These days, there are a lot of different heat management solutions for hookah. Gone are the days are being forced to use aluminium foil. Unlike a lot of hookah enthusiasts, I have welcomed the change in method.

I never really enjoyed using aluminum foil for a few reasons. Firstly, the foil is very thin, which is great for heat transfer, but it means that some aluminum is being combusted, depending on how hot the coals are. The amount of aluminum being combusted is probably negligible, but aluminum fumes have been linked to diseases such as alzheimer's, so I will pass on that.

Gripes aside, I really enjoy my Kaloud Lotus. It was the first thing I tried after using foil for years, and I have not gone back since. That was six months ago. Many forget that the Lotus was not the first heat management solution to appear for hookahs. The Apple On Top was the classic choice for many years for anyone who wanted a “one size fits all” solution.

What are the strengths to this product? For starters, it is reasonably priced at $35, which is quite a bit less than the Kaloud Lotus and much less than the MIG Razor. Secondly, unlike other heat management solutions, this one takes care of coals AND it provides a bowl. It truly is one of the only “all in one” solutions. Thirdly, the product has been out for years, and is proven to work really well.

The packaging is a bit simple, but for the price it is enough. The information on the package is detailed enough to tell you exactly what you are getting. The first impression I had was that it’s heavier than I thought it was. A nice weight is good since it means it feels nice and also it will retain heat for longer. I always thought the sides were made of ceramic until I took one out of the box, and discovered it is silicone.

There are a few cons though. If you are trying to work on the bowl mid session, the leaf handle to remove the coal holder is super thin, and gets very hot. The sides look easy to handle, but again they get very hot, so you must be very cautious. These are problems if you plan on packing a second bowl right after your first. The other issue is that it is an extremely deep bowl, which means if you underpack it, it won’t smoke properly. You probably could fit 35-50 grams into the bowl, I rarely smoke more than 10-15 grams in a bowl at a time. Another small issue is that the top is not covered, so it will take a long time to warm up the bowl.

These are very critical points, considering that for the price, you get something that replaces all your bowls and all foil, which is a huge amount of convenience at a bargain. I have a few friends who have been using the Apple On Top for years, and they still swear by it compared to anything else. If you need a cheap replacement for your bowl, and you hate using foil, this is a great step up from a normal Egyptian bowl, and will make any hookah session tastier and longer lasting.