For decades people searched for a discreet vaporizing device that would allow them to enjoy their weed and that they could hide away in their pockets. The PAX finally arrived 10 years ago and it transformed the cannabis world. It was so successful that the manufacturer, PAX Labs (originally known as Ploom) released a newer version, PAX 2 which had new features and was even smaller than the original. Today, we will be looking into the PAX 3 to see just how much better it is than the second release.
I ordered it not too long ago and I am expecting it to arrive any time now so that I can see just how good it is. It comes in black, rose gold and silver and I chose a black piece that is quite shiny. Just to compare, this piece makes the PAX 2 look like it has a matte finish. It is important to note that the price of the PAX 2 has currently dropped to $200 but before you rush off and buy read this review to the end.
Immediately it arrives I notice just how shiny it is. Although it looks a lot like the PAX 2 it comes with additional attachments one of them which allows for vaping of concentrates – I am really looking forward to trying this out. Another pleasant surprise is that it comes with an app that allows you to customize temperatures through your smartphone – this really is the future. It also comes with games to keep you occupied, an exciting feature but since you are reading this to learn more about the vaping experience let us get on with it!
One thing that I didn’t like about the PAX 2 was that to get a good vaping session you have to pack it full of herb. The PAX 3 takes care of this problem because it comes with a half-pack oven, thus a smaller chamber meaning that you use less herb. This is great because a fully packed chamber is way too much for a single vaping session – my stash will last longer with this new device. But does this affect the quality of the vape?
PAX 3 with Dry Herb
I can say that the experience is very much like what you would get with the PAX 2 but better because I use only half the herb. The PAX 2 needs a bowl’s worth which is too much even for experienced vapers like myself. It also has better efficiency – almost nothing goes to waste. The taste is great – very much like the PAX 2. You will have a much better taste if you vape flowers instead of leaves because you will taste all the tarpene profiles and you can even tell different weed strains apart just from their taste. In fact, many people will tell you that once you vape flowers you will never want to vape leaves again.
In case you are wondering about the settings on my PAX 3, I started at the 2nd lowest temp setting and then cranked it up from there. If I decide to have a long session I will stir the flowers in the chamber and increase the temperature gradually to the 3rd setting and higher if need be. You will know that the vaping session is coming to an end because the flavor starts to taper off. You can stop there or you can fill your chamber again and have another go – any PAX can go for several sessions at a go.
When I compare my experience of vaping dry herb using PAX 2 and PAX 3, I find that I prefer the PAX 3 because I have better control over the temperature settings and I use less herb. The rest is otherwise the same – both give a smooth and steady stream.
PAX 3 with Concentrates
As I mentioned at the beginning, I have really been looking forward to using concentrates on my new PAX 3. I will load it up with a tiny amount of wax into the concentrates chamber and see just how good this new additional feature is. The one thing I notice about the concentrates chamber is that unlike the herb chamber which sits smug inside the device this one sticks out from the bottom. Not to worry though, I’m sure the manufacturer thought things through.
So my wax is in the chamber; the instructions say that for concentrates you should turn the temperature to the highest setting so that is what I have done. I can already smell that something is happening so it is time to take a puff and see what we get. Wow! It is very much like you would get with dry herb – nice, smooth drags of vapor without the clouds that you would get with wax vape pens that have coils such as Kandypen.
The experience itself is remarkable – I can feel the effects slowly getting hold of me and going deep without taking over. There is no burning in the throat from angry clouds and I haven’t come across a baby hit or a ghost hit so far. I can tell that this device is designed for those who are looking to enjoy the flavor of different concentrates so feel free to try it on a variety of new ones. Don’t be shy to experiment either. I haven’t choked once – it’s been smooth all the way. I am impressed with the way the way the temperature burns through the concentrate.
The PAX 3 is impressive in the way it burns both dry herb and wax – the experience is very much the same. Regardless of whatever you vape it is smooth and lasting with nothing going to waste. Using a vape pen I get 3 or 4 hits with a tiny piece of wax but with the PAX 3, I managed to keep going for 15 minutes. I can see that my concentrates will last a lot longer but I must say that after a while the device does heat up.
