PAX 3: Ultimate Guide & Review
PAX 3 is all about dual function vaping. Take a peek into our personal experience with the device that’s gained the reputation of “flawless vape.” To shake off the bias of excitement that surrounds opening any new package the day it hits your doorstep, I gave this device eight months of regular use before writing this review. This way we can talk about where you’re most likely to find a clog; how long the battery really lasts (in lifestyles, not numerical jargon); and the biggest question of them all--would you buy it all over again?
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Now let’s dig into this device:
The PAX collection first gained momentum as the best dry herb vaporizer that wasn’t a full-sized desktop vape. PAX 2 started making appearances as the go-to vape on all our favorite TV characters. The K-Pax movie may have come out too soon, but I think we can all agree Jeff Bridges would have had a PAX in-hand if they had released The Big Lebowski in 2017.
There are quite a few upgrades to the PAX 3:
If I could go back and save myself a lot of money, I’d wait till vaporizers had reached this league of vape technology before entering the scene. Long-lasting dry herb delivery and concentrate compatibility make the PAX 3 a worth-it purchase.
PAX 3 Technical Specs:
SIZE: 4” tall, ⅞” thick (palm-sized)
POWER: 3500 mAh battery (8-10 full sessions, re-ups in 2 hours)
MATERIAL: concentrate and dry herb (separate inserts)
TEMPERATURE: 4 manual presets; 60+ via app
HEAT UP TIME: 22 seconds
SMART TECH: Android and OS bluetooth app
MADE OF: Aluminum and stainless steel
CHARGER: USB with small magnetic dock
WARRANTY: 10-year warranty
BASIC KIT PRICE: $199.99
COMPLETE KIT PRICE: $249.99
The PAX 3 Complete Kit includes:
- Main Device (Battery)
- Magnetic USB Charger
- Concentrate Oven Insert (slides into dry herb chamber)
- 2 Mouthpieces - one flat, one lipped
- Large Oven Lid for low, half-packed loose leaf loads
- Regular Oven Lid for full loose leaf load
- 2 Extra Oven Screens
- Loading Tool Keychain
- Cleaning Tools: 10 Fiber Pipe Cleaners, 1 Wire Pipe Cleaner
- Carrying Case Sleeve
** BASIC KIT DOES NOT DO CONCENTRATES **
The Basic Kit includes:
- NO Concentrate Insert!
- Main Device (battery)
- Magnetic USB Charger
- 2 Mouthpieces: 1 Flat, 1 Lipped
- Cleaning Tools: 10 Fiber Pipe Cleaners, 1 Wire Pipe Cleaner
- PAX Sticker
- Android/iOS app
UNBOXING THE PAX 3
The device comes in a small padded box with a starter manual that largely directs you to PAX for more in-depth info. It took about a day to lock the art of manual use into muscle memory.
Definitely get to know your PAX before heading out on an adventure -- especially if you like to be discreet.
It’s easy to do...
How Turn On PAX 3 Manually:
To turn on PAX 3 tap once downward with your index finger on the center of the mouthpiece. It should feel like pushing a button, not tapping a touch screen.
How to Turn Off PAX 3 Manually:
How to Turn Off PAX 3: Click button once, the same way you turned it on.
One Yellow Petal = Low, 360*F. Best for loose leaf.
Two Orange Petals = Med-Low, 380*F.
Three Orange Petals = Med-High, 400*F.
Four Red Petals = High, 420*F. Best for concentrates.
Change PAX 3 Temperature Manually:
- Hold ON/OFF button 1-2 seconds to enter Temp Set Mode.
- Click same button click through four manual temperature options.
- Hold button 2 more seconds to tell your device to start heating to the temperature you’ve selected.
Heating Up Light Colors:
Purple means it’s heating up.
Green means you’re good to go!
Check Battery Manually:
Give it a shake to find out how much battery is left.
Green means full battery
Yellow means partially full
Red means low battery
I was pleasantly surprised with how long the battery lasts. Especially using it most often for concentrates at high temperatures. Bluetooth use drains the battery faster.
Play Games Manually:
Play games including PAXrun, PAXsays, and PAXspin. To start PAX 3 game mode: hold horizontally, then roll three times.
(Or on Android/iOS app)
Check out the full games guide to get to know PAX's games. They're a memory making activity as you beat each level with the help of your friends.
I wouldn't play games with the concentrate insert. When wax melts into oil, it can drip through your airpath if held horizontally.
After a lot of Googling “PAX 3 won’t turn on” advice that did not apply, I discovered the smartphone app was holding my device hostage. After opening the box I downloaded the Android app which then required an update. I got impatient partway through the update and cancelled for manual use. Suddenly clicking the button did not turn it on; the PAX wouldn’t light up when charging. Finally, after completing the update, the device returned to peak performance!
If your PAX 3 won’t turn on and the light won’t turn on even while charging -- make sure your app is running smoothly. (Troubleshooters with the same issue unrelated to the app, pushed the charging nodes into place with a toothpick-type tool.)
