Is it worth getting?
In just a few months, my conclusion on Vapebox has gone from “a solid service that’s pretty much the only game in town if you want juices and hardware,” to “pretty damn amazing all round.” The main improvement has been with the hardware, with the quality of devices hugely improving and some newly-released gear also finding its way into your monthly package.
Some extra personalization could lead to further improvements, but even as things stand, it’s right up there with the best of them. If you want a monthly collection of new juice and vaping gear to try out, it’s both a fantastic service and a great way to save money.
Note: This review has been updated – read the latest look at the Vapebox service here!
Most subscription services stick to e-juice: offering a selection of flavors chosen specifically to suit your tastes, shipped out to you each month. But Vapebox does things a little differently, with the option of adding devices and atomizers to your box for a varied, goodie-box of vaping gear. The result is a fairly unique e-juice subscription service, with more to offer vapers than just juice, and plenty of loyal subscribers to boot, but is it worth signing up? We’ve tested out the service for our Vapebox review to find out.
How Vapebox Works
Vapebox ultimately works in pretty much the same way as other e-juice subscription services: you choose your desired subscription level, give them some information about your preferences and then you’re billed for the first month and your box is shipped out.
There are three options for subscriptions to Vapebox, either offering juice only or juice and hardware. For juice only, you can choose between the Sampler box, at $20 per month for 45 ml of e-liquid, or the Juice Lovers box, at $32 per month for 75 ml of juice. The hardware-containing option is the Enthusiast box, which offers 75 ml of juice and two pieces of hardware and/or accessories for $60 per month. The Enthusiast plan is their most popular (and the one I tried), but it’s good that there are also options for vapers just interested in picking up some juices.
Shipping rates to the US are $4 for the Sampler, $5 for the Juice Lovers and $6 for the Enthusiast box, with shipping also available to Canada (for $9 to $17) and elsewhere in the world (for $14 to $20).
You receive a “Welcome Box” first – which ships out within a week of you signing up, and from then on you’re charged on the 15th of the month and your boxes ship out so they arrive towards the beginning of the next month.
The sign-up process is pretty straightforward: you select your level of experience with vaping (beginner, some experience or “quite experienced”), your preferred nicotine level (0, 3, 6 or 12 mg/ml), which groups of flavors you like (a minimum of three, with a choice between bakery and desserts, candy, cereal, coffee, custards, creams and vanilla, fruits, mints and menthol, tea and herbal, and tobacco) and whether you use tanks or rebuildables.
You can then choose whether you’re open to trying new things (why you’d say “no” yet be signing up for a service like this is beyond me) and whether you prefer higher-VG juices. Then you set up your payment details, review your selections and you’re ready to go.
Vapebox works with loads of brands for both juices and hardware, including Aspire, Beantown Vapor, Brother’s Reserve, Charlie’s Chalk Dust, Cigreen, Congrevape, Cosmic Fog, EHPro, Eleaf, G2 Vapor, HorizonTech, Kanger, Nick’s Blissful Brews, Sweet Vapery, Teleos, Tesla, Tobeco, Wotofo and Youde.
The Box: What You Get
The boxes from Vapebox have been updated since this review was first posted, but they still have a relatively straightforward appearance, with a bare cardboard color and “Vapebox” printed on the top alongside the logo. The underside of the boxes have spots for the top three juices from the box, with award ceremony style spots for first, second and third place, and the sides direct you to Vapebox’s social media pages.
Inside, your goodies sit nestled in a liberal amount of shredded paper, alongside several pieces of card giving you the details about what’s in your box. There’s also a little monthly greeting from the Vapebox team, which is a nice addition for a bit of a personal touch (even if you know the same message goes out to every subscriber), and serves as a mini-introduction to the month’s box. In the most recent boxes you also get a little “Menu” with information about everything you've received and your name printed on top, which is a fantastic touch (similar to what you get with Zamplebox). There’s also a card full of warnings and safety information right at the bottom of the box, which was well-designed and laminated from the February box onwards.
Overall, despite the still fairly generic appearance, the unboxing experience from Vapebox does a pretty good job – you definitely get a “kid on Christmas” like feeling as you dig through the copious quantities of shredded paper and read through the personalized menu describing all your new goodies.
The E-Liquids and Gear – How Was the Curation?
As before, I received the Enthusiast box in February, March and April which gives four bottles of juice per month alongside two pieces of hardware or accessories. I told them I use rebuildable devices (as opposed to tanks), and selected every group of flavors apart from tobaccos, menthols and mints and teas and herbal. The number of questions you’re asked does fall short of other services, but that’s really all they need to put the box together, so they could easily pull off something great.
April Vapebox Review
Vapebox improved a lot in 2016, with a better box design and plenty of improvements to the gear and juice you receive with your subscription. Although the January, February and March boxes were excellent, the April edition was potentially the best one yet.
