Serious dry herb vapers know that a high-quality dry herb vaporizer is pivotal. High-end components are required to quickly create vapor while keeping the flavor crisp, clean, and authentic to your dry herb.
Two of the most popular dry herb vapes are the Firefly 2+ and the Pax 3. While both are highly rated, it can be difficult to fully understand what makes these vaporizers stand out from one another. In this article, we'll discuss everything from how these devices look, feel and perform.
By the end, you'll have the knowledge you need to make the best decision for your vaping needs.
Design and Features
One of the most obvious differences between the Pax 3 vs. the Firefly 2+ is the design. The Pax 3 is made to not look like a vaporizer at all. It's an excellent choice for those that plan on vaping in public and prefer to have a more discreet choice.
The Firefly 2+, on the other hand, is noticeably a dry herb vaporizer. While it lacks the ability to be discreet, the design allows for advantages like larger dry herb capacity and a more robust heating system.
In terms of physical features, both the Firefly 2+ and Pax 3 are simple and straightforward. The Firefly 2+ uses magnetic sealing to keep the heating chamber from accidentally opening. It also has a double-sided sensor instead of a physical button to fire the device, which significantly reduces the likelihood of the device accidentally firing while in a pocket or purse.
The Pax 3 also uses a magnetic sealing system and makes use of a traditional firing design, including a physical button. While this will be more familiar for vapers, it also increases the likelihood of accidental firing while in tight storage.
Vapor Quality and Taste
Both devices offer superior vapor quality and taste compared to other lower-end devices, though there are a few subtle differences. The Pax 3 creates fantastic vapor from dry herbs, but many users report disappointment when using the device to vape concentrates due to limited temperature options.
The Firefly 2+ shines in this category. It is consistently rated as one of the best dry herb vaporizers for taste, largely due to the advanced convection heating technology used in the device (the Pax 3 uses standard conduction heating). The Firefly 2+ also has a wider temperature range than the Pax 3, making it more ideal for concentrate vaping.
Ease of Use
Both the Firefly 2+ and the Pax 3 are extremely straightforward and easy to use. As we mentioned earlier, the Firefly 2+ uses a double sensor hold to fire the device to create vapor. The Pax 3 uses a traditional button that serves to power the device on and fires the device. Despite the design differences, both are very easy to use.
Ease of Loading Dry Herb
Both devices offer easy ways to pack your preferred dry herb. The Pax 3 just requires dry herb to be ground and tightly packed. Since this device uses conduction instead of convection, it is extremely important that the dry herb be packed as tightly as possible.
When packing the Firefly 2+, you'll want to loosely pack dry herb (instead of a super tight pack). This is because the device uses convection heating, which means air needs to be able to pass through the dry herbs. If you have packed your bowl and are struggling to pull a hit, you may have packed the bowl too tightly.
Use a Grinder
Regardless of which device you use, you must use a grinder for your dry herb. This allows heat to be evenly distributed and avoids a scenario where you have completely spent burnt ash mixed in with dry herb that hasn't vaporized yet. It will also reduce the likelihood of clogs in the vapor path, which can be tricky to fix once dry herb gets stuck in that area.
Kit and Accessories
You'll find a bit of a difference between what the Pax 3 and the Firefly 2+ offer in terms of accessories. Take a look below to see what each offer.
Pax 3 Accessories
While you need to pay a bit more to get this entire kit (usually around $50), it's worth the price to have a full suite of useful tools. You can expect to have:
- Standard multi-tool to help pack and clean out the heating chamber
- Concentrate insert to vaporize wax and specialty oils
- Half-oven lid, which allows for partial packing of the bowl
- 3 replacement screens, which you'll need to keep dry herb particles from clogging the device
Firefly 2+ Accessories
The Firefly 2+ offers less in terms of accessories, but it also needs less because of its design. While other accessories are available for separate purchase, the standard kit will come with the following:
- Charging dock
- Cleaning kit to keep your heating chamber clean and clear of debris
- Concentrate pads to vaporize wax and specialty oils
- USB 3.0 Cable
When you look at how these devices heat, you'll spot a major difference between the Pax 3 and the Firefly 2+. While both devices have received performance upgrades from their previous version, how the device's heat is also a primary difference when looking at the Pax 3 vs. Firefly 2.
