There are very few if any weed pieces that holds glory and majesty and commands respect like the weed bong. With the right bong, your weed smoking experience goes through the roof. The experience is flawless and is second to none. But with all this, there is one question for most weed beginners and pros alike – how do you choose the right bong?
In this guide, we shall provide you with all the important features that you need to consider when choosing the best weed bong as well as a review to help cut down on your search for the best bong brands in the market. There is a substantial amount of information to jot down so let’s get started.
The Basics of a Bong
I should start by pointing out that the ‘Bong’ is a general term used to refer to water pipes. These come in all kinds of colors, shapes, and sizes. To give you a firm grasp of the bong anatomy, here are some parts of the bong.
- Bowl, Downstem and Joint – always, the joints are designed at an angle and lead into the water. They allow for downstems, bowls, and slides to be placed inside the bong. The smoke passes from the bowl go through the downstem and finally finds its way into the water and up into your lungs. Joints can either be 18mm or 14mm. Also, the angles vary between 90 degrees and 45 degrees.
- The Smoke chamber – after going through the water in the bong, the smoke rises and fills the smoke chamber awaiting inhalation. The larger the bong, the longer the smoke chamber gets. This then translates into larger hits. It is, however, difficult to clear very large bongs. That said, you should resist with every part of you to buy the biggest bong. This is unless of course if you want a monster hit.
- Carbs – these are small holes which when they are covered create pressure inside the piece. This allows for the smoke to gain more concentration for a single hit. The moment it is released, the smoke that is captured inside the bong can then be released. In most bongs, the carbs are found above the water line to help reduce the risk of accidental spills. Note that not all bongs feature carbs. Instead, they require weed smokers to remove the slides before they inhale.
Aside from these basic parts, there also are additional accessories which are designed to help improve the overall weed smoking experience a great deal. These accessories include diffuse stems, percolators and as catchers.
Most bongs are designed from glass, plastic/acrylic, and ceramic. The material type you choose solely depends on your preferences. However, like the bong shape, the material used comes with its own fair share of pros and cons.
- Glass – glass proves easier to clean compared to other materials. It cools faster and can prove to be durable when accorded proper care and maintenance. The glass bongs that are built with multi-layered glass and borosilicate glass are stronger than just plain glass.
One of the biggest shortcomings of glass bongs is their fragile nature. They cannot tolerate high-temperature differences. And given that they do not leave an aftertaste and users can track the water quality, glass is the preferred material to wood, plastic or ceramic.
- Ceramic – this is usually heavier and thicker than glass. Courtesy of their improved thickness and weight, they tend to withstand higher temperatures without showing fault lines. It is, however, fragile like untreated glass and should be handled with extra caution and care. You will notice that while ceramic and glass have several characteristics in common, they differ in that ceramic is opaque. As such with ceramic bongs, you do not have the luxury of watching the smoke and judging your hit or keeping track of the water quality. Ceramic is usually considered a cheaper alternative to glass. The great thing is that it is classier than plastic.
- Plastic – there isn’t anything wrong with plastic bongs per se. They actually do have lots of benefits. For starters, they are way cheaper than ceramic and glass. Additionally, plastic allows manufacturers to play around with a wide array of colors, texture, opacity, and shape. Additionally, they will survive falls and tumbles, unlike glass and ceramic. But why shouldn’t you get one? Well, plastic bongs are designed with metallic bowls and downstems. These tend to leave an undesirable taste. Therefore, it the budget allows for it, you best purchase a glass bong along with its accessories.
Beyond the basic bong, bong-makers have recently been pushing the features of bongs with additional extensions and accessories to the water pipes. These are designed to serve specific purposes such as filtering smoke and cooling. Additionally, they also tend to add to the general aesthetics of the bongs. There are those accessories that come built into bongs while there are those that need to be added later and can be switched if the need arises.
Some of these accessories include;
- Diffusers – before the smoke passing through the bog gets to the water, it has to go through a diffuser stem. This is a special stem that has been designed to break up the smoke into several different streams. This increases the surface area of the smoke and increases the cooling rate as the smoke makes its way to the water. They are usually easy to clean and switch from bong to bong.
- Percolators – the sub-chamber usually diffuse the smoke into different channels of water which results in the creation of several tiny bubbles which cool, filter and humidify the smoke. The results are a gentler and smoother hit. Percolators are available in different varieties. These depend on personal preference and efficiency. Some of the most common type of percolators includes tree, coil, inline and honeycomb.
