PAX 3 Review: Smarter, Faster, and Sleeker than Ever

The PAX 3 is every bit as good as the PAX 2, with a new look and improved functionality. It...

**On November 15th, 2019, Apple removed all vaporizing apps from its store, including the PAX app. PAX has since created a simple workaround for all Apple/iOS users. Check it out here.**

The PAX 3, despite being on the market for several years, is still one of the most reliable portable vaporizers on the market today, with an updated look and an effective concentrate option that caters to a wide market. The PAX 3 heats up so fast you might miss it, so it vibrates when it’s ready to go. If you like to tinker and customize, you’ll fall in love with the PAX smartphone app and the number of different ways you can tailor your sessions.

It’s intuitive, efficient, durable, and produces great vapor. The PAX 3's clean, all-in-one form factor makes for a perfect everyday carry, and the large herb chamber and great battery life will keep you satisfied.  

Starting at $199, the PAX 3 offers a top-shelf experience for a mid-range price, with the option to bump up to the Complete Kit depending on how you like to vape and what accessories you'll need.

Table of Contents

PAX 3 Review: Better, faster, stronger

The PAX 2 was designed with the user experience front and center, and the PAX 3 doubles down on that promise. It has the same intuitive user interface, improved battery life with less waste, and an all-in-one form factor capable of producing the same dense, pure vapor previous PAX vaporizers have become known for.

The PAX 3 is less than four inches tall, with an oven that can hold about one-third of a gram. You should get 15-25 draws from a fully packed oven, making it perfect for extended, on-the-go sessions.

It’s pocketable and concealable. You can carry it around all day and its looks don’t scream out ‘vaporizer!’ It feels good to hold, has some weight to it, an aluminum shell with a matte finish, and four colors to choose from.

PAX 3 Vaporizer Review PAX 3 in Onyx

Size specifications

Height  3.87 in / 9.83 cm
Width  1.21 in / 3.07 cm
Depth  .085 in / 2.16 cm
Weight  3.28 oz / 93 g

Complete kit VS Basic kit

Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all option, there are two PAX 3 bundles, the Basic Kit at $199 and the Complete Kit at $249. The Basic Kit includes the PAX 3, charger, cleaning kit, and both flat and raised mouthpieces. Upgrade to the Complete Kit, and you'll also get the concentrate insert, an extra set of screens, a multi-tool, and the half-pack oven lid, which is almost $100 worth of extra accessories.

The real questions are "Do you vape concentrates?" and "Do you ever want to pack less than a full oven?" For us, the answer to both of these is yes, which is why we easily opted for the Complete Kit.

PAX 3 Vaporizer Review Complete Kit Contents


Related:  PAX 3 Complete Kit vs Device Only


What's in the box

Complete kit

Device only

PAX 3
Charging Dock
Flat Mouthpiece
Raised Mouthpiece
10 Year Warranty
Cleaning Kit
Standard Oven Lid
Half-Pack Oven Lid
Concentrate Insert
Extra Screens
Multi-Tool
Soft Pouch

Vape concentrates!

A new addition for the PAX 3, the Complete Kit includes a concentrate insert that slots right into the oven. "Two-in-one" concentrate / dry herb vaporizers aren't usually my favorite. I’m more of a "right tool for the job" kind of guy, so I was pleasantly surprised when testing some nice extract for this PAX 3 review. It worked quite well! If you mainly vaporize concentrates, you may want to look at something built specifically for that, but the PAX 3 works great if you like to add a little extract to your life here and there.

Check out our PAX 3 Concentrate Insert Guide for a full rundown. Or check out the PAX Era Pro for a reliable concentrate-pod vaporizer.

Great vapor quality

The PAX 3 puts out some very dense, high-quality vapor vapor that is smooth and tasty. The production unit we tested for our PAX 3 review reached the highest of four temperature settings in around 30 seconds. You can fine tune the preset heat settings in one-degree increments with the smartphone app.

Temperature settings

360° F / 180° C
380° F / 193° C
400° F / 204° C
420° F / 215° C

The first two temperatures are tasty with light vapor, and the last two deliver thicker clouds with a bit more punch. We like high temperature vapor production, and like to start our sessions on setting three, or 400° F. We usually finish sessions on the highest temperature, and love the flexible, hassle-free shut-off timer. We can settle into sessions at our own pace, instead of a predetermined five minutes.

