Today we are comparing the vapor quality, portability, discreteness, material quality, ease of use and other aspects of two user favourites – the convection based Crafty (Storz and Bickel) and the newer, conduction-based Pax 3 (Pax Labs).
Let’s get straight to what every user of a portable vaporizer wants to know first – vapor quality. In this corner, the Pax 3. This small vaporizer provides a smooth and flavourful draw. At higher temperatures, you can draw down a really decent vapor. However, this unit relies on conduction to heat so the flavour fades relatively quickly into a vaporizing session. Also, even though the vapor is decent at the higher temperatures, it is also harsher. The airflow on this unit is a bit restricted so you will need to practice your technique to get that perfect draw.
In the other corner we have the Volcano’s little cousin, the Crafty. Users will find that the airflow on this unit is almost completely unrestricted so drawing is easy. With its convection heating you will enjoy the flavour of your material longer into your session and will achieve more flavour even at the highest temperature. Heating the material with the hot airflow from the convection heating system prevents scorching that can destroy flavour.
In terms of portability the Pax 3 is one of the smallest vaporizers on the market. It easily fits into a pocket or purse without being noticeable. The magnetic cap on the unit makes it easy to pack up quickly when you have to get moving. The Pax 3 does need to be charged on a charging dock though, which makes it just slightly less portable than USB charged units. You will get long use from the battery though – approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours, depending on how you use it. Bonus.
On the other hand, the Crafty is charged via USB. In that way it’s is easy to take with you and charge on the go. It’s very lightweight and it will fit into a pocket or a purse easily. However, it is slightly bulkier than the Pax3 and if you are carrying it in a pocket, it will likely be noticed. The battery life on this unit is shorter than the Pax3, giving you approximately 45 minutes of use per charge.
The Pax3 is very small. It fits into your hand with no difficulty and is designed to be used discreetly.
The Crafty, on the other hand is not designed for discretion. Its bulkiness and placement of the mouthpiece make it quite visible while drawing.
The Pax 3 is a sleek, slender little vaporizer with a good hand feel. It has a stainless steel chamber and aluminum body. The aluminum body has a glossy coating which will leave fingerprints which are less noticeable on the lighter coloured models.
The Crafty is not an attractive unit and it has a plastic exterior which could be damaged with even a drop from a small height. However, the Crafty does have a cooling system built right into the unit, extending in to the mouthpiece which provides for that great smooth draw full of flavour which makes up for its chunky aesthetic.
Both the Pax 3 and the Crafty are single button operated and both have a Bluetooth app for controlling temperature, showing battery life and for the Crafty, dimming the lights on the unit. Both are really easy to use but there are features one may appreciate more or less that ease of use different for users.
The Pax has four preset temperatures and one additional programmable temperature in the app. That programmable temperature is variable within the range that the unit operates. Set your favourite temperature to reproduce the experience time and time again.
The Crafty only has two preset temperatures. However, you can change those with the app to whatever temperatures within operating range that you want. Unlike the Pax 3 though, you can leave the app open while using the Crafty to have perfect, precise temperature control. The Crafty is also easy to fill and provides haptic feedback to let you know when it’s ready to go.
Users are going to love the warranty on the Pax 3. At 10 years, the warranty is one of the longest in the industry. It comes in a range of colour choices, all metallic glossy. The temperature ranges from 182C to 215C with one temperature programmable within the app. Everything you need to start a session (with the exception of the material you plan to use) is included in the box.
The Pax 3 takes only 15 seconds to heat up to temperature so you can start drawing down vapour quickly. The battery is changeable on this unit, if it needs replacement.
The Crafty has an internal (not user changeable) battery that lasts 40 to 60 hours before needing replacement. There is a 2 year warranty on the unit itself, which is fairly standard for warranty length. The Crafty does have a lower battery life than the Pax 3 but is easier to charge on the go. The temperature ranges from 170C to 215C so slightly wider range than with the Pax 3 though both top out at the same temperature. You can use this unit with herb, solids or thicker oils (not too thin) and it has automatic shut off to preserve the batter.
Everything you need to get started with the Crafty is included in the box and the unit has some adaptability with accessories like a water tool, adding to its functionality.
Both are great small, portable vaporizers. If you want a long battery life with discreet use and simple design, the Pax 3 will make you very happy. On the other hand, the Crafty will give you versatility, precision control over temperature, easy drawing and it is easy to keep charged on the go.