The Aviator Club Review (Disposable ECigarettes Subscription)
As a rule we are very careful these days when it comes to reviewing cig-a-like brands and/or disposable cig-a-likes. The reason is most of them are just plain junk. But sometimes we discover a cig-a-like or disposable brand that is worth the work we put into our reviews. The Aviator Club is one of those companies. I sincerely hope you read the entire review. While The Aviator Club isn’t for everybody, it has an interesting appeal, undeniable quality, and the business model, while not unique to the industry, is certain unique to the category within our industry.
First, here is The Aviator Club’s basic mission statement, or formal introduction. Either way, it effectively distills the company’s purpose into a single paragraph.
THE AVIATOR CLUB BRAND
Aviator Club is an independent startup that is introducing the world’s first disposable eCigarette subscription. We aim to do for disposable e-cigarettes what dollar shave club did for disposable razors. We deliver premium quality and convenience… and most of all attitude. While we always strive for perfection, don’t be fooled – we still know how to “live for the moment” and most of all, have fun! Aviator Club offers vapers a nostalgic ode to the “glory days” of the mid-20th century aviation and smoking culture. If you’re looking to belong to a club that is stylish and contemporary, Aviator Club is where you belong… it’s the lifestyle you were meant to live. Are you in?
Pure convenience. Clean ingredients. Now disposable.
If you’ve read my reviews before you know I couldn’t care less about “attitude”. This is all marketing and while I think marketing is essential when selling anything, especially in electronic cigarette industry, it must also be honest. I don’t mind trying to create an atmosphere of fun, or being clever, but it must contribute to the company’s true identity.
The statement above by Aviator Club is an innocuous one. There isn’t an ounce of dishonesty in it, it’s just harmless “hipster doofus” talk, and that’s fine by me. They definitely earn points in my book for not claiming to be the best eCigarette in the world.
What The Aviator Club Is… In Simple Language
The Aviator Club is a subscription service. A subscription like an eLiquid Subscription plan,. only with The Aviator Club you are subscribing to a service that will send you X number of disposable eCigarettes every month. Unlike other subscription services in this industry, the monthly shipment is the disposables from The Aviator Club. Disposable eCigarettes I will thoroughly discuss below.
I will begin first with the eCigarettes themselves and then move on the subscriptions, what you receive, and the pricing. I believe you will be surprised.
The Aviator Club Disposable eCigarette
TAC (The Aviator Club) offers three (3) different ‘flavors’, Retro, Original, and Menthol. They are, currently, 18mg nicotine eCigarettes, but in the coming weeks or months they will offer multiple nic-levels, including zero nic. They are PG-based eCigarettes, with some “glycerin” (palm or vegetable, I don’t know which), water, and natural and artificial flavoring.
The disposable eCigarette is a soft-tipped, normal sized, and dark brown in color. They are light enough to keep between your lips as you bit down on the tip, making the “smoking” experience comfortable and familiar.
Below I have reprinted the “official” descriptions for each flavor. Below that I’ll give you my honest assessment of each one.
The smooth and lifting experience of Aviator Original was inspired by a session at the Whiskey Bar. Its gratifying flavor profile combines the finest tobacco with a hint of sweet mocha.
Aviator’s take on the classic as translated for a smarter, more modern class of customers. Retro Gold offers a luscious, full-bodied flavor profile reminiscent of classic American tobacco.
Here’s your ticket to an enlightened flavor profile that is as cool as it is refreshing. Experience Sky Menthol for an icy jolt of spearmint, vanilla and tobacco.
My assessment of the flavors, vapor production, throat hit, and satisfaction are below. Along with my impressions, I asked the Spinfuel eLiquid Team to try them as well, and they have added their own opinions to this review. We all vaped at least one full eCigarette for each flavor.
