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NEWS, BUSINESS & CULTURE VAPE Magazine is the only international vaping industry focused magazine with more than 35,000 readership in the United States, Europe and Asia, where vaping professionals

EDITORIAL

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Publisher Matt Schramel

@VAPENEWSGO

content@vapemz.com 800-958-6427 x2 Editor in Chief Corey Noles Managing Editor Chris Mellides Art Director Van Avazando Graphic Designer Anil Verma

Letter from the Editor Welcome to 2019! It’s a new year for everyone — resolutions are littering Facebook and the usual doom and gloom is packing the vape groups. And it’s at least partly justified. On this day next year, the industry could look very different because this year brings with it the biggest challenge from the FDA to date — HPHC testing. HPHC testing is the testing of e-liquids for substances on the FDA list of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents. While I agree this is information consumers deserve to have access to, the testing will not be cheap. I’ve seen estimates as low as $1,500 per SKU and as high as $25,000. This means that one flavor available in three nicotine levels and two bottle sizes would need nine tests at a cost ranging from $13,500 to $225,000 per flavor. For the larger companies, this is a hurdle they will survive, however, I expect many will re-evaluate their slower moving products. Where this is a serious problem is for small to mid-range companies. Essentially, I see this as the deadline where most e-liquid manufacturers with annual revenues below $1 million will begin to either dwindle or sell to the larger companies. While sad, this is the nature of any emerging industry. For 2019, be strong. Changes will be coming. Some will be sad, but hopefully others will be equally impressive and we’ll gain a clearer picture of who has the ability to stay alive in this regulated landscape. As always, thanks for reading,

Social Media Manager Angela Garrity Director of Photography Ezra Zuniga Contributors Corey Noles, Norm Bour Tony Ottomanelli Chris Mellides, John Castle Susan Oser, Todd Richard Angela Garrity ADMINISTRATIVE Chief Executive Officer Matt Schramel Executive Assistant Erin Aly ADVERTISING Jacob Barger, jacob@vapemz.com 949-910-2138 China-based advertisers contact Wingle Group Electronics LTD +852 51759256 dev@winglegroup.com CONTACT Advertising sales@vapemz.com News news@vapemz.com New Products newproducts@vapemz.com

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J A N U A R Y

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Vapor Beast goes corporate: The Inside Story The Heisenberg Story: Protect your IP! Podz and Cloudz with Some Coffee Please National Vape Expo: Past, Present and Future

REVIEWS

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Lost Vape: Orion AIO pod device

BUYER’S GUIDE

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Just in Juices

Hardware Prospects


VAPORBEAST GOES CORPORATE

16 FEATURES @VAPENEWSGO

THE INSIDE STORY BY NORM BOUR NORM@VAPEMENTORS.COM

Many of us that start a business have a vision of what we want to create. When we are successful in that we then dream about how we’ll best monetize it. Do you run your business until you decide it’s not fun anymore? Do you pass it on to your kids? Or do you sell it for big bucks and reap the benefits of your efforts?


experience. Since he and his twin were close, Tod was “When I officially about as much of an started, I was insider as anyone at working as a sales the company. consultant. But He was responsible really we were all for sales training, doing what needed phone protocol, to be done! If that hiring and firing meant taking out along with the the trash or helping more managerial solve a customer tasks of forecasting, issue, I did it— we budgeting, all did it!”, Tod and business Campbell shared as development. he recalled the early “Adapting to my days. new role after “I made a point of the acquisition coming in early, was a challenge,” staying late, and Campbell confessed, grinding the phones. as he now became My goal was to a much smaller part understand what of a much larger was important to picture. our customers and “The process was provide solutions quite elaborate, that tangibly helped which I cannot share grow our businesses in much detail,” he and that of our continued, “and customers.” the due diligence When he left he involved was a long was Vice President and meticulous of Sales, and the four process, which was year journey was a more (brother) Tim’s wonderful learning duties than mine.”

