Vapestick Add a Slim Line PCC To Their E Cig Kit
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Just as the name suggests the XL version of this product from Vapestick is a refinement of a previous version, the Classic. Although I had a number of reservations about the quality and performance of that original e-cig, the XL version – or certainly the XL starter kit under review – seems to offer an altogether improved vaping experience.Therefore, this review naturally takes as its starting point the particular kit on offer from Vapestick, but also attempts to look at it in the context of some of the other comparable brands.
Packaging and presentation
So, what’s in the box? It costs £42.99 (but there’s a 10% discount available when you’re buying online) and that doesn’t affect the 7-day money back guarantee offered by Vapestick.
In the event, I found the XL starter kit to come in a very attractive and sensible box, containing 2 batteries, 5 cartomisers, standard – and therefore familiar – chargers, and an instruction booklet.
Battery and its responsiveness
The battery used in an electronic cigarette is always a compromise between its capacity to store a charge and the size it therefore needs to be – the greater the storage, the bigger it is going to be.
As I’ve mentioned, Vapestick produce a Classic and an XL version of their electronic cigarette and, just as you’d imagine, the XL’s e-cigs are bigger than the Classic’s – thus allowing for a bigger battery, with a greater capacity for storing its charge. Just in case the measurement means anything – if you’ve already used the smaller Classic version, for example – the batteries + cartomiser supplied with the XL Vapestick are 119mm long (somewhat longer than the dimensions of a conventional king-size cigarette).
As far as looks are concerned, it’s very much a question of personal taste, of course. In my sample pack, I chose the black ones and perhaps took a little exception to the size of the brand name on an otherwise sleek and attractive battery – other colours are available, in chrome and in white, though you still have the problem of a possibly oversized brand name along the length of the battery.
I suppose the real test of any e-cig battery, however, is its responsiveness when you draw on the device. In this respect, the Vapestick XL appeared to do well, developing a reasonably full-volume vapour without the need to “prime” it with initial drags.
In terms of performance, I reckon I got something around two hours of actual vaping – quite reasonable for this size and type of battery, so no grounds for complaint on that score.
The V Charger Case
I especially liked the Portable Charging Case (PCC as you might otherwise know it) that came with this particular kit. Vapestick call it the V Charger Case, which is designed to let you keep one battery on charge whilst you are out and about.
The case has enough capacity to re-charge a battery about three times, which might be enough for moderate users of electronic cigarettes, but is probably less than some other PCCs. Where it definitely steals a march on other portable chargers, however, is in its slim and smooth design, slipping very neatly into your pocket.
To re-charge your battery, you simply need to slot it into the correct position and hold down a button on the front of the PCC. A display on the charger case then turns red and the battery itself begins to flash. Checking the status of the charging battery is then as simple as pressing the button to get a red display to indicate that it is still being charged or blue once it’s done.
Slim and pocket-sized as the PCC is, it nevertheless has room to carry not just the re-charging battery but also one full, ready to use electronic cigarette and three spare cartomisers.
One thing you might not like – I certainly didn’t – about this otherwise excellent piece of kit is the very prominent, not to say garish, use of the brand name on it. I much prefer something a little more discreet, though this might simply be a particular foible of mine.
Overall, therefore I’d give the Vapestick XL a 4 out of 5 for battery performance, responsiveness and the well-designed portable charger. I could have done with a little less obvious branding on both batteries and the charging case – but I guess you can never have everything just so.
Flavour and vapour
The real proof of the pudding, of course, comes in the taste and volume of vapour you get from a Vapestick XL.
Just as you might expect from a starter or sample kit, the product under review came with 5 cartomisers, offering five different nicotine strengths and flavours – three “tobacco” flavours called Original, Tobacco and Menthol (with 2.4%, 2.4% and 1.8% nicotine respectively), plus Cherry and Apple (both with a 1.8% nicotine level). I found this a good representative sample and a wide enough choice to settle on both a flavour and nicotine strength I could enjoy.
Your own favourites will, of course, be determined as a matter of personal taste, though personally I found the Original quite strong and favoured the Tobacco when it came to more conventional flavours, though the Menthol, Cherry and Apple all gave a smoothly satisfying taste, too.
When you have settled on the best blend of flavour and nicotine strength for you, you can buy replacement cartomisers at £7.99 for a box of four (other brands might give you five carts for a similar price, so the Vapestick XL might prove a tad more expensive).
When you visit the Vapestick website, you’ll also see that you can take out a regular subscription for your e-cig supplies have them delivered straight to your door on a weekly, two-weekly, or monthly basis. Not only can such automatic ordering help you avoid the risk of unintentionally running out of your favourite vape, but you can also buy at an attractive 20% discount off the normal price.
If I have one quibble, then it’s that Vapestick don’t (yet) sell the e-liquids you could use to re-fill your own cartomisers. Admittedly, re-filling at home might not be something that new users will want to try, but it would be good if the option were there for more experienced users.
Although I was trying out the XL Starter Kit (£42.99), others come at different prices and levels:
Classic Starter Kit – £29.99;
Classic V Charger Case Kit (essentially the Classic, but with the addition of the PCC) – £39.99; and
MAX Electronic Cigarette – £44.99 (with a longer-life, greater-capacity battery for heavier vapers).
Even if there is nothing wrong or faulty with your Vapesticks, you can still return them within 7 days of purchase; if the goods are faulty, you have up to 30 days in which to return them.
Readily accessible via email, telephone (a UK free-phone number), Twitter and Facebook.
Currently, you’ll find a 10% discount on all orders. As mentioned above, if you take out a regular subscription for your deliveries, you qualify for a 20% discount. Click here for the latest Vapestick discount code.
All in all, there’s probably not a lot more to be said. Vapestick seem to have ticked most of the right boxes in terms of battery performance and responsiveness, flavours and vapour. The portable charging case (PCC) is especially well-designed).