Page Contains Affiliate Links | Full Transparency Statement

VAPE DEALS – My Favorite Things 2019 by Lukas

The following article was sponsored by our friends over at FireVapor.  You can use coupon code “VAPE.DEALS10” to get 10% off your next order.

The Ride Never Ends

This year has been a roller coaster ride, both for me and the vape industry. I started out the year on a tragic note, as my father passed away at the age of 66. After a series of multiple strokes in 2011, his health had been on a slow but steady decline, but in January he went to his final reward. For the 21 days that he lingered on, every other day I and my mother would make a two-hour drive to Charleston to visit him at the hospital. Thankfully, he felt no pain for the last few days of his life. It was also during this time that we were in a car wreck, totaling my mother’s vehicle. As they truly say, when it rains, it pours. But rainstorms end. It was also this year that I finally resolved to get my health, both physical and mental, under control. I began losing weight, started taking medication to control my blood pressure and cholesterol, and got on anti-depressants that frankly changed my life.

It was also during this time that a new vape shop opened in my area. Comfortable, well-stocked, and with knowledgeable staff, one of the first interactions I had with the manager (and now friend) Damien was him giving me a Wotofo Profile RDA, sight unseen for free. And this not small token of kindness finally got me off my arse about quitting smoking. I’d been an on-again, off-again vaper since all the way back in 2012, but I’d never really kicked the analog habit. But this year, knowing what smoking had done to members of my family, I resolved that before my 35th birthday I’d quit them forever. And on May 15th, I did just that. I smoked my last Camel Menthol and never looked back.

I became involved in advocacy; I launched onto Twitter in a way that I never had in my life because I knew, I KNEW, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that vaping had saved me from an awful death. And of course, I met Jeremy. When I read he was looking for writers, I didn’t hold much hope for getting the position, but I emailed him anyway and stuck an older review of mine on the bottom of my application email as a sample of my work. He said he had some potential candidates and would keep me in the loop, but then three days later, offered me a “Trial Run” review to see how it went, and the rest is history.

So now here it is, the end of the year and things are still a roller coaster. But we’re still going strong, standing for our industry and our lives, and for the lives of those in the future that we can save from the doom of Tobacco. So as a bright star in the night sky of our year-end introspection, Jeremy offered to allow me to make my own Best of 2019 breakdown list. Keep in mind, while the products I list here might not have been born in 2019, they were the year I was introduced to them. So let’s begin!

[Mod of 2019]

Vandy Vape Jackaroo

I wouldn’t have thought, at the beginning of 2019, that I would find another regulated mod that I thought was more awesome than the Aegis Legend. But along came the Vandy Vape Jackaroo at a reasonable price, and lo and behold, I like it better for a myriad of reasons. Firstly, I love that it takes a 21700 battery. Secondly, the shape of the mod fits just so perfectly and ergonomically into my fist, like the grip of a custom-made pistol. (The G10 scales on mine, a common grip material for firearms, doesn’t hurt that comparison.) Thirdly, the menu is just an order of magnitude better than anything else I’ve ever seen in a mod and is now my gold standard for mod menus. The ability to turn off and on different power settings, five user-adjustable VPC that go up to ten seconds, color options that match the various scale colors the Jackaroo comes with, a brightness setting that actually makes the screen visibly brighter, and the ability to dial the wattage up to 100 in 1-watt increments. It’s waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof as well.

The only con I have for the Jackaroo is that it drinks batteries, but if you have a fast charger or multiple batteries, this is more of a nitpick than an actual negative. I do feel kind of guilty, as my Aegis Legend now sits in a place of honor on my desk, but only gets used perhaps 15% of the time, when it used to be my main rig. But when you compare the two, there’s no question in my mind, The Jackaroo is the superior mod.

Honorable Mentions:

Geekvape Nova

A pre-Aegis Geekvape mod with an old-school aesthetic, comfortable resin panels, and the same chip-set as the Aegis Legend, it was a daily driver for me for a good while and I still keep it rigged up and ready to go. The Nova is a beautiful mod, feels lovely in the hand, and is enjoying a semi-retirement on my desk beside its brother.

