The Vype ePen is a vape pen that takes prefilled cartridges in three flavors. Each cartridge contains 1.5 mL of e-liquid at one available strength – 18 mg. This is not a new product as it was first released back in 2014 or 2015. But it is still widely available in the EU, with Vype’s website being based in the UK.
We recently reviewed Vype’s eStick Maxx, a cigalike that we found to be dated and underwhelming, although both of its available flavors were decent. The ePen is button operated, which makes it feel like a more advanced option — although still easy to use and beginner-friendly. But does it also perform at a higher level?
Price: £17.99 (for the starter kit), £7.99 (for a pack of three cartridges)
Colors: Black, blue, purple, red, white
The Vype ePen is a three piece vape: the battery, the cartridge and the plastic cap that covers the cartridge and ends on a non-removeable mouthpiece. It is very lightweight at 38 grams with a full cartridge on and comes at an average size for a vape pen. It’s not much larger than a cigar, while being somewhat flat shaped, which makes it easy to lay on the desk without rolling.
Vapes that are lightweight are generally a good thing, but the ePen’s plastic construction makes it feel cheap and flimsy. The same can be said for the cartridges, which come in a thick plastic casing. Their design looks dated, even for an older product like this one. Thankfully, the cartridges are not visible when the device is in use.
The device comes with one cartridge already inside. First make sure it is charged, and then press any of the two buttons three times to activate it. The double arrow button will fire at the high-power setting and the single arrow will operate at lower power. After that, all you need to do is to keep the button of your choice pressed while inhaling on the mouthpiece.
When the cartridge is empty – or if you just want to swap flavors – take the plastic cap off by pulling it while holding the battery. Then unscrew the cartridge, replace it with a new one, and put the plastic cap back on. The device will automatically deactivate when the cartridge is removed so make sure you turn it back on. It will also deactivate when left unused for more than ten minutes, which is a nice safety feature for button operated vape pens.
Not very good. A lot of it has to do with the device and its low power output, but the main culprit behind the weak throat hit the usage of nicotine salt instead of regular (freebase) nicotine. Interestingly, Vype does not list them as nicotine salt at their website, but the cartridges we got had it printed on the box.
Nicotine salt is great for super high nicotine concentrations — like 30-50 mg — because it smoothens the throat hit, but in 18 mg and in a device like this, they do more harm than good. Your body will still get the nicotine, but you won’t feel it in the hit. Also bear in mind that the power difference of the two buttons is miniscule at best, so adjusting it for more power does little.
On a positive note, the draw is comfortable and resembles the draw of a cigarette, and there were no issues with spitting, leaking or popping. And nothing resembling a dry or a burnt hit, even with long, 8-second puffs – it stops firing after that and the light flashes red for five times.
Outside of the Master Blend tobacco flavor which we rate as below average, the rest of flavors are not that bad. Mixed Berries is a solid fruity vape and the Crushed Mint is slightly cool on the inhale and may appeal to menthol smokers.
But there is an issue here, and it’s not about the flavors themselves; it has to do with the cartridges. When taking a vape from the eStick Maxx, the flavor is adulterated with the taste of plastic! And it does not go away easily. Its intensity varies between cartridges, but the one cartridge we used just to drain the battery still has that off taste and it’s almost empty.
The FDA announced Jan. 2 that it will begin enforcing all Deeming Rule requirements immediately for prefilled pod- and cartridge-based vaping products in flavors other than tobacco and menthol. Products sold after Feb. 2 are subject to enforcement if the FDA has not granted them marketing approval through a premarket tobacco application (PMTA). No PMTAs have been approved for vaping products yet. The FDA guidance only applies to products sold in the United States.
Vype claims 360 puffs on the lower power setting and 300 puffs on the higher one. We can’t confirm nor refute these claims since it’s not so easy to count puffs. But it’s plausible. The battery capacity is listed at 650 mAh, which is pretty good for a device like this, especially considering the cartridges have a very high resistance (2.8 ohms), which lends itself to lower battery consumption.
The eStick Maxx LED battery status:
According to Vype’s website, the LED on the ePen is supposed to pulsate when charging. Ours stayed red for the duration of the charge. When the LED shows continuous green, the device is fully charged. Also note that you can vape while the device is charging.
Although we didn’t like the Vype eStick Maxx, we’d rather have this one over the ePen – though that’s not a recommendation for the eStick. With the ePen, the cons outweigh the pros by a fair margin. One positive thing about it is that two of the three available flavors taste fairly good. But that’s it. The rest of the pros are insignificant.
The Vype ePen is not a very good device, and it doesn’t vape very well. This is an old product, and it shows. There are far better options for vapes in this class of products. We’ll be reviewing some newer Vype products soon that appear to be better designed. Hopefully they will perform better than the ePen.