Pax 3 Vaporizer Review
Pax 3 Review
The original Pax by Ploom entered the market in 2012. The company was originally founded by graduates of Stanford University who were looking for a better way to consume cannabis without the primitive feel of using fire.
Since then they have come a long way. Many of the engineers working at Pax today have worked with medical devices, electric cars, Acer and Foxconn (the company that manufacturers the iPhone). It is safe to say that Pax didn’t invent the dry herb vaporizer, but they definitely brought it to the masses by developing sleek, reliable, cool and innovative products.
They have done this by staying very close to their customer base and incorporate their feedback into future releases and models. The original Pax clogged easily, so they modified they design of the herb chamber to prevent this with their Pax 2 model.
The Pax 3 was released in 2016 and remains one of the most popular vapes in the industry. So why has this device remained on top of the competition for such a long time? Let’s find out.
Is Pax 3 worth it?
Simply put, style, innovation, reliability and performance have carried this unit to the top of the popularity charts over the past couple years.
Pax 3 Matte Finish
Let’s start with one of the main differentiators of this unit; style and convenience. It is truly one of the best looking vapes out there today. The matte finish gives it a professional look that will not scream out “I’m vaping weed” when seen in public. At approximately 4 inches in length, the Pax will fit in a pocket, backpack, glove compartment or purse. You will be able to port this anywhere you travel and won’t have to worry about sticking out like a sore thumb when consuming outside of your house.
You will also notice the evenly balanced weight to the product as it sits easily in the palm of your hand and has a quality feel to it. The outer shell is anodized aluminum which protects it from corrosion, and strengthens the metal. Anodized aluminum is used in satellites to protect them from the harsh environment of space. While it won’t protect you from a meteor storm, it will be safe to throw in a purse, drawer or jacket pocket with your keys. Also the switch to a matte finish prevents the surface from getting those annoying finger print marks.
This is what really puts Pax at the top of the charts. The unit itself has a lot of cool ‘perks’ like a Tesla or iPhone.
Since the device is a departure from other ‘button click’ vapes, it does take a few sessions to get use to all of intricacies of the controls.
A hidden button in the mouthpiece controls everything and the lights on the front let you know the status of your sesh.
Push once for on and once for off. It’s that simple. Users of other vaporizers will appreciate the simplicity of this method compared to counting clicks; did I click it 4 or 5 times; why is it not turning off? You will not have to answer the latter question with the Pax.
To change the temperature mode, all you have to do is hold the button for a few seconds.
The Pax LED lights on the front is your information panel. Each colour and number of petals lighting up will let you know what mode it is currently set too. One glance and you have all the information you require to operate. Simple.
Conserve your Cannabis with Pax 3
Most conduction vapes operate like an oven, always heating your herb while you are using it or not. The Pax 3 has incorporated technology to preserve your stash and extend your vaping experience.
Lip sensing technology and an accelerometer have been added to conserve your battery life and lower the temperature when not in use, which in turn does not cook your herb when you have paused your draws.
Auto shut off is another feature designed to conserve your battery. This occurs after 3 minutes of no movement.
Pax 3 Mobile App
Lots of vape companies are incorporating app technology into their offerings. The DaVinci IQ, Storz and Bickel Crafty both have software included in their units that enable an enhanced experience. The Pax 3 is no different.
What does the Pax app do?
One of the big changes to the Pax 3 from the Pax 2 was the addition of the smartphone app. This app lets you customize the temperature at the degree level, locks the device and even lets you play games. For a better description of these games, please see the Pax 3 user guide.
The main purpose of this app, however, is to provide the user with four vaping options. The boost option reduces the cooling functions for those drawn out hard hitting sessions. Efficiency mode slowly increases the temperature over a fixed time period allowing you to slowly release each cannabinoid without manual adjustments. This is like the cruise control of vaping. Stealth mode will cook your herb at low temps to avoid big vapour. Personally, I do not see much use of this function as I like to use all of the compounds in the plant. Vaping low limits the release of all the flavours and effects. Either way it is apparent that Pax has stepped up their game with these new features.
The battery life on the Pax 3 is comparable to other highly portable vaporizers. When you consider the size of the unit, you will be impressed by the durability of the battery. If you take an average session, you should be able to get 90 minutes out of a full charge. Should you run out of juice, the unit also takes only 90 mins to fully charge.
