From an early age, we learn that size matters. Muscular actors always got the girl in movies, and in Little League, the stronger kids always hit home runs.
But when it’s time to enjoy some of what Mother Nature has so graciously provided for us, does the size of your bongs, water pipes, and bubblers really matter? Bongs are bongs, right? Doesn’t the plant quality matter more than whether your bong is small, medium, or large?
The answer is that of course bong size matters! But this doesn’t mean that bigger bongs mean a bigger, better trip to Stonetown. It just means that the size and design features of every bong are different, and those are going to determine the type of experience you have.
So what makes every bong so different? Check out this buyer’s guide for all you need to know about bongs so you can get the most of your cannabis experience:
Let’s start with a “high” level overview of what bongs are and how they work. Every bong - huge bong, mini bong, percolator bong, etc. - needs to first be filled with water, usually just enough to cover the opening from where the smoke leaves the downstem and enters the chamber. Smoke will pass through here, then the water cleans, filters, and cools it.
Generally, they have 3 parts to them:
Reach into your stash box, and whatever you find, throw it in here :) Bowls usually looks like a really small shot glass, or a thimble (do we get bonus points for making an arts and crafts reference on a 420 site? I think so.). You can think of bowls as having the same job as a quartz banger, but for a different device. Some bowls are basic, but the Glass Diamond-Shaped Male Bowl here is like a little piece of flair for your bong :) Just use a grinder first; loading it with awkwardly-shaped nugs is bad form, and you were raised better than that.
Once you’re in burn mode, the user starts sucking in, and the smoke travels through a downstem tube into the chamber, where it gathers. The longer the user sucks, the more smoke will gather. Huge bongs and big chambers go together like peanut butter and jelly. Once the user pulls the bowl out (while still inhaling), the smoke will leave the chamber and make its final path to the user’s mouth via the body. The chamber on the Cartoon Bong here is nothing to joke about!
You’ll have to put your bong down sometime; the base is the bottom of the bong and it’s what ensures your bong doesn’t fall over when you’re done using it. Generally, the flatter and wider the base, the sturdier and safer your bong will be when not in use. They’re typically circular, like the one in the picture, though they can change based on the size and style of the bong. The Straight Up Glass Bong has a base that matches the mouthpiece. The base doesn’t directly affect the your newfound spiritual enlightenment, but you know what does? A huge bong or a straight tube bong with a bad, shaky base that tipped over and broke because your dumb friend hit his leg on the table when he walked by. Bongs come in a variety of styles and have different features, but this generally what they boil down to. There are of course other parts and variations that provide a better experience - such as ice catchers - that range from quick and easy to ones where a little prep and concentration will go a long way!
Shapes of bongs
Bubble bottoms and beakers
Though these have a flat, circular base, the “bubble” is right above it, and it looks like how it sounds. Usually about the size of a baseball, the bubbler fills up with smoke, and attaches to the base on the bottom. On the top of the bubble is the chamber that leads the smoke to your mouth. The Rasta Bong here is our bubblicious tribute to Jamaica! Remember beakers from science class? They’re baaaack! Beaker bongs have a triangular-shaped bottom, and the size of the beaker determines how much smoke you can accumulate in there. As beakers have a flat base, they’re also pretty sturdy. They're a good example of bong simplicity; but they hit hard, so get ready for a bazooka to the brain!
Multi-chambers and tubes
Chambers are where the smoker adds in the water; this helps reduce the temperature of the smoke, while also filtering out ash and other gunk. They lead to a cleaner experience, but they’re also not for rookies. You might need to build up your lung capacity, coordination, and patience before going one-on-one with a chambered bong. The Phatty Bong here has a big chamber on the bottom, with a smaller one on top of it.Tubes run horizontally (though some can be vertical) and connect one chamber to another. They also add an extra element of purification, and the bubbles they create are sometimes fun to watch.
