As I write this article comparing the effects of the Pax 3 against the Dynavap M, both vaporisers sit beside my keyboard, still in their boxes. Actually, the Dynavap M doesn't come in a box - its packaging looks more like a strangely shaped hockey puck. Seeing as the Pax 3 is battery-powered, I'm going to unbox it first, charge it up and start comparing.
Unboxing Pax 3 - £200
The box opens like a book, with the entire unit embossed on one side and instructions and accessories on the other.
The unit looks and feels premium. The ultra-minimal design adds a touch of discreetness, and due to its small size, I could imagine taking this to most places with me.
There is the option for a flat mouthpiece or a pointed one. I'm not sure what the purpose of this subtle change is, but I can see myself preferring the mouthpiece that sticks out slightly - similar to the function of the old Pax models.
The box in front of me contains some extra accessories, the most important of which is the concentrate oven. This insert allows me to vaporise cannabis extracts in the Pax.
Unboxing Dynavap M - £56I received my Dyanvap M in the same size letter that my phone bill comes in. The pocket-sized cardboard packaging is made from recycled materials and acts as an excellent case.
The artwork on the case builds a cosmic excitement, preparing us for our exciting voyage into space. "Here is your key to the Dynaverse" is written on one side, and "welcome to battery freedom" on the other.
Battery freedom! I can't help but acknowledge how light the Dynavap is compared to the Pax. Not having to carry a battery around seems like something I could get into. I already feel unsettled by how reliant I've become on electronic devices. The idea that I can vape my weed without electricity, charging, or even a broken device opens up new possibilities. Technically, this Dynavap could last me a lifetime.
Admittedly, I was confused about how the actual unit operates at first. I kept thinking about how it looks more like a luxury whistle than something that can vape weed.
Fortunately, it came with a detailed instruction leaflet outlining the simple steps to vape weed. It explained the following 3-step process; Heat the tip with a lighter until the cap at the tip clicks, and inhale while covering the airhole on the side.
Convection vs Conduction
You'd think that the most significant difference between the Pax 3 and Dynavap M is their contrasting reliance on batteries; however, the most critical difference is how they vape weed.
The Pax 3 is a conduction vaporiser that applies heat directly onto the weed. The Dynavap M is a conduction and convection vaporiser, meaning it heats onto and through weed as hot air passes through the green material.
I've always prefered convection vaporisation because as hot air passes through weed, it evenly heats the entire oven. Convection produces a cleaner vapour and avoids what some call 'hot spots from forming. 'Hot spots' commonly form in conduction vaporisers like the Pax 3 and are regions within the oven that overheat parts of the herb.
Comparing Their Vapour
I waited 90 minutes for the Pax 3 to reach full charge and proceeded to prepare both vaporisers for a comparison session. Before touching any weed, it's crucial to 'dry run' both vaporisers. A 'dry run' is when you operate a vaporiser with an empty oven to heat up and remove any chemicals that might reside from the manufacturing process.
After doing this, I loaded them up with some Lemon Skunk, a CBD flower that I know has a potent aroma.
Oven Size: I loaded 0.3g of weed into the Pax 3, whereas the Dynavap had space for 0.1g.
Pax 3: The unit began to heat up after I selected the medium temperature setting. Heat up took 90 seconds, after which the light changed colour, giving off a gentle buzz.
I took a long, slow drag from the mouthpiece and was met by a complete and flavourful mouthful of thick weed vapour. I was delighted with this first hit and continued to take several more until the unit automatically turned off. I enjoyed several reheats before emptying the contents of the Pax oven.
Unfortunately, I found in the oven not an even distribution of vaporised weed. It was dark brown around the edges and still relatively untouched in the centre. This drawback did not affect the initial flavour much, but it's clear that it is not the most efficient vaporiser.