Geekvape Aegis Legend

What can be said about the Aegis Legend that hasn’t already been said? The mod that launched a thousand derivatives, clones, and siblings, the dual-18650 monster that is the 200W Aegis Legend is, and will always be, one of the best-regulated mods in the world.

[Squonk Mod of 2019]

The Stentorian RAM

Squonks have always been the odd duck of vaping. Some people love them, and some people just can’t be bothered to mess around, preferring to use tank atomizers. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them personally, but one that has remained in my rig rotation has been the Stentorian RAM. Produced by Wotofo and comprised entirely of resin (or Padauk wood), this single-18650 mech squonker has gold-plated components and holds a 7ml squonk bottle. Eminently comfortable in the hand and beautiful in its kaleidoscope of swirled colors, this elegant little mod holds a special place in my heart, as my very first post-eGo mod was also a squonker.

Honorable Mention: Geekvape Athena

For all the same reasons that I like the RAM, I like the Athena. It’s comfortable in the hand, is built of beautiful materials with elegant engravings, holds 6.5ml of juice, has a compact but functional design, and even features a locking fire button. What knocked this out of the top spot for me was the subjectively TERRIBLE RDA that came with it. While built with the same quality of materials, it has some bizarre design choices. You can’t remove the top cap, the AFC is just loose enough that it doesn’t stay in the same orientation between puffs, and the deck is clunky to build on. If they had packed this mod in with their Loop RDA, it would easily be my favorite squonker, but as it is, I can’t give it my blue ribbon.

[Atomizer of 2019]

Vandy Vape Mesh V2

Much like the Aegis and the Jackaroo, if you had told me six months ago that I’d find an RDA that I preferred more than the Profile, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Premiering in October, Vandy Vape took all the feedback from customers as well as the innovations other companies had made around mesh RDAs and slapped them into a brand new atomizer that is beautifully built, easy to build and has just as good if not better flavor than the Profile with less of the finickiness of its contemporary. With spring-loaded slots, it’s easier to load a mesh into the deck. With a deep juice well and top-oriented AFC, you have no leaking issues like those which hound the Wotofo RDA and you can go quite literally dozens of puffs without re-dripping your ejuice. And in my personal opinion, the fit and finish of the V2 is better quality than the Profile as well, but that’s a subjective opinion.

While everyone else may be raving about the Profile 1.5, all I saw when I compared it to the OG Profile were minor enhancements, coupled with many of the same nitpicks that hounded the original. All I can say is, don’t believe the hype. The Vandy Vape Mesh V2 is a superior Mesh RDA to both versions of the Profile. Stay tuned to VAPE DEALS in the coming weeks for my full review of the Mesh V2.

Honorable Mention: Wotofo Elder Dragon

Simply put, the Elder Dragon, above and beyond its beautiful outward appearance, is my go-to RDA for squonk mods. With a deep juice well, a central squonk hole, a postless build deck, and downward-oriented AFC, this petite lizard delivers great clouds and flavor in a compact, uniquely shaped package. Pro tip: This RDA was absolutely MADE for parallel and/or Clapton coil builds.

[eJuice of 2019]

Yami Vapor Gorudo

Just from the description alone, Gorudo is one of those flavors that sound like it should be featured in one of those “Weird Ejuice” videos that pop up occasionally on YouTube. How could an ejuice that tastes like a potato be any good? Well, let me tell you. Gorudo’s flavor is based on Yaki Imo, hot roasted Japanese sweet potatoes. One of the signature flavors of winter in Japan, these fluffy, sweet, caramelized sweet potatoes are sold out of street carts, hot and fresh, but the flavor is so popular that they incorporate it into candies, pastries, and even ice cream.

Opening the bottle and taking a sniff, you’re hit with a wave a warm, earthy, buttery scent, with a hint of caramel in the mix. Taking a drop on your hand and tasting it, and you immediately get all the flavors in the aroma, but also a deliciously caramelized flavor of roasted sweet potato. Now drizzle it onto your cotton and take a nice deep puff. Your mouth is filled with the warm, caramelized flavor of a sweet potato. Not the cloying, corn syrupy taste of a candied yam, but honest to goodness authentic roasted sweet potato. Perhaps you get a hint of vanilla as well, on top of the almost brown sugar sweetness, but throughout, the earthy flavor of the vegetable is present, lingering pleasantly after you’ve exhaled a thick, opaque cloud.

