Instaflow 4500 Disposable vape
Well, we all knew it was coming, but finally it looks like the much threatened ban on disposable, single use vapes is going to come in. Whilst I am not a fan of the concept of them, there is no doubt that they have been massive in getting people away from traditional smoking. But I am pretty sure that isn’t going to be the end of things, vaping is surprisingly resilient, we survived the tpd restrictions and found legal ways to get round some of the ill thought out bans such as the move to shortfill e-liquids to get around the 10ml nicotine restrictions, and I am pretty sure we will find ways around the latest restrictions. One of the more interesting new products is the new Instaflow 4500 vape system which TECC have very kindly sent over for us to look at.
At the moment it looks like traditional disposables which are not refillable or rechargeable are going to be a thing of the past, but the Instaflow 4500 is neither of those…sort of. For old school vapers that have been around the block, the closest I can describe it is a strange hybrid of an AIO (all in one) and a squonker (where you have an atomiser/dripper and feed your e-liquid via a squeezy bottle which sends the juice up to the dripper). But I am getting ahead of myself a bit here so let’s dial things back abit and take things from the start.
Each Instaflow 4500 comes in a regular disposable like box with a sealed foil bag, so far it all feels very familiar. But once you have ripped your way into the bag, things change. You will find the main body and then slightly slid on is a bottle with 10ml of e-liquid kept separate. You see the twist here is that the main body contains a 2ml tank and the bottle feeds e-liquid into that, but it all clips together to become a single unit. So where a regular disposable only contains 2ml of e-liquid, here you get five times that amount on one battery.
The battery is 550mAh which is a fairly typical disposable size, so what you do when the battery runs out? Well, you simply charge it up again via the USB-C, which being that format means it tops up fast, so plug it in and back off you go. There are three small lights which give you an indication of how much charge you have left too. I found it is actually an extremely efficient battery and it felt like it lasted longer than I expected it to, in fact I was getting a bit impatient as I wanted to test out the charging and it was taking too long to get there.
Setting it up was a bit of a fiddle, but only if you are used to using regular disposables. As I said, the bottle isn’t locked in place when you first take it out from the packaging. But before you can seat it, you need to remove a few bits. There is a bung which needs to be pulled out from the main body and sticker tab to remove first. Then you need to unscrew the lid on the bottle and then it is ready to slide in to place. There are runners which the bottle fits on, and then you push the bottle up until it clicks. You need to give it quick a push at the end to get it properly locked in, so it does require a bit of force.
Once everything is in place, you finally need to fill the tank before you can get vaping. It isn’t tricky, but you will need a little patience as you need to hold the kit upside down for around five minutes so the e-liquid can be gravity fed into the tank. It is mess free but make sure you do take your time for the coil is wet enough so the mesh coil doesn’t burn.
All this done, you can finally vape. It uses an auto draw system so just take a puff and it does the rest for you. There are no settings to worry about, and you can’t change the airflow, so you don’t need to worry about anything. The only other feature of note is a child lock. Attached to the instruction leaflet is one of those little tools that you usually use to change your sim card on your phone. Under the charge lights, there is another hole, use the tool of push the hidden button twice and the device will no longer fire. Another two presses will bring it back to life again, not something most people will bother with, but it is a nice addition if you put your vape on the side and don’t want prying fingers to get hold of something they shouldn’t.
There are nineteen flavours in the full Instaflow 4500 range, and we were sent fourteen to try. They are all flavours which any disposable vaper will be familiar with so they should all be pretty safe if that is what you are used to. The e-liquid is nic salts based too which again should feel familiar is you already use regular disposables.
Raspberry Lemonade – Tangy lemon with a sweet jammy edge. It is iced which emphasises the citrus flavour and helps to tone down the sweetness of the raspberry.
Fresh Mint Mojito – Predominantly minty, a mix between spearmint and butter mint, but there is a smooth lime buried in the mix. It is not icy, but it is clean and fresh.
