Buying a hot air balloon is a big step for a balloon enthusiast. It can be confusing and a little intimidating to look at all of your options, especially once you compare your options to your budget!
An average hot air balloon that carries two passengers will cost around $25,000. Buying a hot air balloon that is used can cut that cost significantly. Many used hot air balloons that carry two passengers cost around $10,000. Of course, because of the multiplicity of ways to get a hot air balloon, costs could be much higher or much lower.
There are so many different ways to go about getting a hot air balloon. You can buy different parts and put it all together, buy one second handed, or just get a brand-spanking-new one right off the assembly line.
For this section, we’ll look at full system hot air balloons that are fresh off the press. These will be more expensive but it’ll be all yours! Plus, it shouldn’t require any maintenance.
If it does, get a refund.
For many new hot air balloons, you’ll want to go to a company and get a quote for whatever it is you’re looking for. This approach will allow you to get exactly what you want, but it could cost much more than other options.
For our purposes, we’ll look at new hot air balloons that have already been assembled. These hot air balloons will all be high quality and ready to fly upon purchase!
FireFly Balloons are excellent for everyone, but especially for amateurs. They’re Easy to assemble, repair, and customize! They have several full system options that I would highly recommend.
FireFly Balloons have been operating since 1972. They are located in North Carolina, an area that boasts a history of excellent craftsmanship. FireFly is proud to carry on that legacy.
Below we’ll look at some of FireFly’s best balloons. We’ll look at a variety of options and give some insight into each! You’ll notice in particular their great prices!
The FireFly 7B is a smaller balloon that is great for almost anyone. It’s certainly a great option for beginners, but more experienced pilots will also appreciate its simplicity.
It only has 12 gores, and stands at 57 feet when completely inflated. If you go with the 4.0 triangular basket, it has space for 3 fuel tanks. You could also fit 2 or 3 passengers in the 4.0 basket.
If you choose the 90 degree cut for the envelope and a 4.0 basket, you’re looking at $26,000. You can look at all the options for this balloon here: 7B.
The FireFly 8 may as well be called the party balloon! It has plenty of lift and can fit plenty of people. This is a great balloon if you’re interested in showing off to your friends without too much hassle!
This balloon has 24 gores and has a total height of 67 feet when totally inflated. The overall weight is 2,450 lbs. It goes great with a lot of the larger baskets offered by FireFly.
A new FireFly 8 with a 6.0 basket and spiral cuts costs $41,600. This is obviously on the more expensive side, so make sure it’ll be used if you decide this is the one for you!
You can look at the balloon here: FireFly 8.
Now we’re starting to get into some of FireFly’s larger balloons. The FireFly 10 has a 36 gore envelope and is usually attached to one of FireFly’s larger baskets.
The 10 boasts enough lift to handle high altitudes and more difficult conditions. With its size, you can also get baskets like the 6072 or 6096 that have plenty of room for passengers!
This is a great option if you know that you’re looking to carry more passengers than average balloonist. It is going to sell at a higher price because of its size, but not as much as some of the ever larger options!
With a 5.0 basket, a brand new FireFly 10 is going to come out at $49,500. A good price if it’s going to be carrying lots of passengers! You can look at the balloon here: FireFly 10.
Even larger than the FireFly 10 is the FireFly 11B. It also has 36 gores but stands even taller than the 10. Fully inflated, the 11B is 84 feet tall.
This balloon would be ideal for a new hot air balloon ride service. Again, it is compatible with a 5.0 basket, but I would recommend going with one of the larger baskets if you’re getting the 11B.
At the end of the day, this balloon is all about getting lots of people into the air. It may not be as durable as the 10, but it certainly can get tons of people flying!
If you do decide to go a little larger and get the 6096 basket, a brand new FireFly 11B comes out to $62,000. You can look at the balloon here: FireFly 11B.
The FireFly 12B is the largest balloon that FireFly has to offer! It stands at 86 feet tall and weighs a whopping 3940 lbs. That’s a big balloon!
