• July 10, 2020

Multiple Personalities

The market for disposable vapor products is surprisingly diverse.

By Mike Huml

It’s one of the fastest-growing segments of the vapor industry. Disposable products that once collected dust on store shelves are now finding a growing fan base. With so many on the market, it’s easy for distributors and retailers alike to get caught up in the confusion. We decided to review some of the more popular brands to help our readers see some of the differences in a product segment where everything can seem the same. As it turns out, however, each product has its own personality. Almost every disposable device we tested had something that made it just a little different than its competition.

The Leap Go

“The Cigalike-alike”

The Leap Go disposable vapes closely to a traditional analog cigarette. The draw is tight but smooth, reminiscent more of a full-flavor than a light or ultra-light smoke. The size is more akin to a 100 mm cigarette with slightly more weight.

At 5 percent nicotine, the Leap Go should more than satisfy those switching from smoking or anybody who prefers high nicotine strengths or nicotine salts. The vapor is light but still flavorful and satisfying. Each Leap Go device can last for approximately 200 puffs, which is about the equivalent of one pack of traditional cigarettes, assuming ten puffs per cigarette and twenty cigarettes per pack.

There are no unappealing surprises to speak of, such as leaking, gurgling or dry hits. Everything works as intended. The Leap Go is about as unassuming as it gets, replicating the look, feel and draw of an analog cigarette. For those looking to try out vaping with no baggage or hassle, the Leap Go is a great option. There’s no refilling or charging to worry about, no replacement pods or coils and no worries. Simply pull it out of the box, remove the silicone stoppers and it’s good to go.

The Leap Go is positioned to be an introductory device, making the transition from smoking to vaping as seamless as possible, and on that front it succeeds. While more advanced devices or even other disposables may boast slightly increased performance, few can capture the feel of smoking as accurately as the Leap Go. It may not appeal to many vapers, but as a tool to ease smokers into vaping it succeeds tremendously.

Cigalikes have fallen out of favor over the years due in large part to the popularity of pod systems. The Leap Go is a neat callback to the early days of vaping without the hassle of leaky cartridges and dead atomizers. It’s a cool nostalgia trip for vapers but still a very relevant step for many smokers in today’s vaping landscape. It’s interesting to think that lives may literally be saved due to just one disposable e-cigarette taking a step back and returning to roots of how vaping all started.

Cali Air

“Intensity Squared”

The Cali Air disposable deviates from the traditional cigarette shape significantly. It’s a flat e-cigarette that’s about one inch wide, two inches tall and less than a quarter-inch deep. It’s smaller than a business card but packs a punch.

A disposable product, there is no refilling or recharging necessary. A pair of silicone covers must be removed before use and then it’s all ready to vape. What would be considered the “mouthpiece” lies at the top corner of the Air, which makes it extremely comfortable to use especially for anyone who isn’t used to large mouthpieces or drip tips. Having the airflow hole at the corner rather than in the middle helps to make the Cali Air feel a bit more familiar and less like sucking on a credit card.

The flat shape not only makes the Cali Air easy to carry around but makes it comfortable to hold as well. It won’t convince anybody that it’s an actual cigarette, but it feels good in a different way. The majority of the Cali Air is made of anodized aluminum, so it’s slightly textured and light.

The draw is fairly tight, and the flavor is pretty intense making for a great vaping experience. There is no leaking or gurgling, and the draw is smooth. It has a familiar feel to many of the better pod systems on the market and may be better suited to current vapers rather than those making the switch from smoking.

The Cali Air contains 2.7 mL of e-liquid, but the puff count is what matters most with disposables given they can’t be charged or refilled. The Cali Air lasts for approximately 500 puffs, which equates to about 2 1/2 packs of analog cigarettes. At a nicotine strength of 5 percent, this should satisfy most anyone for at least two days.

With a larger capacity and battery, the larger size is necessary to accommodate the increased performance, but the nontraditional shape keeps the Cali Air from being bulky or unwieldy. If longevity and performance are more important than an accurate tactile representation of an analog cigarette, the Cali Air is a fantastic choice.