From the Inside Looking Out

And he was not the only one. Campbell’s twin brother, Tod, was removed, as well as a large portion of senior people who were with VaporBeast from the beginning. We spoke with Tod Campbell and he shared his experience over the years, plus we spoke with current VaporBeast executives Graham Purdy and Nick Molina, who came along with the IVG purchase.

VAPENEWS.com

We have covered the VaporBeast story in the past and profiled its founder, Tim Campbell, who is no longer with the company. Like many founders, sometimes they do not remain with the new entities. Look up Steve Jobs…

FEATURES

The price was a reported $27M and Turning Point has not stopped yet. Since then they have bought Vapor Supply, Vapor Shark and International Vapor Group (IVG), which owns VaporFi, South Beach Smoke, and DirectVapor.

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ne of our most successful vape businesses, VaporBeast, was sold in 2017 to Turning Point Brands, a publicly traded NYSE company. Well-known in the OTP category the company owns and markets multiple brands including Beech-Nut Chewing Tobacco, Stokers, and probably their most iconic product, Zig-Zag rolling papers.


When VaporBeast became the leading wholesale distributor of vape products in the US, it got people’s attention. Consolidation is the inevitable road for this industry, and they were not the first, nor will they be the last. And this may not be the largest over time. We got into the nitty gritty as we spoke about what happened after the transition and why many were not retained.

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“What started as a family stayed that way until the transition changed it. Now we were part of someone else’s vision,” Campbell said. He compared it to the new approach of a step-parent taking over from a biological parent.

FEATURES @VAPENEWSGO

“The decisions that used to be easy were more difficult as we now had to go through different levels of management. We went from being managers to being managed, which was tough. It was a great learning experience, but painful for many of us.” “But we also got better benefits and longer vacations, which was a small price to pay for losing our ‘shorts and t-shirts’ dress code. My motley crew (as most vape businesses tend to be) was now dressing differently and being asked to conduct businesses in a more restrained fashion. In a nutshell we went from a Google Inc mindset to an IBM buttoned down mindset.” The aftermath of the many VaporBeast people firings took an unexpected journey as many of them went to the same company: Koi CBD. “So far seven of us are here at Koi and now we get to start the journey over again and learn from what we went through with VaporBeast,” Campbell beamed. “We are doing it all over again in a new and growing industry and we’re having an amazing time doing it. The ownership and culture at Koi is what we had before so the bottom line is that it all worked out.” “And the irony? Turning Point now sells Koi products so that was an unexpected benefit!”

From the Outside Looking In “It all started with a mindset, an attitude, which is how we came across VaporBeast,” Purdy shared. “from our tobacco roots we realized that technology was changing and we needed to change with it. That’s how we learned about VaporBeast.”

“We initially wanted to become a branded manufacturer in vape but soon realized that that would take many years, and we didn’t want to wait. We went on a road show and met with many companies, each time looking for ones with core competencies that would augment and not compete with what we already offered.”


20 FEATURES @VAPENEWSGO

“Initially we weren’t looking for a distributor, but after meeting Tim and his crew we saw great potential. We asked everyone we knew in the business and VaporBeast kept coming up over and over. That’s a very good indicator,” Purdy said. Purdy and I spoke candidly about the process of deciding what to change and what to keep. That includes personnel. “The first rule when looking at an acquisition, is don’t mess it up. If a company is doing well we want the transition to be as smooth and effortless as possible and to not interrupt the flow. As we drilled down into their business we wanted to foster and grow what

was working and discover what we could do better.” “Our expertise as a large company is process. That is usually the first thing to get restructured. What we saw was a company that grew so fast that some processes could be improved upon. The next step was taking our financial leverage and improving upon what was there. We finished up the conversation by talking about the future; not just of VaporBeast, but the vape market in general. “We’re very bullish about the future of vapor which is why we bought four companies since November 2016.” New Turning Point employee Molina agrees. “We’ve been in the business since 2010 and monitoring the FDA since the earliest of days. We hope they don’t ban flavors since that would drive many people back to combustibles. History has proven that prohibition never works,” he shared.

