I own both.
Before you consider moving up to either model I urge you to read the following:
The Battery Page
It's very important to be aware of the risks of rechargeable batteries; which ones to use, how to charge them, etc. These batteries will explode and have exploded casing serious injuries if used incorrectly, so please educate yourself first. I'm not trying to be alarmist, or saying don't move up to a mod. I'm saying know what precautions to take before you leap. Also, you won't be able to walk into a retail store and buy batteries.
That being said, a comparison between the Provari and Lavatube:
- The Provari is more consistent, vape after vape. It does exactly what you expect.
- The Provari is made in the USA of more durable materials.
- The Provari will check the ohms of the atomizer / cartomizer that is attached to it.
- The Provari comes with a one year warranty. You can buy a one year extension from Provape, or the secondary market, such as Square Trade.
- The Provari can only be purchased in the US from Provape as far as I know.
- The new V2 version has increased the amperage limit to 3.5. If you exceed this level, the unit will stop working and flash an error code.
- The Lavatube will maintain voltage on a fresh battery. I do notice a performance drop off as the battery gets lower.
- L-Rider manufactured the original Lavatube. It appears there are other Chinese companies that have come out with the same product, but I haven't done a ton of research to confirm.
- There are multiple suppliers that you can buy one from in the USA, sold under many different names.
- The original version is limited to 2.5 Amps. It will automatically reduce the voltage with no warning if you exceed this limit. New versions are coming out with a higher limit. You would need to research them.
- Warranties vary wildly from virtually none to 1 year.
- It's a mass produced lower quality variable voltage mod. I've returned the first one I purchased under warranty, (top cap came off). It needs to be sent back again because the button doesn't work 90% of the time. We've also adjusted the spring in all of ours to maintain battery contact.
If you have the money, buy a Provari hands down.
If you want a lower cost entry point into a VV mod, buy a lavatube, but only from a supplier that offers a one year warranty. I know of two:
- I don't recommend the charger with their kit. Testing shows the Xtar or PILA chargers to be safer options. Also, the battery manufacturer is unknown.
- - I don't recommend the charger with their kit. Testing shows the Xtar or PILA chargers to be safer options. They do ship genuine AW IMR batteries with their kits.
It might be better to buy the tube alone, get batteries and a charger from Super T:
For the full size:
For the mini:
Example XTAR and PILA chargers:
There's nothing inherently wrong with the Lavatube. It has done a lot for vapers by introducing a low cost entry point to a VV mod. We own three of them currently and two Provaris between my husband and me. I do prefer the Provari for both the quality feel of the mod and the performance. I don't know if I would have purchased one if I hadn't owned the Lavatube first.