Vapor Couture Review
Vapor Couture is the female-friendly imprint of V2 Cigs, and whilst the vapor production is in line with what you’d expect from the main brand, almost everything else is a disappointment. The style may appeal, but the substance is lacking.
- Stylish e-cig with fashionable accessories
- Great vapor production – rivaling V2 itself
- First e-cigarette brand for women
- Charges quickly
- Warranty good for five battery replacements
- Poor battery-life
- Limited range of flavors
- “Matching” battery & cartridge is questionable
Bottom LineThe female-centric imprint of V2 packs the same vapor production, but the similarities basically end there. The limited flavor selection is disappointing, the “fashionable” style is ripped straight from a Louis Vuitton handbag and the battery life is inadequate. Vapor and some faux-trendiness; nothing compared to V2 Cigs.
Vapor Couture: Our Expert Review
V2 Cigs’ subsidiary brand Vapor Couture is an e-cig manufacturer with a difference – it’s designed exclusively for women. Cynics may argue that the creation of a dedicated women’s e-cig brand is redundant, as V2 Cigs’ products are hardly male-oriented – being uniform in color and boasting plenty of fruity flavors. However, it’s impossible to deny that Vapor Couture has brought fashion into the mix, taking the e-cigarette from a basic nicotine delivery system to a stylish accessory.
One of the main things that will endear Vapor Couture to female smokers and vapers is the illustrious partner. V2 Cigs – arguably the leading beginner-level e-cig on the market – Vantage Vapor and Vapor Couture are all manufactured by VMR Products. The company was founded in 2009 and aims to offer unparalleled quality, as well as continually innovating and propelling the industry into the future. For Vapor Couture, the “hook” is clear: slim, feminine and fashionable e-cigs with consistently reliable quality. Whether this is enough of a draw remains to be seen, however.
The Deluxe Starter Kit comes with two automatic batteries, two five-packs of flavor cartridges, USB charger, wall adapter, clutch bag and charm bracelet. For a more affordable introduction, the Entrée Kit ($39.95) comes with one rechargeable battery, one disposable, USB charger and six flavor cartridges. Is it all superficial nonsense, or has Vapor Couture managed to blend fashion and e-cigs into something bigger than the sum of its parts?
Packaging and Design
The Vapor Couture Deluxe Starter Kit is mainly contained within a sturdy box complete with magnetic closing clasp. It’s enveloped within a white cardboard sleeve, which bears the gold Louis Vuitton-esque logo and the accompanying pattern. Underneath this, the purple box contains two slim-line e-cig batteries and two boxes of flavor cartridges. The USB charger, wall adapter and accessories come loose, the former two crammed into a branded box. The Starter Kit creates the stylish feel right from the start, although you may be left wondering how they haven’t been sued by Louis Vuitton for the blatantly copied design.
The e-cigarettes themselves are slim-line, two-piece models with a light-up crystal design for the tip. With style a paramount concern, the batteries are available in White Signature (the “signature” being the Louis Vuitton-style logo pattern), Deep Purple, Brushed Platinum and Rose Gold. The cartridges are also available in these colors, meaning you can match up your battery to your cartridges or create combinations of different styles as you choose. Although this sounds elegant and stylish, in practice it doesn’t always work out. The White Signature cartridges actually have a grey, faded background which contrasts fairly sharply with the crisp white battery. The pattern also looks like it’s been partially rubbed off, so you’re left feeling like you have a premium e-cig battery with a knock-off, market stall cartridge. The term “matching” could only be used fairly loosely. The slim-line design is undeniably feminine, but the solid color cartridges are much better in terms of appearance than the White Signature.
Although V2 Cigs now offer five nicotine levels, you’re limited to four when it comes to Vapor Couture, Zero, Light (6mg), Medium (12mg) and Full (18mg). A 24mg option would have been useful for heavier smokers (since it’s been added to V2, this omission is even more striking), but it isn’t likely to cause much of an issue for the majority of users. For smokers who consume more than 20 a day, however, a stronger option would have been ideal – especially in the initial transitional month.
