ZNA LDE by House of Hybrids (HoH)

I picked up the ZNA LDE as a gift to myself for my 1 year vaping anniversary. While I don’t have time to fully review it at the moment, I wanted to put this up just to say that I LOVE IT! It is an awesome mod that looks gorgeous!

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Experimenting with Got-Vapes E-Juice

So I had some store credit coming to me from some defective clearos I bought from Got-Vapes, and since I didn’t need anymore hardware, I decided to try their juices. I loaded up my cart with 6 flavors of juice, 3 in small 2ml sample bottles (sample kit) and 3 in large 30ml bottles because I just knew they were going to be good. I can’t remember the last time I was so wrong! NONE of the 6 flavors is especially good, but all are better than the eVo Hazelnut.

I got City-Lights, Peach Cobbler, and Butterscotch Blast in 30ml bottles, and they will likely last a very long time, sitting on the shelf next to the eVo Hazelnut. The Butterscotch is the best, but still not really good, while the other two are just passable in a pinch. I also got Strawberry Peach, Red something (supposed to taste like Mountain Dew Red), and Dolce deLeche in the small bottles, all sitting on the same shelf. The Dolce deLeche is the best of these, but like the Butterscotch Blast, barely passable.

The biggest problem with all of these juices is the “chemical” taste or aftertaste. In some cases, on the inhale, the flavor is exceptional, but leaves a chemical taste behind when exhaling. In others, it is exactly the reverse. If they could get rid of the chemical taste, these flavors would be so much more enjoyable!

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Experimenting with eVo E-Juice

I found a thread on the internet that lead me to a “free sample” giveaway for eVo e-juice, so I followed the instructions, and lo and behold, a few days later a package arrived in the mail. What I got from them was 3 bottles of e-juice, in the following flavor/volumes.

30ml 2.4mg Maraschino flavor, 10ml 2.4mg Hazelnut flavor, and 10ml 2.4mg Carmel Coconut flavor. Yes, you read that right, one 30ml bottle and 2 10ml bottles. AWESOME SCORE FOR FREE! The Maraschino is so good, that it was the first to run dry, followed by the Caramel Coconut. As for the Hazelnut, it was so bad that I have only gone through a single clearo full so far. I wish there were someplace to send it back and request a different flavor, but alas, no such luck.

The Maraschino is the absolute best, it tastes like a mild cherry flavored cigar tobacco. I don’t smoke cigars, mostly because they don’t taste like this. If they did, I would be in real trouble! I am going to order some more soon I think. I am hoping that one of the retailers carrying the eVo line will do something to discount this juice over the Father’s Day Weekend. The Caramel Coconut is okay as a last resort vape for me, mostly because I REALLY don’t like coconut, but it isn’t so bad I can’t vape it, like the Hazelnut. If you like coconut, maybe the Caramel Coconut is for you. The Hazelnut, as already stated is un-vapeable by me. I just can’t stand the flavor at all. I keep it on hand because in an all out emergency, like a zombiepocalypse, I suppose I would have to live with it, but until then, it sits on the shelf!

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Experimenting with Aroma E-Juice

Okay, so maybe I have gone a little overboard, but now that I have discovered the joy of e-liquids, otherwise known as e-juice, I find myself looking for new flavors to try.

To date, I have finally found a single “Menthol” flavor that is close to real cigarettes, and that comes in the form of P38 from Aroma E-Juice. This is a fantastic flavor, although it is atypical in the sense that it is not a pure e-juice. Rather it is a Whole Tobacco Alkaloid or WTA. What this means is that instead of just extracting 99% pure nicotine from the tobacco, they actually extract ALL of the alkaloids in the plant. This gives it a very different taste, as well as effect. Subsequently, I don’t vape NEARLY as much WTA as I do regular e-juice, since the effect stays with me and keeps the cravings at bay, for much longer. I have tried 3 different WTA flavors from Aroma, but so far the P38 is the best, followed by Dark Tobacco Honey, or DHT, with Gecko bringing up a distant rear choice (I’m not a real fan of this one).