What can we learn from history? Those that do not study the past are sometimes doomed to repeat it. That lesson transferred over to this lesson, too. We start and grow a business and have lofty dreams of dollars and leaving a legacy. But the end game is not always as you imagined- or hoped. “Be careful what you wish for,” is an often repeated lesson. Tim Campbell started a company, grew it, and was ousted. He was unable to comment on this story and he is currently not involved with vape. Was his journey a happy one? Did he manifest his dream? That story may not be over yet and this could be just one more step along the way. Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and creator of the VAPE U and Vape Shop Certification online programs. They offer services & resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands and work internationally with an office in Europe. He’s also the host of Vape Radio, the largest vaping radio show in the world with more than 1.3M downloads. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.


22 FEATURES

The Heisenberg Story

@VAPENEWSGO

Protect your IP! BY NORM BOUR NORM@VAPEMENTORS.COM

W

ho the hell is Werner Karl Heisenberg and how did he become such a part of pop culture as well as the vape world?

If you were a fan of the AMC fave TV show Breaking Bad, then you know that Werner Heisenberg was the idol of the main character Walter White, in the show that many consider the best written episodic television series of all time. The fictional White morphed from a mildmannered chemistry professor with cancer into the biggest badass in the drug world with his ultrapure, blue tinted crystal meth under the street name ‘Heisenberg’. The real Heisenberg was not a chemist per se, but was a Nobel Prize winner for Physics for his theory of quantum mechanics. His most popular theory postulated that the “Uncertainty Principle” made it impossible to change one thing without affecting another. Kind of like the scientific version of the Butterfly Effect.

Innevape was founded in late 2012 by Jeff Connell and Tom Klingensmith. Connell, the creator of the Innevape blends, never knew any of this until his 16 year old son (a huge Breaking Bad fan), asked if he could watch him work in the lab. As he did one of the flavors took on a blueindigo color and his son banged on the lab window and yelled to Jeff, “Dude, you’re Heisenberg!”

How Pop Culture Influences the Vape World

This was the spark for the idea to not only name the liquid Heisenberg, but to enhance the blue color as well. And the rest, as they say, is history. That was in early 2013. Over the next year and a half, Innevape travelled the country doing vape conventions. Heisenberg quickly became a national


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FEATURES VAPENEWS.com


top seller as Innevape took on new distros, but there was trouble as many others saw the success and therefore copied it. “In looking back, I would probably say that our biggest mistake was not trademarking the name,” Connell confessed. “We just never had the foresight for this to grow as big and as fast as it did, which, of course increases your exposure to, and quite frankly likelihood of, copycats.” And that wasn’t the only Intellectual Property (IP) issue they had.

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“Our IP attorney cautioned us that we might have problems with Sony, who owned the Breaking Bad property. Along with that we also used the line ‘Live Long and Vapor’ as a slogan which became a problem that irked CBS who owned the Star Trek line ‘Live long and prosper.’ We had to compromise with ‘Live Long Vapor,’ which we’re happy with.

FEATURES

‘Heisenberg, however, is a different story. We knew it would be a problem to register the name Heisenberg unto itself, so we opted to go a different route. Since our company name ‘Innevape’ was already registered and therefore protected - we trademarked Innevape Heisenberg and registered it in our class.”

@VAPENEWSGO

The Trademarking Battle is a Worldwide Issue

Fast forward a year or so, and Heisenberg is a worldwide best seller, and was voted best liquid several times. At one time there were several Heisenberg candidates vying for space, and even though there are still a ton out there, it’s basically down to just Innevape and another EU company as recognized brands. Connell continued:

“Currently there are several ‘Heisenberg’ e-liquids overseas – one of which has a pretty solid name - but we’re the main player in the US. Given the saturated ‘Heisenberg’ market over there, we chose to go a different route and simply rebrand as ‘The Berg’ in the EU. It’s been our nickname for years, and we already have our salt line named ‘The Berg’, so it just made sense.”

