Balloon inflators which one is right for you

At Balloon City USA, we have over 25 Balloon inflators. The inflator choice depends on the job we are working on.

I would like to show you a few examples of some of my favorite balloon inflators. I want to start with the Conwin inflators. The Precision Air is my go to inflator for any work that requires exact balloon sizing. I can set it as low as 0.01 seconds and go up to more seconds than I ever use. The Precision Air is electric, using only compressed air. The issue with this inflator is that you cannot use helium.

Another inflator, The Duel Split, can be used with air and also helium. The Duel Split will require the use of tanks. Steven Mayhew from Conwin gave a demonstration, explaining how to use this inflator, to the Betallic balloon design team. Below you can click to see this video.


Steven Mayhew

Now you know how great Conwin products are, but there is one extra thing you need to know. The Precision Air and the Duel Split are not cheap! Conwin is the Cadillac of inflators and so is the price, but if you are just starting out in the balloon industry you may not be able to afford them until you build your business.

Zephyr makes a line of inflators that will be a great deal for the price you pay. We always carry a Zoom and Zizer inflators in our toolbox on every job we do, even if we are using the Precision Air. Now lets talk about the Zoom and Zizer.

We use the Zoom inflator when we are doing classic balloon décor like arches and columns. We can inflate two balloons at the same time just like the Conwin inflators; however, we can’t automatically control the size of the balloons. We have to do it manually by lifting our hands off the nozzle. In the next link, you can find a brief explanation of how to use the Zoom.


Zoom Balloon INflator

With the help from my 2 close friends, Jan Iiams and Melissa Vinson, the next video will demonstrate how much fun and easy it is to use the Zizer inflator. The Zizer has a nob that can be adjusted to turn off the inflator using a timer. The Zizer is an excellent inflator for using with an untrained crew. After using for only a few minutes your crew will be able to inflate all the balloons to the same size.


Jan Iiams Melissa Vinson

There are many balloon inflators that do different kind of jobs. I decided to share with you only these few inflators because they are the ones I use the most at Balloon City USA.

I hope you have found this blog informative as well as fun.






MelRhea Balloon Creations

Melissa Vinson MelRhea Balloon Creations wins big at Twist & Shout

Melissa Vinson MelRhea Balloon Creations brings home the Gold and Silver from this year’s Twist & Shout Balloon Convention.

Wins big at Twist & Shout

My “Sweet Melissa” that is what I love to call her. There is one other thing that I love about Melissa. I Love to IKEA her!!!! Now get your minds out of the gutters when I say “ I love to IKEA Melissa” It is nothing naughty or nasty, for me it is the highest complement I can give to any designer.

So I need to explain while I have your attention. I love the store IKEA. The way they use color and space, their clean designs and my favorite thing is the way they take ideas that are already exist in the market and make them their own. Some may call it copying or knocking-off but I think IKEA is brilliant for not trying to reinvent the wheel. They just find one they like and make it their own.

Melissa Vinson is my favorite balloon artist to IKEA. The reason why is always the same. Her designs are clean, cool and oh so clever. Something I can look at and immediately connect to and understand. The most important thing for me is I can reproduce it (IKEA).

I should say, almost always able to reproduce. When Melissa goes into competition mode it’s a whole new game. I have watched her work under pressure with crazy conditions and never give up until she is happy with the piece she is creating. She is always learning new techniques searching out new skills.

That is why this year at Twist & Shout. She won 3 times!


First place: Small Artist Balloon Sculpture

“What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”

Melissa Vinson

Makes you stronger

Second place: Un-inflated Artist Balloon Sculpture

“Whooo Loves Balloons”


Melissa Vinson
Who Loves Balloons

Second place: Medium Artist Balloon Sculpture

“Mothers Day Off”


Melissa Vinson
Mother’s day off

See what I mean? When it comes to her competition pieces she is “in it to win it!”

I think my next post I will show you a few videos we made together with Jan Iiams. So subscribe to my email list by clicking the subscribe link at the top of the page and you wont miss any of my posts.

Wishes take flight

Make A Wish wishes take flight

Make-A-Wish      Wish night 2014                  Wishes take Flight

This past weekend Make-A-Wish held their annual Wish Night fundraiser at the Lowes Anatole hotel in Dallas Texas. The theme was Wishes take flight. We were asked if we could make a giant balloon bouquet that would look similar to the one used in the movie UP.

That sounded like a fun project to me, so I proceeded to work on a few ideas for their event to make sure everything went smoothly. It was only a simple balloon bouquet just on a grand scale but after I had a site inspection with my clients we decided there were several possible problems that needed to be addressed.

The first potential problem was they wanted the balloon bouquet installed on top of and ancient marble wedding temple. I know it is structurally sound, but the idea of climbing around on top of anything with the word ancient in it makes me nervous. I decided to use a freestanding ladder so I would not have to lean against the temple. I could also use a pole to push my balloon anchor to the center of the temple.

wedding temple

The second was the balloons were filled with helium. We were using 3’ balloons to make the scale of the bouquet huge. This also meant if any of the balloons were to get lose it would be next to impossible to retrieve them from the atrium ceiling. We had to make sure there was no way this could accidentally happen.

inflating 3' balloon

By placing the bouquet on the temple ceiling I was sure none of the guest would be able to reach them. Guests are the number one reason why balloons get lose. There is something about alcohol and balloons that turn adults into a 9-year-old kid. With that problem out of the way the only other worry was my own balloon crew. We have been known to lose grip on a balloon or two every now and then. I made sure all balloons were inflated under a low ceiling and secured to the anchor before put them into place.

3' balloons

All of the prepping paid off and everything went as planned. The clients were happy. The party was a success, and we accomplished our mission.

wishes take flight

Pat Crosland Holidaz by Dezign Balloon twists using 18 gauge floral wire

Introducing Pat Crosland

Holidaz by Dezign

Pat Crosland

I first met Pat Croslandfrom Holidaz by Dezign when she volunteered to pick me up at the Phoenix Airport to take me to my first ever Twist & Shout Balloon Convention. I was there to help Jan Iiams keep the jam room  stocked with balloons and add an extra hand for her centerpiece class. As it turned out Pat took Jan’s class. All the students were creating their own designs to use as table centerpieces for the final night party. The class was close to ending so I picked out my favorite arrangement. I asked Who had created this design? it was Pat. I picked out another centerpiece that had good use of design and composition, it was also Pat’s! and the next couple I picked out also were created by Pat!!!

A few years have passed since our first meeting. We have stayed in touch and met at several other balloon conventions. FLOAT, the Halloween and Party show and a couple more Twist & Shouts. She has always been someone I could depend on. If I need help getting supplies or labor (think minion), she is always willing to lend a hand.

Pat Crosland was kind enough to show a couple of her balloon twisting techniques using an 18 gauge floral wire. I know it sounds totally crazy to insert a floral wire inside the balloon, but wait till you see. She uses the wire as the framework for her twists.

I have seen these techniques used in competition pieces but never knew how it was done. A big Texas thank you to Pat for allowing me to make this video to share with Yawl.

balloon centerpiece

balloon centerpiece