You would assume that most things that fly are pretty light, right? While that’s true in some cases, what about gigantic airplanes that carry hundreds of people? As it turns out, heavy things can fly, and hot air balloons are proof of that.
An average hot air balloon envelope weighs between 150-250 lbs. An average basket normally weighs between 130-180 lbs. Taken together, an average hot air balloon weighs between 280-430 lbs, not including fuel tanks or other equipment. Of course, hot air balloons can be much larger, weighing several thousand pounds!
With so many various kinds of envelopes and baskets out there, there’s certainly a lot of variation in how much a hot air balloon can weigh! Below, we’ll look at 31 examples of different envelopes and baskets to give you an idea of how much an average hot air balloon weighs!
Envelopes are what makes a hot air balloon look like a balloon. An envelope is the nylon sack attached to the basket that gets filled with hot air. Normally, it looks kind of like an upside-down teardrop.
You might think that an envelope can’t possibly be that heavy because it’s made of fabric. Well, it may surprise you to know that hot air balloon envelopes can actually be pretty heavy!
One reason they’re so heavy is that envelopes use very nice, high-quality nylon that prevents tears and is generally very durable. This means the fabric is thicker than it looks.
The number one reason why hot air balloon envelopes are heavy is that they’re massive! If you haven’t ever been close to a hot air balloon, you’ll be absolutely shocked when you see how big the envelope is!
A good envelope is absolutely crucial to having a safe and useful hot air balloon. It’s important to know everything there is to know about your envelope.
Knowing the weight of your envelope helps you figure out the total weight of your balloon. This knowledge helps you know how long you can fly for, how much fuel you’ll use, and how many passengers you can carry.
Plus, if you know you’re envelope weighs 250 lbs, you won’t be surprised when you need help to load and transport the envelope!
Let’s take a look at a couple of different envelopes to get a feel for how much they weigh. We’ve chosen envelopes from four different hot air balloon manufacturers so you get a greater diversity of information!
1) Cameron N Type (140-434 lbs.)
The first balloon we’ll look at it the Cameron N Type. The N Type is used for advertising and creative envelope designs. Its surface is perfect for intricate designs and patterns!
At its smallest, the N Type weighs 140 lbs. At full size with Hyperlast technology, it weighs a whopping 434 lbs.!
2) Cameron A Type (246-576 lbs.)
Next up is the Cameron A Type. This envelope is perfect for carrying passengers and also for light sporting! It really does a lot of work for an envelope of this size.
The A Type can weigh anywhere between 246 and 576 lbs. That’s a pretty big range!
3) Cameron Viva (95-225 lbs.)
The Cameron Viva is one of the smaller envelopes we have on this list. It’s perfect for sporting and general fun! This envelope proves that dynamite comes in small packages.
The smallest iteration of the Viva weighs only 95 lbs., while the largest gets up to 225 lbs.!
4) Cameron Z Type (130-508 lbs.)
How exciting is this envelope? Well, according to Cameron Balloons, it’s the most exciting envelope ever. That’s a pretty bold statement, but this racing balloon may just have the specs to back it up!
The weight of this envelope can range from 130-508 lbs. That’s one of the larger gaps on our list!
5) Cameron O Type (128-257 lbs.)
The O Type is a balloon for all seasons. It can do just about everything, and that’s exactly what it was designed to do. This envelope is the perfect blend between several other Cameron designs!
The O Type ranges between 128 and 257 lbs.
6) Cameron ZL- Racer (155-255 lbs.)
Our last Cameron envelope is the ZL-Racer. The design for this balloon was based on the Z type, but with even more focus on its racing capabilities! That makes this one nimble envelope.
The ZL-Racer has a much smaller weight range than the Z Type, landing between 155 and 255 lbs.
7) Kubicek E Model (77-220 lbs.)
The Kubicek E Model is the perfect starter balloon. The E is meant to stand for easy and efficient, and it is certainly both of those things! If you’re new to ballooning, you may consider getting the E Model!
This envelope ranges from small to average: 77-220 lbs.
8) Kubicek Z Model (209-661 lbs.)
