James Monsees and Adam Bowen released the Pax dry herb vape in 2012. Since then, it has received numerous upgrades in 2015 and 2016. Pax 3 is the latest iteration, which retains the original model’s elegant and straightforward design while improving its overall performance and functionality.
If you’ve been using a Pax vaporizer before, you pretty much have an idea of how Pax 3 works. For those who haven’t, the Pax 3 has its stainless steel oven underneath the device, which can hold 0.3g of herbs, and you can reduce the oven size in half by changing the ‘oven lid.’
It has four preset temperatures, which are indicated by petal-like LED lights, and it has an impressive 3500 mAh battery that’s on par with bigger and advanced vapes. Finally, it features a smartphone app that unlocks the full potential of the Pax 3 since it allows users to customize the Pax 3 further and activate one of the ‘heating modes’.
What’s In The Box
Pax 3 is available from Pax Labs for $199 and includes the following:
- Oven Lid (Full Oven)
- Mouthpieces (Flat & Raised)
- Cleaning Kit
- Magnetic Charging Dock – This is a useful feature since you can snap the Pax 3 onto the charging dock to charge it. Keep in mind that if you lose the charger somewhere, you have no way of charging the vaporizer. With that being said, I prefer USB-C chargers over proprietary chargers since it makes finding a replacement charger is easier.
If you purchase the complete kit ($249 from Pax Labs), you’ll get additional accessories:
- Concentrate Insert – You can put this into the oven to vape extracts. However, I don’t recommend it since the temperature won’t be enough to vape the wax efficiently. So if you want to vape extracts, just buy a vape pen.
- Multi-Tool – You can use this tool to pack, empty, and clean the oven.
- Oven Lid (Half Oven)
- Replacement Screens
Design & Features
Pax 3 looks like a futuristic gadget that you expect to find in the Apple store, for example. It’s made of anodized aluminum with a curvy rectangular-shaped body and comes in a lovely glossy finish. It measures around 4″ tall, and it feels solid and fits comfortably in my hand.
There are no buttons, and only the signature petal lights stand out in the design. These petal lights indicate the battery life as well as the current temperature setting. On the back, it has magnetic connections for charging the device. In short, Pax 3 is simply elegant and doesn’t sacrifice functionality.
The silicone mouthpiece sits on top of the device and comes in two form-
- Flat Mouthpiece: This preserves the stealthy shape of the Pax 3. However, it feels awkward to use since my lips are around the mouthpiece and the side of the device, which sometimes gets dirty or warm, especially on back-to-back intense sessions.
- Raised mouthpiece: This feels more comfortable and natural to use since my lips only touch the tip. Generally, I prefer using the straw-like mouthpieces from Mighty or Utillian 722 since it’s easier to clean/maintain, and also it helped keep the vapor cool.
The Pax 3 has a stainless steel oven that heats up in just under a minute. It can hold up to 0.3g of dry herbs, and if you purchase the complete kit, it includes a Half-Oven Lid that reduces the bowl size in half.
The half-oven lid is suitable for ‘microdosing’ since you don’t need to put a lot of herbs to take a couple of hits. Remember that once you start vaping, the herb in the oven is no longer reusable, so having an option for a full or half-oven is pretty convenient and efficient.
I also like how the oven was placed underneath the device since it allows the Pax 3 to have an ‘isolated vapor path.’ It means that the vapor that travels through the mouthpiece and into your lungs is away from any electrical circuits that might affect the purity of the vapor. With that being said, the vapor you inhale is safe and clean when using the Pax 3.
The Pax 3 is pretty straightforward and intuitive to use without having to use the smartphone app. But in the app, you can tweak things like:
- Default Color – You can change the default color into either Blue, Yellow & Red. The default is green.
- LED Brightness – If the LED light is too bright for you, you can tweak the light’s intensity.
- Lock Function – You can lock the device remotely by activating it in the app.
- Haptic Feedback – You can turn it off completely or change it into either medium or high setting.
The most important feature of the app is the ‘dynamic modes’, which provide different heating options:
- Standard Mode – This is recommended for first-time vapers. It will boost the oven’s temperature by 5 degrees as you take your draw to help maintain the temperature and then drop back down until you draw again.
- Flavor Mode – The flavor mode has a faster temperature increase and quicker cool-down that preserves more flavor in the vapor.
- Boost Mode – This heating mode ramps up the temperature so fast and cools down more slowly. This works great for a quick session.
- Stealth Mode – This mode dims the light of the petal lights, and it produces less vapor and odor. This is suitable for low-profile vaping.
- Efficiency Mode – This mode will increase your oven temperature by 1° over the length of each session. This is a great way to save battery life.
