When I won talesmen’s Ploom Pax prize I was very excited. I have read about this toy many times and was quite curious. I contemplated buying it many times but couldn’t justify the expense. Ploom makes a variety of smoking products, but the Pax is their flagship.
Now, I’m an old school stoner who has been smoking far longer than most of the r/trees demographic have been alive. This gives me a clear view of what I like, and also a bias due to my particular expectations. I smoke very regularly, it helps me relax and just enjoy life.
For those married types with kids you are probably familiar with my routine. I lost my ability to smoke whenever I want and however I want long ago, settling into a structured routine. I get to smoke in the late evenings, and on rare occasion during the day, but long gone are the days when I could just wake and bake, or smoke on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the scene below is my most common smoking spot, something which may be familiar to far more of you than would like to admit.
Its been a long time since I smoked from a vaporizer. The last time was in college, decades back. I was always a pipe man, opting for a joint as a second option, but I would never turn anything down. Currently, my order of operations is a pipe, joint or a bong. The image at the top are my commonly used toys.
I am not exactly sure what I expected of the Pax, but to be honest I expected a bit more. There is no question that the device works, but to get to the state I like to be in using the quantity I generally use takes upwards of half an hour with this device, while a pipe is only 3 or 4 puffs.
~ Let me explain …
I regularly smoke by myself, always taking the same pinch in my pipe for every pick me up (usually to about ). This pinch is usually three puffs of the pipe, which gets me to a decent state of mind. When I first got the Pax, I charged it up, packed it in anticipation, then began my session.
My immediate impression was negative. Ploom’s Pax draws very hard and it is very difficult to understand how much I am getting (again, I’m not very vapor friendly). After 6 or 7 hard draws, I decided to wait. Got me to a .
Long story short, I spent the next hour puffing/waiting, puffing/waiting, and eventually I got to where I wanted to be (hour may be slight exaggeration, hard to tell how long it was, but it felt like forever).
Over the next two weeks, I used the Pax exclusively (even for group sessions). Because its for science, I tried to use it daily. Experimentation showed that after puffing steady for a few minutes, it got me to a decent state [3-4]. Lacking a bit, but good enough. However, if I smoked what was left in the oven through my pipe, I got a decent kick as well. So, I am left to wonder how long I have to puff on this thing to get every last bit of THC.
In order to get all the goods out of the oven, for only a few pinches mind you, it took upwards of half an hour. While this may be great for some, it doesn’t work for me at all. Being a family man, I need to get what I want quickly.
All in all, this device isn’t for me. While I like the whole health angle, I have a lot worse going into my body than a few puffs of smoke.
Its important to note that I experimented with this heavily. I changed the temperature to its highest setting, which definitely made it work faster, but then my grass would just smoke. If I want smokey grass, I’ll just use my pipe. Hence, I did most of my experimentation on its default heat setting.
Likewise, I tried cleaning things, looking for what could be making the draw so hard. It didn’t take long to discover that it was, in fact, the design that makes for such a hard draw. The way the air flows through the stem isn’t the most direct route from the oven to the lips.
On the flip side, my wife absolute loves the Pax. Its slow output is perfect for her, allowing her to pace herself. Likewise, its portability is amazing. If going on a hike, this is the perfect way to keep you happy for hours in the most inconspicuous way.
I can’t say I am disappointed in the Ploom Pax, nor that I don’t recommend it. I plan on using it a lot this summer on my hikes and various trips. It has its benefits, but unfortunately I can’t imagine something like this on a daily basis. Nothing, in my opinion, beats my pipe.
Just for reference, you can see my setup below. I have a few more toys, but they are in storage. The tin represents my stash, and usually also contains several sized papers, lighting equipment and is also used to store my pipe and grinder.
Please note, I am not a writer. Also, I’m a person who makes mistakes. Don’t read too into this, this is just my opinion. Oh, and I had some help in writing this, in case anyone cares.