The station used to charge the unit is sleek, like the rest of the product. The unit simply sits in the cradle which uses magnets to lock into place. At first it will feel that you don’t have it in properly as you will be able to move it in the cradle, but that is just a testament to the engineers who built it. Again, simple.
Pax 3 Accessories
Pax has done a good job offering two different packages giving purchasers the ability to choose which is best for them; the Complete Kit and Basic Bundle.
Complete Kit and Basic Kit Items:
- PAX 3 Device
- Charging Cable (Travel Charger with 2' cable)
- Maintenance Kit (1 wire brush, 10 pipe cleaners)
- Standard and Elevated Mouthpiece
- Standard Oven Lid
Complete Kit Only:
- Half-pack Oven Lid
- Concentrate Insert
- 3 Screens
- Protective Pouch
Pax 3 Complete Kit vs. Basic Kit
As you can see the complete kit comes with some extra features. The half-pack oven lid will enable users to scale down thei session, so they don’t waste their material if they want a quick hit. Out of all the upgrades contained in the complete version, I think this one is the best. Conduction vapes like a nice tight pack, so the herb touches all sides of the oven chamber and can be vaporized accordingly. This lid lets you customize the amount you want to consume, which limits the wasted cannabis in the middle of the oven.
The Pax 3 concentrate insert will allow you to vape concentrates like resin, rosin, shatter etc. This is a nice to have feature, but admittedly falls a little short for concentrate connoisseurs. Will this lid get you high? Yes. It does fall a little short on the flavour and cloud side versus pure concentrate vaporizers like the Yocan Evolve Plus. However, it does pass the test for convenience, as if you are out of your house, it beats taking two vapes.
The Pax 3 screens will extend the life and performance of the device. They prevent material, oils, debris from falling into the oven portion of the Pax. It basically acts as a filter for your oven. It is recommended that you change these every 25 sessions, so you will need some eventually. To extend the life of the screen included, you can remove and boil them in water, dry then replace.
The half-pack oven lid, concentrate insert and Pax 3 screens can all be purchased separately, so you do have the option of going with the basic version and getting the add ons later.
Vapour, Taste and Smoothness
The Pax 3 comes with 4 presets that lets you vape to your desired outcome. Each temperature will be indicated by a different colour on the front LED petal dashboard.
Green-360° F / 180° C
Yellow-380° F / 193° C
Orange-400° F / 204° C
Red- 420° F / 215° C
The app will allow you to adjust these settings and enable 1 degree temperature increments. Don’t forget that certain types of cannabinoids will be activated at different temperatures. The two main ones; CBD and THC will be activated at the first setting, so you will be covered there. Read our article ‘What temperature should I vape at’ for a more detailed list of temps and compounds.
Now let’s talk about heating times. This is where the Pax really shines. The device is one of the fastest heat up times in the industry at 15 seconds. To get to the higher temperatures you may have to wait a little longer at 25-30 seconds.
If you are looking for bigger clouds, try the higher settings. Some users have complained about the cloud production, but in my experience this is due to not packing the bowl tight enough or not drawing properly. If you try to hit this draw fast and strong you will overwhelm the device and limit your cloud production. Treat this like a cigar; slow and long pulls. You will notice a big difference when you switch to this method.
The Pax comes with an isolated air path and the mouthpiece and oven are at opposite ends of the unit. What does this mean? It means that you will get a nice smooth, cool draw. As mentioned earlier, you will need to finely grind your herb and pack it down tight to get the best draw resistance, clouds and flavour.
Best vape for beginners
In conclusion, the Pax 3 is a sleek, portable, innovative, easy to use vaporizer that is designed for beginners and frequent users alike. I would recommend this vaporizer for everyone except heavy users or vape connoisseurs. For the starter, you will love the basic kit, but after a few months you will want the extra lids and screens. This will be your best friend for the next 10 years, so I suggest you go for the Complete Kit. Most users will just end up buying it after the fact anyways.
Pax 2 vs. Pax 3
The main competitor of the Pax 3 vaporizer in Canada might just be the Pax 2. So what are the main differences? This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the main differences are the heat up time, battery, app, haptic feedback and finish.
The two main improvements are a decrease in heat up time from 45 seconds to 20 and a lower charge time from 125 minutes to 90 in the newer model.
And of course the Complete Kit can do concentrates and has a half pack lid for quicker sessions.