PAX 2 Vaporizer Review – the smaller, lighter and better PAX?
Build Quality85%
Vapor Quality75%
Look and Feel88%
Difficulty84%
Portability85%
Discreetness81%
82%Score

Hello, and welcome to the review of the PAX 2 herbal vaporizer! This portable vaporizer is the next generation of Ploom’s vaporizer line and has a lot to live up to from its predecessor. The first PAX was an extremely popular gadget thanks to its sleek design and solid marketing team, but like all new tech it had its share of bugs, and criticism that goes along with it. Now, with the release of PAX 2, Ploom really took into consideration all of the concerns and feedback that affected the PAX in order to put out a product that would really wow the public and take care of the original PAX’s issues. But enough with the chit chat, let’s move along and check out if Ploom followed through and gave the people what they want.

Product Pros

  1. Beautiful brushed anodized aluminum shell in a variety of colors
  2. Made out of top quality materials
  3. Innovative LED ‘petal’ indicators
  4. Small, light and discreet
  5. Internal and lip motion sensors

Product Cons

  1. Leaks vapor, creating a lingering odor
  2. High draw resistance and easily clogged screen
  3. Fluctuating, unknown temperature settings
  4. Poor-to-average battery life

PAX 2 Vaporizer Review: Breakdown

Quality

Build Quality

Build Quality

The PAX 2 really knocks it out of the park when it comes to quality materials and attention to detail. This may be thanks to the amount of criticism that they got on the original PAX for the click-top mouthpiece, which had the annoying tendency to stick and required almost constant maintenance in order to function properly – the PAX 2’s mouth piece is made entirely of food-grade silicone and doesn’t have any moving parts at all. No way will this mouthpiece get stuck! For those who prefer the more traditional, protruding mouthpiece, they offer an alternative to the standard flush one that comes in the box too. Inside the unit, vapor travels along a pathway made entirely of medical-grade components from a stainless steel oven that will vaporize your herb very evenly via conduction. A very unique feature of the PAX 2 is that it’s a smart vaporizer – using an accelerometer and lip sensor. So, the unit knows when it’s being used and when it’s not, and will power down to save on battery life and conserve herb whenever it goes more than 20 seconds without being used or even moved. Unfortunately, the smart features of the unit come at a price – they make the battery life incredibly variable based on how long you wait between draws, how long you draw, and what temperature setting you have the unit set on. The battery life can range anywhere between 50 and 90 minutes, which isn’t great even though it’s an improvement over the original PAX. As a further demonstration of Ploom’s confidence in the PAX 2, the unit is offered with a whopping 10 year warranty, so even if any of the excellently engineered features doesn’t work out, you’ll be covered.

vapor-quality-icon

Vapor Quality

The heating chamber “oven” of the PAX 2 is in the bottom of the unit, so to load it you have to pop it off, turn it upside down, and pack it. Since the oven vaporizes the herb by conduction, it’s important to fill it all the way if you want the most efficient vaporization, just be sure not to over pack or there won’t be enough room for airflow. Considering the draw resistance of this unit is already very high, and you really have to suck hard to get a flow of vapor, you want to do everything in your power to mitigate this further. For your session, the PAX 2 has 4 available temperature settings reflected by the 4 petals. Though Ploom doesn’t disclose the specific temperatures of each setting, the entire unit has the capability of heating between 360 and 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to the motion sensor and smart capabilities of the vape though, the temperature has been found to fluctuate pretty extremely in each setting. The unit does this to avoid wasting energy, but there’s the unfortunate side effect of not allowing the user to have nearly as much control over the temperature of the their vape as they might like. Most vapes in this price range would give you precise pre-set temperature options so you can choose between thin and thick vapor, at the very least. As far as the quality of the actual vapor produced, you’ll find that the first few draws of a session will be very smooth and flavorful. However, after the first few you’ll find that the internal metal screen becomes gummed up and a lot more effort has to be put into getting a good draw, it’s the ‘draw resistance’ factor I was talking about earlier. Another downside is that, because the temperature of the vape is partially determined by how often and how quickly you draw, the vapor quality of each individual draw can be inconsistent.

