As a veteran cannabis user, I’ve owned my fair share of bongs.
Some were good and some were downright amazing, however, before I could start writing this piece I needed to decide what separates good bongs from bad ones.
Well, these five are a good start:
- Is the glass thick?
- Does it look sturdy?
- Does it have very few moving parts?
- Does it clean easily?
- Does it have a decent volume?
There are other things to look for in a bong, such as airflow restriction and smoke diffusion, but you won’t really know the airflow until you’ve used it for a few times.
The first three on the list are very important as they will determine the longevity of your glass if you are careful with it. If you throw your bong around, no amount of sturdiness will save it.
If you are clumsy, you’ll want your bong to have as few moving parts as possible. Parts that stick out far from the core of the bong also contribute to them being easily breakable, so you might want to keep that in mind while shopping as well.
What are the different types of bongs?
Bongs come in various shapes, but three of the most popular are tubes, beakers, and bubblers.
Tube bongs are what most people imagine in their head when you mention a bong.
They usually have a cylindrical neck which goes all the way down to the bottom of the bong and ends with a disc, which gives tube bongs the stability they so lack.
There’s nothing wrong with tube bongs, in fact, they offer a lot of variety. Tube bongs often have percolators and other parts that make them visually attractive.
They are usually very easy to clean and the smoke clears pretty fast because of the simple shape.
Beaker bongs are similar to tube bongs in the sense that they also have a long neck. However, at the bottom of the neck, the bong doesn’t end, as it would with tube bongs.
At the end of the neck in beaker bongs, you’ll find a chamber that is added for extra smoke. This gives beaker bongs a bigger volume and bigger hit potential.
Beaker bongs get their name from looking somewhat like beakers used for chemistry and such. The extra space on the bottom is filled with more water than in tube bongs. This gives them extra stability.
The age-old question that many cannabis enthusiasts like to argue about is whether you should get a bong or a quality bubbler?
Bubblers are much smaller than regular bongs. They are often referred to as water pipes.
The main difference between the two boils down to size and volume.
Bubblers are usually meant for one person, while bongs are more apt for sharing as you can get bigger hits.
The volume of the bong is also very important as it will determine how much smoke you can take in. Human lungs have a volume of 6 liters on average, which is 200 Oz fluid, or 1.5 gallons.
Don’t buy cheap (Chinese) glass
In the last couple of years there’s been a huge increase in the number of websites selling bongs and other smoking utensils.
Some of these websites offer American-made glass, and a select few offer Canadian-made glass.
The overwhelming majority of these websites almost exclusively sell bongs made in China.
These bongs are usually lower in quality than those made on this side of the pond. They aren’t as thick and resilient to breaking.
Sure, there are cases where they might last, but my experience has proven otherwise.
My friends and I ordered dozens of Chinese-made bongs from these websites only to see them break in record time.
Don’t be afraid to spend more than $50 bucks on a glass bong, it will be totally worth it.
Best bongs under $100 USD
Bongs that are under $100 are usually not branded. They are either mass-produced and then shipped to distribution centers in the US and Canada or drop-shipped to your address.
However, there are also several companies across the US making great bongs for those on a tight budget.
Here’s a list of 5 bongs that are under $100 and provide a great experience:
- DHC Destroyer
- WS Smellchecker Stemless Glass Bong with Inline Perc
- Mini Bent Neck Honeycomb Perc Water Pipe
- The “Flavor Tube” Mini Beaker Water Pipe
- AMG 10-inch wide base
Honorable mention: Purr Glass Decanter Glass Vaporizer Rig is a vaporizer rig that can be a bong too. The shape is really beautiful, it has a nice volume for big hits, and it is easy to clean.
DHC Destroyer is a great little bong that comes in three colors: Blue, green and clear.
Its 5mm thick glass and a 14mm fused downstem guarantee that you won’t have too many issues with this piece. The glass stem doesn’t look “risky” at all as it is quite sturdy and well fused.
DHC Destroyer has both a vortex and a honeycomb perc which will make the smoking experience really smooth. You might have to give it a bit of a harder drag than what you are used to due to these two obstacles though.
Its 14mm fused stem will give you a wide range of add-ons you can upgrade your bong with.
You can order a quartz banger to go along with the Destroyer, and quickly turn it into an oil rig.
DHC Destroyer regularly goes for $49.99. With the additional quartz banger, it goes for $69.99.
The WS Smellchecker is made out of borosilicate glass which is just 5mm thick.
The diameter of the bong is 65 mm and it is 46 cm (18 inches) tall, and it only comes in clear color.
It features a reinforced fixed downstem with a 6-slit inline percolator, which makes the hits much easier due to its immense size.