“The good news is that we have solid name recognition worldwide, so the change really hasn’t hurt us, because most vapers already know of us on both sides of the pond as both Heisenberg and The Berg.” “All in all, we consider this a success - even though it’s cost us some money - because we’ve learned numerous invaluable lessons from this process,” Connell said. “The biggest takeaway to me is – build your foundation directly relative to the height of your building. In other words, structure your model and think Big Picture from the beginning - which very well may include IP protection worldwide along with a thousand other things you never thought of.” Connell lamented, “When we came up with the name, the flavor, and the color of our Heisenberg e-liquid and introduced it to the market in 2012-2013, there were no others out there. We weren’t aware of any other before uscertainly nothing national. Now Heisenberg may be the single most used name for an e-liquid of all time.” “It’s gratifying to create something that has touched so many lives and helped so many get off of combustible tobacco. That’s the greatest reward after all. The original Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle can be seen in many facets of our lives and our businesses. Innevape co-founders Connell and Klingensmith never knew from the beginning how that day in their lab when Jeff ’s son called him some unknown German scientists’ name, how it would change their lives and take them down so many unknown roads in the quest to ‘build their empire’ – to quote Mr. White. Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and creator of the VAPE U and Vape Shop Certification online programs. They offer services & resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands and work internationally with an office in Europe. He’s also the host of Vape Radio, the largest vaping radio show in the world with more than 1.3M downloads. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.


26 FEATURES

Podz A nd z d u Clo e s a e l P e e f f o C e m o S h t Wi

@VAPENEWSGO

BY SUSAN OSER ASUE78@AOL.COM

F

rom the life of a lowly auto mechanic to the life of a vape shop owner, former vapenet host and current owner Lloyd Patton of Podz, Cloudz, and Coffee has lent his time, money and passion to an industry that has changed his life as well as the lives, minds, and education of others with vaping. That education hasn’t just been to his customers and the public, but the FDA inspectors that have walked into his doors a few times already as an owner over the five to six years that he has been a business owner. When Patton started his vape shop journey it started with a Michiganbased juice company called Boosted

Vapor, which has been out of business for the last few years. Around this time, he created and started selling the Hexicolier with his brother Dennis at national vape events to not only make some money but to get out there and get to know the industry a little bit better. When Boosted Vapor wasn’t working out, Bill Amato from Vape Escape came in to lend a hand to help get Patton back on his feet. This lasted for a while until recently when Patton decided it was time for a change. Seeing the need for growth and personal expansion, Patton decided that with a potential new hospital extension that will soon be built near the strip mall his shop is in, he needed to rebrand. This is especially the case


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FEATURES VAPENEWS.com


considering that hospital workers and others who vape can’t do it on hospital grounds and would need a special designated vaping area. So, why not expand on that concept, add some coffee to the mix and thus, a new brand is created.

28 FEATURES @VAPENEWSGO

Podz, Clouds, and Coffee is now a combination vape shop/coffee shop where customers can hang out in a comfortable lounge-like area, talk shop, try the latest juices in store, and buy a cheap cup of coffee all in one stop. Deals and discounts on juice, equipment and inventory that needs to be pushed out are always there in the bins next to the cash register for that last minute sale or quick purchase. Patton is one of the few people in the vaping scene in the Metro-Detroit Michigan area with a pulse on the latest politics regarding vaping and other vape-related news. This business that he has owned as part of two franchises and now owns himself depends on keeping up-to-date with the latest rules and forms that he needs to fill out in order to keep his business alive and running steady. If you dig deep and visit the shop enough, you’ll discover several aspects that make Podz, Cloudz, and Coffee so special:

It’s a Local, Family Run Business

Patton along with his wife Bridget

have been together through all the ups and downs of the vape shop life. Bridget has supported him from the start, but it wasn’t until about a few years ago that she really got involved lending a hand to help with customers and being second-in-command. In fact, because of her involvement, she’s become a bit of an expert on helping customers choose their favorite vape flavors or help the new vaper choose their start-up flavor. In addition, with the newly renovated shop, Bridget as well as daughter Ashley came up with current design and décor. Many late-night waking hours were spent on the job and so far, the results are starting to pay off, if not for itself in the future.