Aviator Original – A good taste to the vapor, and you will definitely taste that “sweet hint of mocha”. It does not have that ever-familiar ‘Chinese generic eLiquid taste’ that most disposables eCigarettes on the market do have. Vapor production was surprising good, but unfortunately it did not offer much of a throat hit despite the prominence of Propylene Glycol. “Original” was my favorite of the three, probably because I’ve been vaping for more than 2 years and forgot what cigarettes take like. The flavor was close to that of a high quality eLiquid in a cartomizer.
Julia, Tom, and Jason all thought the Original was one of the besting tasting disposables eCigarettes they’ve had, and agreed that the vapor production was far better than the majority of disposables they’ve vaped.
Overall Score: 4.75 Stars
Sky Menthol – Menthol? Maybe, but very, very light menthol. The flavor of Sky Menthol was kind of ‘plain’…not bad, just ‘plain’. The aftertaste leaves a ‘menthol-like’ tingle on the tip of your tongue. The taste of spearmint is there, however light. I did not taste any vanilla. Again, virtually no throat hit with Sky Menthol, but the vapor was very good for a disposable eCigarette.
Sky Menthol was a hit with Tom. He said that despite the lack of an ‘icy jolt’, the flavor wasn’t bad at all. “All they need to do is re-jigger the recipe some, bump up the spearmint, or switch to peppermint.”
Julia, not a menthol vaper, didn’t like it and remarked that there is a “peppery tingle to it. Disappointing, I think I might have liked an icy jolt if it were there. This one needs work.”
Jason disliked it more than the others, saying in part, “Sky Menthol isn’t a menthol at all. I’m not sure what it is, but it isn’t very good at all. Back to the drawing board on this one.”
Overall Score: 3 Stars
Retro Gold – Definitely has a bolder flavor, though I do take issue with their description that the Retro is for “smarter, more modern class of customer”. The first time I read it I thought to myself, “Excuse me? Smarter? Who wrote this crap?” Even after a week I have to ask, what ‘smarter’ has to do with vaping? My girlfriend Angel liked this one a lot though, and kept swiping it from me while I was in the review period.
Tom liked Retro the best because it has the strongest flavor, and produced a healthy amount of vapor. Although this one came closest to a Chinese-type eLiquid, Tom said, “I could vape these easily when I need to stealth vape.” That is high praise coming from Tom
Julia believed the “Original” flavor was sweeter, tastier, and stood a much better chance being favorably received by our audience. Still, she believe Retro was “Pretty damn good for a disposable”.
Overall Score: 4 Stars
Bottom Line On Flavors –If you were a cig-a-like vaper, or a current smoker, you would be pleased with the flavor, though you might want cooler menthol in Sky Menthol. The vapor production isn’t on par with a tobacco cigarette, I don’t know any cig-a-like that is, but with a strong enough pull there is plenty of vapor to be found. Flavor wise and vapor production capabilities, Aviator Club disposable eCigarettes are, as Julia would say, “pretty damn good”.
But not everything in the Aviator Club is as it seems to be. Below I discuss some of the issues that I have with the product, and the company itself. Nothing huge, but certainly a bit annoying.
The Aviator Club has evaluated their disposables with a “puffing machine” and found that they averaged 350 puffs each. But this is a misleading statement that needs to be challenged.
Given that the Aviator Club is a startup company who may have executives at the top that never smoked cigarettes, or who have never vaped an electronic cigarette in their lives, I am willing to out on a limb here and state that their claims about the “puffing machine” are innocent of deception. When reviewed, or tested, by a real vaper you get a better sense of the real puff count, and I’ll talk about that below.
Real ‘Vaper Puffs’
Vapers puff longer on eCigarettes than they did when they smoked tobacco cigarettes. With burning tobacco packed tightly in a paper tube tobacco smoke escapes whether you smoke it or not. The amount of smoke from a tobacco cigarette puffed on by a normal smoker is huge compared to vaping. To make up for that vapers pull longer and more aggressively. Taking a “smokers pull” on an electronic cigarette will produce a tiny amount of vapor on any cig-a-like on the market. So, we call the puffs, drags, or pulls that a Vaper takes as a “Vapers Puffs”.