- Ice catchers – these are built inside the bong chamber and above the water level. Ice catchers feature a cinch of glass which holds the ice. This accessory provides a chiller hit as the ice water slowly drips into the water reservoir and the smoke passes over the ice before finding its way into your lungs.
- Splash guards – anyone who has experienced knows best that it is a situation that one would rather avoid. A splash guard is a perfect solution to this problem. They are designed to fit between the bong chamber and water. It catches any water splashing before it gets to the mouthpiece.
- Ash Catchers – as the bongs become more complex, they also become harder and harder to clean. Getting rid of every piece of gunk from the honeycomb percolator is not an easy process. The same goes for the standard bongs as well – they can be a pain to maintain. It is for this reason that ash catchers come in handy. This is an external accessory that is attached to the bong and catches the ash and any resin before it gets to the bong.
Sure standard bongs work great and are efficient. But if you are looking for an improved smoking experience and to express your personality through the extensions, additions, and accessories, these will work wonders and provide you with some bit of luxury.
Picking the best bong of 2019:
Now that we have the basics out of the way let us get into the thick of things – best bong reviews.
This is an impressive miniature bong that has proven time and time again to be perfect for beginners. The bong comes with ice notches as well as three-arm slitted tree percolator. With this new design percolator, the smoke will cool faster courtesy of the increased surface area.
Overall, the bong provides beginners with all they need to start their journey with smoking bongs. The cooling and humidification of the bong are through the roof, and the carb hole featuring a rubber stopper improves the concentration of the smoke. The rubber stopper is easy to remove and put back.
The bong has been constructed from a high-quality borosilicate glass which adds to its strength. The only downside to this unit is that the unit comes with a single one-hitter bowl infused to its downstream. This makes the unit tricky to clean properly.
But overall, this glass bong is excellent and is a perfect beginners collection.
If you are not afraid of big hits, the EHLE is a monster bong you should get. The unit has been manufactured in Germany and is constructed using a thick and high-quality borosilicate glass. The EHLE is designed to make use of computer-controlled cooling as well as tempering which works to ensure that the glass produced not only looks great but is sturdy.
It is important to point out that this particular bong does not feature any percolators or ice notches. It, however, features a non-diffusing downtube. But despite its lacks, it tends to milk great and features great hits. The unit has an old-school set up, but it bounces back courtesy of its high-quality glass.
Pairing this with a pre-cooler will get you a bong that provides a perfect drag and near perfect huge hits. The only downside to this unit is that the bowl is not pinched. As such, it can prove to be too big, and one may find the need to buy a new bowl/downstem.
This is one of the best glass bongs available. It is fun yet simple in design. It features 5-separate chambers designed to help you filter and cool the smoke from the bong. With this unit, looks can prove to deceive. The bong provides pretty smooth hits. It is so satisfying to watch the chambers will with milky smoke. Additionally, the hits are pretty potent and hit hard fast.
This You Beauty is a perfect addition to anyone’s collection and is a perfect party bong. That said, the biggest downside of this unit is the fact that it takes a considerably long time to get it clean. The multiple chambers though adding to the beauty make it difficult to clean. The bowl is also slightly on the smaller side. It can feel pretty fragile as a result of the design.
This is a colorful and tough acrylic bubble base water pipe. Most people fall in love with the blended colors the pipe features. Given its acrylic design, it proves to be slightly more durable and sturdy than glass bongs.
This particular unit comes with a black base and mouthpiece. In addition to this, the acrylic bong features a carb hole complete with a rubber stopper for ease of opening and closing.
You should, however, bear in mind that the Downtube and the bowl are made of metal. Though this means that the unit will last for long, there are also chances of getting some aftertaste.
The colors provided may vary from red and yellow. Be sure of the color you want before making the purchase.
Bong designs do not get any clearer than this. This acrylic water pipe features a straight and clear design. But despite its simple design, it has proved to its past users to be more than effective.
The unit features a metal downstem and a carb hole to increase the concentration of the smoke from the bong. This downstem is held down in place with a rubber grommet which proves easy to clean.
Speaking of cleaning, you will be pleased to note that this unit is dishwasher friendly. As such, it provides you with the luxury of cleaning out every gunk from the bong. The simple design also makes it easy to clean with few hard to reach areas in which gunk can hide.
All parts complemented by the rubber are black.
So there you have it a comprehensive bong guide and review of the best bongs on the market. With the above guide, basics and reviews, you should be better placed to choose the best type of bong for yourself.
Ivan is a professional cannabis journalist. He has his work featured on websites like Cannabisradar, Leafly, Hightimes and few others.
When he is not writing or discussing about cannabis, he likes to drive & spend time with his wife & kids.
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