Because of its size, the only basket option for the 12B is the 60120. Like the envelope, this basket is a whopper! It is 10 feet long and 5 feet wide. It carries 6 fuel tanks just to get up!
One of the things to consider when buying this large is transportation. You’ll need a good sized trailer to move any hot air balloon, but definitely one of this size. Keep that in mind as you think about this balloon!
In all, the FireFly 12B comes out to $66,000. You can look at it here: FireFly 12B.
Lindstrand USA has been around for just over twenty years, but just recently have they really made an impact on the hot air balloon industry.
Lindstrand has two great strengths: its engineering and customer service. If you’re looking for a personable company to do business with, Lindstrand is the way to go!
All of their balloons are very well made with great attention to detail. They follow the time-proven laws of the organization when it comes to manufacturing. Their business organization on the other hand really sets them apart!
Below we’ll look at the most popular envelope series Lindstrand offers. They have lots of basket options that we’ll also consider. To get a quote you’ll have to get in touch with Lindstrand directly!
The A-Series is the most basic offering made by Lindstrand. These balloons are great for beginners, and the envelope transfers notoriously well to other company’s baskets.
The A-Series is offered in 24 or 28 gores. The envelope is cut horizontally, which makes it ideal for design! Lindstrand offers over twenty different colors for their envelope designs!
Matching the creative options with the envelope is the many artistic options available for the basket. Lindstrand’s basic basket, the Ascot, goes perfectly with the A-Series. It has tons of options for colors, handles, and padding!
This is definitely a great option for beginners or someone who just wants a basic, solid hot air balloon. You can look at the A-Series and get a quote here: A-Series.
The X- Series is Lindstrand’s high performance balloon. The name kind of reminds you of Star Wars, doesn’t it? Well, these balloons kind of fly like X-Wings.
This balloon is historically good when it comes to competitive flying. The incredibly aerodynamic design of the X-Series makes it cut through the air. It is also extremely efficient in its fuel consumption.
11 of the last 12 U.S. National Champions flew a X-series, and 4 of the last 6 World Champions have as well. Se, yeah. It’s a good balloon.
You can look at some of the sizing and design options, plus get a quote, here: X-Series.
If you’re looking for a cheap balloon for your personal use, the E-Series is a great option for you! It has more of a sport balloon that is easy to manage and to maintain.
The E-Series uses a unique basket: the tour basket. This basket is very durable and comes in two sizes perfect for smaller groups.
This balloon is ideal for someone who likes to fly right out of their own backyard (granted that it’s a big backyard). If friendly adventure is what you want, or even solo adventure, I would strongly consider the E-Series.
You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: E-Series.
They way I see it, Cameron Balloons is the king of the hot air ballooning industry. Both Cameron Balloons US and Cameron Balloons UK are monsters in the balloon market.
They make all different kinds of balloons. From sporting to leisure to advertising, Cameron Balloons does it all! And they do it very, very well.
If you’re a balloon enthusiast, odds are you’ve flown in a Cameron at one point or another. Below, we’ll cover just a few of their options.
Just like Lindstrand, because of the creative options you’ll have, you have to call Cameron Balloons to get a quote.
O-Type balloons are some of the most versatile balloons out there. They’re kind of like a fusion between other balloons Cameron offers. It is well rounded in shape and in functionality.
The O-Type has a 12 gores which makes it a little smaller than other balloons. Still, due to its design, it can get enough lift to carry a good amount of passengers.
Because of its round shape, the O-Type is also great for advertising. Its super easy to see!
There’s almost no way to go wrong with the O-Type. You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: O-Type.
If your only purpose for getting a balloon is marketing, then the N-Type is perfect for you! Starting at 24 gore, there are also options for 28 and 32 gore designs.
This balloon was engineered with marketing in mind. Its nearly flat design allows you to put detailed images in high definition glory for all to see! Everyone will see your floating billboard.
Depending on the design you choose, the N-Type can be anywhere from 47 to 79 feet tall! I guess it just depends on how much money you want to invest in your marketing strategy.
