PAX 2 Intro
In this article we review and test the PAX 2 Vaporizer for dry herbs and loose leaf.
The PAX 2 is the new and improved version of the hot-selling PAX vaporizer by Pax Labs, which sold way over half a million units. The PAX 1 was considered by many as the best small portable vaporizer on the market for dry herbs, so we are very excited to see what the PAX 2 has to offer. Let’s take a look at the specs of the PAX 2 below.
This is our first in-depth dry herb vaporizer review on the site, so let us know if we missed anything! We plan and doing many more in the near future, as we see vaporizers as the best way to vape “dry herbs” and both my brother and I now really enjoy the occasional dry herb vape.
PAX 2 Specs and Features
- Available colors: Red, Silver, Blue, Black
- Exterior Material: Transverse Brushed Anodized Aluminum
- Device Dimensions: 3.87 x 1.21 x 0.85
- Oven Dimensions: 18.5mm x 8.6mm x 10mm
- Battery: Lithium-ion battery recharges in 2-3 hours via USB or AC wall adaptor
- Heat Time: Takes less than a minute to fully heat. Green means go
- Heating Element: Thin film Kapton heater flex
- Internal Accelerometer: Detects motion to put PAX in standby-mode when not in use to conserve battery life and oven contents
- Materials: Vapor path is constructed entirely from medical grade components. All plastic components are food-safe engineering plastics of the highest quality available
How does the PAX 2 differ from the original PAX?
- 25% smaller
- 10% lighter
- More streamlined
- Improved battery that lasts 30% longer
- 20% deeper oven with more even heating
- 4 different heat settings with lip and motion sensing technology that optimizes power and temperature during use
- No pop out mouthpiece (includes a replaceable pop out mouth piece in the box)
- New improved magnetic charging device
So there are some notable differences between the PAX 2 and the older PAX device. Firstly it’s even smaller and lighter than the original, which was already pretty small. The PAX 2, despite being smaller, features a deeper and more high tech oven. The PAX 2 comes with an improved battery life that lasts 30% longer, which is another great improvement, as the battery life was already very good on the original PAX.
One thing that stood out to me on the aesthetics of the device, is that the PAX 2 no longer has that pop out mouthpiece, so I will be interested to see how the draw has been affected by this change. The new mouthpiece features lip sensing motion technology that optimizes power and temperature during use. It will be very interesting to see if this feature works well and provides for a good draw (Update* having received the device the kit also features a protruded mouth piece which can be swapped with the standard flat one).
The oven, despite being deeper, is 91% the size of the original oven, due to it being slightly thinner. It still holds a good amount of herbs.
The PAX 2 comes with an improved sleek looking USB magnetic charging doc. You can also unplug your old PAX charger and use it with the new charger.
The PAX 2 is $80 more expensive than the PAX and retails at $279.99. The new improvements do add value in my opinion, but I need to try the device first before making a recommendation if I think it is worth the extra money (*Update: see my recommendation below after having extensively used the PAX2). The extended battery life, smaller size and added “smart” heat settings, look like they could be reason enough to go for the PAX 2 over the original PAX.
How did the PAX 2 perform?
So my friend and I tested the PAX 2 on Saturday night and were both incredibly impressed. It was my friends first time using a vaporizer of this type, so it was interesting to get his input as to what he thought.
The PAX 2 tests:
We used 3 different sets of dry herbs: Mintality mix by Vapoherb, Cherba Mix by Vapoherb and lastly some good old weed.
First some thoughts on the first two dry herb mixes we tried by Vapoherb. The mintality and cherba blends are 100% natural dry herb mixes that can be used in a vaporizer. I have to say that neither had too much of an effect when used with the PAX 2. The mixes need to be ground a bit to work well in the PAX 2 oven and although there was a bit of vapor, the mixes themselves were not very effective in terms of relaxing etc. The only feeling we got from them was a slight tiredness, but only very slight. This however had nothing to do with the PAX2, it was just the herb mixes themselves!
Vaping Marijuana on the PAX 2
So the PAX 2 performed incredibly well when using marijuana. We used a ¾ full oven chamber between two people and the effects were very impressive. We used the medium temperature setting and the lip sensing technology performed flawlessly. The oven heats up very quickly in around 30-50 seconds. The lip and movement sensing technology is fantastic and when you are not using it, the PAX 2 will turn down the oven temperature to preserve both the dry herbs and the battery life. We used the PAX 2 for around 2 hours non-stop with the dry herb blends and then the weed. The battery meter afterwards still indicated that we had only used 50% of the battery! This is incredibly impressive from such a small device and means you can use the PAX 2 for longer sessions without having to re-charge the unit in-between.