Flavors and Vapor
The vapor production is without a doubt the best element of the Vapor Couture e-cig. It’s made by the same people as V2, and the density and volume of vapor is equivalent to the more established brand. With a couple of priming puffs, you can expect levels of vapor easily comparable to a tobacco cigarette, so it’s extremely unlikely you won’t be impressed. You get a good throat-hit too, so from the vapor point of view it mimics the feeling of smoking very well. Even without the introductory puffs to heat the liquid, you get more than enough vapor to satisfy you. This is all the more impressive given the slim-line batteries, but the additional length means that they still pack a punch.
The flavor profile is unfortunately much worse. Originally there were only four flavors available through Vapor Couture (and the thinner threading means that cross-compatibility is not possible), but two more have since been added. Although the new flavors improve the situation marginally, there still isn’t very much variety considering the fact that two of them are tobacco flavors. The Rodeo Diva is an American tobacco and it’s somewhat comparable to the V2 Red cartridge. The Bomb Shell, Turkish-style blend has a strong flavor, which may be good for dedicated Turkish tobacco lovers, but I found it too unpleasant to even vape for the equivalent of a single cigarette. I would put this down to personal taste, but ordinarily I can vape Turkish tobacco flavors for much longer than this, despite not being a fan on the whole. The stand-out flavor for me was Fresh Mint – a menthol flavor that isn’t overpowering to vape. The Passion Fruit was promising but not robust enough in taste to really hit the spot.
The two new flavors are Strawberry Champagne (which sounds like an excellent and unique offering) and Arctic Mint. We didn’t get these to test, but based on the relatively poor selection that was available previously it’s likely these are more up to V2’s standards. However, unlike with V2, e-liquids aren’t available for the Vapor Couture flavors. Accordingly, you can’t buy clearomizers like you can with V2, leaving the brand feeling a little orphaned and poorly-catered to in comparison.
The slim-line design of the battery is its undoing, because it means you’ll need to charge it more often than you might like. It lasts between three and seven hours depending on the level of use, according to the manual, but in practice it runs out after around four hours of moderate to heavy use. If you’re going out to work, I’d advise taking a spare battery along with you. Charging is relatively quick, but the pen-drive style charger (which would have been better with a wire, like on the V2 charger) seems almost hastily-constructed, without as much as a hole for the LED light. Instead, the charger glows red as the internal light tries to break through the opaque plastic, switching to blue when the battery is refilled. It works as expected, though, screw in the battery and plug into a USB port until it’s done.
The flaws in this area hit right to the heart of the issue with Vapor Couture. The battery is slim to make it feminine and appealing to the intended market, but this is at the expense of one of the core features of an electronic cigarette. I like the dainty battery, but the reason I’m using it isn’t because I’m looking for a new fashion accessory, it’s because I want something to fulfill my nicotine cravings consistently and (preferably) enjoyably. There didn’t have to be a trade-off between style and substance, but here there certainly is.
Manufacturing and Warranty
You’d expect nothing less from the manufacturers of V2 Cigs, but you can’t knock the build quality of the e-cig. Everything is designed by US engineers, and the quality control at the assembly plants is rigorous. In addition, all of the liquids are submitted to chemical tests to ensure consistent nicotine content and minimize any impurities. You can get the specific batch report for your cartridges for free using an online form and the batch number you’ll find on the packet. I may have my gripes about the product as a whole, but this is an excellent trust-builder in terms of nicotine and chemical content, and there were no issues whatsoever with the manufacturing through my testing.
The warranty is exactly the same as the one offered through V2, a lifetime offer good for a maximum of five replacements for batteries or other electrical components. You aren’t covered for cartridges and it doesn’t apply if you’ve altered or misused your e-cig, but overall it’s a robust warranty. The limit on replacements is a little irritating, but it’s an understandable restriction to avoid abuse of the system. Plus, the chance you’ll receive five defective products is slim to non-existent given the rigorous quality checks.
Vapor Couture Review,