The Rise and Fall Of Provape - Retro Vaping
Welcome back for our second installment of what could be called a series of vape history lessons. Today we're going to look at a device that was once the undisputed king of vaping – ProVape's ProVari.
The original ProVape came out way back in 2010, around the same time JoyeTech was first launching the original eGo. While the eGo itself was hailed as a huge advancement from 510-or-808-styled cigalike batteries, the ProVape was in another category – made in America using military-grade wiring and a machined aluminum case, the tube mod used replaceable 18650 batteries or smaller 18490/18350 configurations (with an average atomizer resistance of 1.8 ohm or higher, battery life and amperage draw were far from pressing concerns at the time).
The ProVape was followed by the ProVari, one of the first variable-voltage devces to hit the market. Before temperature control or even variable wattage were "things," variable voltage was a huge breakthrough that allowed users for the first time to turn the power up or down to customize their vape. Still using chipsets and hardware designed and built to exacting specifications stateside, the ProVari was an instant hit, attracting hardcore adherents who'd refer to themselves as Provarinati and face criticism as Provarinazis from others who tired of the incessant singing of the praises of their devices.
The praise, for a time, was well deserved. Unlike cheap imported mods, ProVaris came with solid warranties and even better construction – numerous tales can be found online of a ProVari falling off a car or truck, being run over by said car or truck, and still vaping just fine albeit with a few scratches.
The performance didn't come cheap, however – aside from rare scratch-and-dent sales, users had to pony up about $200 to join the club. For some the investment was well worth it – a consistent workhorse that would last for years had appeal, though one could buy three or four comparable mods and replace them as necessary on the same budget.
What ultimately caused ProVape to lose favor, however, was a strict adherence to low power. While the wattage wars raged amongst the Chinese manufacturers, ProVape for years refused to release a ProVari mod capable of delivering more than 15, and eventually 20 watts of power. By the time their Radius box mod hit the market in late 2015, its single-18650 coupled with a maximum power delivery of 40 watts and minimum resistance of 0.5 ohm fell well short of the demands placed by the type of vaper willing to shell out the money for a top-flight piece.
Once the unheralded titan of the vaping industry, ProVape quietly closed its doors in early February following a fire sale of old inventory. While some have cited the FDA's deeming regulations as preventing the company from releasing a product that would appeal to the tastes of modern vapers, we're left to wonder if the company would have been interested in doing so if given the chance. For now, we're left to ponder the loss of an icon.