We already compared the Crafty and the original Ploom Pax (watch the original here) but if you haven’t seen it we’ll give you a spoiler – the Crafty won. Is the new and improved PAX 2 good enough to win the fight this time around? The Crafty vs PAX 2 in the ultimate showdown.
Watch the Crafty vs PAX 2 comparison on YouTube:
The Crafty vs PAX 2:
Unlike other small portables which may initially produce big clouds that thin after a few draws, the Crafty keeps on powering. Even at lower temperatures, the Crafty produces plentiful clouds of vapour draw after draw.
Vapour from the PAX 2 is surprisingly good. It produces better results than the original. The oven size and different heating mechanism make it less efficient than the Crafty, but it is still a powerful performer.
The PAX 2 produces great, clean tasting vapour. Vapour does tend to thin after a few draws and can be hot or harsh at hotter temperature settings. Hot vapour is typical of smaller portables like the PAX 2, but the Crafty’s cooling unit helps to limit this and keep hits comfortable and smooth.
Overall, we definitely think the Crafty produces better vapour than the PAX 2. It has superior efficiency, better cooling capacity and produces more consistent vapour quality time after time.
The Crafty provides roughly 30 – 45 minutes of use per charge. While you can use it plugged into power, it will continue to deplete at a slower rate. This is one of the big drawbacks of the Crafty, and the reason why many customers eventually upgrade to its bigger sibling the Mighty.
The PAX 2 has a very impressive battery life for its size. Although it is smaller, it is powered by a higher capacity battery than the original Ploom Pax. Where you can expect maybe 2-4 uses out of the Crafty, the PAX 2 will deliver a whopping 5-6 sessions per charge*.
It seems in this category, the PAX 2 has the Crafty beat.
*Vaporizer battery life depends on temperature settings, draw speed and user technique. Please be aware that these are estimates only and actual results may vary. You can read more about vaporizer battery life here.
The PAX 2 is quite a bit smaller than the Crafty and also has a more discreet appearance. With the flat mouthpiece, the PAX 2 looks like some kind of obscure mp3 player or similar gadget. It really is a device that gives nothing away. If you’re looking for a tiny, discreet portable vaporizer, it doesn’t get much better than the Pax 2. On the other hand, the Crafty manages to be just as portable with better vapour quality.
The Crafty is wider and bulkier than the PAX 2, although it is still discreet enough not to draw attention. The convenient micro-USB charging makes it easy to charge the Crafty anywhere you can find a USB port or wall adapter. If you’re planning to be out with your Crafty for long period of time, bringing your charger along is a must to accommodate the limited battery life.
The PAX 2 is also very reliable in our experience and is backed by a 10 year warranty. In comparison, the Crafty is covered under warranty for two years.
The Crafty has a totally different aesthetic to the PAX 2, going for more of a rugged feel than a sleek and professional finish. The Crafty is made of high grade heat resistant plastic designed to stand up to rigorous conditions. All things considered, it’s definitely a well made product, however some known issues like cracking around the heat chamber, charging issues and other small problems dampen its performance in this category.
The PAX 2 wins this round for its reliable operation and sophisticated design.
Ease of Use
The PAX 2 has four pre-set temperature settings that can be accessed by holding down the power button, then pressing again to cycle through the four settings. It also responds to gestures such as shaking the unit to initiate heating and check the battery life. The four LED lights on the front are colour coded to tell you what’s happening.
The Crafty also uses a single button and comes pre-set with only two temperature settings. However, these settings can be adjusted to your specific preferences using the free smartphone app. The Crafty connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth, allowing total control. Via the app you can control the temperature, LED lights, vibration settings and more. The app is quite simple to use, but in our experience you will find yourself tinkering with it much less over time.
We declare this round a draw. If you want something simple and functional, the PAX 2 is a great option. If you prefer to have total control over your experience, then the Crafty will be more suitable.
The original Ploom Pax was notoriously high maintenance. The old spring-loaded mouthpiece was known to get stuck inside the unit, and needed to be regularly cleaned and lubricated to keep the unit functioning.
The new PAX 2 design has fixed this issue, but the unit still needs to be cleaned fairly regularly. A simple pipe cleaner and some Isopropyl alcohol is all you will need to clean your PAX 2. The air path in particular needs to be scrubbed frequently.
However, in terms of replacement parts the PAX 2 is pretty cheap to keep running. The bottom screen is a drilled plate rather than a mesh screen like the Crafty’s, so should not wear out or fray too much over time. As long as you keep your PAX 2 clean, you shouldn’t have to replace components too frequently.
The Crafty has more parts to clean and replace, however is pretty average in terms of cleaning and maintenance. The herb chamber, cooling unit and top screen can be wiped down with some alcohol every few uses, and the entire cooling unit taken apart and soaked every few weeks.
The Crafty’s screens and liquid pads do tend to clog up quickly, and the cooling unit can attract quite a bit of residue. You can expect to buy replacement screens, liquid pads, O-rings and cooling units every so often.
TIP: To keep the Crafty’s cooling unit cleaner, place the mesh liquid pad on top of your herbs every session.
So, which one would we recommend?
We’re surprised to say that this time we think the PAX 2 is the superior unit!
If you need something small and discreet for frequent use, there is no better option than the PAX 2. It has more simple operation, better battery life and a more durable outer casing. All things considered, we have found it to be one of the most reliable portables on the market. However, if you absolutely refuse to sacrifice vapour quality for a smaller unit, the Crafty is still an excellent choice.