Awesome “Drip” friendly 3 piece mini electronic cigarette with e-liquid to refill cartridges available, good nicotine hit and vapor production in 3 tasty flavors AND a low price.
Cartridge strength and flavor selection limited
Scoring above average or higher in every category, the Lucky Slicks Retro mini electronic cigarette is a very impressive “drip” friendly 3-piece model at an impressive price point even considering “consumables” such as batteries are not covered under the 1 year limited warranty. However, to maintain performance with this model I highly recommend dripping.
I was surprised by the vapor, flavor and nicotine hit produced by the Retro electronic cigarette the first time I tried it. It looks like so many other mini e-cig models out there, but when I took a closer look I noticed that Lucky Slicks has combined a battery usually found on 2-piece models with a very sturdy and high quality atomizer. On top of that Lucky Slicks encourages drip re-filling of cartridges and even sale their own nicotine solution / e-liquid! The result is a very satisfying electronic cigarette smoking experience at a low cost as long as you don’t consider topping off your cartridges a hassle or inconvenience.
It would be nice though if there were more than 3 flavors and 3 nicotine strengths to choose from. All the flavors were very good tasting and the highest strength (16mg) cartridge delivered a surprisingly strong throat sensation and nicotine hit. Lucky Slicks doesn’t cover batteries in the 1-year warranty although I guess it makes sense at this price point. I am hopeful they will cover batteries that are dead-on-arrival (DOA) since they have a 30 day money back guarantee.
Overall, Lucky Slicks easily passes the “would suggest it to a friend” test in my book. Definitely check out the atomizer, cartridge and cost sections of the full review to find more details on what sets the Retro electronic cigarette apart from the pack. Then head over to the Lucky Slicks website and pick up a starter kit!
Overall Rating: 3.8 (above average)
Full Lucky Slicks Retro Review
- Manufacturer / Supplier: Lucky Slicks
- Country: USA
- Model: Retro Starter Kit (White / Tan)
- Style: Mini Electronic Cigarette
- Starter Kit Price: $79.99
- Cartridge Price (5-Pack): $7.50
- Number of flavors: 3
- Nicotine Levels Offered: 3 (0mg, 8mg, 16mg)
- Nicotine Solution Sold for Dripping: YES!
- Draw: Medium
- Warranty: Yes (30 day money back, 1 year limited – No Batteries)
Starter Kit Contents
2 Rechargeable Lithium Batteries, 2 Atomizers, 1 Wall Charger, 5 Nicotine Cartridges (Choice of Flavor and Strength), Users Manual
Poor 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 Excellent
- Ratings and Score:
- Batteries and Charger: 4.0
- Atomizer: 4.0
- Cartridges: 3.5
- Vapor Production: 3.5
- Construction / Quality: 3.5
- Value / Cost: 4.0
- Overall: 3.8 (above average)
Cartridge Rating = 3.5
The Retro electronic cigarette starter kit comes with 5 nicotine cartridges in your choice of flavor and nicotine level. Lucky Slicks offers 3 flavors (Lucky Cowboy, Lucky Royal 4, and Menthol) and 3 nicotine levels (0mg, 8mg, & 16mg).
Even though there are only 3 flavor options for this mini e cigarette they all are rich and flavorful tasting. Lucky Cowboy is actually like a Marlboro, Lucky Royal 4 is your RY4 tobacco flavor.
And, even though there are only 3 nicotine levels the throat sensation and nicotine hit is a little better than what you would expect from 8mg and 16mg concentrations sold by other companies.
Cartridges were always filled and “juicy,” individually wrapped and sealed with rubber stoppers yet, cartridge life was actually a bit short with the stock cartridges. I believe this is because the combination of battery and atomizer Lucky Slicks has chosen for their electronic cigarette is very effective at vaporizing the solution in the cartridge quickly. Because of this I was only able to get 100-175 puffs per cartridge when not refilling. 100 puffs is equal to about half a pack of cigarettes by my system.
But, fortunately Lucky Slicks carts are cheap and they even sale their own e-liquid and drip refilling does NOT void your warranty! In fact, I would say you almost have to start dripping the Retro stock cartridges between 75 – 100 puffs mark or sooner to maintain vapor and nicotine intake.
I suggest topping off the cartridges with a few drops of the nicotine solution before each smoking session. Doing this can extend cartridge life greatly and you will only need to replace the cartridge when the reservoir inside begins to melt from atomizer heat or the batting in the reservoir becomes burnt.
The cartridges are easily above average because they are good tasting and refillable, but I have to rate the lack of flavor options and nicotine strengths down even though Lucky Slicks also sales empty cartridges that fit their retro model that you can presumably fill yourself with “e-juice” from other vendors.
Atomizer Rating = 4.0
I found the Retro electronic cigarette atomizers very durable and high quality able to withstand a lot of heat. I also noticed some additional “wicking” fibers under the metal wicking bridge that I believe improves nic-solution wicking, vapor, nicotine hit and the overall smoking experience.
You may be able to see what I am talking about in this picture:
I think this is a very good thing, but I am somewhat concerned as these fibers may lead to the buildup of residue and gunk I have seen that may cause atomizer failure over time. Also, if you have separate atomizers for each flavor you smoke and let one atomizer sit around for a while without smoking on it the residue on the fibers is going to gum up and again, potentially cause problems including atomizer failure.
