A couple of weeks back we received a starter kit and a micro-disposable e cigarette from Vapourlites, a company based in the UK. While I would love to tell you that our readership in the UK is huge, I can’t. I’m the one in charge of analytics for Spinfuel eMagazine and at last look only 11.2% of our readers come from the UK. With a little more than 110,000 visitors in November that’s roughly 12,000 visitors from across the pond.
The VL1 Menthol Starter Kit – $16.35
The VL1 Starter Kit includes one battery, one USB charger (dongle only) and one cartomizer. Right away I get suspicious of Vapourlites because of the claim that this one cartomizer is equivalent to 40 cigarettes, or 2 packs. I can tell you right now, that unless they are talking about 40 cigarettes consumed by a small kitten then they are overstating it. I would really love to know how these companies come up with these calculations.
I vaped the entire cartomizer is half a day, from 8AM to 1PM. When I smoked I was a pack a day smoker at worse, ¾ of a pack on most days.
Taste – Yep, its menthol. Not really good menthol, and not really bad menthol. Its just menthol. No big whoop. I think that if you smoked menthol cigarettes you will recognize the flavor of menthol without tobacco.
Vapor – Putting it as simply as I can, the vapor is minimal at best. Even with a huge drag from a fully charged battery there wasn’t as much vapor from it than there is from a 3-second drag from, say, Halo Cigs G6 or a Triple 7. And before anyone accuses me of hawking Halo or 777 let me say that those two are the only cig-a-likes I’ve ever vaped before that were rechargeable. I have had several disposables though. Even so, with both brands producing more vapor than Vapourlites I can safely say that vapor production is not good.
Throat Hit – Its menthol, so you get a menthol type throat hit. End of story.
Refills – I didn’t get any refills with the starter kit, but on their website that list them at $16.35 for a 5-pack. Wicked too expensive. If we can expect the same amount of eLiquid in the refills carts than it’s not even worth discussing.
General Take – I don’t have a problem with the price of the Vapourlites starter kit, $16 is okay. What I do have a problem with is any single battery, single cartomizer kit. I suppose that if I vaped menthol and I was out of town unexpectedly and ran out of my usual brand of e cigarette I would pick one up, if the store where I bought them didn’t have my brand in stock.
As an emergency kit you could do worse, but I don’t suggest that a new Vaper start off with a single battery kit, much less one that comes with a single cartomizer that’s going to last about 10-12 cigarettes worth.
Verdict – In a pinch its okay, as an everyday brand you could do much, much better. I do not recommend them in any situation other than an emergency and it’s the only game in town.
VL Micro Tobacco – $6.53
The VL Micro is the shortest e cigarette I’ve ever seen. Barely 3 inches long, it’s tiny tiny tiny. Unlike the thin micro-size brands like NJOY, these guys are fat and stubby. They are the same width (or is it circumference?) of their normal batteries, only about half the length. The VL Micro is shorter than the NJOY if you can believe it.
Taste – Generic tobacco. Chinese eJuice flavor. Not completely awful, not very tasty. Basic. I asked my colleagues about the flavor, since my experience has been limited to the brands mentioned above, and disposables like NJOY, VUSE and Blu Cigs. They tell me the taste is identical to everything from Green Smoke to White Cloud. The only e cigarettes in the mainstream market that has an original taste, an original ‘good’ taste is VUSE and Blu Cigs disposables; everything else at this level of the game tastes the same. If you happen to like that flavor/taste of the bottom-rung brands, then you won’t mind this one. I thought it tasted very generic, like you would expect from Wal-Mart.
Vapor – Vapor output was a bit better than the rechargeable VL1, but still no better than average.
Throat Hit – None. Seriously, not even with a huge drag. It’s 16mg nicotine strength too.
Confusion – Here’s something I don’t understand. Vapourlites claims that the Micro will last about 15 regular cigarettes, yet the VL 1 singular cartomizer will last up to 40 cigarettes. Looking at the size of the cartomizer they are within a hairs breath of being the same size. So is it the battery that dies out before the eLiquid dries up, or what?
Notable – NJOY suffers from the dreaded 35 drags and you’re done syndrome, which is about 2 cigarettes worth. $10 is a lot to pay for a couple of smokes. The Vapourlites Micro lasts far longer than the NJOY did, but not as long as the VUSE did. Is it 15 cigarettes worth? I don’t think so, but it’s been so long since I’ve smoked a real cigarette it’s hard to tell. If we’re going by the “12 puffs in a cigarette” standard that no, 12×15 = 180 drags. My experience was more like 80, which is still more than twice that of NJOY.
Verdict – I wouldn’t have a problem with picking up one of these Micros for six bucks if I was in need of a vape and couldn’t find one. They are cheap enough for an occasional purchase, and they don’t taste like crap, they just taste ordinary. But it would serve its purpose; it would keep me away from cigarettes and satisfy my need for a smoke/vape.
I would feel a lot better about Vapourlites if they put in writing on their website that buying a starter kit with one battery and one cartomizer is no way to switch to vaping from cigarettes. They should say they offer this particular kit as a stop-gap measure, when you need a vape and can’t get one, or if you want to build up your battery collection and gain an extra USB charger. Other than that, there is absolutely no value in a single battery kit. But ya know, considering that American Smoke, Regal, Vapex, and all the rest of the scammer brands in the US charge anywhere from $99 to $150 for the same amount of product, at least you’re not being raped in the process.
As for flavor and vapor production, it doesn’t meet my needs but then again there are those that enjoy the flavor of generic juice, so if you like Green Smoke or South Beach e cigarettes you’re likely to enjoy Vapourlites.
Vapourlites does sell starter kits that include two batteries and six cartomizers for the low, low price of $39.25. That’s not a bad deal, so I applaud them for that. They call these starter kits Premium Dual Battery kits, when in actuality there is nothing premium about them. ALL starter kits need to include 2 batteries, at least, unless they are emergency stopgap kits.
All in all, products like Vapourlites are a dime a dozen. In all honesty I can’t see how in the world there are so many brands like this. How do they survive? How many kits can you sell a day when there are 5000 brands right behind you selling the exact same thing?
With e cigarette brands on the market that actually offer great tasting, American made eJuice, batteries that are 10 times better quality, and with the same price points, and sometimes a whole lot less, brands like this flourish. I’ll never understand.
I don’t suspect many of our readers are in need of another cig-a-like choice. I think the amount of time that a new Vaper goes from a cig-a-like to something larger, like a Johnson creek Vea or a Halo Triton, Vision Spinner, and all the way to iTaste VTR’s and 134’s, is getting shorter and shorter, so what’s the point in another cig-a-like brand, other than to make a fast buck and move on when they aren’t selling anymore?
If you are looking for a cig-a-like experience there are many to choose from, too many if you ask me. I don’t recommend Vapourlites in any case, other than mentioned above. If you’ve stumbled across this review from Google or Bing, might I suggest you read some other reviews here in Spinfuel eMagazine, and if you’re serious about quitting cigarettes in favor of e cigarettes, read our reviews for the Halo G6 or the 777 eCigs kits. Save yourself some grief, some time, and some money. You’re going to get there at some point anyway.
Oh, and one more thing… Vapourlites really should tell their potential customers how they calculated 40 cigarettes per cartomizer. I’d love to see that, wouldn’t you?Dave Foster Spinfuel IT