However, the size of this bong will allow you something not very many bongs at this price will: Huge, icy, milky hits.
That’s right, you can stuff the Smellchecker with ice and get monstrous hits. Its size gives it a large volume to hold a ton of water which filters the smoke.
Users report it to be extremely easy to clean, simply by applying alcohol and salt. The only downside is that due to its huge volume you may not be able to clear it in one drag.
The WS Smellchecker goes for $89.00 regularly, but it’s a very popular product so you can often find it on discounts for a cheaper price.
Mini Bent Neck
The Mini Bent Neck is a really good piece for those who are just starting to explore the world of glass. It is made of borosilicate glass with colored accents and it comes in 4 colors: Blue, green, pink and clear.
It is just seven inches tall (17.8 cm), and it has a bent neck for ease of access, thus its name.
It also features a 90˚ 14mm male joint with an additional stem joint for added stability. Trust me, that stem isn’t going to break easily.
This bong can also be quickly turned into an oil rig with the quartz banger and a carb cap which are both offered as a part of the add-on package.
If you are worried that it might easily flip over due to the stem which does somewhat stick out, this bong has a disk base which helps with the stability.
The flower female joint which comes with the bong has a nice glass bar on the side, which hugely helps when making a drag or clearing it through.
The Mini Bent Neck goes for $59.99 with free discreet shipping, and with the quartz banger and the carb cap you can get it for as low as $94.98 and have a decent 2-in-1 glass piece.
The “Flavor Tube” Mini Beaker
Flavor Tube is another bong that is great for those looking for their first piece and those who like smoking alone. This small piece is made out of thick borosilicate and slime green glass.
It is 8″ tall (20 cm) and has a glass disk on the bottom of the beaker. The primary role of the beaker is to create more volume and provide stability.
So, with the added disk at the bottom, only a direct hit at the top of the neck will knock over The Flavor Tube.
It has a 14mm female joint and a diffusion percolator which is set at an angle to prevent splash back. It is incredibly easy to clean as it literally has no moving parts other than the slider.
The slider can be replaced with a quartz banger and a carb to easily transform The Flavor Tube into an oil rig for added flavors.
A small downside to this bong is that it doesn’t have a bent neck so you’ll have to take hits at an awkward angle or tilt the bong.
The Flavor Tube usually goes for $89.99. The piece comes with a 14mm male flower bowl.
AMG 10-inch Wide Base
AMG stands for American Made Glass, which stands behind thick, nearly indestructible bongs that you’ll fall in love with.
The AMG 10-inch has a wide base which offers additional stability for its tall stature since it is 10 inches (25 cm) tall.
It is made with super thick borosilicate glass, on American soil using American resources. It’s a real American bong. Que the white eagle.
This AMG bong comes with a diffused male stem which significantly helps with the cooling effect water makes.
It comes in teal, Black & Mint, black, and blue colors. It is extremely easy to clean due to the simple shape, its lack of percolators and the easily detachable male stem.
The AMG 10-inch wide base glass bong usually comes in at around $80 USD. For this price tag, you’ll get a very good bong which will last you a while, and provide smooth hits as long as you clean it.
Best Bongs Under $200 USD
This is where we start getting into really quality bongs. Bongs that range between $100-200
USD are something every passionate cannabis lover should have.
This price range will guarantee that you have a very pleasant experience, combined with durable, high-quality glass. Let’s check out the list:
- The “Double Trouble” Double Stereo Fat Can Water Pipe
- Helix Flare Base Water Pipe with Venturi Chamber
- The Original Tank Beaker
- Purr Glass Swiss Honeycomb Glass Water Bong
- 12″ GRAV® Straight Base w/ Disc – Clear
Honorable mention: 9mm Thick Beaker Bong by Diamond Glass is an upgrade from the Tank Breaker as it’s somewhat bigger, but also a bit more expensive.
The “Double Trouble”
You know what you are getting into when your bong is named The Double Trouble. It is very tall with the mouthpiece sitting at 16 inches above the desk.
It has a straight tube with a disk at the bottom, two stereo percolators embedded in the tube which offer high-grade filtration, and a 18.8mm female joint which fits a large male bowl.
However, what sets apart The Double Trouble from the “under $100 bongs” group are its unique features, not its awesome percolators.
The Double Trouble has an Ice Pinch and a Splash Guard, which help you get much cleaner hits.
The Ice Pinch serves as to catch the ice and hold it above the water line, and the splash guard prevents water from coming up to your mouth.
The Double Trouble is primarily made for flower consumption, although retailers claim that it can also be safely used for cannabis extracts simply by swapping out the bowl for a quartz banger.