The Z Model was designed with flexibility in mind! Both with its unique panel-cut and with the variety of activities this envelope is up to! The Z Model is ready for just about anything.
This envelope ranges in weight between 209-661 lbs. An incredibly wide range!
9) Kubicek P Model (705-992 lbs.)
The P in the P Model stands for passengers. This is the largest envelope on our list, and it was made with a singular goal: to carry as many passengers as possible!
The P Model weighs anywhere between 705-992 lbs.
10) Kubicek eXtreme Racer (165-187 lbs.)
The Kubicek eXtreme Racer was built to cut through the air. This is Kubicek’s offering for a racing balloon, and it can pull its own weight in almost every way!
This envelope ranges between 165 and 187 lbs. One of our smaller weight ranges!
11) Kubicek Super Sport (209-264 lbs.)
The Super Sport was made as a blend between a sporting balloon and a racing balloon. The goal is to be able to experience the rush of a racing balloon with the lift and space of a sporting balloon.
The Super Sport ranges in weight between 209-264 lbs.
12) Firefly 6B (135-140 lbs.)
We kick off our sampling of Firefly Balloons with the 6B. This is the smallest standard envelope that Firefly offers! It’s perfect for sporting or for beginner pilots!
The Firefly 6B weighs between 135-140 lbs.
13) Firefly 7B (153-182 lbs.)
The Firefly 7B was made with newer pilots in mind. It’s small enough that it handles and transports easily, but it still has some serious lift. This is just a great envelope!
The Firefly 7B ranges between 153 and 182 lbs.
14) Firefly 8B (183-213 lbs.)
Up next is the Firefly 8B. This envelope is great for sporting or passenger carrying. In terms of carrying passengers, this is the perfect medium size for a passenger balloon!
This envelope weighs between 183-213 lbs.
15) Firefly 9B (259-284 lbs.)
The last of the small- average sized balloons we’re sampling from Firefly, the 9B is perfect for carrying passengers and going to festivals! This sizable envelope is a great size to show off!
This envelope weighs between 259 and 284 lbs.
16) Firefly 11B (400-455 lbs.)
Getting into the larger envelopes offered by Firefly, we come to the Firefly 11B. This envelope was built with one purpose and one purpose only: to carry a lot of passengers.
This envelope weighs between 400-455 lbs.
17) Firefly 12B (475-550 lbs.)
The Firefly 12B is the largest Firefly envelope we have on this list. This envelope was designed for extreme conditions and high altitudes! It also creates a huge amount of lift!
The Firefly 12B weighs between 475 and 550 lbs.
18) Lindstrand A Series (180-735 lbs.)
Lindstrand Balloons are known for their colorful designs, and the A Series is perfect for incredibly intricate designs. This envelope also has an incredible range from its smallest size to its largest!
The A Series can range between 180 and 735 lbs. What a wide range!
19) Lindstrand X Series (199-235 lbs.)
The Lindstrand X Series has an incredibly impressive racing record! In some ways, it has the most accomplished racing record in the world. That’s why I call this balloon the X-Wing!
This envelope can range between 199 and 235 lbs.
20) Lindstrand E Series (167-229 lbs.)
The Lindstrand E Series is comparable to the Kubicek E Model. They’re both meant to be efficient and easy! Lindstrand calls their E series their Expedition”.
This envelope ranges from 167-229 lbs.
Hot air balloon baskets are typically made out of wicker because of how lightweight and durable weaved wicker is! That having been said, don’t underestimate how much a basket might weigh!
Just as important as envelopes are for flight, baskets are equally important for human flight! Without a sturdy basket, it would be really difficult to fly in a hot air balloon.
Even though baskets can get pretty hefty, they are relatively lightweight for how durable they are. This is super important especially during a rough landing!
It also goes without saying that the basket of a hot air balloon actually has to hold the passengers! So being durable and well made is super-duper important!
Below, we’ll look at a couple of different baskets and compare their weights. It’s harder to find companies that advertise their basket’s weight, so we’ve only included three companies in this section. You should still get a good idea for how much an average hot air balloon basket weighs!
21) Lindstrand Ascot (162- 235 lbs.)
