Riptide Ripstick Review | Tobacco Free – Benzoic Acid Free

Last updated on May 28th, 2022

Riptide Ripstick Review title image

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



  • 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?

No tobacco symbol

Tobacco Free

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. 

Read: Cold extraction of nicotine used in organic e-liquids

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

No Benzoic Acid symbol

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

Riptide Ripstick in man's hand

The Ripstick Feels Comfortable in Your Hand

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.

Original Ripstick Bundle Kit

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

Riptide Ripstick pod showing bottom

The Ripstick pod has a silicone cap at the bottom that needs to be removed before use.

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?

Riptide Bright Leaf Tobacco Pod

Ripstick Bright Leaf Tobacco Pod

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:

SMOK NORD Pod Vape Review


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  1. Very impressive content. I’m a smoker. I follow your blog and waiting for the next one.

    • Britt on May 23, 2021 at 5:17 pm
    • Reply

    My two rip stick G2s will not take a charge. I plug into my apple computer. Plus two pods from a 6 pack don’t work. What the heck is going on at riptide? Is there a trick to charging these rip sticks? I really like the technology but they are glitchy.

    1. Hi Kim,

      I am assuming you are using the Type-C USB cable that comes with the kit to charge your Ripstick. If you are using any other cable, the device may not charge. Also, if the battery is completely depleted, it can take up to an hour to recharge.

      I’m also assuming that you have removed the mouthpiece plug at the top of the pod and the silicone cap at the bottom of the pod before you insert the pod into the device. Try wiping the bottom of the pod before putting it in the battery. If you have done this and are still not getting a hit, try blowing into pod’s mouthpiece. You can also take a small piece of paper towel, roll it, and insert it into the pod. This can remove any dried e-liquids that can inhibit your draw.

      If you have tried all these methods and your Ripstick still does not function, it is defective. Contact your seller and ask for a new device. I hope this helps.

    • Liz on February 19, 2021 at 2:51 am
    • Reply

    Here’s my two cents. First the bad: The old batteries were better only $5.00 the new battery is $20 and has too much power for the pod resulting in the pod filling with liquid when you hit it. These DO leak, not a lot but they do leak.
    My tips: If your pod fills with liquid take a small piece of paper towel roll it and stick in the middle of the pod. If it’s hard to hit make sure you have a fully charged battery. I clean the inside of the battery with a q-tip dipped in alcohol and always wipe the bottom of the new pod before putting it in the battery..Usually if the pod is hard to start it’s because dried liquid is on the magnets, a easy wipe and it’s good to go. A pod can last over a day and the battery works well..I pay a premium for this product California tax on vape is enormous..I just bought 200 pods and my California vape tax was $56…It is not available in California anymore 🙁 …
    I love the taste of Riptide and it’s as close as a real cigarette as you can get..
    Great review BTW one of the best I’ve read.

    1. Hi Liz,
      Thanks for your helpful comments and kudos for our review!

    • Tommie mitchell on September 9, 2020 at 5:57 pm
    • Reply

    Just bought one brand new out the box charged it for several hours, doesn’t hit well at all. Can’t get a steady pull on it have to keep drawing on it hard over and over to get it to hit and then the juice runs out the end into my mouth. Far as I am concerned it literally sucks! I wouldn’t recommend it at all.

    • S mcguigan on May 26, 2020 at 8:49 am
    • Reply

    Don’t know why there is so much leakage. Please respond. Other than the liquid that is wasted. Love this product.

    1. Hi S,

      Sorry you are having this problem. You’re the first to contact us reporting leakage with the Ripstick. Try removing the pod, placing a tissue at the bottom and blow into the top of the pod. This may resolve the problem. If not, I recommend you contact the company from which you made your purchase. If they have a strong returns policy, they should send you a new Ripstick. Good luck!

