It’s official, Aussie’s are the biggest bong heads globally. You probably didn’t need to read the fancy-schmancy research released by the Global Drugs Survey to know that your fellow country-(wo)men love to light ’em up. After all, it’s a time-honoured tradition and a rite of passage into adulthood.
So, you want to join the party and buy bongs online. Not sure where to start? Luckily you’ve landed on our guide, we explain everything from stems and slides to the most durable materials so your bong won’t smash.
Whether you’re looking for a straight tube bong or an artistic statement piece, we outline everything you need to know about glass bongs in Australia.
What is a bong?
The humble bong is the go-to choice for many weed smokers who want to rip fat clouds.
Bongs, also called water pipes, billy’s or bubbler’s, is a large glass pipe designed for smoking weed.
Ripping a bong offers users a cleaner and smoother smoking experience than alternatives such as joints, thanks to the unique water filtration system that both cools the smoke and removes carcinogens that occur during combustion .
Bongs are typically made from glass, but as we explore below can be made in a range of other materials such as plastic, ceramics, silicone, acrylic, wood, and more.
Anatomy of a water pipe AKA bong
These are the key features you need to know about before you buy bong in Australia.
The bowl is where you pack your dry flower. Bowls are usually made from either glass, borosilicate glass or quartz.
Bowls are usually defined by their size and gender; standard sizes are 10.5mm, 14mm, and 18mm, and the gender of the bowl will depend on your bong.
A deep bowl usually offers a better smoking experience.
The name is a fairly big giveaway as to the function of this part of the bong. Suffice to say, it catches ash from the bowl after it sinks through the hole. While it prevents ash from getting into the bong, it also captures all the gunk and tar that accumulates from regular use.
A slide is a polished glass tube that attaches the downstem to the joint of the bong. Most glass bongs are made with these removable, two-piece downstems to make smoking and cleaning easier.
The joint is a crucial piece in any set-upset-up as it’s the part of the bong where the slide and downstem connect to the chamber. A few things to keep in mind about the joint when buying a new bong are the size, gender and thickness. Finding a bong that has a thick joint in a standard size is an easy way to guarantee you’ll find a replacement easily.
As you can imagine, the mouthpiece is where you place your mouth to take a rip from the bong. Most mouthpieces are located at the top of the bong, but some designs have the mouthpiece situated on the side. There isn’t a lot to distinguish mouthpieces; they are relatively universal.
The base is the bottom of the bong and acts as the foundation for the whole setup. Having a thick and wide base means it’s sturdy and less prone to breaking. Ideally, you want to aim for a base that is at least double the width of the tube.
The tube is the long part of a bong that carries the smoke from the base to your mouth. The tube is generally the largest, or longest, part of the bong. While most tubes are straight, some alternative designs have tubes that are zig-zags, coils, and that curves off to the side. It’s a personal choice as to which tube you prefer to smoke from.
The taller the tube, the more time the smoke has to cool before reaching the mouthpiece.
The downpipe or downstem is a bridge between the bowl and the main chamber in the bong that holds the water. The smoke passes through the downstem into the water, where it’s filtered and cooled before inhalation.
A percolator is a feature typically found on more expensive bongs. It is used to filter the smoke further as it comes into contact with a greater surface area of water. There are a few different styles of percolators available, but in the end, they all do the same thing; offer a cleaner, cooler, better-tasting rip.
Types of glass bongs in Australia
All glass water pipes have the same function, but the artistry and design distinguish one from another.
• Straight tube bongs: These bongs are one of the simplest designs available. They consist of a straight tube that leads to a small base, and the bowl and stem protrude from the side of the tube.
• Beaker base bongs: This bong style is very similar to the straight tube bong, except the base is flared into the shape of a beaker, hence the name. This water pipe style is more stable than a straight tube bong, but the smoking process is precisely the same.
• Round base bong: This style is similar to the beaker bong in that the base is larger than the tube and, therefore, more stable. As the name suggests, Round-base bongs have a sphere-shaped water chamber with a flat bottom.