Cleaning the concentrates chamber is pretty easy. I recommend that you vape as much wax as possible before you pull out the chamber and soak it in alcohol for a couple of minutes and the rinse. It will clean out quite well regardless of how messy it is.
Red light, green light…
One of the reasons why people loved the PAX was it allowed for stop-and-go vaping – you could load, vape, put it down and get back to it an hour or two later, stir and keep vaping. The only problem with this is that herb tends to get sticky just sitting there, but you can avoid this if you use concentrated instead – they will sit well and when you get back to them your session will be as smooth as if you had never stopped. You can do this multiple times without affecting the quality of your vaping sessions.
Pax vapor app
The PAX 3 app is really cool – it connects through Bluetooth and you only have to connect it once. It has been called the iPod of vaporizers because of all the cool features that it has – you can even name your PAX 3. It allows you to dial your preferred temperature to the device and you can vape in different modes: Boost, Flavor, Stealth, and Efficiency.
Boost: Automatic cooling is reduced (be warned that your device can get quite hot if you choose this setting).
Stealth: Allows lights to dim and cooling is increased for vaping diehards.
Efficiency: Allows temperature to increase gradually.
Flavor: Provides extra heating to maximize on flavor.
The app also has a Haptics feature that makes the vaporizer vibrate once it is ready to be used. You can turn it to medium or high using the app. There are a few other features that will be made public once the PAX 3 is available in the market.
PAX 3 vs. PAX 2
We have mentioned several times that the PAX 3 and PAX 2 are quite similar but there are some differences. The first one I notice is that the PAX 3 heats up a little faster. Also, the air path may be bigger since the draw feels a little bit looser. When it comes to vapor production, however, these two models are pretty much the same. The other thing I noticed while cleaning out the PAX 3 after my session was how evenly cooked the herb was – all of it was a uniform golden brown color, almost like it had been stuck in an oven.
As for appearances, the PAX 3 and PAX 2 are very similar in height and width. The manufacturer says that the PAX 3 has a better battery life but I cannot say that I have noticed much of a difference. The oven is more powerful than the PAX 2 but that has a drawback – it does tend to get rather hot.
What I like about the PAX 3
• Great battery life
• Half-pack option
• Vaporizes dry herb and waxy concentrates
• Very portable and discrete
• 10-year warranty
• Bluetooth app
• Multiple modes
• Easy to maintain and clean
• Compatible with PAX 2 charger
What I don’t like
• The manufacturer could have included a pass-thru charging function.
• The concentrates chamber sticks out at the bottom instead of fitting snugly in the device. It doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of vaping experience but would have made for a better-looking piece.
• The concentrates chamber is made up of tiny, little parts which are probably what make it get quite heated up during extended vaping sessions.
• The whole device gets hot after a long vaping session.
• I don’t much like the fingerprint magnet finish.
• Compared to other vaporizers it is pricey, but keep in mind that the manufacturer has lowered the price point recently.
You already spent $300 on a PAX 2, should you be looking to buy the PAX 3? I am an experienced vaper myself and I would say that if you have the money you should go ahead and buy one – it is worth every dime you will spend on it. If you don’t already have a PAX and are looking to get more out of your vaping sessions then save up and buy yourself the PAX 3. Not only will you enjoy vaping more, you will use less herb or concentrate with each session, saving money in the long term.
If you are only looking to vape concentrates I would say that you should probably wait – it is quite likely that the manufacturer will release an oven as an accessory sooner or later. The app also makes this device worthwhile – you can control your temperature settings easily and the different vaping modes allow for a variety of experiences.
You will also love just how portable this vaporizer is – it packs away quite nicely, and because you use less herb and concentrate you won’t have much to carry around.
If money is really an issue (it can be because the PAX 3 is not cheap) don’t give up. PAX Labs has lowered the price of the PAX 2. True, it doesn’t have an oven for concentrates but you can easily buy a half-pack oven on the PAX website for less than $15.
In all, I highly recommend this vaporizer to anyone who can afford it. It is expensive but the experience you will get with it is definitely worth it. PAX Labs have made long lasting vaporizers in the past and I don’t expect this to be any different. Keep in mind that if you want to make the most of it, you should be looking to vape flowers and not leaves – it brings out the flavors in a very unique and exciting way. Shop for different strains for a variety of vaping experiences.