Recently, I took a trip down to Washington State to check out the Pax Era. I snagged an indica pod and a sativa pod to compare the two. The Era is a new take on the vape pen. It uses proprietary pre-filled pods that snap right into the Era and then you simply inhale, it heats up automatically and feels very futuristic. As you can see in the video above, the Era is really small, like the size of a hotel key. This thing makes most other vape pens seem old school by comparison. The Era really is a step above and an evolution of the vape pen. There are some tradeoffs though, so it won’t appeal to everybody.
Inside the pods, there is a two-millimetre silica wick that is double ended for better saturation, to get every last drop out of the pod. It has a nichrome heating wire surrounded by food-grade plastics and cotton to help with condensation. The Era itself has an algorithm-controlled heater, it ramps up quickly to your desired temperature, then it enables variable wattage mode to maintain that temperature, rather than just continuously heating up. It is lightyears ahead of the technology in a lot of other vape pens because they just get hotter and hotter as the cycle continues.
Quite expensive, but very convenient
You can only buy the proprietary pods for the Pax Era in legal states for now. When you open the cartridge box you can see its very secure, kind of sealed like a pill bottle, so it’s not accidentally coming out of there. I picked up some Acapulco Gold and some Strawberry Fields. The THC percentage was really high, in the mid-80% range. The pods are quite expensive compared to buying regular concentrate. The average pod is 0.5 grams, which doesn’t seem like a lot but it’ll give you good mileage.
There are tons of strains, from different producers, and the variety will vary regionally. The nice thing about having it in pods is that there won’t be any flavour transfer. They’re also convenient, the concentrate, wick, and heater are all in there, and when you’re done just throw it away, nothing to refill or anything like an e-cig mixture.
HOW TO USE THE PAX ERA
Operated via a creative button-free interface
Your Pax Era will come in a slick little box that slides open, it comes with a USB charging cable, and a bizarrely shaped instruction manual. It’s tough to read but does give you all the information you need. Mine was almost fully charged out of the box, but I’d advise you to just plug it into your computer for a little bit to get it up to 100%. Now place your pod on the Era. It can go on either way, unlike a USB cable it’ll work no matter which way you orientate it. Like the Pax 3, just shake the device to check the battery life. How long your battery lasts will depend on your draw length, and the temperature you have selected of course. I can get a hundred draws off this battery, which is insane.
When you attach a pod the lights of the Era will illuminate in a downward pattern, letting you know that it’s correctly inserted. When you remove a pod the lights illuminate upwards, it's a neat little detail. Changing the temperature is very easy, just shake it to initiate the battery check mode, then remove the pod, it will then cycle through the available temperatures until you stop it at the temp you want by putting the pod back in place. Simple, creative and effective. It’s a great interface that avoids the need for any buttons. When you're ready for a hit just put your lips on it and inhale, nothing else to do. You can take short puffs or long rips, it will easily handle either. When you’re done just toss it back in your pocket. It won’t accidentally turn on or anything because it needs air to be drawn through it to activate the heater, so it can’t unintentionally fire up.
It also has a cool session counter to keep track of how many hits you’ve had, not a super-useful feature for me, but others may find it appealing. The app is very easy to use, just shake your Pax Era while you have the app open and it’ll do the handshake to pair up with your phone. It’s an excellent way to handle that for a device with no buttons. The app can do custom temperatures adjustments in single degree increments. You can also change the colours on the Era just like you could on the Pax 3.
There is really no maintenance whatsoever. When a pod is empty, throw it away, clip on a new one. That’s all there is to do with this piece. It comes with a one year warranty, and as long as you don’t misuse the Era it should last you forever, because all the vaporization processes happen within the pod which gets replaced every single time.
Very smooth, even while taking the largest rips
I could not be more pleased with the vapour quality, I'm very surprised and impressed by the flavour that the Pax Era pumps out. The oil in the pods might be the best tasting oil I’ve ever tried, the flavour from both varieties of pods was exceptional and I could discern the difference in tastes very clearly. It’s also very smooth, even while taking the largest rips, any coughing will be from potency and cloud size, not harshness. I didn’t have any soreness in my throat at all.
The size of the hits is also incredible. Keep in mind that with this system there is a little bit of PG in the pods so you will see a degree of that in your exhale, but it will be mainly vapour from the concentrate. The Era can be a very heavy hitter, especially for such a small piece.
EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTS
It can knock you out, or give you a nice mellow buzz
I haven’t really had the pods long enough to comment conclusively on the effects. How long the pods last will, of course, depend on how heavily you use them, temp settings, draw length, etc. I can say I’ve gotten more mileage than expected from 0.5 grams of concentrate, it just keeps hitting and hitting.
I cannot believe how hard the Pax Era hits me, I feel the effects immediately. It more like hitting a dab rig than a vape pen and the effects are instantaneous. It doesn’t have to knock you out though, you can take tiny little puffs and get a very nice mellow buzz. If you want though, go higher temp and take a huge rip, the Era will get you where you want to be.
Top-notch build quality
Like all Pax products, the Era has top-notch build quality, it’s an aluminium body, even the thin parts still feel solid and not like they’re going to bend. After a few days use the connections weren’t sticky whatsoever so it’s a safe bet there’s a good seal where it connects to the pods, it's comforting to know there won’t be any leakage. The Bluetooth and app integration have both worked flawlessly and that’s really added a lot to the whole experience
The Pax Era is peak convenience
Some vapes out there are getting way too complicated. It doesn’t get any simpler than the Pax Era and it is peak convenience, just load a pod and inhale. Hard to get more convenient than that really. Even that one extremely stupid friend that can barely tie their own shoelaces will be able to use the Era. When the pods are empty throw them away, no cleaning or refilling necessary. You get like-new performance every time, because it’s a new pod every time. The size, weight, and concealability all mean you can take this everywhere with you. The Pax Era is the ultimate stealth vaporizer.
You can only use it with their proprietary pods, which are not cheap
The Pax Era itself is cheap, it’s only $20USD. However, you can only use it with their proprietary pods, which are not cheap. For many people this will be a deal breaker, and I understand that. People will want to use their own material, or won’t want to pay $60 for 0.5mg of oil in a cute pod. There’s really no way around this part of it, there's no easy way to refill the pods that I have seen. The overall experience is well worth the extra cost to me though, and I would absolutely buy the pods again.
The Pax Era is incredibly small and light, it feels like something from the future. The flavour is absolutely to die for, and each strain is immediately discernible from the others. The effects hit me like a jackhammer, immediate head rush with no wait time or lag at all. The convenience cannot be overstated, I have never used a system that was more plug-and-play than this one, and with no explanation required at all. You can pass this to a friend and just say “inhale on this end” and they’ll get vapour, it is ridiculously easy.
The Pax Era is a step in a new direction, it’s a closed system and we haven't seen much of that in vaporizers so far. You have to buy their expensive pods to use with their really inexpensive vaporizer, but it is what it is.
I am a convert and I'm loving this thing
The effects of the Pax Era are incredibly strong and the onset is immediate. It’ll be tough going back to Canada where we don’t have these. I am a convert and I'm loving this thing. If you’re in a legal state, with access to the Era and their pods, I highly recommend you go out and try one soon. It is worth the extra money that you’re paying for the experience!
Thanks for reading guys! Keep it green, keep it sneaky!