Great Customer Service

A rarity in the vape industry, Podz, Cloudz, and Coffee presents its own unique brand of customers who walk through the doors. Some have become like adopted family members and are treated as such. The time that a customer is given, no matter how advanced or not, is what keeps the customers coming back. Whether it’s

30 minutes or two hours, the customer is treated well and with respect. A brand new vaper is certainly treated with respect and TLC. They get all the necessary information they need to get started on their vape journey. No question is left unanswered. They even get a chance to sign their name on a board marking the day they stopped smoking cigarettes to show their commitment to their health and vaping life. It also shows the number of customers who have benefitted from Patton’s services.

Honesty and Being Above the Cut

If you explain your vape issue, you can bet that Patton is going to tell you his honest opinion and solution to your problem. If Patton feels that you’re doing it wrong, and that you’ve been misguided, you can bet he’ll let you know. Customers will also be carded if they are buying vape products. In fact, there are signs around the shop stating 18 and over in the window


as well as by the cash register. If a customer even remotely looks young, they will be carded and if they don’t have their I.D., out they go. If they are underage or just a month away, sorry no sale. Patton is not going to take any chances in being reported or losing his business.

Education

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Every Sunday, if there is interest, Patton offers free battery and other vape safety education classes. Classes last for at least an hour or longer depending on the questions and other details needing explanation. You can also find special vape pads with battery information that can be found on the vape bar and by the register on the counter.

Keeping it Local

@VAPENEWSGO

Most juices sold at the shop are locally made or produced via his friend Mike Mead’s lab and vape shop in Wayne, Michigan called EVC Labs. Some of these companies include Fat Rabbit, Density Vapes, American Cheesecake Company, Einstein Vapes and Johnny’s Juice to name a few. However, there are also several out-of-state companies that distribute their juice in the shop from appearances at vape shows, a company representative paying a visit, or free samples in the mail (which aren’t really allowed anymore). These companies are chosen based not only on their packaging but their communication and how they do business with Patton. If the company is not up-to-snuff, they are dropped quickly with the last of their inventory sold to make room for a new brand or new flavor from one of the standards. Many late-night hours of hard work have been spent on creating Podz, Cloudz, and Coffee. It’s obvious that Patton and his family are in it for the long haul and have been since the beginning. He not only cares about

the industry, but he also loves the customers he serves. With six years of vaping (five of them being totally cigarette free), one can understand why.

stay open because of all the rules and restrictions currently listed on the books.

If you know of a local shop like the one described in Westland, Michigan, support it. They could use your patronage, marketing, and mostly importantly you as a lifeline to their livelihood.

Facebook page - https://www. facebook.com/PodzCloudzandCoffee/

If you are such a local shop, celebrate yourself and make sure you get your business publicized and tell your stories. In an area where the FDA is seeking to shrink the industry, a good vape shop is not only getting harder to find, but also harder to

For more information on Podz, Cloudz, and Coffee:

Yelp! - https://www.yelp.com/biz/ podz-cloudz-and-coffee-westland Instagram - https://www.instagram. com/podzcloudzandcoffee/ About the writer: Susan E. Oser is a Vape News contributor and current host at VapeTVLive.


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Photos courtesy of Erick Tran

I

BY JOHN CASTLE JOHNCASTLE@VAPEMZ.COM

t started with a bad show; a vaping convention that went to hell and got shut down. What no one but one attendee knew at the time was that he had the industry experience, as a convention producer of 15 years, to put together a vaping convention for the northeastern United States that would outshine the rest. He had been so disappointed with that convention put on by others that he knew he could do it better—and he set out to prove it. That attendee was Michael Wittenberg. The first convention he launched was Vape Northeast at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.


N AT I O N A L VA P E E X P O

PAST, AND

But for Wittenberg, there was still plenty of hard work ahead. He traveled extensively, cultivating a rapidly expanding base of relationships within the vapor industry, including distributors and manufacturers, guest personalities and media—and beyond the vapor industry, working with top tier venues to place position future shows as the best experience for consumers and businesses.

