New Vapers' Corner, starter kits

Johnson Creek’s Vea e-Cigarette: Review

Johnson Creek Vea Starter Kit

The Johnson Creek Vea e-cigarette has finally hit the market after months of previews and hints dropped by the company.  This marks the first attempt at e-cigarette hardware by the company which until now focused on its Smoke Juice line of e-liquids.  The Vea ecig was, according to the company, designed from the ground up for vapers by vapers.  Find out if they hit it out of the park or struck out in this review of the Johnson Creek Vea.

Johnson Creek Vea Starter Kit

Who’s the Vea for

  • Users interested in a mid-range e-cigarette that offers more than the mini styles
  • People who want something a little more stylish
  • Customers who want an e-cigarette with a good warranty and documentation

What’s in Vea’s box:

Johnson Creek’s freshman e-cigarette offering comes in a handsome retail-style box.  The box features a window for viewing an assembled e-cigarette and the second battery. The full contents of the box are:

  • 2 Vea 650 mAh batteries
  • 5-pack cartomizers (prefilled or blank) +1 blank carto on the e-cig
  • Friction mounted cartomizer cone
  • USB cable
  • AC Adapter
  • Warranty card
  • Printed, illustrated user’s manual
Special note, the cartomizer that comes on the pre-assembled e-cigarette doesn’t count as one of the included 5.  But, if you ordered pre-filled cartomizers in your starter kit, take note, the installed cartomizer is not filled.  I found that one out the hard way.

The Johnson Creek Vea’s Design

While the Vea sort of resembles your run-of-the-mill eGo e-cigarette, there are quite a few differences.  According to the company, the Vea spent about a year in the design process. During that year, the company took input from its employees and other regular e-cigarette users and incorporated it into the design.

johnson creek vea coneThe result is a device that was built from the ground up to complement the company’s Smoke Juice offerings.  The idea was to build something where all the different parts work together for a great experience.

From an aesthetic standpoint, I think they certainly reached that goal.  The Vea is just a good-looking e-cigarette.  The main color is a sort of deep red with silver accents.

The entire device from the battery to the cartomizer and cone match the color scheme well.  Logos are absolutely minimalist with a monotone oak tree logo on the battery that blends in so well, it’s almost hard to see.

Along with the color scheme goes the texture of Johnson Creek’s Vea. JCOSJ wanted to do a non-slip surface on the e-cigarette.  I’ve seen plenty of eGos that have a similar rubberized finish, but there’s something about the way Johnson Creek does it that makes it feel more refined.

Rather than feeling like a coating, the entire device has a sort of satin feel to it. The feel is still very much metallic. The texture not only covers the battery, but also the cone as well further lending to the very finished feel of the device.

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Battery and Cone.

Beyond the looks, there are a few marquee features on the battery itself.  While not exactly new, the 3 click on/off switch is always a nice feature, as is USB pass through charging.

johnson creek vea usb pass through charging

I hate carrying around those little e-cigarette chargers to be honest, so I’m a big fan of USB pass-through charging.  Just unscrew the cap and plug in a mini-USB cable to charge.  The e-cigarette still functions while charging, so you can use it as a true pass-through device.

Unlike eGo pass-throughs, the charger port is recessed allowing the end cap to sit nearly flush. There is also a red LED light by the USB port.  This light serves two purposes.

First, as you might imagine it lights up to let you know it’s charging.  But it also lights up when you press the button.  This makes more sense, when you note the end cap has a V logo cutout.

When you vape, the end will light up with a red “V”.  This is likely a feature that some will love and others will hate.  There doesn’t seem to be a way to disable that feature.

While I’m an eGo comparison kick, I’ll also mention that the Vea is a bit more zaftig than your every day eGo e-cigarette.  The Vea is a little taller and fatter than a 650 mAh eGo despite both having the same mAh rating.

Finishing off the bottom of the battery section of the device are a couple of holes near the end cap.  These are vent holes that would allow outgassing should there be some sort of catastrophic battery failure. These are in addition to typical safety features like vents at the top of the battery and weak endpoints.