All atomizers fail eventually though and are semi-consumable anyway so I feel the high rating is justified for the enhanced smoking experience.
The atomizer also has 2 holes that combined with the 4 intake holes on the battery deliver a consistent medium draw.
Vapor Production = 3.5
Out of the gate Lucky Slicks vapor is pretty awesome. I have seen better, but don’t get me wrong. I have to rate it only just above average though, because the atomizer and battery on Retro is so effective at vaporizing the nic juice in the cartridge the vapor really starts to dwindle between 50-75 puffs.
This is where drip refills come to the rescue! Except, topping off the stock cartridges before each smoking session is pretty much required at some point as soon as the vapor starts to dwindle unless you still find the experience acceptable. Some people love dripping anyway, while others consider it sometimes messy and a hassle.
So, just be prepared to buy a couple bottles of your favorite flavor and strength of nicotine solution once you figure out what that is.
Batteries & Charger Rating = 4.0
This electronic cigarette starter kit includes 2 identical very compact mini e-cig batteries and a wall charger. There is no USB charger or extended life battery options. Also, the white batteries have orange LED’s while the black batteries have blue LEDs. The battery itself has 4 intake air holes to supply the 2 hole atomizer which aid in delivering a nice consistent medium draw similar to a real cigarette.
The batteries have an automatic cut-off switch with cut-off times ranging from 2-4 seconds. Most of the time you will get a 3 second drag before the automatic cutoff kicks in. Keep dragging through the cutoff though, and the battery / LED will turn back on very quickly and give you another 2 seconds of vapor and another and another.. Under some cases I seemed to get a 4 second drag, but was not able to consistently duplicate this.
The batteries have a pretty good life of about 175-200 puffs and also charge pretty quick too! After an initial charge of about 30 minutes for each battery, full recharges took about 1.5 hours for each battery! When they need recharged, the tip blinks a number of times to let you know.
The wall charger has fairly clear charging indicators with the red light to indicate charging, that turns green to indicate that the battery is fully charged. I did notice some “flickering” between red and green when getting close to a full charge and also sometimes when picking the charger up to check the charging indicator.
I like that Luckyslicks provides a blue tip light option with their black battery to make it easier for a person to smoke their Retro mini electronic cigarette in public places with less confusion. It would be nice though if the blue light was also available in the white batteries.
I give the batteries and chargers a solid GOOD rating for good battery life, fairly quick recharge, and a well done automatic cut-off. The deductions in this category were mainly for flakiness in the charging indicators, not including a USB charger and only offering the blue LED in the black battery.
Construction / Quality Rating = 3.5
Fit of the battery in the cartridge and the chargers is good, but not perfect. There was a teeny tiny amount of wobble in the “roll” test I do to check fit of battery into cartridge.
The finish of the batteries is matte with the fine gold banding / pin stripes going around the body that you actually see on a lot of 2 piece designs these days. I found that the finish on the cartridges was also matte which is nice as opposed to having mismatched finishes on battery and cartridge.
Overall, I think the quality, especially the atomizer and the battery, is more than what you would expect from this price point, but not spectacular and considering the flickering charging indicator which seemed to be loose connection in the cheap charger, I had to rate quality down a bit.
Cost / Value Rating = 4.0
All things considered in this review, the Lucky Slicks Retro model is a very good value. The starter kits are reasonable and come with 2 high quality atomizers.
Cartridges are some of the cheapest I have seen at $7.50 a pack of 5 (discounted to about ~$6.50 a pack for buying 10 packs) and I suggest topping off with Lucky Slick’s nicotine solution that costs $10 for a 10ml bottle at the time of writing this.
And, even though USB and car chargers are NOT included in the starter kit, they can be purchased on the web site very cheaply and all the charging accessories including car charger are very low cost.
The only replacement parts that you pay a little extra for are the atomizers and batteries which are about middle of the road in terms of price, but at least the quality doesn’t disappoint. However, consumables such as these batteries and atomizers are not covered under warranty. You can probably get them replaced if they are dead on arrival (DOA), but beyond that this will become a regular expense like cartridges and e-liquid.
Style and Extra Features
There aren’t really any extra features with the Lucky Slicks electronic cigarette and it seems the focus is simply on delivering a solid 3 piece mini electronic cigarette and ecig smoking experience.
I like the 2 distinct style / color options offered: one with black battery / cartridge and blue LED and one white battery, tan cartridge and orange LED that is about as close to looking like a real cigarette as you can get with an e-cig these days.
I also like the carrying case (sold separately) that I also highly recommend since it can carry and store 2 batteries and 2 cartridges although your bottle(s) of nicotine solution refill will have to be stored separately. (see below)
Actually, one feature I appreciate Lucky Slicks incorporating is a child-safe bottle with warning labels for the nicotine solution. This is SO important! Keep this stuff away from kids and pets. Also, don’t ingest it directly as it is poisonous in high concentrations! Good job.
Lucky Slicks sent me free samples so I could write this review. Thanks! But, now I cannot speak to the quality of customer service because I did not deal with customer service.
I did check the forums and found 0 complaints about Lucky Slicks electronic cigarettes. In fact I didn’t even see any mention of the brand, but this could be because they are fairly new in the space. Please comment if you have something to say about the customer service of this company.