We take a look and compare the best e-cigarette brands currently on the market in 2016. In this article we test/review re-chargeable “cig-a-like” devices only and will refer to them as either e-cigarettes, e-cigs, electronic cigarettes or vapor cigarettes. For more information on e-cigarette terminology check out the terminology section at the bottom of the page.
Cig-a-like ecigs are the smallest types of vapes available and mimic the look and feel of a normal cigarette. E-cigarettes are suitable for those beginners looking for an extremely portable and easy-to-use starter kit and are often the first choice for many smokers looking to quit smoking and switch to vaping.
Unlike other e-cig review websites, we have personally tested some of the best e-cigarette brands on the market to help you decide on which is the best electronic cigarette starter kit for you. The Vaping360 team has tested each e-cig kit and come up with the following award winners, pros and cons to help you find the right device for you and ultimately help you as a smoker, switch to e-cigarettes.
If you have any questions about any of the vapor cigarettes we have reviewed or given awards to, feel free to drop us a comment in the comments section and we will do our best to help.
E-Cigarette brands we reviewed/tested: V2 Cigs, Halo Cigs, Mig Vapor, Juul Vapor, Epuffer, Njoy, Blu Cigs, Markten, Vuse, Apollo, Eversmoke, Vaporfi, Smoketip and Bullsmoke.
Notes from the Vaping360 team: Whilst cig-a-likes are very cigarette-like in size and looks, their battery life tends to be fairly on the low side and the vapor compared to larger set-ups is fairly minimal. Whilst e-cigarettes are great for vaping whilst out and about and stealth vaping, we recommend that beginners start off with a more substantial vape pen or mod and tank set-up. For more information on larger set-ups head over to our best vape starter kits article. However, if you are 100% set on purchasing an e-cigarette then check out the best brands and e-cig starter kits above.
Best E-Cig Starter Kits
V2 EXSeries Standard E-Liquid Kit
- Battery Capacity: 280mAh
- Battery Type: Automatic (5 different colors)
- Nicotine Choices: 0/6/12/18/24mg
- Flavor choices: V2 Red/Sahara/Congress/Menthol/Peppermint and Green Tea Menthol (V2 standard carts will also work with the Ex Series)
- Clearomizer Option: Ex-blanks clearomizers come with the kit
- Portable Charging Case: Can be purchased separately (XL Case highly recommended)
- Warranty: Lifetime on Batteries (does not apply to e-liquid carts or disposables)
From our testing we concluded that the V2 Ex Series E-Liquid Kit is the best all round e-cigarette starter kit on the market. A combination of great battery life, battery life monitoring, vapor production, good accessories and high quality e-liquid flavors make the ex-series the most advanced e-cigarette on the market and wins our award for best overall e-cigarette kit!
This kit comes with mini clearomizers, which are superior in terms of flavor and vapor compared to cartomizers. Cartomizers can be purchased separately or come with the Ex Series standard kit. The V2 Ex Series battery is one of the best on the market in terms of capacity (280mAh). It also features a battery life meter unique to the V2 Ex Series range of e-cigs, allowing you to closely monitor how much battery life you have left.
We recommend smokers opt for 1.8% nicotine and we enjoyed the Green Tea Menthol, Congress Tobacco and Coffee e-liquid flavors.
Epuffer Magnum Snaps E-Pack Kit
- Battery Capacity: 120mAh
- Battery Type: Automatic
- Nicotine Choices: 0/12/24mg
- Flavor choices: Sweet or Tobacco (more carts available separately or blank carts to use with e-liquids)
- Clearomizer Option: N/A
- Portable Charging Case: Comes with kit (540mAh)
- Warranty: 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
- 60 Day Warranty on Batteries and PCCs and 1 Year on USB Chargers and Wall Adapters
The Epuffer Magnum Snaps win our awards for best mini e-cig and easiest to use starter kit. They are one of the smallest e-cigs on the market and feature their unique magnetic “snaps” technology.
The majority of e-cig carts have to be screwed on, but not the Magnum Snaps. These carts click simply into place with the snap of a magnet. The Magnum Snaps e-cigarette kit also comes with a really nice portable charging case and can re-charge the e-cig batteries 3-4 times whilst storing a spare cart and battery.
The flavors on the Magnum Snaps were terrific and we recommend taking a look at their wide range of flavors in their cartridges section. Midnight Pleasure and Lux Tobacco are must tries!
If you are looking for a mini e-cigarette that is elegant, extremely simple to use and that is similar in size to a cigarette then the Epuffer Magnum Snaps are the choice for you – a top e-cigarette!
