The Best Pipes of 2018 (So Far)
Though they’re nowadays frequently overshadowed by their longer-necked bong cousins, pipes are a staple of the smoking world. They’re popular not only as an entry point for curious smokers, but also as a portable and affordable smoking piece for seasoned herb aficionados.
Living In a Material World
When it comes to basic pipes, 2018 has been all about material experimentation. Most pipes these days are traditionally made from blown glass, but this year has also heralded the embracement of a host of different types of pipes. Crystal stone pipes are perhaps the standout of the year. They’re immediately eye-catching, and it’s undeniable that they fit in with the modern hip obsession with new age well-being. Whether you believe in the health benefits of smoking with crystal (balancing chakras, creativity, energy, etc.) or not, bringing this pipe along to hang with a bunch of friends will definitely earn you attention.
These stone pipes are becoming more popular, resurging from the depths of early bowl designs. They’re often carved and smoothed from actual stone and offer a creative-looking alternative to glass that can be put in the fridge or freezer and kept cold. The Round Australite Stone Pipe is a perfect example of this brand of smoking fun, with beautiful marbled detail and an attractive, skipping stone-like design.
Looking for something sharper and more unique? The Luminous Glow-in-the-Dark Stone Pipe takes the material to a whole new level, giving it a glowing finish that’s perfect for night-time smoking around the campfire.
Wood is Good
Small pipes made of wood are also becoming popular, though these days they’re designed to twist apart to reveal a metal bowl that can be covered to keep herbs in place. The Original Monkey Pipe is a great example of innovative minds using wood as their creative influence. Many of the more intricate designs also have storage compartments built-in (like the Fisherman’s Friend), giving you a well-rounded smoking experience in a small package. Monkey Pipe specializes in hand pipes like these.
Roll with a Steamroller
If you’re looking for something with more of a punch than a traditionally sized and shaped bowl, check out the growing availability of steamroller pipes. They’re crafted in the shape of actual pipes, with an opening at one end for a mouthpiece, a carb in the front, and a bowl on top. Heftier than typical pipes while also being portable, steamroller pipes are a great option for people who want to take a bong-sized hit from a pipe-shaped piece.
See why you should give a steamroller a try.
The steamroller style doesn’t restrict itself to simple styles; plenty of options adopt the straight-across method and apply it to a novel design. Mathematix’s Salon Blow Dryer-Themed Steamroller is an absolute standout this year; it’s designed to look exactly like a hairdryer, making it the perfect stealth pipe. If you’re looking for something that catches the eye though, Empire Glasswork’s Plumbus Hand Pipe is an incredible specimen of creative glasswork. Made in the shape of whatever a Plumbus is, this conveniently hand-sized steamroller has worked glass for added artistic quality. Both Mathematix and Empire Glassworks have plenty of creativity in their hand pipes.
Dropping the Hammer
Another popular design this year has been hammer pipes, bulbous-bottomed pipes with downstems that let the smoker combine the water diffusion of a bong and with the convenience of a pipe hit. Like a steamroller, a hammer pipe builds on the typical idea of a pipe (a simple air intake combined with a carb) but also allows for space where water can be poured to filter the hit and cool the smoke. The airflow in a hammer pipe isn’t as efficient as a bong, sure, but when you want a water-filled pipe option known for its portability and easy cleaning, a hammer bubbler is the way to go. The ones made of borosilicate glass are bound to last through minor bumps and topples, always a plus for clumsy smokers.
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One-Hit Wonders that Stick Around
When it comes to one-hitters, taster bats are all the rage. These little pipes are thin, light, and ultra-portable for people who are looking for a smaller piece or shorter session. Most fit in dugouts and taster boxes as well, making on-the-go use a breeze. RYOT sells both an acrylic dugout and a wooden one, both available in multiple colors and sizes.
Chill Out with a Chillum
A chillum is another style of a one-hitter, although some are so deep that they can hold an entire smoke sesh inside. One of our most popular hand pipes, the 12mm 3” Chillum with Marble from Nucleus is sleek and effective. The mini hand pipe comes in many colors and is a great tool for your smoking arsenal. The price doesn’t hurt either.
A Twist On a Classic
A notable standout in spoon pipes is Grav Labs’ Mini Helix Classic Pipe, which features a non-traditional funnel-like design with extra air intake holes that change the airflow to a swirling, cooling pattern. The pipe is renowned for its smooth hits and certainly looks impressive sitting on a tabletop.
Although it doesn’t have the same airflow features, if you’re looking for a similarly striking piece the Finger-Pinched Spiral Fumed Spoon Pipe is an artistic alternative that will leave your smoking buddies wowed. The swirling glass details of the bowl make it an unusual choice for a spoon pipe and the narrowing near the entrance of the pipe means a controlled flow of air within the pipe that won’t leave you overwhelmed and coughing.
Check out our entire spoon pipe selection!
With even simple spoon pipe designs advancing into the artistic realm, it’s becoming easier and easier to choose a new pipe design that hits all the marks—including popularity. By picking up one of the best pipes of 2018 you can guarantee you’ll always be making waves when you pull the stash out—and who doesn’t want to be noticed for their good smoking piece collection?