Users report this bong to be extremely sturdy as the downstem has an additional joint tying it to the body. They also say that it is relatively easy to clean, given its massive size and the double percolators.
The Double Trouble goes for $139 but a few websites out there offer it on sale every now and then so you may even get it for as low as $100 around Christmas time.
Helix Flare Base
Helix Flare Base is a unique piece that will provide you with smooth hits, and with minimal care you’ll have this piece in your collection for years.
Its bottom is made out of thick glass so that it doesn’t break easily when dropped.
The diffused stem provides for decent filtration, and both chambers offer a lot of volume, even though the bong is only 9 inches tall, including the disk at the bottom.
The Helix Flare Base is really a beautiful piece that has only one flaw – it is too small. Users report that the flower bowl it comes with is basically a one-hitter.
This is important as the Helix Flare Base has a Venturi Chamber above the base for added volume. This makes it perfect for dabs, but not really great for flower.
This bong is primarily used as an oil rig, as it comes with a 14.5mm female joint and a male quartz nail, as well as a male flower bowl.
You can upgrade to a ceramic or a titanium nail for just a few more dollars. I also strongly recommend that you get a bigger flower bowl as well.
The Helix Flare Base can be bought for $120 if you catch a discount, but most websites list the base package at $160.
The Original Tank Beaker
If you are looking for a piece to last you longer than any other, look no further. The Original Tank Beaker is a true wonder of American glass-blowing.
The Original Tank Beaker boasts 9mm thick walls and a reinforced base. It is 12 inches tall, and has a 19mm female bowl. Users report it to be thick in all the right places, which is where it gets its name the Tank Beaker.
You actually won’t believe how hard and sturdy this bong is, so I’ll just queue the video:
There’s not much to say about other features—this piece was designed to fill everyone’s expectations when it comes to durability and function, and that’s about it.
However, even though it’s probably the toughest bong out there, don’t throw it around senselessly. Don’t poke the bong bear.
As far as its price goes, The Original Tank Beaker can be bought for $129 at a discount, or $160 regularly.
Purr Glass Swiss Honeycomb
The Purr Glass Swiss Honeycomb bong is perhaps the most beautiful bong on this list. You can order this beauty in Dichro, Slyme and Pink Slyme colors.
This bong features a handcrafted honeycomb drum percolator which makes the smoke cooler and smoother. This percolator works by diffusing the smoke through 19 different points in the honeycomb disc.
You can further cool down the smoke with its several ice pinchers. They also serve as water stoppers so that it doesn’t get to your mouth. Its bent neck makes accessing the bong a lot easier.
The Purr Glass Swiss Honeycomb is 9 inches tall, with a 4-inch base. It has a 14mm female joint that fits all sorts of male accessories, however, a 90° design is recommended if applicable.
You can order it on Purr’s very own website for $149, and it comes with a matching flower bowl or a clear quartz banger.
12″ GRAV® Straight Base
The 12″ Grav® Straight Base bong is a serious tool. This thing will get you higher than you could ever imagine.
Its straight 12-inch tube provides users with a huge amount of volume which can be filled up with a lot of milky smoke. Aside from that, you can also pack it with some ice to improve the quality of the hit.
The 14mm female stem is connected with two very sturdy joints to the tube. Along with the base disc it provides a very robust sense given its size
You can order this bong online, in black, white, blue, green, red, purple, yellow, orange, or etch. The hits you’ll take from this 12-incher will be essentially smooth and cool.
The percolator near the bottom of the base should be covered with about 1-2 cm of water for the utmost diffusion and perfect taste.
The 12″ GRAV® Straight Base bong goes for a reasonable $112, and it comes with a 14mm funnel bowl.
Best Bongs Over $200 USD
Ballers only section.
Fair warning—don’t spend over $200 on a bong if you’re a beginner. You will likely break it quicker than you expect, and that’s usually the rule for the first few bongs.
That is why if you plan on spending a large amount on a bong, you should buy a bong that’s worth the cash. Here’s the list:
- STAX® Orion Package
- The Berkeley by Maverick Glass
- 16″ Matrix to Gridded Showerhead Water Pipe By Diamond Glass
- 10″ Microscope Recycler by Maverick Glass
- Bioluminescent Cactus – Empire Glassworks
Honorable mention: Canada Releafed by Roor is a great bong which was designed as a release for the legalization in Canada. Its aesthetics and the monster hits it offers are truly out of this world.
STAX® Orion Package
If you are not familiar with the STAX line of bongs, I strongly recommend you get one. It won’t be cheap, but it will be worth it.
