Once a symbol for a certain level of stoner status, the bong — along with the rest of cannabis culture — has gone through a bit of a renaissance over the past few years. The general premise of the bong hasn’t changed much: most still require packing a bowl full of ground up weed, lighting it with fire, and sucking the thick smoke through water, filtering it for a potent yet smooth hit. But the look of them has changed immensely. Here, four of our favorite bongs, and one fantastic bong alternative (for our lung-conscious weed enthusiasts.)
Best On-The-Go Bong
Whether you’re going for a hike in California or just taking a walk through New York City, Puffco’s new Budsy is the perfect companion. Puffco, a weed-tech company started in Brooklyn but now based in Los Angeles, has long stuck to vapes for concentrates — from their early Puffco Plus (a pen-sized device that made dabbing portable) to their elaborate Puffco Peak, a top-of-the-line digital dab rig. The Budsy, their first foray into analog devices, looks like a reusable water bottle, but instead of flipping up a straw, when you pull a tab on the top, a mouthpiece and a bowl emerge. Just pop the bowl into place, and smoke away. At $49.99, it’s also the most affordable Puffco product on the market.
If you’re looking to have one bong that sparks joy in your life, consider the Hexagon. This ceramic piece from Canadian smoking accessory outfit BRNT is a perennial favorite. The clean lines and geometric design mean you can leave it out even when it’s not in use — or even put (non-cannabis) flowers in it for a 420-themed vase — and the ceramic construction mean you can freeze it for an ice-cold rip. At $100, it costs less than a vase that won’t get you high.
Best Party Rig
Stündenglass Glass Gravity Hookah
Do you miss the high from a gravity bong, but no longer feel comfortable smoking out of a cut-up two-liter bottle? Meet Stündenglass’s Gravity Hookah, a sturdy, beautifully crafted contraption that’s part conversation piece, part party trick, and entirely unlike any other bong on the market. Designed by Michael Trzecieski — a cannabis entrepreneur with an impressive number of patents under his belt — the device looks like a large, pill-shaped hourglass. One half is filled with water, then it’s flipped, sucking a thick cloud of smoke into the other chamber. Flip the device back, and get read for the smoke to be pushed out through a tube — and directly down your lungs. Watch out, though. It could quite possibly get you more stoned than you’ve been since college — it even made Seth Rogen cough. A high like this doesn’t come cheap: at $599, it’s for serious smokers only.
Best Everyday Model
Session Goods Bong
If you’re looking to put some real mileage on a bong, Session Goods is the place to start. The wide glass lip makes it comfortable to use; the removable rubber base means if you accidentally put it down too hard, it shouldn’t damage the glass (which is a sturdy 4mm thick). And they even made it extra easy to clean — take out the slide, and you can pop on a custom-fit rubber cap. That way you can swirl your detergent of choice with ease. Starting at $120, it’s a fair price for a piece that will last.
Best Bong Alternative
Storz & Bickel Volcano
Wanna get the cannabis cloud but without the combustion? The OG vaporizer — now in its 21st year — gives the opportunity for fast inhalation for those avoiding smoking. It’s a bit of a process, but all you do is preheat the device, grind up some flower, put it in the chamber, then clip on a balloon. Flip a switch and the balloon fills with thick, potent vape. Take it down in one rip a la bong, or take it in a few (what longtime Volcano fans call “sipping”). This high-tech high comes at a cost, though, with the most basic model starting at $479 (though currently on sale for a chunk less).