Last updated on March 13th, 2019
A Closed-System Pod Vape That is Free of Tobacco and Benzoic Acid
I was excited when I received one of the newest pod vape systems, the Ripstick from Riptide. You might think I’d be tired of testing and reviewing yet another ultra-portable ecig. After all, the market is literally flooded with them, and there are several that are unremarkable.
The Ripstick; however, is different – not necessarily because of the sleek feel, or the fact that it’s easy to use. It's the only closed-system pod vape that contains tobacco-free nicotine and is free of benzoic acid.
Not even the JUUL can make that claim.
What’s more, the Ripstick is economical.
What Does it Cost?
The cost of the Ripstick TFN (tobacco free nicotine) Pod Starter Kit Bundle is $20.95 – less when it is on sale. You get 2 big pods that have 1.4mL of nic juice + 1 battery.
In comparison, the cost of a JUUL Starter Kit is $49.99. It comes with 4 small pods that have only 0.7mL of nicotine salts e-juice and all pods contain 5% nicotine.
How is Nicotine Salt E-Juice Made?
When it comes to either smoking or vaping, nicotine has always been extracted from tobacco leaves.
The difference between regular freebase nicotine e-liquids and nic salt e-liquids is that regular nicotine contains ammonia to boost nicotine delivery. Nicotine salts e-liquids do not use ammonia.
Instead, nic salts e-liquids traditionally use a higher level of nicotine, and the formula includes low pH benzoic acid to keep those levels from burning your throat.
What About Benzoic Acid?
Benzoic acid is a white crystalline substance present in plant resins and commonly used as a food preservative.
It was first used in the JUUL high nicotine salt e-juice and is now used in most nic salt e-liquids.
Nictech, the makers of the Riptide Ripstick do not use nic salts in the Riptide, yet they were able to formulate a high nicotine, tobacco-free, e-liquid without adding benzoic acid. Their formula delivers a high nicotine e-juice without any harshness.
Ripstick's Five Different Pod Flavors
There are currently 5 flavors available for the Riptide Ripstick and I tested two of them – Mint and Tropical.
Despite the lack of tobacco or benzoic acid, both flavors gave me a vape that was flavorful and smooth. I will say that the Tropical flavor had a slightly stronger throat hit.
You can easily decide on your favorite if you get the variety pack bundle which includes all five flavors.
The Design of the Ripstick
The Ripstick’s battery and USB charging cable come in a separate box from the pods. Although there is only one color – black – the pod vape’s finish is smooth and slightly rubberized. All edges are rounded.
Once you insert the pod and get the feel of the Ripstick you’ll know why it’s becoming so popular.
Riptide compares the shape to a surfboard and uses that image to market the Ripstick. The device is ultra-portable and the vape weighs only 27 grams.
Small, yet sturdy, I found the comfortable brushed finish preferable to metal pod vapes with sharp edges.
I even like the dark e-liquid window, as it adds to the all-in-one design. It may be harder to see how much e-juice is left in the pod when it’s attached to the battery, but removing and replacing the pod doesn’t seem to harm the magnetic connection.
Quick Set Up
Once you get everything out of the box, there's not much to do before you start vaping your Ripstick. The battery comes 30% charged, but I recommend putting it on the charger until the white light goes off. It doesn’t take long.
Remove the two silicone caps at the top and bottom of the pod before inserting it into the battery.
The vape is draw-activated so there are no buttons to push.
There’s no maintenance other than to switch out the pod when it’s depleted. You should keep an eye on your e-liquid level as it can taste burnt if you keep vaping when the pod is empty.
As with all well-made pod vape systems, the Riptide Ripstick includes an automatic shutoff if your draws lasts longer than 10 seconds.
There’s also a short-circuit protection, low-voltage protection and over-charging protection. The last two will protect your device in case you forget to charge it, or leave it on the charger after it is fully charged.
The Riptide Ripstick is the best closed system pod vape I’ve tried to date – and I’ve tested quite a few.
It is currently marketed as having “tobacco free nicotine” and “no benzoic acid”, but frankly I was sold on the feel of the vape, the portability, ease of use and of course, the taste. I did not have any leaking and the 380mAh battery held a charge for over a day.
Even the pods lasted a long time. A single pod lasted for over 7 days.
I also liked the fact that the kit and replacement pods were priced right.
I usually add “Pros and Cons” to my reviews, but after testing the Ripstick for over a week, this critique is all Pros. From the look, to the feel of the device, to the flavor and ease of use, the Riptide Ripstick is a winner.
If you do try the Riptide Ripstick, our readers would like to know what you think, so feel free to leave a comment.