The STAX line got its name after the unique way their bongs are being put together. This line of bongs is designed in such a way that they are almost modular.
Now, what I mean by modular is that their bongs come to you in pieces. No, not broken pieces, but separate pieces. Once you unpack all the pieces, you follow the guide and put it together.
Later on, if you have several STAX bongs you can combine and mix pieces from different bongs. STAX bongs are built by stacking the pieces one onto another, which is where the line got its name from.
The STAX® Orion Package comes with a 14mm male & 14mm female joint which are on the opposite sides of each other.
It was designed with versatility in mind, and it works by allowing both plant matter and plant extract to be consumed through its dual-function base at the same time.
This bong is truly a marvel of the glassware world, as very few other pieces can brag about such incredible design and functionality.
The STAX® Orion Package is priced at a fair $299 given its design, functionality, modular attributes and incredible hits.
Made by Maverick Glass, The Berkeley is a part of the CALILIFE line which is becoming a huge hit all over the West Coast.
This piece is another crazy design, which you may notice is starting to become a trend with these expensive bongs.
Of course, for this kind of money, you would expect impeccable design along with above-board functionality. That is exactly what The Berkeley will provide you with.
The Berkeley is available in a variety of colors combined with a holographic opal glass marble for added bling.
It has double uptake, two separated chambers and a recycler, a vortex drain, a bent neck, and a rather small 10mm female joint which comes with a flower bowl.
Its most unique feature is perhaps the 4-point donut percolator which is found in the chamber with the stem. This percolator splits the smoke and sends it into two separate chambers.
Its two tubes clearly stick out and they seem somewhat prone to breaking. I find that to be the major flaw in its design, but aside from that, everything is at a formidable level.
The Berkeley usually goes for $500 but it’s currently also offered by Maverick Glass for only $380.
16″ Diamond Heisman
This huge handcrafted piece stands at 16-inches (40cm) tall and has a double filtration system in which the smoke goes from a matrix percolator to a gridded showerhead percolator.
The matrix percolator is found in the base of the bong, and the gridded showerhead is in the upper chamber. These percolators combine to giver the users a very bubbly hit with an easy pull.
The Heisman comes with a 18mm female joint and an 18mm male bowl. It is primarily used for flowers, but it can easily be repurposed into an oil rig simply by swapping the bowl for a quartz nail.
The glass is very thick and sturdy. Diamond Glass as a company is known for delivering trustworthy pieces with the most immaculate of designs.
The Heisman usually goes for $350 but it can also be found for $300. If you’re looking for a piece you’ll be able to put your weed and oils in, the Heisman won’t disappoint.
10″ Microscope Recycler by Maverick Glass
This beautiful piece is also my dream piece as I’ve been wanting a Microscope Recycler for a while now. Just look at all those percolators and tubes.
It has a built-in splash-guard and 4 percolators at the bottom of the chamber which diffuse the smoke to a whole ‘nother level of airy.
It is only 7″ inches (18 cm) tall but the volume is definitely there as it is quite wide and it has several tubes that provide additional volume.
It comes with a female 14mm joint and a quartz nail, seeing how it is primarily meant for oil consumption. The glass is made in the US from 5mm thick Borosilicate.
The Microscope Recycler features a double-arm with a widened chamber which eliminates any possible splashes that appear. However, those arms also pose a threat of breaking as they do stick out somewhat, but that’s a trade-off you have to make for such a beautiful design.
At the top of the bong, you’ll find that it mouthpiece is flared outwards to conform better to your lips. This way it also creates a nice airtight seal which makes the Microscope Recycler comfortable and easy to use.
The Microscope Recycler can be bought for a whopping $400, but you can also often find discounts that bring its price down to $240.
Did you ever think that you’ll need a cactus within your bong to improve your smoking experience? Not just any cactus, but like, a bioluminescent cactus, of all things?
The Bioluminescent Cactus made by Empire Glassworks is a one-of-a-kind bong that features a showerhead percolators underneath a sculpted glass cactus in the central chamber.
The rest of the bong is made out of thick clear borosilicate glass and the whole bong is actually UV reactive, meaning that it changes color under UV lighting.
The Bioluminescent Cactus stands at a formidable 12″ (30cm) tall. It has a 14mm female joint that comes with a 14mm male flower bowl.
Empire Glassworks are known for incredible designs that are very sturdy and long-lasting.
The Bioluminescent Cactus falls right into that category as I haven’t yet heard of anyone complaining about the sturdiness or their bong breaking.
It is available in the “Illuminati” and “Lucy” color accents, and it is being sold for $350 on the Cloud Nine Glass website.
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