Kicking off our basket list is the Lindstrand Ascot. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a basket that’s better designed than this one! Plus, isn’t Ascot just a super cool name?
This basket can weigh between 162 and 235 lbs.
22) Kubicek Open Baskets (176-264 lbs.)
Moving on to Kubicek’s baskets we begin with their open baskets. These are meant for smaller sized envelopes, and only have one section for the pilot and passengers.
The Open Baskets can weigh between 176-264 lbs.
23) Kubicek K13 Sport (99 lbs.)
Up next is the K13 Sport. This basket was designed with racing in mind. It’s ultralight and very small. The coolest part? This basket has a light-weight aluminum frame.
This basket weighs just 99 lbs.!
24) Kubicek P Baskets (308-507 lbs.)
This is our first multi-compartment basket on this list! It has one compartment for the pilot and fuel, and then another for all the passengers! Neat!
This basket weighs between 308 and 507 lbs.
25) Kubicek Y/T Baskets (396-595 lbs.)
The Kubicek Y/T basket doesn’t just have two compartments; it has three! Also, depending on your choice between Y or T, you could get the dividing wall to mimic a Y or a T!
This basket weighs between 396 and 595 lbs.
26) Kubicek TT Baskets (485-1,102 lbs.)
If you though 3 compartments was impressive, just wait! The Kubicek TT has not 3, not 4, but 5 compartments! That’s why you get TT instead of just T!
This basket can weigh between 485 and 1,102 lbs.! Not only is that a massive range, but it also is our second largest basket!
27) Kubicek DTT Baskets (1,124-1,322 lbs.)
Now for our largest basket on this list: the Kubicek DTT. The D stands for double, so this is just a double TT basket! It has 9 compartments and can fit up to 32 people! Now that’s big!
This massive basket weighs anywhere between 1,124- 1,322 lbs.! Now that’s heavy!
28) Ultramagic C-0 (121 lbs.)
Departing from Kubicek we move on to Ultramagic baskets. We start off with the Ultramagic C-0. This is the smallest basket offered by Ultramagic, and is only designed to carry one person!
This small basket weighs just 121 lbs. That makes it the second smallest basket on our list!
29) Ultramagic C-2 (136 lbs.)
Up next is the C-2. This basket can carry one to two passengers, and it gets pretty cozy with two! If you’re using this basket, you’ll want to also use a small or average sized envelope.
This basket weighs a nimble 136 lbs. It’s not much heavier than the C-0!
30) Ultramagic C-4 (220 lbs.)
No, this isn’t that kind of C4. That having been said, this basket is meant for a more explosive envelope! It can carry up to 5 people, and is meant for a medium sized envelope! This is the perfect sized basket for a lot of envelopes!
The Ultramagic C-4 weighs a solid 220 lbs. To the rest of the world, that makes this 100kg!
31) Ultramagic C-8 (485 lbs.)
Last but certainly not least we have the Ultramagic C-8! The C-8 can carry 10-12 passengers, and is ideal for a slightly larger passenger sized envelope! This is a great basket for some of our bigger ballooning groups!
The Ultramagic C-8 weighs a hefty 485 lbs. That puts it right in the middle of our basket group!
As you either already know or have probably picked up, bigger baskets go with bigger envelopes. That means there is almost no mixing and matching to try and save on overall weight.
For example, our largest envelope and largest basket weigh 2,314 lbs.! That’s humongous! Meanwhile, or smallest basket and envelope weigh just 174 lbs.! That is incredibly small!
Of course, there’s more than just size that goes into mixing and matching baskets and envelopes. On top of that, there’s more than just a basket and envelope that go into the overall weight of a hot air balloon.
There’s also a burner or tow, some fuel tanks, and it turns out that balloons weigh a lot more when they’re inflated! Who knew that air could be so very heavy?
That having been said, you should have a good idea of an average weight for baskets and envelopes now. Plus, you have a rough idea of what a hot air balloon weighs overall!
To get more precise measurements, especially after any change in weight due to design, contact the companies we used above! Each of them has excellent customer service!
Now you know the average weight of a hot air balloon envelope and basket!