To look at the sizing options and get a quote, click here: N-Type.
Almost the complete opposite of the N-Type, the Viva is perfect for flight but has almost no size for promotions. The Viva is made up of just 8 bulbous gores!
The Viva is the ultimate sport balloon. It is small, easy to transport, and still generates a massive amount of lift. This allows it to carry a fair amount of passengers and still get off the ground easily.
With just one passenger, the Viva feels like a 600 horsepower Mustang! While you’ll have to keep the designs relatively simple, the balloon itself has incredible performance.
I really can’t talk highly enough about this balloon. If you’re looking for something sporty, the Viva is the balloon for you!
You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: Viva.
This Czech company is one of the leading European hot air balloon manufacturers. The company has a long history and continues to make steady growth.
Kubicek Balloons is a great option, although maybe not ideal for our readers in North and South America. Shipping can get a little expensive!
That having been said, Kubicek is the epitome of efficiency and dedication. In 2005, they moved all of their operations into one building to increase their workflow.
Below we’ll look at some the basic options that Kubicek offers.
The E in Model E stands for easy or economical. This balloon is small, light, and very cheap. At most, it can carry a pilot and two passengers, although most sizes have space for just the pilot.
This is a great balloon for someone just getting into hot air balloons. It’s easy to assemble, transport, and fly. I highly recommend it because of its low weight and efficiency.
To get a quote you’ll have to contact Kubicek Balloons, but expect it to be competitive with the cost of most used balloons. Maybe even cheaper than some!
You can look at the balloon here: Model E. If you don’t speak Czech, there is an option to translate the page into English.
The Model Z is Kubicek’s version of an all-purpose balloon. It is also the most flexible in terms of size. At its smallest, the Model Z carries just three passengers while the largest carries twenty!
Like the Cameron N-Type, this balloon is great for advertising. While the N-Type is a little better suited for high-end graphic design, the Model Z definitely makes up for that with its massive lift.
This would be a great option for advertising that involves getting potential customers on board! Not only will a lot of people see your logo from the ground, but you can also accommodate tons of potential customers on the balloon itself!
The larger you go, the more pricey you’ll get. The Model Z will definitely be more expensive than the Model E. Still, if you’re using it for advertising, the investment may be worth it.
You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: Model Z.
The Model P was designed specifically for a hot air balloon ride service. This Model can carry a lot of passengers, and it has incredible durability.
It’s easy to repair and can have some pretty serious graphics on the envelope. Overall, it is ideal for a ride company, especially if you’re expecting a high volume of passengers.
The smallest version carries twenty passengers, and the largest can carry twenty-eight. This balloon will absolutely cost you some serious dough. Probably one of the most expensive balloons we’ve looked at so far!
You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: Model P.
This is Kubicek’s racing balloon. Most notably, the eXtreme Racer has incredible ascent and descent speeds.
It’s not as impressive as the Lindstrand X-series, but Kubicek continues to make improvements to this formidable flying machine.
Obviously, this balloon only carries a pilot or a pilot and a navigator. This is a fun balloon to fly if you’re interested in getting into competitive hot air ballooning!
I would put the cost of this balloon between the Model Z and Model P. You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: eXtreme Racer.
As the name would imply, the Super Sport is Kubicek’s offering for a sport balloon. In this attempt, Kubicek does incredibly well.
In designing this balloon, Kubicek based their model off of the eXtreme Racer. This gives the Super Sport a lot of strengths, especially for a sport balloon.
The ascent and descent times are still very impressive, but you can take three or four passengers up in the Super Sport. I still prefer Cameron’s Viva to the Super Sport, but you’ll probably save money buying the Super Sport.
To look at the balloon and get a quote, click here: Super Sport.
Ultramagic Balloons is the only hot air balloon manufacturer in Spain. It markets itself as the most innovative hot air balloon company in the world. I’ll let you decide whether or not that is true.
The company is pretty massive, exporting balloons to every corner of the world. They also are one of the organizers of the European Balloon Festival. In the balloon industry, they are definitely a major player!