Now that you grasp the power a smartphone app wields, it’s time to break down what the PAX app can do.
PAX VAPOR iPHONE APP:
PAX VAPOR ANDROID APP:
Sync Your Smartphone:
- Turn on bluetooth and location settings.
- Download app and complete any necessary upgrades.
- Click “Getting Started.” Or open sidebar menu, choose “ADD A PAX.”
- Click PAX 3.
- Turn on your PAX by pressing the mouthpiece.
- Shake your device from side to side until the lights turn blue.
You’re connected! You’ve just stepped into the future of vape technology. Welcome, it’s pretty wonderful here.
The main screen should now show a vaporizer with “Connected” written beneath it. This page reads “Connected” (rather than “Disconnected”) any time you tap the mouthpiece to turn on the PAX.
Tap the picture to reveal a full range of options.
What can you do with the PAX app?
- Watch the temperature climb in real-time.
- Get a precise battery life read.
- Swipe left or right to change temperate modes quickly.
- Slide sideways over colored circle to adjust in 5-degree increments.
- Slide vertically on the temperature selection to adjust by 1 degree.
- Adjust vibration notifications.
- Click the gear in the top right corner for full customization.
PAX 3 LIGHT COLOR KEY:
Full White = Charging.
Full Blue = Connecting to bluetooth.
Purple Slowly Flashing = Heating up.
Four Green Petals = Green means go! Your device is ready to use.
One Green Petal = Low temperature.
Two Yellow Petals = Medium-Low temperature.
Three Red Petals = Medium-High temperature or partially full battery.
Four Red Petals = High temperature or low battery.
Top Left Petal Blinking Red 3 Times = Empty battery.
Seemingly Nonsensical Rainbows Flashing = you’ve started playing a game.
It all becomes intuitive quickly; the same way clicking through temps goes straight to muscle memory. Vibrations help you keep tabs on what’s going on, too.
PAX 3 WITH CONCENTRATES
PAX by Ploom has been well-known as one of the best dry herb vaporizers since its first generation. Each edition fine tunes the dry herb experience a little further. PAX 3 COMPLETE KIT has levelled up to dual function with the new addition of a concentrate insert.
If you're looking for a knockout concentrate cloud: get yourself a dab rig.
PAX 3 is best for complementing a productive daily routine. Which is no surprise with the "modern enthusiast" as PAX's target audience.
Warning: If you go too long (heavy loads, lots of rips) without a q-tip and some isopropyl, the concentrate insert will stick. You can get replacement inserts or just keep a cool glass jar of q-tips nearby.
That said, nearly one year later I continue to use PAX 3's concentrate oven regularly.
It's great for those who want a streamlined concentrate routine -- without the hassle of a torch and pipe.
PAX's "sip it don't rip it" motto holds strong here. Don't get over excited by how fast this vape heats to concentrate-high temps; you don't want to clog your airway with sticky extracts. This goes for all concentrate vapes.
The user manual instructs users to pair the PAX 3 with a “very small amount of a waxy or buttery consistency.” Approximately the size of a lentil, is PAX’s exact comparison.
Concentrates flourish at a high temp or the “Efficiency Mode” meant for extracts on the app.
In my experience, I was able to load enough to last me a few puffs after work every couple hours without reloading for the night. I wouldn’t say the PAX is comparable to the power of concentrate rigs, which may be one of my favorite features. It’s a sophisticated design for a sophisticated user. If it’s Friday night and you’re looking to go all out, a dab rig or desktop vaporizer is still probably the best option.
A lot people immediately notice that the concentrate insert doesn’t look like it’s popped in all the way. This spaced-out crevice is actually intentional. Concentrates get sticky, and the extra leverage makes it easier to remove.
I did find the PAX was less portable with concentrates. You can carry dry herb anywhere without a hitch. But I worry that tilting it would spill hot oil into the vapor path and clog it up.
Left to Right: Standard Oven Lid, Half-Pack Oven Lid, Concentrate Oven Insert
PAX 3 WITH DRY HERB:
PAX 3's built-in loose leaf chamber holds 0.35 grams of ground material. As with all dry herb vaporizers, you'll want to pair it with a quality grinder to stop clogs and ensure consistent, even heating.
The Complete Kit includes an extra oven lid for half-packed loads of dry herb for optimal performance.
Overall, PAX 3 is great at keeping combustion at bay. Combustion tends to be the high-risk factor in lesser vaporizers, turning vapor into smoke. Just be sure to stick to lower temps for loose leaf -- the higher temps are meant for concentrates.
CLEANING PAX 3:
Ideally, clean your PAX 3 every 2-3 sessions. Especially if you like concentrates. The manual shows users how to clean a PAX 3 vaporizer:
Soak metal lid in isopropyl alcohol and use pipe cleaners to detail inside of chamber. If worn, replace the red O-ring with one of the extras included.
Would I hand over the cash for this device? Yep, yep, yep. At long last, vape tech has reached the big leagues! This is my new go-to for concentrates around the house, and dry herbs when I’m headed out and about.
- SHOP PAX 3 -