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pax 2 vape review

PAX 2 Vaporizer / Titan 2 Review – The Good, The Bad, The Hidden

Specifications

  • Released: March 2015
  • Manufactured By: PAX Labs, Inc.
  • Manufactured In: China
  • Designed In: California
  • Designed For:
    • Dry Herb

See all specifications

Most people are familiar with [or have at least heard of] PAX — and for good reason. The San Francisco-based startup found jaw-dropping success in 2007 when they released the original PAX as one of the first portable, dry-leaf vaporizers of its kind.

In a Fortune interview last year, the company boasted about how it generates more than half a million unit sales per year, a number they now claim is significantly understated when compared to their current sales numbers. PAX made headlines again in June 2015, when the vaporization tech company raised $46 million for overseas expansion and product development. Since the announcement, PAX has used its money and influence to be a trendsetter in the marketplace by releasing highly sought after products including an update to the original PAX vaporizer, as well as a new, compact e-cig known as the JUUL vaporizer.

Part of PAX’s popularity stems from the fact that its vaporizers — which are marketed as tobacco products — can also be used for cannabis. Vaporization is clearly the superior alternative to smoking herbs, as vaping at a safe temperature provides the plant’s medicinal compounds without the negative side effects of smoke [carcinogens and other unhealthy chemicals]. More and more people are making the healthy decision to quit inhaling combustable fumes, which has inevitably created a surge of new technology and general interest in vaporizing — much to the delight of PAX.

PAX 2 Vaporizer Ownership Tips & Suggestions

Whether you ultimately purchase the PAX 2 or not will likely be dependent on a number of factors including your budget, heating preference [conduction vs convection], average use case [do you vape alone or in public group settings?], and more. For those that do decide to become the owner of a new, shiny PAX 2 vaporizer, you may want to get familiar with your $279.99 investment to make the most of your experience. Below is a list of helpful tips and facts about the PAX 2 vaporizer that you might not discover right away:

  • Read up on how to use the PAX 2. Your PAX 2 is smart. Be sure to do your research and read our complete guide to using your PAX 2. Additionally, PAX put together a rather helpful how-to section on their website’s support section.
  • Change the filter screen ASAP. The filter PAX provides you with may be flawed in its design. Users claim the filter sticks and bends when you clean the oven. Another company offers these replacement screens for $15 which are specifically designed to allow more even heating and increased airflow when using your PAX vaporizer.
  • Save vaporized material for future use. Collect the vaporized cannabis in a baggie after each vape session until you store a significant amount of vaped material (> 20 grams). Use this material [in conjunction with fresh cannabis flowers] to increase the potency of your next edibles batch. Don’t throw money/medicine away each time you vape!
  • Be prepared for the unit to get hot. You may be surprised just how hot a PAX 2 vaporizer can get with continued use. It won’t create 2nd degree burns [at least I don’t think so…], but it’s definitely something you want to remember when putting your lips to the mouthpiece for an extended period of time.
  • Invest in a quality grinder. Don’t be cheap and use your hands to break up your material. When using the PAX 2 vaporizer, you want to have the heat evenly distributed across all plant material, which is only possible with the help of a herb grinder. There are plenty of quality, cheap grinders for sale online and/or at your local head shop — just be sure to look for one with a kief catcher.

How To Use The PAX 2 Vaporizer

There are five basic steps to getting started with your PAX 2 vape for the very first time.

1) Fill your oven with moderately-ground dry-herbs. On the bottom of your PAX 2 is a heating chamber/oven that can be opened by tapping the sides of the oven lid. Because PAX utilizes conduction heating, you’ll want to pack your oven contents firmly to increase the surface area of your dry herbs. Lightly push the contents down until your oven is halfway full at minimum, and then replace your oven lid. You can fill the oven all the way too, just make sure none of your dry herbs are above the edge of the oven.

2) Turn your PAX on. This can be achieved by pushing down on the mouthpiece and gently releasing your thumb. The PAX logo should light up. The mouthpiece is spring loaded so if you push down hard and release quickly your mouthpiece will pop up.

3) Select your desired temperature. While the unit is on [the PAX logo is lit up], press the mouthpiece for two seconds to enter temp set mode. Here you can cycle through the different temperature levels by repeatedly pressing the mouthpiece. There are 4 lights in the PAX logo — each light signifies a different level of heat [eg. 1 light = lowest heat setting; 4 lights = highest heat setting]. Once you’ve selected your desired heat setting, shake the unit or tap the mouthpiece down until you see the logo’s lights turn purple.

