Smoke Honest's The Path Pipe is almost too practical for its own good
There are really two considerations when it comes to pipes. On one side, you've got practicality. A pipe has to be easy to use and clean, needs to feel sturdy and well-built, needs to hopefully be discreet and simple to carry around, and ideally, have a nice big bowl and provide a great drawing experience when you light up.
The other side is all about personality. The best pipes don't just perform well, but they feel unique and interesting, and offer a great, personal experience. They mean something, and they might have a few scratches or even a chip on one side, but they're yours. They feel personal and comfortable.
The Path Pipe, an offering from Smoke Honest based in San Clemente, California, offers quite a bit of that first aspect, and not quite so much of the second one. At least not in the traditional way.
On first glance, the Path Pipe isn't so much a pipe as it is a metal box. It's made from anodized aluminum, and it's about the size of a small TV remote. With the sliding cover in place, there's only a hole on either side, but if you slide up the cover (which can be really satisfying to do), you can see why the Path Pipe is called that -- there's a bowl at the top, and then a long air path through the block of metal. You put your flower in the top, light it up, and then you use the hole on the bottom to take a hit, letting in air through the carb in the front as you prefer.
It's a unique shape, but it works -- the hit is nice and cool after going through the entire path, and while it's a little awkward to use (you're essentially sticking the whole end of the box in your mouth), the drag is smooth and easy. The bowl is a nice size -- it's not very big, but you can get three or four hits out of it at least. And the most obvious benefit of the sliding cover is discretion -- you can fill the bowl, slide the cover over it, and put the pipe in your pocket with a lighter, and then pull out the pipe wherever you are, slide the cover up, and have a nice session.
In other words, it's super practical. It's smartly designed and pretty slick.
The biggest issue is that it is essentially a metal box. If you're looking for something that's discrete, then sure, maybe you don't care what it looks like. But there's not a lot of personality here -- you can get it in silver or black, and that's about it. From our perspective, that's really the only thing holding the pipe back.
The other problem is that the silver version of the pipe, at least, picks up a fair amount of staining/discoloration as you use it. If you get in there with isopropyl and scrub it out, you can get it clean enough (just like a standard pipe), but it's tough to really scrub in the path, and cleaning it every time is a pain -- a more colorful pipe might hide any stains better. It's true that you'd rather have that stuff sitting in the pipe than in your lungs, but it also does make the pipe look pretty well used even after just a few bowls.
In the end, this is a pipe for people who care more about how it works than how it looks (or how they look using it). This is one of the most practical pipes we’ve ever seen, and it makes packing a bowl and then throwing it in a bag or your pocket as easy as can be. Yes, for a daily user, you’ll probably want a bit more personality, but then again, if you’re someone who values functionality over all else, maybe a pipe like this fits your personality perfectly.
The Path Pipe is now available on Smoke Honest’s website for $75.00. The pipe also comes with a little poker tool that sits in a slot on the top, and if you lose yours, you can pick up a replacement as well. We liked the pipe (sent to us for review by Smoke Honest) a lot — it’s a very smart and sleek little invention, and it’s extremely sturdy, intuitive, and easy to use. We wish it had just a little more personality (and was a bit easier to clean well), but if those concerns aren’t a dealbreaker for you, the Path Pipe could easily become your go-to for out-and-about smoking.