Today we’re taking a look at a brand new offering from the glassmakers over at Gear Premium. This particular glass house is known for their well-crafted waterpipes and their hardy custom smoking accessories. This latest piece is a riff on their well-loved classic, The Sidekick. The Sidekick is an ultra-sturdy 12” beaker with multiple custom features only available from Gear Premium. This particular iteration has a custom designed lighter holder built right into the base.
For those looking for more awesome herb related accessories check out our Fun Stuff section.
Review: Gear Premium Sidekick
Gear Premium didn’t pull their name out of nowhere. This brand is known for solid, long-lasting pieces. This newest version of the Sidekick is one more in a line of pieces made to last forever.
The glass this water pipe is made of is likely thicker than anything you’ve encountered. From the mouthpiece to the base, it is very clear that this piece was built to survive all but the most serious bumps and falls. The thickness of the glass is not noted on the packing insert, but it is certainly thicker than the 5mm and 7mm pieces I compared it to.
This level of quality extends to the accessories. Both the downstem and the attached bowl are exceptionally thick, making this bowl one of the few that seems to be designed to survive the full lifespan of the piece. The glass on glass fittings are ground smooth and do not catch or stick.
Look & Feel
This updated version of the Gear Premium Sidekick comes in a total of 8 colors and finishes, from translucent black to opaque white. All but the white version have an opalescent finish which reflects light and adds a depth which is not visible in the product photographs.
The lighter holder is precisely the right size and depth. Even half-sized Bics fit comfortably in the side holder, and no one throughout the course of our tests had any trouble fishing them out.
At the same time, the holster was deep enough to pass and load the water pipe with the lighter in the holster. The feature performed as desired throughout the course of the test.
The most notable thing about this particular waterpipe is the incredible thickness of the glass. The thickness adds a lot of weight to a fairly short piece. This weight adds stability when the piece is loaded and passed. The lighter holder does not change the exceptional balance of the piece.
In fact, I was pleased to find the beaker’s base is evenly weighted, meaning that it does not lean to one side when held (this is important if you wish to hit the waterpipe while holding it one-handed.)
This is a pretty standard piece as far as performance is concerned. Like all beaker bottoms, the Sidekick requires a very specific amount of water. The angle of the downstream ensures that too little water will render the piece essentially unfunctional, while too much water will result in mouthful of cloudy, resin filled water. After a few times filling you will get the hang of how much water to add.
This water pipe is also one of the shortest standard sizes available. This is great for storage and should be long enough to provide a smooth experience.
The short neck can fit a decent amount of ice to help cool off draws. With a neck this short it will only hold 5-6 standard pieces of ice but that is more than sufficient for cooling off draws.
The lighter holder is the piece de resistance offering a clever and easy way to store your lighter so you will never be stuck searching for it befora sesh.
Ease of Cleaning
The Sidekick gathered a lot of resin and residue at and above the waterline, as well as on/in the downstem and bowl. The pearlescent finish did a lot to hide the dirt as it accumulated. I clean clear and translucent pieces religiously, but even I was willing to let this sit for a couple of days. It just isn’t that noticeable.
Beaker bottoms are one of the easiest pieces to clean, and the Sidekick is no exception. I simply half-filled the base with isopropyl alcohol and added a hand-full of coarse sea-salt. Swirling the base cleaning the body of the piece rapidly with little to no effort.
The downstem and bowl are impossible to clean quickly. I soak them in pure isopropyl alcohol until they are clean. This requires a bit of planning, but very little work.
12” beakers are one of the largest categories of water pipes on the market. This means that there is a lot of range.
This is certainly one of the best options to invest in. Not only is the lighter holder super useful, but the thickness of the glass ensures that you’ll have this piece for quite a while.
If you are looking to switch away from water pipes we suggest checking out our list of Best Vaporizers to help choose the best unit for you.
If you have questions about our Gear Sidekick review or just want to let us know what you think, feel free to drop us a comment below! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to keep up to date with all our contests, sales alerts and other fun stuff! Thanks for reading and as always, keep vapin’!