4) Wait for the lights to turn green to start vaping. Once you turn the unit on and fill the chamber, your PAX 2 will begin heating its oven to your desired temperature. Once this process is complete, the lights will turn green. Begin taking short 3-5 second draws to avoid burning your lips or throat. The PAX 2 utilizes “lip-sensing” technology, which means there is no need to push any buttons — simply inhale. If the temperature of the vapor is too hot [or not hot enough], you can adjust the temperature of the vape at any time by holding down the mouthpiece for 2 seconds.

5) Charge your PAX 2 vaporizer for 2-3 hours. Use the provided charging kit and lay the PAX unit on top so that the two charger dots on the back of the PAX align with the charger. The lights on the PAX will light up white when the unit is charging. The product packaging recommends 3 hours of charging for a “happy vape,” while the PAX website recommends just 2 hours, so anywhere in between 2-3 hours is probably a safe bet.

The Good

  • The PAX 2 is stealthy & modern. The PAX 2 unit is constructed with a high-grade anodized aluminum finish. Its shiny, eye-catching exterior makes the vaporizer look more like a new Apple product than a product geared toward tobacco/cannabis enthusiasts.
  • It has an extended battery life. An average charge lasts around 3 days with generous usage — much better than the original PAX.
  • Set the temperature to your liking. Get the most out of your herbs by vaping at a wide range of temperatures. We recommend starting at the lowest temperature setting and working your way up to the highest temperature setting to ensure your material is completely vaporized.
  • There are new hidden tricks & features. Did you know that your PAX 2 vaporizer does more than vape dry-herb? Learn more by reading the “PAX 2 Hidden Tricks & Features” section below.

The Bad

  • The PAX 2 is expensive. Warning! The PAX 2’s price tag may leave you with sticker shock. Currently listed on their website at $279.99, the company is definitely committed to capturing the high-end market with this version.
  • The mouthpiece gets too hot. Like most portable vaporizers, the PAX 2 simply gets too hot to enjoy the vaporizing experience for an extended period of time. I find myself using the unit for just a few draws before it becomes intolerable. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just turning down the temperature either, as that will only result in wasted product [certain cannabinoids and compounds only vape at higher temperatures]. A true fix would include an updated mouthpiece that is farther away from the oven/heat source.
  • The PAX 2 utilizes conduction heating. Because your herb is in direct contact with the heat source, it requires you to stir your material more. Also, conduction heating [vs. the preferred convection heating method] allows for a higher risk of combustion — meaning you may not be truly vaporizing your bud after all.
  • There is a bit of a learning curve. The mouthpiece acts as the single button for the entire vaporizer, which has its perks and its downfalls. I found it fun learning how to use the PAX 2 while I medicate, but I can definitely see how some people that are strictly using this vaporizer for health reasons can find the lack of buttons much more confusing/annoying than simple. I’d like to see the next version have a manual temperature setting that can easily be set using up/down buttons, accompanied by a small digital display.
  • It does not produce thick, milky clouds of vapor. It’s hard to get that kind of experience with the PAX 2, though bumping up the temperature does provide some versatility in the amount of vapor. Even though you can’t always see the vapor when you exhale, the PAX 2 still gets you buzzed/medicated.

The Smart Way to Travel With Your PAX 2 Vaporizer

For those who live on the go, you should consider picking up a Titan 2 case to protect your $279.99 investment. The Titan 2 by Hydra Vapor Tech was designed specifically for the PAX 2 vaporizer, making it the first product of its kind. At under 5 inches in length, its sleek and compact design allows you to comfortably carry and store all of your vape tools. The Titan currently retails at just $39.95 and features a magnetic sliding door encased in a strong, anodized aluminum shell that is sure to protect your PAX 2 and all your necessary accessories. The cases come in 4 classic colors: aluminum, black, white, and gold.

According to the company’s CEO, Eric Oligschlaeger, the idea for the Titan 2 carrying case stemmed from popular demand. “After the success of the original Titan carrying case, and speaking with over 300 store owners, the demand for a PAX 2 case was overwhelming. Similar to the original Titan, we wanted the user to be able to carry all vital components safely with them in a sleek, stylish and concealable manner,” says Oligschlaeger.

The case is just small enough to be carried in your pocket on a walk down the street, if you don’t mind having a bit of a bulge coming from your pants. It’s perfect for taking with you while hiking as well; it makes me feel relaxed knowing that my PAX 2 won’t break in my backpack when it gets dropped/tossed around.

