PAX 2 Vaporizer Review – A Step Above the First?

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When Ploom released the PAX, their excellent PR and Marketing, coupled with it’s sexy, sleek and Apple-esk design made it one of the most coveted units on the market. From steadfast connoisseurs like SneakyPete to mainstream gadget critics like Wired, everyone had something to say. But like any new to market gadget, there are always bugs that need to be worked out. The original PAX was critiqued for a number of factors but Ploom listened to the concerns of consumers and industry leaders alike and released the PAX 2 to improve on their existing model. So, to see if the PAX 2 is a step up and if our first impressions from earlier this year were in line with our testing, read on for the full scoop:

Editors Note: PAX has revealed the all new PAX 3 which is coming soon to a vape shop near you. Check out our preview of this latest update.

Review: PAX 2 Vaporizer

Pax 2 Vaporizer with mouthpiece

Pax 2 Vaporizer heating chamber

How it Works

The heating chamber or ‘oven’ of the PAX 2 is located at the bottom of the unit, closed off by a magnetic lid. Just press an outer edge of the lid and it will pop off. Invert the unit and load the oven. The heating chamber uses conduction heat to vaporize, and so the oven should be fully filled, without over flowing, for maximum efficiency. Then, just pop the magnetic lid back on. To turn the PAX 2 on, simply press the center of the mouthpiece one time. The LED lights, or ‘petals’ as Ploom refers to them as, will begin to pulse purple to indicate the unit is heating up. In less than 60 seconds the petals will turn solid green to indicate the PAX 2 has reached the desired temperature and it’s ready for you to take draws. To change the temperature setting, press down on the mouthpiece for a couple seconds and the unit will enter ‘temperature mode’. Each petal correlates to a temperate setting and when in temperature mode, you can toggle between the settings with a quick press on the mouthpiece. When you’ve chosen your temperature setting and want to exit this mode, either press down on the mouthpiece for a couple seconds or give the PAX 2 a shake! The PAX will enter ‘cool down’ mode after 20 seconds if it does not sense it is being used and will auto-shut off completely after 3 minutes. To shut the PAX 2 off manually, simply press the mouthpiece.

Pax 2 Vaporizer with mouthpiece tucked inTemperature Flexibility

The PAX 2 has 4 pre-set temperature settings. Ploom does not disclose the temperature of each setting, but their customer service team did provide a range: from 360- 420° F ,or 182- 215° C. However, What’s my Vape Temp did some probe testing and provided some valuable insights on this front. Because the PAX uses motion sensors to ensure the heating chamber is not wasting energy, the temperature settings fluctuate. They determined that the first and second temperature settings are within the 355-390° F range ( 179-199° C ) setting 3 settles in at 420° F ( 215° C ) and setting 4 boosts all the way to 447° F ( 230° C) but, after a few seconds, drops down to 425° F ( 218° C ). All in all, these heat settings are not very specific and those who like the option to control their vapor quality through temperature would be fairly disappointed in the lack of flexibility provided by the PAX 2.

To see the full temperature probe test, check out the video below:

 

Pax 2 Vaporizer close up mouthpiece

Vapor Quality

The first few draws of each session with the PAX 2 produce flavourful, smooth vapor. The vapor is visible and both those who prefer to lightly sip or take long draws will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of vapor produced right off the bat. Unfortunately, just after a few draws, the flavour of the vapor changes as the draw resistance increases. We found draw resistance to be a big issue with this unit which greatly affected the vapor quality and overall experience of the unit. This is because the holes in the metal ‘screen’ located at the bottom of the chamber quickly get gummed up and blocked. This is not an issue faced with other better designed heating chambers like the Prima, which we found to have excellent air flow and minimal draw resistance. In addition, because the temperature is partially determined on your draw speed and frequency, the quality of the draws are inconsistent.

Pax 2 Vaporizer removable mouthpieceManufacturing Quality

The manufacturing quality of the PAX 2 is excellent. Not only does the PAX 2 look and feel well made, but Ploom’s use of high quality materials and their attention to detail are impeccable. Ploom was given a lot of flak when the original PAX started being reviewed because of its click-top mouthpiece which got very sticky and required constant lubrication and cleaning. To solve this issue, Ploom’s new mouthpiece is made of food grade silicone and sits flush on the top of the unit with no mechanical parts to move and get stuck. They also provide a traditional style mouthpiece, for those who prefer to draw from something a bit more raised. The vapor pathway is made of medical grade components and the oven is stainless steel, which provides very even vaporization within the chamber. The exterior is also a beautiful brushed anodized aluminum that comes in 4 colors. Furthermore, a really cool feature of the PAX 2 is that it uses an internal accelerometer and lip sensor which detects motion making it a ‘smart’ vaporizer. When the PAX 2 is not in drawn from or moved in 20 seconds the heating chamber begins to cool down to conserve battery life and preserve botanicals. The unit is also backed by a very generous 10 year warranty.

