Quick summary: Great features, the thickest vapor, some of the best feel and taste around – and a new EX line featuring longer-lasting cartridges. For all of those reasons, V2 Cigs get our best electronic cigarette rating.
There are several brands of e-cigarettes that we could comfortably place at or near the top of our rankings. By a narrow margin, we have chosen V2 Cigs as our top-rated electronic cigarette. The factors that led to our decision are vapor and technology.
V2 Cigs had the thickest vapor and one of the strongest hits of the e-cigarettes we’ve tested; we found their claim of “the thickest vapor in the business” was spot on. The vapor cloud was thick enough to give a hit that was quite satisfying (particularly with the tobacco flavors), and gave us enormous exhales – we could even blow thick smoke rings with ease. V2 has now taken their products to a new level with EX cartridges and batteries – we particularly liked the carts, which last nearly twice as long as their older ones, and have a softer, more pleasant feel when you put them between your lips.
The V2 Ultimate Kit that we tested included three batteries: a short one, a 110mm one, and a 140mm (yes, it really is that long, and the longer time the charge lasted was great) manual battery. Rotating them gave us plenty of time to smoke while one of the batteries recharged. That was convenient enough, but the portable charging case that comes with the kit added to the convenience factor; you just charge the case (which is smaller than a pack of cigarettes) and then you can charge your e-cigs 3 or 4 times while on the go – meaning you can spend the day away from a power source and never have to worry about “running out.” The Power Cig that came with the kit allows you to hook directly into a USB port and smoke at your desk without worrying about charging anything; there’s also a car charger for even more convenience.
As for that manual battery (an optional choice when you order), there’s a tiny button right where your fingers rest on the e-cig, and you depress the button just before taking a hit; it heats the flavor crystals to give you an even fuller, concentrated hit. A bit awkward at first, but definitely worth it when you’re looking for a strong inhale.
On first glance, V2 has some interesting model designs. There are the traditional white batteries, of course. But then the battery choices range from chrome, to fully sleek blue, to black. If you’re looking to make a fashion statement, the chrome design is almost futuristic. V2 certainly isn’t the only company to have an all-blue design, but it’s definitely interesting. More to our liking is the extra-long, 140mm white battery which can give a truly elegant look to a woman’s smoking. The filter/cartridge colors are dependent on the flavor: for example, cork for tobacco flavors, green for menthol, blue for peppermint, and so on. EX batteries last, on average, longer than it would take to smoke a pack of cigarettes.
V2 Cigs come in five strengths, from 24mg of nicotine (extra strength), down through 18mg (full flavor), light, ultra-light and zero-nicotine; that either lets you choose the strength of your e-cigarette on a regular basis, or lets you taper down gradually if that’s your choice. One other note: V2 doesn’t “shut off” like some other e-cigs do, when your inhale goes longer than five seconds; we’re not sure if the issue is one of safety, but we do know that if you want a power hit, V2 lets you take it.
V2 cartridges come in a lot of flavors. In fact, it’s one of the biggest varieties on the market with ten different flavors: three tobacco blends including Red and Turkish, Menthol, Mint Tea and Peppermint, Coffee and Chocolate, Vanilla, Cola, Grape and Cherry (we liked the coffee, chocolate and vanilla best). Each V2 EX cartridge is equal to about 1 1/2 to two packs of cigarettes; that’s one of the highest lives you’ll find anywhere. They’ve also added freshness dating to their cartridges, which is a feature we think other companies should copy; and they have made available batch reports for your shipments, letting you get a customized report on your carts – nicotine levels, contents and so on.
They also have lots of marketing people on the case, with a seemingly endless number of specials and deals, in addition to the huge choices of looks, flavors and strengths. They also have a number of specialty products for e-cig aficionados who prefer to buy the e-liquid and refill their cartridges, such as ‘drip tips’ in either aluminum or rubber, making the process a snap; flavor samplers to let you decide which you like best; custom-made cartridges allowing you to choose all the specs – the list goes on.
The thickest vapor and a strong hit, some terrific flavors, convenient accessories, technological advances with the EX line – and lots of great deals. That’s why V2 Cigs get our highest e-cigarette rating.
PRICE: Starter kits range from $24.95 to $159.95. (Note: price comparisons are difficult because each company includes different products in their kits.) Use the code “smokingsection15″ for a 15% discount on all V2 Cigs starter kits. Use the code “smokingsection” for a 10% discount on all other V2 Cigs merchandise. (Note: the availability of discount codes for our visitors has no effect, pro or con, on our reviews.)