Beakers Vs. Straight Tube Bongs
There have always been varying opinions on what makes a bong better than others. And if you extend the argument to which type of bong is the ultimate best, there are even more opinions that differ. Some people are fans of big, grand bongs, while others prefer simpler, compact rigs. Some users feel that scientific glass is a better material, while others think silicone works well too. There’s also the contention between whether percolators work better or ash-catchers give more benefit. Designs and styles have indeed been changing a lot over the years. But most of it, if not all, has grown out of two core designs that started it all.
These two initial designs gave rise to the wide variety of shapes, sizes, bongs, rigs, and devices we see today. They are – the beaker bong and the straight tube bong. So, if these two are the original designs, understanding them better will help you decide which bong is best. And to do that, we need a closer look at each bong type in some detail.
The case for Beaker Bongs
Beaker bongs, as the name suggests, are designed from those traditional beakers you’d see in a lab. You’ll immediately recognize the long, thin neck that suddenly tapers out into a flared base at the bottom. As far as structure goes, beaker bongs have a low and stable center of gravity. This means they don’t have that tendency of falling over like so many other bong designs do. They’re great if you want to use an ash-catcher in your setup because straight tube bongs often fall over with extra side weight.
With beaker bongs, it’s less likely to get water splashing up to your mouth. The narrow phase between the base and the lower neck prevents this from happening. So, that’s an added benefit you don’t see in straight tube bongs. Ice-catchers are a favorite accessory for those who use beaker bongs. So, you need to have some mechanism to control the excessive splash of water within the bong. And beaker bongs provide this benefit by design.
The stable base and control of water-splashing aren’t the only benefits, though. The larger base of a beaker bong also gives more advantages as a smoking device. They hold much more dense smoke, which can give you sizeable hits. So, you don’t have to necessarily get a big beaker bong just because you want bigger hits. For those who prefer relatively smaller bongs that can still deliver power hits, beaker bongs are the best alternative. A beaker bong that looks comparatively small can still deliver quite a punch in terms of bong hits because of its default size. This happens because it can accommodate more water and filter more smoke that comes up from the downstem.
So, it’s pretty clear that beaker bongs definitely come with extra advantages. And this is also why a lot of modern designs retain the large base of the beaker bong. But is it really better than a straight tube bong? To know for sure, we’ll need to understand how the straight tube bong works and what it offers.
Straight Tube Bongs
Straight tube bongs are also pretty self-explanatory. These are bongs that also have a base but with a more prominent cylindrical tube that stands tall. And at first glance, non-smokers may even think straight tubes and beakers to be the same design. But they have differences that make each one distinct.
If users wanted a percolator stacked pipe that had extra space for water, the beakers seem like an easy choice. But astonishingly, this is not the case in every scenario. There are a lot of beaker bongs that don’t utilize the chance to integrate the additional filtration capacity. However, the straight tube bong uses almost every level of the water pipe as a built-in filtration system. So, if you’re looking for a specific bong that utilizes the tube space better, then the straight tube bong may be a better fit for you.
One of the main advantages of straight tube bongs is the ability to accommodate a great number of features. It may start off as a simple design, but straight tube bongs can come with a handy set of capabilities. These features may depend on the specific make and model, but you’re bound to get some benefit out of it. You can have different types of percolators in straight tubes. There are downstems (removable) that are set beside the base. Others have honeycomb discs that behave like dividers for the different chambers in the bong. Anything from showerheads to UFO percs will go into the straight tube bongs. Showerheads are especially great because they can negate the backsplash from the bottom and reduce the harshness of the hit. This makes it easier to get bigger hits with softer pulls.
Some straight tube bongs come with glycerin-filled coils. They act like condensers that prevent or slow down the melting of ice in the bongs. These condenser coils can freeze, allowing cold smoke to pass without creating excessive melted water from ice. One drawback with straight tubes is that ice catchers don’t work all that well. They have the tendency to make the water overflow. This, in turn, creates more backsplash or unnecessary spills in the chamber.
The verdict goes either way.
The beaker and straight tube bongs are distinct and original designs that each offers specific advantages. To declare one as absolutely superior in every situation is clearly not useful or fair to the other. For example, a beaker bong will be a better choice if your setup includes an ice catcher. A straight tube bong will make more sense if you prefer a water pipe that comes with an internal filtration system.
But if you really can’t decide between the two, there are hybrid-style designs that bring elements of both. You can have the best of cylindrical-bodies that still sport a wider base to bring you benefits of both designs. There are a wide variety of options available today. And you can try different styles to narrow down your bong preference.