“We always strive to only deal with companies that are professional and good for the industry, while having a great time. Keeping people entertained and informed has always been our mission.” For Wittenberg, that means keeping a razor’s edge focus on every detail, from lighting to temperature to space allotment and the placement of seating, entertainment, and concessions. Making sure that attendees, both behind the booths and browsing them, are comfortable and well served means the difference

VAPENEWS.com

One of Wittenberg’s best calls for Vape Northeast was the involvement of Giant Vapes, probably the single largest online e-liquid distributors there is. Stepping into the role of presenting sponsor, elevating both the financial brawn as well as the prestige of the show.

Behind the scenes, the preparation and presentation of the National Vape Expo (NVE) has always been Wittenberg’s top priority. For him, it’s not just about showcasing the businesses who present at the show, but about representing the vapor industry at large with professionalism and polish, saying,

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FUTURE

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PRESENT


between a show the crowds enjoy for an hour and a show they talk about and go out of their way to be at the following year. One of the other things that establishes NVE as a benchmark for industry conventions is Wittenberg’s firm insistence on choosing the right sponsors, the right business partners, and the right business attendees.

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As the hand of regulation tightens around the vapor industry, it pays dividends in the long term to manage the show’s associations with an eye to who may be watching and what’s being said. Guilt by association is certainly faulty logic, but it’s faulty logic that the uninformed are vulnerable to and those eager to see the vapor industry vanish will happily exploit it.

@VAPENEWSGO

As Michael Wittenberg puts it,“I believe that the future is very bright for the right people in the vape industry. This is an amazing business, and it deserves the respect it demands. I believe that the companies that play by the rules, and do the right thing, can look forward to a very long and prosperous stay in the industry, while the people that were in it for the ‘quick buck’, and not to play by the rules, are getting

weeded out very quickly. Already, the vast majority of companies that weren’t doing the right thing are gone.” This is certainly true. 2018 witnessed an increasing outcry about an “epidemic” of underage vaping. At the same time, some companies have been caught


36 FEATURES @VAPENEWSGO

dead to rights by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) selling e-liquids with labels that not only arguably step on intellectual property toes but in doing so replicate colorful candy and breakfast cereal branding. The FDA asserts that this appeals to children, and even the possible rebuttal that such is only meant to appeal to “the kid in all of us” is painfully

flimsy at best. These are companies it pays not to associate with unless one wants to draw the same accusations, illfounded or not, that are leveled at these bad actors in the industry. As for where NVE is headed in the future, Wittenberg is optimistic, saying, “National Vape Expo is always expanding. We feel that we are at the top of our game right now, but there is no letting our foot off the gas. It just means that we have to push harder to continue to set the standard for vape conventions in the United States. There will be a lot of new surprises coming in 2019 though.”

NVE will bring three shows to 2019. The first of three will take place at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17. Doors open at 11:00 AM each day. Tickets are $25 each for general admission, and $100 for a seat at the Vape Hall Of Fame Dinner; the Vape Hall Of Fame will take place on Saturday Night. Featured vendors will include Aspire, Airbender, BLVK Unicorn, Blu, and many more. NVE will also offer its own merchandise booth. Entertainment will be provided by Vape Radio, with The Rodman on stage and featuring a special guest appearance by Blake Vapes. The following NVE shows of 2019 will take place at the Nassau Coliseum on July 13 and 14 In Uniondale, New York, and finally in Hampton Roads, Virginia, on October 12 and 13.


Orion AIO Lost Vape

REVIEWS @VAPENEWSGO

D

BY CHRIS MELLIDES CHRIS@VAPEMZ.COM

uring the last year or two podbased all-in-one (AIO) devices have been flooding the market. Their rise in popularity is likely due to their portability, attractive cost and ease of use, but one could argue that market saturation is a big proponent for the success of this particular product category. There are plenty of devices that come with pre-filled and non-refillable pods

like the JUUL, PHIX, and Bo systems, but products like these largely lack the ability for adjusting power and the user-serviceability that comes with being able to refill your pods with your own e-liquid rather than just throwing them away after a single use. Other devices like the Suorin line of products, the Aspire Breeze and Nautilus AIO devices and the VOOPOO Panda AIO, among many others, cannot be adjusted. So, dialing in your perfect voltage and ultimately adjusting to taste is a feature that is sorely lacking.

