Well, the best bowl is what’s best for you. Some people like to smoke one flavor for three hours and others want to finish a session in an hour and move on to something new. The first smoker would prefer something like the Tangiers Medium Phunnel where the second might want to look into the Crown Micro Funnel.
In my personal opinion, I think that the perfect bowl holds between 15-25 grams of fluffed up tobacco. Remember that grams are a measure of weight, so the amount it takes to fill a bowl will vary with how wet the tobacco is. Ever wonder why a 250g pack of Nakhla seems to have more tobacco in it than a can of Starbuzz? That’s why.
My personal choice for the best bowl that holds 15-25 grams of tobacco is the Crown Classic. I haven’t used the most recent version but the functionality of my earlier models is superb and I can easily get a bowl to last well over an hour with only 25 grams of tobacco packed tightly and a total of coconut coals (2 at a time). But, I can also pack it loosely and smoke for just an hour without wasting tobacco.
There are a few other bowls in this range that I can suggest from personal experience. Tangiers bowls are great all around if they are a bit large. The most recent batches have produced a Tangiers Small Phunnel that is close to my ideal capacity and there are still a few 7ico Phunnels floating around that are slightly smaller. Tangiers can be trusted when it comes to bowls and every Phunnel that I’ve handled has been of great quality.
The 2014 Vortex bowls sport a slightly altered design that has been getting some good reviews. They are still lighter bowls and require different heat management than something like a solid clay Egyptian bowl but they smoke well and offer good versatility.
As with all hookah gear, everyone has their own preferences and what one person likes might not be right for you. It’s going to take some experimenting but it’s worth it to achieve a perfect session. Hopefully these tips will point you in the right direction and hel you avoid some common hiccups along the way.