- I Love Cookies by Mad Hatter Juice: I Love Cookies is a self-explanatory flavor from the Mad Hatter, and right off the bat it’s a great match for my preferences. The flavor is excellent, with beautifully-captured cookie topped off with hints of caramel, as well as touches of strawberry and milk advertised (though not as easily detectable) too. This was my favorite juice from the box: wonderfully realistic and unavoidably delicious.
- Sauvage by Connoisseur: Sauvage is a creamy yoghurt juice with touches of strawberry and kiwi, and again a good match for my preferences. The juice is powerfully creamy, with the sweet, richness from the cream carrying the flavor, and the soft, subtle backing from the strawberry riding in on top to take it from “pleasant” to “downright delicious.” The kiwi is very subtle, but adds a touch of sour, fruity complexity to the flavor. Another great juice.
- Reign by Cloud 9: This is advertised as a blast of fruit balanced by cream, and the main fruity component you pick up is a powerful punch of citrus. It’s the lemony flavor that dominates, but the cream backing it up helps the juice avoid being unpleasantly biting or too powerful, and the addition of other fruit components (though more subtle) improves things even further. Although the others tick more boxes for me, this is another good choice for my preferences.
- Nonna Torta Al Limone by POET: As if the Italian name didn’t give it away, this is a juice from POET, and is styled after the sort of high-end lemon cake you’d find at a pretentious café. The result is absolutely exquisite. The lemon comes through strongly, but the light sweetness from the cake balances it out perfectly, taking the edge off in fantastic style and adding a whole extra dimension to the flavor. It’s a definite all-day vape and an excellent choice from Vapebox.
- UD “Builder’s Choice” Ceramic Tweezers: One of the accessories I got in the April Vapebox was a pair of ceramic-tipped tweezers from UD. They make for a great tool for rebuilders (which I indicated I was during sign-up), turning the awkwardness of stopping firing before compressing micro-coils to an unbeatably simple “compress as you fire” affair. You feel like some sort of precision blacksmith as you compress the still-glowing coils, and it makes getting your coil into shape so much easier than with metallic tweezers.
- Tsunami RDA by GeekVape: The hardware in the April box (for rebuilders) was the excellent Tsunami RDA. It has a two-post, Velocity-style deck, but with two circular airflow holes right under your coils and a nice deep juice well below. The airflow intake holes are right at the bottom of the device, and the setup keeps leaking to an absolute minimum. The vapor production and flavor are intense, and the post design makes building about as painless as it can be. We’ll be releasing a full review of the RDA soon, but the short version is: it’s awesome, and a very welcome addition to the Vapebox.
- EZ Dripper by EZ Cloud Company: This is a unique accessory: a purpose-built dripper bottle from EZ Cloud Company. The bottle has a red pump top, which you press down with the bottle inverted to start the flow of liquid. This is definitely simpler than dealing with a dripper top, especially for those who drip through the actual drip tip or who are sick of struggling with the small fill-holes on tanks. It also looks pretty cool, like a perfume bottle. A nice addition to the Vapebox.
March Vapebox Review
Since we’ve covering a lot of months (especially since this latest update), the run-down of the March box will be a little shorter than the others (the February section below was written previously, so we’ll leave that as is). However, the box was right in line with the quality of all of the Vapeboxes recently.
- TFR by 2 Cousins: This is a blend of strawberry, apple and pineapple, with the sweet fruity mix being a close match for my preferences. The juice is well-executed and delicious, with the blend of fruits working well together and producing a lightly-sweet and full-flavored fruity liquid.
- The Jester by Strawberry Queen: This is a strawberry jelly donut e-juice, and it’s every bit as delicious as it sounds. The strawberry is robust and well-captured, almost mouthwatering in its realism, and the dessert touches added by the donut turn it into something truly special. This was my favorite juice from the box, and an excellent choice from Vapebox.
- Bus Pass by Transit Vape: This is a mocha and vanilla e-juice, with strong coffee tones subdued by the sweeter, gentler components. I’m a fan of coffee-flavored juices, so it’s a great fit for me: the coffee doesn’t come through too strongly, but the flavor is consistently robust and delicious.
- Nexus by Exogen Industries: This is a banana and creamy vanilla e-juice, with a rich, creamy flavor boasting a careful balance that makes it a great contender for an all-day vape. This isn’t my favorite from the box, but it hits on my preferences well and is one I happily made my way through a bottle of.
- Sigelei 75 W TC: The fact that a box from a subscription service can include a solid mod is something that deserves some emphasis. The Sigelei 75 W TC is a fantastic device, well-manufactured, full-featured and packing plenty of power for anyone but the most serious cloud-chasing vapers. We’ll be adding a full review of the device, but the short version is that it’s a solid mod, and the fact it crops up as part of a monthly box makes it all the more impressive. Vapebox went above and beyond my expectations with this one.
- Vapebox Drip Tip: This is a nice little extra: a custom-branded drip tip from Vapebox. It’s a wide-bore tip, with airflow control built in. It’s not the most amazing thing in the world, but definitely works well as a bonus accessory.
