For those vape users who might consider themselves “long in the tooth” PAX vaporizers represent a shift in the performance capabilities and mainstream acceptance of vaporizers but don’t let their legacy length fool you, PAX vaporizers are still a heavy hitter in the vape industry.
Founded in 2007, PAXLabs (formerly Ploom) set out with the goal of creating a sophisticated portable dry herb vaporizer, simple right? At the time this was a big endeavor, dry herb users didn’t have a truly reliable (or discreet) portable vaporizer at the time, let alone one that could be used in public without drawing too much attention to oneself.
The Iconic PAX Vaporizer Design
The overall design of the PAX hasn’t changed much over the years, and why should it? PAX Labs’ initial idea was inspired by the simplicity of the iPod, a pretty easy connection to make as all PAX vaporizers feature a buttonless design and intuitive controls.
James Monsees, the CEO and Creative Director of PAX Labs, has said that functionality was at the forefront of their mind when designing the first PAX vaporizer:
“Functionality doesn’t just mean that something turns on or heats up or produces vapor. Functionality means that components fit their human interface, that buttons are obvious in their functionality or just plain not there, that knobs and indicators are taken to the absolute level of simplicity and necessity, and all this is done while pushing the bounds of what is possible from an engineering perspective.”
(for more info, check out the full interview with techcrunch.com)
Heating wise, the first PAX vaporizer utilized what at the time was considered cutting edge conduction heating technology. Conduction heating takes place when your dry herb comes in direct contact with the heating element, causing vaporization. PAX has stuck with this style of heating to this day, making constant improvements with each new model.
The first PAX vaporizer was a fantastic template for what was to come. With a firm goal set, PAX Labs released their first product to consumers in 2012 to a fair amount of fanfare, but as with all forms of technology, the people wanted more. Luckily PAX Labs was able to deliver.
The PAX 2: A Stunning Sequel
Released in 2015, the PAX 2 was so well received it was nominated for a 2016 San Francisco Design Award, being cited for its ability to improve on the hardware, software, battery life, and of course its straightforward usage. With new “Lip Sensing Technology” the PAX 2 was able to tell when you were taking a draw and would increase the heater production slowly to keep your temperature consistent. This new tech plus a slimmer size, 30% longer battery life, and an added temperature setting (four instead of three) made the PAX 2 a successful sequel.
So far PAX Labs was a healthy two-for-two when it came to portable dry herb vaporizers. The vape world was abuzz with the discretion and functionality of the PAX 2, but a new trend was emerging: mobile concentrate use. PAX Labs understood they had to develop a new device that was able to keep the same design and usage tenants of the first two PAX vaporizers, while still being able to add features without sacrificing convenience and functionality.
The PAX 3: A Thorough Update
Just over a year after the PAX 2 was released, the PAX 3 was available to consumers. One constant with PAX Labs is their ability to somehow cut turnaround time down, while still making drastic improvements to their devices. The PAX 3 is their most current device and built on the improvement of the PAX 2, and added the ability to vaporize concentrates.
On the outside, the PAX 3 has a smoother, more refined look than the older models. A more ergonomic shape and a durable-yet-soft polished anodized aluminum body make this a comfortable vaporizer while in-hand. Despite the addition of a few more “eye-catching” finishes, the PAX 3 was able to keep the discretion level high for users.
What PAX Improved
Inside of the PAX 3 is where the improvements really come to light. A 3500mAh battery (500 more mAH than the PAX 2) cut down the heat up time of the PAX 3 to just 15 seconds. The quick heat up time allowed for more “on-the-go” enjoyment of materials and resulted in a quick cool down time too.
Always staying current with consumer needs, PAX made the PAX 3 a dual-use portable vaporizer. Now users could enjoy concentrates, and dry herb anytime they wanted. The above-mentioned battery was able to get the PAX 3 to a high enough temperature to efficiently vaporize concentrates with the help of a Concentrate Insert. All users had to do was put their material onto the Concentrate Insert and place it into the PAX 3’s heating chamber.
PAX 3 Heating Profiles
With a new, wider temperaturerange PAX added a companion app to allow for precision temperature control and offered a few different heating profiles, depending on what your session called for. It’s important to note that you don’t *need* a phone to operate the PAX 3, just if you want total temperature control, the other 4 heat settings do a fantastic job on both dry herb and concentrates.
The new heating profiles are Boost Mode, Efficiency Mode, Stealth Mode, and Flavor Mode. Boost Mode keeps the chamber hotter for longer with less cooling, making it ideal for those wanting denser clouds. The Efficiency Mode slowly raises your temperature during use to ensure comprehensive vaporization throughout your session. Stealth Mode cools quicker than any other mode for small, fast draws. PAX’s Flavor Mode only heats your dry herb or concentrate when you’re taking a draw, unleashing the full profile of your material’s flavor.
Two Kit Options
PAX gave consumers two “kits” to choose from with the PAX 3, Complete or Basic. The Basic Kit (HYPERLINK) includes the PAX 3, charger, flat and raised mouthpiece, 10-year warranty, cleaning kit, and the standard oven lid. Pretty comprehensive, with everything you need to vape your materials.
The PAX 3 Complete Kit has everything the Basic Kit does but adds a half-pack oven lid to help mitigate your supply of material, the concentrate insert, extra screens, a multi-tool, and a stylish tweed carrying case. For those that may have already bought the Basic Kit, you can buy a Concentrate Insert separately so as not to miss out on your concentrate use.
What's Next For PAX Labs?
With the success of the PAX 3 consumers are pretty content right now, it was thought to be pretty hard to improve on the PAX 2 but PAX Labs managed to knock their newest vaporizer out of the park. Rumors are swirling that a PAX 4 is in the works, with most of this being attributed to PAX saying 2019 should be a “breakthrough” year for the company, so take that how you will. The vaporizer world moves fast, so don’t be shocked if we see something announced, teased, or previewed by the end of this year.
If you have any of the PAX vaporizers let us know which one is your favorite in the comments!