The Pax 3 Vaporizer is the third iteration of the iconic lifestyle accessory from PAX Labs. Though superficially identical to the Pax 2.
There are a bunch of new smarts inside that iron out functional flaws to create a great vape.
The new model packs in several technical improvements while staying true to its core strengths: elegant look & feel, great ease of use, portability and discreetness, along with superb build. It’s still as lovely but just works better; better airflow, better battery, faster charging, superior flavor and efficiency.
The most noticeable difference is the outer shell of the Pax 3’s highly polished finish. But it’s those small, barely noticed tweaks that make it a great portable; the overall experience is tastier, more efficient
The Pax Vapor App allows you to customize your session with individual temp selections, heating profiles and some fun retro-games.
The ‘Pax 3 Vaporizer’ is Smarter, Shinier, Better
There’s a shiny new Pax 3 Vaporizer in town – always a cause for excitement. Though superficially identical to the Pax 2, there’s a whole bunch of new smarts inside and a few welcome tweaks to the accessories. Have we finally got the Pax we’ve been waiting for, or is it no more than a make-over?
The new Pax is a portable dry herb and concentrate vaporizer, the third iteration of the iconic lifestyle accessory from PAX Labs.
The new model packs in several technical improvements while staying true to its core strengths: elegant look & feel, great ease of use, portability and discreetness, along with superb build and generous warranty.
Making a dramatic entrance
Arriving in the lavish packaging we’ve associated with Pax since it first came on the scene, initially this new model keeps its improvements under wraps.
The most noticeable – even controversial – difference between previous models and the Pax 3 Vaporizer is the outer shell’s finish. Available in Rose Gold, Black, Gold or Silver, the familiar brushed finish has been replaced by a highly polished one – a very challenging 10-step process to manufacture.
While this polished finish is honestly gorgeous out of the box, I do worry about its long-term durability. After a couple of weeks’ careful use, mostly at home, mine (Silver) has already picked up a small scuff-mark, several fine scratches, and every use leaves fingerprints.
Some might say choosing a challenging process for a finish that isn’t as durable as previous models is a step backwards. However, I applaud PAX Labs’ ambition to stretch the envelope of what can be done with its iconic shell. Maybe add an 11th step to the process?
That said, there are a lot of third party Pax sticker skins (including clear ones), plastic/rubber skins, and also various soft and hard cases that offer options if you wanted to keep the finish immaculate.
Changes at a glance
The main changes from the Pax 2 include a new concentrate insert, an upgraded battery, haptic feedback or vibration alert, and the new Pax Vapor app that gives full control over the heat spectrum.
Battery Specs, Life and Charging
The new battery boosts capacity from 3000 mAh to 3500 mAh, lowering heat up times from around 45 seconds down to around 15 and giving roughly 17% more capacity. Testing with a full charge, I’ve been getting 5-10 bowls depending on each session’s length or around 100 minutes of heated run-time in total.
The Pax 3 Vaporizer comes with the same magnetic USB charging cradle as used by the Pax 2. It’s not the strongest magnet and you’ll need an elastic band to keep the unit/charging dock together if you plan on charging on the go. As a rule of thumb, bank on about 1.5 hours of use from the same amount of time in the USB charger cradle.
The chamber and bowl size remain the same on the Pax 3. The biggest addition with the new Pax 3 Vaporizer is that instead of getting one lid you now get three: the original chamber lid for a full-size oven, a new half-pack lid and a new concentrate insert.
The Half-Pack lid has greatly improved the single user experience, and it also reduces draw resistance noticeably. When vaping alone I found myself gravitating to the half-pack. Not just for the draw; it also holds just the right amount of herb for a single user session.
I have found that I can pack roughly 0.15-0.2 grams of dry herb into the oven when using the half-pack lid depending on the coarseness grind. With the standard lid, the oven will hold 0.3-0.4 grams.
Pax Labs does seem to listen carefully to user feedback, and adding a concentrate option to address this trend in portable vaporizer use is a result of that.
With the concentrate insert, I have found less is more; performance drops and it needs cleaning more frequently if you over-load it.
I’ve had no leaks or mess and a small amount goes a long way. While you’ll not get the huge lungful you would achieve with a rig or heated coil pen, the taste and vapor smoothness are more than decent.
Size, portability and build quality
The new Pax 3 Vaporizer has the same physical dimensions as the Pax 2 with a slight weight increase of 3 grams, plus the top and bottom edges are slightly sharper.
This continuity is most welcome; the size, weight distribution, and overall feel of the Pax have always been part of its appeal. It sits well in the hand with a nice solid feel, even weight distribution and no rattles or loose parts. It also means all accessories for the Pax 2 will also work for the Pax 3.
Pax vaporizers have always felt very strong and durable, and the new 3 is backed up by a 10-year warranty and a good reputation for reliability. Even the key-chain multi-tool that comes with it is sleek and elegantly designed.
One of the main gripes about the Pax 2 was that the raised mouthpiece would get too hot on the lips, and I’m happy to report that a slight design modification has fixed this problem.
The choice between flat and raised mouthpiece is now a question of aesthetics and stealth, not functionality. I found myself toggling between the two.
Heating, Vapor Path, and Temp Options
Another big improvement is the quick heat up time. The Pax 2 takes about 45-60 seconds to heat up – easily beaten by a lot of newer vapes, But the 3 puts Pax back in the game, reaching maximum temperature in around 15 seconds.
