Green Smoke Kit
Pro Starter Kit
This review is on Green Smokes Pro Starter Kit that I purchased for $129.99.
Now, I feel it’s important when researching these kits to know what the people are saying about them so you can make the best decision for yourself. Which is why I choose to see for myself what this kit is all about and what Green Smoke really offers to the e-cig movement. Sorry that was a bit long-winded, but this review has been a long time in the making. So Lets dive in, shall we?
Green Smoke Pro Starter Kit Contents:
- 1 Long Rechargeable Electric Cigarette Battery
- 1 Short Rechargeable Electric Cigarette Battery
- 2 Packs of FlavorMax™ Cartomizers (10 Cartomizers)
- 1 USB Cigarette
- 1 USB Charger
- 1 High Powered Wall Adapter
- 1 High Powered Car Adapter
- 1 Green Smoke User Guide and Member Card
The Green Smoke review was a long journey. I first purchased the Flavormax Menthol Ice flavored cartomizer 5 pack in December of 2011 just to really see if the cartomizers lived up to the hype. I searched far and wide for adapters for this illusive KR808D-2 thread and thought I found one, but it did not work. I finally found an adapter that worked, but the pull was so weak and airy I knew I was loosing a lot with the adapter. I looked for batteries with the KR808D-2 thread and found some… but realized I’d be doing the readers a disservice but reviewing Green Smoke with batteries that Green Smoke themselves did not test and approve. It’s like critiquing PlayStation 3 on its performance when I used third-party controllers. I wanted to experience Green Smoke on its own, the way Green Smoke intended everyone to experience it so I would have no doubts in my mind once I tested the Green Smoke kit on how I really felt about the Green Smoke kit. So I waited and finally purchased the Kit. Then I used it and used it. It’s always hard to keep track of the puffs per cartomizer, but I did a day by day comparison with my favorite KR808D-1s and 510, small batteries. Testing it against an eGo sized battery would have just been unfair. I tested this Green Smoke kit for a little over 2 weeks, and now I’m ready for the review.
I’ve read both good and bad things about this kit and company. I kept researching and found people either loved them or hated them. Let me go over both, then we can begin the review.
First the good. I’ve heard the batteries, KR808D-2, are better than the similar but different KR808D-1s and 510s. Green Smoke batteries were said to last longer and do better. Second, I kept hearing how the Cartomizers for Green Smoke are better than before mentioned styles in that Green Smoke cartomizers last longer, 360 puffs compared to the 300 puffs per cartomizer for the KR808D-1s. Third, others have said Green Smoke cartomizers do not burn when the cartomizer runs low. For those who are new to e-cigs, some KR808D-1s, well just about all of them, when Green Smoke cartomizers run low the atomizer in the cartridge begins to heat up the dry material surrounding it and it gives off a “burnt” taste to the e-liquid, but it does not actually “burn” per say. 3 interesting points that I felt were worth investigating even considering the cons I read about that I will go over now.
The cons were stated pretty loud and clear all over the internet. First, price: a lot of people in the e-cig community that really get on Green Smoke and others that use the KR808D-2 threads because of the higher price that’s charged for them. Now, to really understand their point, we must also consider that a lot of the KR808D-1s are priced similarly, but because the KR808D-2 is so limited in who sells them, it’s not easy to jump to another distributor because you would have to buy different batteries. Second con spoken about is the battery charge life. Many believe the battery does not last longer and the extra price tag for them is unnecessary. Third argument that is publicly going around is that the cartomizers do not last longer, Green Smoke batteries do not have more puffs per cartomizer, so they are over priced as well. That just about sums up the cons.
I really like the Green Smoke web Site and Starter Kit Box. They spent a great deal of time and money on both of their layouts and designs and it shows. Now only money, but the site is easy to navigate. After reviewing so many sites and kits, I have really begun to appreciate when the kits and cartomizers are easy to find and information about them are well laid out. The Kits box is larger than most, but it does contain more than most, so that works out. It has a magnetic flap and is made of card board so nothing revolutionary there. There are lots of instructions with easy to follow images for recharging and using the items. Solid job there.
They offer a wide choice of shipping options via USPS and FedEx:
- USPS First-Class Mail
- USPS Priority Mail
- USPS Express Mail
- FedEx Ground
- FedEx 3 Business Days
- FedEx 2 Business Days
- FedEx Standard Overnight
- FedEx Priority Overnight
I found the quality of the Green Smoke kit very good. The batteries are solid, the connection threads are smooth and have not mis-threaded on me at all. The cartomizers come in plastic cases that are sealed with a thin aluminum cover, similar to how gum is packaged now. I can’t really say if this prolongs the life of unopened cartomizers as Green Smoke claims, but it looks nice and is easier to open than the individually wrapped in plastic 5 packs. I suppose this is a good place to mention that the starter kit comes with 2 batteries and a pass-through battery. The pass-through battery hold no charge, but allows you to plug the USB connector into your PC or and USB wall charger so you can vape while waiting for your battery to charge or so you won’t have to use your battery while you’re sitting in front of your PC or game council, if it has a USB connector like the PS3 does. The kit also comes standard with a car charger. I really like these 2 additions. When I purchased my first kit, I didn’t really think I’d need either of these. But, as I started using these kits more, I realized that one would come in handy. So, great job on quality on all accounts.
