Smokers tend to be an adventurous bunch. When done in moderation, smoking can be combined with outdoors activities such as hiking, camping etc. For many people, an open environment helps a smoke sesh be more relaxing and fun. Though there are many options for the outdoor smoker (rolling papers, hand pipes, bubblers, etc), nothing quite matches the sweet rip of a bong. As such, many have attempted to combine their desire for a bong with their love of the great outdoors.
The biggest issue facing bong-loving adventurers is that even thick glass is breakable. While high-quality boro glass can resist most impacts, they’re not intended to be stored in a moving vehicle or dropped onto the earth. All of this makes the prospect of bringing your several hundred dollar heady pipe a risky one. Some innovators have stepped up to make bongs that aren’t as vulnerable.
One of these innovators is Roll-uh-Bowl creator Charlie McKay. An outdoor enthusiast himself, Jones wanted to create a water pipe that could keep up with his active lifestyle and help change the image of smokers as lazy couch potatoes. With that in mind, he found a certified silicone manufacturer in Maine and began work on the Roll-Uh-Bowl; a portable, foldable and indestructible water pipe. The Roll-Uh-Bowl is comprised of a soft silicone tube, a removable downstem, and a metal bowl that can all be folded together and held closed with the included silicone storage band. Once the user is ready to start smoking, he/she can roll out the bong and insert the downstem and bowl. Once that’s done, the Roll-Uh-Bowl works like any other bong: put in water, tobacco and then enjoy. And for the dabbers out there, the Roll-Uh-Bowl can also serve as a cheap, portable dab rig. Simply flip the pipe’s metal bowl to make a male joint and place a dab nail on it in order to dab anywhere you want.
Though a relatively new name in the industry, the Roll-uh-Bowl received some surprising sponsorship from the indie film Swiss Army Man starring Paul Dano and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. The film focuses on an island castaway who’s suicide attempt is interrupted when he comes across a corpse that washes ashore. The corpse turns out to have magical properties and can be used for several purposes: acting as a raft, helping him fish, and lighting fires. Given the film’s theme of Man Vs. Nature, it makes sense that they chose the Roll-uh-Bowl as a tie-in promotion. The producers sent a Roll-uh-Bowl to the popular entertainment site The Wrap as a gift and put fake “corpses” wielding the Roll-uh-Bowl in their social media promotions.
Like Jones, Joe Hovorka was also a man that loved both the outdoors and smoking. Even more than Jones, Hovorka desired bongs that were strong. Hence the name of his company: Strong Silicone. Strong Silicone’s signature water pipe is The Adventurer: a 14” silicone pipe that’s designed to bend rather than break when exposed to the rigors of nature. To offset its flexible body, the base of the Adventurer is a suction cup that allows you to load your pipe while it remains steady. The Adventurer combines its durability with the functionality of a high quality water pipe: Hovorka’s design includes a built-in splashguard and 12-hole diffused downstem. There’s even a glow-in-the-dark version for the nocturnal crowd. Hovorka set out to make a strong bong and from the response he’s gotten, it looks like he’s succeeded. The Adventurer, has received top reviews from smoking media such as Dope Magazine and THC Insider.
Compared to the recent success of companies Roll-uh-Bowl and Strong Silicone, Purr Glass is an OG of the smoking industry. Started in 2003 by Chad Zindroski, Purr is well-known for introducing the first scientific hammer bubbler to the industry. Their classic hammer bubbler became the template for their Purr 2Go Travel Bubbler. For those who don’t know, hammer-style water pipes feature a large cylinder with a removable bowl at the top that connects to a downstem. The cylinder ends in an angle-cut base that holds water. The mouthpiece is a tube that connects to the cylinder. The hammer style is perfect for a portable and potent pipe: the large cylinder allows for a large amount of water and vapor within the piece. Combined with the downstem, users can get big, smooth inhales while out in the world. As opposed to silicone, the Purr 2Go is made of heat resistant polycarbonate plastic that has a similar amount of durability. The Purr 2Go deconstructs into several easy to clean pieces in order to be stowed away in its padded carrying case.
As with many technologies, the bong industry has made several strides towards outdoor portability. Though there are still many advantages to the standard, not-as-portable glass bong, travel bongs offer a unique opportunity to explore the world while getting the most out of your favorite hobby.
- published by DankStop
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