Ice Bongs: The Ultimate Guide [FAQ, Best Products, & More!]

what is an ice catcher bong and how do they work - best ice bongs guide
December 26, 2019 By Kyle Broussard

So you’re in the market for a new bong, or perhaps are completely new to the wonderful world of water pipes. Or, maybe you are getting back into smoking after a long break, and need a refresher on a few terms.

If you browsed a few online headshops, you may have heard the term ice catcher, ice pinch, or ice catch before, but aren’t sure what it is referring to.

So, what is an ice catcher? 

In this guide, we will break down the answer to this question, and also help you to learn about: 

Let’s teach you all about how to smoke the cool way 😉 .

What is an Ice Catcher? 

And Ice catcher is a part of a bong designed to hold ice in order to make for a cooler smoking experience. They’re usually located in the stem of the bong, above the percolators and main chamber.  Other slang terms for ice catchers include: ice catch, ice pinch, ice pincher, and ice chamber. 

how do ice catchers work in bongs

How Do Ice Catchers Work? 

Ice catchers are usually made by making multiple indents on the inside of the tube, which all come to a point in the center. These indentations make the tube thinner, allowing them to hold ice and filter smoke through a smaller hole, in order to get the most cooling out of it.  

How Much Do Ice Catcher Bongs Cost? 

It all depends. There are many types of bongs. Some are more expensive than others. Usually, the ice catch will not affect price. However, most bongs with ice catchers tend to be on the taller, higher-quality side of things. Usually, these bongs are around 8”+ tall, and are blown from scientific glass, making them thick and durable. An ice catcher water pipe with no extra percolation will usually cost between $60-$100, while one with more percolation will cost between $110-$150. 

Are Ice Catchers Worth It? – The Truth

Yes. Like we said, the price of a bong is not really impacted by an ice catch. It just so happens that bong designs with ice catches need to utilize thicker glass in order work properly and stay durable. Overall, if you are willing to spend within $70-$100 for a bong, you should always go for a bong with an ice catch. They are smooth, have no impact on durability, and tend to make for a much better smoking experience. 

Do Ice Catches Make Bongs Harder to Clean? 

Sometimes. This really all depends on the design of the pipe itself. If the ice catch has too many arms, or they come too close to touching in the center, it can restrict airflow if clogged, and can make it hard to fit cleaning tools into your bong, specifically your percolator. However, the well designed ice catcher bongs in our collection do not have this problem. Also, if you know the best way to clean your bong you can get it squeaky clean every time, even with an ice catch! 

Pros & Cons of Ice Catches – The Real Breakdown



Doesn’t impact cost Usually these bongs are bigger – may not be best for some people 
Makes your smoking experience much smootherCan make your bong a bit harder to clean – only poorly designed ones though
Cools smoke dramatically Once you a bong with an ice catcher, it’s hard to go back 😉  
Doesn’t impact durability

Different Types of Ice Catches

There are a few different ice catch designs that affect the shape and smoothness of a bong: 

  • 2-armed ice catcher
  • 3-armed ice catcher
  • 4-armed ice catcher

For the most part, bongs usually come with a 3-arm ice catcher. Ones with two arms can cause smaller ice cubes to fall down into your chamber quicker. The ones with four arms can be a bit too tight in the middle sometimes. 

However, it really depends on the thickness of the glass, and the diameter of the tube. Wider tubes will need more arms generally, or the arms will have to be larger. 

Most ice catches are placed about halfway in between the main chamber and the mouthpiece, but some are placed right on top of the main chamber to give the smoke even more time to cool, and leave you more room to let the smoke sit while cooled – in order to get ready for that hero hit. 

How Do You Put Ice in a Bong? 

This is actually a lot simpler than you might think. You don’t have to be that careful, just make sure the ice cubes aren’t too big to not fit, or too small to fall through. Then, simply drop in a handful of them and smoke. You can put as many as you want. The more you put in, the cooler the smoke. Just remember, ice melts quickly and all that water will trickle down into the chamber, so don’t flood it! 

ice catcher bong faq - everything you need to know about bongs with ice pinches

Ice Catcher Water Pipe FAQ 

Here are a few other questions we often get asked about bongs with ice catchers. 

Should I get a water pipe with a percolator and an ice catch? 

It all depends on your preferences. If you are looking for the smoothest smoking experience and can handle a bong that is large, and in a medium price range, then we absolutely recommend it! Generally speaking, percolator bongs are smoother, but also cost more. If you have it in your budget, you can find great deals on bongs with percolators and ice catches – with some of the best bong brands from $80-$120 in our collection. 

Should I get a dab rig with an ice catcher? 

Dab rigs need to be even smoother than regular bongs because dabs are taken at much higher temperatures. Having an ice catcher makes your hits even smoother. Although, most dab rigs have thin tubes and cannot fit ice catches, there are a few that do. Keep in mind that dab rigs with ice catches are usually larger in size. 

Can you turn ice catcher bongs into dab rigs? 

Yes. Because of how smooth they are and because most ice catcher water pipes come with percolators, you should have no problem turning your bong into a high quality oil rig with a few dab rig accessories

What Are the Best Ice Catcher Water Bongs? – Our Top 3

16″ Straight Tube Bong w/ Double Matrix Perc 

16 inch straight tube bong with double matrix perc by alient ape

Looking for a smooth smoke? This massive 16″ tall bong might do the trick. With 2 matrix percolators, a diffused downstem, an ice pinch, and more than a foot of 9mm thick glass tubing to travel through, you can be sure to get a cool hit out of this piece every time.

Alien Ape is known for providing thick glass bongs with lots of percolation at affordable prices, but this deal is just off the chain! Don’t miss out on this colorful, collectible water pipe that is smoother than anything you’ve ever smoked.


GRAV 8″ Straight Tube Bong w/ Fixed Downstem

8 inch grav straight tube bong with ice pinch and diffused downstem

The GRAV Straight Neck Bong is 8″ tall and made on 32mm clear tubing with black accents. Its fission downstem diffuses smoke through water and is fixed inside the pipe to prevent damage – making for a durable design with amazingly smooth hits.

Its geometric pressed ice pinch acts as both a splashguard and ice catcher – while providing better grip. This bong also comes ready to use with a 14mm GRAV Cup Bowl. Overall, this is a very sturdy bong, with smooth performance, a reasonable size, from a trusted brand you can depend on.


Leafly Straight Neck “Strains” Bong w/ Ice Pinch

leafly straight tube bong - strains - with ice pinch

This beautiful, thick glass bong is handcrafted in the United States. This high-quality water pipe is the brainchild of a collaboration between Leafly and Smoke Cartel.

Overall, this bong has a smooth hit thanks to its removable diffused downstem, and its built-in ice pinch. It is made of 9mm wall borosilicate glass tubing, making it extremely durable. It comes with a deep and wide bowl pack for sharing with your fellow Stoners.

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Where Can You Buy Ice Catcher Bongs Online? – Best Gifts for Stoners

Looking for some great deals on some of the best bongs with ice catchers on the market? Our online head shop has tons of great prices on some of the best brands on the market.

Or, if you still want to learn more about bongs before making a purchase, check out some of these other helpful guides we have created: 


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