I refilled the Pax 2 more times to see how the vaporiser can handle several more reheats and found that while the initial hits are its most flavourful, the overall flavour gets increasingly worse over time. In addition, the lingering taste of overheated weed began to creep into fresh refills.
Dynavap M: I applied heat to the tip of the Dynavap using a 3-flame torch lighter, turning the vape slowly to apply heat consistently. After 8 seconds passed, I heard a click sound indicating that the Dynavap was ready to be vaped. While inhaling through the mouthpiece, I covered the airports found on the side to slow the airflow.
The first hit was phenomenal. An intense rush of weed flavour engulfed my mouth, and I felt a 'hit' on the back of my throat. Interestingly, the vapour production was light on this first heat-up. I took 3 more draws until the device made another click sound, indicating that the session was over.
Using my lighter, I heated the bowl again, achieving much more vapour. The amount of vapour this second reheat produced exceeded anything I experienced with the Pax 3, and the flavour remained intense. I continued to reheat my first bowl a total of 4 times before refilling it with new weed material to test the taste after constant use.
My findings were that the Dynavap successfully delivers fresh flavour, even after several back-to-back bowls, and starts to show signs of needing to be cleaned at around 5 refills.
Unlike smoking, weed vaping comes with the arduous task of cleaning. To make life easier, I prefer vaporisers that are simple to clean. Bonus points to any vaporisers I can clean just before I intend to use them, as I often forget to clean them before a session.
Now that I have gotten both vaporisers dirty with weed resin, I have the chance to compare the cleaning experience. To give them an equal opportunity, I will use the Orange Chronic cleaner, often touted as the best cannabis cleaner on the scene.
Pax 3: Cleaning the Pax involves dismantling the device and cleaning 3 components; the mouthpiece, the stem, and the oven.
Because the Pax contains a battery, we have to be careful not to leak cleaning fluid into the body of the vape. So I dipped a Q-tip into Orange Chronic cleaner and rubbed it against the mouthpiece and the oven, quickly removing residue without much effort. Next, I needed to source a unique pipe cleaner to clean the stem long enough to insert it through the device. It wasn't difficult to give the device a full clean, but you'll need to source pipe cleaners in advance, as a Q-tip won't be enough to clean the entire unit.
Dyanvap M: One of the benefits of being completely battery-free is that there is no risk of electrical damage. I dismantled the Dynavap and placed all its components in Orange Chronic cleaner - except the O-rings. While doing this, I had the idea to transport the soupy Dynavap into a Zip-lock container so I could manually shake it about without spilling Orange Chronic everywhere. The force from shaking the components in Orange Chronic was enough to clean the Dynavap in around 10 minutes. I set it out to dry on a paper towel and an hour later was able to use the device - now completely clean.
Many readers will immediately notice a significant price difference between these two vaporisers. The Pax 3 Costs £200, while the Dynavap M costs £56.
While the Pax 3 certainly looks and feels like something that would cost triple digits, it lacks both the performance and convenience to justify its price. In addition, I can't help but think that Pax made the device with the priority of looking beautiful rather than being the best vaporiser it can be. When I first picked it up, I had huge expectations that it would impress me. No doubt, I found myself excited by the box, its presentation and the weight of it in my palm. But the Dynavap M beats it across the board.
The Dynavap M offers vape quality that I can compare to the most expensive vaporisers on the scene, like the Volcano. It vaped my weed consistently, drawing its flavours and distributing them equally throughout my session, so there was never a dull moment.
The design of the Dynavap M isn't just beautiful; it's practical and makes sense. I believe the team behind it set themselves out to make the best vaporiser possible.
I appreciate that Dynavap encourages us to step away from electrical reliance. As a result, I won't ever find myself anxiously asking myself, "Did I forget to charge my vape again?". And because it is free from electrical parts, cleaning the Dynavap seems easier than operating it.
For these reasons, I favour the Dynavap M over the Pax 3. As a reliable and cost-effective weed vaporiser, I recommend it to weed users of all levels of experience.