The Vape Pen Max from Dinner Lady ticks a lot of boxes immediately for people looking for a high-quality disposable vape. Firstly, the Dinner Lady name basically guarantees you’ll be getting excellent flavors, because they’re one of the most popular e-juice companies in their own right. More importantly, though, the simple yet robust design is built around a massive 1,000 mAh battery, with a 6.5 ml e-juice capacity. This addresses one of the biggest issues with disposable vapes: they often run out too quickly.
So with Dinner Lady addressing some of these key issues, combined with high-strength nicotine salt e-juice, is this one of the best disposable e-cigs on the market? Read our full Dinner Lady Vape Pen Max review to find out.
Is it worth buying?
The Vape Pen Max disposables from Dinner Lady are some of the best disposable vape pens we’ve tried. The performance is exceptional, the flavors are as good as you’d expect from a respected mixer, and they last for almost two days of exclusive use. They’re a little more expensive than other disposables, but definitely worth picking up.
Dinner Lady Vape Pen Max Review
The Dinner Lady Vape Max devices have a tube shape, somewhere between what you’d expect from a pod system and a standard vape pen. The body is colored depending on the flavor of the disposable, with a few different shades of yellow (as well as a more orange-y color for Mango Ice), pink for Strawberry Macaroon, blue for Bubbblegum Ice and purple for Fruit Mix. Towards the top they all have the Dinner Lady logo printed on in white, but it isn’t too intrusive and actually kind of improves the overall look of the disposables. Overall they look great, a bit of visual flair from the color but with a familiar enough design.
The mouthpiece on the Vape Pen Max disposables sits at the top of the battery, made from black plastic and with an inward curve up to the hole at the top. The design makes it comfortable to use, fitting your lips well and having a big enough hole for the vapor so that you can easily take a puff. There isn’t much more to say about this: it’s well-designed and does the job nicely.
The airflow for the Vape Pen Max comes through a small hole in the center of the base, right up through the device and up to the mouthpiece. Despite the relatively small size of the hole, it’s actually pretty good when it comes to getting a substantial amount of air in the process. The draw feels a little looser than many of the disposables on the market, while still being tight enough to support mouth to lung draws. This is really the ideal balance for a disposable: tight enough to support cigarette-like draws but loose enough for good vapor production and use by longer-time vapers.
The bottom of the Vape Pen Max has a large LED light around the center, which illuminates when you take a puff on the disposable. It doesn’t really give you much of a visual indication the pen is active unless you put your hand at the bottom, but this is pretty normal. Ideally they could have put a small indicator on the side, but it’s bright enough to not be difficult to check.
The Vape Pen Max disposables have a straightforward design, but in a good way. You’ll feel right at home using one even if you’ve never vaped before, and they look pretty cool too.
- Lemon Tart: This is an impressively realistic take on lemon tart. Of course, the sharpness and character of the lemon comes through well, but the more dessert-y elements are perfectly captured too. While you might not be able to definitively identify it as tart rather than pie or something else, it still does a great job.
- Banana Ice: This is a combination of banana and menthol, and both elements come through well in the mix. The banana is pretty realistic, sweeter than the real thing but getting the characteristic taste just right. The menthol starts out as a backdrop but comes through more strongly as you continue your puff, providing a refreshing, cooling hit to the back of your throat on the inhale.
- Citrus Ice: This is intended as a mixture of citrus fruits and menthol, and again Dinner Lady hits the nail right on the head. The fact this is mixed citrus fruits means it feels more like a lemon flavor than orange – since you get a pure-tasting citrus note – but both do come through in the vapor. The menthol is a little more subtle, it blends well with the overall flavor so you notice the cooling sensation more than the taste.
- Bubblegum Ice: This is shooting for a retro, back-to-childhood type feel, with a mixed fruit bubblegum combined with a touch of menthol. The flavor is unmistakably bubblegum, you do pick up hints of individual fruits (strawberry, for instance), but mainly it’s a super-sweet combination that reminds you of the smell of a candy store. Again the menthol blends in nicely but adds a cooling touch to the flavor.