Ultramagic offers a wide variety of balloons of many shapes, sizes, and colors. If you’re interested in a balloon that will stick out, Ultramagic is the company for you!
Below we’ll discuss some of the options Ultramagic Balloons offers.
The H Series is a very cheap and durable option. It carries one to three passengers and is ideal for very basic ballooning or new pilots.
One of the biggest pros for this balloon is that Ultramagic Balloons get these delivered really quickly! This is one of Ultrmagic’s oldest and best-tested products!
You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: H Series. You should find the pricing to be very competitive.
This series is great for our more artistic friends! While it makes for a great advertising balloon, I think there are better options out there. It really shines in its ability to win beauty contests at balloon festivals!
It carries two to seven passengers, which makes it one of the smaller options for the marketing type balloons. It’s also a good option for cheaper advertising!
You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: M Series.
The N series is perfect for a hot air balloon ride service. Not only can it carry a lot of passengers like its competition, it also has a great design for larger logos on the envelope.
With the option of 28 or 32 gores, this balloon can get some serious lift. It also boasts a very safe track record, something Ultramagic is known for. I would definitely recommend this balloon to a ride company.
This balloon will also be a little cheaper than a lot of its competition. You can look at it and get a quote here: N Series.
If you took the N series and cut it in half, you’d get the T series. This balloon is also made for carrying passengers, but it carries about half as many as the N series.
At most, it can carry 11 passengers. This makes it ideal for smaller hot air balloon ride services. It has all the strengths of the N series at half the size and a lower cost.
You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: T Series.
I’m throwing The Racer in because it is the original racing balloon in many ways. Even today it is the baseline for a truly great racing balloon.
Although in some ways it is falling behind other racing balloons now, it remains an important part of hot air balloon racing.
This balloon is just an absolute blast to fly, and I would recommend it to anyone who just wants a good time. It’s a little more expensive than some of the other Ultramagic balloons, but not as expensive as other racers.
You can look at the balloon and get a quote here: The Racer.
Buying used is a great option if your budget is a little smaller! A lot of used hot air balloons are sold through ads or personal connections. If you’re buying through an ad, make sure to check out the product personally before you buy.
Below are some options for used hot air balloons sold through reputable sources. This section will contain the most options out of all the sections.
These balloons will be lower quality than the new balloons, but that’s because they’re older and have been used. They should still be ready to fly upon purchase!
You’ll notice some of the same brands from above. These balloons all come from some of the best brands out there!
The Cameron A-120 is an excellent balloon. Cameron A-Type balloons are advertised as the ultimate passenger balloon, and that may just be the case!
Cameron A-Types each have an envelope with 20 gores, making them ideal for having a huge amount of lift. Some A-Types can carry up to 20 passengers!
The A-120 is 65 feet tall when totally inflated. Due to its size and construction, the A-120 can easily be transformed into a piece of art. At the very least, it will definitely turn some heads!
It has a basket that can fit 3-4 people with space for two 20 gallon LPG tanks. It is currently listed at $25,000.
Cameron ZL-84 Racer
The Cameron ZL-84 Racer is built for just what its name implies: racing. It is engineered to be as aerodynamic as possible. With a total of 24 gores, this balloon has a unique, vertical shape.
It has excellent climb performance and seems to cut through the air with no a problem! Fully inflated it is 65 feet tall.
This balloon is definitely not meant for a company. It can squeeze two, maybe three passengers on. Still, as far as hot air balloons go, this one is pretty fast!
It’s presently listed at $16,000, but I wouldn’t be afraid to make a lower offer than that. The owner isn’t providing a ton of information on this balloon.
Still, brand new, this is a very nice balloon when brand new. If it is in good condition, it is definitely worth the asking price!
The Cameron Z-160 is marketed as the “most exciting envelope ever”. While I don’t know whether or not that’s entirely accurate, I do know that Z-160’s can be really beautiful!
