Riptide Ripstick Review | Tobacco Free – Benzoic Acid Free

Last updated on May 17th, 2019

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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 Ripstick 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.

Here Are My First Impressions of the RipTide Ripstick

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.


  • 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

  • All Five Flavors Are Either Tobacco or Fruit. So Far, There Are No Savory or Dessert Flavors
  • E-Juice Window is Large, But a Bit Hard to Read

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Tobacco Free Nicotine?

No tobacco symbol

Tobacco Free

The Riptide Ripstick Kit is called a TFN bundle that 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.

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 380mAh Battery, pop in your pre-filled NicTech pod and vape.

Riptide Ripstick parts inside box

Riptide Ripstick and USB Charger in Box

The Ripstick Bundle comes in a compact box that includes a black battery, a micro USB charging cable and a user manual.

Your 2 pods come in separate boxes since you get to choose the e-liquid flavor and nicotine level for each pod. 

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 mint flavor pod and box

Ripstick Mint Disposable Pod

I first tested the Mint 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.

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).

Riptide Tropical flavor pod and box

Ripstick Tropical Disposable Pod

In any case, both my Mint flavored TFN e-juice and Tropical flavor blend were rich tasting and

In any case, all flavors rich tasting and very smooth. The throat hit was a bit stronger on the 5% nicotine level flavors. 

One or two pods 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.

There are currently five flavors available: 

  • Brightleaf Tobacco
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Tropical
  • Mint 
  • Berry Crunch

I have to say that my pod lasted almost 2 weeks.

If you want to try all flavors, you can get a Variety Bundle Kit. These bundled kits come in either 24mg or 50mg strength.


I found the RipTide Ripstick Pod Vape to be the most innovative closed system pod vape to date. Beautifully designed, it delivers a satisfying, smooth vape that’s tobacco-free and benzoic acid-free. 

The kit comes complete with a battery, a charger and two pods. What’s more, you can choose a different flavor and nicotine level for each pod.

The Ripstick surpasses all other disposable pod systems I’ve tried – including the JUUL. It is certainly less expensive. Right now you can get a kit bundle for less than $21. Replacement pods are only $3.99. 

The Riptide Ripstick wins hands down when it comes to flavor, e-juice formula, and price. It’s a ripping good vape.

RIPTIDE 9.8 Rating image

Have you tried the Ripstick? We appreciate your comments! If you like it, what flavor do enjoy most? If you don’t like it let us know why. Thanks for visiting Best E-Cigarette Guide.

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    • 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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