PAX 2 vs PAX 3
The PAX 2 was a major improvement to an already impressive product. The mouthpiece was simplified, the design streamlined, and the heating and vapor channel improved to a new standard that made it worth the upgrade for owners of the original.
Improvements in hand, the PAX 3 added concentrate support, an improved heating element, and Bluetooth for a connected smartphone app. There are now several models to consider at a wide range of price points, so the PAX 2 vs PAX 3 matchup is more of a fair fight than you might think.
The PAX 2 is an amazing value at $149, while the new PAX 3 Basic Kit is just $199 with the nice new tech. The PAX 3 Complete Kit is more of a stretch at $249 but considering you get over $100 worth of accessories compared to the basic kit, it's a great value.
PAX 3 Complete Kit or Basic
There are now two different PAX 3 accessory sets, the Complete Kit and Basic Kit. The Basic Kit includes a cleaning kit, charger, and the flat and raised mouthpieces, all for $199.99. For an extra $50, the Complete Kit also includes the concentrate insert, a half-pack lid, an extra pack of screens, and a tweed carrying case.
The concentrate insert alone sells for $50, so if you plan on picking one up, the PAX 3 Complete Kit is a much better value.
A More Versatile PAX
While PAX has always done a bang-up job with herbs, the previous models never tried to break into the world of concentrates. Now, the PAX 3 Complete Kit includes a concentrate insert, which allows you to crank the temperature and enjoy your favorite extracts on the go.
That’s not the only included accessory either. Both units pack in a charging cable and dock, and two mouthpieces -- flat and raised. The PAX 3 Complete Kit also tosses in a half pack oven lid with a taller insert, allowing you to keep a tight bowl without filling the oven all the way, plus a few extra screens. There’s a small multi-tool on a keychain for stirring and turning as well. That's right around $40 of, in my book, essential accessories included with the PAX 3 Complete Kit.
PAX 3 Heats Up Faster
Having spent time with both devices, the most striking distance is by far the heating speed. The PAX 2 is by no means a slouch, which makes the PAX 3 even more impressive. The new model goes from ice cold to the third heat setting, an optimum vaping temperature, in around 30 seconds, depending on the battery’s current charge level, almost twice as fast as the PAX 2.
After the initial heat up, The PAX 3 gets back up to temperature within around five seconds between inhales, making it an efficient session vape. With the PAX 2 you had to wait almost twice as long to get back up to vaporization temperature between draws.
That’s a seriously fast heating time for portable, herbal vaporizers. It’s good news not just in terms of discretion and ease of use, but also in terms of efficiency. Faster heating means the materials in your oven spend less time hot, so more goes in, and less goes out into the air.
A More Durable Finish
While finish might seem like a purely aesthetic choice, it’s important to remember that portable vaporizers spend a lot of time in your pocket with keys and change, and are prone to being dropped. The brushed finish on the PAX 2 means minor dents and scratches could go unnoticed. Even a well-loved one could pass for a like-new model, under the right light.
The PAX 3’s updated matte finish should provide a surface that hides some of the wear and tear of everyday life. You may still put a dent in it if it drops, but minor scratches and dings will hide under the elegant finish.
Two Different Warranties
Warranty becomes a major difference when it comes to the PAX 2 vs PAX 3. The PAX 2’s ten year warranty has been cut down to just two, a much more standard offering at the price point. We’ve found the PAX vaporizers generally durable and issue-free for some time, but if you want the extra warranty length, the $199.99 PAX 3 Basic Kit includes the original ten year warranty, along with the other improvements.
Apart from the new heating element, there are convenience updates as well. The PAX 3 now vibrates at you when you start it up, and then again when it’s ready to vape. It’s a nice touch that helps avoid you having to look down at the light to see whether it’s ready to go.
PAX 3 Has an App
The PAX 3 also has Bluetooth LE, allowing it to connect to your smartphone wirelessly. The PAX Vapor app allows you to tweak settings, control the device, and trigger games or special modes at the touch of a button. It also allows for firmware updates to the PAX 3, so if PAX Vapor rolls out new modes or games, you’ll be able to take advantage.
The game-changing updates that drew PAX owners to the PAX 2, allowing them to stop buying lubricant for their mouthpieces, are more significant than what we saw this time around. Apart from a few minor functional differences, the PAX 2 and PAX 3 are remarkably similar. The third iteration improves on the second’s offering with a much faster heat rate, and a connected app plus the option for concentrates. Where the pavement meets the road is really the price.
If you often find yourself wanting a way to vaporize concentrates, the PAX 3 Complete is worth the extra bucks, if you want the latest tech but are a dry herb only kind of vaporist then the PAX 3 Basic Kit is for you. The PAX 2 is still an awesome, budget-friendly option for the loose leaf purist, who doesn’t need the frills.