The Best Bongs of 2018 (So Far)
Shopping for water pipes can seem overwhelming because of the vast and ever-growing amount of choices available for every part of the setup. Those looking for a new bong now have a surprising number of elements to consider: the water pipe itself, the downstem, an ashcatcher or similar filter attachment, the bowl, and the list goes on. Every element works together to create a personalized experience, and with new developments and additions to the bong world arriving almost daily it’s more important now than ever to be up-to-date on the best bongs of the year.
Silicone Taking Center Stage
The big hit in bongs this year is silicone, a nontraditional water pipe material that’s made headway in the last few years and is now becoming ever more popular. Silicone has a number of benefits as a smoking material (especially compared to acrylic), including durability to prevent those wobbly moments when you suddenly find your bong smashed on the floor. Many silicone bongs come with suction cups on the bottom to make even just tipping the piece over nearly impossible, which is good for saving the potentially breakable glass bowls, downstems, and ashcatchers that often pair with the silicone bongs.
Beakers are as Popular as Ever
The beaker bong design is a popular choice for silicone bong aficionados because they’re often made in at least two pieces, separating the stem from the body of the bong and making the piece both portable and easy to clean. They give you the opportunity to bring a relatively large piece from place to place discretely and conveniently, making them popular for the smoker on the go who just has to bring a bong along. A prime example of this is the Silicone Beaker Bong from Nucleus. Any other 13” water pipe would be impossible to bring along with you realistically.
Portability is big in 2018, and people who prefer traditional glass over silicone aren’t being left entirely in the dust when it comes to being able to tote their bong around. The mini bong is having its time in the sun this year, both for its compact size and its generally low price point. Ingenuity is hardly limited by size when it comes to small bongs, which have come a long way from their acrylic, ball-bottomed origins. Mini bongs now come in a surprising variety of shapes and designs ranging from silicone skinny beaker bongs to glass mini bongs with double disk percs. Ice catchers are now more common in mini bongs as well, making them the perfect choice for a portable setup.
Tiny Pieces of Art
And because they’re smaller, mini bongs make specialized pieces more accessible, so if you’re looking for some beautiful and artistic glasswork without having to throw down thousands of dollars this is the category of piece to be exploring.
Get Down to Business with Downstems
Some of these themed glass bongs come with a very particular downstem style. When it comes to stem design, curved stems have been making an appearance alongside the ever-popular straight tube bong. Not only do they look neat, the curvature of the stem also encourages a change in the airflow within the bong and helps to keep each pull cool. Empire Glassworks utilizes this kind of downstem in a great deal of their themed glass bongs including the Land of Ooo Mini Bong.
Don’t Gotta Be a Scientist to Appreciate Scientific Glass
Scientific glass bongs are, of course, a mainstay in the market and more and more these pieces are incorporating ashcatchers and percolators into their stems, responding perhaps to the growing setups with hamster cage-like connectors and add-ons that can sometimes topple the bong. Naturally these upgrades, when inside the bong, improve the actual function of the stem itself and capitalize on otherwise unused space. Bongs that are tall enough might even contain a number of percolators along with an ice catcher. While bongs like these might be a little more demanding in terms of cleaning—you’ll really have to commit to a strong bong cleaner or a lot of 91% isopropyl alcohol—they make up for the inconvenience by giving you an all-in-one filtered hit and allowing you to avoid having to spend money on expensive glass add-ons.
Always Finding New Features
In the spirit of combining functions, when it comes to glass bowls the 2018 standout are percolator bowls. They offer yet another opportunity for smoke filtration while saving space. Some, like the Ashcatcher Bowl, can even help keep your bong clean.
Recycling isn’t Just for the Earth
The last of this year’s popular features is the water recycler design, which helps filter the smoke in your bong and cool it down at the same time. This is not to mention that pieces with recyclers are definitely the coolest looking smoking gadgets on the market these days, if you’re looking to impress with your glass.
Every year bongs and their add-ons seem to get both more complex and more streamlined. Smoking is more efficient now than it has ever been, and with options ranging from the simplest mini bong to the tallest tree-perc double circ bong, smokers at every price point can get themselves a water pipe.