Pax 2 Vaporizer chargingBattery Life

The battery life of the PAX 2 was very interesting to test because of the motion sensors. Depending on how long you draw for, how long you wait between draws, and what temperature setting you are using the PAX 2 on, each session becomes very unique in terms of how much battery is used. The PAX 2 uses an internal, rechargeable 3000 mAh Lithium-ion battery which takes about 3 hours to charge. From our testing, a full charge provided between 50 -90 minutes of use, or between 5-10 sessions. So, the battery is not great by any means but it certainly is an improvement on the original PAX, which capped out at an hour of use. Despite the short battery life, you can easily check how much charge you have left by shaking the PAX 2 and checking the petals.

 Pax 2 Vaporizer size comparison to hand

Portability

The PAX 2 weighs in at 92 grams, which is 10% lighter than the original model, and it is 25% smaller too. Its sleek shape, size and weight make it the ultimate vape to toss in a pocket and take for sessions on the go. In fact, one of our reviewers took the PAX 2 out for a night on the town and it was easily transported and stored in a small clutch purse, which was extremely convenient. The short battery life of the PAX 2 does impact its portability though as you may find yourself looking for a USB outlet to re-charge your unit after just a few sessions.

Pax-2-ease-of-useEase of Use

The one press mouthpiece technology with the PAX 2 makes it very simple to operate. When first using the unit, the LED petals may seem a bit confusing and random but they are actually pretty intuitive: purple means the unit is heating, green means its fully heated and ready for vaping, and blue means it’s entering ‘cool down’ mode to conserve battery. Now although the PAX improved on some of the maintenance issues the first model had, the PAX 2 still requires more cleaning and maintenance than most portable units. The oven gets very dirty, very quickly and the screen at the bottom of the chamber cakes up with residue, further restricting airflow and decreasing the quality of the vapor. Without constant up-keep the oven screen will be near impossible to easily pop out and and it will retain the baked on residue. So, for a unit in this price range, we would have liked it to be much lower maintenance, similar to the Prima Vaporizer which features a removable vapor pathway.

Pax 2 Vaporizer in hand

Discreetness

The physical size, shape and design of the PAX 2 is very discreet. It is small enough to be almost fully concealed in your hand and the new flush mouthpiece design, in comparison to the traditional ‘protruding’ mouthpieces, allows you to sip discreetly. However, a major downside of this unit that does knock down the discreetness factor is the fact the PAX 2 is an odor-heavy unit. Vapor does leak from the bottom and top of the unit and the smell lingers. If you are vaping outside, you would just need to conceal the dense vapor exhales to feel comfortable, but vaping inside discreetly would certainly be a challenge because of the distinct smell produced.

Pax 2 Vaporizer Package Contents

Overall Experience

Overall, we are impressed with the improvements made with the PAX 2. It certainly is smaller, sleeker and smarter than the original model but it is still very expensive. If having a sexy and innovative unit are the most important factors for you in a vaporizer, the PAX 2 fits the bill. However, if you’re looking for much better vapor quality we’d recommend checking out the Crafty, and if a convenient and easy to clean unit is more your style, we’d suggest taking a peek at the newest release from Vapir, the Prima.

 

If you have questions about our PAX 2 review or just want to let us know what you think, feel free to drop us a comment below! Also, don’t forget to follow us on

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8.5 Score

About Author

Milad is a gadget collector and master crafter extraordinaire. He loves taking things apart, marvel comics and 'Iron Man.'

4 Comments

  1. I don’t like my Pax 2 much. It jams up too much in the body and mouthpiece and I have to clean it out too frequently… Loaded well or not, it’s also hard to get many draws with vapor, maybe 2 very small ones per session, trying to get any more is like pulling teeth. #2 setting is too-low heat and #3 setting seems a bit too high, but we can’t change the programmed temps. I like the small size and simplicity very much but still…it’s over-priced by almost exactly $200.00. Knowing what I know now I would not pay over $50 or $60 for it.

    • Hey thanks for the feedback. Sorry to hear you’re having a poor time with your PAX 2! We think they still have some work to do in terms of cleaning and maintenance too, but you’re right, the size and simplicity is great. If you need help picking out a unit that would be less of a hassle, give us a shout and we can chat! :)

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