All PAX vaporizers have the same smart design, with the oven as far away from the mouthpiece as possible, at the bottom of the unit. This distance, coupled with the isolated airpath and the flush mouthpiece, cools the vapor extremely well, for a smooth, cool draw.

Simple to use

We love the simple, intuitive controls of the PAX 3. A single, hidden button on the mouthpiece controls everything, and the signature “flower petal” lights tell you all you need to know.

One button push and it’s on. Push it again, it's off. Need to change the temp? Just hold the button for a few seconds to enter temperature control mode. We really appreciate the departure from all the button clicks other manufacturers use.

The PAX Labs logo on the front has four LED lights that tell you everything, from battery level to current temperature, as well as when the device is heating up, and when it’s ready to go.

Don’t like pushing buttons, and want to check the battery life or exit temp mode? Just shake it instead. The PAX 3 also vibrates when it’s ready, so you know what’s up when you aren’t looking!

Smarts that save herb 

This is the kind of stuff we like! Conduction vapes cook our herbs, even when we aren’t drawing on them (except the Magic Flight Launch Box). In response, the PAX 3 uses lip sensing technology and an accelerometer to tell the unit when you’re vaping and not, dynamically adjusting the temperature to conserve your herbs and battery life.

Set the PAX 3 down and it will drop the temperature after 30 seconds. Pick it up or put it to your lips and the PAX 3 will boost the temperature to your set temperature on the fly. This feature works even better with the stronger heater in the PAX 3, compared to the PAX 2.

The auto shut-off timer is done right. After three minutes without moving, the PAX 3 will shut itself off. There’s no set timer, so the PAX adjusts to your session length, instead of dictating your pace.

Awesome app

**On November 15th, 2019, Apple removed all vaporizing apps from its store, including this PAX app. PAX has since created a simple solution for all Apple/iOS users. Check it out here.**

PAX stepped up and built a Bluetooth smartphone app for more vaporizing options. By connecting your PAX 3 to your phone, you'll unlock a wave of new features and customizations. You can change the temperature in one degree increments, play games on command, lock the device, and configure the lights and haptic feedback. It's a well-equipped app that unlocks a wide variety of features for the PAX 3.

The app also lets you choose one of four heating profiles: boost, efficiency, stealth, and flavor. Boost mode limits auto cooling for longer, stronger sessions. Efficiency mode automatically increases the temp over the length of the session. Stealth mode stays at lower temps, with quicker cooling, so your exhales aren’t as obvious. Flavor mode also stays at low temps, but only heats up when you are drawing, for maximum flavor. These profiles let you tune the experiences to your preferences. Personally, I like the flavor mode for slower, laid-back sessions.

**On November 15th, 2019, Apple removed all vaporizing apps from its store, including this PAX app. PAX has since created a simple workaround for all Apple/iPhone users. Check it out here.**

Impressive battery life

We got on average 90 minutes of vaping time from its 18650, 3500mAh battery on a full charge while testing for this PAX 3 review With no set timer, and the oven turning on and off as necessary for efficiency, it’s hard to compare the PAX 3’s battery life with other vapes.

We like to relax when vaporizing, and some of our sessions can get up to ten minutes long, but we still got three evenings worth of use before the PAX 3 needed to be docked for a charge. It takes about 90 minutes to charge with the included USB dock. It’s hard to quantify with this vape, but we feel like it has some of the best battery life available. We’re never worried about running out of juice.

Isolated air path

Staying true to form, the PAX 3 has a stainless steel oven and vapor tube leading to a silicone mouthpiece located at the opposite end of the unit. All 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.

PAX 3 Vaporizer Review chamber and airflow

The draw resistance will depend on how tightly you pack the PAX 3, which likes a tight pack. We were a little bit surprised at how good it felt with a tightly packed oven. Some vapes come to an air flow stand still when faced with a tight oven, but the PAX 3 liked it.

The PAX Maintenance Kit includes pipe cleaners and replacement screens to keep your air path pristine.

Durable

The PAX 3 is a durable little vape with no moving parts or glass to break. The outer shell is anodized aluminum. It’s tough, and we don’t worry about tossing it in a bag, or in a pocket with keys or a phone. It’s great for on-the-go sessions, and outdoor activities.

It briefly featured a polished finish, but is now draped in a high-quality matte finish, to better hide any minor dents or scratches that might accumulate.