I have used the cartomizers down to the last vape then came back to try to vape on it some more. Once the cartomizer runs low, the flavor, throat hit and vapor just start coming out less and less until it’s done. Even then I keep revisiting them to see if I can make the burnt taste come, but instead I get a lite puff of flavor, then nothing. I may taste a hint of burnt residue, but not much.
The kit comes with 2 batteries:
- 1 Short battery, 67 mm (2.7 in) long, 100 mm (4.00 in) long with cartomizer.
- 1 Long battery, 82 mm (3.25 in) long, 116 mm (4.6 in) long with cartomizer.
The kit also comes with a USB pass-through, which Green Smoke calls a USB cigarette.
The battery is very responsive. Not as hyper responsive like the Blu e-cig, bit the battery begins sending voltage to the cartomizer at the beginning of the draw and gets the atomizer to its full heating capacity in milliseconds. The first draw delivers as much flavor, throat-hit and vapor as the second, third or tenth. Only manual batteries have this type of response in the 510 and KR808D-1 varieties. Even some manual batteries need a few… primer puffs to get the atomizer to best heating conditions. It’s hardly noticeable in the KR808D-1s, mind you, so it’s not something that’s takes from them in any way. I can tell in the warmth of the vapor, the throat hit and flavor right away. I’m not sure if all KR808D-2s do this or just Green Smoke so for now I’ll attribute it to Green Smoke and update the review as I test more KR808D-2 Starter Kits.
As for the longevity, it’s a bit hard to tell. The short battery does seem to last longer than the short KR808D-1s I’ve tested, and I’ve tested them side-by-side, but the long battery lasts longer for sure. Again, it’s not double the time but it is longer. I can go about 3 hours on one, where my KR808D-1s would need recharge in about 2.5 hours or so.. I’ll, again, update the review once I get the replacement cartomizers in. I am horrible at puff counting, since I seem to puff on my e-cigs sub-consciously so I go by my average day of vaping. I now vape about a full cartomizer a day by KR808D-1 standards. On more hectic days, 1 and a half cartomizers are used. So, using these examples I haven’t had to change my long battery out at all till the next day.
I choose 1 Variety Pack and 1 Mocha Mist Pack with my starter kit. Green Smoke has a total of seven flavors:
- Absolute Tobacco
- Menthol Ice
- Mocha Mist
- Red Label Tobacco
- Smooth Chocolate
- Tobacco Gold
- Vanilla Dreams
The Variety Kit comes with these flavors:
- Absolute Tobacco
- Menthol Ice
- Mocha Mist
- Red Label Tobacco
- Vanilla Dreams
Coffee is normally the flavor I try first since V2 Cigs coffee is still my favorite flavor. But, Mocha Mist is a bit different. Mocha Mist tastes like tobacco that has been sprinkled with coffee grounds. As much as enjoyed drinking coffee and smoking in my regular cigarette days, mixing them together in an e-cig flavor just… didn’t get me all excited. It’s not the worst flavor, I’m not saying that. I am able to vape on this flavor just fine, but if I had a choice, I’d go with another flavor of coffee.
Absolute Tobacco is pretty my tobacco. It doesn’t have the crazy hit of a Marlboro or Camel. It reminds me more of Winston’s. Not exactly, but maybe a mixture of Winston’s and Parliaments. Hard to say for sur, but it is a nice tobacco vape that doesn’t resort to tasting like an ash tray like a lot of other brands. I’m not a big tobacco fan myself, so for me it wasn’t a gagging experience but not my cup of tea. If I had no other choice, I could vape off of it.
I’m not a fan of vanilla, but this Vanilla Dream flavor of Green Smokes is not that bad. The taste reminds me of store made cupcakes. This is a good thing, since other vanilla taste more like super sweet… vanilla. Green Smokes Vanilla dream is more like the Vanilla flavored Soy Milk from Silk. Not my usual flavor in vapes, but still an OK flavor.