The oven, although it is a tiny bit smaller than the PAX 1, is more than enough for a decent session. As mentioned above we only packed the oven ¾ full with a finely ground mix. The oven worked well and the heating was pretty consistent throughout the oven, allowing you to get more the most out of the weed. We vaped the weed for around 15minutes on the medium temperature setting and then opened the oven and gave the weed a little mix. We were then able to get another 15 minutes or so out of the mix we put in the oven. That meant we got a good full session and 30 minutes of vaping out of 3/4 of an oven full of weed. Even after this session the weed wasn’t totally crisp and brown, so I tried another session on the same oven load. Surprisingly the vapor was still coming out and despite a little less flavor, we were still able to get a good high. I have heard of some people getting 3-4 sessions out of oven, so i guess it will depend on the quality of your plant and the fineness of your grind, as well as how tight and full you pack the oven.
As for the actual high, it was crazily impressive. For my friend who hadn’t tried weed using a vaporizer before, he was completely amazed at how little weed we used and the amazing high we were able to get from it. Using the PAX 2 will mean you get more THC from your weed when compared to using a joint, as around 30% of the THC is lost when you smoke a joint. This results in a much more intense high from less weed, therefore saving you lots of money! ¾ of an oven was enough for both myself and my friend to get very high over the period of about 30 minutes (albeit we are both quite lightweight, as we are not the heaviest of stoners).
Cleaning and Maintenance
The PAX 2 comes with a nice cleaning kit, so make sure to use this and keep your PAX 2 nice and clean so it can always perform at it’s best. You can use the pipe cleaners with the provided cleaning fluid, to “floss” your PAX 2 and keep the airways nice and clean. One of the positives of the PAX 2 over the PAX 1 is that it requires less maintenance. After around 12 or so sessions our PAX is still going strong, but I can slowly start to feel the air flow getting tighter. I have heard people vaping the PAX 2 for up to to 20 sessions before cleaning it, but I would recommend giving a clean after 10-15 sessions to make sure it is performing at its best and that the air flow stays nice and open.
Also be sure to use proper cotton pipe-cleaners and not any synthetic ones as they can get caught in the air flow path and could melt once it heats up again. A little tip if you are cleaning the device for the first time, is to heat up a the device a little on an empty oven and give it a few draws. The heat will help loosen up all the build up inside the airways and make it easier to clean.
4 Temperature Settings
- 360ºF (182ºC) – Low
- 380ºF (193ºC) – Medium
- 400ºF (204ºC) – Medium-High
- 420ºF (216ºC) – High
We tried playing around with the four different temperature settings, and ended up staying on the medium setting. To change the temperature manually, hold down the top mouthpiece button for around 2 seconds. The four “leaves/lights” on the front will now light up indicating what temperature setting you are on. One leaf is the lowest and 4 leaves lit up is the max setting. To change the temperature now click again until you reach the temperature setting you want. Once you have the right temperature, hold down the button again for 2 seconds to switch back to vaping mode.
Lip Sensing Technology
The PAX 2 features a new piece of technology, that makes a big difference to the performance of the vaporizer. The PAX2 features lip sensing technology. This means that the oven adjusts the temperature based on if you are using the device or not. This feature provides consistent hits and prevents the PAX2 from over-cooking your plant matter when you’re not hitting it. Most oven based vaporizers will continue heating the oven at a set temperature when you’re not using it, which could lead to the burning of your herbs and leads to increased battery drainage. The PAX 2 on the other hand cools down to preserve your dry herbs and battery life when not in use. As soon as you put your lips onto the device it heats the oven up extremely quickly back to the correct temperature, ensuring smooth consistent hits from your herbs! I have to say we were very overly impressed with this technology and it does work very well. The hits were all very consistent and the dry herbs lasted a very long time. As mentioned above the battery life is also preserved thus extending your overall vape time from one charge. All in all this is a fantastic new feature and improvement on the original PAX, which works very well!
So the vapor production will depend entirely on your actual herbs, the amount you pack the oven and fineness of your grind. The vapor seemed really consistent time and time again and provided a good hit. The vapor was quite a smooth hit and doesn’t provide so much of a throat hit. We were using the 2nd and 3rd temperature settings and you could definitely see a good bit of vapor. I have seen some videos where people are getting much bigger amounts of vapor, so as I mentioned it will come down to your herbs and also the temperature setting you are using.
The standard mouthpiece is a flat mouthpiece with a tiny “air slot” that doesn’t really look like a mouthpiece at all. However, it works surprisingly well and has the benefit of being super super stealthy. If you hold the device up to your mouth to vape, no one would really have a clue what you are doing. It almost looks like you are chewing on your phone or iPod or something (not really sure who chews their phone lol). I think this really adds to the inconspicuousness of the PAX 2. The vaporizer is really easy to hide and not many people will know what it is, which makes it ideal for taking places and for having a “stealthy” vape. You also get another mouthpiece which resembles the one from the PAX 1, if you do not like the standard flat one. However, I found that the other protruding mouthpiece got a little bit warm, so I preferred the flat mouth piece.