10 year warranty

The PAX 3 has one of the best warranties in the vaporizer industry. Pax covers manufacturer defects for 10 years, and has a great track record of taking care of its customers. We also back this one under our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. No worries here!

For best results

Even though this is one of the smartest portable vapes around, there are still some best practices when it comes to the PAX 3.

Grind your material as fine as possible, by flipping your grinder upside down and grind longer than usual.

  1. Pack your load tightly, tamp it down. Go with the Half-Pack Oven Lid if you want to use less material.  This again is where you make that choice between the Basic Kit, or the Complete Kit which comes with the Half-Pack lid included.
  2. Use a short puff to start and use gentle draws from there.
  3. Draw a few times after turning the unit off to clear any remaining vapor and reduce the smell.

Related:  PAX 3 Tips & Tricks


Easy to clean

The original PAX was a pain to clean, but they fixed that with the PAX 3, leaving you three things to take care of: the oven, the mouthpiece, and the vapor path tube. The PAX 3 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 3 Vs. PAX 2

Other than the matte instead of brushed finish, the PAX 3 looks identical to the PAX 2. The PAX 3 has a stronger battery that heats up quicker, and lasts just a little bit longer than the PAX 2. The PAX 3 Complete Kit comes with a concentrate insert that really works well, and is the biggest difference between the two vapes, in our opinion. The Pax 3 adds haptic feedback and the smartphone app. Looking at the PAX 3 Basic Kit and the PAX 2, the gap narrows, but so does the price difference.

PAX 3 > PAX 2

Concentrates (Complete Kit)
15% More Battery Life
Faster Heat Up Time
A Touch More Power and Heating Efficiency
Smartphone App for More Customization
Half-Pack Lid (Complete Kit)
Vibration Feedback
Matte vs. Brushed Finish

PAX 3 Vaporizer Oven Lids - Planet of the Vapes

Who's the PAX 3 for?

The PAX 3 is a great all-around vape that travels well and can be used every day. It’s also good for at home, when you don’t want to be tied down to a wall with something that plugs in. It’s durable, discreet and has a great battery life that should satisfy most. The concentrate insert works surprisingly well - well enough for me to consider the PAX 3 one of the better dual-purpose portable vapes available.

Even though it has a lot of features, we think it is a great vape for beginners. It’s simple to pack, easy to use, and consistently does the job without much fuss.

Who's the PAX 3 not for?

For the truly casual vaper, more than $200 is a big ask, and the PAX 3 is a premium offering. It’s a good value at the price point, but there are some solid options with same portability available for less, such as the POTV Starry.

Convection vaporizers, like the Firefly 2+, can have better flavor and efficiency. The PAX 3 has a lot of tech to make conduction more efficient, but if you’re looking for convection heating, the PAX 3 isn’t for you.

Although it works great with concentrates, it’s not on par with a vape pen hit. If you need something stronger, check out the Sai wax vaporizer, which is made for load-as-you-go concentrates.

PAX 3 Vaporizer Review PAX 3 in Sage

Is the PAX 3 good for beginners?

Yes, with one exception - read the manual. While the PAX 3 vaporizer is easy to load and use, the controls are baffling without the instructions. Once learned, the PAX 3 is one of the easiest vapes to use and enjoy, even for beginners.

Is the PAX 3 worth it?

The PAX 3 is a good vaporizer for $200 - $250 and we’re happy with it. Is it worth $50 to $100 more than the PAX 2? Both units use efficient heating technology, make great vapor, and have the same small, all-in-one design that’s pretty hard to beat.

The PAX 3 adds haptic feedback, which is almost a standard these days, slightly faster heat up time with a stronger battery, and the smartphone app as a cherry on top. The PAX 3 comes with a ten year warranty, compared to two years for the PAX 2. You get all this for $50 more than the PAX 2 with the Pax 3 Basic Kit.

Add another $50 for the PAX 3 Complete Kit and you also come away with the half-pack lid, the concentrate insert, the multi-tool, and extra screens. That's over $100 worth of popular accessories that make the PAX 3 Complete Kit our personal choice, and is immediately cost effective if you plan on buying the concentrate insert.

Written by

jerry stickstones

Vaporist, vape beta tester, vape reviewer. I like to vape, talk about vapes, and think about vapes. Sometimes I dream...about vapes.

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