Design


look-and-feel

Look and Feel

This unit has a really smooth look to it that is reminiscent of an Apple product. The external shell is made out of a brushed anodized aluminum available in four different colors, which allows for a certain amount of uniqueness and personality in an individual vaporizer, and Ploom actually sells separate colored mouthpieces if you really want to customize your PAX 2’s look. It also features four lights (“petals”) arranged in a circle that are used to indicate the heat setting, current temperature of the unit and when shook, the battery life. The unit easily fits into the palm of your hand and it features a flush mouthpiece – as opposed to the usual mouthpieces that stick out of the unit – giving it a much more solid feel. The attention to detail and use of high quality materials really makes the PAX 2 stand out in the crowd and like an Apple iPhone, It’s price tag is indeed indicative of the unit’s aesthetic quality.

Discreetness

Discreetness

As far as discreetness goes, size is a major feature that the PAX 2 has going for it. The small unit can be concealed entirely within the palm of your hand, and is easily transportable in a purse or a pocket. The flush mouthpiece is great in that it allows for a more discreet draw than your typical protruding mouthpiece and you won’t get the mouthpiece caught on anything either if you do decide to toss it into a bag for travels or look like you are sucking on something. Unfortunately, the PAX 2 has a major flaw in its discreetness. This unit smells. While vaping, you’ll find that vapor leaks from the bottom and top of the unit and causes an odor that will linger, making vaping inside without drawing attention more difficult than a low-odor portable. While you’re outside, it will be less of a problem but we’d prefer it if the PAX 2 was just a little bit more ‘odor-stealth’.

Difficulty

Ease of Use

During your session, the PAX 2’s controls are pretty intuitive once you get the hang of them. You turn the unit on by pressing once on the mouthpiece. The petals will glow purple to indicate that the unit is heating up, green to let you know when you’re good to take a draw, and then turn blue to let you know when it’s cooling back down after 20 seconds of no movement. Checking the battery level is also a breeze – just give the PAX 2 a shake and the petals will light up to indicate how much battery is left, with each petal representing 25% of the remaining battery life.

Unfortunately, the PAX 2 takes a good deal more maintenance when it comes to keeping the unit clean – and you need to keep it clean if you want to have a quality draw, thanks to the internal metal screen that has a tendency to clog. The oven gets dirty very quickly, and if you don’t clean it regularly it’s very possible for the caked up residue to make it difficult or even impossible to remove the screen from the unit at all. Generally, we were disappointed in how much maintenance the PAX 2 requires, especially for a unit in its price range, especially because this was such a big concern with the first model.

Portability

Portability

The Pax 2 has a weight of a mere 92 grams, making it 10% lighter and 25% smaller than the original model. It is super light and compact unit that felt really sturdy and secure while in transit without feeling like a burden. The short battery life of the Pax 2 does have some impact on portability, as you may need to seek out a USB outlet after a few sessions if you’re out and about.

 Conclusion

PPloom definitely took several steps in the right direction with the PAX 2, giving us a gadget that’s a lot smarter, more stylish, and smaller than the original. However, we were a bit disappointed with the battery life, draw resistance and the amount of maintenance necessary to get great, consistent vapor out of this unit, especially for how much it costs. If a pretty unit that gets the job done is all you’re looking for regardless of price, the PAX 2 will do what you need and we’ve seen countless cases of people flocking towards the PAX for looks alone. If you’re looking for higher quality vapor or an easy to clean and maintain unit, you should take a look at the Prima vaporizer for its equally stylish exterior, removable vapor pathway and some of the best vapor we’ve tasted in a while. You can even get the Prima tax-free from the authorized vaporizer store we recommend, with free shipping to boot!

Thanks for reading our PAX 2 Review

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About The Author

Senior Content Specialist
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Dan is a writer with a massive vaporizer collection who loves video games, superhero movies, finding new music, comic and regular books and critically deconstructing those things until he wonders why he liked them in the first place. He's also a pragmatic fitness enthusiast who believes that the best actions you can take in your daily life are those that help you reach your goals, and that naps are the most lofty, but also the most noble goal one can have.

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