GEAR Premium Sidekick Laid Back Water Pipe | Review

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About GEAR Premium

Having been around since 2003, GEAR Premium is a leading purveyor of glass water pipes, accessories, and other tools for the budding industry.

All of GEAR Premium's designs focus on melding function, performance, and minimalism. Suffice to say, their water pipes are no joke, and the same design is present in their newest addition: the Sidekick.

GEAR Premium Sidekick 12” Laid Back Water Pipe Review

The GEAR Premium Sidekick is available in colors ranging from amber to cobalt blue. It even comes in a special, color-changing glass.

Sidekick water pipes have either a standard straight tube or a laid back tube. For this review, I received the Sidekick with a laid back tube, in the color teal.

The GEAR Premium Sidekick 12” Laid Back Water Pipe comes in a black cardboard box. It opens from the side, like a shoebox. The package is emblazoned with the GEAR Premium geometric crown logo, as well as a note that there’s a patent-pending.

The Sidekick and its 14mm bowl and downstem are snugly tucked away and thoroughly enveloped in bubble wrap for protection.

First Impressions of the GEAR Premium Sidekick Laid Back Water Pipe

The entire water pipe is made of the same teal-colored glass. The color may look different depending on how much you use it, what you use in it, and how much sunlight there is.

But any way you look at it, there's no denying that it’s beautiful. The brilliant color, as well as the slanted tube, will make the Sidekick water pipe stand out among all the clear borosilicate out there, whether it’s sitting pretty on a shop shelf or amongst a home collection.

Let’s address the elephant in the room first and foremost: why is it called the Sidekick?

The Sidekick is named as such because there’s a pocket for every blazer’s top sidekick: their lighter. My package even arrived with a GEAR Premium branded BIC lighter.

If you bring the Sidekick to a sesh, maybe the designated lighter holster will keep your lighter from getting pocketed?

Trying Out the Sidekick Laid Back Water Pipe

First, I assembled the Sidekick. Then, I added some filtered water until the diffusing slits at the bottom of the downstem were fully covered.

I packed the bowl full and magically found the corner of the circle with my lighter. I then pulled gently on the virgin, un-resed bowl.

Once I filled the tube, I removed the bowl by its perfect length handle and ripped away. There was no splash damage, no matter how hard I pulled, thanks to the angled tube. Rinse and repeat a few hundred times, and I can confidently tell you that I like this binger.

If I happen across an exact match color bowl or slide at a head shop, I’ll buy it to augment this piece—or just to have as a backup. Still, I am happy with the stock bowl. Once I broke it in, it worked equally well as a party bowl and a snapper bowl.

The next step with a water pipe like the GEAR Premium Sidekick is to deck it out with personalizations. Some people like to wrap a sticker or grip tape around the tube—GEAR Premium actually included a rolled-up sticker inside the tube for that purpose.

For me, though, I went for functionality upgrades instead of cosmetic ones: marbles in the water chamber to increase diffusion and percolation; a drop of lemon juice in the water pipe water to make cleaning a little easier; some wrapped hemp line around the lighter that goes in the lighter holster; and a matching set of medium-strength magnets that could also help with future cleaning.

When you own a premium piece like this, it’s your job to keep it running smoothly. And yes, this water pipe makes it oh so easy.

The Verdict

Way back in the day, I had a daily driver that was nearly identical to this Sidekick, except for the laid back tube. High me thinks that high me back then would have wished that the tube was angled, and now my dreams have come true.

Beaker bottom (Erlenmeyer Flask) style water pipes are my favorite because they don’t fall or break as easily—especially when they’re made from thicker borosilicate glass like the Sidekick.

Effectiveness: 5/5
Ease of use: 5/5
Overall score: 5/5

Everything from the packaging to the design to the experience of using the Sidekick is premium. I would recommend this product to any water pipe user—even to those who have never tried a water pipe before.

I wax philosophical all the time about the benefits of water filtration and guess what, I’ve done it again. The GEAR Premium Sidekick is what I would call an instant classic—so try it today.

Use code “SLYNGSIDEKICK” for an awesome 15% OFF your entire Gear Premium order on Slyng!

Featured Image: GEAR Premium Sidekick