It has been on the market for several years, yet the PAX 3 remains one of the most reliable portable vaporizers on the market today, with an updated look and a concentrate option that caters to a wide range of users. When the PAX 3 heats up, it vibrates, so you won't miss it. If you like to tinker and customize, you'll love the PAX smartphone app and how many ways you can customize.
The PAX 3 is intuitive, efficient, durable, and produces great vapor. The PAX 3 is an ideal everyday device, and its large herb chamber and great battery life make it a great choice.
The PAX 3 offers a top-shelf experience at a mid-range price, with the option to upgrade to the Complete Kit depending on your vaping style and accessories.
Review of PAX 3: Faster, stronger, better
The PAX 2 was designed with the user experience front and center, and the PAX 3 reinforces that promise. The PAX vaporizer has the same intuitive user interface, a longer battery life with less waste, and an all-in-one form factor that produces dense, pure vapor as previous PAX models.
A full PAX 3 oven can hold about one-third of a gram. You can expect 15-25 draws from a fully loaded oven, making it ideal for extended, on-the-go sessions.
Pocketable and concealable, you can carry it all day and it doesn't look like a vaporizer. It feels good to hold, has a matte aluminum shell, and comes in four colors.
The difference between a complete kit and a basic kit
Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all option, there are two PAX 3 bundles, the Basic Kit at $199 and the Complete Kit at $249. The Basic Kit includes the PAX 3, charger, cleaning kit, and flat and raised mouthpieces. With the Complete Kit, you'll also get a concentrate insert, an extra set of screens, a multi-tool, and a half-pack oven lid for almost $100.
It boils down to two questions: "Do you vape concentrates?" and "Do you ever want to pack less than a full oven?" For us, the answer to both of these questions is yes, which is why we chose the Complete Kit.
Dry extracts can be vaporized
The PAX 3 Complete Kit comes with a dry concentrate insert that slots neatly into the oven. I usually prefer dedicated tools for specific jobs, but I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how well this combo vaporizer performed when trying out some dry extract for this review. If you primarily use dry concentrates, you're probably better off with a dedicated device; however, the PAX 3 is great if you want to spice up your sessions with an occasional dose of dried extracts.
For a comprehensive look at PAX 3 Concentrate Inserts, or for a reliable concentrate-pod vaporizer, check out the PAX Era Pro.
Vapor quality is excellent
It produces dense, high-quality vapor that is smooth and tasty. We tested the PAX 3's production unit, which reached the highest temperature setting in around 30 seconds. The smartphone app allows you to fine-tune the preset heat settings in one-degree increments.
Setting the temperature
180°C / 360°F
193°C / 380°F
204°C / 400°F
215°C / 420°F
In the first two temperatures, you get light vapor, and in the last two, you get thicker clouds and a bit more punch. For high-temperature vapor production, we use setting three at 400° F. Our sessions are usually completed at the highest temperature, and we enjoy the flexible shutoff timer. Instead of a predetermined five minutes, we can settle into sessions at our own pace.
The oven of all PAX vaporizers is as far away as possible from the mouthpiece, at the bottom of the unit. This distance, coupled with the isolated airpath and the flush mouthpiece, keeps the vapor cool extremely well.
Easy to use
A single, hidden button on the mouthpiece controls everything, and the signature "flower petal" lights provide information as you need it.
With one push of the button, it's on. With another, it's off. Need to change the temperature? Just hold the button for a few seconds to enter temperature control mode. We really appreciate this departure from other manufacturers' button clicks.
Four LED lights on the PAX Labs logo indicate everything, from battery level to current temperature, as well as when the device is heating up and is ready to use.
If you don't like pushing buttons, and you want to check the battery life, or exit temperature mode, shake it instead. The PAX 3 also vibrates when it's ready, so you know what's up.
We like this kind of stuff! Conduction vapes cook our herbs even when we don't draw from them (except the Magic Flight Launch Box). As a result, the PAX 3 dynamically adjusts the temperature to conserve herbs and battery life when you are vaping or not by using lip sensing technology and an accelerometer.
After 30 seconds, the PAX 3 will drop its temperature. Pick it up or put it to your lips, and the PAX 3 will boost the temperature to your set temperature on the fly.
After three minutes without moving, the PAX 3 will shut itself down automatically. There's no set timer, so the PAX adapts to your pace rather than dictating it.
This app is awesome
PAX has created a simple solution for all Apple/iOS users. Check it out here. Apple removed all vaporizing apps from its store on November 15th, 2019.
For greater vaporizing options, PAX released a Bluetooth smartphone app. If you connect your PAX 3 to your iPhone or Android, you'll be able to access a multitude of new features. It's a well-equipped app that unlocks a wide variety of features for the PAX 3. You can adjust the temperature in one degree increments, play games on command, lock the device, and customize the lights and haptic feedback.
You can select from four distinct heating profiles in this app: boost, efficiency, stealth and flavor. Boost mode is great for longer and more powerful draws as it reduces cooling time; efficiency mode will gradually raise the temperature throughout your session; stealth mode is ideal if you want to keep a low profile with faster cooling; finally, flavor mode keeps the heat at a minimum but goes up based on your draw - great for an enjoyable flavour experience. Tweak these profiles to suit your preferred vaping style, I find the flavor one particularly nice for chilled out sessions.
