Ahh, the Provari… This wildly popular premium APV made in the USA has been one of the most coveted mods by newbs and veterans and everyone in between.
Carrying a price tag of upwards of $150, you may well be asking yourself if it’s really worth it- and that is a very good question…
I first got my Provari about 2 months into my vaping experience. Up until that time, my best device was a V1 MVP with a carto tank, and various ego and ego twist setups.
The day I got my Provari really changed everything for me. For one thing, it was the last time I legitimately used an ego. Within a week, I had given out all my ego batteries and was riding high in Provari-mode for the foreseeable future.
For months following that, I honestly believed the Provari was the best device out there, bar none. Of course, I was largely naive at the time, but some of my sentiments were on the right track.
Once I got into rebuildable atomizers, my focus quickly shifted from the Provari and the world of variable voltage into the more hands-on realm of mechs and RBAs. My Provari slowly became less and less used and I eventually ended it up loaning it to my friend for the better part of the last half of 2013.
I finally got it back a couple weeks ago, and it was like welcoming back an old friend. I was quickly reminded of the excellent quality and performance, and since I had already been experimenting a lot with my VTR and RBAs, I was excited to break out the Provari and see just how well it fared with rebuildables.
The results were pretty good. I have been thoroughly enjoying it with drippers and Kayfun style atomizers, however I was also quickly reminded of some of the quirks that ended up turning me off to it in the first place. One thing is for certain – I have spent a ton of time using the Provari with a wide range of devices and I have an excellent feel for exactly what it can do, and what its limitations are.
What I DIDN’T like about the Provari
While in general, the Provari is a great device, and I really do like it, there are some downsides.
For one thing, it is very temperamental with batteries. Pro Vape recommends AW IMR batteries, and for a good reason. While I do have a supply of them, I also have a ton of other batteries that I would really like to be able to use in the Provari, and very few of them work at all. This is been an inconvenience on numerous occasions. If you’re a one-mod type of guy, then you might not care that much, but I am constantly finding it a pain in the ass.
That brings me to my second point – it doesn’t support 18650 batteries out of the box. You have to buy a special extension. I think it is intended for either 18500 or 18490 batteries, and I honestly don’t care because I’ve never used them. I only use 18650 batteries on the Provari, and I can’t really think of a great reason why you would want anything smaller than that. So really, I think it is pretty stupid that you automatically have to buy a $20 extension cap to be able to use it with the batteries that make the most logical sense to use with it.
The one button system is both cool, and a pain in the ass. I think it really helps look and feel wise, but I often find it a pain in the ass to change the voltage or check ohms. You have to click 5 times to get into voltage up mode on a Provari 2.5 which is what I have. If you fuck it up, you have to wait and start over – and believe me, it is easy to fuck it up – especially if you are driving or doing some other kind of multitasking. This wouldn’t be so bad except for my next point…
It is very temperamental with ohms. The Provari has a lot of built-in safegaurds to keep it from firing if your voltage/ohm combination isn’t dialed in correctly. For example, it wouldn’t let you fire a 1.2 ohm coil at 6 volts. In fact, right now I have a 1.1 ohm atomizer on my Provari, and it won’t fire over 3.7 volts, essentially the same voltage I would get if I put it on a mech. Now that’s not totally true – it will fire for enough time to take a puff or two at 2-3 volts over 3.7, but then it will start throwing the error. This isn’t a huge deal, but coupled with the fact that you have to click the button a million times to change your voltage, it can be kind of a bitch to get your atty dialed in. I have used a lot of other APVs and none even come close to being as temperamental as the Provari in terms of finding that sweet spot. In general I think these safeguards are a good thing as they keep you from fucking up your shit, but it really can be very annoying at the same time.
Last point – look and feel wise, I think the Provari does very well – EXCEPT the beauty ring at the top. This is where the rails kind of come off. First and foremost, there is no airflow control – in my opinion a huge mistake. There are tons of people out there currently using Protanks or like-atomizers, and a lot of Protanks simply won’t work at all because they have bottom airholes and there is no airflow between the Provari and attached atomizer. Big problem. This is true of other bottom vented devices. I think this is especially dumb because a lot of the people who would be great candidates for the Provari are those who use Protanks. Unfortunately it’s not a happy marriage a lot of the time.
Additionally, the beauty ring at the top is slanted inwards. The overall diameter of the Provari is right on, and matches up with a LOT of atomizers, but the slanted top makes it so that no full width atomizers look natural sitting on top of a Provari. Big problem. The Provari is a great device to use with a Kayfun, but you actually have to buy a separate Provari ring to hide the gap created by that slant or else it will look pretty ridiculous. In my opinion this is a huge design fail. Ironically, the Protank is probably one of the best looking devices to pair with a Provari, and the two really aren’t that compatible with one another.
