Today I’m taking a look at the Ayr Ltd AYR Vape Kit. In this instance it would be an understatement to suggest it’s merely a vape kit.
Created back in 2015, AYR is the brainchild of UK born Ian Murison. With innovation at the forefront his idea was to come up with something vapers would also recommend to friends.
Ian had observed a host of products with underlying issues. They were either fiddly, messy or suffered with performance lag. Pod kits had problems of their own, creating excessive waste. A user never really knew how much they had vaped. Neither were they aware of their nicotine intake.
As an ex-smoker, Ian saw an opportunity to continue the familiar relationship between a cigarette and its pack. An outer case would act as the pack and the pod as a cigarette. Recharging and refilling would take place every time the two made contact.
In order to lure a new vaper, an elegance and simplicity was called upon and inherent issues with pod kits were being dealt with.
Step forwards the AYR Device Kit. Designed in the UK, manufactured in China.
What Can We Expect From The AYR Kit Device?
There’s going to be a lot to unpack in this review. I’m hoping to discover some true innovation with the AYR kit device.
The first thing we can expect is a completely different approach to refillable pod kits and the way they’re used.
The pods refill automatically. Yes. You did read that correctly. This means no more manually squeezing e-liquid into pod openings.
The pod can be recharged remotely and away from a wall socket by simply installing it in the case! Again, you read that right. No more unnecessary down time, no more pass through vaping.
The AYR vape kit can link up to a smartphone via Wifi to display an intelligent read out of daily vaping patterns. No more guessing the number of puffs from a single charge.
Vapeayr has made a conscious effort to distance themselves from familiar vape jargon. The battery section is known as the vaporiser and the pod as the tip but they equate to the same thing.
Even the e-juice bottles are renamed as capsules which makes sense given their shape. There are currently nine flavour profiles to choose from, available in 10mg or 20mg nicotine salt strengths.
Ayr Vape Kit – Inside The Box
Slipping the lid off the box reveals the organised, stacked contents.
- AYR case
- Wifi dock (2.4Ghz only)
- USB cable
- User manual
The user manual is clear and concise, featuring plenty of information alongside relevant images.
AYR Vape Kit – Features
The AYR vape kit is a world first.
It’s the first device to refill and recharge automatically. On average it takes 35 seconds to refill the tip and the e-juice is said to cost much less than leading pod brands.
Each capsule will last in the region of 1200 puffs and the tip is capable of lasting the equivalent of 3 capsules.
It’s possible to monitor vaping usage with the IOS or Android app (It’s actually a web page disguised to look like an app).
The vaporiser itself relies solely on an auto draw feature and is packed with smart functionality. Monitor advanced temperature control, track vaping patterns and understand ‘sessions’ via the glow down lights or LED’s.
Not only does the case automatically refill the tip but also recharges the atomiser when dropped inside.
The Ayr vape kit is available in black or silver with a polished aluminium finish.
Ayr Vape Kit – Specifications
- Case: 119.5 x 67 x 18mm 125g
- Vaporiser: 102 x 20 x 12mm 22g (including tip)
- Dock: 74 x 52.5 x 28mm 72g
- Liquid capsule: 13.5 x 30.5 x 49mm 6g
- Vaporiser recharge system
- Miniature peristaltic pump to refill the vaporiser
- USB C port – Case = 3 hours charge time
- Three way toggle control and LCD display screen to access case functions
- Vaporiser: Material Polished aluminium
- Advanced heating control – to maintain optimum coil temperature
- 7 glow down LED’s giving the user visual feedback
- Data logging: The vaporiser records all vapes and are downloaded to the case when docked.
- Coil: 1.45ohm ceramic coil with 316L stainless steel wire
- Battery: Case – 1350mAh integrated rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Battery: Vaporiser – 250mAh integrated rechargeable lithium ion battery – charges in 30 minutes in the case
- E-liquid: Approximately 50VG/50PG with added flavouring and nicotine salt in strengths of 10mg or 20mg
- Wireless: 802.11 ac 2.4Ghz
- Compatible with IOS or Android devices
Ayr Vape Kit – Design and Build Quality
The case is designed to emulate a pack of cigarettes. It’s been over eight years since I’ve had the urge to smoke so I can’t say whether the size reflects it.
It’s significantly wide but also slim. The ribbed pattern provides plenty of grip even though you’re not likely to be holding it that often.
