First let’s discuss what they’re not. Vape skins are not to be confused with the more ubiquitous vape mod sleeves. Those are typically made from silicone rubber and are designed to completely cover your mods to protect against dings, scratches and – as every Smok Alien owner can attest – excessive paint chipping.
Generally, rubber sleeves are great for those purposes, but are usually somewhat thick, and – save for a few proprietary cutouts and button recesses – hide the aesthetics of your device.
Vape skins — the commonly accepted term — are pre-cut decals designed to enhance the look and design of your mod, without covering it, adding bulk, or cutting off necessary venting.
Quality vape skins arrive with cardboard backing, flat, sealed and unbent. If your mail carrier is known for ignoring those “do not bend” stamps on packages, you might want to arrange for yours to be picked up at the post office.
Once opening, the decal sheet is generally no different than stickers you’ve seen elsewhere. If you know your mod, you’ll be able to quickly determine where each section goes, allowing for simple installation, as long as you have a steady hand.
That said, this is not something you want to place on your device after three cups of coffee. You need a steady hand. We recommend approaching this with a game plan, focusing on large areas first, and working the skin from the center outwards, smoothing any kinks and bubbles along the way.
Vape skins come in a HUGE range of patterns, textures and finishes, ensuring your mod reflects your personal style and preferences.
Though certain brands claim they’re using only the finest, industrial-grade materials when printing your skin, in reality, these are stickers. Thick-cut, well-designed, removable stickers, mind you. But stickers all the same.
In other words, they will guard covered areas against standard-issue blemishes that come with everyday mod use. But don’t expect much protection beyond that.
If your everyday mod is a little long in the tooth. With the right design (and there are HUNDREDS of them out there, for virtually every mod made within the last four years), a vape skin can give your rig an entirely new, clean look and feel.
Like so many things in vaping, there are quality items, and there are cheap, poor-performing ripoffs. Vape skins are no exception. The more-established companies like J-Wraps or VaporSkinz have proven quality.
Some of the cheap vape skins are easily torn and may not be cut to the exact specifications of a device, leaving unsightly gaps, while other areas are covered entirely. This means taking a crafting knife to correct unnecessary problems – perhaps causing entirely new ones along the way.
Also, though we mentioned vape skins as a cheap alternative to a new mod, make no mistake, they are still relatively expensive. Sure, they’re cut to your device’s specs, but given the falling prices of vape hardware, even a $15-20 investment is notable… especially when it’s a plastic decal.
If you’re looking for a way to protect your investment against the evils of clumsiness and gravity, then you’re better off looking into a rubber sleeve, a lanyard, or very plush carpeting.
But if you simply want to give your old mod an exciting new flair, there are few better ways than a quick vape skin makeover to accomplish this goal.