Realistically speaking, no vaper I know is going to take tiny little puffs from a disposable. Julia, Tom, Jason, and myself got an average of 180-200 “Vaper puffs” from Aviator Club disposables.
That number is quite spectacular actually, and considering NJOY gives you, at most, 50 Vapers puffs, and a Blu Cigs disposable, that is about 50% larger than the Aviator disposable will give you about 130 Vaper puffs… on a good day, Aviator Club disposables score very high indeed…in it’s class. You simply cannot compare the vape experience from an eGo/Spinner battery and a clearomizer (or higher) to any cig-a-like.
Puff Count Conclusion
Unless you are currently vaping a cig-a-like brand, or you’re still smoking tobacco, you won’t be impressed by Aviator Club disposables if you compare them with what you are vaping with now. Having said that, if you are currently vaping a cig-a-like or some other disposable, switching to an Aviator Club disposable has many advantages, including performance and vape satisfaction.
In the past any “monthly shipment” arrangement with an eCigarette brand was a warning sign that you’re about to be screwed. Rest assured this is not the case with Aviator Club. In fact, by the end of this review many of you might just want to sign up. I know I do.
Spinfuel eMagazine received several “Test Drive” packs, which I’ll explain a bit later. These packs contain a single disposable eCigarette. As a subscriber you will receive a pack of disposables containing five (5) disposables. You can choose which ‘flavor’ you want, but each 5-pack contains a singular flavor.
Choosing the “right” Subscription Level
When it comes to choosing a subscription level you should read, and then ignore, what the Aviator Club says about each level.
The Problem Area
Aviator Club indicates that one of their 5-packs (5 disposables – $25 plus free shipping = $5 per disposable) will last the equivalent of a carton of cigarettes, or 2 packs per disposable. Using the “puffing machine” calculations of 350 puffs per disposable this is true enough, but realistically it is way off.
350 puffs per disposable is supposed to equal 40 tobacco cigarettes, according to Aviator Club. That equates to 1750 puffs per 5-pack. On a per tobacco cigarette basis the Aviator Club is saying that each tobacco cigarette gives you 8.75 puffs.
The realistic Vaper Puffs of 180 puffs per disposable will give you 900 puffs per 5 pack. Using the Aviator Club’s number of 8.75 puffs per cigarette you will actually get closer to 22 tobacco cigarettes, or 1 pack of cigarettes. Let’s see how that affects the subscriptions below.
A Level One (Single) subscription is $25 a month, with free shipping included. That’s $5 per disposable. As far as disposable eCigarettes go that’s pretty inexpensive. Combine that with a more than decent flavor and vapor production, its definitely one of the better brands on the market right now.
But I suggest that if you really want to subscribe to The Aviator Club order twice the number they say you should. A 5 pack of disposables are about 5 packs of tobacco cigarettes, if vaped liked a normal vaper. Will 5 disposables last you a month? Better yet, if you smoke half a pack a day, a light smoker, than each disposable eCigarette would need to last 4 days. That just won’t happen. Battery technology just isn’t there yet. You’ll have to make stronger pulls on that eCigarette beginning on Day Three, and stronger still on Day Four if you’re fortunate enough to have it last till the fourth day, a long shot at best.
Level Two (Twin) contains 2x 5-packs at $45 a month and Level Three, (Turbo), offers 15 packs for $60 a month, free shipping included. The Turbo subscription makes the most sense.
The Turbo subscription breaks down to just $4 per disposable, and that folks, is the best deal going anywhere. If you experience the same puff count we did, which is 180 Vaper puffs from one disposable than $4 is a very good price.
Every eCigarette brand will tell you that vaping is less expensive than smoking. In all honesty that really depends on what state you live in and how much a pack of cigarettes will cost you.
