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Helix (a.k.a. Vortex) pipe, attachments, and case review.

Discussion in 'Bongs, Dab Rigs, Bubblers, Water Pipes' started by Celestial, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. #1 Celestial, Nov 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2009
    Hey all :D


    Just in response to a a few posts/pms that got sent my way, I wanted to clarify WHY I'm writing this.

    I don't have alot of cash to waste, esspecially on paraphenilia, so when I spent $205 on something online, I want to know I'm not making a mistake. For the sake of others out there like me, I wanted to give alot of detail on my experience with ordering, recieving, and using the Helix. I just like to have alot of information on something (like this) before I make a decision, and since I didn't find much myself, I wanted to at least offer it to other people.

    I understand it seems I am advertising the pipe. Let me be honest here: I don't work with or for helix (infact I bus tables at a italian restaurant), but I would love to advertise FOR something that I think is worth the expense, like the helix. Yeah; I think this pipe is so good that I'll spend a bit of time and type up something like this, just to get the information out there, and maybe help the guys over at helix out. The first post on this thread asked me to let the pipe speak for itself, and thats cool. I hadn't thought of that. So think of it what you will, think of what I say as what you will, but just know that behind everything I've written here that I put my support behind the helix and give it my recommendation.

    Thats about all I feel I need to say, I hope you understand where I am coming from now. Enjoy, or hate, or whatever, what I've written for you then.


    I saw a few videos on some incredible smoke-ware that really interested me. One was the tsunami bong (which is really a replica of a Hurricane bong, which you can purchase from ''. Youtube video promoting the tsunami is named 'Tsunami 2.1'), and the other was the Helix pipe.

    The Hurricane bong would cost me between $300-400USD, with the Helix being an even $200 for a better deal, so I opted for the Helix.

    I ordered online through a link I found on a youtube video about the helix. I'll search for it again and edit it into this post if I find it.

    I decided it made the most sense to order the $175 full-pipe package, and $30 for the case, so my total was $205. They didn't charge me anything for shipping, no hidden fee's whatsoever. I payed through paypal, so I knew just from logging in I had a solid chance to get my money back if I didn't recieve my product.

    This put my mind at ease at first, because I never recieved any email notification that they knew I should recieve the pipe I payed for! I was a little nervous about this, since everything else I ordered in the same night had sent me a notification. I decided to give it some time before I opened a dispute, and I'm glad I did.

    I ordered on Sunday that 15th of November. I recieved my product, without having to sign (not sure if I would have had to, anyway), on Friday the 20th. Free Shipping. The billing sheet info had a "thank you for ordering from us" note which was handwritten, which was really a plus to me. I respect professionalism, and I'm proud to say that Helix delivers.

    Helix is based out of Texas, with most Texas smokeshops offering a Helix for (what I've seen from other posts from people regarding the Helix) around $100-150. However, if you're in my position where you don't have a quality smokeshop within a solid 200 miles, having the option to order one is really nice.

    Having ordered the case as well, it all came in one box, with the pipe securely packaged in a tight cardboard box. Excellent packing, I knew just from looking at the box that everything was in one piece and likely wasn't broken.

    But lets skip that and get down to the pipe itself. I would like to let you know though, that the pipe has just arrived and I haven't had much experience with it yet, however I am blown away with the piece, and this review is a reflection of my first impressions. I'll edit it in due time when I get some more experience with it.

    For those who haven't watched a helix in action, I highly recommend you do. Unfortunately, I can't provide a video on this one. Basically, when you smoke the air-jets injected into the sides of the chamber swirl the smoke into a cyclone, which feeds through the empty chamber directly to your mouth, delivering a fairly smooth hit that is as fun to watch as it is to smoke. The bigger the hit, the bigger the cyclone. Even small hits look nice, with the smoke swirling steadily through with little effort on your part. A very smooth smoke.

    That is the action the chamber provides, which sells individually for $100 (online.) However, I bought the whole package, which is three attachments for the pipe, A bubbler ($75 individually), a spoon ($30), and a 1-hitter ($15), as well as the 'joint holder' (which holds the attachments to the pipe, not joints to the pipe.) I'll cover the case later (although I'll let it be known here that the case is for sure worth the $30, and then some!).

