What a year it has been for the e-cigarette industry. We’ve seen more experiments by Big Tobacco in this exciting new product, we’ve seen the FDA set yet another deadline for regulation — and miss it, and we’ve seen a couple of major e-cigarette companies disappear without a trace. The industry continues to chug along, though, and there’s never been a better time to switch from smoking to e-smoking. The best e-cigarettes of 2014 are some of the most exciting products we’ve ever seen, and they have reached a level of convenience and reliability that seemed impossible just a few years ago. Whether you’re looking for the best e-cigarette for beginners or are ready to trade in your first e-cigarette for something with a bit more power, this guide will help you find what you’re looking for.
The Best E-Cigarette of 2014 (Overall)
Price: $34.95 and up
Best E-Cigarette for: complete beginners, social smokers, bargain seekers, convenience lovers
In a new industry, it’s common to see leadership change as newly launched companies jockey for market share. The search engine wars of the ’90s and 2000s are a prominent example of this. Yet, as e-cigarette companies have come and gone, V2 Cigs has remained a constant presence. Month after month, V2 Cigs receives more than half of all e-cigarette Web traffic by our estimates — and unlike some companies with that level of success, they refuse to rest on their laurels. They completely revamped their product line in 2012, offering better quality control, fresher refill cartridges and more stylish accessories at lower price points.
They’re set to do it again in 2014 with their new EX line which features a new windowed cartridge that creates a better seal for e-liquid and lets you know when you’re running low. The new V2 Cigs EX battery also has a charge indicator; the ember at the tip changes color when it’s nearly time to recharge. The best has officially become better, and if you haven’t purchased your first e-cigarette yet, V2 Cigs is the one we recommend.
The Best E-Cigarette of 2014 (Step-Up)
Best E-Cigarette for: intermediate e-smokers willing to sacrifice small size for better battery life and e-liquid capacity
There tends to be a bit of a progression in the life of an e-smoker. We always recommend starting with a small e-cigarette like V2 Cigs because using it is essentially familiar to any smoker. You hold it like a real cigarette and puff on it like a real cigarette, and this helps ease you through the transition from smoking to e-smoking. There are also no problems to troubleshoot; you don’t refill your cartridges, you simply throw them away when they’re empty. If a battery dies, you recharge it — everything is simple.
Some people, though, become accustomed to e-smoking and decide that they’d like to get a little more out of the experience. They’re willing to switch to something a little larger in exchange for bigger vapor clouds and all-day battery life. If that sounds like you, the Halo Triton is the ideal e-cigarette to take you to that next level. While the Halo Triton still requires you to fill your own tanks like most larger e-cigarettes, it makes the process as easy as possible with a simple twist-off cap. The tank has a large enough opening that you won’t have to worry about spilling e-liquid, and there’s no need to worry about using a syringe to inject the e-liquid into a gauze filler — because Halo’s tanks have no filler. For still more vapor, pick up a Halo Triton variable-voltage battery with your purchase for an extra $29.99.
The Best E-Cigarette of 2014 (High-End)
Best E-Cigarette for: e-smokers who demand the biggest vapor clouds possible out of a small device
You gain quite a bit when you upgrade to a high-end e-cigarette. In the case of the VaporFi Rocket, you get variable-voltage operation built in to the device, without the need to purchase a separate battery or other accessory. This allows you to dial in the flavor and vapor production you want, regardless of whether you use the Rocket’s included tank or another attachment — but the benefits don’t end there.
We also love the VaporFi Rocket for its streamlined design and durable metal-and-glass tank. Many e-smokers — ourselves included — can taste subtle changes in the flavor of an e-liquid when used in conjunction with plastic tanks such as the ones used by the Halo Triton. If you are one of those people, upgrading to a glass tank can enormously benefit your e-smoking experience. Combine these features with VaporFi’s excellent USA-made e-liquids and you’ve got an e-cigarette that’s as good for newer e-smokers as it is for more experienced ones.
The Best E-Cigarette of 2014 (Mod)
Best E-Cigarette for: expert e-smokers who want the most vapor at any cost, people willing to spend a little more for USA-made products
With several Chinese companies now getting on the variable-voltage bandwagon and releasing less expensive products, a lot of people are wondering whether the higher-priced ProVari is still worth it. We’re here to tell you that it is. Not only is the ProVari USA-designed and USA-made, but out of the many variable-voltage and variable-wattage e-cigarettes we’ve tried, but it is also the only one that produces exactly the same amount of vapor per puff from the first use to the moment the battery dies. This means that your batteries will last longer and you’ll have a more satisfying e-smoking experience overall.
We love the ProVari Mini, which has exactly the same features as the original ProVari but a slightly smaller size. It’s difficult to appreciate how small this e-cigarette is unless you’ve tried several variable-voltage e-cigarettes as we have — some of them are larger than pocket flashlights. The ProVari Mini is less than an inch in diameter and about 3.5 inches long — small enough to carry in your pocket if you like. Somehow, in spite of this, it still performs better than anything else on the market. There is no shortage of cheaper clones on the market, but they only look like the ProVari — they don’t perform like it. If you’re ready for an expert-level e-cigarette, the ProVari Mini is without a doubt the best e-cigarette of 2014.
Virgin Vapor Easy Kit
The Best E-Cigarette of 2014 (Bargain Hunters)
Best E-Cigarette for: smokers who want to convert to e-smoking at the lowest possible cost without sacrificing quality
It can be difficult to set aside the money for a full e-cigarette kit if overpriced cigarettes are already stretching your budget out of control. You’ve probably found less expensive e-cigarettes online, but most of them are being sold by “off brand” companies and you can’t be certain as to their quality. Buying disposable e-cigarettes is seldom a good alternative; most of them actually cost more than tobacco cigarettes in the long run. Many last less than a day and almost all are filled with poor quality e-liquids.
The Virgin Vapor Easy E-Cigarette kit is an alternative we can fully support. This kit includes your first battery, charger and e-liquid cartridge along with a sample of Virgin Vapor’s famous organic e-liquid. The battery included with Virgin Vapor’s kit is larger than virtually any other e-cigarette battery in this price range, meaning most people will only need to charge it once per day — and the sample bottle of e-liquid will last much longer than a disposable e-cigarette. This is simply one of the best e-smoking deals we’ve ever seen, making it a no-brainer to include in our list of the best e-cigarettes of 2014.
The Best E-Cigarette of 2014 (Wildcard)
Best E-Cigarette for: expert e-smokers who can’t afford the ProVari
We get it — the ProVari is a bit on the pricey side, and not everyone can afford it. Sure, the unit costs $160, but the final price to get started with the ProVari is more like $200 if you don’t already own compatible batteries and a charger. How does half that price sound? While the Apollo VTube doesn’t produce quite as much vapor as the ProVari when set to the full power level of six volts, it’s very close. The VTube also declines a bit in vapor production as the battery charge dissipates; the ProVari doesn’t have this issue. Nevertheless, you’ll find nothing else in this price range that produces as much vapor and intense flavor.
The Apollo VTube includes a ProTank Mini cartomizer, which is similar to the design used in the Halo Triton tank system; to refill, simply twist the mouthpiece off. This allows you to eliminate most of the learning curve associated with variable-voltage e-cigarettes. If you prefer to have finer control over the e-smoking experience, the VTube even allows for wattage adjustments — and it has a lifetime warranty. It’s the best ProVari alternative available and one of the best e-cigarettes of 2014.