When it comes to smoking cannabis, bongs are a popular choice for many people. They offer large, flavourful hits and are a great way to relax and enjoy your favourite strains. But with so many different bongs on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
As a long-time cannabis enthusiast, I have always been on the hunt for the perfect bong.
For me, the perfect bong is one that is visually appealing, easy to use, and delivers smooth and satisfying hits. However, finding such a bong is easier said than done. I have gone through numerous bongs over the years, and each one has had its own set of pros and cons. Through my journey of searching for the perfect bong, I have learned several lessons that I would like to share with others.
Lesson 1: Functionality comes first.
The most important function of your bong is to give you a (preferably very) enjoyable smoking sesh. Yet, what consists of an enjoyable smoking experience differs from person to person. Some people enjoy a direct, almost rough hit. Others prefer a smoother, cooler, almost vapour-like gentle toke. Start by deciding what kind of smoking experience you are looking for. Do you like a full-on-straight-in-your-face-hit, or would you rather inhale big clouds of smooth, gentle smoke? Different bongs will give you different experiences.
Your first question should be: how smooth do I want my hit to be? As a rule of thumb, larger bongs offer gentler hits due to the time the smoke gets to filter and cool down as it travels from the bowl to your lungs. That being said, there are smaller-sized bongs that overcome this issue by incorporating extra diffusers, percolators and ice-catchers.
Lesson 2: Size matters
The second thing to consider is the size of your prospective bong (trust me, in this case size does matter!).
Bongs come in a wide range of sizes, from small and portable to large and bulky. The size of the bong you choose will depend on your personal preference and needs.
If you are looking for a bong that is easy to carry around and discreet, a smaller size would be the way to go. Smaller bongs are also great for those who have limited storage space.
On the other hand, larger bongs often offer a more impressive visual appeal. They also tend to deliver a smoother and more satisfying hit because their larger chambers and percolators allow the smoke more time and space to filter and cool down. That being said, due to their size, larger bongs can also be more challenging to handle and more difficult to clean than smaller bongs.
Nowadays, I will first ask myself: how and where am I going to use my bong? If I plan on using it while sitting on the couch in the comfort of my own home, I may opt for a larger, more intricate piece of glassware. When I plan on mainly using it outside on the balcony or porch, where I will be holding the bong in my hand all the time, I will look for a smaller, more portable type of bong that is easier to handle.
Lesson 3: Material matters
A hugely important factor to consider when shopping for a bong is the material it is made of. Bongs are made from various materials, including glass, ceramic, silicone, and even wood or metal. Each material has its own unique characteristics and benefits.
Glass bongs are popular due to their transparency and ability to showcase the water and smoke, as well as the fact that glass doesn’t influence the flavour of the smoke. They are also relatively easy to clean and can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, glass bongs can be fragile and may break if not handled carefully.
Ceramic bongs are another popular choice due to their durability and ability to dissipate heat. They can also be glazed in a variety of colours and patterns, making them visually appealing. However, ceramic bongs can be challenging to clean due to their porous nature and often require more frequent maintenance.
Acrylic bongs are more affordable and durable than glass bongs, but they may not provide as smooth of a hit as glass. They also need cleaning more often than glass or ceramic bongs to keep them from becoming smelly.
Silicone bongs have gained a lot of popularity due to their durability and flexibility. They are virtually indestructible. Silicone bongs are also easy to clean and can be an excellent option for those prone to breaking glass bongs. However, they may not offer the same level of visual appeal as glass or ceramic bongs, and the smoke somehow doesn’t seem to taste as fresh compared to a glass or ceramic bong.
Wood and metal bongs are less common but can be a unique and visually appealing option. Metal bongs are typically more durable than glass bongs and can often be easily dismantled and carried in a backpack. They are a great bong to bring on a hike. Wooden bongs are more difficult to find but can be a real treat for the user. However, they also tend to need more maintenance and can be more difficult to clean due to their porous nature.
