I have been vaping for around 7 years this year and throughout the years, the industry has changed so much that, back then, you would have never have dreamed of what it could be. Back then tanks were simple MTL devices or early sub ohm with terrible coils, mods went up to 50w and cost a fortune to have the pleasure cigalikes were common in shops. In fact the first device I ever used was a cigalike style device, it was terrible and didn’t last long but I can be thankful it started me on my journey to quitting. Once I got set in my ways, plenty of the industry passed me by in all honesty, I liked what I liked and the rest didn’t matter. However looking around, vaping seems to be travelling back in time and the rise and popularity of disposables is a great indication of that. The type of product that existed back in 2013 is back, but it certainly isn’t the same terrible product it once was. In fact big companies have started developing their own versions of the products and plenty of people seem to love them. They make an excellent starting product for people looking to quit, can be quite cost effective and as easy as you are going to get.
So what I wanted to do is take a trip down the disposable route and see exactly what is making them so popular. I picked up a few different types of disposable vape products and put them all through their paces to see if they were worth it, more importantly which one was the best. Which one is worth your money and which ones were just better left on the shelf? For this journey I picked up 4 different disposables, 2 from big names in the field and 2 lesser known brands to really give me an idea of their potential. I wanted to find out if a sub ohm vaper such as myself could get along with them and if any could be a potential product I pick up in the future. Join me as we take a trip through the world of disposable vaping, see you on the other side!
The first one I decided was from a band I had heard of before, Geekbar. This product sounded impressive, 575 puffs, 500 mAh battery and looked quite snazzy. The flavour is something that appealed to me also, I find banana often does not do well at sub ohm levels so being able to enjoy it was a major pull for me. The device looks incredibly impressive, a plastic body that has a curved mouthpiece and the brand name blended into the design in a way that does not make it stand out. At first glance it looked like a little plastic device that could be from anywhere. Only looking closer you can see the clear plastic coating over the product that gives it a little bit more of a premium finish for such a device has a little bit of weight to it, focused more in the bottom to make it feel sturdy and more expensive as well. There is a mouthpiece on the top and a small white light on the bottom to indicate that it is in use, beyond that there is not much else to the product. Once the product is empty, the light will flash when you try to take a pull to indicate this.
So onto using the device now, the flavour for the Geekbar is absolutely fantastic from the get go. A very lovely sweet and smooth banana flavour with a lovely cool exhale to go with it. The flavour seemed pretty consistent for most of the time this device was in use, only when the device started to lose power/E-Liquid that it dropped, but the cool sensation did remain. The pull is a little bit restricted but it feels like you are pulling a good amount of vapour from the product, with certainly a good amount of vapour when you exhale for a product this small. I honestly really enjoyed using this device and looked forward to each vape on it simply down to an overall pleasurable experience. The shape and weight of the device made it easy to pick up and use without much confusion and with it being on the bigger side, harder to lose when I put it down.
The biggest con I can find with this product, is that it seemed like the battery died before the E-Liquid inside was gone. Taking the odd pull every now and again seemed to give me a nice hit of vapour before the battery died again. So the only curiosity I have with the Geekbar is whether the cartridge is bigger than the battery? It did last me a few days of use before it finally stopped working. This needs to be put into context that I probably used it more than you would naturally use it so taking the odd pull every now and again would make it last double that time.
Overall I really enjoyed using the Geekbar and it certainly set the bar high for these types of products.
The next product I moved onto was from an up and coming company, named Elfbar. So a similar name to the previous but the product looks completely different when side by side. The Elfbar is cylinder in shape with a unique looking flat mouthpiece on the top. The flavour sounded extremely tropical so I went with the most exotic sounding one, with high hopes my experience could be just as good as before. This one had a green cylinder body with a black top and bottom, the flavour and logo printed in white on the side. It comes claiming to have 600 puffs and a 550 mAh battery and again it feels quite weighty on the bottom of the device which does give you a little bit of physical satisfaction that it is a high quality product. Design wise this looks more straight forward and less fancy, but the plastic design doesn’t feel cheap in any way. This device comes with a blue light on the bottom that is placed to the side, giving a slight indicator on the bottom side of the device as well. Once the battery / E-Liquid is depleted, the light will flash to inform you.
So how did this one perform? The flavour straight away was fantastic, all the fruity notes were there and even slight bitter/sweet notes were left on the tongue despite its low vapour production. The flavour certainly lived up to expectations and it was a very enjoyable experience. The vapour production from this one is quite small, a little exhale but it felt less powered, making the nicotine delivery much easier. The flat mouthpiece is a brilliant idea, it feels natural to use and certainly makes the top / bottom more distinct along with the weight meaning I had no issue with the pick up and use aspect. I really liked the way the light serves also as an indicator, which makes it more visible when using the product, that is a great idea.
Onto the negatives with this device and much like before, it felt like this device stopped working before 600 puffs, mainly because of the battery. It lasted around 2 days for me with regular use which felt a little short but then without counting the exact number, this could have just been me using it more. The flavour did drop quite quickly using it from the initial great flavour and although there was still flavour there throughout, it felt a little bit more muted. If the device maintained a consistent strong flavour then this would be right up there as an amazing flavour product.
