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From one vape store to another the definition of “starter kits” differs. At online cigalike shops such as Green Smoke, White Cloud, and South Beach Smoke these refer to kits for beginners; people who are literally just starting to vape. They might have barely given up cigarettes or still be smoking some of the time. At other stores these refer to kits which help a person get started with any sort of device, so they have all or at least some of the equipment required to operate and recharge a vaporizer at any level. Here are some configurations you could find.
This is the real newbie’s first set and it has to come with three things: a USB charger, a battery, and flavor cartridges. When you first start out, a starter set is also a guide to vaping, in a sense. You know that if stuff is in the box you are expected to use it somehow whereas later, when you know what you’re doing, some things go without saying.
Certain people would also say that a beginners’ kit should come with a second battery and an AC adapter and that a real starter kit contains at least 5 cartridges. You don’t really get a feel for what vaping is like and how convenient it can be without the second battery which provides a chance to learn timing and preparation. When your 3- or 4-hour battery runs out, you realize how much you need battery number 2.
You should probably go for a kit with at least 5 (but preferably 10) cartridges since they are used up so quickly. Some bundles also contain a case, a portable charging device, and a lanyard; a car charging adapter, perhaps a USB e cig, or maybe a disposable electronic cigarette. Couples’ kits simply double all of the basic equipment so two people can learn to vape side-by-side.
Prices for all of this gear vary so widely and customer preferences are so different it is hard to nail down the best price. V2 Cigs provides numerous options including a set that comes with refillable cartridges or tanks plus e juice. Halo provides one of the best value kits for their G6 and a lot of colors plus the option to select refillable cartridges, but juice is extra (though high quality and inexpensive). Smokeless Image probably sells the cheapest sets around. A few other brands of note include Vaporfi, Fin, 21st Century Smoke, and Vapor4Life.
An eGo cigarette goes beyond cigalikes to provide many hours of vaping per charge. Instead of recharging three or four times daily, a person can probably manage to recharge just once around midday with a 650-mAh eGo battery.
You might get away with just one battery and a single tank in this case as long as recharging can be done while you continue to vape, but that’s not always the case. You could revert to your cigalike while recharging an eGo. Many people do. There are also 1100-mAh sets plus several containing variable voltage e cigs and lots of color choices.
Top-value eGo starter kits are packaged in a zipper case with a syringe or dripper bottle for easily refilling the clearomizer also included. Usually, if there are two batteries, two clearomizers are also in this package plus a USB charging cable. The addition of a bottle of e juice sweetens the deal. Halo’s Triton is a good example. The Kanger EVOD and Joyetech eGo are two more. Vaporfi supplies the Pro series as their eGo offering.
Clearomizers could be disposable or come with replaceable atomizer heads. They have built-in or removable drip tips and are usually made from polycarbonate rather than glass. Their single coil configuration is best used with low-viscosity e juice (high-propylene glycol) and flavors that don’t crack or cloud tanks such as low-acid fruit flavors, some desserts, tobacco, and light menthol.
While vapers might turn to an eGo as their first electronic cigarette in preference to the dainty cigalike, they are unlikely to choose an Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV) as their first step. In spite of that fact, vape shops and manufacturers will still refer to their advanced “starter kits” in order to indicate that you are not only buying a battery; you buy a whole package here which is why the price is higher.
In this kit you do not need a second battery since the 1100-, 1300-, or 2200-mAh battery will remain charged for an entire day if you remember to replenish it overnight. The battery should be bundled with a clear or glass tank capable of low but not sub-ohm resistance plus some extra atomizer heads, a USB cable, maybe a case, and possibly some e juice for good measure.
Really Advanced Starter Kits
Often these are referred to as “mini kits” comprised of the smallest versions of certain hardware. Examples are the Kanger Subox Mini Kit with their small tank. These kits contain a vaporizer base and battery, if that is not already built in, plus a cable and a tank. A few kits are comprised of all-in-one vaporizers (battery base and tank). Many other kits are just the vaporizer plus a battery and a USB cable without a tank. At this level, e juice is rarely included although some shops encourage vendors to customize their own kits to include adapters, extra tanks, spare parts, and e liquid.
Starter Kit Savings
Another reason people buy starter kits, besides convenience, is that they usually save money. Whether you just started, have picked up your first eGo, are on to adjustable airflow tanks, or are into sub-ohm cloud chasing mods, a kit costs less than individual parts bought all at once or over time. Not only is shipping added to small orders in most cases (you get free shipping at a threshold of $50 to $100) but a discount is applied to bundles automatically.
Many of the top names in electronic cigarettes made some minor changes to their pricing or added some new equipment, but their cigalikes didn’t really change in 2015. The biggest news in this part of the industry is perhaps that Volcano E Cigs stopped promoting the Magma in favor of more advanced devices, although it is still available as a starter kit.