If you wind up, as many people do, vaping more than you smoked you could end up using more than one disposable eCigarette per day. In states where a pack of cigarettes cost $5 you might save $1 each day, but if you wind up vaping more than you expected you’ll spend more than $5 per day. In states where you’ll spend close to $10 per pack you’ll still save $2 a day even if you go through two disposables a day, with two Turbo subscriptions.
My guess, from being a former smoker and a current vaper is this: If you vape only disposable eCigarettes you can expect to go through 30 disposables a month, at least. That would mean subscribing to two Turbo subscriptions for $120 a month. For many current smokers that can still be cheaper than supporting the deadly habit of tobacco smoking
The Aviator Club offers a couple of bonuses that make the cost of subscribing a tiny bit less, but it’s still worth talking about.
Free Shipping will save you about $5.50 a month, in addition to free shipping the Aviator Club has a recycling program in place where you can earn one additional disposable when you return 10 empty disposables.
I like the idea of a recycling program because this industry in particular produces a ton of waste with empty cartomizers, spent clearomizers, tanks, batteries, and of course, disposables. The Aviator Club is at least trying to do something about it. It isn’t much, for those 10 disposables you send in they will send you an extra disposable in your next shipment, unfortunately you pay the postage to send them back in, so with postage being about $5 to return them you’re breaking even, at best. But you’re doing a good thing, so why not?
The Test Drive
Not sure how you feel about subscribing to a service where you’ve not tasted the product or discovered how long each disposable with last? The Aviator Club will send you three (3) disposables, one of each flavor, for a flat $10. Free Shipping too. That’s $3.33 per disposable to see how you like them. That is a very fair way, and a smart way, to test the merchandise. I applaud The Aviator Club for offering it.
Bottom Line – Buying Advice
Before deciding anything, including the Test Drive, check out the FAQ the Aviator Club set up.
The Aviator Club is as honest as possible in their FAQ, and I would certainly have no trust issues if I were inclined to sign up for a subscription, which I am.
I don’t usually vape disposables, but these are pretty good and I enjoyed vaping them. The Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team said they were the best disposables they’ve tried as well, but since they don’t have an interest in disposables they have no interest in a subscription.
But here’s the deal; If you like vaping on a disposable I would say you have about a 90% chance that you will find The Aviator Club the best you’ve had, and the least expensive if you opt for the Turbo plan, or you might even enjoy the Single plan if you’re interested in having an inexpensive disposable around for stealth vaping. It’s a lot better than popping into Walgreens and springing for a Blu Cigs disposable to $10.99 when you need one.
Here’s my suggestion if you’re interested. Take the Test Drive first. Try them out. If you like them, sign up for the Turbo and get them at the best possible price of $4 per disposable. If, at the end of the month you have any left then you can adjust your subscription, or quit altogether. The Aviator Club makes it easy to cancel your subscription; you won’t play phone tag for days like some companies.
If I sign up I will do it that way, minus the Test Drive since I’ve already vaped them. By getting 15 disposables each month for $60 I will either vape them all, or a couple months down the road adjust my subscription and have a reserve just in case I need them. But I don’t, and won’t, use disposables as my only source of electronic cigarettes. Sometimes however, all I want to do is grab one and vape, without having to switch out atomizers, or refill a tank, recharge a battery, or anything else. It is definitely convenient to just pick it up and start vaping.
I went into this review with some preconceived notions that these disposables were going to taste like Chinese generic disposables, last about 2 hours or so, and put out lousy vapor to boot. I was wrong. I like these things, and I liked being able to bite down on it and vape as I typed this review. It’s the closest I’ve been to smoking in a long time.
I may not be hip enough to get with the Aviator Club “attitude”, but I have to tell the truth, these guys are for real. I hope that succeed. They have a good product, more than fair pricing, and if their customer service is good then they have an excellent chance of becoming the first successful disposable eCigarette subscription service.
That’s my review, I hope you liked it. If you have any comments about my review or the Aviator Club’s product I’d like you to consider leaving a comment or two.
The Hipster Doofus Attitude