All Photos By Chris Mellides

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Pod Device


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42 REVIEWS @VAPENEWSGO

While there may be some AIO devices that offer adjustability, none do so with the reliability, accuracy and dependability of the Lost Vape Orion, which uses the DNA Go chipset from EVOLV. EVOLV has long been considered an industry leader when it comes to the company’s DNA series of chipsets, and the quality in its products is not lost on the Orion from Lost Vape. The Orion is capable of delivering up to roughly 40 watts of power and can be adjusted via a button with corresponding LED lights that indicate the three different power outputs that the Orion is capable of achieving. The ‘low power’ setting has a corresponding white light, the ‘medium power’ setting is indicated by a blue light and for the ‘high power’ setting a red light will appear each time the device is fired. Another added feature is the Replay function. This feature allows you to save your preferred hit and ensures that the same power output is achieved with each subsequent drag that you take. The device’s fire button is super responsive and both it and the adjustment button mentioned earlier are incredibly easy to use and feel solid.

The Orion features an internal 950mAh rechargeable battery with a fairly seamless micro USB port for charging and firmware upgrades located at the bottom of the device. A small plastic latch conceals the port and needs to be peeled back in order to access it, and my complaint here is that the latch, which is not unlike what you’ll find on the side of a DSLR, feels very cheap and flimsy. I’d be curious to see how well it holds up after repeated use. And you will have to charge this quite a lot if you intend to use the highest power setting, which I prefer. I find myself having to recharge the Orion after about oneand-a-half to two hours of moderate-to-heavy use. Charging time is lengthy. From my own experience this device goes from dead to fully charged in around two hours, which I’m not particularly fond of, but there’s no sense in complaining when what you get after a charge cycle is an impressive piece of vaping hardware.


What’s insanely great about the Orion pods is that they do not leak one bit. Filling them is a cinch thanks to a generous fill port that can be easily accessed by unscrewing a metal threaded cover, and getting a week out of each pod is more or less what you can expect. A built-in and non-replaceable black delrin drip tip can be found at the top of each pod and below it is a neat airflow control that you can twist to open or close off your airflow. This proprietary drip tip is comfortable enough, but you’re stuck with it and that’s a bummer.

The same goes for salt nic, just dial in the vape you want and have yourself a good and satisfying vape.

Overall, I would recommend the Orion to those pod system users, or first time buyers that are wanting something more out of their pod systems. You can expect more functionality and control over your wattage settings in a comfortable device that feels a bit more “high-end” than the rest of the podbased systems out there. With that, this device isn’t the cheapest. Searching online, you’ll be able to find the Lost Vape Orion for about $75 and under and the purchase of a single pack of pods (we’re talking two pods per each pack) will fetch for $12 or $11.

VAPENEWS.com

The Orion comes in stainless, black, blue and gold frames, with non-removable panel colors that are available in carbon fiber, gold abalone and ocean scallop.

REVIEWS

If I were to use a 12mg strength e-liquid, I have the option of dropping down to the medium or low setting to compensate for the stronger liquid and vape confidently.

43

The DNA Go chip is excellent and allows for an easy dialing of your preferred wattage. It may take some time to get used to working the device’s wattage presets, but once you do the Orion is pretty straightforward. The Replay function works flawlessly and is a welcomed feature not seen in other pod-based systems. Take a drag that’s satisfying and if you want to experience it again simply press and hold the adjustment button and you’ve got it. The Orion is compact, super sleek and great when it comes to portability, but then that’s what you’ve come to expect from other pod systems on the market. This device utilizes a 2ml refillable pod cartridge and there are currently two resistances that are available. You can choose either a 0.25 ohm pod, that can be pushed to a higher wattage and will give off more vapor production, or a 0.5 ohm pod that is definitely more flavor focused and can be used comfortably at lower wattage settings.