Juul Vapor E-Cigarette
- Battery Capacity: Unknown
- Battery Type: Automatic Lipo
- Nicotine Choices: 59mg
- Flavor choices: Cool Mint/Fruit Medley/Creme Brulee and Virginia Tobacco
- Clearomizer Option: N/A
- Portable Charging Case: N/A
- Warranty: 1 Year
The Juul is a very unique and innovative e-cigarette and differs in shape to the other devices on this page, although it’s roughly the same size as some of the smallest e-cigs tested! Their intuitive sophisticated Apple-like design results in a very simple and powerful e-cig.
The Juul provides the biggest throat hit of all the e-cigs we tested, given its high nicotine level and vapor production. Aside from the Mig Vapor e-cig kit, the Juul provides the most vapor. The Juul can also be quickly re-charged using its magnetic USB charging adapter. The pods hold 0.7ml of e-liquid and last a surprisingly long time. It is easy to see why lots of experienced vapers choose the Juul for their stealth vape for when they are out and about!
Halo G6 E-Cig Starter Kit
- Battery Capacity: 180mAh
- 280mAh or 380mAh (3.7V)
- Battery Type: Choice of manual or automatic in 9 different colors
- Nicotine Choices: 0/1.5/3/6/12/18/24mg (Halo e-liquid lines)
- Flavor choices: You can purchase blank carts meaning you can choose from all of Halo’s e-liquid lines
- Clearomizer Option: G6 Mini tanks can be purchased separately
- Portable Charging Case: Not available
- Warranty: 30 day return policy
Halo Cigs are renowned for their awesome tasting e-liquids and this definitely comes through in their G6 starter kit. The G6 e-cig starter kit is a great all round kit that allows you to choose from a range of different batteries, cartridges and colors. You can also choose blanks or the mini clearomizers (G6 mini tanks under the e-cigarette section) and treat yourself to some of Halo’s delightful e-liquids. Tribeca, Belgian Cocoa and Malibu are must try flavors!
If you are a flavor connoisseur then we recommend the Halo the G6 starter kit. Definitely get the G6 mini tanks and some extra e-liquids to make the most of the delicious e-liquid flavors from Halo.
Mig 21 Clear Fusion Vape Pen Kit
- Battery Capacity: 380mAh (4.2V)
- Battery Type: Choice of manual or automatic
- Nicotine Choices: 0/1.5/3/6/12/18/24mg
- Flavor choices: Unlimited (choose from all the Mig Vapor e-liquid lines or create your own with the Vimanna vape bar)
- Clearomizer Option: Mig 21 kit comes clearomizers not cartomizers. Cartomizers can be purchased as part of the Mig Cig starter kit or separately
- Portable Charging Case: Not available
- Warranty: 30 day return policy
The Mig 21 boasts the best battery of the kits we tested, at 380mAh and runs at 4.2V. The Mig 21 Fusion Kit comes with a mini clearomizer meaning you can choose the e-liquid you want to vape. Check out Mig Vapor’s large fantastic selection of e-liquids. The Fusion tank holds 1.3ml of e-liquid and provides great flavor. The Mig 21 given its powerful battery and clearomizer produces the most vapor out of the e-cigs we tested and is one of the most satisfying vaping experiences we got from any of these kits. If vapor and battery life are what you are looking then the Mig 21 Fusion Kit is for you!
Blu Plus Rechargeable E-Cig Kit
- Battery Capacity: Premium100 Battery lasts around 200-240 Puffs
- Battery Type: Automatic
- Nicotine Choices: High/Medium and None
- Flavor choices: Classic Tobacco/Menthol/Java Jolt/Cherry/Vanilla/Pina Colada/Peach Schnapps and Strawberry Mint
- Clearomizer Option: Not really a clearomizer but a closed tank option called blu Tanks
- Portable Charging Case: Yes
- Warranty: One Year
Blu is another of the biggest e-cig brands on the market and are renowned for their blue tip. The Blu e-cigarettes are often first choice amongst starters given their wide availability. Whilst the Blu cigs aren’t the best for vapor, flavor or battery life, the Blu Plus recharge kit comes with the best portable charging case on the market. It has a 1450mAh battery meaning the Blu cigs can be re-charged roughly 12 times! The re-charge kit is also priced at the lower end of the spectrum. You can pick up a kit for just $36.54 and it comes with a 1 year warranty. We enjoyed the Strawberry Mint carts the most from the Blu flavor range.
Best Disposable E-Cigs
If you are looking for a disposable e-cigarette then we recommend only a few different brands. Disposable e-cigarettes will last around 200 – 400 puffs and will then need to be thrown away. One disposable costs around $5-8. We recommend the following e-cigarette brands if you are looking for a disposable:
The Epuffer Ecos are the only other brand of disposable e-cigarettes we recommend. They offer two great standard menthol and tobacco flavors, but their unique selling point is their variety of delicious tasting Hookah flavors and the battery life of their disposables. Their delicious hookah flavors include: caramel mocha, melon daiquiri blitz, watermelon sangria, strawberry margarita, apple appletini and mint mojito.