Aroma juices come in 2 varieties, the Aloha and the RedTail versions. Aloha versions are “thinner” with a higher content of PG vs. VG. This means you can vape them in almost any device, and get a GREAT flavor and Throat Hit. RedTail versions are thicker, meaning they are higher in VG vs. PG. Ultimately what this really means is that I would recommend using a Bottom Coil Clearomizer to vape these, or risk destroying your clearos. I actually destroyed 2 Kanger e-smart, top coil clearos before I figured this out.

The staff over at Aroma are fantastic and especially helpful. I will highly recommend them to anyone reading this, based on customer service alone!

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777 Bullets

What can I say, this is one of the absolute best starter kits I have seen yet. At $49.95, it is a little bit more expensive than some, but still cheaper than a lot of others. When you compare this against cheaper kits, keep in mind that the battery life is substantially longer. Drop a little more off with the iknowecigs coupon and it becomes that much more affordable.

*UPDATE* For Father’s Day 2013, 777 is offering a bullet kit for $59.95 that includes everything above, plus 4 empty clearomizers instead of 2, 1 ejuice bottle in your choice of flavors, and an electronic cigar. That makes this the best starter kit going right now, get them before they are GONE!

This kit comes with 2 Bullet batteries, 2 empty tanks, or “clearomizers”, a USB charger, a wall adapter for the USB charger, and an instruction manual. First time users, don’t get discouraged, these batteries also take 777 standard cartridges as well. These are KR808d-1 style cartridges and can be purchased from many companies, however, after tasting 777 flavors, I doubt you will look any further. In fact, I used only cartridges with this for the first couple of weeks, for a couple of reasons, first I was a little intimidated by the tanks, and second I really wanted to try out all of their flavors first. 777 offers a sample pack that contains 16 out of their 18 cartridge flavors, at a very economical price of $15.95 currently. I’m glad I ordered it at the same time as the kit, because it gave me an opportunity to figure out which liquid I wanted to try in the tanks first. One minor drawback I found was that the cartridges tended to whistle a little when on the Bullet batteries. It took a little bit of fiddling with how tightly they were screwed on to get the whistle to go away. This problem completely disappeared when I switched over to the tanks.

About their cartridges, tanks, and flavors, I smoked traditional menthol cigarettes for a long time before switching over to e-cigs. I have been trying ever since to find a cartridge that gave me the same flavor as a menthol cigarette, and sadly I’m still looking. I was very unimpressed with both 777 menthol and peppermint flavors, neither was very good in my opinion, however, your mileage may vary. That said, the remaining 14 flavors were FANTASTIC! I had a very hard time deciding which flavor to buy to try the juice in the tanks, and ultimately settled on Gold 7. It is wonderful, although the juice tastes a little different than the cartridge. I understand this is not unusual, and I actually think I prefer the flavor of the juice over that of the cartridge. Filling the tank was super easy, unscrew the tip, squeezed in the juice from the included dropper, screw the tip back on, and done. Since the tank is a smokey clear, I didn’t even have to measure out the right amount of “drops”, I just watched the scale on the side to determine when it was full. One tank lasted me about as long as 1.5 – 2 cartridges, and a single tank lasted for almost a full 15ml bottle of juice.

Battery life lasted 2 to 3 times longer than any of my “cig-a-like” batteries, either from PureCigs, V2, or SmokeTip. I found that I could easily get through over half a day at work with one battery, and while it was charging, get through the rest of the day and part of the evening on the other one. With the “cig-a-likes” I was charging pretty often throughout the day, much more frequently than with the Bullets.

Pros: Almost Everything!

Cons: Cartridges tended to “whistle” on the batteries, however, the tanks did not.