Given the height of the case it stands surprisingly well in a vertical position. I received the polished silver version but there’s definitely a tinge of blue ice running through it.
The vaporiser slips vertically into the top of the case. A quick release catch on the side will allow easy removal once charged.
The top of the case is home to the 14 x 10mm LCD screen. The on/off/menu select button can also be found here.
A type C USB docking connector is incorporated into the base together with a 28mm wide capsule port. Looking down inside the port, two capsule connectors are visible as well as a centred e-juice dispensing point.
Given its width and height the vaporiser does much to replicate the size of a cigarette. The pattern and ribbed finish matches the case and there’s really very little weight to it at all.
There are two semi punched holes on either side. I assume they hold the vaporiser in place when slotted into the case. The single small airflow slot should make for a restrictive MTL vape.
A series of contact points on the underside of the vaporiser allow a direct charge from the case. The juice uptake port is in the centre.
Seven ‘glow lights’ run vertically down the front of the atomiser. This is where things start to get very innovative.
I initially assumed they were standard battery life indicators but they’re much more relevant – especially to a new vaper.
They represent a ‘session’ or the equivalent number of puffs it takes to smoke a cigarette. The glow lights dim one by one as the session progresses. The vaporiser is set to a length of 25 seconds of vape time, or one session.
Each session is recorded to the case whenever the atomiser is dropped back in. It’s then possible to display relevant information via the IOS or Android web page using built in Wifi capabilities.
The Vapeayr website doesn’t state the material so I’m assuming the tip is comprised of PCTG. Due to a series of connection points and microchip technology it only fits one way inside the vaporiser.
Although the tip has a frosted appearance it’s possible to see the juice dispensing tube inside. As the vaporiser feeds the tip with e-juice it doesn’t immediately soak the ceramic wick.
Since automatic filling is achieved vertically, two small tubes in the tip create capillary action to draw e-juice up and around the wick.
Being ceramic, many users suggest plugging the airflow slot for the first ten seconds and performing a few ‘dummy’ vapes. This will improve the wicking and help prevent dry hits.
The coil is set to operate at 220 degrees C. Power to the coil is dynamically controlled to maintain that temperature.
This is where the Ayr vape kit shows a distinct sign of weakness, in my opinion. Although it’s easy enough to line the type C USB ports up there’s just too much wriggle room.
There’s too much movement inside the docking cradle. This could eventually lead to damage to the micro connections themselves. Of course it’s a worst case scenario (excuse the pun) but still an area that can be improved upon.
The type C USB charging port for the docking cradle is located on the rear.
A single LED on the front plinth blinks while it awaits Wifi connectivity. Once the IOS or Android web app is successfully connected the LED remains solid white.
A red LED will appear if the dock has been associated with a Wifi network but not connected to it. When this happens the dock needs to be reset by inserting a small pin in the hole on the back.
Normally we know them as e-liquid bottles. However there are some difference given the way the Ayr vape kit works.
There’s no doubt the carton is heavily influenced by a pack of cigs. There’s even a mock sealing band so I give Ayr Ltd full kudos for the attention to detail.
Familiarity is a stepping stone that helps a new vaper make the transition from a deadly product to a 95% safe one.
I received Wild Berry with the device but Ayr Ltd have other flavours available. Classic Tobacco, Cherry Tobacco, Menthol Medley, Strawberry Champagne, Pistachio Biscotti, Watermelon, Tropical Sorbet and Peach Melba.
A chip is fitted into the top corner of the capsule. It lines up with connectors deep within the case. The chip contains information about the liquid itself including the flavour and strength. The manufacturing batch number and use by date are also included.
It also means the case won’t fill from a capsule passed its use by date.
All clever stuff if you ask me!
The capsule only fits one way, facilitated by a notch on one corner. This also allows it to snap firmly into place.
Setting Up The Ayr Vape Kit
Push the tip into the vaporiser, remembering it only fits one way. Don’t try to force it in. Next slide the vaporiser down into the case until it clicks into place.
Remove the childproof lid from the capsule and push it up inside the case as shown below.
Like the vaporiser, it only fits one way with the notch on the left hand side.
Plug the USB cable into the back of the docking cradle. Push the case into the docking cable and make sure all connections are lined up and secured.