- Strawberry Macaroon: Dinner Lady’s Strawberry Macaroon is one of my favorite juices at the minute, and it’s safe to say that the flavor translates well to the disposable. The strawberry might be gentler than you’re expecting, but you get just enough to make your mouth water, and the replication is pretty realistic. Again, you might not be able to say it’s definitively macaroon, but the more dessert-like elements hit you clearly and blend perfectly with the fruit.
As you’d expect from Dinner Lady, they really knock it out of the park when it comes to flavor. We didn’t test Mango Ice, Fruit Mix, Lemon Sherbets or Strawberry Ice, but it’s safe to say they’ll also be just as delicious as they sound.
The Vape Pen Max performs impressively well for a disposable. The bigger battery and nicely-balanced airflow has a big part to play in this, offering the power and air you need to produce a substantial amount of vapor. Of course, it isn’t like taking a hit on a sub ohm mod, but you’d be hard pressed to find a disposable or even a higher-end pod system that puts out as much vapor. You don’t even need to do the “priming puff” routine that’s normally needed to get a good hit from an automatic device: it works just like you’d expect from a top-end device. If you’re just switching from smoking, you’re unlikely to have an issue, and even for a long-term vaper there is nothing to complain about here at all.
Nicotine Strength and Throat Hit
The Vape Pen Max disposables are available in 3 or 5% nicotine (i.e. 30 or 50 mg/ml). Both of these are good for people just switching over from smoking, although the 5% option is the best place to start. If you don’t smoke as much, or if you’ve been vaping for a little while, the 3% is likely enough for you. I haven’t reduced my nicotine use as much as some vapers, but I still find the 3% more than enough to keep me going.
The throat hit from the disposables is really good. Of course this depends on the nicotine strength – more nicotine means a bigger throat hit, all else being equal – but even with the lower-strength option you get a satisfying throat hit. The menthol in many of the flavors helps with this too, adding to the throat hit even for the lower-nicotine option.
The “automatic” (i.e. puff-to-vape) style of the Vape Pen Max disposables works really well. Sometimes, automatic devices have problems with responsiveness, accidental firing and other minor glitches, but throughout testing there were no such issues with the Dinner Lady offerings. In fact, they respond better than you’d really expect, feeling like they produce vapor as soon as you start your inhale. There isn’t much to add here: it works perfectly and makes the transition easier for anybody switching over from smoking.
The airflow in the Vape Pen Max disposables is looser than some other disposables on the market, and a little looser than with cigarettes, but it works well in terms of performance. It still works great for mouth-to-lung draws – so you can use them basically as you would with a cigarette – but it’s airy enough that longer-term vapers will feel right at home too. It isn’t perfect for smokers, admittedly, but the adjustment will be easy to make and it will help you transition to other types of vaping device in the long run.
How Long Do the Disposables Last?
The 1,000 mAh battery size on the Dinner Lady Vape Pen Max disposables is well beyond what you get with most disposables, and more than the majority of rechargeable pod-style devices on the market too. Combined with the high-strength nicotine salt e-liquid, this will comfortably last you through over a day of use and likely much more. For me personally, a Vape Pen Max disposable generally lasted two days of use, with it being the only thing I was vaping through that time. I vape quite a lot too, so this is pretty damn impressive. With 6.5 ml pods, this is roughly what you’d expect, but it’s no easy feat to actually pull it off in a disposable.
They’re priced at $14.99 each, though, so as usual for disposables it’s going to be pretty expensive if you’re using them exclusively for your vaping. That said, it’s still a good deal in comparison to other disposables thanks to their lifespan.
The Dinner Lady Vape Pen Max disposables perform exceptionally well for disposable devices, easily up there with the very best on the market. The flavors are excellent, the battery lasts longer than you’d expect and the performance is going to be difficult to beat in any comparable device. If you’re looking to try vaping out, the $14.99 price-tag is well worth it, and you can save a little more with a five-pack for $69.99.