There are still faster vapes if you’re looking for an on-demand portable that heats up for each individual draw instead of heating the whole oven for a full session. But it’s much improved and makes the Pax 3 one of the fastest portable conduction session vapes available.
The stainless steel vapor path remains the same as the Pax 2 only, as mentioned, generating less draw resistance with the Half-Pack lid.
Return of the petal
As with previous models, all interface information is delivered by the four-petal LED on the Pax’s side. There are four heat settings:
- Green LED (360 F/182 C, 16 second pre-heat time)
- Yellow LEDs (380 F/193 C, 16 second pre-heat time)
- Orange LEDs (400 F/204 C ,17 second pre-heat time)
- Red LEDs (420 F/215 C, 18 second pre-heat time)
Bear in mind that the lip sensing boosts temps by around 9F, so when you are set at temp 4 (420 F) it will actually peak at ~429F with lip sensing activated.
One minor upgrade to the Pax 3 Vaporizer is the addition of haptic feedback or vibration alert. A feature increasingly common with newer vapes, the vibration on the Pax 3 is minimal but noticeable, like a polite cough from a butler. No obnoxious honking!
Cleaning and Maintenance
The draw resistance builds up after 8-10 bowls as the screen starts to clog around the edges. That’s when you’ll want to pop it out for a quick cleaning session, wiping out the bowl and the underside of the mouthpiece as well.
More infrequently, you’ll need to do a full cleaning, wetting a supplied pipe cleaner with isopropyl alcohol and sliding it through the vapor path; clean out the oven (especially around the vapor path entrance), and give the mouthpiece a good wipe down.
Overall the Pax 3 cleaning is easy and straightforward although you do need to stay on top of it to keep performance its best.
Okay, we’ve found a flaw
The concentrate insert does a good job of keeping all the liquid contained so I have not had to do any extra cleaning inside the oven itself. The insert itself is easy to clean; just slide the stainless steel canister away from the plastic lid and drop it into some iso. Soak, rinse and dry, and it looks brand new.
The insert has a tiny seal on it, but this came off and didn’t want to go back on after just a few uses. There’s a spare, which broke soon after and the whole business of fiddling about with it was my only real gripe with this modification. That said, there is little to no leakage without it, but it seems like a needless weak point in an otherwise meticulous design.
Conclusion: just better all round
I’m really impressed with the upgrades on the Pax 3. It’s definitely not a “new” vaporizer as far as design and aesthetics, but internally Pax Labs made some great improvements.
If the “features upgrade” don’t exactly change the world, it’s the small, barely noticed tweaks that make it a great portable. The overall experience is tastier, more efficient, and less finicky.
If you’re aware of the Pax lineage, there’s no single “wow” about the Pax 3. It’s still as lovely but just works better; better airflow, better battery, faster charging, superior flavor and efficiency.
The Pax 3 Vaporizer highlights how compromised the Pax 2 was in quality – flavor and battery were sacrificed somewhat in order to stick to its form factor. The Pax 3 is a quality device that doesn’t feel like it had to make many sacrifices.
The Pax 3 is the third iteration of the iconic lifestyle accessory from PAX Labs. Though superficially identical to the Pax 2, there are a bunch of new smarts inside that iron out functional flaws to create a great vape.
Bonus content: Using the Pax App
The Pax Vapor App allows you to customize your session with individual temp selections and different heating profiles. It also brings a few fun retro-games.
Once downloaded from your phone’s app store, enable Bluetooth on your phone and when the app prompts you, simply shake your Pax 3 to pair it with your phone.
Click the menu button in the top right of the screen to access the Pax Store and Help, and name your device, before you tap on the Pax image and get to the dashboard.
Here you can select a heating profile, see the current temperature of your oven and change it by 1 or 5 degree increments, and check the battery level.
The Pax 3 has an accelerometer and a lip sensor and they get put to great use in the five heating profiles: Standard, Boost, Efficiency, Stealth and Flavor.
- Standard is the default mode for the Pax 3 (and what the Pax 2 used all the time). It cools down the oven when you aren’t using it and heats it back up when you pick it up or raise it to your lips.
- Boost mode keeps the oven hotter for longer with less auto cooling. Good if you want a faster session, for creating denser clouds, or if you’re using it with a water pipe adapter.
- Efficiency mode ramps up the oven temperature throughout your session until it reaches max temp. Great if you like to step through the temps and want the vape to do the work for you.
- Stealth mode dims the lights and auto-cools quicker, thereby reducing any odor, and allows for stealthier, quick hits.
Flavor mode is all about taste preservation and only heating your herbs when you are drawing. Use this mode if you value flavor and vapor smoothness over vapor density.
The Settings Tab allows you to tweak little details like the color and brightness of the petal lights. You can also lock your Pax so others can’t use it, and set vibration feedback to be soft, strong or completely off.
Also in the Settings Tab are the games that Pax has always used to give their vapes a little personality:
- Paxrun is a Pacman-like chaser, where you run from the red light to an empty slot.
- Paxsays is classic Simon Says.
- Paxspin is like spin the bottle: spin the vape and let your Pax decide who gets the next hit!
Note that you don’t need a phone or the app to effectively operate the Pax 3; you can change temps via the power button located at the top just like you would with a Pax or Pax 2.
The application only adds additional function and customization.
Pax Labs are already on Version 3 of the app, and promise more exciting changes over the next 6 months. There are also firmware upgrades planned that you will get through the app, to improve lighting, heating, battery, and enabling new features and games on the app.