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How to Shop for a Bong

Selecting a bong might seem challenging, but once you understand what you’re looking at, it can become quite simple. First, pick a material. Glass is our preference, but other options have their advantages too. Next, look at the different bases to choose from, straight tube or with a round or beaker base. Now, all that’s left is the optional add ons, from recyclers to percolators or a zong. Now all you need is a bowl. Most bongs will come with one, but if not, don’t worry, it’s not rocket science.


1. Glass

The king of all bong materials. For optimum flavor, performance, and overall smoking experience there is no alternative. The only drawback is that it is fragile.

2. Ceramic

Similar to glass, but usually decorated in a classier fashion. Ceramic bongs are generally easier to disguise among your living room decor than glass. Think My Bud Vase

3. Silicone

A cheaper alternative to glass/ceramic. Durable and heat resistant, silicone makes a great inexpensive bong material for traveling or for sharing with clumsy friends. The main drawback is that silicone absorbs flavor over time and therefore will eventually become stale.

4. Other

Other materials used for bongs range from fruit, vegetables, tin foil, plastic and wood. None of these materials are recommended for smoking vessels, but most of us have smoked from at least one, if not all, of these. These materials have toxic materials that, when burned, are terrible for your lungs and taste terrible. In a pinch, natural materials such as wood, fruit, or vegetables are your best bet.

Base Types

1. Straight

These are the most traditional and straightforward type of bong, featuring a straight vertical tube with a bowl on top and a downstem that leads to the water chamber at the bottom.

2. Beaker

Similar to straight-tube bongs, but with a wider base that provides more stability and water capacity.

3. Round Base

These have a round water chamber at the base of the bong, which can be wider than the beaker bong for even more water capacity.

Options to add

1. Multi-chamber

Multiple water chambers provide more filtration and cooling. As the smoke passes from one chamber to the next, it passes through a fresh water bath. Each chamber may also have its own percolator.

2. Recycler

Recyclers have a complex internal system that recirculates smoke through multiple chambers. The smoke is filtered multiple times, allowing for even more filtration and cooling.

3. Carburetor

A small hole on the side of the tube, which allows the user to control the airflow and clear the chamber more easily. Without a carburetor, the bong is cleared by removing the bowl.

4. Zong

Zongs feature a zig-zagging design into the tube that adds more surface area for cooling the smoke. They also keep water from reaching your mouth.

5. Percolator

These are structures that filter and cool the smoke even further by creating more bubbles and increasing surface area as they break up the larger bubbles into smaller ones. A multi-chamber bong may have a percolator in each chamber.

Bowl Types

1. U-Shaped vs. V-Shaped

The bowl shape determines how the cannabis will burn and what type of cherry (ember) you create. U-shaped bowls work better for slower smoking, such as hand pipe where V-shaped bowls generally work best for bongs.

2. Female vs Male

This refers to the joint between the bowl and the downstem. If the bowl inserts into the downstem, it is a male bowl and the downstem is female. On the other hand, if the bowl fits over the downstem, it is a female bowl and the downstem is male. This is pretty self explanatory.

3. Joint Sizes

The joint size refers to the connection between the downstem and bowl. The larger the opening, the more airflow can pass through. The most important thing to consider is that your joint size matches the bowl you choose, otherwise you won’t have an airtight seal.

9mm, 10mm, 14mm, 18mm

4. Cool Touch Handle

Usually a bubble or handle protruding from the bowl to allow the smoker to remove it without burning their fingers. Usually seen on a bong without a carburetor.

It is important that all of the components of the bong fit together snugly and are in balance with each other. Water should be clean and free of smells. If the water levels are too low you risk taking a dry hit, too high, and you will be tasting bong water.

Serious bong users wash their bongs regularly. The more often you wash your bong, the quicker and easier the job will be. At a minimum, a quick rinse with hot water after a sesh can help keep it tasting fresher. A full alcohol rinse after each use will keep it like new. If using a liquid other than water, clean it out immediately. Otherwise you will have a mess. We recommend cleaning your bong after each use, there’s nothing worse than having to clean your bong before smoking - KEEP IT CLEAN!


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