The draw is isn’t as big as you would get on some of the larger devices, and perhaps slightly more tight then the PAX 1, but I found it to be good for the type of draw I like and for sipping. The tightness of the draw will obviously depend on the cleanliness of your PAX’s airways, so make sure you give it a thorough clean after around 10 or so sessions. The draw isn’t really suited to those who like to really “rip” their device as the draw is a little on the tighter side thus making it more suited to those who like to sip.
Size and Aesthetics
The PAX 2 is tiny, and still has an oven which is 91% the size of the PAX 1. The fact that it is 30% smaller and 25% lighter than the original, is really impressive and the PAX 2 fits really nicely in your hand when vaping.
I love the brushed aluminum finish on the PAX 2 and the whole device just looks super sleek and awesome. If Apple did vaporizers, this is how I’d imagine them to look like.
The new charger is really cool and convenient to use. Simply plug it into your USB port and the PAX 2 just clicks onto the charging unit magnetically. The device takes a couple of hours to charge fully, which is pretty quick.
The battery life was one of the things that impressed me the most on the PAX 2. As mentioned above we used it for a couple of hours on and off and by using the standby mode, the device only used half of its battery! This is a big improvement on the original PAX battery, which itself was already quite impressive.
PAX 2 Hidden Features, Easter Eggs and Party Mode
So every PAX 2 is capable of some hidden features. Apparently not every PAX 2 will feature Simon mode, so you need to see if yours does or not. There are a load of hidden features and below are a few that I have found on my PAX 2. Also according to PAX labs CMO, not every PAX 2 firmware will be the same and will be set to random. So you will just have to play around with your to see what you can find!
- Simon Mode: This is a little game called Simon. To activate Simon mode you have to hold the PAX 2 in both hands horizontally and twist the PAX 2 until all four LEDs are flashing white. The lights will flash four times and then a sequence of LEDs will appear. You must then tilt the PAX 2 to light the LEDs to match the sequence that just appeared. If you get it wrong the LEDs will all go red and if you get it correct they will all flash white and then show the next sequence. I played it until about level 10, where it started getting a little tricky! Playing the game Simon up to certain levels will unlock different things. At level 20 you will unlock the song Funkytown, which can be heard if you put the PAX 2 to your ear. I haven’t got past level 10 yet, so I need to concentrate and see what I can unlock. It’s a fun little feature, but I am not sure how good I will be after doing some dry herbs on the PAX 2!
- Funkytown: So if you have unlocked Funkytown by getting to level 20 on the Simon game, then you can listen to it by shaking the PAX2 and then putting it to your ear to listen to it.
- Battery Life: Shaking my PAX 2 seems to indicate the battery life
- Party Mode: This is the mode that is on when I vape my PAX 2. As I vape the LEDs switch between colors
Here is a reddit thread explaining some of the features and Pax Labs CMO (scott_dunlap) commenting on the thread.
Apparently there are other modes, but I can’t quite work them out. I like the Simon game, which is quite fun and the LED lights flashing different colors all the time looks realyl nice. I will have another play around and see what I can find. Let me know if you find anything else, in the comment section below.
If you are looking for a vaporizer for “dry herbs or loose leaf” which is extremely portable, stealthy, very well built and has a terrific battery life, then the PAX 2 is the go to option. It is absolutely tiny and yet packs a decent sized oven and has a battery life better than larger devices. It works flawlessly and the build quality and lip sensing technology is second to none. We were very impressed with this portable vaporizer and if you are looking for one, we can wholeheartedly recommend the PAX 2.
For those who haven’t tried using a vaporizer before definitely take a look at the PAX 2 and give it a go. If you do weed a lot, for medical reasons or even just occasionally, the PAX2 is the must have device in the portable category. My friend who hadn’t used a vaporizer before, was so impressed with it, he is going to buy himself a PAX 2!
However, if you are looking for a device with a big draw and like to “rip” your dry herb, then I would look at something like the Crafty or the Arizer Air. I quite like sipping and a tightish draw, so the PAX 2 was right up my street.
If you have a PAX 1 and want to upgrade, I would definitely consider doing so, as the battery life, size and lip sensing temperature settings are much improved on the PAX 2. These features make it worth the extra money in my opinion!
If you have any questions on the PAX 2, don’t hesitate to drop us a comment below and we will get back to you ASAP. Let me know if you have already tried the PAX 2 and what you think of it below in the comments section!