    As of now I've used the 1-hitter, and the spoon. I'm saving the initiation of the bubbler for a special occasion later this week (on thanksgiving break :D). The Bubbler and the Spoon both have carb's, so secure them to the pipe with the holder, and toke away. The 1-hitter you should remove from the pipe like a downstem on a bong, so keep the holder off and your hand on. Careful though! The one-hitter will heat up quickly where you put the flame, so hold it and remove it from as far back as possible. Thats just a small con, but it's something to keep in mind.

    The one-hitter is surprisingly easy to load, and holds more than you would expect. As with all three attachments (if you ordered a clear pipe, like I did) you can change the angle you look at the piece, and you can see if you still have greens under what you've already smoked. It's pretty cool :rolleyes:

    As for the general information I've found out about the pipe:

    The whole set is made of smooth, borosilicate glass (which is very temperature resistant, which means it will last a long time even with heavy use, however I don't know what that means for drop or break durability. From what I've gathered, it's a bit tougher than standard glass, however it is by no means thick and so treat it with alot of TLC. I don't see why you wouldn't, anyway.)

    It's about as long, for me, as the tip of my index finger, down to the flat of my thumb if I make a stiff L with my hand (understand I have large hands). That is from the mouthpiece to the open-end for attachments, NOT including the attachment. I would say it's a fairly large pipe, which means without the case you probably won't be carrying it around. With the case you can take it ANYWHERE.

    The pipe is very wide, with the center of the chamber completely open, which allows for the airflow. There are three entirely visible punctures at the widest point of the pipe, with appear to be made by a needle. These serve their purpose of spinning the smoke, and so they are cool :p no other way to put it.

    The mouthpiece is really confortable and wide and narrow.

    The glass is a high quality, very smooth and shiny, yet clear as crystal. HOWEVER, I noticed that the attachments get discolored VERY quickly (after a few tokes for the spoon, and after one load for the 1-hitter), but I haven't noticed much for the pipe itself yet. That seems to be this pipes major flaw is that you'll have to clean it often to enjoy it.

    As for the case:

    The case is made by RYOT (

    Mine is a deep, matte green exterior with a black interior. The outside is smooth and firm, and the inside is padded and has many straps and compartments to hold your equipment. It looks like a small guitar/cello case, with a double zipper and small handle. Included in the case was a small lock and key set, with you can lock the zippers together with! No unwanted eyes prying into the secrets of your case, without forcing their way in!

    The interior of the case has two sides: 1 is dedicated to your piece, and it is spacious enough to hold, by my estimates, a 8-inch (measured with ruler) steamroller. Easily large enough to hold the Helix and spoon , with some room to spare. There is a lip to hold the mouthpiece, and two straps to lash the piece in place. The piece is completely encased in foam, protected by the firm exterior, and held by the straps. It's perfect.

    The other side is just as good. It has a zipper-pouch for yoru stash (use a small baggie, anything solid is a bit tough to fit in), a space and strap for a small 4-piece grinder, a pocket for a lighter, and three flexible holding spaces for your attachments/whatever.

    So go ahead and get blazed, and dont sweat about your stuff. Just remember to keep the case ready, and you can grab it on the way out the door, it will blend or fit into all your other stuff, and you can bring it out when the time is right with everything ready. Like I said, the $30 for this case is worth it and then some.

    So here are the pro's and cons, as I've seen so far:


    -Clear, smooth, shiny glass.
    - Swirls the smoke unlike any other piece. It's like smoking the future :smoking:
    - has a comfortable, well-designed mouthpiece.
    - Can hold the three attachments perfectly.
    - The entire pipe and everything with it are entirely glass-on-glass.

    -Very wide, might be considered large by some.
    - Not very mobile without the case, but with the case there is no problem.
    - Might be easy to get dirty, both inside and out. Haven't smoked it enough to see yet, but I don't doubt that it will get foggy eventually. However, I forsee this as being very easy to clean due to it's design and shape.
    - Has a large 'helix' logo on it. This is no problem, you can face the logo down and just insert the attachment in any direction you like.

