Holiday Gift Guide 2020: The Best High-Design Bongs

Sometimes the best high comes from taking a good old-fashioned bong hit — a true and well-deserved pleasure in the surreal holiday season of 2020. And no cannabis connoisseur’s collection is complete without a prized piece of glass (or ceramic). A bong, technically known as a water pipe, was first used (and named) centuries ago by the Hmong people in Laos and Thailand, as a natural filtration device made from bamboo for smoking tobacco, cannabis and other herbs. Today, bongs are more beautiful than ever with cannabis companies elevating over-the-top ornate offerings from traditional head shops into minimal, modern works of art. Here are eight high-design bongs to gift the cannabis purist on your list this year.

Long live bonging! 

Session Goods Bong

Founded by five friends in San Francisco and Los Angeles as a side hustle, Session set out in 2019 “to create moments of indulgence, thoughtfully expressed through permissible vices.” Its debut designer bong is made of borosilicate glass with a sleek, tapered shape and molded indent for an ergonomic grip. An intuitive silicone footer protects the glass from inevitable damage (and also hides unsightly dirty water). $120, sessiongoods.com 

GRAV Small Wide Base Water Pipe

From GRAV, the pioneer in scientific cannabis glass, comes its beloved Wide Base Water Pipe in an updated version, fabricated in translucent grey colorway with clear accents. This longtime favorite has all of the same features from the original like the wide conical fission percolator, which diffuses smoke through water and a narrow neck that prevents splash-back. $134.99, grav.com

Elevate Jane Mimi

Meet Mimi, a delicate minimalist pipe that delivers the most proper of highs from the contemporary smoke shop Elevate Jane. Founder Angela Mou commissions all of the Long Beach-based store’s custom pieces from a locally-based glassblower in Orange County. $149, elevatejane.com 

K.Haring Water Pipe

Inspired by the late visionary Keith Haring, the K.Haring Water Pipe (center in the photo above) features the artist’s iconic artwork and signature on precision-crafted, thick borosilicate glass. Its removable, diffused downstem fits a spacious bowl with an airtight, ground glass connection, while a seven-slit showerhead percolator produces smaller bubbles to moisturize, clean and cool your smoke (there’s also a built-in ice-catcher). $160, haringglass.com 

Summerland

“Made from the earth, by hand, in California,” Summerland’s uber-cool collection of opaque bongs (and other “stonerware”) stands out for its clean lines. Constructed in lead-free, food-safe glaze and ceramic, its silicone grommet ensures easy hits and airtight carbs every time. Choose from three designs (Pleasure Point, Chongo and Land Yacht) in three shades (Dust, Charcoal and Terracotta) — or go for the original in glossy white. From $165, welcometosummer.land

Marley Natural Water Pipe

Utility meets design in this classically shaped water pipe, which seamlessly blends sustainably sourced black walnut with hand-blown borosilicate glass. The flush-fit, five-hole downstem and ice pinch make for cool, smooth and slow draws. The wood smoke chamber that connects to the beaker base is removable, allowing for easy cleaning and maintenance. $240, marleynaturalshop.com

Stüdenglass Gravity Hooka

OK, it’s not technically a bong, but Stüdenglass’ just-released Gravity Hookah is the craziest and coolest cannabis contraption I’ve seen all year (maybe ever). This sophisticated take on the gravity bong of yesteryear (who remembers cutting up 2-liters?) features a 360-degree rotating glass bubble that generates kinetic motion activation via cascading water displacement, opposing airflow technology and the natural force of gravity. Instead of attempting to explain the physics behind this user-friendly, smooth-hitting system, I suggest you watch the Los Angeles-based company’s mesmerizing how-to video here. $499, studenglass.com 

Edie Parker Flower x Paul Arnhold Bong

Known for its stylish stash boxes and cute fruit pipes, Edie Parker Flower went big for its first bong release, tapping renowned glass artist Paul Arnhold. Handblown in his Red Hook, Brooklyn studio, each piece is a one-of-a-kind and highly functioning work of art. $795, edieparkerflower.com 

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