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Understanding the 3 Main Types of Popular Vape Batteries: ICR (LiCo02 or LiCd), IMR (LiMn), and Hybrid

Posted by David on

It’s only natural that vapers devote most of their attention to selecting the most advanced, high-tech mod, the most impressive coil configurations and the most flavorful e-liquids when creating their setups. But the batteries used to power mods should never be overlooked, as they are just as important. Not only do batteries determine the capabilities of your mod, but they also play a role in the safety of your mod as well.

We know that the world of batteries can be quite confusing to the novice vaper, who is already trying to understand basic vaping terminology. For that reason, we’ve come up with a simple guide to knowing the differences between the main types of vape batteries you’ll find on the market today, which are ICR batteries, IMR batteries and hybrid batteries (a hybrid between IMR and additional configurations). This way, you’ll know what to look for in a high-quality, long-lasting and safe battery from this point on.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Your Vape Batteries

As we said, batteries are perhaps the most overlooked component of a traditional mod-based vaping setup. This is easy to understand, as batteries don’t come with cool features like the rest of one’s vaping hardware. However, the batteries that you choose have a lot more to do with your overall vaping experience than you may realize.

ICR Batteries

Associated with LiCo02 and LiCd models, these are standard lithium-ion batteries that many of us are familiar with. ICR batteries are basically obsolete by today’s vaping standards, although you can find them on the market without much effort regardless.

So, why are ICR batteries obsolete? Well, they’re produced using lithium cobalt oxide, and this makes them fairly unstable. They contain protective cells that are intended to keep the batteries safe, and while this makes them sound ideal, it actually just indicates how potentially unsafe they are compared to other types of batteries. Basically, they were once the standard for vaping, back when vaping mods typically operated at lower wattages.

Now, as you probably know, box mods have gotten more powerful than ever before. While 150 watts used to be considered incredibly high, many of today’s models operate at up to 230 watts. ICR batteries are better suited for lower output levels, so vaping high wattages with these batteries makes them less reliable, and increases the likelihood of damage to your device, as well as potential harm overall. This is because inherently, they have a lower amp limit than IMR and hybrid models.

IMR Batteries

Quickly becoming standard throughout the mod industry, simply because they are more suitable for the sustained high output levels that most vapers enjoy nowadays. They use lithium manganese (LiMn), which makes them far more stable, and therefore more capable of providing safe, reliable, and consistent power to devices operating at high wattage and temperature levels.

IMR batteries are more available than ever before, and most vape shops will tell you that they’re the only way to go for modern vaping devices. The risk of an IMR battery exploding is phenomenally low compared to ICR batteries, and vapers feel safer using them as a result. They also provide more consistent output, which is important if your mod allows you to explore all kinds of output settings. Without this kind of consistency, your output could waver as you vape.

Furthermore, ICR batteries are low-draining, while IMR batteries are not. This means that even though their mAh rating is often lower than those of ICR, they will last longer between charging sessions due to being high-draining. They also have a lower internal resistance for more sustainability.


A newer class of batteries that you’ll find on the vaping market and elsewhere. They combine the chemistry of IMR batteries with those of INR or NCR to bring up the capacity that is sometimes lacking in straight IMR models. This results in high-draining, high-capacity batteries that essentially give you the best of both worlds for longer-lasting vapes that sustain adequate power levels and maintain consistent performance and overall reliability, while also being extremely safe compared to ICR batteries.

Because of the unique features of hybrid batteries, they’re quickly becoming the go-to choose for serious vapers. Especially, ones who maintain high output levels while vaping. The technology is still fairly new, but you can find a wide array of high-quality hybrid models on the market that are great for modern vaping devices. Anyone coming from ICR batteries will likely be quite surprised by how much longer their hybrid batteries last, even when vaping at the highest output levels that their device has to offer.

Choosing the Best Battery for Your Needs

At this point, it’s clear that hybrid batts are likely the best choice for one’s vaping needs. ICR batteries, as we said, are largely obsolete due to common issues we’ve described in detail above. Of course, there are still some devices on the market that are only compatible with ICR batteries, and so vapers using these devices will have no choice.

However, if you’re looking for safety, IMR or hybrids are ideal. If you want the features of IMR batteries but want a higher capacity, hybrids are the clear winner. Now, you can find the perfect vape batteries to complete your setup.

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