Njoy are probably one the most well known e-cig brands around and are one of the few big firms to not be owned by big tobacco. Their Daily disposables really pack a punch and provide a great throat hit and vapor. They also have 5 different flavors to choose from including three tobacco blends, a menthol and a blueberry flavor. The Dailys cost $5.99 and if you purchase them in larger quantities you can get a discount.
The Njoy Kings are one of the best known disposables on the market and rightly so given their realistic appearance in size and feel to a normal cigarette. If you are looking for a disposable e-cigarette that is close to the real thing then the Njoy Kings are the way forward. The Njoy Kings come in three different flavors and in either 5, 20 or 100 packs. Again as with the Njoy Dailys buying larger quantities will save you some money per disposable.
Why Didn’t Certain E-Cigarette Brands Feature or Get Awards?
You’ll notice that not all of the e-cig brands we tested made our final list with awards. We have only featured the very best brands and e-cigarette starter kits that we tested. The following rankings and awards are based on the personal opinions of the Vaping360 team members. You might disagree with some of the above, which is not a problem as these things can often be quite subjective.
Vaping360 Top Tips for Using E-Cigarette Starter Kits
PCCs and Extra Batteries
PCCs are portable charging cases. These are little cases that can be used to re-charge or store your e-cig batteries whilst on the go. We recommend getting an e-cig kit that comes with a portable charging case or for you to purchase one separately, as they are very handy to have. We also recommend purchasing extra batteries, so you always have one charged and ready to go. The majority of the kits above will already come with 2 or more batteries. We recommend having at least 2 preferably 3-4 to be sure.
A few of the e-cigarette kits above like the V2 Ex Series, the Mig Vapor 21 Kit and Halo G6 kits can be used with mini clearomizers. These are small clear tanks that can be filled with an e-liquid of your choice. Often these need to be purchased separately or alternatively you purchase a kit that has them included like the V2 Ex Series E-Liquid kit or the Mig 21 Clear Fusion. Another option would be to purchase some blank cartomizer/cartridges for your electronic cigarette starter kit. We highly recommend trying some mini clearomizers or getting a kit that comes with some.
Mini clearomizers provide several benefits over standard e-cigarette cartomizers:
- You can use an e-liquid of your choice
- They provide more vapor and thus more satisfaction
- The flavor you get is often better
- You can easily monitor the level of e-liquid remaining in your e-cig tank
- They are easy to re-fill
These mini e-cig clearomizers will last anywhere from 4 – 10 days of vaping depending on your usage, after which they will need to be replaced. You will notice the flavor and vapor dying and once this happens you will need to replace the tank/clearomizer.
Experiment with Different Nicotine Levels and E-Liquid Flavors
We at Vaping360 recommend that you find the right nicotine level for your vaping preference and to help keep you off cigarettes. For a smoker or starter you might want to start at a higher nicotine level and then slowly work your way down. The nicotine level in e-cigarettes tends to be higher than in the larger more powerful vaping set-ups due to the smaller amounts of vapor. The Juul e-cigarette provided the biggest throat hit from the above tested kits. All the kits will have different nicotine options to choose from, so perhaps try a few different levels to work out which is best for your e-cigarette vaping habits.
With the blank cartomizers and mini clearomizers you will have the option to use your the e-liquid of your choice. All the electronic cigarette brands above have great e-liquid lines. Halo is probably our favorite if we had to choose one. The e-cig starter kits with cartomizers also feature a range of different flavors. The great thing about electronic cigarettes is that you have a selection of different flavors whether it be tobacco, menthol or something slightly fruitier and sweeter. Make sure to experiment with different e-cig flavors to find the right one for you!
Getting Started with Your First Vapor Cigarette
Clearomizers vs. Cartomizers
Most electronic cigarette kits use cartomizers. Cartomizers are the part of the e-cig which vaporize the e-liquid and generate the vapor. The majority of cartomizers are disposable and once they are finished after several hundred puffs they will need to be replaced. Cartomizers come in a variety of different nicotine levels and flavors. Some cartomizers are “blanks” meaning they can re-filled with an e-liquid of your choice. The Halo G6 kit, Epuffer and V2 Kits have the option to select blanks if you want to use a particular e-liquid you already have.
Clearomizers are see-through mini tanks that store and vaporize e-liquid. They are generally slightly larger than cartomizers which tend to fit in more seamlessly design wise. Despite being slightly more ungainly, we highly recommend using them as they provide more vapor and flavor than cartomizers and will thus provide a better vaping experience. Some of the electronic cigarette starter kits above feature clearomizers or they can sometimes be found in the accessories or extras section of the e-cig vendor’s website.
