attach a pod and vape.
Disclosure: For the purpose of this review, I received a complimentary Riptide Ripstick Bundle from International Vapor Products. As always, my comments and recommendations are my own.
Here Are My First Impressions of the RipTide Ripstick
- Ergonomic and Easy to Use
- Tobacco-Free Nicotine
- Benzoic Acid Free
- Battery Holds a Charge for Over a Day
- Pods Last for 1-2 Weeks
- Very Economically Priced
WHAT COULD BE BETTER?
- While no fault of Riptide, the FDA now limits all brands of closed pod vapes such as the Ripstick to Tobacco flavor. Only open pod, disposables and tank system vapes let you vape fruit or sweet flavors.
- E-Juice Window is Large, But a Bit Hard to Read.
- You sometimes have to blow into the pod to get it going.
Tobacco Free Nicotine?
The original Riptide Ripstick Kit is called a “TFN Bundle”. It includes your vape pod pen and 2 pre-filled e-juice pods. TFN stands for Tobacco Free Nicotine.
With most e-liquids (including most nicotine salts) the nicotine is extracted from the tobacco leaf. The non-tobacco nicotine used in the Riptide Ripstick, is extracted from other plants that contain nicotine, such as tomatoes and eggplant.
Methods of nicotine extraction vary – some require heat, others use cold extraction.
The nicotine is then added to the e-liquid.
Riptide Ripstick pods contain nicotine, but the formula does not contain any tobacco.
Riptide is Also Benzoic Acid Free
Traditionally, nicotine salt formulas include benzoic acid, a common food preservative. This additive keeps your vape from becoming too harsh.
The Ripstick gives you a flavorful vape (even at high nicotine levels) without the need for nic salts or benzoic acid. I found the taste to be smooth and flavorful.
Overall Design of the Riptide Ripstick Pod Vape
Weighing only 27 grams, and only 93mm in length, the Riptide Ripstick is ultra-portable and feels great in your hand. It has a smooth, rubberized coating and all edges (including the mouthpiece) are rounded. I much prefer it to cold metal pod vapes with sharp edges.
There are no activation buttons or temperature settings. You just charge the Battery, pop in your pre-filled NicTech pod and vape.
The original Ripstick Bundle comes in a compact box that includes:
(2) 380 mAh rechargeable batteries
(2) Bright Tobacco Flavored pods with a large 1.4 ml capacity.
(2) USB Charging Cables
(1) User Manual
More About the Pods
You can order your Ripstick pods with either 2.4% or 5.0% nicotine. Each pod holds 1.4mL of NicTech’s TFN unique e-juice.
Before you insert your pod into the battery, you have to remove the mouthpiece plug at the top of the pod and the silicone cap at the bottom of the pod.
There is large e-juice window on the pod, but the dark color of the window makes it a bit difficult to see the level of your e-liquid. I suspect the color was chosen to blend with the overall design of the Ripstick.
Charging the Battery
The Riptide Ripstick battery comes about 30% charged, but it only takes about a half hour to get a full charge. You’ll know it’s ready when the white indicator light turns off.
I was able to vape about 2 days before my battery needed re-charging. That’s pretty good, since I did vape throughout the day. Of course, if you chain vape, you’ll deplete the charge faster.
How Does the Tobacco Free Nicotine and Absence of Benzoic Acid Affect the Taste?
I first tested the Bright Tobacco flavor at 2.4ml nicotine level and wondered whether the lack of benzoic acid would give me a harsh vape. 2.4ml always gives me too strong a vape. Well, I found it to be surprisingly smooth. The throat hit was a bit stronger on the 5% nicotine level flavors.
I understand how Nictech can omit benzoic acid from their e-liquids, but they don’t really tell you how they formulate their tobacco free nicotine. One can only speculate that the nicotine is extracted from a different plant base, or it is synthetic, (which is not uncommon).
In any case, the flavor was rich tasting and very smooth. The throat hit was a bit stronger on the 5% nicotine level flavors.
One pod didn’t fire, so I covered the mouthpiece with a napkin and blew into the back end of the pod. After doing that, it worked great. It’s best to take gentle puffs and wait at least 10 seconds in between puffs.
I have to say that my pod lasted almost 2 weeks.
The Ripstick was a nice vape, but it is no longer available.
Looking for a great pod vape pen with a refillable pod? Check out this review:
WE TWEET THE VAPE SALES!