    • Tasha B on November 18, 2019 at 5:42 pm
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    I bought my first ripstick pod and it didn’t work at all. The device charged and then wouldn’t light up when put on the charger afterwards. So I assume it was fully charged. The device lit up when I took a hit but there was no release from the pod. So I bought another pod. Same issue: no hit from the pod. I’m super annoyed that this device doesn’t work. I’ll never buy this product again!

    1. Hi Tasha,

      Did you remove all the plugs, both top and bottom?

        • Tasha B on November 19, 2019 at 9:43 am
        • Reply

        Yes my initial review was unfair as it was wrote in the haste of frustration. It turns out the device worked fine and so did both pods. I just wiped both pods down on the bottom with a slightly damp cloth and they worked fine after that. My only complaint now is the salty aftertaste and the burn to my throat on most draws. Ultimately, the ripstick was nice but I like the vuse alto best

        1. Thanks for your reply Tasha! Personally a prefer the 2.4% nic level to the 5.0%

            • Tasha B on November 19, 2019 at 11:03 am
            • Reply

            Yes. I only thought of giving the device another try with the 2.4% nic after returning the device lol

        • Jeremy on January 6, 2020 at 2:17 pm
        • Reply

        Blow into it. Go to a video and follow instructions. My did to. Finally I got it right. I love it. Taste wonderful and better than Vuse Alto in my opinion right now until I finish a not throw them away .. just follow instructions. Hit me back

    • Nick a on November 2, 2019 at 7:06 am
    • Reply

    So i bought a demo ripstick from my local gas station, today is day 3 of owning it. Litterally upon hitting it this morning at work, the juice pod exploded juice all over my hands and my pocket after taking a light hit. I only paid 6 bucks total for favor and stick but i wont be using it again. Im actually quite worried to try and use it again now. Bought it off recommendation to change to pods and seen it while buying cigarettes. Sorry but wont be trying again cause now all i smell is mange favor vape

    1. Hey Nick,

      Never buy vape products from a gas station as they could be knockoffs. Only buy from FDA approved Vape shops or from the big, reputable on-line companies that sell approved products I never even heard of a “demo” ripstick.

    • kay on October 9, 2019 at 11:19 pm
    • Reply

    would a metal detector detect my ripstick

    1. Interesting question Kay! The Ripstick (like all e-cigs) have a lithium ion battery which has aluminum and copper in it, and most have steel cans around the outside too. If you are concerned about taking an e-cigarette through airport security, airlines ALWAYS advise placing your ecig battery in your carry-on case. I do this all the time. If you carry it in your pocket and have to walk through the metal detector, they will make you remove it, (as you would a metal belt).

    • Chrystian on October 6, 2019 at 12:54 pm
    • Reply

    I love the rip stick I totally dig it no complaints ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

    1. Much thanks for leaving your review, Chrystian!

    • Adler Boten on September 29, 2019 at 2:39 pm
    • Reply

    Purchased this device and 5.0% nic blue raspberry and tropical pods yesterday. First I put in the tropical and it tastes spicy and did not get me buzzed and still hasn’t. Then I tried the blue raspberry thinking it would taste a little better and get me buzzed at least but NOPE. I would love a refund, spent $15 on a horrible vape that they claim is way better than any other pod system.

      • Liz on February 19, 2021 at 2:56 am
      • Reply

      Someone is confused. :S

    • Bailey on September 20, 2019 at 12:13 am
    • Reply

    This product is awful, worst one I’ve had. I’ve used juuls, njoy ace, surion, nords, novos, etc. this one spits too much and doesn’t give you a big cloud. Don’t waste the $

      • E on November 1, 2019 at 11:52 pm
      • Reply

      WTF r you talking about??!! You r wrong in everything you just said!

    • Robbie on September 4, 2019 at 8:23 pm
    • Reply

    I’ve seen bottles of the liquid for sale but cannot find any refillable pods. Any idea where I can get the refillable pods?

