Hey everyone! New vaper here, one week into quitting the analogs and I thought I'd give a little review of the Green Smoke kit I've been using. I know GS have been reviewed here before (and that some forum members aren't keen on cigalikes) but I've been sufficiently impressed that I've stuck with them (for now) and thought I'd share my thoughts for anyone considering Green Smoke.
I think this is particularly pertinent for UK vapers since the top cigalike brands here (Skycig, E-Lites) seem rather lacking and/or expensive in comparison to Green Smoke in my humble opinion. Anyway - on with the review!
Green Smoke's Holiday Gift Kit (currently on sale for £62.97 + an extra 15% discount at checkout) consists of the following:
GS 'Starter' Kit:
1 x Long battery
1 x Short battery
1 x USB Charger
1 x Wall Socket Adapter for the USB Charger
(note that there's no car charger in the GS UK kits)
You also get (in the 'Holiday' Kit):
3 x packs of 5 Cartomizers (2 of your choice plus 1 variety pack - you can pick the nicotine levels for all three)
1 x 'USB Cigarette'
1 x Leather Carry Case (choice of 3 colours - I chose a tan one)
1 x gift bag - not really worth anything but nice if you're buying this as an Xmas gift for someone
For some reason it takes GS 2 days to process your order but once it's dispatched you can expect to receive it in 2-3 days or less.
Presentation is excellent - the starter kit comes in a nice Green Smoke box with a small but professional manual and a Green Smoke 'Membership Card' (basically saying that you're using an e-cigarette that may not be subject to smoking bans). The rest of the items came in individual ziplock bags and everything arrived in great shape.
Green Smoke ships the batteries partially (70%) charged so from the minute you open the box you can be puffing away in seconds. Green Smoke's cartos are sold in sealed packages of 5 which have a blister pack inside them plus rubber plugs both ends of the cartomizer - very slick and really instills confidence in the product. The carto packages also have a batch number and a use-by date (mine have a use-by of April 2015 in case you were wondering).
Using the kit - the Green Smoke batteries are of the less common KR808D-2 design which means they're not compatible with many third party cartomizers - you can refill the Green Smoke cartos though and provided you're careful to make sure you don't short your batteries, this can be a good way of saving money - to be honest though, if you're looking specifically for a refillable cigalike, the Joyetech eRoll is probably a better bet for you. For those just looking to buy pre-filled cartomizers, Green Smoke's last a reasonable length of time (for me anyway) and most of their flavours are excellent in my opinion (more on that later).
Battery life is around 3-4 hours of puffing away on the short battery, 5-6 hours on the long - some people bemoan the lack of a PCC for Green Smoke but if I go out with these two batteries fully charged I get a full day's use out of them without any issues. Charging times are slow - a fully discharged short battery takes around 3-4 hours to charge which is a pain but with two batteries I never seem to be without one to use. Special mention should be made of the 'USB Cigarette' too which is an e-cig 'body' you can plug into a USB port and use to vape without needing a battery - it's a nice bonus and to be honest, I spend more time at home vaping from that than I do the batteries (mine does seem to vape a bit weaker than the batts though - I'm waiting for a replacement from GS to see if that improves things).
Using the e-cig is simplicity itself (as with all two-piece designs) - screw on a fresh carto and start puffing away. The draw on the Green Smoke e-cig is perfect for me, neither too loose or too tight. The vapor volume is excellent for a cigalike (with a fresh cartomizer), flavours are strong and there's a nice throat hit (for the 1.8% cartos I was using).
Prior to switching to GS I was smoking 20 Pall Mall roll-ups per day - whilst I occasionally get the urge for an analog (after a week), a few good draws on the Green Smoke and the craving is gone. As with all e-cigs though, you will puff away on this thing far more than you do cigarettes. The net result being that Green Smoke's claims of a single cartomizer lasting 30 cigarettes worth of puffs is (as usual with these claims) bogus - I will say that a single GS carto does last me a day (or slightly less) on average though - your mileage may vary - but based on other product reviews I've seen, it may be fair to claim GS's cartos last longer than other brands, just not that much longer.
Regarding flavours, on the whole GS's are excellent - Red Label is a great vape for me - really satisfying coming from roll-ups. Absolute Tobacco is OK too - a little harsher and perhaps slightly more 'chemically' but I quite enjoy switching between the two. GS's 'Vanilla Dreams' is great tasting too although I found the 'Mocha Mist' to have a burnt coffee taste to it and as a coffee lover I was quite disappointed. I've yet to try their other flavours but I'll be doing so soon.
Flavours gradually diminish as you puff away on the cartos but by the time they get 'unpleasant' it's time to replace the cartomizer anyway. I've never had one taste 'burnt' - either they become tasteless, run out of vapour or develop a chemical taste to them. I've dismantled spent cartomizers and found no signs whatsoever of charring so the product seems pretty reliable and robust.
Cost-wise, once you've gotten over the expense of the kits (which are pricey in comparison to some of the other cigalike options out there), replacement cartomizers are mid-to-high priced - cheaper than you'd get Skycig refills for from a corner shop but more expensive than some brands when purchasing online (which is your only option for Green Smoke in the UK) - various discount codes are available though including a £6 one from Green Smoke's own website.
If you're looking to save money, personally I think Green Smoke is still cheaper than buying cigarettes (unless you're rolling your own with bargain-basement baccy) but significantly more expensive than buying e-liquids. From my own experience, I think GS is a great way of testing the vaping waters (or offering an attractive and familiar alternative to smoking to a friend/loved one) and is worth a shot if you're new to vaping or on the fence about whether it's for you or not. If you stick with it you'll most likely migrate onto bigger and better (and cheaper in the long run) things but as an ambassador for the power of cigalikes to pull newbies into vaping, I think Green Smoke are one of the better choices.
Hey - they worked for me