Let’s just cut to the chase: Lots of people in the good ole U.S. of A. are smoking the devil’s lettuce.
With recreational marijuana use legal in nine states and Washington, D.C., and medical marijuana legal in a further 21 states (and counting), weed no longer bears the stigma of stonederdom that surrounded the drug’s rise in popularity from its reputation as a 1960s counter-cultural connection to the commodity it is today. As a multi-million dollar commercial industry with consumers ranging in age from 21-year-olds to octogenarians, the weed paraphernalia market is finally taking the design and creation of its products seriously. No longer are cheap ceramic bowls and plastic, six-foot bongs the only options for a guy (or gal) who likes to sit back at the end of the day and take a load off by taking a bong rip or two. Instead, pipe and accessory makers are going full-luxe in their designs now that weed in many places has become as socially acceptable as drinking.
The most iconic example of this transition from discrete, practical pieces to design-forward devices, the Heir Waterpipe (formerly known as Aura – trademark issues, don’t ask) combines form and function into one badass bong. Designed to be both beautiful and provide the best smoke possible, the Heir comes with a bevy of features that, when considered all together, make the Heir the most beautiful and functional waterpipe you’ll ever have the pleasure of hitting.
As the guys at Heir say of themselves and their pursuit of smoking perfection, “As descendants of an age that dismissed smoking as an apathetic and grungy pursuit, we’re striving to define what’s next. We’re innovators and active members of a new generation committed to creating high-quality smoking essentials that bring pride to our past time.” And they have certainly succeeded.
So, how do we love the Heir? Let us count the ways.
Form and Function
Unlike traditional multi-chambered waterpipes and bongs, Heir’s design team did away with all that extraneous compartmentalization to provide a bong that features a single chamber. The single chamber build was created for a couple of reasons: one, it makes the piece much easier to clean (which you can read about below) and two, since the smoke enters the chamber through a long, extended downstem (which also includes a diffuser/splash-guard combination), it ends up being much cooler when inhaled than the smoke in traditional bongs. The downstem also provides percolation at the bottom where the smoke enters the water, diffusing the air consistently and regardless of the angle which you hold the Heir. So, whether you’re lying down having a full-on lounge or sitting tight in your armchair, the smoke always exits the downstem in the same, perfectly manner, every time.
The next big advancement that Heir developed for the bong is something most people don’t really think too much about when toking: the bowl. Rather than a small, delicate, and infinitely breakable blown-glass bowl found on almost every bong known to man up to this point in time, Heir’s bowl is made from heavy-duty stainless steel and features a wide-open mouth for better lighter access and a larger pack. The heavy-metal construction acts as an insulator, preventing the bowl from becoming too hot to handle (no matter how many hits you’ve taken) and also can’t be broken, which, if we’re being honest with ourselves, has been one of our biggest issues over the years. No longer beholden to the fragility of a glass bowl, Heir’s metal bowl offers a hefty and unbreakable alternative to traditional glass bowls and their accompanying slides.
And slides! That’s another old-school bong feature that the guys at Heir have eliminated, meaning you’ll no longer have to suffer through a gunked up slide clog preventing you from getting your high on. Oh, and you’ll never have to buy pipe cleaners again because there’s no slim slide collecting tar with each toke.
The Heir also sports a non-slip grip so you can hold onto it even at your highest, can fit plenty of ice in the chamber for extra cooling, and can even store a lighter in the mouthpiece when not in use. Heir is also an heirloom-like treasure worthy of passing on to your children or grandchildren (much like families pass down fancy drinking glasses and whisky decanters) because of its durability and easy-to-clean quality.
Durability and Care
Perhaps the best new design feature of the Heir is its super wide base and heavier weight than traditional and standard waterpipes. This means your bong won’t go toppling over at the slightest hint of a nudge from a rogue arm, a dog’s tail, or your exploratory kitten. If, on the off chance that the Heir does take a topple, its solid construction of super-thick, 7mm glass, alumina ceramic, and metal mean that, more likely than not, it will survive without so much as a scratch.
But, without a doubt, the best thing about the Heir is how easy it is to clean the thing. How many of you have suffered through the annoying difficult task of trying to clean every last bit of tar, gunk, and debris in your multi-chambered bong? It’s hard as hell and by the time you’re finished, the end result is never as good as when the piece was brand new. Not so with Heir. Unlike other bongs, this baby can be completely disassembled so that the base, downstem, bowl, and ceramic mouthpiece can be individually hand-washed and scrubbed with a soft bottle brush. If Heir gets too dirty for your taste, just take apart, rinse with hot water, soap, and some rubbing alcohol, put a tiny bit of elbow grease into it, and you’ve got a sparkling clean, almost-museum worthy waterpipe to make Rihanna proud. This is particularly useful is you’re an older smoker or someone who uses marijuana medically for arthritis, joint issues, or other ailments that affect grip-strength and motor-coordination.
Heir doesn’t just make the waterpipe though, it also has a line of smoking accessories that are every bit as well-designed and thoughtful as their bong. Heir’s Ash Kit and Smoke Tool are the perfect, minimalist complement to Heir’s waterpipe. The ash kit features a heavy-duty stainless steel ashtray that magnetically holds the Smoke Tool vertically within it (it can also hold incense in the same manner).
While standing vertically, the tool can be used to clear bowls hands-free, along with typical uses like clearing ash, stirring and tamping. The Smoke Tool also does double duty as a rolling-assistant. The tool’s conical shape allows you to roll up joints easily and its flattened opposite end can serve as a scoop and tamper to pack those doobies tight (but not too tight).
Overall, the Heir waterpipe is a stunning smoking device, designed and created for the 21st century. With a direct-to-consumer business model, fantastic form and function, easy cleaning, and beautiful design, Heir belongs in every upscale smoker’s home. Retailing for $260 for either the silver or gold editions, the Heir isn’t cheap, but then again, for more people, neither is weed. Think of this piece as a solid investment in not only your smoking style but your quality of life as a whole.
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