Bidi Stick

“I Only Smoke When I Drink”

The Bidi Stick is very similar to today’s popular pod systems. Its long, flat shape allows it to be used like an analog cigarette, but it looks nothing like one. It’s slimmer and longer than the Juul, with a similar light weight. Unlike modern pod systems, it’s one single piece that cannot be refilled or recharged, making it about as simple as a vape can get.

The body is a slightly rubberized texture with a soft plastic mouthpiece. It’s light, slim and perfect for taking on the go. A single LED on the end of the Bidi Stick lights up when activated to give a nice visual representation that the automatic switch is doing its job.

The draw is medium-tight and should appeal to most people, and it’s not too airy to diminish the flavor. It’s a good balance, being that the flavor is intentionally light and refreshing. That’s not to say that it doesn’t produce good vapor, because it does, but many liquids are loaded with too much flavor and sweetener, which can prematurely kill a coil and lead to poor flavor and vapor production. Subtle flavors are all-too-often underrated, and it’s surprising to find these flavors in a disposable e-cigarette.

Each Bidi Stick contains 1.4 mL of e-liquid at a strength of 6 percent, which is higher than average. Nonetheless, one would assume that the Bidi Stick is equivalent to a pack-and-a-half of cigarettes, which is about a day-and-a-half of normal use. However, the packaging suggests that each Bidi Stick should last one week.

Conclusion: This is a great disposable for light smokers or vapers. The high nicotine means that fewer puffs are required to reach nicotine satisfaction, and the light flavor speaks to the vaper who wants something nice and refreshing every now and again. That said, there’s nothing really keeping anyone from using several Bidi Sticks per week, but if 300 puffs per week is the recommendation, it’s clear that this is intended more for nonregular users.

With that in mind, the Bidi Stick may be the best option for occasional nicotine users for all the reasons above. It requires fewer puffs to get the same amount of nicotine, and the flavor is light as to not be offensive or overwhelming. The throat hit is also smooth and not boosted with the addition of menthol.

The Bidi Stick appeals to possibly the most overlooked nicotine user—the social smoker. They exist, and the Bidi Stick proves that they are not forgotten.

Hyde

“The Caricature”

The Hyde is very similar to a standard pod system with one exception: It’s a one-piece disposable. No refilling and no charging are necessary, but the shape and size could pass for a standard pod system aside from the color. The Hyde has a black, plastic mouthpiece and white body that fades into red with a faux spray paint look. Its appearance is a little edgier and bolder compared to some of the more subdued aesthetics of its counterparts, but it could appeal to some. If the look doesn’t, the performance surely will.

The Hyde’s draw is fairly tight, which contributes to the fantastic flavor and dense vapor production. It feels much like a full-flavor analog cigarette. It’s extremely lightweight and somewhat shorter than expected for a device of this nature. It lends itself well to hands-free vaping.

The Hyde includes a white LED at the tip that shines through the red coloring to give a certain red glow that imitates a lit cigarette. The white and red colors of the body combined with the illumination make the Hyde appear almost as a caricature of an analog cigarette in a way that might make the foreign concept of vaping a little more familiar for smokers.

There is no estimated puff limit on the packaging, but the mouthpiece is translucent so that the user can actually see how much liquid is remaining. The Hyde holds 1.5–2 mL of e-liquid, which would put it somewhere in the 300–400 puff range. With a nicotine strength of 5 percent, each Hyde unit is equivalent to a pack or pack-and-a-half of analog cigarettes, which is pretty standard.

What really sets the Hyde apart is the performance. While it’s aesthetic could arguably be the gaudiest of the bunch, looks can be deceiving. Vaping the Hyde is an absolute joy with its smooth draw, clean flavor and impressive vapor production. While the draw isn’t turbulent in the least, the heating element does give off a slight crackle as the e-liquid is heated. While a matter of personal preference, this generally adds to the satisfaction of vaping, and smoking for that matter.