The top of the battery features oversized air slots at the cartomizer connector.  Under the battery connector is a silicone ring.  This ring provides friction to hold the cone in place.

The slide-on battery cone (one of the unique features of the device) works well.  The fit is snug and the cone doesn’t readily come off.

The cone is both there to make things look pretty and help with performance.  Using the device without the cone, the draw seems a bit looser which does seem to reduce vapor production a tiny amount.

Vea Cartomizers

Much like the rest of the Vea, the cartomizers are also a little different from similar commodity gear. On the surface, the cartos sport the same color scheme as the rest of the electronic cigarette. For the technically inclined, the cartomizers meter in at 2.0Ω

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johnson creek vea cartomizersThe one thing you can see from the outside of the carto is the end-cap.  Unlike most cartomizers, the rubber end cap has a little ridge that sticks up.  This allows for (theoretically) easier filling.

I’m sort of clumsy, so for me, it’s still easier to jam a paper clip in there to pull the cap off. The idea was to make it easier to just pop the top and add more e-liquid into the carto.  Interestingly, the end cap has a small tube that protrudes into the cartomizer’s air tube.

Peering into the cartomizer, the air tube appears to be somewhat wider than typical cartomizers.  There also appears to be a little less filler material than I’m used to.  That would explain why these cartomizers only hold 1ml despite being a fairly long cartomizer.

Filling is a little tricky because there’s not a lot of room to drip with such a large air tube.  Johnson Creek recommends a specialized tip they have available on their site. You could also use a needle tip bottle, syringe, or that neat cartomizer injector I reviewed a while ago.

Documentation and Warranty

Before I talk about my experience, I wanted to mention some stuff I generally don’t spend a lot of time on.  Mostly I don’t talk in-depth about the documentation or warranty because it can vary widely by vendor.  Since JCOSJ is the only vendor here, and I think their stuff is actually pretty good, I’m going to mention it.

johnson creek vea user guide

First, the documentation is by far some of the best I’ve seen.  Not only is it not some broken English pamphlet that may or may not be relevant to the product, it’s actually darn good.

The manual has good illustrations throughout and of course information on the basic use.  It also goes beyond that including instructions on refilling the cartomizer and things like how to troubleshoot and clear a flooded cartomizer.

The warranty is good too.  I’m sure there are a lot of vendors who offer warranties that are as good as better, but a couple of things caught my eye.  First, the warranty covers the batteries for six months which is pretty rare for midrange class devices.

Even more interesting is that they’ll cover return shipping if you ever do need to send something back provided you meet their RMA guidelines.  I can’t tell you how many things I never returned just because I didn’t want to pay return postage.

Using the Johnson Creek Vea

Ok, so the Vea was designed to all work in perfect harmony and looks like a cohesive unit.  The question is does that actually translate into performance.

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Johnson creek vea detailThe answer is generally yes.  I opted for pre-filled cartomizers to get the full experience, but I also used other e-liquid and didn’t notice that anything really changed using Johnson creek stuff especially.

Speaking in generic terms, the Vea performs pretty decently.  It’s perhaps not the most high performance device out there in the midrange class, especially with devices like the Twist on the market now.

However, I sort of get what Johnson Creek was going for here.  This kit is designed as a complete solution.  They weren’t exactly looking for something that would work well with every other piece of hardware out there.

In fact, you can’t even use eGo specific cartomizers without an adapter because it lacks eGo threads, not being an eGo and all.

The point is that it should work well on its own, which it does.  I’m actually sort of fascinated by how well it works in concert.  I tried to test the voltage output, but like eGo devices, it uses pulse modulation to regulate the voltage so I couldn’t get a reading.

Based on using other cartomizers (510 threaded stuff works fine) it seems like the voltage is a little low on the Vea.  The Vea is listed at 3.7v, but it is likely outputting something closer to an eGo at 3.4 or so.

Despite the lower voltage, the vapor is quite warm coming out of the Vea. That won’t happen with a regular eGo.  Flavor and throat hit are also pretty good, and more pronounced that I would expect.