The medical grade silicone insert provided with your Titan 2 case securely holds your PAX 2 with a remarkable smell-proof cap and loose leaf container. This doubles as a way to easily remove your vaporizer to load on the go. The included stainless steel tool allows you to stir loose leaf for consistent draw.

PAX 2 Hidden Tricks & Features

There are at least two different versions of the PAX 2 that have been released by the company. The main difference between the two is the Simon mode. The first generation PAX 2 do not come equipped with Simon mode, at least as far as I know. Instead, older PAX units play the Funky Town tune when you shake the unit vertically. Nowadays, the PAX 2 comes equipped with Simon mode, so you can play memory games with your vaporizer while you medicate with your favorite herbs.

Sponsored by Hydra Vapor TechMost people are familiar with [or have at least heard of] PAX — and for good reason. The San Francisco-based startup found jaw-dropping …

PAX 2 Review

The PAX 2 is intuitive, efficient, durable, and produces great vapor. An everyday carry vape with an all-in-one form large.

The PAX 2 is intuitive, efficient, durable, and produces great vapor. An everyday carry vape with an all-in-one form factor, large herb chamber and great battery life. You don’t need anything but your PAX 2 once you’re loaded up. PAX Vaporizers put noticeable thought into the design and features of this sequel, in my opinion, blowing away the original PAX 1. Now at $149, the PAX 2 is one of the easiest to recommend portable vaporizers on the market.

Table of contents

Intelligently Designed
What’s in the Box
Discreet, Ultra Portable
For Best Results
Great Vapor Quality
Hidden Features
Intuitive
Cleaning & Maintenance
Smart
PAX 2 vs. PAX 3
Battery Life
Who’s This Vape For
Isolated Air Path
Who’s This Vape Not For
Durable
Final Thoughts
Warranty

Intelligently designed

It’s clear that the PAX 2 was designed with the user experience front and center. Featuring an intuitive user interface, technology that preserves your herb and battery life, an all-in-one form factor and dense, pure vapor, the PAX 2 is a joy to use.

Discreet, ultra portable

The PAX 2 is small. Really small. It stands less than 4 inches tall and features an oven that holds about a third of a gram. With that much space, you can expect 15-25 draws from a fully packed oven making it perfect for extended on-the-go sessions.

Its size makes it pocket friendly, even an every day carry, and with its inconspicuous gadget look the PAX 2 can sit out on a table without drawing attention. It feels good to hold, has some weight to it and most people will be able to conceal it completely in their hand.

Size Specs

Great vapor quality

The PAX 2 puts out some very dense vapor that’s smooth, with good flavor. Featuring a 30 – 60 second heatup time and four preset temperatures that cover all the bases.

Temperature Settings

The first two are great for taste and produce light vapor, while the last two deliver thicker clouds and a bit more punch. I landed on 400F as my regular start up temp. Personally, I finish my sessions on the highest temperature, and not having a traditional shut-off timer lets me take my time here, which I really enjoy.

The PAX 2 utilizes the same smart airflow path as the PAX 1, with the oven as far away from the mouthpiece as possible, at the bottom of the unit. This distance, the isolated airpath and the new, flush mouthpiece cools the vapor extremely well giving you smooth draws, without any harsh taste.

Intuitive

The user interface of the PAX 2 is extremely simple. A single, hidden button in the mouthpiece controls everything and the signature ‘petal’ LED tells you all you need to know.

Related: PAX 2 Light Guide

Push the button once, the PAX 2 is on. Push it again, it’s off. Need to change the temp? Just hold the button for a second. It takes some getting used to, but becomes second nature after regular use. I really appreciate the departure from all the button clicks other manufacturers are using.

The PAX symbol on the front of the unit is made up of four LED lights that let you know battery level, temperature, and if your unit is heating up, in standby mode or ready to vape.

Want to check the battery life or exit temp mode? Just shake it. There’s a lot of tech under the hood, including an accelerometer, that lets you control everything with just one button.

Smart

In addition to ease of use, the PAX 2 was designed with herbal efficiency and battery life in mind. Lip sensing technology and an accelerometer tells the unit when you’re vaping or not, dynamically adjusting the temperature to conserve your herbs and battery life.

Set the PAX 2 down and it will drop the temperature after 30 seconds. Pick it up or put it to your lips and the PAX 2 will boost the temperature to your set temperature on the fly.

And the auto shut-off time is intelligent. After three minutes of no movement, the PAX 2 will shut itself off. There’s no set timer so the PAX will adjust to your session length.

