Design and Features
The Volcano Hybrid has the familiar pyramid design of the previous Volcano models, which is fine because it worked really well for them then and it still works now. However, there have been significant upgrades that make it a more 21st-century product. The most noticeable is the new touch interface that replaces the buttons, dials, and knobs of previous models. It gives the Hybrid a nice smooth look though it does lack the feedback that you get from buttons and knobs. It is made from metal like the previous Volcano models which means that it is very durable.
The Hybrid is the most complex of the three vapes here because it has two different inhalation methods: a bag and a whip. That also makes it the most flexible and versatile vaporizer here. Adding to the flexibility, versatility, and yes, complexity, of the Hybrid are its two app-controlled modes, iterations and workflows. Both of them allow you to use the app to set custom heating and inhalation schedules. They allow you to create interesting profiles that provide varying levels of flavor and potency. It sounds complicated but the app makes it easy for you to experiment.
The Mighty, like the Volcano Hybrid, is made by Storz & Bickel and it features their customary high quality. It might not seem like it would at first because it is made of hard plastic, but that plastic is very durable so your Mighty will last for a very long time. The plastic housing has a finned design that dissipates heat and keeps the Mighty cool. Another great design feature is the swiveling mouthpiece; it can be conveniently folded away and when it is extended and it feels good when inhaling from it.
The Mighty has analog controls and a digital display so that you have precise temperature control. It is the only one of the three vapes here that doesn’t have a smartphone app, but it doesn’t need one. That gives it more user-friendliness and convenience because you don’t need a second device to access any of its features. The Mighty is the most old-school vape here, which proves that sometimes the old school is the best school.
The Pax 3 is one of the more stylish vapes on the market thanks to its minimalist design. Like the Volcano Hybrid, it eschews any buttons or knobs so that the device maintains a smooth surface. Unlike the Hybrid, the Pax 3 doesn’t have a touch interface. Instead, you either move the Pax 3 around or press down on the mouthpiece to control most of its functions. However, the Pax 3 has a lot of functions and you need the smartphone app to control many of them. That includes the various heating profiles—called dynamic modes, plus you can use the app to customize the user interface.
The Pax 3 is made from anodized aluminum that looks great and is pretty durable to boot. The minimalism of the Pax 3 design extends to the display, which just consists of four petals on its face. Those petals convey a surprising amount of information but they aren’t as intuitive as a regular digital display. When it comes to accessories, the Pax 3 is more maximalist because it has a lot of them. The kit includes two different mouthpieces and three different ovens, which is more than you see in most vaporizers, even in this price range.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The Hybrid is pretty easy to clean because you just need to worry about the screen and filling chamber. Both of them can be easily cleaned using the included cleaning brush to dust off any residue. As for the balloons and tubes, they need to be replaced, rather than cleaned, when they get too dirty to use. On the one hand, their disposability makes them maintenance-free, but on the other hand, you do need to purchase new vaping accessories every few weeks. That adds an additional cost to the already expensive Hybrid, one that the other vapes here don’t have to worry about.
The Mighty is the easiest vape of the three to maintain. In fact, it barely requires any maintenance at all. You only need to clean the oven chamber, which is quick and easy with the included cleaning brush. You also need to clean the cooling unit, which includes the mouthpiece, every few weeks. But if even that minimal amount of cleaning is too much for you, then you can replace the entire cooling unit instead, which is pretty inexpensive.
The Pax 3 is the most labor-intensive of the three devices here. That is because the mouthpiece, vapor path, and oven all need to be cleaned individually. Doing so requires a wide set of materials that includes cleaning wipes, pipe cleaners, and more. You don’t have to clean the Pax 3 too often, but when you do, it’s best if you set aside some time to do it.
Longevity and Reliability
The Hybrid is the newest vaporizer here so I can’t tell you how long it will last just yet, but if the previous Volcano models are any indication, it will be a very long time. That is because those older models still function perfectly, and since the Hybrid has the same basic design as them, it’s a safe bet to expect the same.
Warranty – 3 years
The Mighty is the oldest vape here and it is still going strong after all these years. It may not have the flash of the various dry herb vaporizers that came after it, but it can beat any of them when it comes to durability.
Warranty – 2 years
The Pax 3 is made from anodized aluminum so it’s a pretty tough little device. It has been out for a while and it still works as well as it did when it was new. So, you’ll never have to worry that it will crap out on you after using it a few times. Plus, that lengthy warranty should give you some security.
Warranty – 10 years
Battery and Charging
The Hybrid doesn’t use a battery so it’s exempt from this category.
The Mighty has one of the longest-lasting batteries of any handheld as it’s capable of lasting for nearly two and a half hours, few other handhelds come close. Even better is the fact that it charges up in only ninety minutes, and having the vaping time last longer than the charge time is always a great ratio.
The Pax 3 can last for ninety minutes, which is about the average for vaporizers this size, and that is good enough for close to ten sessions. Recharge time is also about ninety minutes, which, again, is about average for vaporizers this size. The Pax 3 has a pretty solid battery life, but it can’t match the bigger Mighty.
The Hybrid easily has the best vapor quality of the three vaporizers here, granted it does have a few advantages over them. For one, the fact that it is a desktop means that it is a lot more powerful than they are. It also has a convection/conduction hybrid heating system that vapes the herb to perfection. There are also the delivery methods since both whips and balloons provide cool, flavorful vapor. You certainly can’t discount the smartphone app, which gives users the option of using iterations or workflows to minutely customize the vaping experience to a degree the other two vapes here cannot match. All of those qualities mean that the Hybrid is untouchable when it comes to vapor quality.
The Mighty has excellent vapor quality because it too uses a hybrid conduction/convection heating system. It produces nice-tasting vapor and decent clouds as well. Accessing that vapor is simple too because of the low draw resistance, and best of all, the flavor stays consistent the whole time that you’re vaping. Overall, the Mighty has some of the best vapor quality out of all handheld vaporizers.
The vapor quality of the Pax 3 is quite good, at least for the first couple of draws. The flavor tends to trail off as you vape, which means the last few hits aren’t as good as the first few. The ability to choose from various heating profiles is a nice touch but it doesn’t affect the vapor quality in any huge game-changing way. Also, the mouthpiece and vapor can get a little warm after extended use. The Pax 3 provides nice vapor for a portable but it’s at the back of the pack in this tough crowd.