Bongs are probably one of the most popular – by sale and pop culture – types of pieces available for smoking dry herb. One would be pretty hard-pressed to find a movie in stoner culture that does not incorporate a bong somehow (probably slowing turning over to vape pens but that’s another story). They are still extremely popular pieces and it’s pretty easy to see why – bongs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, are offered in all major types of materials that other pieces are, and can be quite potent and smooth all at the same time.
Overall, there is hardly a piece that can hit harder and as smoothly as a bong when it comes to smoking dry herb. Even vaporizers, some of them quite powerful, cannot offer quite the ‘kick’ that a bong can offer. Remember, however, that the most important thing will be your own personal preferences when reaching a decision. What might make one bong fantastic for one might not be the case for the others. That being said, below are some different types of popular bongs that are worth keeping an eye out for.
Ice Catcher Bongs
Ice catcher bongs take one of the most important qualities of a bong – smoothness – take multiple that by a factor of 10! An ice catcher is simply a special piece added to a traditional or silicone bong that allows ice to be stored in the main chamber of the bong. This essentially means that all the smoke pulled into the bong is being cooled off by all of the ice that it is flowing over. This is especially for those who prefer massive hits from a bong but the water is not doing as good of a job of cooling the hit as they would like. Or, it is especially useful for someone whose lungs and throat are a bit more sensitive. Otherwise, for everyone else, it is just an excellent investment to make sure that every hit is as smooth as humanly possible no matter how large.
Percolator bongs serve a function similar to an ice catcher bong – to make hits smoother – but instead of using an apparatus that holds ice and lets smoke run over it a percolator infuses the smoke within the water more and therefore makes the hit smoother. This also means that it can be a bit more difficult to pull through than a regular bong given the additional places the water and smoke need to move through – this is fully worth it. There are many types of percolators from honeycomb to tree to any number of different designs that each have their own positives and negatives.
Overall, percolators are an excellent investment for any bong user but particularly for someone who wants smoother hits but doesn’t mind leaving some of the heat that an ice catcher would get rid of. Be aware that any type of percolator will make cleaning a bit more complicated in relation to how complicated the percolator is. The more tubes, disks, etc that the smoke must pass through means the more cleaner will have to pass through. Just be patient and a little more vigilant and this won’t cause any problems.
Gravity bongs are well-known for their potency and ability to produce some excellent hits. While some are homemade, commercial varieties are inexpensive, fit perfectly, and produce great hits. Moreover, gravity bongs don’t require nearly as much care as a regular bong or a bong that uses percolators. Gravity bongs get their name from their use of physics to produce a massive hit. Essentially, water leaves a chamber and begins to fill with air. This pulls the smoke from the lit dry herb into the chamber rather than the smoker having to do so. Then, just do the reverse and use that same pressure to blast a hit into someone’s lungs. It’s great, powerful, but not always for everyone.
Ash Catcher Bongs
Ash catcher bongs are just as the name would imply – bongs that come with an ash catcher. This simply means that these bongs are going to incorporate an additional piece that is meant to prevent ash and other nastiness flying out of the bowl piece from entering the water chamber – or beyond – of the bong. Ash catchers are great because they protect the cleanliness of the bong and reduce the amount of maintenance necessary to keep hits clean and tasty.
Glass bongs are fairly self-explanatory as they are made of glass. Not to mention, they are also one of the most popular bong types. This is because glass comes in all sorts of cool designs and is super easy to clean and maintain. Be careful, however, as it can get heavy and is obviously fragile.
Silicone incorporates all the wonderful aspects of a glass bong without the weight and fragility. Some believe that silicone bongs have a ‘taste’ to them that glass bongs don’t and that they aren’t as diverse. All of that is a matter of preference. Both are excellent options.
Written By: Robert H.