Are Silicone Bongs & Pipes Worth Buying?
Published on 10/6/21
Stroll into just about any dispensary, head shop, or smoking accessories store and you are sure to see a huge number of glass pipes and bongs on the shelf. While there are many excellent pipes and bongs built out of glass, including works that are more art than craft, there's a new challenger on the market: silicone. A silicone water bong has many advantages over a glass bong, primarily its durability: drop a silicone water pipe by accident, and you are sure to have much less of a mess on your hand than a glass pipe. This new material can make "unbreakable bongs" capable of taking far more punishment than glass ever could. But is silicone worth it for your smoking hobby, and if so, what is the best silicone bong to buy?
Glass: Pros and Cons
There's a reason why glass has been the standard for bongs and pipes through most of cannabis history. First and foremost, glass is cheap, costing just a small bit of money for the raw glass-blowing sand. Additionally, it's very easy to clean, making it great for your average stoner who may be less than enthusiastic about keeping their equipment in tip-top condition. Glass doesn't impart a flavor to weed, meaning you aren't left with a strange texture on your tongue. Finally, glass is easy to decorate, requiring little more than an addition of different colors to create a fantastic, vibrant work of art.
Glass' drawback is primarily its fragility, as anyone who has ever dropped a beer bottle at a bar knows. Most bongs are made of stronger stuff than a typical beer bottle, forged from a borosilicate compound, the same type of glass used in Pyrex that is marketed as shatterproof. However, no glass is truly shatterproof, and if you are a bit of a butterfingers who has destroyed a valuable object before just by letting gravity do its thing, you may think twice before buying an expensive glass bong.
Silicone: Pros and Cons
When it comes to a silicone bong vs. glass, there's not much debate about durability. Silicone is not indestructible, but it will take far more of a beating than glass ever could, because its chemical structure is less rigid than glass and will flex instead of break under stress. This durability means you can even put them through the dishwasher when they get dirty, or when you're just unsure about what's growing in there. A silicone water bong is also safe to smoke out of; restaurants use silicone storage vessels to keep food safe, with no risk of chemical leaching. What's more, silicone is usually less expensive than glass: just type "silicone bongs near me" into Google and you will probably find a number of pieces for a fraction of the cost of glass pieces. This makes them perfect for higher-risk activities: parties, camping, or smokers who have dogs that enjoy making a ruckus.
If silicone has a drawback, it is that it can impact its flavor on cannabis, a flavor that some smokers might find unpleasant. While it's not as bad as acrylic pieces, it might still be something you don't want in a smoke session.
Choosing a Silicone Bong
As more and more manufacturers start to produce silicone bongs, you can find many models that fit your needs. This silicone bong review looks at some of the most impressive pieces on the market.
Smoke Cartel's Lava Lamp, $69.95
Perhaps no accessory pairs better with a bong than a lava lamp, and Smoke Cartel's design has brought the classic lamp from your parent's basement in the 1970s and turned it into a beautiful silicone bong. It brings the best of both worlds because its frame is glass and its exterior is silicone: lots of durability, no harsh tastes. The entire piece stands 8 inches tall, with the silicone bong bowl measuring 14mm.
Piecemaker's UniKorn Silicone Bong, $59.00
One of the great things about stoner culture is how smokers love to marry together the beautiful and the funny. Few pieces in all the land do so as well as Piecemaker's UniKorn, a bong that is both silly and practical, bringing a cannabis unicorn to life on your living room table. This fat little mythical pony is just six inches in size, perfect for pint-size tokes on vacations or hikes, and has a stainless steel piece for easy cleaning.
Habit Supply Silicone Water Pipe, $70.00
Sometimes all the innovation in the world simply can't compete with the tried and true. Habit Supply's silicone pipe is certainly nothing fancy, but everyone and their mother knows what it is and how to use it. At 14 inches tall, it lets you take a fairly large drag, lets you see how much water is left, and lets you put in ice without having to maneuver it around a curve.
Toker Supply Silicone Bong With Dual Percolators, $24.99
If cost is a consideration, you can't do much better than the Toker Supply silicone bong with dual percolators. Featuring a see-through chamber that houses the percolators, this pipe comes with a unique design and is easily taken apart for cleaning. Standing just 9.5 inches in height, it can easily be taken on a trip or stashed within a purse.
Roll-Uh-Bowl Original Collapsible Pipe, $32.00
A collapsible silicone bong features the ultimate in portability and convenience. While some bongs are a piece of art, meant to be displayed to the world, others need to be able to take a hit and keep going. The Roll-Uh-Bowl original pipes come in seven different colors and can easily be folded down until they are just the size of a hamburger patty. You can even convert the pipes to a dab rig by upgrading to a model with a titanium nail.
Do you have a silicone bong or do you prefer the classic glass pipe? How much do you put your bong through and has it held up? Let us know in the comments below about your experiences with both glass and silicone!