Recently, I received an email from Vapage asking if I’d like to receive a review sample of one of their products. I always love to try a new electronic cigarette, so I accepted and waited for my new Vapage Pocket Pack to arrive in the mail. Vapage is an electronic cigarette company with a rather large selection of products that caters to everyone from social smokers with products such as the Barfly disposable e-cigarette and experienced users with box mods and other advanced products. At $29.99, the Vapage Pocket Pack occupies the low end of the price spectrum and is essentially one rung above the Barfly disposable. Among the electronic cigarettes with which I have experience, I think of the Pocket Pack as occupying the halfway point between Envy’s $19.99 NirVana and Halo’s $54.99 G6.
Vapage Pocket Pack: The Bottom Line
The Vapage Pocket Pack strikes me as the right electronic cigarette at the wrong price. With four large cartomizers included in the package, it’s an ideal traveling companion if you’re going to be on the road for a week or so and expect to be in places where you won’t be allowed to smoke. For people interested in switching to e-cigarettes permanently, though, it’s hard to recommend the Vapage Pocket Pack because you can get a comparable electronic cigarette for less or a much more comprehensive kit for a little more. I would have loved the Vapage Pocket Pack at the $29.99 price point if it had just included something extra like a carrying case or a second battery.
Vapage Pocket Pack Review
When you open the Vapage Pocket Pack, you’ll find a single automatic rechargeable battery with KR-808 threading, a USB charger and four cartomizers containing Red Tobacco, Classic Tobacco or Menthol e-liquid. I received the Classic Tobacco flavor from Vapage, and I find it quite nice for a Chinese e-liquid. Vapage’s supplier is Dekang — perhaps the largest e-liquid supplier in the world — so if you’ve ever tried an electronic cigarette with flavoring of an unspecified origin, you’ve probably had a tobacco flavor like this one. I find the flavor dry, nutty, not too sweet and pleasurable overall.
The Vapage Pocket Pack ships in a card stock pack of the same shape and size as an actual pack of cigarettes. However, the downside of this packaging strategy, leaving aside any long-term durability issues, is that the pack only holds the contents properly until you actually use them. The battery is about as tall as the pack, so you can’t store it with a cartomizer attached. The cartomizers are stored in groups of two, stacked end-to-end and held together with plastic wrap. After you open the wrap, you won’t be able to put a cartomizer back into the pack’s foam divider without it falling to the bottom of the pack. When I consider this pack style, I think that it would be perfect for someone who is traveling, doesn’t plan to switch to electronic cigarettes permanently or is looking for something to use on smoke breaks at work. At the $29.99 price point, the Vapage Pocket Pack would have been a killer deal for someone switching permanently to electronic cigarettes if it had included a better carrying solution.
Since the Vapage Pocket Pack uses an automatic battery, using it is a breeze even for someone with no prior electronic cigarette experience. The battery arrives with a charge, so you can simply open the pack, unwrap a cartomizer, remove the caps covering both ends of the cartomizer, screw it on the battery and puff away. The Vapage Pocket Pack also includes a small manual to help you get started. When the battery dies, the orange light on the end will flash several times and the electronic cigarette will stop delivering vapor. Unscrew the cartomizer, place the battery on the charger and connect the charger to one of your computer’s USB ports. When the charger’s LED turns green, the battery is charged and ready to use again. In testing, I was able to get an average of 162 puffs out of the Vapage battery, and fully charging a dead battery took two hours and ten minutes.
You can tell that your Vapage cartomizer is empty because the vapor production and quality of flavor will begin to drop. At that point, you’ll want to twist the cartomizer off and screw on a replacement. When you run out of cartomizers, Vapage charges $14.99 per five-pack and has several different flavors available. Alternatively, you can also remove the soft cap from a cartomizer with a toothpick or other tool and refill it from a bottle by re-saturating the cotton filler material while avoiding the center air tube. Vapage sells e-liquid by the bottle at $12.99 for 15 ml or $18.99 for 30 ml. You’re also free to refill your cartomizers using e-liquid from another manufacturer if you like. One thing I really like about the Vapage cartomizers is that each one is clearly labeled with the flavor and nicotine content.
Vapage Pocket Pack vs. the Envy NirVana
At $29.99, the Vapage Pocket Pack occupies an awkward price point compared to the Envy NirVana, a product I recently reviewed. Assuming you use the coupon code in my review of the NirVana, you can spend significantly less on the NirVana Economy Pack — $14.96 — and receive two less cartomizers, or you can spend slightly more on the NirVana Premium Kit — $37.46 — and receive a wall charger and a plastic carrying case that charges dead batteries. It’s hard for the Vapage Pocket Pack to compete with either product.
On the other hand, the Vapage Pocket Pack and Envy NirVana aren’t exactly the same product; the Vapage electronic cigarette is based on the Chinese KR-808 design, while the NirVana is based on the L88B design. The NirVana is the same approximate size as a regular “king-size” cigarette, measuring about 3 9/16″. The Vapage electronic cigarette, on the other hand, measures about 4 1/8″. This translates to improved battery life — about 162 puffs per charge compared to the 80 puffs of the NirVana battery — and the slightly wider and taller cartomizer holds about 20 percent more e-liquid. In spite of the higher price, having double the battery life is a strong selling point in favor of the Vapage Pocket Pack. Because Vapage and Envy both use Dekang e-liquids, you’ll get approximately the same taste with either product.
Vapage Pocket Pack vs. the Halo G6
Among KR-808 electronic cigarettes, my favorite is the Halo G6. The G6 kit costs $54.99, making it quite a bit more expensive than the Vapage Pocket Pack. However, the slightly longer G6 — measuring about 4 5/8″ — offers about 8-percent better life and is available in both automatic and manual versions. While automatic electronic cigarette batteries are excellent these days and produce a smoking experience that feels very authentic, I tend to prefer manual batteries because they give you better control over vapor production. I also like the fact that a manual battery allows you to pre-heat the coil in the atomizer or cartomizer before you puff, thus creating thicker vapor. The G6 kit also includes more than the Vapage Pocket Pack — a metal storage case, two batteries, a wall charger, a USB charger, five pre-filled cartomizers and two empty ones. Although you can buy your refill cartomizers from any company you like regardless of the electronic cigarette you use, Halo charges $9.99 per refill pack — a significantly better price than the $14.99 price of a five-pack of Vapage cartomizers.
The most important selling point of the Halo G6 compared to the Vapage Pocket Pack — particularly if you have never used electronic cigarettes before — is that Halo manufactures its own e-liquid in the United States. It’s simply a far better product than what you get from Dekang in terms of flavor, vapor production and mouth feel. I also happen to think that the Halo G6 looks nicer.