Too Long; Didn’t Read

The Johnson Creek Vea e-cigarette is an absolutely gorgeous and solid e-cigarette.  The device is geared toward the midrange of the market: people who want to move beyond a mini e-cigarette, but aren’t looking for some of the more complicated solutions out there. It performs pretty well if you want to stay on the rails and keep everything simple.  If you like to experiment with a lot of different hardware, this may not be the best choice in the world. You can purchase one from Johnson Creek.

Pros:

  • Beautiful styling
  • Solid construction
  • All components work together
  • Excellent documentation
  • Good warranty and support
  • Easy on/off cone, USB charging, 3-click on/off

Cons:

  • Unable to disable light up V logo
  • Works best when constrained to the Vea ecosystem
  • Not compatible with eGo-specific cartomizers

Details:

Product Name: Vea Starter Kit
Available From: Johnson Creek Original Smoke Juice
Price: $59.95
Threading: 510 (not eGo compatible)
Battery: 650mAh 3.7v (regulated lower)

Disclosure: I feature affiliate links for Johnson Creek 

 

23 Comments

  1. Coffeeroasters

    Would some tape on the inside of the cap disable light up V logo? If there is room.

  2. Looks a little like a LEO, which used to be one of my faves!

  3. pat

    what about the vape??

  4. Thanks for this review. I’ve been very tempted to buy one of these. I love the design and the color, and I like the idea of special cartomizer. I have an ego clone for those times that my Blu Cigs aren’t cutting it, but this inexpensive clone just doesn’t satisfy. Hopefully the Vea does. I just might buy the damned thing now.

  5. Tom

    I purchased the cartomizers to use with an eGo battery and have been very underwhelmed. Whenever I try to fill, the juice just leaks out the bottom (no, it is not getting into the air hole). I've wasted ~5mL of juice so far. Can't fill while on the battery because it just leaks into the battery and out the sides making a huge mess. I haven't found a way to eliminate this problem. Maybe I got some duds, but it has been the same thing with all 3 I've tried so far. On top of this, there's a burnt taste about 3-5 pulls after "filling". So I'm constantly filling, cleaning up the leakage and blowing out the tube. Simply awful so far. I ordered some Boge carts already as there is either poor quality control on these or a design flaw (interestingly enough the carts are already on backorder…coincidence?).

  6. Thanks for this review, Steve. I started smoking e-cigs 4 months ago. Since then I did not use tobacco anymore, fortunately. I tried about 6 or 7 brands, and didn't tried any more once I found BLU. Could you tell me how do you compare VEA to BLU, please? Also Any comment from Blu consumers that have tried VEA too will be more than very well welcome, please… Thanks!

  7. Terrell

    Claudia- I have been a Blu user for a little over a year, and through Blu I learned about Johnson Creek. I used to fill my own 306 cartridges with JC and used t with my Blu cigs, but I was not always happy with the performance (not to mention the battery life). I decided to upgrade to a midrange, and being a fan of JC I decided to go with the Vea. Well, I received it in the mail today and it is just wonderful. The extra features of the battery alone that Steve mentions puts it wayyy beyond the Blu. I have to say that I’m very pleased with the product, more so than I thought possible. It’s bigger than the Blu (obviously) but the battery life and vapor production is pretty fantastic. I’ve been vaping two different cartridges all day, one being JCs PG summer peach and the other being their VG tundra, and they both give great vapor and flavor. I have not had any problems with the carts so far, but it’s likely that I’ll run into a dud sometime down the road. Overall a great product and an easy transition from the Blu. Great review Steve! I wasn’t sure about getting one till I read it, and now I’m very glad that I did!