The Z-160 has 24 gores and is 73 feet tall when fully inflated. The design is based on previous successful Cameron Balloons. It stands on the shoulders of previous greats in the balloon industry.
It’s pretty new, just over 10 years old. It also has a very cool blue and yellow design. You’ll have to contact the owner for a price offer.
If it’s in good condition, I wouldn’t be afraid to spend over $15,000 on this one. A great option!
FireFly hot air balloons are known for being easy to assemble and fly. They primarily make sporting balloons. Their uniquely cut gores are very distinctive.
The FireFly 8B has 18 gores and is 48 feet tall when fully inflated. It has several unique basket options, each of which is very high quality.
A brand new 8B can cost over $30,000 dollars. That should put into perspective how nice these balloons are. It’s currently listed at $15,000, half of the original cost!
This balloon was built in 2003, but it has had plenty of TLC over the years. Its basket has been remolded and the fuel hoses have been recently replaced. A great buy!
Just smaller than the FireFly 8B is the FireFly 6B. This balloon is perfect for competitions or personal use. They are very maneuverable and are easy to land.
The 6B has just 12 gores and stands at 41 feet when completely inflated. In total, it only weighs 1200 lbs. It’s designed to carry two 10 gallon LPG tanks.
This is definitely a great buy for someone looking for personal use. It’s easy to transport, it can be easily repaired, and it only has room for you and your plus one!
This used model also comes with three 10 gallon LPG tanks, 2 radios, and a newly upgraded pilot light safety shut off valve. This is one of the cheaper options you’ll find out there, especially for this value!
This balloon is perfect for a leisure ride with some friends. It isn’t too big, but it can still hold four people. This means it’s easy to transport and still has enough space to fit everyone in the car!
It fits two 10 gallon LPG tanks and is 47 feet tall when fully inflated. According to the FireFly website, this is their most popular balloon size! It’s obviously a good one!
It was built in 1996, making it a little older than some of the other options. You’ll have to contact the owner for a price offer, but I wouldn’t go over $10,000.
Risk it for the Biscuit
This section is for those who love buying cheap products online with questionable reliability. You never know what you’re going to get with these. It could be an absolute steal or a total bust.
Understand that this section is for hot air balloon manufacturers who aren’t very well established. You’ll probably save a lot of money, but you might just get burned. Buy at your own risk.
A lot of these balloons don’t actually have a name, so we may have to fill in there a little bit. If nothing else, this will be a lot of fun!
What to say about this product? Well, it costs anywhere between $2,000-$20,000, and it is inflatable (so that’s a good sign). It’s a 2018 new design, so I guess that makes it high quality, right?
It does use LPG and has customizable colors and logo options. Both of those are steps in the right direction.
It carries between one and six passengers. In what kind of basket you ask? That’s a great question!
In order to inflate the product, you first “prepare the ground” and then “powe on the blower”. Poof! Then it’s ready to go!
So, yeah. It’s up to you. I wouldn’t recommend it, but who knows?
This balloon is either $7,000 or $10,000. It carries four people and can have customizable colors “as your request”. Probably the best thing about this balloon is that is isn’t as sketchy as the last one.
I think this balloon has to be tethered, but I could be totally wrong.
The shipping methods get a little pricey. I would recommend the air shipping: “By Air: 5-10 days. more expensive, for urgent and don’t want to cost too much, nearest airport”.
This one is about as reputable as OEM, so a little better than bad. It apparently carries four passengers and does need to be tethered (probably).
This balloon seems incredible! One of its coolest features is that “it is very famous flying game in Turkey”. Not that there is a famous flying game in Turkey, but the balloon itself is a famous flying game in Turkey. Wow.
Last, and potentially best, we have Limeiqi. This balloon carries one to twelve passengers but always costs $6,995. What a steal! According to the listing, that makes it “standard size”.
Like some of the other balloons, it has a twelve month warranty. That’s comforting!
This company can also help you design your own amusement park. That’s a major perk! I wonder why we don’t have hot air balloon amusement parks? What could go wrong?
And that rounds out our list of 31 hot air balloons you could buy!