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V2Cigs Products

V2 Standard Kit

Likes: batteries, charger. I won the V2 Cigs Standard kit in a contest, from Chad over at http://www.iknowecigs.com and I am glad I did. It came with your standard kit fare, 2 batteries, a charger, and 10 packs of cartos. Since I won this, I did not have an option for the battery size or the carto flavor, but aside from that, I really like the kit. The kit I received has the shortest battery they offer, but it has a decent feel to it sadly the charge doesn’t last long, but it is a small battery. It produces vapor pretty well too. I don’t know what the voltage rating is, but I would guess it’s 4.2v from the way it performs.

Dislikes: battery life, flavor. These dislikes might be different if I were able to choose the battery size and carto flavor at the time of order. Again, I won this kit, so I got what they sent me. While I really like the batteries, despite their short lifespan between charges, I can’t stand the “Reds” flavor cartos that came with it.

Thoughts: If I had purchased this kit first, my other reviews might not be here. From the time I opened the box, I was pretty impressed with the quality feel of the kit. The fact that it came with one manual battery and one automatic battery was fantastic, as this allows me, as a new e-cig user, the ability to try each type PRIOR to purchasing more batteries. I can pick the one I like most for the next order. The charger also has a nice quality feel to it, and it even lights up with the logo in red while charging, and blue when completed. The batteries feel very nice in my hand, although a bit small, but there are larger options available when you order the kit.

Customer Service: This does not apply, I have had no reason to contact customer service about anything so far.

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PureCigs Elite Kit

PureCigs Elite Starter Kit

Likes: Long time between charges, nice feel, charge indicator, variable voltage, recommended voltage range, USB Pass Through. This kit came with 2 white Elite batteries, a USB charger, and 5 XL cartomizers. For the current sale price of roughly $72, it is a little more than most starter kits, including PureCigs G4 starter kits and almost all of their competitors. However, at 4X the battery life, the little extra cost is a fair trade. If they only included a color matched case too. The batteries are a little large and cumbersome to carry around so a case would certainly be helpful.

Dislikes: Puff Counter, charger, cartomizer cost, no case. As previously mentioned, these are a pretty substantial size, so I think that a carry case should be included in the kit, even if it raised the price a little. The puff counter is nothing more than a gimmick. It simply increments by one every time the button is pushed, whether it was intentional or not. The charger is one of those “self winding” little spools, and I’m not impressed. I have had too many problems with other products that use this style cable, they fail too easily. In order to be useful and small, a very thin cable has to be used. The problem is that thin cables tend to break pretty easily. I also don’t like the non-standard charging port. I would prefer a standard USB charger on the end that goes into the Elite.

Thoughts: I really like this kit so far. I have only had it for a couple of days now, but I have been spoiled by it. I can’t see myself going back to the cig-a-like style kits from here. The USB pass through is a great feature, I can vape all day, if I could only afford to buy that many XL cartos for it. I am going to have to look into a tank system and juice I think. I have been using my KR808D-1 cartos on it with an adapter, and it has been working very well. I sure hope this holds up. If it does, then PureCigs has a winner.

Customer Support: Pretty good. Jude is excellent, unfortunately he can only do so much. The owner, Mark Nowak is also very helpful. I’m not so sure about the mid-level folks between Jude and Mark though. Previous experience is not favorable, but between Mark and Jude, they have won my business. Jude should be empowered to do more, his service is personal and professional all at the same time.

Update: I have discovered a problem with the button design. While it is nice to have such a raised button, and even nicer to have the 3 push on/off, it is also a downfall. The size of the button, and the fact that it is well raised from the body of the battery, make it easy for the button to get pressed 3 times while it is in a pocket. I always carry these in my pocket, turned off so they don’t activate, and quite frequently I find that when I pull them out of my pocket one or the other (sometimes both) have somehow turned themselves on. On one occassion, I found that my leg was getting pretty hot, when I put my hand in my pocket I discovered my e-cig had not only turned itself on, but it was active and live. The heat I felt was from the carto staying active for long periods of time and over-heating. Needless to say, that particular carto was a complete waste. I think a nice case will preclude this from happening, but I have not found one yet that I like. Just as an aside, battery life is still phenomenal! I can go a full day at work and part of the evening at home all on a single charge of one battery!

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