What I DID like about the Provari
First and foremost, their customer support is excellent. Within the year I’ve owned my Provari I have had to send it back to be serviced twice now. The first time, I dropped it in my driveway and it stopped working. The second time, my friend did god knows what to it, and somehow the glass plate that covers the LED screen came unscrewed.
Both times they quickly fixed the issue within a week with no cost to me other than paying to ship it back to them- a small price to pay IMO. That is the kind of service I LOVE to see.
Appearance-wise, it is a great looking device. The 2.5 especially, has very nice lines and a sleek look to it. The only real beef is with the slanted ring at the top. Take that out of the equation and this is one of the best looking mods out there.
Performance-wise is where the Provari dominates. They have some kind of proprietary chip they use, which I remember reading about back a year ago or so. I don’t remember exactly what the deal is with it, but this chip basically makes it so that your Provari is always running at optimal performance for your voltage/atomizer. I am just speculating here, but I believe it works similar to the way a DNA 20 does – where it adjusts your voltage automatically based on wattage, except in reverse since the Provari only has voltage settings and not wattage settings. Whatever the case may be, if you compared the Provari head to head with say an EGO Twist at around 4.2 volts, I would bet you see a marked difference in performance, even if the voltage and atomizer ohms are the same on both.
Basically, it just flat out works – and it works really well. It’s totally reliable, they have great support, and it’s built like a tank anyway.
Who is it good for?
The Provari is a great all around device, and it has a lot of applications for both advanced and beginning users. Personally, I think it works really well with Kayfuns and rebuildable drippers.
When I was a newb, I used it for precoiled tanks and attys of all sorts and it worked great for that.
If you’re a beginner level vaper, I think this is a great entry level device. A lot of other VV/VW devices are much more cheaply made and a lot more likely to shit on you than a Provari would. Additionally, you don’t have the added hassle of trying to dial in both voltage and wattage. I think this is quite helpful. It also has a battery monitor and ohm reader built in which are very helpful to have.
For advanced users, I don’t think the Provari is as much of a necessity to have in your arsenal, however it does have a lot of uses. I particularly like it with Kayfuns. It’s one of the few mechanical tube mods out there that I would personally pair with a Kayfun. For the price, it is a little spendy compared to a mech, so if you’re happy with mechs you might just want to stay there, but it can never hurt to have one.
Where to buy?
You can pick them up at Provape. I personally prefer the matte sliver, and I absolutely recommend you get the 18650 extension.
Do I use it?
I loaned my Provari to my buddy for over 4 months, but when I have had it here, I use it. And I use it a lot. It just simply works, and outside of some fussing with the voltage, it is basically hassle free and works on just about anything.
The Bottom Line
Quality. The quality of the Provari is basically second to none. It is made right here in the US out of quality materials. Once you hold one in your hand, you will be able to tell right away by the weight that this thing is no joke. The issues I have had with parts breaking/malfunctioning were all due to rough treatment on my part, and they instantly fixed them for me.
Performance. There’s really nothing BAD I can say about the performance. It works perfectly every time. It seems like the overall quality of the vape when I am using a Provari is always excellent. I have never had that feeling with say the SVD for example.
Ease of Use. This is definitely an easy to use piece. While I personally think it’s kind of a pain to have to click the button a ton of times to change the voltage up and down, it’s a fair tradeoff. Additionally, I actually think I prefer devices that ONLY have variable wattage or variable voltage, not both together. It’s one less variable you have to worry about, and it doesn’t seem to negatively effect the performance at all – in fact I think it actually enhances it.
Appearance. It might not be as pretty as a $400 Caravela, but its a good looking piece. Comparing it next to say the SVD again for example, there is no question in my mind which looks better. This is also one of the few mods that I think actually looks decent in different colors. I personally prefer the sliver, but I have seen colored ones that look really nice too.
Price. Unfortunately, price is somewhat of an issue with the Provari. It is an investment to say the least. A Provari is going to run you upwards of $150 new, and you also need to get the 18650 extension as well which is another $20 or so. That said, if you buy one and use it every day, it will easily pay for itself many times over, so in my opinion it is a worthy investment.
Overall. Gone are the days where I literally thought the Provari was hands down the best “ecig” on the market hands down. It is definitely one of the best, but there are so many options out there right now, it is definitely not the only one.
Where I would always recommend it is if you’re already thinking of paying upwards of $70 for a similar tube style APV – this happens constantly at brick and mortars. They will constantly try to push stuff like a Zmax or a SID for $70 or more easily. While this type of device does have its uses, they aren’t worth the money. You are way better off spending a little more to get far better quality backed by excellent product support from Provape.
While the Provari is not for everyone, I don’t think there are a lot of people who would mind adding it to their roster.
Highly recommended – particularly for beginners.
Check it out at Provape.
- Ease of Use