For a long time, the Provari by Provape has been considered the “Cadillac” of regulated mods. I know this because I saw the hand-drawn sign at my local vape shop. If that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. But the Provari’s once-dominant design is several years old, and in the fast-moving world of electronic cigarettes, this Cadillac is starting to look a bit run-down.
As a new generation of regulated devices begin to find its way into our juice-soaked mitts, the question is often raised, “is the Provari still worth it?” It has always been on the high side of the cost curve, but newer DNA-chip mods are redefining what a high-end regulated mod should do, while raising the expectations of those willing to shell out $200 for a PV.
What’s so Great About the ProVari, Anyway?
The Provari’s main selling points were – and still are – high-quality USA construction paired with an advanced power regulating chip. (Without going into too much detail, the way Provape’s chip metes out voltage creates a consistent, smoother vape than your typical Vamo or SID). It’s a sturdy, reliable, and highly functional piece of gear.
While the build quality of a Provari remains unmatched, the regulating chip is showing its age. It was designed at a time when variable voltage was good enough. But today’s vapers are increasingly demanding variable wattage as an option – even a preferred method. (For a primer on vv/vw, click here.) Furthermore, instant coil resistance and battery level indicators are the new norm. And the question is now more valid than ever – if I’m paying $200 for a device, shouldn’t I be getting a little more? Why can’t I just thread my atomizer and go?
The Provari’s strictly-vv chip requires the user to check coil resistance, then select an appropriate voltage level that will produce voluminous vapor, while not burning the shit out of it. Newer vw devices do the math for you. Just set the wattage you desire and unleash the clouds.
In addition, the newest generation of power regulating chips will fire sub-ohm coils (down to a reasonable .5 ohm). The aging Provari will not fire an atomizer with a resistance below 1.0 ohm, which is frustrating for advanced users who often build sub-ohm coils for mechanical mods and want to be able to employ them on their regulated devices. If you regularly switch between a mech and a Provari, like I do, you essentially need to have two sets of atomizers: sub-ohm and uber-ohm.
The Question Remains: Is the Provari Worth it?
Yes, it is. For now. The venerable Provari still has a few advantages over newer competitors. The main thing is you can walk into a store today and buy one (or order online and have it shipped to you next day). There simply is no other option close to it in quality with the same level of instant availability. The wonderful new range of DNA-enabled mods are notoriously hard to find. If you’re not a dedicated hobbyist with a few connections, your chances of finding a Hana Modz or Opus D is very, very low. They just don’t mass-produce them. And you can forget about a Fluid Cyborg or Mamu. In other words, the Provari is quality vaping for the masses (the masses with $200 to spare).
The Provari has also built up an extensive ecosystem over the last few years. There are plenty of Provari accessories that simply don’t exist for the newer devices.
Finally, you can run over the damned thing with a truck and it’ll still perform. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this. Vapers tend to drop things (lower your nic level, Shakes the Vaper!). And most regulated mods can’t take that kind of abuse. I’m looking right at YOU, eVic. (And that’s probably a bad idea, because just looking at the eVic wrong is known to cause it to break in half.)
If a friend asked me today (assuming money is not a concern) what mod I recommended, I would still say, “Provari.” A new or intermediate-level vaper who simply wants to run an Aerotank or carto will do great with a Provari. It remains the best combination of features and quality for the vaper who can afford it, and is still the most reliable mod I’ve ever used. That’s why it remains one of my daily carries, despite newer, better options.
But time is running out for Provape. They have never released a significant upgrade to the Provari (their new models focus mostly on color and texture variations), and the rest of the vaping world is primed to lap them. There will be a mass-produced DNA-like vv/vw chip sooner rather than later. The eVic was close. When that happens, the flood of sub-$100 devices with better features and “good enough” quality will end the Provari’s reign. Unless they debut a significant variable wattage device – and soon – that once-shiny Cadillac will find itself on the used car lot.