The Apple App Store removed all vaporizing apps on November 15th, 2019, including this PAX app. PAX has created a simple workaround for Apple/iPhone users.
Battery life is impressive
In our PAX 3 review, we got on average 90 minutes of vaping time from its 18650, 3500mAh battery. Since there is no timer, and the oven turns on and off as needed for efficiency, it's hard to compare the PAX 3's battery life to other vapes.
The PAX 3 requires no charging after three evenings of use because we like to relax when vaporizing and our sessions can last up to ten minutes at a time. It takes about 90 minutes to charge with the included USB dock. We feel like it has some of the best battery life available. We never worry about running out. It takes about 90 minutes to charge with the included USB dock.
Air path isolated from other air
PAX 3 stays true to its form, with a stainless steel oven and vapor tube leading to a silicone mouthpiece at the other end. In addition to being medical-grade, all the materials used for vaporizing are considered safe. According to PAX, the heating element is a “non-ceramic tuned thin film heater” that is bonded to the oven outside of the vapor path.
We were a little surprised by how well it worked with a tightly packed oven. Many vapes come to a halt when faced with a tight oven, but the PAX 3 didn't.
Pipe cleaners and replacement screens are included in the PAX Maintenance Kit.
Anodized aluminum makes the PAX 3 a durable little vape, so you don't have to worry about throwing it in a bag or a pocket with keys or a phone. It's great for on-the-go sessions and outdoor activities.
After briefly having a polished finish, it is now covered in a high-quality matte finish, which better hides minor scratches and dents.
A suite of unique colors and finishes have been released for the PAX 3 since it was launched. The fall season featured Burgundy, Sage, Sand, and Onyx in matte finishes, followed by an Amber version. They recently released a pair of limited edition, hand dipped finishes. With Ocean Blue showcasing a deep blue finish, Midnight Rain showcases PAX's edgier side with a chaotic, polka dot design.
Warranty of 10 years
With the PAX 3, you'll get one of the best warranties in the vaporizer industry. Pax covers manufacturer defects for 10 years, and has a great track record of taking care of its customers.
To achieve the best results
Although the PAX 3 is one of the smartest portable vapes around, there are still some best practices to follow.
By flipping your grinder upside down and grinding longer than usual, you will be able to grind your material as fine as possible.
Choose the Half-Pack Oven Lid if you want to use less material. Again, this is where you can choose between the Basic Kit and the Complete Kit, which comes with the Half-Pack lid.
Start with a short puff and use gentle draws from there.
To reduce the smell, draw a few times after turning off the unit.
In the original PAX, cleaning was a pain, but with the PAX 3, you only have to clean the oven, the mouthpiece, and the vapor path tube. The included PAX Maintenance Kit includes pipe cleaners and replacement stainless steel screens to keep your vape in prime condition
A comparison of PAX 3 and PAX 2
The PAX 3 keeps the same basic look as the PAX 2, with some added colors and a matte finish. Its battery is much stronger, heating up quickly and lasting just that little bit longer than its predecessor's. And if you go for the Complete Kit, you get a dry concentrate insert too - in our opinion, it really works well. The Basic Kit still brings the haptic feedback and smartphone app feature, but at a more accessible price.
The PAX 3 is greater than the PAX 2
Kit for Concentrates (Complete)
Battery life increased by 15%
Heat up time is faster
A touch more power and efficiency in heating
Customizable smartphone app
Lid for half-packs (Complete Kit)
Feedback via vibration
The difference between matte and brushed finishes
What is the purpose of PAX 3?
A great all-around vape, the PAX 3 can be used every day, and it's also great for at home, where you don't want to be tied to a wall with something that plugs in. It's durable, discreet, and has a long battery life that should satisfy most vapers. Despite the fact that the PAX 3 is a dual-purpose portable vape, I find the dry concentrate insert to be quite effective.
It's simple to pack, easy to use, and consistently does the job without much fuss, even though it has a lot of features.
What is the PAX 3 not for?
While the PAX 3 is a good value at the price point, there are some solid options with the same portability available for less, such as the POTV Starry.
The Firefly 2+ has a lot of tech to make conduction more efficient, but if you're looking for convection heating, the PAX 3 is not for you.
While it works well with concentrates, it is not as powerful as a vape pen. If you need something stronger, check out the Sai wax vaporizer, which is made for loading concentrates as you go.
Can beginners use the PAX 3?
Although the PAX 3 vaporizer is easy to load and use, the controls are baffling without instructions. Once learned, the PAX 3 is one of the easiest vaporizers to use and enjoy, even for beginners.
PAX 3: Is it worth it?
In our opinion, the PAX 3 is a great vaporizer for $200 - $250. But is it worth $50 to $100 more than the PAX 2? Both units use efficient heating technology, make great vapor, and have the same compact, all-in-one design.
The PAX 3 adds haptic feedback, which is almost a standard these days, slightly faster heat up time with a stronger battery, and the smartphone app as a cherry on top. With the Pax 3 Basic Kit, you get all this for $50 more than the PAX 2. The PAX 3 comes with a ten year warranty, compared to two years with the PAX 2.
In addition to the half-pack lid, the dry concentrate insert, the multi-tool, and additional screens, the PAX 3 Complete Kit costs $50 additional. If you plan to purchase the dry concentrate insert, the PAX 3 Complete Kit is immediately cost effective because it comes with over $100 worth of popular accessories.