When I heard that the manufacturer was releasing the Pax 2 vaporizer, I wondered why the company felt it necessary to improve what was one of the best (and most popular) vaporizers on the market. Sure, the original Pax has a couple of minor drawbacks, but it was still an outstanding unit. Once I tried the Pax 2, however, I understood the logic behind the upgrade. All of the little issues with the original have been corrected, new functionality has been added, the good features of the original have been retained and the Pax 2 can truly be considered "new and improved."
Compared to the original, the Pax 2 is 10 percent lighter and has a body that is 25 percent smaller. The oven is 20 percent deeper to provide more efficient heating even though it is slightly smaller overall than the chamber on the original. Battery life has been improved; the original has a battery good for about five sessions, but seven to eight full sessions is normal for the Pax 2. This is a longer battery life than any other portable vaporizer I have ever tried.
The biggest complaint about the original Pax was the necessity to clean it frequently to keep the mouthpiece from sticking and causing a malfunction. If the mouthpiece stuck, the unit would either fail or heat or refuse to activate. To add insult to injury, you had to remove the temp button to handle the cleaning. The engineers moved the temp button on the Pax 2, eliminating the need to remove it for cleaning, and they did away with the mouthpiece's mechanical action to prevent sticking, thus reducing the frequent cleanings. Cleaning is basically reduced to swabbing the mouthpiece occasionally and cleaning out the oven after 10 or so days of consecutive use; depending on the type of medicine used, the fineness of its grain and your vaping habits, you might need to clean your unit a little more often.
The Pax 2 is one of the most user-friendly vaporizers on the market. All you need to do is pack your medicine into the bottom chamber and replace the magnetic lid. (The lid holds extremely well, so you need not stress about waste.) Select your ideal temperature by holding down the same button that turns on the unit; there are four temperature settings, ranging from 360 to 420 degrees Fahrenheit. The color or combination of colors shown in the LED display tell you at a glance which temperature has been selected. For example, a single yellow light indicates the lowest temperature, while all four lights indicate the highest. In 60 to 90 seconds, the unit will reach vaping heat, and the display turns green.
Now for the really cool part — the Pax 2 features motion and lip sensing technology. It will go into stand-by mode when the unit detects that you are not actively involved with it. The motion sensor helps extend battery life while conserving your dry herbs. The lip sensor detects whether your lips are absent and stops heating the herbs until your lips signal the unit to resume. (The unit will reduce the temperature by 9 degrees Fahrenheit for every 20 seconds that it senses that your lips are absent.) This also helps prevent overheating of the vapor, which can be uncomfortable for the delicate skin around the mouth area.
The shell is made from anodized aluminum for durability. This material is tough as well as scratch-resistant, so you never need to feel like you have to "baby" your unit to preserve its appearance. The Pax 2 is available in four elegant colors: charcoal black, platinum silver, topaz (aqua) and flame (red).
Who Should Buy the Pax 2?
After trying the Pax 2, I came to the conclusion that it is among the top portable vaporizers on the market. It is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a quality unit that will offer years of dependable service. (Did I mention that there is a 10-year warranty on the Pax 2? You won't find many manufacturers of portable vaporizers offering a comparable warranty.)
The Pax 2 is also a great choice for those who want a vaporizer that is simple to use, such as those who new to vaporizers or who have limited manual dexterity. Operation is highly intuitive, which is great because no one wants to have to pull out the owner's manual repeatedly to operate a vaporizer. With this unit, just read through the instructions once and you will probably never need to look at them again to operate your vaporizer.
This portable vaporizer is also an excellent choice for people who need to get the most out of their herbs. The oven offers even heating and efficient vaporization. The motion and lip-sensing features help reduce waste as well. (Here's a neat trick: Add a 3/4-inch pipe screen in the oven to let you use less medicine in the chamber for a session, increasing efficiency without reducing your vape experience.) The lip sensor makes this unit especially suitable for "sippers" although "rippers" will find that it produces more than enough vapor.
- Unit Dimensions (in inches): 0.85 x 1.21 x 3.87 (depth, width, height)
- Oven Dimensions (in millimeters): 10 x 8.6 x 18.5
- Battery: Lithium ion
- Charging Options: Battery can be recharged using AC wall adapter or USB connection.
- Recharge Time: Between two and three hours
- Construction (Exterior) — transverse brushed anodized aluminum
- Construction (Oven) — Stainless steel
- Construction (Vapor Path) — All medical-grade materials
- Heating Element: Thin-film Kapton heater flex
- Heat Time: From less than 60 seconds up to 90 seconds
- Shell Colors: Flame, Topaz, Platinum, Charcoal
- Warranty: 10 years for the PAX 2
- Comes with two mouthpieces, a packing tool, cleaning kit, built-in battery and USB charger as well as complete instructions
Pros and Cons
- Battery life is superior to most other portable vaporizers.
- Very fast heat time.
- Cleaning (when required) is fast and easy; mouthpiece can be swabbed down in as little as two seconds
- Vapor quality is very good on the PAX 2, especially for a conduction vape.
- Has four temperature settings, but they are preset, meaning you do not have infinite adjustments
- Magnetic USB charging dock included for easy, secure recharging of battery
- Streamlined space-saving design; sleek, elegant, compact design is great for travel and is small enough to fit in your pocket or purse
- Party mode offers a fun social experience by providing a miniature "light show," courtesy of the LED lights, and "Easter Eggs" can be found
- on some units that let you play Simon and other games
- Extremely simple user interface; one-button operation
- Priced at approximately $280, but worth its price in our opinion
- Intelligent engineering (such as the internal motion sensor and standby mode) helps optimize amount of medicine consumed
- Ergonomically designed mouthpiece with lip sensor for efficiency
- Only top-quality materials used in construction
- 10-year warranty
- Unit contains some plastic parts, and although some people feel that this affects the quality of the medicine's taste, others ( including me) did not notice any impact on the flavor
- Those who prefer really big draws might find the vapor produced to be less than perfect for their sessions
Overall, I feel that the Pax 2 portable vaporizer is well worth its cost. Sure, you can find cheaper portable vaporizers, and you can find vaporizers that have some of the features of the Pax 2. What you won't find (at least at the moment) is a vaporizer that has all of the functionality of the Pax 2, a 10-year warranty, the sleek, compact styling, and excellent vape and lip and motion sensors in one ergonomic, elegant vaporizer. If you want a stealthy, high-quality, top-performing portable unit, this may well be the ideal vaporizer for you.