It all used to be so simple – you had a pipe, a bong, or a joint, and little in the way of choice when it came to smoking up your way. Now there are thousands of accessories to choose from!
Choice is a wonderful thing, of course, but it can also be pretty overwhelming. Do you commit hundreds of dollars to a vaporizer? Do you splurge on that dazzling showpiece or pick something a bit more durable and wallet-friendly? While that ultimately comes down to your unique style and situation, it can be helpful to make a list of the most important considerations you’ll have to make – which, conveniently, we’ve done for you here. Let’s start from the top…
#1 – Budget:
The explosion of interest in artisanal, artistic, and unique hand-formed glass has made for some pretty bougie bongs. It’s no longer shocking to see a well-crafted piece retail upwards of $300, even for pieces that are produced on a large scale. But that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to shell out half of your paycheck on a pretty pipe – in fact, you can probably find one just as durable and practical (if slightly less ornate and artistic) for less than $30.
In short, if you want to treat yourself, go for it! But the likelihood is you don’t need to break the bank to find your dream piece.
#2 – Purpose:
Where are you going to use your accessory? If you’re outdoorsy or always on-the-go, the chance is you’ll want a piece that’s made for travelling – maybe one that can fit in your pocket, and definitely one that’s durable. In this case, it might be best to consider a silicone pipe or bong, a portable vaporizer, a one-hitter, or a small, durable glass pipe. Planning on extended couch sessions? Maybe treat yourself to something that’ll cool and filter the smoke more, like a larger glass bong with a percolator or a delicate sherlock pipe. If you want to go all out, it’s hard to beat a desktop vaporizer. Form should follow function here – it’s better for a piece to be practical than beautiful, especially if you plan on using it every day.
#3 – Weight:
You can tell the quality of a glass or metal piece by its weight. Lighter, thinner glass is much cheaper to produce (and so easier on the wallet), but the tradeoff is that it’s wayyy easier to break. Although metal can’t break, a heavier piece is still better – it means more heat distribution, which in turn means cooler smoke. If you’re ultra-clumsy (like me!), a heavier piece also generally means a lower centre of gravity, which makes it a lot less likely to tip over. It’s also important to consider how often you’ll be travelling with your piece, and if you want the extra weight or the risk of breaking it. If in doubt, “weigh” your options.
#4 – Preference:
Style considerations aside, what’s your favourite way to smoke? If you love the look of that small fold up pipe but find yourself sensitive to hot and harsh smoke, go with your gut (or lungs!) – you want to enjoy your smoking experience, especially if you’re investing heavily in it. If you’ve never smoked before, it might be better to start with a more gentle option – like a filtered bong – and to pick less expensive options until you find your favourite way to light up.
#5 – Vaporizers:
Vaporizers are a special case. While some under $100 perform well, you’ll generally want to go with a vaporizer over $150 at the very least. This is because of the heating element – cheaper vaporizers use conduction, or direct heat, which has little temperature control and may even combust your bud – exactly what you’re trying to avoid. More expensive choices will have temperature control and convection heating, which is what you’re looking for.
#6 – Add-ons and flourishes:
If you’re a more experienced consumer, it might be time to branch out and optimize your experience! Have you considered a bong with a percolator? Percolators diffuse the smoke, cooling and filtering out byproducts. If you’re already on the percolator-train, you might consider purchasing an ash-catcher for your bong, which pre-filters smoke and makes cleaning a breeze. If you use a vaporizer, maybe experiment with a vapour bubbler – arizer and magic flight launch box make good choices for a customizable vapour experience.