Pax 3 and Conduction Heating
The Pax 3 uses conduction heating to create vapor. This means the dry herb needs to be in contact with the walls of the heating chamber so heat can be directly transferred, which creates vapor. It takes around 15 seconds to reach your desired temperature with the Pax 3.
Firefly 2+ and Convection Heating
The Firefly 2+ uses convection heating, which means no contact is needed between the heating chamber and the dry herb. Instead, the air is quickly heated (about 5 seconds), which is evenly distributed across your loaded dry herb. This creates a smooth, consistent vaping experience, which is why dry herb vapers overwhelmingly prefer vaporizers with convection heating.
The Pax 3's heating chamber is an enormous improvement over the Pax 2, and while it creates a solid vaping experience, it still doesn't match the quality of the Firefly 2+.
The battery life and charging time is another difference you'll see between these devices. The Firefly 2+ has a 750mAh battery, while the Pax 3 has a 3500mAh battery. The Pax 3 will allow you to vape through more bowls before you need to charge (between eight to ten, depending on your temperature settings), and the Firefly 2+ will get you through about four to six.
While the Pax 3 has a longer battery life, it also takes much longer to charge. It can take up to two hours for the Pax 3 to reach a full battery charge, while the Firefly 2+ only takes an hour. What kind of battery performance is best will depend on your preferred style of vaping.
While the Firefly 2+ has a shorter overall battery life, the design allows for the battery to be replaced (with spare batteries readily available). If you plan on vaping while traveling, having a spare battery will be a great choice to keep your vaping sessions uninterrupted.
The Pax 3 focuses on a discreet design with its mouthpiece, while the Firefly 2+ focuses on maintaining as high of a taste quality as possible. The Pax 3 offers two different mouthpiece types. The first lies flush with the body of the vape, which is ideal for discreet public vaping. The second is a silicone mouthpiece that sticks out from the body.
Which mouthpiece you choose will depend on your vaping preference. The flush mouthpiece requires your mouth to touch the body of the vape. For some, this may be uncomfortable as the body of the vape heats up during use. The silicone mouthpiece is more comfortable, though it makes it much more apparent that you are vaping.
The Firefly 2+ offers a food grade, BPA free plastic mouthpiece that extends slightly from the body of the vape. The mouthpiece connects to the glass vapor path, which means you get very crisp vapor that retains the authentic taste of your dry herb. For "flavor chasers" (vapers who value taste above all else), the glass pathway is a huge selling point for the Firefly 2+.
Cleaning and Charging
Both devices are easy to clean and charge. After each vaping session, both devices should have their heating chambers dumped out and any remaining debris removed with a cleaning tool. This will prevent resin and oil from building up inside, potentially affecting vapor quality or creating clogs within the vapor path (which are difficult to clear once present).
The Pax 3 uses a charging dock to recharge, and the Firefly 2+ uses a traditional USB plug-in. Remember, the Firefly 2+'s design allows for batteries to be swapped out, so keep that in mind if you plan to travel.
Both devices make use of a smartphone app to access control of their respective heating features. The Pax 3 allows you to more easily see the five different heating options it provides. However, if you don't have access to the app, you can still select these options directly from the device.
The app for the Firefly 2+ offers an enormous range of options. Instead of cycling through a few preset heating options, the app allows users to select a heating range between 200-400F. Without the app, you're limited to cycling between 320-420F (160-215C).
If you find a setting you like, you can use the Firefly 2+ app to configure your preferred heating option as an on-device selection. That way, you can access your preferred temperatures without needing to be connected to an app at all!
Both the Firefly 2+ and Pax 3 offer high-end solutions to vaping dry herb. If you're having trouble deciding between the two, here's a quick summary of what each device does well:
- Pax 3
- Discreet design
- High-capacity battery
- Generous bowl capacity
- Firefly 2+
- Superior vapor flavor (with both flower and concentrate)
- Wide range of heat preset
- Super fast 3-second heat up time
Still, have questions? Let us know! We want to be sure you get the perfect device for your needs on the very first purchase.
We look forward to hearing from you!