Otherwise, most e cig companies have been doing the same things in their cigalike departments as they did the previous year. There isn’t much to change except to freshen design and add new flavors. Here is the top five plus some advice on how to choose a cigalike.
First Things First
When you approach the topic of best cigalikes, it’s easy to become overwhelmed: there are just so many brands of cigalikes. Many of them look the same and technically there is little or no difference. Aesthetically, there are various colors of tips including blackout tips and crystal tips. These don’t say anything about how well an e cig operates. Ignore the glitz and gimmicks.
Look instead to the number of hours an e cig will hold its charge. The average is around 2 ½ to 3 hours but a few standout models manage around 4 hours on a single charge. Remember, these are very tiny batteries and are not designed to last all day. The sole purpose of a cigalike is to transition smokers into the world of vaping by offering them a device that looks and feels much like a cigarette.
Of course flavor is always something to consider as well, especially if you are just trying out vaping and looking for something similar as an alternative to smoking.
Starter kits are sometimes good value but often loaded with gear you don’t need. Stick with a basic kit costing $50 or less.
Contents should include at least the following:
• 2 batteries
• a USB charger
• an AC adapter
• 5 cartridges
Anything extra is a bonus such as a carry case, more cartridges, or a car charging adapter. Although a new type of e cig hit the market last year — the Juul — I’ll stick with traditional types because it’s easier to compare apples to apples. Always buy brand new, brand name e cigs so you can be sure of their quality and that safety standards are being met.
The South Beach Smoke battery is probably this industry’s best. They lose points for pricing, however, since you have to buy packs of 15 cartridges at a time (as opposed to 5 in most instances) and these are overly expensive. Their starter kits could be cheaper too, although special deals and coupon codes help to mitigate this fact.
But that’s the same with almost every company, so once discounts are applied to every brand of e cig, South Beach Smoke will still be among the most expensive cigalikes. After South Beach Smoke introduced their High-Drain battery (a longer version of the cigarette-type device), it became clear that others would have to improve their game and many did.
This is one of the pioneers of the electronic cigarette industry, and they are well known for their e-cigs having a realistic experience compared to an actual tobacco cigarette. They have a very reasonably priced standard starter kit, pictured here, to get started with cigalikes.
Then if you want to get a more powerful device, they have some other great options. If you are thinking of trying electronic cigarettes, we highly recommend V2.
The G6 cigalike provides a sturdy and modern design plus excellent performance. Halo also carries one of the industry’s best US-made e liquids, comparable with gourmet brands. A lot of other companies use Chinese e juice and their ingredients aren’t up to USP standards.
Since you can buy refillable cartridges at Halo, it is possible to refill with any brand of e juice and still use a cigalike. Customers really appreciate the affordable bundle with its impressive packaging. Clients also love that they only have to pick a color since there is one standard starter set for each model sold at Halo.
This is the cheapest product on the market, and I don’t mean in terms of quality. Many consumers really love this cigalike.
Don’t let the low price worry you. Smokeless Image simply did what the other brands should have also done: dropped their prices way lower when the market was flooded with options.
One such firm is a sister company to South Beach Smoke. Eversmoke also puts out a fine product. Selection and pricing are generally similar in this department although South Beach Smoke now carries 4 vaporizers and a line of e liquids whereas Eversmoke sticks to cigalikes.
Build quality is much the same. South Beach Smoke produces 16 flavors of cigalikes, however, vs. the selection of 8 styles at Eversmoke and far fewer options overall. Both companies offer automatic and manual batteries and two sizes: standard and high-drain.
I give this company a top spot because they are among those who started this revolution in the United States. Green Smoke also initiated recycling options to help promote the environmentally friendly nature of vaping and that does the image of vaping a lot of good.
Green Smoke reviews have been consistently good when you take their product for what it is, not what came later. Forget about eGos and e liquid: Green Smoke has not caved-in to trends and pressure and still makes a fine product for new vapers with one goal: find an alternative to cigarettes without ditching the physical actions of smoking.
Their strong suit is fresh e juices, seven pre-filled flavors. Batteries are at the high-end of average for performance. They can be stylish too with the designer series named and crafted to make you think of major US cities.
In the past year or so, Green Smoke dropped their prices, those being the one thing experts could really hold against them, so now the cost of a starter kit is far more competitive than it was in early 2014.
When Vaporfi got its start their selection of vaporizers was small, but the idea to grow was already there. Every so often they launched a new product; a slightly tweaked product; or added a different flavor of e juice.
