This will be a comparison between the Pax 2 and the new Firefly 2 portable vaporizers. Both of these vaporizers were two of my top picks for portable vaporizers back in 2017 and either one could easily be your daily driver.
Update: This is a review for the Firefly 2, not the Firefly 2+. The Firefly 2 is discontinued and no longer being sold. You can check out my Firefly 2+ review for all the new info. The information below is correct and up to date but the old FF2.
Lastly, I recommend checking out my top picks for the best dry herb portable vaporizers if you wanted to see some more options and feel free to leave a comment below with any questions. Comparison continued…
The Firefly 2 is an on-demand pure convection vaporizer that produces the best vapor quality that you can currently get out of a portable vaporizer. It heats up in less than 10 seconds, you can easily split bowls into multiple sessions, and comes with 2 replaceable batteries.
The Pax 2 is one of the most portable vaporizers on the market behind the Grasshopper. The Pax 2 offers an extremely sleek design that makes it one of the easiest to pocket out on the go and the slim design also makes it extremely durable. I’ve dropped the Pax 2 multiple times on hard surfaces and it’s still going strong. The Pax 2 heats up in around 45-75 seconds, comes with 4 different heat settings, and comes with a 10-year manufacturer warranty.
Now, these two portable vaporizers are very different in the way they perform.
- The Firefly 2 is a pure convection unit while the Pax 2 is a pure conduction unit.
- The FF2 allows you to quickly get in a session and not waste any herbs during the heat up and cool down process.
- The Pax 2 is meant to be a session vaporizer. Meaning the Pax 2 works best if you have the time to sit down and enjoy the session for 5-15 minutes.
- You can come back to a FF2 bowl later and still have good flavor and vapor quality.
- The Pax 2 really performs best and is most efficient when you finish the bowl in one session.
Pax 2 vs Firefly 2 Size Comparison
In my earlier Pax 2 vs Firefly 1 comparison, it’s pretty easy to see that the original Firefly’s stainless steel design was nowhere near as portable as the Pax 2. Now the size gap has been reduced and the Firefly 2 is much more portable. The old Firefly was about 240 grams but the Firefly 2 now uses a Magnesium Alloy body which dropped the weight to only 140 Grams.
The Pax 2 is still a much smaller unit weighing roughly 90 grams and overall much easier to palm for discretion. The Pax 2 is also much smaller in overall size.
The exact dimensions of the Pax 2 are 3.87”H x 1.21”W x .085”D while the Firefly 2 is 5.1”H x 1.4”W x .96”D
Basically, if you’re looking for absolute portability, the Pax 2 is more than likely going to be your best bet. Although the new Firefly 2 has dropped overall size and weight, it’s still a bit bulky to throw in your jean pockets.
Now don’t get me wrong. The new Firefly 2 is still portable and can easily be taken on the go, it’s just that we’re comparing it to one of the most portable vaporizers on market. So keep that in mind when deciding on the size factor.
The other thing to consider about size and concealment is that you can literally pull out the Firefly 2, be vaping, and complete your session in under 45 seconds. The Pax 2 would still be trying to reach temp at this point. So the time in which you complete a session should also be considered when thinking about the portability aspect.
One of the final things I like to consider for portability is what types of situations the vape will work well in. I don’t think the Firefly 2 will be able to handle the abuse the Pax 2 can take, and the Firefly 2 requires a long slow draw which can be tough if you are out of breath, so I definitely prefer the Pax 2 when hiking, mountain biking, skiing etc.
Both the Firefly 2 and the Pax 2 are one complete piece and there’s nothing extra to lug around with you unless you want to bring the extra Firefly 2 battery with you on a long trip.
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Firefly 2 vs Pax 2 Charging System & Batteries
The Firefly 2 and Pax 2 battery systems have some similarities and some differences but they are both very good. The original Firefly only came with one battery and would only get you between 2-3 bowls per full charge, but the new Firefly 2 comes with two replaceable batteries that are getting me between 4-6 bowls per charge. So basically the Firefly 2 battery has doubled the average life and you now get two of them. The downside is that you will have to carry around an extra battery if you’re going to need those sessions.
The Pax 2 also has very good battery life and I average between 4-6 sessions, sometimes more, on a full charge. The Pax 2 battery is NOT replaceable but the longevity and quality of the battery is something I can definitely attest too. I’m going on over a year with the Pax 2 and countless charges with no battery degradation. I’m still getting the same amount of bowls as I was when I first bought the Pax 2. With the large oven and strong battery, the Pax 2 can vape a larger volume of herb per charge than most other portables.