Strawberry Ice – A lovely, sweet strawberry, surprisingly authentic. The ice is smooth and not too strong, so it works to balance the sweetness rather than taking your breath away.
Mixed Fruits – A fairly generic fruit blend, it is hard to pick out any particular flavour, but it has an overall tropical taste. It is definitely on the sweeter side of the range.
Mixed Berry Fusion – A general berry flavour. It tastes sort of dry, it isn’t overly juicy but is quite an easy vape for when you don’t want anything too challenging.
Lemon Lime – Very strong lime and a twist of lemon for added sharpness, it is more sweet than sharp though. It is still clean tasting though.
Polar Mint – Strong sweet peppermint with a hefty dollop of ice. If you like super fresh flavours, this is for you. I found it was a bit too strong for me, but the flavour is good.
Blackcurrant Apple – This is more blackcurrant, quite rich, with the apple lending it a sweet edge. It is very juicy despite being quite a heavy flavour.
Sour Blue Raspberry Ice – Weirdly not that sour, or icy, of raspberryish either for that matter. It is basically berry flavoured though and is nice, but it is hard to put my finger on why.
Watermelon Ice – A standard disposable flavour, this is a really pleasant take on the classic. It isn’t overly sweet, more refreshing for it though.
Pineapple Ice – Instantly recognisable, this is a really nice pineapple with the right balance of sweet juice and fresh tang. It works well without becoming too heavy.
Cherry Ice – This was a pleasant surprise; it is a really juicy red cherry so a bit livelier than a lot of cherry flavours. The ice is light and works really well to balance things out. If this came as a stand alone e-liquid, I’d definitely buy it.
Banana Ice – Not what I expected, it is more like a banana bread flavour than the sweet candy banana I thought it would be. Again, the ice is very light. I really liked this flavour as it is a bit different.
Blueberry Fusion - Very similar to the mixed berry fusion, but with a bit of blueberry thrown in for good measure. It doesn’t really stand out, but it perfectly serviceable.
So that is all the technical side, but how well does it actually work an what is it like to use? Well, it is a bit of a mixed bag. The actual device feels good, it is comfortable to hold, and the rubber mouthpiece is really nice to use as it is firm but also squishy. I’d be more than happy if rubber mouthpieces become more of a thing as they are perfect in all weather and are just really comfortable to use. So it is all good in the general use area.
Things come a little less clear when it comes to the juice delivery side of things. First thing goes back to taking the lids off the bottle as I found the tops caused a bit of leaking. It was nothing major, it just made putting them together a little messier than it could have been. Topping up the tank is a seamless experience, but once filled, you really need to keep the device upright as is can and does over fill which leads to the occasional mouthful of juice. After a couple of vapes, it settles back down, but if you carry your kit in a loose pocket, you will want to be a bit mindful. Speaking of keeping it upright, there is one part of the design which doesn’t make any sense to me. The base of the body has a bulge which makes it impossible to stand it up so you have to leave it on its side if you aren’t using it. I really can’t work out why it was made this what when preventing over filling is so important.
Whilst it is rechargeable, once the e-liquid bottle runs out, you still have to throw out the whole unit. Although you can remove the bottle (with a lot of effort, I hasten to add), the coil in the tank is not replaceable and all coils have a finite life so when it is done, it is really done. But it is still a big jump up from 2ml disposables which are completely single use, instead you are getting the equivalent of five disposables. Not only is this an improvement on the way things have been so far, but it is also financially much better value as a single Instaflow 4500 will only cost £12.99 instead of roughly £25 you’d pay for the same amount of vaping from a disposable.
With all the new regulations and bans coming into force, this seems to be a natural evolution and a way around the current situation. What we are seeing here is a market coming to terms with huge change and reacting with answers faster than the powers that be can keep up which is why bans never really work. If nothing else, I tip my hat to the Instaflow 4500 for sticking it to the man!