Both e-cigarette cartomizers or clearomizers will need to be replaced after a certain period of vaping. Generally clearomizers last longer, but they are therefore slightly more costly.
Re-Filling Your Vapor Cigarette
Not all e-cigarette kits can be re-filled. Some cartomizers are disposable and will need to be replaced once finished. Blank e-cig cartomizers however, can be re-filled until the coils are burnt out and finished. To re-fill a blank cart you will need to take the rubber top cap off and then soak the cotton in the cartomizer with e-liquid. Do not overfill the cart! Mini clearomizers as discussed above can also be re-filled. This can be done simply by removing the top mouthpiece and refilling the tank to the top. E-cig clearomizers will generally hold between 0.9-1.3ml of e-liquid, whereas cartomizers will hold slightly less.
E-Cigarette Batteries – Manual vs. Automatic
The above tested electronic cigarette starter kits will mostly allow you to choose between a manual style of e-cigarette battery and an automatic style. Manual batteries feature a button that you need to press to vape. Automatic batteries are more convenient but sometimes there is a very minimal delay when inhaling. The majority of kits like the V2 Ex Series now feature automatic batteries, but it is very much a personal preference. All e-cigarette batteries will have a certain capacity most commonly referenced in mAh (milliamp hours). The capacity in mAh will range from about 140mAh to around 300mAh for e-cigarette starter kits. The higher the capacity the longer the battery will generally last, although there are other factors that come into play.
Generally the e-cigarettes above with higher battery capacities are larger in size and thus can hold more charge. For e-cigarette starter kits we always recommend purchasing extra batteries and a portable charging case (PCC).
Choosing Your Nicotine Level for Your E-Cig
The majority of the e-cigarette brands offer varying levels of nicotine in their e-cigarette starter kits. For heavier smokers we recommend using a nicotine level of 12mg or above (18 or 24mg). The throat hit will vary from device to device as some devices will hit slightly harder or will have a higher PG ratio in the e-liquid. Again it will come down to personal preference to decide on what nicotine level you choose for your e-cigarette.
Common e-cigarette nicotine levels are as follows:
Where to Buy and Not to Buy E-Cigs
We recommend avoiding most gas station type brands where you can. The typical brands stocked tend to be far lower quality compared with the top e-cigarette brands. The only brands which are worth picking up at a gas station would be Njoy or V2, as these two quality brands can sometimes be found in supermarkets and gas stations.
If you are looking for an e-cigarette style device vape shops might not always be the place to purchase them. Not many vape stores stock cig-a-likes and they will recommend larger set-ups to you, as the larger devices provide a better user experience than e-cigs. If you are unsure on what type of vape you want then a good vape store should be able to help. However, if you have your heart set on a cig-a-like style e-cigarette like the ones above, we recommend purchasing them online.
To get the best deal and to make sure you purchase from one of the better e-cig brands, we recommend ordering online. We have multiple unique coupon codes for Vaping360 readers which can be used to save you money when purchasing your first electronic cigarette starter kit.
E-Cigarette Safety and Maintenance
Make sure to look after your e-cigarettes. When charging your batteries make sure to only use the provided charging cable or PCC. Try to avoid dry hits with no e-liquid when using clearomizers. This is when you vape with no or very little e-liquid left in the e-cig tank. This will burn the atomizer and greatly reduce it’s lifespan. In case you have any leaking make sure to clean your e-cigarette afterwards and make sure no e-liquid gets anywhere near the electronics.
E-cigarettes are described in a variety of different ways. We tend to refer to them as either e-cigs, e-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes when talking about cig-a-like type devices. When talking about larger devices we tend to talk about vape pens, kits or mods. We have listed some other e-cig variations below:
E-cigarettes, e-cigs, electronic cigarettes, vaporizer cigarette, vapes, vape sticks, vapor cigarettes, smokeless cigarettes, e-smokes, e-vapes, e-vapor, vape cigarettes, e-cig vaporizers, smoking vapor, electric cigarettes, e-cigaret, vapour cigarette, vape cigarette, ecigarette, ecig etc.
E-Cigarettes as a Means of Quitting Smoking and Harm Reduction
Our goal as a website is to help create a tobacco free world and we think this is possible with the help of e-cigarettes. Whilst they certainly cannot be deemed as being healthy, Public Health England has estimated that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than normal cigarettes. Recently the prestigious UK medical group the Royal College of Physicians has heralded e-cigarettes as a gateway away from smoking. The latter is a major endorsement for electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction tool for smokers and one that cannot go overlooked by those opposing vaping. Whilst e-cigs are not the perfect solution we believe them to be a massive help for smokers looking for a less damaging alternative to smoking and nicotine. The Vaping360 team is made up of many ex-smokers who since switching to e-cigarettes have not touched another tobacco cigarette. However, we always recommend that you do your own research and understand that you are using these devices at your own risk.