Vapebox Review – Our First Box
Last year we had the opportunity to review e-juice subscription service Zamplebox. That company's strategy is sound: a monthly juice subscription that caters to your preferences, then modifies and adjusts to all of your favorite e-juice selections. But what if you could also add a hardware component? That's where California-based Vapebox comes in.
Thanks to the fine folks at Vapebox, I was able to see for myself. Now, Vapebox does offer two e-juice only options similar to Zamplebox's service; a ‘Sampler' pack which includes 45ml of juice (either 2 or 3 bottles) for $20, and a ‘Juice Lovers' box which has 75ml of juice (4-5 bottles) for $32 per month. Not bad…
But what's the fun in that? We went all-out with Vapebox's ‘Enthusiasts' box. This one has the same 75ml of e-juice that the Juice Lovers box has, but throws in either 1 or 2 pieces of equipment for $60 per month. For those of us with a vape gear problem (myself being included), this is a dream come true.
What could that equipment be? It could be batteries, an RDA, a tank, or even a mod from time to time. That's pretty darn cool, and for $60 a month, it's almost like you're getting the gear for free. Among the companies working with Vape Box are some pretty big names: Aspire, Congrevape, Eleaf, Sony, LG, and Kangertech, among others. The juice lineup is equally impressive, including Blueprint, Cosmic Fog, Kilo, Mad Hatter and Ruthless, and that's just a few of them.
Getting Started – The Signup Process
Signing up for Vapebox (like Zamplebox) is easy to do, but again, you need to spend a little time and effort to ensure the best possible experience. First you'll need to register for an account, which only requires your e-mail address, a password and your birth date. The next screen is all about customizing your box to your flavor preferences, and you'll need to select at least three e-juice types.
I found this part to be a little bit lacking when it came to customization. Other services like Zamplebox allow for further refinement, with a variety groups to select and other fine-tuning options. After all you might like fruit vapes, but aren't a fan of citrus flavors. You can't get that detailed with Vapebox (yet).
After that, there are more questions to answer. You want to complete these too, and if you're doing the Enthusiast box the last two questions are especially important since they need to know whether you vape on a tank or RDA, or are open to trying new things. Our understanding is that the equipment they ship in your box will indeed be affected by your answers to these questions.
We were able to complete our initial box setup in just about 10 minutes.
Receiving Our First Vape Box
Vapebox ships their boxes either by First Class or Priority Mail, with most shipments taking no more than five business days after it leaves their warehouse. Our box shipped out fast without any issues, and they did provide a tracking number so we could monitor the shipment and know exactly when the box would arrive.
The bottles are packed in a sturdy cardboard box with shredded paper stuffing. Personally I'm not a fan of this packing method, as other companies place their bottles in foam to keep them from shifting and breaking. At the same time, with the Enthusiast Box that might not work, since mods, RDAs, and tanks come in all shapes and sizes and it would be difficult to cut the foam precisely. The box itself is sturdy enough, though, that I don't think you'd have any issues with breakage.
Inside the box you'll find a host of stickers, promotional material for the juices you receive, and a nicely printed menu card. The retail values are printed on the card too so you can get a good idea of what everything would cost separately.
My first box contained five bottles of juice, and two accessories. We'll get into a discussion of the e-juices below, and also the two pieces of gear I received: the Rafale X by Uwell and a Sony 18650 battery, the latter I needed badly!
A Good First Impression
While their juice customization process isn't exactly what I'd like it to be, Vapebox did a fairly good job at picking out e-juices for me. I'm told that you can login to your account and rate the juices afterwards, and your feedback will be used to send more appealing flavors in the future, but it didn't feel as immediately customizable as Zamplebox did.
Here are the five flavors I was sent (and just a note, I selected the “candy,” “bakery desserts,” “fruits,” and “custards, creams, and vanilla” options).
- Family by Neighborhood (4/5): A complex dessert vape, Neighborhood's Family is described as “cinnamon ice cream filled donuts drizzled in caramel.” While the real thing would be fattening for sure, enjoying this one is guilt-free and it was definitely enjoyable. The ice cream and caramel flavors come through the most, and the cinnamon is not overpowering — which is definitely good because on it's own it can be quite strong.
- Selfie Sunday by 7 Daze (5/5): Oh boy… was this was a treat! Billed as a “sweet, crisp, and juicy red apple,” Selfie Sunday is exactly that. I'm surprised at how well they were able to limit the chemical taste that a lot of apple flavored e-juice seems to have an issue with, but this one was absolutely delicious and a definite all-day-vape, not just for Sundays.
- Watermelon Gummy by Emoji (3.5/5): Emoji's attempt at a watermelon flavor is a miss in the sense that it didn't actually taste like watermelon to me, although the flavor itself is definitely appealing with a candy-like quality to it. I can't quite place what fruit it tastes like, but it's lower rating here is more a result of it missing the mark on the flavor profile. Still quite tasty.
- Milky Pink by Classy Likwids (4.5/5): One of my favorite flavor profiles (one that I was actually surprised to like) is strawberry milk flavors. Classy Likwids did a good job with this one, while also keeping it from being too creamy or sickeningly sweet. Smooth and well-balanced, you'll be able to enjoy this for an extended period of time, that's for sure.
- Churros & Ice Cream by One Up (4/5): Wouldn't ya know… I actually received this in my first Zamplebox! The flavor is still the same, but they've upped their game with a glass bottle (with dripper), and it may be a bit stronger. Weak flavor was my biggest pet peeve the first time around, but it seems like it's been tweaked since then. Then again, maybe it was steeped longer or my taste buds were more sensitive during this review.
Not a bad job on the juices. Now on to this month's equipment:
- Rafale X RDA by Uwell: Uwell's RDAs are fairly good quality when it comes to the budget segment, and the Rafale X RDA is no exception. It's 24mm with a deep juice well and two airflow options. The drip tip is part of the top cap though, and cannot be removed which I find disappointing. However it does feature a nice anti-spit feature, which also gives it an interesting spiral airflow on the intake. I'm running a quad coil setup in this at .7 ohms at 40W, and the cloud production is quite good for a budget RDA.
- Sony VTC5 18650 2600mAh 20A Battery: A great all around battery that can take a beating, it's nice to see this in the first package. Considering one of my batteries doesn't hold a charge anymore, this came just in time.
Some Final Thoughts on Vapebox
Overall, I was quite pleased with my initial Vapebox review and the products I received. The option to try new equipment each month is a nice differentiation from all the other subscription services out there, and based on their partner list I'm hoping that high quality products continue to come each time. This box retailed for $60, and with the e-juice alone I definitely got my money's worth. The total estimated retail price of the box was $108, which is 45% in savings.
It's somewhat hard to compare Vapebox to Zamplebox, since the boxes are different in many ways. However, if you take all of the hardware out, Zamplebox does have Vapebox beat with their 6-bottle option for $25 versus Vapebox's $32. At 3-bottles though, both companies are priced exactly same at just $20.
At this point my only complaint with Vapebox is the juice preference choices. I really think more options should be added, rather than a short list of broad categories. As I noted earlier, sometimes flavors fall within a category that you're not going to like, even if you generally like that type of juice. I can rate the flavors afterwards, and that should help fine-tune future shipments, but we'll see…
Just like Zamplebox, we'll return in a month and see what we get…