The Menthol is very good; it’s very strong and minty. It has a nice undercurrent too it that doesn’t remind me of menthol cigarettes but it does add a full bodies experience to the vape. Some menthol e-cig flavors go straight for the super minty and nothing else, leaving a taste more like gum than anything. But their Menthol Ice is really good. Minty with a hint of a super light tobacco or vanilla taste to it. That mixed with the throat hit makes a great combo.
And that’s not even the flavor I like best from Green Smoke. Red Label Tobacco… what a glorious flavor! This flavor reminds me of RY4. A caramel rich tobacco flavor that just danced on my taste buds. I enjoyed it so much, I vaped on it all day until the next morning when it ran out. I then immediately ordered another 5 pack as well as Smooth Chocolate which I never got to try. I also never tried Tobacco Gold, which I’ll order next. But, back to Red Label; this is just great, it fits my taste buds very well. Full bodied, very dense with a variety textures and it blends naturally with the nicotine’s throat hit creating a very enjoyable experience. My favorite non-coffee flavor for sure.
I vaped on 18 mg strength e-liquid so I was able to test the throat hit against the other 18 mg e-cigs from KR808D-1s and 510 mini’s. The throat hit is about the same. The Green Smoke throat hit just comes at full force on the first pull. Other than that, there really is no huge differences.
The vapor is full and thick with the Green Smoke e-cig. Not a huge difference from the top KR808D-1 sellers. The one key feature is the warmth of the vapor. I really enjoy warm vapor when I vape, and the Green Smoke e-cig gives me that mouth-full of warm vapor I enjoy from first pull. The warmth gives the vapor substance as I pull in a mouthful before inhaling. It really reminds me of smoking reg. e-cigs. Great job.
So let me go through the three big topics that have users so divided and put my 2 cents in. First, the battery. I don’t like that fact the thread is different from KR808D-1s, because I can’t use my favorite cartomizers with it. If, however, this is the only way the battery manufacturers can keep creating better, long-lasting batteries, I’m all for it. As long as everyone moves to the same level. The price is high for each battery, Green Smoke batteries each cost about $34.99 as of this posting for a short or long battery from Green Smoke. This is a better price than the $49.99 it’s showing as the normal price. The batteries don’t last twice as long, so shouldn’t be twice the price. I am sure Green Smoke batteries last longer, just not sure how much longer but they do not last twice as long for sure. If they did last twice as long, say they lasted through 2 cartomizers, I’d pay extra for that in a heartbeat. I don’t vape on eGo batteries in public because, honestly, they look like “bongs”. So when I am out and about, I want to vape on something that doesn’t really draw that much attention or notice.
Second, the cartomizers do seem to last longer than a regular cartomizer. Plus they do not “burn” like the other cartomizers. The burn really isn’t that bad for me, it lets me know the cartomizer is about done, but it’s a pain when you refill cartomizers. The “burnt” flavor lasts into the first 3 or 4 pulls plus I’m never sure how much time I’m taking off the life of a cartomizer by vaping deep into it’s “burnt” cycle. So, the extra $4 bucks are worth it to me especially since my favorite flavor, Coffee from V2 Cigs isn’t available in e-liquid yet, I’m use to buying cartomizers anyway. And, like the other brands, if you buy in bulk you get discounts.
Over all I had to dissect the starter kits price to see what is driving the price; greed or quality. Once I thought about it, I focused on 2 things. The kit adds 2 extra items that other kits do not: a USB pass-through e-cig and a car charger. If I take into account that most of their competitors charge around $20 for the USB pass-through and about $12.99 for the car charger. The second point was the kit came with 2 of the 5 pack cartomizers. Most kits’ I’ve tested only come with one 5 pack. If I use the average price from its competitors, $12.99, and subtract that also, I’d be left with a price tag of $84.01. Then if you take into account the 10% discount Green Smoke offer first time buyers for purchases over $100, and your left with $71.02. So, with the fair price comparison, it’s not more expensive, if you were going to buy the accessories anyway.
Now I know what some responses are going to be, “But, I didn’t want those things!” and “That’s just not right, to gouge the prices and make use switch from all the batteries and cartomizers we already use.” But, I ask one question: Didn’t this already happen? At one point, there was no KR808D-1 thread and when they came on the scene no one else had them? Maybe I’m wrong.
I see the difference as… do you want a dependable car, like a Camry or Altima? Nice low gas mileage also the parts are everywhere and cheaper. Or do you want a BMW or Mercedes? The parts are expensive and the gas mileage may not be the best, but it’s a great ride. If the experience is what your crave, then this is a good buy for you. If you want less expensive parts, then there are a lot of KR808D-1’s that are just flat-out amazing for their category. I love my Coffee flavor from V2 Cigs, so I’ll be using KR808D-1’s for a while… but, I think I will also keep my Green Smoke stock of cartomizers ready, the flavor Red Label is just too good to not visit again.