Because you can dial in your wattage setting and have two pod types to choose from, you can use regular free base e-liquid or salt-based nicotine with confidence. I personally use a lot of 6mg e-liquid at the highest power setting on a 0.5 ohm pod and get the best experience.


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46 BUYER’S GUIDE

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BUYER’S GUIDE

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VAPENEWS.com

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47

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48 BUYER’S GUIDE

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Mojo Tech LLC Mojo Disposable Vaporizer

52 BUYER’S GUIDE @VAPENEWSGO

The Mojo joins other disposable vaporizers in offering users convenience, ease of use and no need to refill or charge their units. Simply take a drag to activate the device each and every time and when the battery eventually dies just throw out the unit. The Mojo is pre-filled with 1.2ml of 50mg salt nicotine infused e-liquid, which is available in Tobacco, Cool Melon, Lemon Dessert, Iced Pineapple and Menthol. Perfect for travel, compact, sleek and discreet. $9.99

www.mojovape.com

Uwell Hypercar Mod The Hypercar delivers up to 80 watts of power and maintains a sleek and compact design. It feels great in your hand and is very pocket-friendly. With unique grooves, giving it a nice ergonomic design, a comfortable silicone activation button, a colorful bright finish and a crystal clear screen, the Hypercar is definitely a formidable contender in the pod system market. It includes quick charging, a master on/off switch and bypass capability for what’s already an impressive list of features. The Hypercar Mod is available in: Black, Blue, Gold, Red and Silver. $56.99

www.mall.myuwell.com

Mass Mods CS1 Squonk Mod The CS1 is a compact 3D printed squonk mod that’s durable, wellconstructed and is intended for use with a single 18650 battery. There are several color options available with removable door panels made of high-quality anodized aluminum. A colored LED battery indicator is built in and flashes four color states to quickly and easily determine your battery’s charge. A mosfet is also included for added protection and should prevent the button from failing over time. The button is a stainless steel Mitec switch that’s flat, durable and a joy to use. An 8ml soft silicone bottle is included. $200.00

www.massmods.com


FreeMax Mesh Pro Subohm Tank

www.swagworldwide.net

Measuring 88.3mm by 24.3mm by 14.3mm, this stealthy pod system comes with tasteful cobra-plated panels, a 450 mAh rechargeable battery and a juice reservoir that can accommodate 2ml of e-liquid. An intelligent LED light indicator provides instant battery life feedback and the NOVO charges easily and quickly with the inclusion of a MicroUSB port. The NOVO pod system works ideally with nic salts and has a wattage that ranges from 10 to 16 watts. The device has a proprietary magnetized connection you can count on for a snug fit each and every time you swap out a pod and the NOVO is available in: Prism Chrome w/ Cobra Design, Black, Red, White, Rainbow, Auto Pink, Royal Blue, Prism Blue and Green. $34.95

www.smoktech.com

VAPENEWS.com

The SWAG Project brand of ultra heat resistant cotton wicking material is crafted in the UK and is of a 100 percent organic cotton composition, capable of handling higher temperatures while still providing unparalleled flavor. You can count on this product for fast absorption, easy separation and a quicker break in period. This cotton comes in a one meter roll. $8.95

NOVO Ultra Portable Pod Kit

BUYER’S GUIDE

www.elementvape.com

Ultra Heat Resistant Cotton Wick

SMOK

53

The latest and arguably the best in the FireLuke Series of subohm tanks, the Mesh Pro from FreeMax comes equipped with a new multi-mesh coil system for paramount flavor and a longerlasting experience. The tank has the option of holding either 5ml or 4ml of e-liquid, so that leaves for plenty of time between refills. A large dual slotted bottom adjustable airflow design gives you a loose draw for blowing big clouds but can be dialed back for a more discreet vape. The Mesh Pro is 25mm in diameter and utilizes a new retractable sliding top-fill mechanism, making refilling a snap. $39.95

The SWAGProject


WWW.BORDO2.US EACH ORIGIN SALT BOTTLE COMES IN 30ML WITH 20MG OR 40 MG OF SALT NICOTINE FOR A BETTER VAPING EXPERIENCE MANUFACTURED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BY CRFT LABS


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