Public Lab Wiki documentation

Mini Balloon Kit

1 | 14 | | #14513

The Mini Balloon Kit is based around the 36 inch wide mylar foil balloons found by contributor @patcoyle -- which are much cheaper (as little as $3 each!), and can stay inflated for over a week. They fit in the back seat of your car, or can be taken on the subway. Heck, unlike the big red rubber balloons, they fit through a doorway and can be stored indoors. They do lift much less than our standard rubber weather balloons, however -- see below for more!

We carry this kit (and extra balloons) in the Public Lab store:




Each can lift about 50 grams -- vs. the classic kit’s 300+, and a little more if there’s perfectly calm weather. Instead of renting a helium tank, you can fill them at a florists’ shop or party store, and shuttle them to where you’ll do your mapping. They also hold up a bit better to sunlight and rough handling, although they’re still delicate. This kit includes everything from the classic Balloon Mapping Kit, but uses smaller mylar balloons, and uses lighter (50 lb test) weight string.

We’ve collected a list range of cameras -- like the Mobius camera we already sell -- light enough to work with 2-3 of these. With a lighter option, that means you'll have a spare balloon.

But there are remaining questions and refinements to make on this kit -- that’s why we’re calling it a Prototyping Kit -- and, just like the original Balloon Mapping Kit, we’re going to collaboratively work on these issues by sharing knowledge on the Public Lab website.

Also see posts on #kite-balloon-hybrid for some interesting ideas!


Title Author Updated Likes Comments
How long does an inflated neoprene balloon last? Mylar balloons better for summer camp? @pfhs over 5 years ago 3
Helium alternative @mrw0116 almost 6 years ago 4
Which is the wind speed range (maximum) when mapping with balloon? @edugil almost 6 years ago 3
What are good sources of cheap bulk giant mylar balloons? @warren almost 6 years ago 1
How do I stabilize smaller balloons and prevent them from being blown down in the wind? @warren about 6 years ago 14
Helium Cylinder (15 Litre) Mobius Action Camera Balloon mapping Kit How long will my cylinder last? @suman about 6 years ago 3
What should we be recording in balloon/kite mapping logbooks? @warren about 6 years ago 1
What's the best way to attach a camera to a balloon? @warren about 6 years ago 2
Challenges, questions and problem-solving together: choosing cameras for Mini Balloon and Kite Kits @warren about 6 years ago 1
How much can one 36" balloon lift? @warren over 6 years ago 0
Cheap, lightweight GoPro alternatives for aerial mapping? @warren over 6 years ago 14



Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.