Before long they were taking out products that did not sell but replacing them with high-tech items and even branching out into herbal vaporizers. Today, Vaporfi carries one of the widest selections of vaping equipment of any American brand.
All the E Cigarettes
Their lineup begins with an Express; the Vaporfi version of a cigalike. Next, they have the Pro: not much harder to use than the Express but more varied with its assorted colors. Their Edge, Vice, Rocket, and Rebel are all intermediate devices with the Vox out on top as their most advanced e juice vaporizer. Add the Orbit and the Boom for alternative vaping. Many of the parts sold at Vaporfi (tanks, batteries, RDAs, coils) are interchangeable with each other and even products from other companies.
All the E Juices
I won’t list the flavors here: there are too many. Instead, let’s just touch on the concept of Vaporfi E Juice. Sure: you can buy pre-made liquid and even pre-filled cartomizers for the Express. There are also two thick e juices for sub ohm vaping with an Edge or Vox II. The most popular notion at Vaporfi, however, is to make a custom e juice. It’s a challenge to try and come up with a flavor no one else has ever thought of and that is still possible with the thousands of potential combinations out there.
The lowest price you pay at Vaporfi for a starter kit is $29.99 and that’s for the Express set. A Vox II Mod bundle, Vaporfi’s most expensive set, is priced $199.99. Pay as little as $15.99 for a 30-ml bottle of e juice. The clearance section also introduces consumers to some excellent bargains.
Coupons and Deals
Visit the sale section for bargains and go to your account for points to be redeemed against purchases. While there, learn how to earn more points by writing reviews or referring a friend.
Use the Vaporfi website as a resource to help you locate even more savings with the Blend of the Month Club and coupon codes. Search offsite for other coupon codes posted by affiliates on their own websites or become an affiliate yourself and earn cash promoting Vaporfi.
Spotlight: the Edge Starter Kit
This is one of the newest vaporizers at Vaporfi; a cylindrical sub-ohm unit with an 1800-mAh battery, 100W maximum output, a 7-ml tank with green O-rings for color contrast, a sleek shape, and a wide-mouth stainless steel mouthpiece. The tank manages 0.2 ohms resistance or 0.5 ohms according to the atomizer head you install.
Adjust airflow as recommended depending on the wattage you choose: small for up to 30W, the middle hole for up to 50W, and the largest hole when you are vaping at 80W. The price is $129.99 which includes a charger, charging adapter, an installed atomizer coil, one spare, replacement glass, and a drip tip plus the battery.
Spotlight: the Vice Starter Kit
This is another of Vaporfi’s new vaporizers, a little like the eGo One from JoyeTech but with a single rectangular window. Though similarly shaped to The Edge which gave you 1800 mAh, The Vice offers 2200 mAh power. It attaches to a small tank of 2.5 ml. There are two air vents for cloud chasing, two atomizer heads (1.2 ohms and 0.5 ohms), a charging set, tank, and battery in your bundle costing $99.99.
Spotlight: E Juice
Vaporfi now carries three lines of e liquid known as their standard, Reserve, and Grand Reserve collections. The first contains a 70/30 or 50/50 propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin (PG/VG) blend (thin or balanced for mid- to low-ohm atomizer coils).
Grand Reserve liquids contain 60% VG. The ratio of ingredients in Reserve e liquids is 30/70 PG/VG. Standard e juices are bottled in plastic but the other two are bottled in glass, always in an FDA-approved facility. Vaporfi E Juice is made in the United States.
Reserve flavors are Summer Lovin’ (lemon raspberry), Northern Lights (melon, berry, and guava), Moroccan Gold (vanilla tobacco with coconut), Monkey Business (creamy banana), Decadence (creamy hazelnut chocolate), and Black Velvet (cherry cola). Reserve flavors cost $19.99 for 30 ml.
In the Grand Reserve ($21.99 for 30 ml) we have Catch Ya Latte and Pineapple Pow (self-explanatory), Rainbow Custard (strawberry tangerine candy with Crème Anglaise), Meringue O Tang (doughnuts with meringue and lemon custard), Island Frost (blueberry coconut and pineapple champagne with mint and lime), plus Cloud Candy (cotton candy and gummy bear jelly).
Reviews at Vaporfi
I have always been impressed with the review policy at Vaporfi which sees a wide variety of comments from customers. They aren’t always 100% in favor of a flavor or a product. Vaporfi airs clients’ real thoughts and views, or so it seems, and they also respond to customer complaints.
That’s how you know this firm at least tries to make the business all about customers, not just having fun behind the counter and in their R&D department. That they do have fun is a given since their catalogue is fun and impressive to behold.
Service at Vaporfi
There are two ways to shop here: in person at one of their many brick-and-mortar stores or online. More dedicated shops are opening as well, so retail is spreading from Florida out to the rest of America. Online shopping is easy, but there is a shipping cost to consider.
