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Courtesy of Pax Labs

The Pax Era is Simplicity Incarnate

Only PAX could release two diametrically opposed products within months of each other and nail them both. One is the PAX 3, which offers per- haps more bells and whistles than any personal vaporizer to date. The other is the PAX Era, a master class in simplicity designed specifically to create the easiest concentrate experience possible.

The unit itself is described as “ultra-slim,” and that’s the truth. In my pocket, it’s as noticeable as a pack of Juicy Fruit. Even single-use disposable pens are bulkier than the Era, which is so small that you just might lose it every now and then. There are no buttons to power it up or adjust its settings. Instead, it activates only when connected to a pod, a proprietary cartridge that PAX has provided to two companies so far: Bloom Farms in California and the Lab in Colorado. To turn it off, simply remove the pod.

The unit itself is described as “ultra-slim,” and that’s the truth. In my pocket, it’s as noticeable as a pack of Juicy Fruit. Even single-use disposable pens are bulkier than the Era, which is so small that you just might lose it every now and then. There are no buttons to power it up or adjust its settings. Instead, it activates only when connected to a pod, a proprietary cartridge that PAX has provided to two companies so far: Bloom Farms in California and the Lab in Colorado. To turn it off, simply remove the pod.

In order to use the PAX Era, you will have to go to a dispensary that sells these pre-filled pods from Bloom Farms, which is unquestionably the biggest downside to the Era, for now. Speaking with PAX Labs CEO Tyler Goldman for a previous story, he told me that there are plans to expand the number of companies receiving PAX Era pods, but for now Californians have one option.

Luckily, it’s a good one! Bloom Farms currently offers three special blends of oil: indica, hybrid, and sativa. I received an indica pod as my sample, and it was a tasty (and potent) concentrate. The Bloom Farms’ website conveniently offers a store locator to show where pods can be purchased. Using the zip code “94131,” I was given a list of ten dispensaries in San Francisco, as well as six in the East Bay, four in San Jose, and a host of others across California.

The bottom line is that finding the pods will not be difficult for most, but it does mean that once one pod runs out, the Era is by definition useless until you grab some more.

The experience of using the Era could not be easier. As soon as a pod is connected to the device, its four-petal design blinks to let you know it’s ready, and you can immediately begin hitting it. There’s no wait time! The draw is smooth and flavorful, a compliment both to Bloom Farms’ oil and the unit itself. For the indica specifically, I found one deep drag to be more than sufficient, but results may vary based on tolerance.

As a final bonus, like its sister, the PAX 3, the PAX Era can be Bluetooth-paired to the PAX Vapor App for customized volume, temperature, and flavor settings.

THE VERDICT

Cool Factor

The PAX Era’s coolest attribute is how discreet it is. It’s hard to come up with a list of places you couldn’t take this thing, plus the fact that you can hit it the moment you connect it to a pod means it’s easily become my go- to travel vaporizer, especially with a battery life of up to 220 puffs. Plus, you can customize your settings down to a single degree via an app on your smartphone. That the PAX Vapor App

works with both the Era and the PAX 3 means you can control an entire suite of products in one system. You can even lock your device from the app, meaning no one can steal your Preciousss while you’re away.

Practicality

If you have pods, the Era is as practical as they get. If you don’t, things aren’t quite as simple. As mentioned, Era users will simply have to go where the pods are if they want refills.

On the flip side, you can’t really blame PAX for making a closed-system product. With a generic pod, aspects like quality and leakage would be far more variable, and by hand-selecting Bloom Farms and the Lab, PAX has ensured they are placing their pods in the hands of competent concrete makers. On the charging front, the Era uses a micro-USB port and takes 60 minutes to charge. Hard to beat that.

Affordability

At $59.99, the PAX Era is the most affordable PAX product to hit the market, by a longshot. It’s pricier than some equivalent units, but as has become the PAX standard, you won’t find a more complete, quality product.

The pods won’t come cheaply either. On ApothecariumSF.com, all three blends were in stock and listed at $40 each. (To be fair, these are 500 mg cartridges, and each one is going to last you quite a while.)

SCORE: 4/5