    1-hitter attachment:

    -holds more than you think, you can get multible hits of a small amount

    It's your standard 1-hitter, and it's nice to have the option to smoke a little less but still get the full helix effect :D

    -Gets discolored and dirty quickly
    - a bit tough to get the ash out, by my experience.
    - Has no carb(duh), which means it will be a bit more technical to use, but that is how it's meant to be used anyway.

    Spoon Attachment:


    - Has a flat base which it rests on evenly
    - has a respectably sized bowl
    - Has a carb
    - Is clear, so you can look from under and see if you still have greens under the ash (which is kind of cool :p)
    - It has a good, compact shape which is easily held and is comfortable to hold.
    - The inside of the spoon is hollow, which lets the spoon discolor before the pipe.


    -Also discolors quickly. However, I adressed this in the last pro.
    - you may feel the need to have a screen, which might be a con to some.

    Bubbler attachment:

    Haven't tried it yet. I will edit after I use it, however I expect only to get stoned out of my fucking mind when I smoke it. I doubt there can be any cons, with what I see just by looking at it (need I say it's very well designed?)

    'joint holder':

    Mines bright orange :p. You have to face it the right way to clip it on, but you'll understand if you get one. Holds on well, won't let the attachment go, and is easy to remove and fairly easy to get on, you just have to make sure the attachment is as far in as it will go before the holder attaches, which is good since then you can be sure it will stay on. Over-all, this piece is really good to have and makes the whole pipe really stoner-paranoia-proof. Smoke on, my friends.

    PICS: Should edit in soon :(

    Hope this helps shed some light on a seemingly-obscure and excellent piece of glassware!

    Peace and shitloads of chronic,

  2. this helix advertising is pretty ridiculous... let the product speak for itself.
  3. Yea. Its pretty obvious that no stoner would take the time to write a review like this lol.
  4. :p I agree.

    Only thing is that I work soon, and I have a strict 'no-smoking/drugs-on-days-I-work' rule. So to pass the time I wrote this up, since I sure as hell couldn't do it when I was blazed off the pipe last night.

    I don't think I should have to feel the need to defend myself on these boards. I'll let the pipe speak for itself, that is good advice, but humor me if I am impressed with the product and wanted to share that in detail with everyone. I have it sitting infront of me and now isn't a time I can smoke it, so writing this up is the closest I could get to enjoying it :p

    I'll be editing in some pictures soon.
  5. More than 1 post gentlemen =] Good review if its legit, I look forward to reading your updates Celestial
  6. nah i believe ya, but is it worth it to get the spoon and one hitter if i can get just the bubbler and body for $175 cuz thats what im probably going to use most often.
  7. I'm a real owner. The helix is a solid pipe. The bubbler attachment is all i really use, so here is a fucking honest review.

    the bubbler's stem is really long, and the bore on the attachment is really skinny, so it's either use barely any water and watch the water turn black after snapping the first bowl, or have water splash into the body, where it leaks out the vents. I'm fine just using barely any water, and changing it often. The next complaint is that the stem is really long, it almost touches the bottom, so if a decent size chunk falls through it completely clogs and you need to spend a while just pulling as hard as you can trying to get it to pull through. Also the carb is on the right, but there is a really comfortable way to grip the bubbler and hold the carb with your index finger.

    Those are my only complaints.

    The pros are awesome. It milks pretty hard. The swirling does occur, and while it does significantly cool the smoke, it's not smooth like silk. It's much smoother than a normal bubbler, but it's much harsher than a perc'd bong. The effect is really neat and never gets old. The glass-on-glass is pretty awesome too, because you can use custom bowls as onehitter attachments. The helix logo is classy looking and not too over-the top. I just can't get over the vortex (helix if you will) swirling the smoke around and into my lungs. it trips me the fuck out. It's definately worth getting if you can get a good deal.
  8. Well lets think about this.