Both the FF2 and Pax 2 use a charging dock system. The Pax 2 charging brick connects to the back of the Pax 2 via a pretty weak magnet and charges via USB. The Firefly 2 has a cradle that you slide the unit into and it will also charge via USB. The downside to both of these charging systems is that you can’t be charging them in a backpack or purse on the go because they will just fall off the chargers. So each one of these charging docks will require some sort of rubber band or hair tie to hold them in place while charging in a bag.
These charging devices are nice and easy to use while at home but can be a hassle on the go. It’s much easier to just plug a micro USB into the unit like on the Crafty and not have to worry about it falling off the dock in your bag and not charging.
In summary, both the FF2 and Pax 2 have very good battery life but I really like the idea of replaceable batteries. This way I can charge some up if I’m heading out to a festival or long hike.
The Chambers, Heating Elements and Vapor Paths
So this is where the units really become two different beasts and it’s really completely up to the user how he/she will be using the vaporizer.
The Pax 2 is a conduction unit meaning that the herbs are being heated from the surfaces of the bowl during the entire session and its best to finish the entire chamber in one sitting to avoid wasting any herbs. The Firefly 2 is a convection unit meaning that the only time your herbs are being heated is when you are drawing and hot air is passing over the herbs. You can literally take your finger and place it in the bottom of the Firefly 2 bowl without burning yourself.
The Pax 2 uses a stainless steel chamber with a silicone mouthpiece. The Firefly 2 uses an all-glass chamber, vapor path, and a plastic mouthpiece.
The Firefly 2 offers 5 different heat settings for dry herb ranging from 340F – 420F (171C – 215C) and one setting for concentrates that is 500F or 260C. The temps can be changed via the Firefly Vapor app which is available for both Android and iOS phones.
The Pax 2 offers 4 different heat settings ranging from 360F – 420F (180C – 215C) and also comes with the new lip sensing technology. This feature is able to sense the presence of your lips on the top of the mouthpiece and ramp up heater production during draws to keep it more consistent.
Overall you get a bit more control with the Firefly 2 since you get one additional temperature setting for dry herbs and the extra boosted temp for concentrates.
Pax 2 vs FF2 Cleaning and Maintenance
So both of these units are pretty easy to clean, but the FF2 is definitely the winner in this category. You really don’t have to clean the Firefly 2 very often and when I do it takes less than 30 seconds.
The Pax 2 is also easy to clean but the long stainless steel vapor creates a little more work overall when compared to the Firefly 2. With the Pax 2, you will need to take a pipe cleaner with a bit of isopropyl alcohol on it and slide it down the vapor path, this will clean out the vapor path and push out the oven screen. Then you will need to take a vipe (vape wipe) or a paper towel with isopropyl alcohol and then you will wipe underneath the silicone mouthpiece, wipe out the oven, and wipe both sides of the screen. The Pax 2 can drop in performance if you don’t clean the vapor path and oven screen which will cause a slow increase in draw resistance.
With the Firefly 2, you can wipe down the entire unit in less than 10 seconds with a wipe. The only thing that would take a little bit longer would be if you needed to clean the mouthpiece but that’s extremely easy as well. I generally do a wipe down on the Firefly 2 after about 10-15 sessions. You can definitely go longer without affecting performance if you want to and really the only thing that gets dirty somewhat fast is the window, but it’s just cosmetic and doesn’t affect performance in any way.
Like I said, both of these are pretty easy to clean but overall the Firefly 2 takes the cake. I think the Firefly 2 is literally the easiest portable vaporizer to clean ever.
Summary: Should I buy the Pax 2 or the Firefly 2?
So hopefully you came out of this Pax 2 vs Firefly 2 comparison with a pretty solid decision on which one fits your needs best. If you have any questions about the Pax 2 or Firefly 2, please leave a comment below or hit me up on my contact page.
Either of these portable vaporizers could be someone’s favorite and if I’ve learned anything over the years reviewing vaporizers, it’s that everyone will have different needs, wants, and expectations when looking for a portable vaporizer and there is no best vaporizer for everyone.
So it’s important to figure out where you will be using your vaporizer, how you will be using it, and what features matter most to you. There is no wrong or right decision here on which is the best.
I personally like the Firefly 2 for quick sessions, top-tier vapor quality, and replaceable batteries for use around the house, at friend’s places, and anywhere you want to have a real quick session without having to wait for heat-ups or having to vape a full session.
When I am going hiking, biking, skiing or snowboarding, or anything else a little more extreme, I would take the Pax 2 because I can easily pocket it and I know it’s durable enough to sustain any drops/bangs/crashes. It is also definitely easier to take a bunch of small sips on the Pax 2 when you are out of breath than it is trying to get good long draws from the Firefly 2. So really it all just comes down to where and how you want to use your vaporizer.
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