How To Use
Pax 3 is simple and intuitive to use. You can use it without using the smartphone app by:
- (Recommended) Grind the herbs with a good quality grinder like SLX Grinder V2.5.
- Detach the chamber underneath the device and fill it with herbs.
- (Optional) Put the Raised Mouthpiece.
- Turn on the device by pressing down the center of the mouthpiece.
- To change the temperature, press the mouthpiece for two seconds and click it once to cycle through the preset temperatures, then shake the device.
- Wait for the device to reach the desired temperature, which is indicated by the LED interface and a vibration.
- Inhale from the mouthpiece.
Temperature Settings: There are four preset temperatures, which are indicated by the petal-style LED Light. These temperatures can be adjusted by using the app, but the defaults are as follow: Green: 360°F | Yellow: 380°F | Orange: 400°F | Red: 420°F. You can also set a 5th temperature, which you can precisely set from 360°F-420°F.
Haptic Feedback: When the vaporizer reaches the desired temperature and is ready to vape, the device vibrates.
Lip Sensing Technology: The Pax 3 is capable of knowing whether you want to take back-to-back draws or take a long steady drag. It will make real-time adjustments to suit your vaping style.
Cleaning and Maintenance
After every session, you must empty the chamber to keep it running in the optimum condition. If you don’t, then the chamber gets gunked up with residue, and it’ll make cleaning more difficult the longer you put it off.
Every 10-15 sessions, you need to clean it thoroughly-
- To clean the mouthpiece, you need to remove it by sliding the multi-tool and gently lifting the piece out. If you don’t have the multi-tool (available on the complete kit), you can use your fingernail to lift it out. To clean it, you can dip it in soapy water or Isopropyl alcohol.
- Use a pipe cleaner to push out the oven screen and clean the path by back and forth motion.
- Wipe down the oven screen with a q-tip dipped in Isopropyl alcohol. You can also submerge it in alcohol if needed.
- Clean the oven chamber with an alcohol wipe and remove the stains from the chamber as best as possible. Leave the chamber, mouthpiece, and screen to dry before putting it in the device since excess moisture can potentially damage the Pax 3.
Tips For Using Pax 3
These are some few tricks to use the Pax 3:
- Get a Good Grinder – All dry herb vapes benefit from finely-ground herb since it makes it easier for you to load the herbs in the oven and allows the herbs to be vaped more efficiently because of the large surface area.
- Use the Half-Oven Lid For Solo Session: The Pax 3 is excellent for group sessions since it can fit up to 0.3g, which is pretty large. With the lid, the oven capacity is only 0.15g-0.20g, which is recommended for most solo vapers.
- Stealth Mode For Low-Key Vaping – As mentioned above, the stealth mode from the smartphone app produces less vapor and speeds up the cool-down time, which is great, especially if you want to sneak a session whether you’re in a party or gathering.
- Use The Raised Mouthpiece – The raised mouthpiece feels much better to use since you can actually wrap your lips around it. It also makes you take bigger draws easily, which is the case when using the flat mouthpiece.
Performance & Vapor Quality
Pax 3 performs impressively well, considering its size. It can heat 0.3g of herbs within 30 seconds, which pars with bigger vapes. The draw resistance depends on how tightly you pack your oven, and after the session, the herbs are brown and crispy, which means the herbs were efficiently vaped.
However, it shares the same flaw with smaller vapes- the mouthpiece and the unit gets warm at the end of the session. This is the drawback of opting for portable vapes since there’s no way the heat can disperse properly.
I use the app to set the temperature to 390°F and activate the ‘flavor mode’. In this way, I’ll get tasty light vapor for a couple of hits and get thick and a little warm vapor towards the end of the session. If you don’t want to use the app, you can simply set the 2nd lowest temperature and get a similarly-good result. Overall, the Pax 3 produces excellent vapor but not as good as some bigger premium dry herb vapes.
Battery Performance: The battery life is something you wouldn’t expect from this vape. It packs a 3500mAh battery and lasts up to an hour or two of casual vaping, which equates to 7-9 good sessions. It charges relatively quickly too, and it’ll take around 90 minutes when it’s fully drained. Also, Pax Labs offers a 10-year warranty, so if your Pax 3 suddenly stopped working, you can get a quick replacement.
Pax 3 has an improved battery life, a smartphone app, and a more refined interface while maintaining the minimalistic and sleek design from its predecessor. This is the dry herb vape that I’d likely bring whenever I’m traveling out of town or across the country. It’s durable, convenient, discreet, and simply gets the job done without much fuss.
If you prioritize size & portability, this is one of the prime choices out there. However, if you usually vape at home and prioritize vapor quality above anything else, I recommend you opt for larger and advanced vapes such as the Crafty+ or the Zeus Arc GT.