Pax Vaporizer Review

Pax delivers strong vapor clouds in a small, Apple-like aesthetic. Nearly as small as a vape pen, Pax is a slick and stealthy portable herb vaporizer despite a few flaws.

Last updated: January 24, 2018
Pax 1 has many problems with the mouthpiece unit that reveal themselves slowly over regular use. Version 1 is considered a flawed design, so skip it and go directly to Pax 2 which solves all of these issues and more, or if you need super-fast warm-up times and Bluetooth/app controls opt for Pax 3.

Pax (black) sitting ready among some plants

Pax is slim and fits nicely in your hand, like a large lighter.

Designed by Ploom, a San Francisco-based smoking start-up, Pax feels well-designed and thoughtfully considered from the minimal on button to the personality in the single glowing light. Ploom’s Pax is one slick and stealthy portable vape.

Pax feels good in your hand, it’s small like a kids bike handle. As battery-powered vaporizers go, it’s powerful yet smooth and sleek; slim with rounded corners and brushed aluminum. The glowing X light changes color as Pax warms-up and turns green when Pax is ready. The light also changes when it’s charging or the battery is low. Simply push the mouth piece to turn it on, it operates silently and with a mild oder of herb. Because the magnetic oven lid doesn’t form an air-tight seal, Pax tends to give off more odor than other portable vapes, just something to be aware of if you have a loaded Pax in your pocket.

How it Rated: 91%

This high-tech vape is the best premium portable vaporizer available today.

Pax is on the middle price range for portable vaporizers, but it has the largest herb oven size we know of, which helps it deliver powerful hits of vapor in a compact package. The Launch Box is a better value but the Pax delivers on more.

Load herb into the oven, pack tightly; press mouthpiece to turn on and wait 30-90 seconds for green glowing light. Intuitive to open and turn on/off. Very elegant and simple to use. (When it works. I’ve updated this review to take 2 points off ease of use after numerous and well-documented trouble with the mouth piece, despite multiple cleanings.)

Pax is stylish like an Apple iPod, with its brushed aluminum case but even more minimal and simple to use. Sometimes it draws attention due to its size in my hand, but not like the Arizer Solo. Pax is high-quality, but just shy of the Apple-standard in construction and design; we found the top and bottom edges a little rough, the on light shines thru the mouthpiece, which also wiggles enough to make a slight rattle — all fairly minor points.

The case feels sturdy, but we wouldn’t recommend dropping it to see what happens. The pieces feel solid and well-made.

Load herb; press mouthpiece to heat; vape.

Push on one side of the over door to flip open. Load ground herb in and shake into hole. Pack herbs down tightly into oven using the lid for best results achieving dense vapor clouds.

Grid fine and pack the chamber tightly with herb. Gently inhale vapors slowly and consistently for good hits. Pull too hard and it feels like a super thick milkshake, go slowly. The Pax has poor airflow, so inhalation takes practice, but the vapor is thick once you get the hang of it. If the mouthpiece is hot you’re pulling too hard and fast! Let the vapors fill your mouth gently. With the temperature set to medium or high you’ll be exhaling impressively thick vapor clouds for any vape.

Dump the oven contents with a tap or two, maybe more if your herb was sticky.

Grind your marijuana finely; stir the oven contents every 6-8 hits. Pax is an efficient unit, some herbs can be hit for 20-30 vapor draws before being fully cached, so experiment with your specific strains. Over the long term you’ll be saving about 15% of the herb smoked in a bong or pipe.

Official Pax instructions say to clean resin build-up every 12 vape sessions, but our experience is after every four uses, or about every full battery charge; especially if you’re using high-quality medical-grade cannabis. Use pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol inside the air tube and mouthpiece about three times back and forth. Be sure to clean the mouthpiece socket for resin, (try toothpicks or tiny dental brushes) around the tube and especially down into the spring action. Use care not to splash alcohol on the temperature switch — this can glue it stuck. Cleaning the mouthpiece socket ensures good electrical connection when warming up.

Photo Gallery


A full charge takes about 90 minutes and should last about an hour of vaporizing time in our experience. Several web sites claim Pax can be used for up to 2 hours time, but we’re skeptical of this based on our tests, research on forums and experience with other portable battery powered vapes.

The Stats

Our Favorite Thing: The Oven

Pax has a unique herb chamber that almost completely surrounds your weed to maximize the contact with air, drawing more THC per toke than any other portable vape. We recommend you pack the oven tightly with herb as Pax seems to thrive on this and deliver very thick, strong and dense vapor clouds.

The Downsides

Well-designed products cost a premium. Pax is definitely the top portable we’ve tested to date, and that means it’s not cheap. If price matters most, then skip the Pax and check out our review of a great portable for half the price: the Magic Flight Launch Box.

What’s in the Box?

Quotes from Around the Web

“I love it, I love it, I love it!! I am never going to use combustion ever again!! I can taste the meds, enjoy inhaling, and know that I am not damaging myself as much as I could be. The intensity of the meds are so different. I love how it feels in my hand and I love the simpleness that it is. I began with the low setting and I packed the over about 1/4 full. I felt some effect of the meds but not as I have in the past. Is this what I have been missing? So, just about 10 minutes ago I put it on medium and I’m feeling pretty amazing. I love the cleanliness feeling you get when inhaling, god… this is fantastic!!”

This small vape is amazing and I am so glad I invested in this work of art. Not only is it very pleasing on the eye, it is incredible to use! I am not experienced in the world of vapes but I will admit that now the bar is set pretty high when it comes to me replacing this or looking into a home unit.”

— SoCalShore, forum member of the popular pot smokers site f*ckcombustion

Two Techniques for Inhaling

Based on our experience along with reading other people’s advice on the web, we recommend these two techniques for how to get big, thick vapor clouds from your tiny little Pax.

  1. Cigar puffing, or using your cheeks to draw vapor into your mouth, then inhaling from your mouth. It takes practice, but a tight lip seal and pulling or sucking from your mouth and cheeks are key.
  2. Slow, gentle, steady inhaling. Try to imagine the vapor gently moving into your mouth and lungs as you draw air from the mouthpiece. Long and slow is key.

The Bottom Line

Pax is a premium portable vaporizer, there are cheaper options. At $200 it’s a decent price. Looking for something a little smaller, faster and easier to clean? Get a Pax 2, it’s worth the upgrade price.

About my Pax vaporizer review

You made it to the end—I appreciate that! I worked hard to make this Pax vaporizer review the best on the internet through careful research, taking helpful photos and lots of personal hands-on testing over months of regular medical marijuana use. If you like my work, consider buying from my referral link so I can keep this site going. VapeWorld has top-notch online customer service and I’ve recommended shopping with them for years. Plus they are an authorized dealer for Pax so you get a legit warranty.


large image of the Pax vaporizer in black

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