The next step on my journey took me back to another impossible sub ohm flavour in the shape of grape. In my experience, grape is terrible on coils when consistent in flavour and some of the best grape I have had tend to be weaker in flavour to compensate for this. The Frumist is certainly the smallest of the products, with a cylinder style body that moves into a flatter mouth piece at the top. The colour throughout is black, save for the white logo and the green flavour on the side. There is a small white light on the bottom of the device to indicate use which flashes when the device is depleted. The specs for this one came in at 500 puffs and a 400 mAh battery. The product looks more discrete when compared to the previous two but maintains a weight to the bottom of the device to feel sturdy and well made. The inhale is more restricted with this device almost in a way it feels like you are not using it.
So did the product hold up when using it? The short answer is yes, brilliantly. Despite the restricted intake, you do get a lovely vapour production from the product and the flavour is consistent throughout the device use. The grape is lovely and sweet, the artificial grape flavour that often is hard to vape at higher wattages is really enjoyable. In terms of life, it feels like it lasts longer than the other two, despite the lower battery in this one. It has a smaller hit in comparison but by no means less satisfying. The mouthpiece is comfortable and its small size make it easy to hold. It is the most discrete so far and easy to transport as it resembles more like a crayon than a vaping device. This certainly seems to deliver in both flavour and performance and very enjoyable.
Onto the cons for this device now and the biggest one for me is that the flavour seems dryer than the others, which I think has something to do with the intake being restricted. As it does not feel like you are inhaling, the flavour seems to leave your mouth a little drier than the others. If you take too long a pull on this also, the flavour seems to become sterile so this certainly isn’t designed for more than just a short pull. The profile of the device makes it easier to misplace when putting it down and I did every now and again try and vape from the wrong end when I wasn’t paying attention due to its shape. The mouthpiece, although easy to use, felt a little too thick in comparison to the Elf Bar, if it was a little slimmer then it may have been more comfortable to use.
The final stop on my journey saw me arrive at a brand that in terms of the UK market, has grown exponentially over the years since I started vaping. I remember back when Dinner Lady were being hailed for their first E-Liquids so the fact they have even moved onto disposables is a great sign of their growth in the market. For this one I chose to take a look at one of the more generalised flavours, to give me an indication of how enjoyable a simple flavour would be from such a household name. Now this one didn’t like all the others, or even feel like them. Dinner lady have a metallic vape device that is completely cylinder in shape that could be mistaken for an actual pen without any distinct shape or markings. It has another different style of light at the bottom, with the light branching out through 4 little holes rather than just the one compared to the rest which gives a much bigger spread on a surface. The device claims to have 400 puffs and a 350 mAh battery so the smallest specs of the list but it was more about consistency I was looking for.
So onto the actual use of the Dinner Lady and the flavour throughout the experience was consistent and light which was a pleasant surprise. Not that I was expecting a bad experience here, but where the others seemed to start strong and drop over time, the flavour from puff one to the last was the same thorough berry flavour. It was sweet and you could certainly pick up notes of strawberry and raspberry in amongst the slightly cool exhale. The device feels heavy despite its thin profile and the metallic body made it feel much more high quality than any of the others I tried. The draw is tight but not as much as the Frumist and with the lower power output, it felt easy to use. There is a smaller vapour production from this one compared to the rest but that is not necessarily a bad thing, as it makes it a great starting product for anyone looking to quit. The vapour felt smooth on the exhale and combined with its fancy design, felt much posher, if you want to call it that.
Onto the negatives of this experience and the first one that was the hang up for me was how easy it is to hold this one upside down! Without any indication of top and bottom, I often tried to draw from the wrong side, even when actually looking at the device. The lights at the bottom through 4 holes also made the light dissipate much easier so the indicator was harder to see. Even during writing this. The lower power meant that for someone looking for a ‘hit’ this one may not be for you. For a seasoned vaper, it was less satisfying, which puts it more in a nicotine delivery system category much more than any of the others I tried.
I have to say, my experience using these devices was actually rather surprising. One of the biggest things I was looking for was whether a sub ohm vaper such as myself would find myself using them over my regular vape and in certainly one case, that was true. My favourite out of the list was the Geek Bar, the flavour, vapour production and just overall feel of the device was excellent and from start to last it felt enjoyable to me. My least favourite had to be the Dinner Lady, simply for its design aspect making the experience feel and taste metallic, with a lower power output in the process. However these are simply my opinions and the whole list of them were brilliant in their own way, with their own pros. So rather than give you an overall winner, I will instead tell you what each one is best for, so you can pick up the right one for your own needs.
Best Flavour Experience – Geek Bar
Nicest Flavour – Elf Bar
Most Discrete – Dinner Lady
Strongest Flavour- Frumist
Tightest Draw- Frumist
Longest Battery- Dinner Lady
Best Design – Elf Bar
Best Overall Experience- Geek Bar
You can pick up all of these right now at Choppavapes at some of the best prices around. Why not give one of them a try with all flavours available.