The original Pax was released in 2012 by two friends, James Monsees and Adam Bowen, that we’re looking for a high-tech way to consume tobacco. Since then, PAX was crowned by many to be “the iPhone of vaporizers”, setting up a high brand reputation.
Pax is a US-based company, and many engineers at Pax Labs came from companies in the Tech industry, like IBM and Foxconn (that manufacture some of Apple devices).
Since the original Pax, two more iterations have been released, keeping the same general form and significantly improving its functionality in each release.
The latest iteration, PAX 3, was released in 2016, and since then has been a dominant player in the industry. It introduced “never-before” features, such as Smartphone app, Haptic feedback, and a “half-packed” oven. All while keeping a very small and sleek package.
Pax also raised the value as the prices went down significantly over the years – while PAX 2 was sold for $280, the PAX 3 can be found today for less than $200 (for the basic kit).
Kit & Accessories:
Pax 3 is available as a “Device Only” or a “Complete Kit”
The device only ($199 from Pax Vapor) includes everything that you need in order to vape dry herb:
- Pax 3 vaporizer
- Oven lid (full oven)
- Two mouthpieces, flat and raised
- Maintenance/cleaning kit
- Magnetic charging dock
And the Compete kit ($249 from Pax Vapor) adds:
- Concentrate insert- to use with extracts
- Extra lid (half oven)- allows to pack the oven with half the amount of herbs
- Multi tool- to pack, empty, clean the oven
- 3 Replacement screens
Compatibility: The Pax 3 is compatible with dry herbs, as well as with extracts using the Concentrate Insert.
Pax 3 mouthpiece options:
The kit comes with two mouthpieces- Flat and Raised.
- The flat mouthpiece sits flush with the top of the device and preserves the sleek and simple shape of the Pax 3. But I found that it feels a little awkward to use. Your lip is around the mouthpiece and the side of the device, which sometimes gets dirty or warm.
- The raised one feels a little better, as your lips only touch the silicone mouthpiece. But in general, I’m not a big fan of this style of mouthpieces. I prefer the straw style mouthpieces (such as the Mighty’s or Solo 2), they are easier to use and tend to result in a cooler vapor.
Pax 3 comes with 2 Dry Herb oven lids: full-oven and half-oven.
- With the full-oven lid, you can fit around .35 gram of dry herb in the oven
- The half-oven lid reduces that by half, so between .15-.20g. I really like having the half oven option, If I just want to take a couple of hits and not use a lot of herbs. With most vaporizers (Pax included), you can NOT split an oven into multiple sessions. Once you start vaping, the herb in the oven is no longer reusable. So having an option for a full or half oven is very convenient and efficient.
The full kit also comes with a Concentrate lid, which can be used with extract. Although I found that the pax 3 does not do well with extracts, and gets dirty and sticky. Using extracts means more maintenance and cleaning. I highly recommend buying a vape pen for your extracts and separating them from your main dry herb vape.
Magnetic charging dock:
The Pax 3 snaps into charge just by sliding it over the charger. This is a very convenient feature but it has one drawback: if you lose/ forget the charger somewhere, you have no way of charging your Pax. I personally prefer micro USB chargers over propietery chargers such as Pax’s. It makes finding a charger easier, as they are available everywhere.
Design & Features:
Pax 3 Design:
Simple but stylish is the best way to describe the Pax 3. It’s just under four inches tall and shaped like a rounded rectangle. It feels good in the hand and slips easily into a pocket, purse or backpack.
There are no buttons on its surface to interfere with the minimalist design. All you see in its sleek appearance are the iconic and informative petal lights on the front, and the magnetic connections on the back.
Build Quality: The Pax 3 is made from anodized aluminum that’s feels solid and dense. It comes in two styles: Glossy and Matte. The drawback of the glossy finish is that it is a fingerprint magnet. The newly introduced line of matte solves that problem.
Other Notable Features:
- Lip sensing technology: Pax 3 knows whether you take back-to-back draws or if you take a long time between draws. The vaporizer will make real-time adjustments to work most efficiently with your vaping style.
- Haptic feedback: The vaporizer will indicate your status by vibrating. For example, when it’s reached temperature and is ready to vape (or you stare at the petal lights to find out when it’s time).