Overall, the Hyde might be the most divisive-looking disposable, but it more than makes up for that in pure vape quality.

Hyppe Bar/Puff Bar

“The Twins”

The Hyppe Bar and Puff Bar are very straightforward even as far as disposables go. The “Bar” part of their names is accurate—they simply look like bars. They are relatively small but angular and polygonal. There is no separate look for the mouthpiece, and an arrow is printed on each device (as well as the flavor, nicotine strength, etc.) to indicate which side is the mouthpiece. The coating is matte and slightly rubberized in a single color that really does bring one word to mind: bar.

Performance-wise, the Hyppe Bar and Puff Bar are suited for those who prefer lighter flavor without sacrificing vapor production. It’s a medium-airy draw that works best with faster drags, which is perfect for smokers. It’s a welcome change for vapers as well, who have largely been conditioned over the years to adopt a slow-and-steady drag.

A blue LED on the tip lights up when a drag is taken, but it’s not visible to the vaper when in use, acting only as a cosmetic feature to observers. It’s not exactly necessary, but nothing is lost with this addition either.

The Hyppe Bar has the most information packaging, which shouldn’t go unnoticed. There are product specifications so there’s no guessing—it holds 1.3 mL of 5 percent e-liquid with a 280 mAh battery that’s good for up to 300 puffs.

It also features a scratch-and-scan sticker to verify authenticity and an enclosed underage vaping warning card. The Puff Bar is very similar, lacking only the battery capacity rating and the included warning card.

Both the Hyppe Bar and the Puff Bar vape very well, with voluminous vapor and light, refreshing flavors. So why are these two products so eerily similar? It’s unclear, but it’s likely the case that these are both produced by the same manufacturer and have been customized and branded by different wholesalers or retailers. This is common practice in many industries, including vaping, and shouldn’t dissuade a purchase. Both brands of the “bar-style” disposable work well and identically. They’re simple, colorful, lightweight and refreshing. The Hyppe and Puff Bars are both solid options in terms of disposable e-cigarettes, regarding both performance and aesthetic.

Pop

“Vapeable Sunshine”

The Pop disposable e-cigarette is another bar-style vape but with some differences that make it clear that its different from both the Hyppe Bar and the Puff Bar. Aside from more colorful packaging, there are a few visual differences that set it apart. The blue LED on the tip still illuminates when a drag is taken, but the airflow hole in the mouthpiece is slightly larger making for an airier draw. In lieu of a rubberized matte coating, the Pop is shrouded in a colorful wrap that matches the packaging and corresponds to the flavor. It’s reminiscent of wallpaper, in a comforting country-home type of way.

According to the packaging, the Pop holds 1.2 mL of 5 percent-strength e-liquid and is usable up to 400 puffs. Compared to the size and puff count of similar disposables, this likely means a higher coil resistance. As such, the Pop is gaining a bit of longevity but losing a bit in terms of performance. That’s not to say that performance is poor but simply that the design is different. The Pop produces equal vapor compared to similar disposable devices, but this is due to slightly increased airflow. A higher coil resistance results in less liquid and battery power being used with each puff, as well as lighter flavor, but it has the potential to last longer.

The Pop definitely takes a different approach when it comes to how an e-cigarette should look. While many shoot for sleek and unassuming, the Pop has opted for bold, colorful and fun, and not in a way that could be construed as marketing to children. Many would shy away from overly colorful packaging, but the Pop does it tastefully and doesn’t rely solely on looks. The performance is still there, and users can feel justified in their purchase.

Overall, the performance of the Pop is surprisingly good. Like some others, it’s light, refreshing, easy to use and extremely portable—everything a disposable e-cigarette should be. This type of disposable is great for light users, new vapers or social nicotine users. It works well, there’s no hassle, it is widely available and tends toward the lighter, airier, more refreshing end of the spectrum rather than the more intense side. The Pop is colorful and fun, exemplifying a no-worries mindset that its performance reinforces.