While purchasing a bong is a very individual decision, knowing how to choose the right bong can be the difference between a satisfying smoking experience and a subpar one. However, there are a few important factors that any smoker, from the novice to the experienced, can take into account when picking out a new bong. This article will discuss them in detail, before sharing a few of the best bongs currently on the market. Our goal is to help you find your own “best” bong, no matter what that looks like, so that you can have the smoking experience that you want.
When it comes to selecting a bong, the main choices that you’ll have to make are with the material, the shape, and the size, so let’s go into those in detail.
Arguably the most important consideration when selecting a bong is the material that it is made out of. There are a few different options - glass, plastic, silicone, ceramic, bamboo, and metal.
Metal, plastic and bamboo are the least popular, as they are also harder to find than some of the more frequently used and popular options. However, bamboo is loved for its sustainability, while metal is liked for its durability. Both can be difficult to clean and maintain, though, which is why most smokers elect one of the other material options. Plastic is inexpensive and durable as well, but many smokers say that it will cause a chemical taste when using them.
Ceramic bongs have a niche popularity because of their ability to be designed with more creativity than some of the other materials. Silicone bongs are enjoyed for similar reasons, along with their increased durability.
However, glass continues to be the most preferred and popular material for bongs by far. We believe that also means that glass is the material to look to when choosing a new bong. With glass, there are a few considerations to take into account to get the optimal experience. Here are two of the most important.
The thickness of the glass has a major effect on both the durability and the weight of the bong. When it comes to bongs, the thickness is measured in millimeters and ranges from around 2 millimeters on the thin end and 9 millimeters on the thicker side.
Glass thickness is a matter of personal preference, but there are definite pros and cons to the various options. Most professionals suggest a bong that is between 3 and 9 millimeters, as anything thinner than that is far more prone to shattering and is too delicate to hold up to regular usage. Thicker bongs are hardier, which is why many prefer them.
In addition to the thickness of the glass, buyers should also consider its quality.
For bongs, quality refers to both its clarity (how see-through it is) as well as its strength.
The higher the quality of the glass is, the more clear and resilient it will be. Its quality is directly related to both the material the glass is made of and the skill level of the person who is blowing it.
For instance, most of the glass bongs made in the United States are made of the same material many labs use to make their equipment, a high-quality material known as borosilicate (sometimes referred to as “schott” glass). However, some are made of a much cheaper, lower quality glass from China, which is why paying attention to the quality of the material is incredibly important.
Higher quality glass, much like thicker glass, is far more durable than glass made from lower quality materials. It is also much more clear, which is far more aesthetically appealing.
Different Base and Bong Shapes
While there are plenty of different base and bong shapes, there are a few that are the most popular. The shape of the bong determines a lot of the smoking experience, as it controls the route the smoke takes as it travels through the bong.
Beaker bases - Beaker bases remind many people of their high school science classes, as they’re exactly the same shape as the ones used for experiments in chem class. Beakers start with a wide base that tapers up into a long tube neck. Water is placed into the base for both extra stabilization and additional help bubbling and vaporizing the smoke. They provide large hits, but are easy for even the most inexperienced smoker to use.
Tube bases - Tube bases are usually the stereotypical shape most people think of when discussing bongs. They are long and straight with a cylindrical neck, and they have a downstem leading to a mouthpiece. Tube bases can be a few inches tall or a few feet, depending on the experience the smoker is looking for. They are usually fairly simple to use as well, which is why they continue to be so popular with novice smokers as well as the experienced.
Multi-chamber bases - For those looking for a more visually stimulating smoking experience, multi-chamber bongs (also known as recyclers) may be just the thing. This shape can be anywhere from fairly simple to extremely elaborate. They also “recycle” the smoke through the water, which many smokers state creates a much smoother smoking experience than the other shapes.
Bent-neck bases - While the base for a bent-neck bong is either a beaker or a tube, the difference comes in the way that the stem (or neck) of the bong is bent. Many inexperienced smokers prefer bent-neck bases because they put a lot of space between the flame needed to smoke and the smoker’s face. Bent-neck bongs are likely one of the safest options for new smokers for this reason.
While much of bong size comes down entirely to personal preference, there are also considerations when choosing that can affect the smoking experience.
Larger sized bongs also have larger sized chambers, which can make them more difficult to use for newer smokers. However, they also offer more room for customization as well as increased filtration ability, so more experienced smokers looking for a cleaner smoking experience may prefer them. On the downside, they also have more parts that need to be cleaned which can be challenging for people who are not used to cleaning a bong.
Smaller bongs, on the other hand, are easier to travel with and less complicated for new smokers. Either way, it is generally recommended that bongs used daily are under two feet tall. Less experienced users will have an easier time with a smaller bong, as it also has fewer parts that need to be cleaned too.
Armed with all of that information, let’s take a look at some of what we consider the best bongs out there.
The Best Bongs Out There
Vitae’s 16” Voyager Bong - The Voyager is one of the top of the line bong’s Vitae offers. It features an inline downstem that leads into a classic beaker base that is fit with a large, honeycomb perc. The Voyager bong is finished with a UFO mouthpiece, to create a sleek, unique, and functional bong. It is made out of only the highest quality, laboratory grade borosilicate 5 millimeter thick glass that doesn’t absorb chemical residues or odors.
Vitae’s 16” Alpha Bong - The Alpha is one of the best bongs out there because of its simplicity. Not only is it sturdy, it’s also incredibly easy to clean. The Alpha features an hourglass mouthpiece, a slitted downstem, and a class beaker base made out of 5 millimeter laboratory grade borosilicate glass. The result is a high quality bong that provides both new and experienced users with an effortless draw and a strong, smooth hit.
Vitae’s 16” The Ship Bong - The Ship was named for its flagship base that combines the functionality of three of their most popular parts - a beaker base, inline downstem, and a large honeycomb all in one, single bong. The Ship also comes with an hourglass mouthpiece designed with a clean, unobstructed channel for the most effortless draws possible. Its borosilicate glass is of the highest quality and is 5 millimeters thick.
Vitae’s 16” Tri-UFO Bong - The Tri-UFO is one of the best straight tube bongs out there. It comes with three honeycomb disc percs topped with a UFO mouthpiece. Like the other bongs on this list, it is made from 5 millimeter borosilicate glass that meets Vitae’s high-quality standards. You’ll love the super-smooth hit the Tri-UFO bong will provide, guaranteed.
No matter what you’re looking for in a bong, knowing what makes a quality bong can help you find your own “best bong.” Make sure that you are considering bong material, size, and shape, as well as glass thickness and quality, to guarantee a satisfying smoking experience, no matter how experienced you may be at smoking. Consider choosing one of the four bongs we’ve selected, as we know you’ll love them. Either way, we hope you find just the bong you’re looking for!