The Pax is one of the most prolific and most talked about portable vaporizers on the market and the release of its second coming, the Pax 2, has been equally surrounded by hype. With the catch phrase “smaller, smarter, sleeker” the Pax 2 promises better performance, longer battery life, more streamlined operation and a sleeker appearance, with a higher price tag to boot. But does it deliver?
As with any new release, it can be difficult to decipher the hype from the truth. If you’re thinking about buying a Pax or just want to know what all the fuss is about, read our breakdown of the Pax vs Pax 2 to see exactly what changed and how it compares. We’ve broken this comparison down into the three major areas of change to help you see where the Pax 2 stacks up against its predecessor.
The Pax vs. Pax 2
The Pax 2 is 25% smaller and 10% lighter than the original Pax and has a new transverse-brushed finish in vibrant new colour options. Available in Charcoal, Platinum, Topaz or Flare, the Pax 2 outshines the first with its striking good looks.
The Pax 2 features a deeper heating oven and a re-designed mouthpiece. The original Pax mouthpiece had a mechanical spring mechanism that powered the device on and off, and also required users to remove it to access the temperature control button underneath. This created issues with maintenance, as a dirty Pax could lead to problems with the mouthpiece getting stuck inside the unit and rendering it unusable.
The Pax 2 fixed this by completely eliminating the spring mechanism. The power button is now located on top of the mouthpiece and also controls the temperature settings, no longer requiring the user to remove it to operate the device. The re-designed flat mouthpiece sits flush with the top of the unit and makes the Pax 2 extra stealthy and discreet. It works by drawing vapour through two channels as you take a puff. The Pax 2 also includes a raised mouthpiece similar to the one on the original Pax. Both these mouthpieces are said to incorporate new “lip sensing” technology that helps regulate temperature as you draw. They are also made from a soft silicone material rather than the Pax’s original hard plastic, which should keep them cooler with prolonged use. Like the original, the Pax 2 also responds to gestures, such as shaking the device to check battery status. It’s also rumoured there are secret games and a new “party mode” feature for you to discover.
Battery and Charging
The Pax 2 has far superior battery life than the original Pax. Where the first Pax offered users up to one hour of continuous use, the Pax 2 lasts twice as long on a single charge! This is due to it’s higher capacity Lithium Ion battery and also helped by the fact the Pax 2 stops heating when you’re not drawing from it to conserve battery life. For its size, the Pax 2’s two hour battery life is a cut above the competition, especially when compared to high end units like the Crafty which will only provide around 45 minutes of continuous use. The Pax 2 also held on to the original’s lightning fast heating time, taking just under a minute to reach full temperature.
Charging the Pax 2 is also a whole lot more convenient. The original Pax charged via a charging dock attached to an AC adapter, which made it somewhat bulky and awkward, especially in the form of a car charger. Not only that, but the upside down charging also contributed to resin pooling around the mouthpiece and electronics and causing an array of user issues. The Pax 2 charges via a convenient micro USB cable and a new magnetic cradle. Simply lay your Pax 2 flat on top of the cradle and watch it charge. The new charging mechanism is smaller, requires fewer parts, and can be used with an AC adapter or anywhere you can find a USB port. The Pax 2 does take a little longer to charge, taking 2-3 hours as opposed to the original Pax’s 1-2 hours due to its higher capacity battery.
Overall, the Pax 2 seems to perform better than the Pax in a few different aspects.
One issue with the first Pax is a higher than average draw resistance, which can make it difficult to pull from. The Pax 2 feels more free-flowing with a smoother, easier draw and better airflow despite the more closed-off mouthpiece design. The new screen has a deeper scalloped edge around the outside to let more air in when you draw, resulting in a more free-flowing draw. Still, the Pax 2 is not a completely free-flowing device and will provide some resistance, so those users who really like to RIP from their device may still find the draw resistance of the Pax 2 annoying. The Pax really works best with long, slow draws to get the most out of your hits.
Performance is also greatly enhanced by the fact that the Pax 2’s new mouthpiece design eliminates the mechanical click mechanism that powered the original, instead opting to add the power and temperature control button to the actual mouthpiece. This makes it more convenient to use, as you no longer have to remove the mouthpiece to operate the Pax, but it also takes care of a prominent problem area. The mechanical nature of the old Pax mouthpiece lead to issues with sticking when the air path became dirty. Getting rid of the click mechanism lowers the maintenance requirements of the mouthpiece and results in fewer user issues, making for a better experience all around.
The Pax 2 also incorporates what PAX Labs (formerly Ploom) are calling “lip sensing” technology that helps regulate temperature. As you draw, the mouthpiece is said to detect the presence of your lips, prompting the Pax to increase heat in the chamber as you draw to help mitigate any temperature drops caused by air being pulled through the device.
This claim is a little misleading in the way that it’s worded, as it gives the impression that the Pax 2 is continuously heating and simply increases temperature as you take a draw, when in fact the opposite is true. When you’re not actively drawing vapour from the Pax 2, it disengages heat in order to preserve the chamber contents and avoid overheating. When you take a draw, it simply resumes heating again to the selected temperature. This is said to increase the efficiency of the Pax 2, as it conserves your material and yields more even extraction and better vapour results.
The Pax 2 was designed with increased efficiency and better vapour output in mind. While vapour production from the original Pax is decent for a portable of its size, vapour can get hot and harsh towards the end of a session and the quantity of vapour produced seems to taper off after the first few puffs. The Pax 2 aims to provide a smoother, easier draw and slightly better flavour with more consistent vapour production. The new heating oven is narrower but deeper, a change that was made in an effort to increase efficiency for more even vaporization.
The Pax 2’s heating capabilities are better than the original. The way the original heating oven was designed, it was common for the bottom plate to get hotter than the sides or top, which lead to scorching and uneven vaporization. The new, deeper heating oven design means that heat is more evenly distributed throughout the chamber. Because the Pax is primarily a conduction vaporizer, the chamber needs to provide enough surface area for herbs to make even contact with the heated surface. The original Pax’s heating chamber was wide and narrow, and while it did provide considerable surface area some users reported uneven browning of their AVB at the end of a session. To try and remedy this, Pax made the heat chamber narrower but deeper in order to provide more surface for herbs to come into contact with direct heat.
Overall, the Pax 2 is a step above the Pax in terms of style and sophistication. User issues and design flaws have been addressed in a way that aims to make the Pax more accessible, easier to use and more efficient than the first.
Our Rating - Pax original vs. Pax 2 Vaporizer:
So, how would we rate the Pax 2? We’ve given it a score out of 10 in three major categories: portability, maintenance and vapour quality.
Portability: 10/10. The Pax 2 is super small and super discreet. It is ideal for those looking for a stealthy portable unit.
Maintenance: 7/10. The Pax 2 still requires frequent cleaning of the screen and chamber, but the improved mouthpiece makes it easier to maintain than the original.
Vapour Quality: 6/10. Vapour quality is okay for its size, but the Pax 2 is in the same price range as the Crafty and Mighty which produce exceptional vapour, and for half the cost is the Arizer Solo or Air. If vapour quality is your primary concern, the Pax falls short of other portables in its price range.