    1. Hi Robbie,

      The Riptide Ripstick is a closed system vape. That means the pods cannot be filled, and the coil is built-in as well. I’m assuming you are seeing Riptide e-liquids, which are available for open system pod vapes. Two very highly rated open pod vapes are the new NOVO2 or the NORD.

      Thank for commenting and happy vaping!

    • Theresa M McFadden on September 4, 2019 at 8:45 am
    • Reply

    I too am experiencing spitting juice, and escaping air all straight from the box.So far to date I have purchased 6 pods on line at $3.99 a pop plus shipping which makes this product expensive to use on a daily regular basis. I do however like the taste of their juices but not enough to spend the high cost of using everyday so my hunt continues for my best vape experience.

    • Jennifer on August 20, 2019 at 6:08 pm
    • Reply

    Why is my vape making popping noise and I am also not gettting enough draw when I vape??? Please help

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      A popping noise simply means that the device is activating. The Ripstick like many portable pod vapes don’t have an activation button.

      When you say you are not getting “enough draw”, do you mean, not enough vapor? You should get a nice hit and ample vapor. First check that you have removed the little plugs from the top and bottom of the pod. Take a few puffs and it should get going. Hope this helps, and thanks for the visit!

    • Rosalind Rivera on August 5, 2019 at 1:43 pm
    • Reply

    My local vape store sells the pods for $ 5.00. This is the same cost as buying the refill pod here for the exact same cost of $ 5.00. You would think that the cost of the refill pods here on the homeschool te would be less expensive and especially if purchased in quantities. There is also the cost of s&h added to the cost which is eliminated if one makes the purchase at the local vape store. Wise up!! By the way, for the cost of $ 5.00 per refill pod, you would think that each pod would last much, much longer than a few hours! What a rip-off! I’m switching to something equally satisfying, less costly and much more convenient!

    1. Hi Rosalind,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. Our recommended seller (using our buy now button) sells the pods for $3.99 with free shipping, so it’s really a better deal.

      • JayCee on October 27, 2019 at 11:05 pm
      • Reply

      A few hours 🤔‼️❓
      Do you ever come up for AIR ❓🤣I just recently discovered this brand while at a QT convenience store. I noticed that they were on sale for . 99 cent’s for the entire unit plus you had to purchase 2 pods at $3.99 each. I had been using Vapo’s disposable units made by Vapotech at a cost of $21.95 + tax for a 3 pack or $8.25 + tax for a single unit. I was frustrated for the last 5 months with this brand, not only was it getting a bit expensive but it seemed that they weren’t lasting as long. So, for less than $10. I figured that I had nothing to lose. It was the best purchase I’ve made in a very long time ‼️
      I had been using a 6.0 content previously. With the Riptide only offering a 2.4 & 5.0, I bought 1 of each. I came to realize that I enjoyed the 2.4 much more than the 5.0, as well as the sleek design and ease of operation plus the first pod lasted me about 3 + days, compared to the Vapo’s which would only last 2 days before it developed a terrible burnt taste. My only regret is that I didn’t find Riptide Ripstick’s sooner !!!
      Their flavors are much more intense than the Vapo’s and at $3.99 per pod is a steal compared to Vapo’s $7 to $8 a piece. I realize that it’s only been less than a week using this brand, but as of now I’m MORE than satisfied with this product !!!!

    • Rose Hampton on July 28, 2019 at 5:03 pm
    • Reply

    I purchased one dipstick on 7-27-19 as soon as I got home, I read the instructions on how to set it up and I heard a pop sound, is that normal, or unsafe?

    1. Yes, perfectly normal for all auto-draw pod vapes. It just means the battery is activating.

    • Barbara on July 26, 2019 at 11:27 pm
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    I bought the Rip Stick and loved the product, however I two experienced it spitting hot liquid onto my tongue. A little scary. I returned the pod to the store and received another one free. The second one has spit a couple of times but nothing like the first. The first one even leaked fluid onto my lip and the tip to the point of me being able to show the store owner the oily substance. I hope the are able to fix this issue because I love the product otherwise.