• Percolator bongs: A percolator bong can be any of the above styles. The thing that makes it unique is that it contains a percolator. The percolator works to dissipate the smoke to filter it more effectively by the water .
Perhaps the most essential consideration when buying a bong is the material it’s made from. Typically, bongs are manufactured using durable glass or glass borosilicate materials.
Because bongs attract resin and residue when you smoke, the main thing to consider when looking for a new bong is how easy it’ll be to clean.
Generally speaking, glass and acrylic are the easiest materials to clean, whereas ceramic and timber bongs tend to be harder to clean, leading to residue build-up.
Glass bongs Australia: Best bong for your buck
Finally, I hear you say! Reviews of smoking pipes Australia. Here are the top five bongs that’ll have you flying high in no time.
RooR 5mm Little Sista
• Height: 45cm
• Joint: 18mm (F)
• Cone: 18mm (M)
• Stem and cone included
• Tube diameter: 45mm
• Wall thickness: 5mm
RooR is a well-known and loved global bong brand operating since 1995. Every water pipe has been manufactured with the highest level of craftsmanship and premium materials. Each design is well thought out for user experience.
The Little Sista has a beaker style base that increases its capacity compared to a straight tube while improving stability due to the wider base diameter.
The thick 5mm glass walls make the Little Sista an incredibly durable bong. While it is somewhat heavier than other bongs, it’s still very comfortable to handle. Its size makes it best suited for the experienced smoker.
This bong also comes with three ice notches. Ice notches are arguably one of the most effective ways to cool the smoke before it’s inhaled.
EHLE 500ml Bent Ball Ice 18mm
• Height: 35cm (Approx)
• Joint: 18mm
• Stem length: 11cm (F) Included
• Cone: 18mm (M) Included
• Tube diameter: 50mm
• Wall thickness: 3mm
• Made from Borosilicate glass
EHLE is known for manufacturing high-quality yet affordable bongs. They are hand-crafted in Germany from borosilicate glass for extra durability, and the added design and detail of every bong is what makes people come back time and time again.
The EHLE. 500ml is a universal bong great for any occasion. It’s neither too big and heavy nor too small and feels comfortable to hold. The ergonomic design of the tube ensures the bowel is situated further away from your face and helps to prevent splash.
Most importantly, it gives a really smooth hit.
The EHLE. 500 is a ball tube style bong and features three ice notches, which act as a shelf for the ice to sit in and cool the smoke before it reaches you.
GATORBEUG | CHRONIC BLAST GLASS BONG
• Height: 23.2cm
• Base: 7cm
• Stem: bonza size
• Grommet: bonza size
Gatorbeug helping us relive our youth with the time-honoured tradition of ripping far ones from a makeshift Gatorade bong.
Well, no longer do you have to improvise on the fly because the Gatorbeug Chronic Blast Glass Bong will have you baked in style.
Gatorbeug is a boutique bong brand from Byron Bay, NSW, and their speciality is creating replicas of well-known Aussie products and turning them into premium glass bongs.
The Chronic Blast features a 95mm garden hose style stem; it fits perfectly into the bottom of the base, so you need less water, reducing splashback.
The cone is placed lower on the bong meaning the bowl is further away from your face when lighting. And the 14mm bowl is super easy to pack.
WATERFALL | EXTERMINATOR W/ ASH CATCHER DELUXE
• Height: 200mm
• Neck Diameter: 33mm
• Body Diameter: 80mm
• 4mm thick glass
• Borosilicate glass
• Cone: 14mm Glass Cone
Easy to clean, hard to break with fast and smooth hits. Is there anything else you really need in a bong?
The Exterminator is made from tough borosilicate glass and features a bubble-shaped base with a wide neck and rounded mouthpiece.
One of the features we love on this bong is that it comes with a 14mm Quartz banger for dabbing, meaning you can turn your bong into a fully functioning dab rig as well.
The simple design means it’s super easy to clean, and it comes with silicone caps to reduce odour during storage and stop any accidental bong water from escaping.