Lesson 4: Percolators make a difference
Percolators are a type of built-in filter that diffuses and disperses the smoke and helps create a cooler and smoother hit. They work by breaking up the smoke into smaller bubbles as it passes through the water. This helps filter out impurities and reduce the harshness of the smoke.
Percolators come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be found in both affordable and high-end bongs. Over the years, I’ve learned that different types of percolators will affect the smoking experience differently, so it’s important to choose the right one for your preferences.
One of my all time favourites: The Cannatonik Blizzard Series beaker bong with glycerin-filled coil chamber.
Lesson 5: Think outside the bong.
The main purpose of buying a bong is to get as pleasant a smoking experience as possible. For me, that means finding a bong that can cool the smoke down as much as possible. Freezable bongs turn out to be a great option. I find them to be a little less bulky than traditional bongs while offering tremendous cooling power for their size. My favourite freezable bongs use a glycerine-filled chamber with a coil inside through which the smoke travels up to the mouthpiece. These freezable bongs deliver an incredibly smooth and gentle hit. Not only when compared to similar-sized bongs but even when compared to bongs almost twice their size. The downside of this type of bong is that the coil can easily get plugged up. This means that they need cleaning more often, making them a bit more difficult to maintain than regular bongs.
If you would like a more in-depth look at Freezable Bongs, check our blog post “Freezable Bongs, Are They Really Worth It?”
Another option I really like is the so-called recycler bong. A recycler bong is a bong with several chambers that connect back and forth. The smoke travels through these chambers several times before it comes out of the mouthpiece. This gives the smoke more time to filter and cool down. Like freezable bongs, recyclers require regular cleaning to keep them in tip-top working order. But, in my opinion, they are well worth the investment in time and money.
Lesson 6: Ash catchers are worth their weight in weed.
Adding an ash catcher to your rig is definitely worth considering. An ash catcher does precisely what its name suggests: it catches the ashes and prevents them from getting into your bong. Adding an ash catcher will keep the water inside your bong much cleaner much longer. They are not overly expensive and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Although an external ash catcher can often be used for different bongs as long as they have the same joint size, I would suggest that you do not get an ash catcher until you find a bong that you really like.
This 12 inches tall hexagonal beaker bong by Cannatonik has a relatively simple design but works really well for me.
Lesson 7: More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better.
While it’s true that higher-priced bongs can often offer more intricate designs and features, a higher price tag does not necessarily equate to a better smoking experience.
In fact, many experienced smokers will tell you that some of the best bongs they’ve ever used were relatively affordable. A bong’s quality is determined by various factors, including its filtration system, material, size and shape, and more. While some high-end bongs offer additional features like extra percolators or unique designs, these features may not necessarily improve the overall smoking experience. In fact, a more affordable bong might offer everything you need to enjoy a great smoking experience without the added bells and whistles.
Yes, you get what you pay for to some extent. However, ultimately, it’s all about finding the right bong for your preferences and smoking habits. Therefore, the price tag shouldn’t be your main focus as long as it remains within your budget.
Conclusion: look around and trust your gut feeling.
For me, the main takeaway from my decades-long search for the perfect bong is that there is no such thing as a universal “perfect bong.” What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you. Finding the perfect bong for yourself is often a years-long journey. In my case, it was definitely a fun journey. I got to try many different models and gradually realized what I did and did not like in a bong. My best advice would be to focus on the factors that matter most to you and choose a bong that meets those needs. Do plenty of research, look online, read lots of reviews, and speak to fellow stoners online and offline to get their perspective. But, in the end, go with your gut feeling. Find a bong that “speaks” to you, and go for it. And even more than that: have fun! Have fun researching, have fun buying, and have fun using your bong!
Also, don’t forget to read our blog post about proper bong maintenance: “How To Easily Clean Your Bong And Keep It In Perfect Condition.”
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