The eStick Maxx is a simple and easy to use vape by Vype, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco. It comes with prefilled cartridges that each hold 0.9 mL of e-liquid and it’s similar in size and shape to a cigarette. In vape terms, the eStick Maxx is a cigalike, i.e. a disposable prefilled cartomizer powered by an eGo battery. Cigalikes were popular in the early days of vaping due to their ease of use and their inconspicuous design that didn’t attract attention. In fact, the eStick Maxx itself is not a new product, but it is still widely available in the EU.
The starter kit is comprised of the battery and two cartridges, both of the Toasted Tobacco flavor. Other than the flavors that come with the kit, there’s a Cool Spearmint option available also. All the flavors come in 11 mg strength and it seems to be the only strength being made (though we managed to find some 18 mg cartridges, likely due to old stock).
Price: £12.99 (for the starter kit), £5.99 (for a pack of three cartridges)
The eStick Maxx is a very lightweight and compact vape, not much bigger than a 100’s cigarette. It’s also white, with the battery featuring parallel lines resembling the tar lines that are present on the paper of a cigarette and a LED at the lit part which turns on when you vape. Due to its design, it’s a vape that will feel very familiar to smokers.
Regarding build quality, there’s not much to discuss here. The battery’s metal construction feels solid and looks like it can take a beating. The cartridges are plastic and a bit flimsy, but their 0.9 mL capacity means that they will last you a day at most anyway.
Opening the box, you will see the eStick Maxx battery, two Toasted Tobacco cartridges, a USB charger and a small manual. Pretty basic, but there’s not much more to ask for in a device like this.
Operating the Vype eStick Maxx is very straightforward. Screw the cartridge on the battery and inhale on the mouthpiece. That’s it. When you see the LED at the other end of the device flashing, it’s time to charge it.
The draw of the eStick Maxx resembles the draw of a cigarette, a tight and satisfying inhale with a fair amount of restriction. The vapor production is alright, considering the size and capabilities of this device. The throat hit on the other hand is disappointing.
As stated, we were lucky enough to find the 18 mg cartridges but, even with more nicotine, there’s barely any feeling to the throat. It’s a cool and unsatisfying hit that doesn’t quite “do the trick.” Considering we got the 18 mg cartridges, it’s hard to imagine the 11 mg strength – the only strength available on the Vype site – will satisfy heavy smokers.
Aside from the weak hit, another issue is that cartridges gurgle, meaning it feels like you’re slurping liquid. Although no liquid makes its way to your mouth, it comes from excess liquid in the cartridge airflow path. The vape feels congested! To alleviate that, it’s best to unscrew the cartridge and blow through it into a napkin. That should clear the airflow and make the hit smoother.
There are only two flavors available at the moment. They’re decent at best. Nowhere close to the flavors of the IQOS Mesh (which were surprisingly good).
The Toasted Tobacco flavor is a light and rounded tobacco flavor with some nutty undertones. It’s an okay option for a smoker who’s after something slightly familiar, but it’s didn’t wow us.
Mentholated and cooling flavors are always divisive. That said, we feel that the mint is the best of the two that come in the kit. The cooling effect gives a slightly more satisfying throat hit, although it’s still nothing impressive.
The battery of the device has a capacity of 280 mAh, which is good for going through approximately one full 0.9 mL cartridge. This means that you’ll have to charge the device once or twice per day if you use it often. Luckily, the eStick Maxx only needs around 40-45 minutes to fully charge, although you won’t be able to vape while its charging (like many other vapes).
The LED will stay on when the device is charging, and will flash twenty times when its battery is full.
Outside of the good-enough flavors, the simplicity and the form factor, there’s not much to like about the Vype eStick Maxx. It misses the mark on the most important factors for a smoker who wants to switch; throat hit and overall satisfaction.
This device would have been better when it first came out, due to the higher nicotine limits. With the EU limit for nicotine strength now set at 20 mg, cigalikes have almost been rendered obsolete on this side of the map. While Vype has other products that seem to be more evolved, the eStick Maxx is not a vape we can recommend to a smoker looking to switch.