This is a flavor that transcends countries; it conjures up memories of Thanksgiving, with that warm dish filled with sweet potato casserole, fragrant and rich, but still grounded with the flavor of the vegetable it’s made of. It’s an entirely different experience than all of the sickly sweet fruit and dessert ejuices on the market. If you get tired of the constant parade of fruity, almost carbon-copy flavors of ejuices on the market, try a bottle of Gorudo. It cleanses the palate of flavor fatigue and lets you appreciate all the more the other ejuices you have. I cannot recommend it enough.

Honorable Mentions:

Budget Vapors Smoke N’ Mirrors

When it comes to vape juice, there are two sides to the cinnamon coin. One is a sweet, soft, non-threatening cinnamon flavor, and the other is a harsh, peppery, Big Red/Atomic Fireball type of cinnamon. And I do not like the first. That being said, Smoke and Mirrors from Budgetvape is a cinnamon danish flavor, with a lovely bite of cinnamon on top of the creamy icing flavor beneath. It’s everything I want out of a cinnamon flavor, and I’ve gone through almost 120mls in less than a month.

Freeman Banana Chase and Imagine

If you’ve read my Freeman reviews, you already know how I wax poetic about these two juices from Paul and Co. Banana Chase taste like fresh warm banana bread and Imagine tastes like a luscious lemon square/tart. They’re far and away my favorite flavors out of the 20 that Freeman Vape makes, and I will be sure to stock up when I run out of them.

[Dishonorable Mention of 2019]

Vandy Vape Simple EX

Oh my God, where to even begin. The idea sounds brilliant on paper: Instead of a pod system with its wasteful inherent design features, make a squonker for Salt Nic with a Mouth-to-Lung RBA. Designed by Vandy Vape’s CEO Stefen Zhang, this mod took its place among the Pulse line with similar bright, vibrant color options and design aesthetics.

Unfortunately, the thing which absolutely kills it is the atomizer. To begin with, this thing is TINY. A third of the size of most RDAs on the market. Secondly, if you want to have any hope of putting a coil on it, get out your magnifying glass and your thread-thin wire, because this sucker refuses to acknowledge ANYTHING but the highest possible resistance; we’re talking between 2-3 ohms here. And the deck itself is damn near impossible to build on due to several flaws in its engineering. The hold-down area is not surrounded on all four sides by metal and comparatively gigantic, meaning that whenever you try and tighten down the screws, the wire will invariably slip out from underneath them, or otherwise spin it beneath the bottom of the screw, destroying the carefully wound coil you’ve made in an attempt to anchor it down firmly. If you do somehow manage to get the coil installed without bending it out of shape, good luck threading a minuscule sliver of cotton through the center of said coil, because, once again, this build deck is microscopic. To put it simply, I sold mine after a week. There are better ways now to do rebuildable salt nic devices. AVOID.

New Year, New Hopes

So there we have it, a final quick little roundup of what I thought was the best hardware and ejuice of the year. As we look forward to next year, we all wish and pray for a happier, less contentious age. A coming together of disparate ideologies and beliefs, and a plea for harmony in a sea of easy offense and politics infecting our every action and thought. To quote the great Martin Luther King Jr.:

With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will he able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will he free one day.”

I wish you all the best in 2020, and may your year see you blessed with prosperity, and that those you meet will treat you with kindness and gentleness, as we are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.


Having started vaping as a way to stop using cigarettes, Lukas metamorphosed into a regular vape enthusiast over the past seven years. Utilizing his extensive knowledge and problem-solving skills as a regular at his local vape shop, it only made sense to parley that, along with his writing skills, into making vape juice reviews. While conspicuously absent from social media, the 35-year-old former chef now uses his free time by making spectacular home-cooked meals, reading voraciously, and dabbling in multiplayer computer games. Oh yeah, and he vapes too.

Page Contains Affiliate Links | Full Transparency Statement





The products talked about on this website are intended for ADULTS ONLY! By entering this website, you certify that you are at least 21 years old.