    • Ken Barczyk on July 25, 2019 at 12:10 pm
    • Reply

    I don,t know. How to use it My store doesn,t neither

    1. Hi Ken,

      You just charge it, attach a Ripstick pod and vape. Replace the pod when it’s empty. That’s all there is to it 🙂

    • Matilda Smith on July 19, 2019 at 12:51 pm
    • Reply

    I had an awful experience with this product.. which pretty bummed me out. I went to a smoke shop in town to purchase a Jul which neither have I had. So I purchased my rip stick 9-17-19 and the neck day I was driving home from work and I smell fire and I thought house fire. Look over on my center console is the product smoking. I pulled it off the charger and liquid oozing out of the tip. With smoke the battery was so hot. So I called the shop and told them and they said bring it in tomorrow. So I did today. They talked to the producer of the product and they said they didn’t have an cases of this happening which I get, but this was a bad one. So they couldn’t help me so I was out of my money and no product. Which I was totally bummed but happy because it could’ve been way worse if I didn’t notice it when I did and started a fire in my vehicle. But just be aware !

    1. Hi Matilda,

      Sorry about your experience with the Ripstick. We’ve learned that many private vape shops will not honor returns. That’s why all of our reviews offer Buy Now buttons to seller sites that guarantee a free shipping return or refund for any product that does not work properly. Of course, there is no obligation to buy if you visit the site from those links.

      • JayCee on October 28, 2019 at 12:00 am
      • Reply

      Something basic needs to be mentioned. Unfortunately I discovered this problem when I tried my first non-disposable unit. In my haste to get it charged and not reading the directions completly. I overcharged it causing a small leak to develop which then caused the
      e-liquid to enter the heated chamber and burn up as well as the liquid flooding the filter while the liquid would enter my mouth 😖!!! With that experience I’ve learned to read ALL of the directions !!!!
      It states in the Riptide directions that once the unit is fully charged, somehow the unit shuts down and doesn’t accept any further charging. That sounds great, but I find myself paying attention when it’s charging. The directions state that it’s completely charged when the WHITE LIGHT goes OUT !!! I make sure that I don’t overcharge it, regardless of what they say about the unit not overcharging on it’s OWN !! Also, I often use a small portable cell phone charger at times, which works fine, but I discovered that the unit won’t work while the charger is still attached to the unit.
      I was impatient for a puff while it was still attached and nothing was happening, it had been charging for enough time to use it, but no vape…
      Once I disconnected the charger it worked fine.

    • Becky on July 18, 2019 at 11:21 pm
    • Reply

    keeps burning the tip of my tongue.

    1. Hi Becky,

      Do you feel a little “spark” when you vape? If so, the atomizer is spitting e-juice drops and one is hot enough to burn you.

      This usually happens if the tank is either leaking or overfilled, but it can also happen with pre-filled pods. Did you do anything to the pod other than follow the user directions? Did you need to blow into the pod tip or base to get it going? I would contact the seller. If they have a good customer service department they should be able to help or replace your device.

      Hope this works out for you.

    • Sandra on May 21, 2019 at 10:24 pm
    • Reply

    i have been trying to stop smoking and got a rip stick have not smoke not one cigarette in two week went i get the urge i take a puff are two same pod a month using 2.4 mint thanks for rip stick

    1. Wow that’s great Sandra. Thanks for leaving your comment here!

    • Jack on April 16, 2019 at 6:52 am
    • Reply

    Did you find that it started spitting often for you? I love my ripstick but have found unfortunately that it spits often. I have tried hitting it slower and not pulling as hard but still run into the same problem of it spitting juice. When I try to hit slower there are times that the stick doesn’t even ignite(?) to give vape. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Jack,

      I’ve never had a spitting problem with my Rip Stick, but try this. Remove the pod and place a napkin in front of the mouthpiece. Blow on the back end. That can help clear up any liquid that could be causing the pod not to fire, or if there’s gurgling or spitting. Hope this helps!

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