Haven’t been able to update as much as I’d like, for the usual reasons (work) and one kind of unusual (launching a new entrepreneurial venture that could end up being a hell of a lot of fun). Although my blogging time is limited, this here assault on the senses was partial inspiration for the aforementioned side project, and I’m a big believer in remembering your roots, so on we go.
Those who know me in real life know that the day job is a somewhat bastardized offshoot of public relations. 15 years ago, I got a PR internship, and the combined forces of that firm’s desperation, my overwhelming nerdliness and a rudimentary financial acumen led to a career. It’s no secret that I still sometimes pine for the far more glamorous world of PR…the trade shows, free shit, launch events, product samples, salesmanship and access to free shit to send social influencers always seemed much cooler (albeit less fulfilling) than the corner of the industry in which I dabble. I still have my moments, but never would have thought that this little hobby of mine could satisfy the free shit cravings. I always thought I wanted to be the gatekeeper, running roughshod over the world, dangling my product samples in front of the asshats like delicious carrots always just out of reach. Little did I know, I could be one of those asshats (influencers) and have those cool people whose jobs I envied wanting to send me free shit.
Well, apparently some people in the vaping world have terribly low standards…so low in fact that they’re willing to send me stuff to write about.
This particular PR mistake started about a week ago, when a company called Maya e-cigarettes started following me on the twitter. I twatted my appreciation and checked their profile to see that they had been tweeting other e-cig bloggers asking about the possibility of reviews. With full command of my subtlety, I inquired about the possibility of reviewing their stuff. A couple of emails later and they were offering me my choice of samples.
I went with the ifill kit, because I prefer filling my own clearomizers to the prefilled carts in the other kit. I wasn’t sure if they’d actually send anything, but much to my surprise, they did. Wifey, unfortunately, thought it was vendor samples for the other thing, unwrapped and disposed of the packaging before I got home, but she said it was very nicely boxed.
So, what is it?
The ifill kit is described thusly…
Taking out all the fanciness that their marketing folks undoubtedly spent a great deal of time creating, it’s an “eGo-style” manual battery, a USB charger and a replaceable-head clearomizer with a replacement head.
Let’s break it down piece by piece, shall we?
As mentioned, it’s an eGo-style. It could be a real eGo, but I have no idea. It’s tiny, 450 mah I’m guessing, but feels solid. I’ve had other eGo-style batteries that are pretty flimsy, but this is definitely at the sturdier end of the spectrum, most likely the real deal. It’s a manual, with the 808 / ego threading (as opposed to 510 / eGo like some others).
It runs at the “standard” non-variable 3.7 volts, which is a nice change of pace after so many months of higher-voltage vaping. It also lasts a surprisingly long time, considering its diminutive stature.
I’ve used the battery with the included clearomizer, but of course have tried others as well, and everything works brilliantly on it. Overall, I’d say the battery is full of win.
This is a ce-something style clearomizer…simple plastic, with a replaceable head and black plastic tip. To fill, you unscrew the tip, put liquid in and puff away. It has replaceable atomizer heads, which is a big plus for longevity, and has held up very well thus far. Even better, I haven’t experienced a single leaking issue with it. As with the culinary arts, taking something simple and doing it well can be more of a challenge than something complex that has a mediocre outcome. I’ve tried a bunch of clearomizers that look just like this one, but this is the best of all of them (by far) in terms of performance and the other characteristics that really matter.
Much like the clearomizer, this is a standard-looking small USB charger. It works the same way others do, but like the clearo, while this may be easy to do, it’s hard to do well. I’ve had six or seven that look just like this one. Some are good, some not so good. I’m glad to say, this is neither…it’s excellent. It doesn’t feel flimsy (like some), it charges steadily (unlike some). Quite simply, it works and it works well.
The kit costs $29.95 for those of you not cool enough to get one for free like I did, which is about mid-range for what you get. Are there cheaper ones? Absolutely. Of course, on the low end, you usually get what you pay for…a battery that can best be described as “meh,” a clearomizer that’s likely to crack, leak or just decide to stop working properly for one reason or another, and a charger that you have to treat oh so delicately, for if you screw it on too tight, it’ll break.
There are also more expensive options, and while I’ve never tried them to know if they’re better, my guess is that the extra money will get you some more bells and whistles, but if you want something basic that does its job well, Maya is a good option…if you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of vaping with a simple but solid setup, or want to convert a smoker or two, you could do a hell of a lot worse than this.
The only thing missing from the if I’ll kit is some smoke juice. Thankfully, the Maya PR folks were kind enough to send me some to try out. I got Vanilla, tobacco (2 bottles) and blueberry (their best seller).
Tobacco: Both tasted the same… quite good. It’s a nice, simple, no frills tobacco flavor. One of the better “basic” tobaccos I’ve tried, although I’m admittedly partial to the fancier kinds like RY4 and whatnot. If you’re just getting off of the cigs and looking for something that’s not too different, this is a great choice.
Blueberry: I fully understand why this is the best seller…it’s damn good. I’m still not a big fan of the fruity flavors, but this is solid. It’s somewhere between real blueberries and blueberry candy. It’s definitely not artificial tasting, but also not overpowering. I was surprised by how much I liked this, both on its own and mixed. It worked well with the tobacco flavor, but even better as berries and cream with…
Vanilla: I love vanilla everything. Ice cream, cake, cookies, frosting, cream soda, blah blah blah. In a year and a half, I have yet to find a vanilla e-liquid that I really liked. There have been a few here and there that are decent, and some that have been bloody awful, but I have yet to experience a truly awesome vanilla vape. The biggest issue has been the artificial / chemically taste. This one somehow manages to get around that…it tastes totally natural, subtle, sweet but not too sweet…the whole nine yards. This is outstanding on its own, but mixes wonderfully with tobacco and the blueberry. This was the standout of the bunch.
Overall, the folks at Maya have a solid product. There isn’t a ton of variety, which can be great for people just starting. Check them out at http://mayaecigarette.com