The tubes on the Oh My Bong will make you scream exactly that as you exhale a big puff. Whether you prefer a percolator bong or a straight tube bong, chambers and tubes come down to personal preference...and we prefer both!
Thicker bongs can absorb a little contact without breaking or scratching. They also tend to be a little more expensive. Thinner glass bongs are cheaper, but are more susceptible to damage.
Things to think about
Have you ever bought something without having all the information, or the experience that comes with having done before, and wished you’d had a helping hand to ensure you make the best shopping choice? That’s where the experts from EverythingFor420 come in. Think of us as your older brother, cool friend, and favorite uncle, all in one.
- Portability: The bigger the bong, the tougher it is to stuff in a bag. If you take it with you, consider also investing in a nice, padded case, or at least wrap it in a towel.
- Maintenance: You’ll have to clean your bong with hot water and soap. A small amount of regular dish soap is fine, but most stores have special cleaning fluids and products designed specifically for the 420 community.
- Add-on equipment: You can customize the functionality of your bong by purchasing different bowls, joints, splash guards, and more. Get creative! Your bong should represent part of who you are, so your after-market products should turn your A-minus purchase into an A-plus!
- Size - Mini bongs measure in at 6 inches or smaller on EverythingFor420. This means they’re portable and generally are low maintenance. However, you have a wide variety of styles, colors, and add-ons available to you. One of our most reviewed and highest-rated mini bongs, the Security Window Glass Mini Carb Bong stands at 5 inches, but its red hues attract all sorts of attention!
- Shapes - They’re often too small to have multiple chambers and tubes, but mini bongs can still pack a punch. EF420’s inventory offers a variety of colors, bases, and designs.
- Finger carb vs. regular slide - This comes down to personal preference. A finger carb is similar to what you’ve seen on mini bubbler pipes and spoon-style pipes, where you just press/depress your finger over a hole to manage the smoke level. Slides mean you pull the bowl out of the bong (when in the bong, it slides into something called, ironically, a joint).
- Size - These generally clock in at 16 inches and up, at least on EF420. Because of their size, consumers have more options for shapes and features. The 19" Knotted Straight Shooter here has black and yellow shaded accents, making it the perfect gift for the Pittsburgh sports fan in your life!
- Shapes - Many huge bongs have a big chamber, or two small ones, which are connected by tubes. Either way, they’re designed to provide a cleaner, filtered smoke with a cooler temperature (making it smoother on your throat). Ice pinches are protrusions in the chamber that you can put ice cubes on to further cool down the smoke. A percolator uses a mix of air flow and bong water to further cool the smoke down.
- Bowl + Joint - You’ll load the bowl, which you’ve obviously done before if you’re this far into a blog on bongs. The bowl slides into a joint, and there are both male and female joints. Male joints are tapered, while females are a little wider. Accessories or add-ons should be the opposite gender of your joint.
Mini bongs and huge bongs also have different shapes to them. Check out this short list to learn more about what’s out there:
Straight shooter - Basic and no fluff. Smoke goes from the bowl, down the stem, and up the chamber to your lips. No extras, no add-ons, nothing. Straight tube bongs like these are easy to clean, making them a good starter bong.
Multi-chamber - Each chamber further filters and cools the smoke, and chambers are connected to each other using tubes, which also cool and filter the smoke. While rookies may not have the lung capacity needed for big hits, these at least will provide them with a smoother experience.
Recycler - A type of multi-chamber bong, recyclers add bubbles to the fun, which brings out your plant’s natural flavor.
Percolator - Percolator bongs feature tiny holes to create even more bubbles and a smoother hit.
The percolator in the 9.5” Fish Tank Bong is the blue cylindrical area above the fish. And for the record, no, you can’t add a real fish to this, you sicko!
Bongs are like snowflakes - no two are the same! But this buyer’s guide was created to teach you about the differences so you can get the best “bong” for your buck (see what we did there?).
Ready to start shopping? Everythingfor420 has bongs of every type, shape, and size, many of which are also on sale, so check them out today!