Victory E-Cigarette Review
Click the link above to view this product at the manufacturer’s website.
[box type="info"]Update: Victory’s price structure has changed since this review was originally published, and Victory’s e-cigarette kits and refill cartridges are now more expensive than they once were. Cost-conscious shoppers may therefore want to consider an alternative; I suggest the Envy NirVana Economy Kit. Click the link and use the coupon code edripping when checking out and you’ll pay less than $15.[/box]
The prices for entry-level electronic cigarette kits seem to be dropping constantly these days, as manufacturers try to meet ever lower price points in an attempt to compete with one another. I certainly have no problem with this trend; in the end, smokers are the winners because the cost of getting started with e-smoking is lower and presents less of a barrier than ever before. My first e-cigarette cost nearly $100 and didn’t include much more than the $29.99 Victory e-cigarette does. It also didn’t perform as well. In many ways, there’s never been a better time to be a new e-smoker than right now. So, is Victory a company that deserves your money? Let’s find out in this Victory e-cigarette review.
Victory E-Cigarette: The Bottom Line
Victory is a relatively new player in the electronic cigarette industry, but considering the low price and high performance of the Victory e-cigarette kit, I think you’ll be hearing about them a lot more in the future. The Victory e-cigarette is the perfect starter kit for a new e-smoker because it works exactly as it should. With many other small e-cigarettes, you have to deal with problems like poor-quality e-liquid flavors and a tight or airy draw that hampers vapor production. The Victory e-cigarette delivers huge clouds of vapor on demand, giving a smoker an easy and comfortable route for switching from smoking to e-smoking. Other major selling points include the e-liquids — which taste great and are available in convenient automatic shipments that also entitle you to free batteries — and the battery, which lasts considerably longer than average for a small e-cigarette.
Victory E-Cigarette: General Impressions
Upon receiving my Victory e-cigarette review sample, I wasn’t particularly jazzed about the packaging; the starter kit shipped without an outer box and got banged up a bit on its way to my mailbox. The contents were undamaged, but I felt a little funny advertising my electronic cigarette usage to the mailman. E-cigarette packaging is usually pretty discreet, so I suppose that’s what I’ve become accustomed to. When you open the box, you’ll see the assembled Victory e-cigarette secured by two small elastic loops, which I think is kind of a cute presentation. Upon lifting the card stock divider, you’ll find a pack of five refill cartomizers and the necessary charging apparatus for a USB port, a wall outlet and your car’s cigarette lighter. I’m quite happy with the accessories that the Victory e-cigarette kit includes for the price; most kits in this price range don’t include wall or car chargers.
Although an outer shipping box would have been nice for protecting the Victory e-cigarette kit, Victory’s cartomizer packaging is just about perfect as it is. When left open to the elements, the e-liquid in a cartomizer can leak or evaporate a bit, causing the vapor to taste a little stale and one-dimensional. Each Victory e-cigarette cartomizer has stoppers on both sides and is sealed within a small plastic bag to prevent leaking and evaporation.
Victory E-Cigarette: Performance
Out of the box, my Victory e-cigarette arrived with a nearly full charge. Although whether or not you have to charge the battery before using an e-cigarette for the first time means little in the long run, I thought the fact that I could start using it right away was a nice touch. When you use the Victory e-cigarette, you’ll know the battery is dead because the orange light on the end will blink repeatedly. When this happens, simply screw the battery into the USB charger and connect the charger to a USB port or to the included wall or car charger. When the light on the end of the battery turns off, it’s fully charged. You can expect about 100-110 puffs from a fully charged battery, and charging a dead battery via a USB port takes about two hours. Generally, I get an average of 80 puffs from an electronic cigarette in this size range, so the battery life is definitely an asset of the Victory e-cigarette.
The most important aspect of any e-cigarette is how well it works, and I’m pleased to report that the Victory e-cigarette is one of the best-performing electronic cigarettes I’ve reviewed to date. The Victory e-cigarette has an automatic battery, which means that “vaping” with it is the same as smoking a real cigarette; simply screw the cartomizer into the threading at the top of the battery and puff. Having used many automatic batteries, I know that they have a lot of potential failings. If the draw is too tight or loose, you’ll end up fighting with your e-cigarette to get it to produce vapor when you want it. The sensitivity of the Victory e-cigarette battery is perfect; it begins producing vapor immediately when you puff and cuts off immediately when you stop. It’s the best performance I’ve seen from a small e-cigarette battery since I wrote my Green Smoke review — and Green Smoke’s kit costs $100 more.
The Victory e-cigarette has a second thing in common with Green Smoke as well: I believe the e-liquid used to fill Victory’s tobacco cartomizers is the same as the one Green Smoke uses for its “Tobacco Gold” flavor, and that’s a good thing; I think the flavor will appeal to a lot of first-time e-smokers. The rich, nutty and slightly sweet flavor recalls the best elements of real tobacco while leaving out the smoke that makes your hands and clothes smell.
Most importantly, the vapor production of the Victory e-cigarette is some of the best I’ve seen from a small electronic cigarette. Throughout the writing of my Victory e-cigarette review, I was consistently impressed by the large vapor clouds I was getting as well as the strong nicotine tingle in my mouth and throat. My Victory e-cigarette review kit included cartomizers with 18 mg nicotine strength, which I would say is perfect for people who have just switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes. The nicotine sensation you’ll get from “vaping” will be about the same as what you’d expect with a real cigarette.
Victory E-Cigarette: Refill Memberships
One Victory e-cigarette cartomizer delivers about as much nicotine as 1-2 packs of cigarettes. This means that you’ll need to start thinking about ordering a refill back within two weeks of receiving your starter kit. Victory charges $14.99 per five-pack of cartomizers, but you’ll want to sign up for a refill membership to get the best deal. The membership entitles you to ten cartomizers each month for $24.45 or fifteen cartomizers for $30.45. Making the deal even sweeter is the fact that you’ll also receive a new battery for your Victory e-cigarette every three months. You’ll almost certainly want at least two batteries so you can continue “vaping” while another battery charges, and signing up for a refill membership is the most economical way to get extra batteries.
Another great feature is the fact that Victory allows you to mix and match the cartomizer flavors included in each pack. My Victory e-cigarette review kit included the Regular flavor, which I thought was excellent. If you feel like branching out a bit, the other flavors available include Menthol, Blueberry, Vanilla and Cherry. If you’d like your refill packs to contain three Regular and two Menthol cartomizers each — or any other combination — Victory will do it for you. As someone who likes the sweeter flavors once in a while but generally wouldn’t want to buy full packs of them, I think this is great for customers.
Victory E-Cigarette: Conclusion
The most crucial purchase a new e-smoker can make is the very first. If the first kit produces an experience that faithfully reproduces the best aspects of smoking, then switching to e-cigarettes can be pleasurable. If the first kit doesn’t work as advertised, doesn’t taste good or doesn’t adequately reproduce the nicotine sensation that you get from real cigarettes, then your first e-cigarette purchase may end up being your last because you’ll conclude that all e-cigarettes must be equally bad. For price, performance, taste and simplicity, the Victory e-cigarette can’t be beat. It illustrates exactly why e-cigarettes are such a wonderful alternative to smoking, and Victory’s excellent membership program makes it easy to get a steady supply of refill cartridges and replacement batteries without the risk of forgetting to order.