February Vapebox Review
There was a definite improvement from January onwards in comparison to the box I’d received late last year, and the February box continued in the same vein:
- Honeymelon by Tailored Vapors: Honeymelon is a blend of honeydew and watermelon, with some tropical fruit added for good measure, and it’s another good match to my preferences. The juice does just what you’d expect it to, with a strong, sweet melon flavor throughout your draw – there’s a slight chemical element to the flavor, but the sweetness takes the edge off just enough. Overall, a great pick from Vapebox.
- South Congress Crepes by Example Elixir: This is a crepes and boysenberry juice, which sounds like another good fit for my preferences from Vapebox. The result is a little bit of a disappointment, though: the taste is a lot sharper than I thought it would be, and this sharpness is really the overriding quality of the flavor. It’s still tasty, but more one for an occasional vape than the sort of thing I’d use all day.
- Drama Swirl by Charlie’s Chalk Dust: This is an apricot-glazed golden pastry e-juice, another one that’s right in line with my preferences, but, more importantly, is absolutely awesome. It has a beautiful, natural sweetness from the apricot and it’s all topped off with the rich, well-captured pastry – it’s one of those juices that I’ll always make sure I have a bottle of. I really can’t praise it enough – a brilliant choice from Vapebox!
- Fulton County by Intellect Fluids: This is a blueberry cornbread and maple syrup juice, and it hits on all the intended flavor notes well. The blueberry and cornbread blend together nicely, and the maple syrup comes in on top and adds some extra sweetness to the whole thing, helping it go down smoothly and really taking the flavor to the next level. It’s a delicious juice, and another great pick from Vapebox.
- Dog3 RDA by Congrevape: The Dog3 is the latest incarnation of the Doge line of RDAs from Congrevape, and with it being released so recently it’s an excellent inclusion from Vapebox. The RDA has been printed with Vapebox’s logo too, which is a really nice touch and doesn’t detract from the overall look of the device. The RDA is a pleasure to build on, with big post-holes, a very deep juice well, a split center post and a spacious deck, and comes with PEEK insulators, two spare (non-split) center posts, a simple adjustable airflow system and a ceramic drip tip. This is a great addition, overall – perfect for rebuilders and a great sign for the way Vapebox is heading. We have a full review of the Dog3 if you're interested in learning more.
- Clapton wire by Youde: The February Vapebox also came with some Clapton wire from Youde, which takes all of the work out of enjoying the increased surface area and excellent performance from Clapton coils. It’s an excellent addition from Vapebox, definitely a worthwhile accessory for rebuilders and a great match for the Dog3. It offers fantastic flavor and huge vapor production – no complaints at all!
What Did I Think to Vapebox?
Vapebox was a solid service before, but they’ve really stepped up their game in 2016. While some of the same issues do still persist – the seemingly formulaic choices of flavor (based on the featured mixers for the month rather than a free choice as with services like Zodist) and the relatively simplistic approach to flavor profiling – the improvements really take it to the next level.
In every one of the boxes I've received, I got one juice that I absolutely loved; not only all-day vapes, but the sort of thing I’ll always make sure I have a bottle of. All of the juices were enjoyable, admittedly, but the fact that I found one absolutely delicious juice that was perfect for my tastes in each box is really all you want from a subscription service. Not every one is a hit – only Zodist accomplished that out of the services I tried for the Battle of the Boxes post – but all were definitely enjoyable and in line with my preferences.
As for the hardware, compared to the Colonial clone I received in my original box, the Sigelei 75 W TC, the GeekVape Tsunami and the Dog3 were excellent, a huge step in the right direction. Getting the Dog3 so soon after release, in particular, was both a very welcome surprise and a promising sign of things to come from Vapebox, and getting a high-quality mod in the March box was even better. The accessories – the ceramic tipped tweezers, drip tip, dripper bottle and the Clapton wire – were also solid inclusions; with the quality of the main pieces of hardware, getting some great accessories is nothing to complain about at all.
As for the price, at $60 per month, it’s a fantastic deal for 75 ml of juice and the hardware and accessories. For example, the Dog3 will run you about $40 alone, and when you throw in the best juice I received in the same box, it’s already giving you equivalent value for money, and then you have three more bottles of juice and some Clapton wire on top of that. The same goes for the Sigelei 75 W TC: it's a $45 mod, and then you get four delicious juices and a custom drip tip thrown in for good measure too. You may not get to pick them yourself, but it’s definitely a fantastic deal.
The only real criticism – as mentioned with reference to the juices included – is that the personalization could still be improved a little. This isn’t a criticism so much as a hope that things will continue to get better: if they expanded the sign-up questionnaire so you could provide more information about your preferences for both flavor and devices, the offerings could be better tailored to your preferences. The main benefit of this would be for the e-juice, but being able to offer more details about your hardware preferences would make it more likely that everything in your box is perfect for you.