Stoner MacGyver marijuana product review: The Incredibowl i420
It works like this: A small, clear glass bowl and stem sits inside the protective aluminum metal chamber held in by rubber O-rings. Smoke is filtered through the glass stem and then through the smoke injection nozzle -- essentially an aluminum tube with a screen at the end of it. The clear plastic chamber fills up like a steamroller would, but smoke is released by pulling the spring-loaded aluminum shell out. In short: it's a small glass pipe surrounded by a lot of technology to deliver you a better hit. The increased air flow at times makes the taste of herb come out more as well. Don't ask me how, but just about anyone who has hit it will agree. Here's a video to help you visualize it.
Technical? Yes. So much so that it required a basic physics lesson from Shenassa to explain the Venturi effect -- the basic principle behind rocket engines. When the pipe is cleared, air is pulled through thirteen small holes, creating a jet-blast of fresh air to clear the chamber instantly, unlike steamrollers that simply have a large hole that's used to clear smoke.
Again, I really didn't see myself liking it as much as I do. The plastic tubing and metal around the bowl were a huge turnoff for someone from the generation that looked down on metal pipes in favor of glass. But once you get past that discomfort, smoking out of the i420 becomes second nature.
Surprisingly, the plastic tube was as easy to clean as glass and not at all flimsy, as I expected based on other plastic pipes people have sent us in the past. And since the plastic is never near a heat source, getting errant plastic vapors isn't really a concern. Pushing a hot, wet paper towel through it with a plunger handle cleared out most of the resin, and a second pass with some rubbing alcohol cleaned things right up. (The extension tube shown in the picture will run you about $25 more.)
What is a bitch to clean, however, is the rest of the pipe.
Though the pipe can take some use and abuse, once the ash-catching screen gets clogged up with resin and ash, it can be hard to pull a decent hit. Fully cleaning all the parts of the injection tube takes a good twenty minutes to accomplish, and even then it's hard to tell if you've left resin behind in the dark recesses of the chamber.
That said, a heavily worked glass pipe could give you the same problems. But the main drawback is the nearly $100 price tag on the Incredibowl setup and the initial ridicule from your stoner friends for buying a "plastic pipe" -- until they hit it. (Frankly, that never goes away even after they hit it. They'll still call it a novelty, but they'll want to hit it again every time they're at your house.)
Also, if you're the type of butterfingers who can't hold onto a bong for more than a few months without breaking it, your $100 will last you a lot longer with the nearly indestructible Incredibowl than it will another shitty Chinese knockoff. The smaller version shown in the photo sells for around $75, which is more reasonable, and you can also get extended-length tubes for larger hits as well as a concentrate-smoking setup.
Because it's such a unique design, I wouldn't go telling just anyone to spend their hard-earned scratch on this instead of a nice glass piece that's just as functional. But if you've already got a collection going and want to add something unique to your smoking experience that works -- or if glass-breaking is in your genes --- the Incredibowl is certainly worth considering.
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