  8. Terrell

    I kind of thought that was going to be an annoyance as well, but now I actually prefer it. One of my criticisms of the Blu battery was the sensitivity of them and how they were ways getting activated even when they were in the damn Blu PCC! It is a different Physical feeling than smoking an analog, so I that’s a big thing to you, the button is not ideal. But I love the fact that it only activates when I want it to, and it has that nifty on/off function so I know it won’t turn on in my pocket and it really helps with battery life. The battery life on this thing is insane, especially for a 650 mAh battery. I received my Vea at about 10:00 am this morning, charged one of the batteries fully, and have been vaping straight (with my gf taking drags as well) and it’s 1:00 am and this battery is STILL going! It’s probably about to die on me, but that is absolutely insane! If yur looking for something that mimics the exact feel Of an analog, then you should probably stick with Blu-but like I said, I hated refilling those things, and only by refillin your own cartridges will you save the most money. If yu want something that’s reliable and will preform everytime with great vapor and battery life, get the Vea. You get used to the button thing, and now I prefer it

  9. Terrell

    Lol, I feel like I should be working for Johnson Creek. Where’s my check?!? :)

  10. Felicia Woods

    I'm using JC carts on my eGo C 1100 battery with JC's Trunda I Love It. But I Love Johnson Creek More And Will Be Buying Vea Next Week. Thanks Steve For Being The First To Review On Utube…You Rock!!!

  11. Since I really haven't been going between brands too often, I'm wondering how this would be versus V2Cigs. I started with Blu back in the really mini days, just couldn't stick and I went back to smoking. Last year I went with V2Cigs as I read (generally) favorable reviews of their products and the price was right. I was able to drop cigarettes and switch. I always use Johnson Creek juices, so it almost makes sense for me to swap from an ordering perspective (everything from one place), but I'm worried — what kind of performance difference will a larger device like this have versus something like a V2Cig device?

  12. That' sounds great. I have a mini-USB 5V adapter for in my car so I don't really think the lack of a charging pack will be an issue. I like my V2s, but my batteries seem to need replacement too often and the wall chargers seem to be of very poor quality. I know some of that was supposed to be improved recently, but it's rather annoying to need to buy accessories so regularly.

    Thanks for the reply!

  13. Kia

    Same cart issue here, CCC. Several get burnt taste, although i constantly top them off. But then i’ll refill an emptier cart, and juice comes out the bottem threads. Ugh. Dont get me wrong…i am loving the Vea…great battery, love the passthru…but the carts need work.

    Which leads me to a question for Steve:
    Can you suggest a good easy Clearomizer to go with the Vea? I havent used them before, but they seem to bypass the burnt fuzz/overfill issues of the regular carts.

    I’m looking for easy, simple, inexpensive, and slightly pretty (being of the female persusion).

    Also i need an adapter (if they make one) for my ElektroUSA. I’d love to fit Elektro carts on my Vea battery. Is that possible?

    Thanks, great reviews!

  14. Kia

    Thanks for the quick response Steve.
    Re the ‘standard’ if you’re talking about the Elektro, i dont know anything about sizes or ohms or amps or anything. The battery is male, and slightly larger than Vea. Never got a response from Elektro re sizing via email. Hard to find adapter or clearo when they dont broadcast the size. Argh.

    So if the eGo carts wont work on the Vea, and i’m not fond of the ce3 design….
    Any other clearos you can suggest for the Vea?

    Can u suggest a knowledgeable & reputable company that i could ask about clearos/adapters etc and order from? (Soooo many ecig companies out there these days.)

    Thanks again.

  15. Kia

    Thank you so much for the info, Steve! Very helpful. I’ll check those suggestions out. ;)

  16. Kia

    CCC there’s an automatic cut off switch for the manual battery button (8-10 secs). I normally stuck to 4-5 secs, since i was concerned with avoiding burnt taste.

    I tried both the Vea blank carts and Vea pre-filled French Vanilla carts. Same occasional burnt taste, same constant filling, same dripping out the bottem (of half filled cart) for both blank and pre-filled.

    Also i went thru 15 ml of JC Espresso in only about 3 days. Seems like way too much, too fast (former 1- 1 1/2 pack smoker). thats another reason i think the Vea carts need some work.
    Didnt i read that 1 ml of juice is equal to 10 cigs? Thats 150 cigs in 3 days?