It takes approximately 2 hours to charge the case. When ready, use the quick release catch on the side of the case to remove the vaporiser.
Using The Case
The case switches on automatically when placed in the docking cradle. It can be turned on or off manually by holding down the menu button for 5 seconds.
I had to get out of the habit of the usual five clicks!
Push the rocker dial on the side of the case to display the information.
The display will tell you the following:
- Home screen. Indicates how many sessions have been vaped between docking
- Outer circle. Rotates when the tip is being filled with e-juice and displays current battery level of the vaporiser in 25% increments
- Capsule icon. Displays the level of e-juice remaining. High, medium, low or empty
- Battery icon. Shows the remaining level of power left in the case in 25% increments
- Device settings. Select this option to show device serial number, software version or to perform a hard reset.
Connecting The Ayr Vape Kit to Android or IOS via Wifi
It’s possible to build up a graph or chart of general vaping habits. This is achieved using a combination of the Ayr vape kit and connectivity to their web page via Wifi.
A home Wifi network is required. Mobile data should be switched off while pairing the dock with a smartphone for the first time.
- Enable Wifi connections and select ‘AYR – xxxxxxxxxxxxxx’
- Once connected, open a mobile web browser and enter https://dock.vapeayr.local into the address bar
- The Ayr web page will guide the user through the rest of the set up
- Once the connection between smartphone and device has been established, the docking cradle LED stops flashing and turns solid white
Ayr Vape Kit – How Does It Perform?
A Peristaltic Performance
The Ayr vape kit relies on a peristaltic pump action to draw e-liquid up into the tip. Peristalsis is actually a medical term and not one we need to delve into, especially if you’ve just eaten!
By all means check it out if you’re curious.
So how does it perform as part of the key functionality?
It works quite well. The pump action isn’t that noisy but I do advise avoiding hollow surfaces – any amplification is likely to cause the odd look or two!
It’s clever how the tip refills. The case recognises if e-liquid is already in the tip. The pump action works in shorter spurts over a 20-30 second interval to provide a ‘top up’.
When juice levels are low it works continuously for the same period to ensure the tip is completely full.
I never encountered any leaking, either from the tip or inside the case where the capsule nozzle connects.
Ayr Ltd have used a small LCD screen and stuck to the very basics. The display is monochrome, relying mostly on icons. The options are easy to navigate back and forth using the rocker wheel on the side.
It’s just a shame the wheel wasn’t positioned further down. It calls for a two handed approach which is laborious and has a tendency to exaggerate the size and shape of the case.
The menu select button is perfectly placed being large, clicky and very responsive.
When used in tandem the case and vaporiser are far from pocket friendly. It doesn’t take a genius to work that one out.
However, the Ayr vape kit is still very light weight. I was able to carry it around in a coat pocket without any fuss.
It’s one of those devices that’s asking to be left on a surface, gloating in all its innovative glory.
It’s also turned a few heads. Curiosity wasn’t enough to kill this particular vape!
A word of note. If the kit is transported in a horizontal position it takes longer to top up the tip. Any remaining juice in the tip needs to settle before the device determines refill levels.
Equilibrium, I believe.
The Ayr vape kit is extremely easy to use and deliberate efforts have been made to ensure everything is fool proof. The vaporiser snaps reassuringly into place and pops up when the quick release catch is pressed.
Inserting and removing the e-juice capsule is also a vape in the park. It’s tailor made to fit snug and secure. Nothing feels loose or moves around when shaking the case.
Weighing a mere 22g the vaporiser is ideal for a trouser or shirt pocket. It oozes portability. The tip is one of the most secure I’ve come across when compared to standard pods.
Needless to say it repeatedly passed the drop test.
It bugged the vaping daylights out of me that I wasn’t able to view remaining juice levels. As much as I trust the self filling technology, I’m old school if not a little obsessive.
I’ve already mentioned the glow down lights (LED’s). I think it’s a very innovative idea and haven’t personally seen it adopted elsewhere.
Am I reminded of a cigarette slowly burning down its length during a session? No. Not really and neither do I need to be, but the new vaper will.
That’s why I like the idea so much.
The LED’s are bright, clear and visible in direct sunlight too.
Once the LED on the vaporiser turned red I got into the habit of slipping the vaporiser back inside the case for a recharge.
It took around 45 minutes to revitalise the battery.
