What Makes a Good Bong?
Why a bong in the first place? Why not just roll a joint or two? You could do that but it won’t have anywhere near the same effect a real juicy bong can deliver. That’s why we’ve made this Bong Buyer’s guide for you guys.
Honestly, when it comes to bongs, there’s a massive discrepancy between high end and low-end products. If you don’t know, you don’t know, and to know, you need to try one, cause it’s that much better. If you are a true flower purist, nothing can touch the massive hits you can comfortably attain with a proper high caliber bong.
What makes a bong special? Lots of stuff but most importantly, the ability to clear the toke quickly and easily is one of the main goals. Of course, the bong should be made solidly with at least 5mm thick glass and the glass should be borosilicate (German super glass that takes a lava hot forge to make – like the end of the world heat).
Other signs of quality include the inclusion of an ice catcher, some bitchin’ percolators and if you are lucky a nice (non-wack) logo. There are also some accessories you can add to help make the bonging experience absolutely sick. One final thing I should mention about bongs, in general, is that they come in two main styles: straight tube and beaker. The beaker style holds way more water than the straight tube style. OK? Got that? Just look at the pics we posted with this article to get a better idea.
It’s All About the Percs Baby
Percolators diffuse the heat of a toke by adding moisture to the smoke and by increasing the time it takes the smoke to reach your lungs. Percs also filter the smoke of harmful stuff just by keeping the smoke in the water longer. Also fitted on some percs are splash guards. These are used with percs that are located close to where your mouth is so as to avoid getting splattered with bong juice. Gross man.
Percs don’t all look alike but they do the same thing so don’t worry about the different kinds. What you need to worry about is those little perc holes getting clogged with resin. If you like cleaning your bong every 2 days then I guess it’s chill. Having more percolators means you need to suck harder with your lungs to get the toke thru so clogged holes makes for a strangled gasping experience unless like I said before you like cleaning your bong every 2 goddamn days. Percs are pretty to behold when they are churning but this bong cleaning shit is just no. But I want percs in my bong!
Enter the Ash Catcher
Want to keep the percs but hold off on the every-other-day bong cleaning than you need the secret weapon of bong enthusiasts the world over. An Ash Catcher’s special power is its ability to filter and save the bong from most of the gunk destined for those percs we just talked about. They aren’t that expensive and they are lovely to see in action. You don’t need these but they are great to have.
Ice Catcher/Pinch is Not an Ash Catcher
An Ice Catcher is a little indentation that’s built into the tube (where you suck the smoke out of your bong). It’s designed so you can drop ice cubes into the tube to keep it elevated so it stays frozen longer. They help to cool the smoke even more. You can’t add them to a bong as they are “baked in” when they are made. A good feature to look out for when shopping though.
Downstem Diffuser For the Win
Beaker-style bongs and some straight tube bongs have one of these. The downstem is the piece of glass that goes from the bowl (where you put your weed) to the water inside the bong. If your bong’s downstem is customizable, there are some extra percs you can add by swapping in a special one of these.
Glycerin Tubes/Chamber Please
Want to cool that smoke even more? A glycerin tube/chamber is the final key on your bong cooling journey. Glycerin does not expand when put in your freezer (unless you live in space and your freezer is space) so the glass chamber it’s housed in doesn’t get cracked from pressure. We are talking super-cooled smoke here. If you really want to do it right, you should get two.
There are more devices and mods out there but I have listed all my current faves. There is a bunch of crap to consider when bong hunting, but a good takeaway to remember is, “will this bong survive falling from my coffee table?” and “will I be able to take massive fucking rips off this thing without singeing my lungs?” Borosilicate glass is the strongest, and percs will save the back of your throat and lungs. Just keep those two things in mind and set your wallet free to achieve your ultimate bonging goals.
If you’re going to invest in a proper bong or build your custom baby from scratch, we totally recommend getting a bong mat as a safe and fresh measure. Think of this as it’s home base. It can leave, it can let off smoke, travel with friends, but it always comes back home.