  17. well, very similar to our Lea in terms of the name….

  18. CCC

    Well, Johnson Creek finally release the blank carto's. I'm on my second box now and I have to say that I am impressed. The Rev 2 cartos seem to be working really well. On a side note: In the time the blanks were out of stock I tried a few different cartomizers. out of the 3 I tried the boge low resistance carto seemed to be pretty nice. Gave almost the same amount of flavor and throat hit. but I did not like the draw. All in all The Vea Rev 2 Cartos are pretty sweet.

  19. I know that some DIYers will steep liquid in warm water to help the process along. I'm not sure long-term exposure would help or hurt things. MadVapes had a good series on testing liquid under different conditions, but they don't seem to have a link to it any more. You might just want to hit up JC's customer service and see what they have to say about it.

  20. MamaLeece Jasperson

    I've been using my new Vea for just under a month now and I have to say, your review is spot on, and also very well delivered! I started out a few years ago with Blu, then quickly switched over to Volcano. I got the magma kit and an Inferno Battery to experiment with something larger, something with more power, and something with awesome vape return. I fell in love with my Inferno and was satisfied enough that I believed I would stick with the Inferno for good…then JC, whom I buy all of my juice from, announced the Vea was complete and the more I read about it, the more I wanted to try it out. I've been buying my smoke juice from JC since the beginning of my conversion from analogs to eCigs, and have always been MOST impressed with every product I've purchased from them, including some basic hardware from their starter kits. Never a complaint…never disappointed…and feeling extremely satisfied in finding a company I believed I could trust. This might not be an issue for others, but after the most unprofessional and rude customer service from Blu in regards to there continually failing product and parts, it was a nice sense of relief to finally deal with customer service reps who are as honest and helpful as your own Grandmother!!! They seriously go above and beyond the call of duty to keep their customers satisfied!!! Well, as I said, I've been using my new Vea for a few days shy of a month, and I am STOKED!!! I wouldn't consider the Vea to be "better than" Volcano's Inferno Version 1…I would rate them on equal ground, although I do like their Cartos better as they're easier to fill and don't flood easily. You can prevent any flooding by simply being able to eyeball the carto's innards, and SEE how much juice you're adding to the fiber-fill. If you pay attention to what you're doing whilst refilling a Vea carto, you can't go wrong…slow and steady wins the race. If you take your time while filling the carto and don't force your smoke juice into it, you'll rarely ever flood it. Hell, I'm legally blind and have only one fairly decent eye to function with. This also means my depth perception is usually a major fail in regards to refilling cartos…so if I can refill a Vea Carto without flooding it, anyone with good to excellent vision should be able to refill the Vea Cartos with ease!

    As for the aesthetics, the look, the feel, and of course, the appeal, I give the Vea a 10 on the 1 to 10 scale. No, scratch that…I give them a 15!!! Being as blind as I am(Yes, I'm bringing up the blind thing again ;) ) my sense of touch is heightened exponentially because my hands and fingertips often serve as my eyes. So, having an eCig that is so pleasing to the touch means a great deal to me…far more than I could ever explain in just a few words. I therefore give JC and their Vea another off the chart rating for the most pleasant tactile experience I've ever encountered whilst vaping from ANY eCig I've ever tried before. That said, I will now end this Novella and state quite honestly, in my own opinion, the Vea is PERFECT in every way and Johnson Creek deserves a well earned slap on the back for a job well done!

  21. shawn

    just got one a few days ago and i will say its a huge step up from the cheap disposable one and jc juice is excellent the vea device just adds to the experience and having a warranty on the batteries is nice considering that was a concern for me after using cheapies. good buy good product.

  22. Becky

    Can the refillable vea cartomizers from johnsons creek be used with a v2 battery?? The refillable ones from v2 suck!! But I still want that battery..for now!

  23. SqueakyTomato

    How big is it (length with and without cartridges and diameter)? I want to know because I like the feel of the smaller Blu ones but they don’t last very long

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