    Would an advertiser also post the cons as well?

    i think this is a very well written review.

    good job

  9. You OBVIOUSLY work for Helix.

  10. pretty sweet review. i know i was in the same situation when thinking about getting one. there really is little to no info out there about them.
  11. Review is very nicely done.
    Took time to do something like this to help answer a lot of questins.
    Much respect man.
  12. Great review, but pics lacking, altho ive seen them so many times :confused:
  13. I saw one of these used on WEEDS and I was pretty interested....Looks decent, but way too much money for what it is...

    Were talking about an idea that is very old, that is being put in use..there is nothing new is science.

    Drop the price and I'd pick one up.
  14. Nice review man, looks like it took a long time. I'm really considering investing in one of these, but the price is a little too steep for something like this. For around the same price or just a little more I could pick up a nice wet heady piece with a lot more character (besides the vortex effect). Thanks for the couple reviews though.
  15. cool you learned the new invention of typing "copy and pasting" and they seem like every other pipe :p just smoother...
  16. hey man there are a few thing wrong with your story. they really arnt wrong but ill give you a more educated version thats all..........

    this joint holder you speak of is called a K-clip or Keck Clip and they come with every expenisive water tube or inline bub.

    also you wanna keep the keck clip on when using the one hitter actually, the glass is just a little bit smaller then the female of the main chamber so the way to clear it is by pulling the one-hitter foward just a bit(it does not need to be pulled completly out like a downstem bra).

    the main chamber is based on the Bernoulli's princible of airflow ie when hot smoke and cold smoke mix together is creates a tornado or helix affect, so the 3 laser etched holes in the main chamber pull in cold air when your ripping the peice and hense the hot smoke mixes with the cooled air and it makes a thick stream of smoke right down the middle rather then filling up the entire chamber, also this affect makes the hot smoke turn cold or makes it more smooth so your never having a harsh hit.

    i got mine 1 year ago on for 165 w/shipping( i got the three attachment multi pipe) and now i am getting the waterpipe tube that the same company makes.

    Helix brand is made by Grav Labs based out of Austin, Texas and im no advertiser cuz i live out of NH haha but im just very knowledgable becuz i love this piece and everything that Grav Labs makes but its never easy to find it online so go tell your local headshop to stock up guys.

    HANDS smoking investment around and it has all but replaced every other piece i have ever owned and when i get the tube its going to be like this perfect trifecta of smoking bras:D
    pipe website: Helix
    grav labs website: Gravitron, Helix, Grav Labs, Grav Elite, Gandalf, Pipe, Tasters, Phoenix Ash Catcher, Triple Punch, Bowls, Glass Cleaner, Water Pipe

    only issue with the sites it you cannot order anything of of there homepages so you either gotta try your luck with google or go find headshops.
    pipe pictures and science behind it explained better

    helix bong tube
  17. I have had the helix for a few months now... and it is a great piece. Mine has the issue, for the spoon only though, to be a little bit smaller than the main body, so even with a keck clip, it might wiggle a little bit, if moved around a lot. Like mentioned before the smoothness is in between a normal pipe and a gong. I have used all 3 attachments on mine, and i personally love the spoon and 1 hitter the best. The one hitter has a at least 2-3 hits in it... depending on lung and pull capacity. I recommend this to any new or vet smoker.

    On only issues I had, wasn't with the piece, but with the price i paid... i paid $225 from my LHS. But i know he overprices stuff, but i got a free bag case ( 35- dollar value- free), and other free shit.
  18. #18 xenith, Aug 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2010

    So how much is Grav Labs throwin you for these reviews? Think I could get in on that shit?

    EDIT: OF COURSE an advertiser would list the 'cons'. Did you see the cons for the tube? Every single one of them was inconsequential. No advertiser is dumb enough to make their pitch totally blatant.
  19. i own one, must buy. no advertising, just do it
  20. yes a stoner would take the time to write this because it is the single best investment i have ever made. bong to be bought as soon as finances allow. i will never sell my helix. it is my baby. helix > 1st born child period :eek:

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