How to use:
- Grind your herbs and fill the chamber
- Turn the device on by pressing down once in the center of the mouthpiece.
- Select a temperature (see below).
- Wait for the device to reach desired temperature, indicated by the LED interface and a vibration. Slowly inhale through the mouthpiece.
View the full user manual.
Temperature options: With the smartphone app, Pax 3 can adjust to any temperature between 360F and 420F.
Without the app, you can press the mouthpiece for two-seconds to enter temperature settings mode, and click it once to cycle through 4 levels indicated by the LED. Exit temp mode by pressing down the mouthpiece (or by shaking the device).
- Empty and clean the oven at the end of every session. It’ll make cleaning easier and keep your Pax 3 in good shape.
- Check out our Pax 3 Tips & Tricks.
- Not getting enough vapor? Here are 7 dry herb vaping tips to up your game and get more from your dry weed.
- Wondering how to know when to replace herb in the oven? This article will explain everything you need to know.
Pax 3 smartphone app
The app allows you to name your Pax 3, customize its user interface, & lock it to prevent anyone else from using it. Plus, it also has video tutorials, live temperature display, and control over the dynamic modes.
The dynamic modes provide different temperature options:
- Standard Mode – a balanced mode for first time vapers.
- Boost Mode – temperature increases faster and cools down more slowly. Great for quickie sessions.
- Flavor Mode – faster temp increase and faster cooldown increases flavor preservation.
- Stealth Mode – great for low profile vapers because it produces less vapor and odor, speeds up cooldown times, and dims the LED lights.
- Efficiency Mode – the oven temperature increases by 1° over the length of each session. Great for saving battery life.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Cleaning the Pax 3 can be an involved process compared to other vapes. Here is why-
You need to clean the three main parts- the mouthpiece, oven, and vapor path. The process will include alcohol wipes, pipe cleaners (which Pax includes in the kit) and other accessories. Now, sure, you don’t need to do that after every use, but every 10-15 uses, you’ll want to give it a good clean.
Vapes such as the Crafty, Mighty, or Solo 2 have a much “maintenance free” design. The mouthpiece is the vapor path. And with Solo 2 it’s also the oven. You can read the individual reviews for more info, but basically they are much easier to clean/maintain.
Performance & Vapor Quality:
Pax 3 performs great for it’s size. The heat up time was around 15-20 seconds, but good vapor only started coming 30 seconds later. Towards the end of the session the vape usually gets a little warm, which is typical in smaller vapes.
The Pax 3 is known as one of the standard-setters of the vaping industry, and in some respects, it lives up to that reputation. The first couple of hits are usually amazing, and then the flavor and vapor quality slowly degrade. Towards the end of the session, the vapor becomes a little warm. Overall it produces good tasting vapor, but not as good as the vapes such as Mighty. But hey, Pax is a fifth the Mighty’s size.
3500mAh (up from 3000mAh in the Pax 2). In my tests, I got about 7-9 sessions on each battery, each session lasting around 10 minutes. This is a total of around 80-90 minutes of use which is very impressive considering the size of the Pax. The battery life is better than I expected.
PAX 3 maintains the brand tradition and offers a great value that can now be found for less than $200. The full-oven / half-oven feature is a cool characteristic we would love to see in more devices as well.
PAX 3 shares the same common issue as other small devices; the heat has nowhere to disperse, and at the end of sessions the unit and the mouthpiece get warm. There are a bunch of silicone sleeves on Amazon that help isolate your fingers as the device gets warm.
The raised mouthpiece is my favorite, because it is doing a better job isolating your mouth from the device, and the flat one felt a little awkward since you need to put your lips on the vape itself.
If size & portability aren’t big factors for you I would recommend going for larger units like the Arizer Air 2 (Review | Buy) or the Crafty+ / Mighty (Review | Buy). But if you are vaping out-of-the-house, in restaurants, concerts, or wherever outside, the PAX 3 is by far one of the best options out there.
Are we expected to see a PAX 4 soon?
PAX 4 is definitely due, and I’m surprised it hasn’t been released already. I wish we’d see it soon with improved features like wireless Qi charging, improved mouthpiece, obviously a longer-lasting battery and faster heat up time. Until then, PAX 3 is still one of our favorites, still staring in 2020 best-sellers and best portable vaporizers lists.