Battery life

I got on average 90 minutes of vaping time from a full charge while testing the PAX 2. Taking my time, I went through 3 full loads and about 75 total draws. Some of my more leisurely sessions lasted around ten minutes, but I still got three evenings worth of use before it needed to be docked for a charge. The PAX 2 takes about 3 hours to charge with the included USB dock.

Isolated air path

The PAX 2 has a stainless steel oven and vapor tube leading to a silicone mouthpiece located at the opposite end of the unit. Both materials are medical-grade and considered safe to vaporize with. The heating element is a “non-ceramic tuned thin film heater” bonded to the oven and outside of the vapor path, according to PAX.

The draw resistance will depend mostly on how tightly you pack the oven, but I liked it best when using short, gentle draws instead of long, strong pulls.

Durable

The PAX 2 has no moving parts or glass to break. The outer anodized aluminum shell makes it tough so I don’t worry about tossing it in a bag, or in my pocket with my keys or phone, making it great for on-the-go sessions and outdoor activities.

Warranty

The PAX 2 previously had a 10 year warranty, but the price drop to $149 shortened that to just two years. That’s right in the middle for the price point, and if you really want the longer coverage, the $199 PAX 3 Basic Kit has the 10 year warranty. We also back this one under our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. No worries here!

What’s In the Box

For best results

With all the amazing user oriented design of the PAX 2 there are still some best practices when it comes to this slick little portable vaporizer.

    1. Grind your material as fine as possible. Consider a Magic Flight Finishing Grinder or flip your grinder upside down grind longer than usual.
    2. Pack your load tightly, tamp it down. Consider the PAX Pusher or Half-Pack Oven Lid if you want to use less material.
    3. Use a short puff to start and gentle draws from there.
    4. Draw a few times after turning the unit off to clear any remaining vapor and reduce the smell.

Related: PAX 2 Best Practices Starter Guide

Hidden features

PAX decided to have a bit of fun adding hidden features to the PAX 2. Seems there’s no rhyme or reason to which you’ll get but they are assigned “randomly” so your PAX 2 will have its own “personality”. To see which your PAX 2 has, roll it horizontally three times. Every three rotations will change it to a new mode.

Related: PAX 2 Hidden Features Guide

Cleaning & maintenance

The original PAX was a pain to clean, but they fixed that with the PAX 2 leaving you three things to take care of: the oven, the mouthpiece, and the vapor path tube (connects the mouthpiece to the oven). The PAX 2 comes with Isopropyl alcohol (ISO) and some pipe cleaners. Pick up some Q-Tips and maybe some cotton swabs and you have everything you need to get the job done.

PAX 2 vs. PAX 3

PAX continues to offer both the PAX 2 and PAX 3 side by side, and for good reason. The budget-friendly PAX 2 is still a great option for casual users that don’t need any bells and whistles. The PAX 3 Basic Kit for $199 is similar except for the upgraded device, smartphone app and warranty, while the PAX 3 Complete Kit tosses in the concentrate lid and a bevy of other accessories for $250.

PAX 3 > PAX 2

Who’s this vape for

The PAX 2 is for anyone looking for an everyday carry vape or a nice, discreet at-home vape without the cords and parts of a desktop. It’s made to withstand the trials of travel and fits easily into any pocket. With the size, oven capacity and battery life, when I leave the house with a freshly packed PAX 2 I know I’m going to be good for the day.

Discretion is important to me and the PAX 2 is definitely discreet enough to not draw anyone’s attention when I’m out. A perfect vape to bring along to a show, share a park session with a friend or a hike to a nice vista!

Who’s this vape not for

I’ve always preferred convection vaporizers for flavor and efficiency. The PAX 2 has a lot of tech to make conduction more efficient, but if you’re looking for convection the PAX 2 isn’t for you.

If you vape A LOT or are forgetful about charging and 3 hours sounds like too long to be without your vaporizer, you should look for an option with a quicker charge time or interchangeable batteries.

Final thoughts

The PAX 2 is a great vaporizer for $149 and I’m very happy with it. The heating technology puts me at ease when I normally worry about wasting herbs, and it’s small, all-in-one design is pretty hard to beat. Add to that an exceptional user experience, 2 year warranty, discrete size, new lower price, and I now have a new vape to confidently recommend!

PAX 2 Review – The PAX 2 is intuitive, efficient, durable, and produces great vapor. An everyday carry vape with an all-in-one form factor, large herb chamber and great battery life. Learn everything about the PAX 2, its features and how to get the most out of it here in our PAX 2 Full review.