I managed around 4 hours use from a single charge. For a 250mAh integrated battery that’s not too bad.
It wasn’t a good experience. I have to be honest. What looked on paper as being another simple, straightforward task turned out to be incredibly frustrating.
As much as the instructions include a comprehensive FAQ section there was no way my smartphone was connecting to the Ayr vape kit via Wifi.
So it came down to a process of elimination and turned out to be a security issue with my phone software. For those in the know, it’s commonly referred to as a system update. Complete with patches to prevent access to unsecure sites.
The Ayr vape kit Wifi set up procedure asks that you bypass the security risk in order to connect locally to the docking cradle. My smartphone offers no such option.
I’ve even used multiple mobile web browsers while checking advanced settings. All to no avail. There is a chance the issue could be specific to my Google Pixel 4a smartphone.
I did manage to gain full access to the Ayr web page via my PC.
This is the first screen you’re met with once connected to the dock.
The dashboard becomes available once the dock has been introduced to your home Wifi network.
Using the chart it’s possible to build up a daily pattern of vaping sessions using the web app.
Flavour and Cloud Production
After allowing the juice to soak into the wick it took a further five minutes to break in the 1.45ohm ceramic coil.
I didn’t receive anything other than a cold vape. It’s not feasible to expect much else from such a high resistance coil combined with a relatively low capacity battery.
I’m not over familiar with ceramic as a wicking material but going on my experiences here, I’m never likely to be either.
The tip really struggles to produce flavour quality of any description. It’s obviously there but very distant and diluted. The wild berry fruit tasted very bland and uninspiring.
As a consequence it didn’t hold my attention for very long. I tried other flavour capsules and they were no better, tasting mediocre at best.
Vapour production wasn’t much of an issue and produced around the same level expected from tobacco smoke.
There were also a few times when the auto draw function failed which was as frustrating as it was disappointing.
The airflow system feels a little odd too. It’s not the most comfortable of mouth to lung vapes and the mouthpiece itself could do with a redesign.
Strangely enough the MTL experience improved while partially blocking the single airflow slot on the side of the vaporiser. Maybe that’s another area where improvements could be made.
- Vaporiser is very light and pocket friendly
- Glow down lights are clear and easy to read in direct sunlight
- Good battery life from the 250mAh integrated battery
- Easy to use and operate with simplified menu options
- A totally leak free system
- Refills on a regular basis, preventing dry hits
- The 1.45ohm ceramic coil lacks flavour
- Auto draw fails on occasion
- Mouthpiece feels uncomfortable
- Unable to connect device to a smartphone via Wifi (subjective to my make of phone)
- Menu rocker is awkwardly placed, preventing single handed use
- The case fits rather loosely inside the dock and may cause potential wear and damage to the USB connections
Final Review Verdict
What it always comes down to is flavour and cloud production. When I first started out, the flavours kept me away from the cigs first and foremost. I took vapour production for granted.
The Ayr vape kit does the opposite. Unfortunately it doesn’t bode well for any new vaper.
However there’s no doubt in my mind a lot of care and attention has gone into those technical aspects of the device. For the most part everything fits perfectly into place making it very easy to get to grips with.
Chip functionality is also flawless. The case never failed to top up the tip and the display continuously updated me on vape sessions.
It’s easy to see remaining levels of charge on the vaporiser. A few simple flicks of the rocker switch provide information on current juice levels as well as battery life to the case.
Ok, I couldn’t link my smartphone to the Ayr web app. The fact I was able to do so with my PC more or less proves it’s a model specific issue.
Do the vape charts actually make a difference? Personally I’m passed the stage of concern but any new vaper is likely to be quite interested. Especially if they’re intent on reducing nicotine intake.
That alone makes it a worthwhile feature.
Closing Thoughts On The Ayr Vape Kit
The Ayr vape kit isn’t over engineered, it just underwhelms when it comes to flavour.
As with most vapers I still believe flavour must come first.
It will succeed further with a few tweaks. For example, changing the coil material and maybe lowering the resistance. By updating the firmware to make the web app 100% workable and easier to set up. A redesign the docking cradle so the case fits better.
Finally and maybe controversially, lowering the price of the kit and the e-juice capsules.
I mention these things purely because I’m sure that’s what most vapers will be thinking too.
Have you used the AYR kit? let us know your thoughts in the comments below.