Go to customer support if you have questions that aren’t answered on the website, if that’s even possible. Their helpful FAQ section and instructional videos give you most of the information you could possible want including details about their e liquid that many e juice makers fail to supply.
I feel confident about shopping with Vaporfi. They are transparent and available. While prices sometimes leave a bitter taste in my mouth compared with the prices of similar equipment sold by other brands, at least I know this company will answer my queries and usually turns out a solid product.
As a true IVG company, it was only a matter of time before South Beach Smoke introduced new vaporizers to complement their cigalikes and e juice. The Air has been offered for some months (South Beach Smoke’s version not to be confused with the squashed Vaporfi Air), but the company must have seen it was time to give customers more choice. Now you can jump from a cigalike to one of four intermediate products.
Are you in the market for more power, but also hopeful of finding an e cig that does not look like a cigarette?
Would pretty colors brighten your day, or do you prefer solid black or silver? No matter who you are, South Beach Smoke offers a suitable style. Their four vaporizers are the Storm, Thunder, Curve, and Air.
The Storm and Curve are eGo style batteries. Buy the Thunder if you want to exert control over voltage. The Air is a small, portable device. Like a lot of eGos, the Curve and Storm provide the widest array of colors.
Prices for these four starter kits range from $29.99 to $99.99, but power is also variable: from 350 mAh to 1300 mAh.
For $49.99, your kit provides all the pieces needed to get started plus an extra atomizer so your tank can remain in use longer. This starter bundle comes with one tank, one battery, a USB charger, and a wall charger.
Colors for the cartomizer include subdued and stealthy black, white, and stainless steel. South Beach Smoke offers yellow, pink, red, purple, blue, green, or camouflage as well. When you buy extra batteries, these colors are also available.
But for the starter kit you choose black, stainless steel, or pink. Elect to add an LCD screen for $5 more and you can also upgrade the battery from 650 mAh to 1100 mAh for $3.
With these additions, your package will cost up to $57.99.
This is a stylish, feminine product with a slight curve to the battery and a more pronounced curve up top.
Choose black, red, purple, blue, green, orange, or silver for the cartomizer and the battery, or mix and match.
This is a long 650-mAh battery measuring 100.25 mm without its tank, so not the stealthiest of devices.
Your Curve atomizer has a resistance value of 2.2 ohm.
You get 1300 mAh of variable voltage power with a black or stainless steel Thunder.
It measures just 98.5 mm in length without the tank.
In contrast to the slinky Curve, a Thunder e cig is bold and straight.
This is the smallest South Beach Smoke set up measuring just 4″ assembled. For $29.99, you buy a complete e cig with a USB/wall charging kit. You’ve seen this one on their website for a while and there are lots of reviews to help you make a decision.
An Air starter kit contains the small battery but this can be swapped later on for a 650 mAh or 900 mAh battery. Prices are $14.99, $22.99, and $24.99. Add a tank for $9.99. The Clear tank for use with any of these vaporizers costs $9.99. You might prefer the enclosed tank with viewing window for the Storm ($14.99) or the Curve clear tank ($9.99). A Thunder tank is your largest and most expensive option at $34.99, and the battery is pricey at $39.99.
Pay a variety of prices for various battery sizes. You can also see what each of these vaporizers would look like if you mixed and matched pieces to create your own vaporizer. South Beach Smoke offers a “Build Your Own Vaporizer” program which gives an accurate picture of your customized build complete with the colors you chose.
It looks like South Beach Smoke is set to compete with Vaporfi, their sister company. The Storm resembles a Pro by Vaporfi with a few different colors like the camouflage option. Kits are priced the same too. Their Curve lends elegance to eGo options which is not present in the Vaporfi catalogue, dominated as it is by futuristic designs.
A Thunder e cig costs too much for what it is: just a single-battery kit with variable voltage. Combined separately, the tank and battery are priced about $75 but you can do much better by shopping around. What you will like most about the Thunder is looks: it’s a solid piece; masculine and substantial looking, though reviews haven’t started coming in to say so. These are brand new products.
IVG, generally, and South Beach Smoke, specifically, are known for their highly-rated products. South Beach Smoke was one of the first e cigs on the market and is still going strong. If their vaporizers are as reliable as their cigalikes, business will boom. Not only have their products been reliable but South Beach Smoke now demonstrates that they can be relied up on to follow vapers into the next phase of vaping.
With American e liquid to fill your tanks, South Beach Smoke customers will no longer have to shop offsite for anything. They can get their tanks, batteries, charging devices, atomizers, and juice all in one place and keep adding to their reward points.