The Pax 3 has been our top weed vape pick for quite some time. It was released in 2016, not long after its predecessor (the Pax 2). And there's a reason (a lot of reasons actually) that six years later it's still widely considered one of the best: it's just that damn good.
Though I never consistently smoked from a vaporizer, the Pax 3 has made vaping my go-to method since I started testing it. It heats up quickly, it can be used for mini sessions and it produces a nice smooth vapor that's non-intrusive. While there are some pitfalls, it really does live up to the hype as the best weed vape you can buy (if you're willing to spend for it).
What We Like
Although I don't recommend vape cartridges (do you really know what's in them?), the Pax 3 is versatile and allows for both cartridges and loose leaf. If you want that versatility, you can choose the complete kit version. If you're only looking to vape with loose leaf, then you could get away with just the basic kit version (a savings of $40 currently).
The oven itself is a magnetic trap for loose leaf and can be swapped out for a stable concentrate oven. I didn't test the concentrate (as I said, what's in those?) but it seems fairly simple to pull out the loose leaf oven trap and swap it for the concentrate oven.
It can heat up to pre-set temperature settings (of which there are four) in just over 20 seconds. That means no waiting around. When it's ready the X light indicator on the front changes from white to blue to green and it gives a little vibration. The oven is stainless steel and not ceramic, so the quick heating is thanks mostly to the conduction process.
A charge typically lasted about 10 sessions, although a session for me is only four-to-five hits which is probably a little less than what most consider a sesh.
Easy to use and clean
The Pax 3 is pretty idiot-proof. It also doesn't have separate buttons, as there is just one button located on the mouthpiece and you just press down on it. Press and release it to turn it on and then hold it for 1.5 seconds to cycle through the different temperature settings. You can long-press it to exit the temperature settings.
It's comfortable to hold with its angular curves and fits in your hand well. I also like that it has a little weight to it (3.3 oz.) and can stand up on its own. The rubber mouthpiece is a nice addition so you don't feel hard plastic with each hit.
What We Don't Like
Normally $250, the Pax 3 is currently $200 after a price drop. That's... a lot. But with the dual use, you're essentially getting two vapes in one. And with an industry-best 10-year warranty, you're pretty much guaranteed to have it for a decade. Keep in mind that Pax has indicated that new technology is coming this fall (justifying the $50 drop on the ax 3 and the $30 drop on the Pax 2). Does that mean a Pax 4? Possibly, but this is just something to keep in mind if you're going to pull the trigger.
While this is most certainly a positive when imbibing in public, a traditional joint or bowl smoker like myself has a bit of difficulty in knowing whether or not it's hitting properly. If you're used to using vapes and are looking for something discreet for concerts, ski runs and the like, this is exactly what you'd want. If you're new to vapes, this is just a word to the wise.
If you don't want to spend top-tier prices for the Pax 3, you still have some good alternatives. The DaVinci Miqro ($99) is my colleague's favorite vape, and he insists it should be the top contender.
The GPen Dash ($90) is almost a no-brainer as it's tiny and super portable. You don't get temperature control but for less than $100, it's hard to complain — even my dad loves the GPen Dash.
An anodized aluminum body, stainless steel vapor path/oven and downright good looks make a strong case for the Pax 3. It's super portable and provides plenty of control over temperature. With its ability to heat up quickly and produce a pretty discreet vapor, the only thing that's tough to inhale with the Pax 3 is the price tag. But considering it's got an industry-leading warranty and that we've found no other issues with it, it's worthy of your investment if vaping is your preferred method for smoking.