- everything you need to know about solar balloons.  Aerial image taken from a Giant EZ Tube


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Tetroon Volume Calculator

This calculator estimates the volume of a fully inflated regular* tetrahedral balloon. Note that the length of one side does not equal the height of the balloon.
*This means all 4 sides are equal.
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**Measure from one corner to another, not the height of the balloon.

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Micron/Mil Converter

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Site Last Updated on Saturday, February 7, 2009

Better than balloons run on sun and not the wind. Fly your own just like the one in the photo below (right). Click here to get your own solar balloon(s) delivered to your door.


What's a solar balloon?

13-foot solar tetroon. See more here...

A solar balloon is a hot air balloon that is heated entirely by the sun. No flame or other external heat source is needed - the balloon gets its heat from the black material which it is made from. Dark colors absorb heat, so the black surface of a solar balloon absorbs heat from the sun, which heats the air inside the balloon. Thus, they can fly all day, without re-heating or re-inflating, as long as the sun is out.

Solar UFO, see video here.
Solar balloons don't get as hot as fire-heated hot air balloons, but they can be, as some are, made large enough to lift a human plus ballast. This site, however, focuses on smaller-scale balloons - ones that can be made from black trash bags and tape. A simple, 5-foot tall balloon can be made with only four trash bags. When released, it can fly over 500 miles in one day!

To make solar balloons, you can use 30-gallon black trash bags. It is very important that they are thin enough, or the balloon will be too heavy to fly. The best thickness for solar balloons is 0.5 mil or thinner. (One mil = 1/1000 inch.) Many people who have visited this site couldn't find trash bags that were thin enough; they are often hard to find. Before you go hunting for super-thin trash bags, consider buying a solar balloon right here on this site.

We manufacture and sell hand-made solar balloons, from 5 to 13 feet tall, with lifting capacities from 1 ounce to nearly 2 pounds! Scroll down to order or go here for more info on shipping, money orders, and more.

Order solar balloons

Order your solar ballons right here or go to the main store for more info on shipping, money orders and more.

Buy online via PayPal. We ship via USPS Priority Mail for USA orders and USPS First Class International (airmail) for international orders.


Giant EZ Tube Giant EZ Tube
Large version of the EZ tube
Aerial photography has never been easier! This 15-foot long, 5-foot wide solar tube uses a drawstring to close the mouth, and can lift most compact digital cameras.
Price: $26.00

EZ Tube EZ Tube
10 feet long with a 3 foot diameter
The EZ tube - adding fun and ease to flying solar balloons! With a drawstring sealing system, you can close the end of the EZ tube just by pulling the string. This is probably easier to fly than any other solar balloon. Tie the tether to the drawstring, and you're ready for a day of fun! Good for releases as well.
Price: $14.00

Solar Balloon Complete Assortment Pack New item!Solar Balloon Complete Assortment Pack
Pack of all 7 balloons.
One of each: 5-foot tetroon, 7-foot tetroon, 9-foot tetroon, 10-foot tetroon, 13-foot tetroon, EZ Tube, and Giant EZ Tube. Save $31 on all of our models by purchasing this pack.
Price: $100.00


EZ Tube Solar Balloon Pack New item!EZ Tube Pack
Pack of both EZ Tube models.
One EZ Tube and one Giant EZ Tube. Save $5 on both by purchasing this pack.
Price: $35.00

Tetroon Solar Balloon Assortment Pack New item!Tetroon Assortment Pack
Pack of all 5 tetroon models.
One of each of the following: 5-foot tetroon, 7-foot tetroon, 9-foot tetroon, 10-foot tetroon, 13-foot tetroon. Save $11 on all 5 tetroons by purchasing this pack.
Price: $80.00

5-foot Solar Tetroon 5-foot Solar Tetroon
Approx. 5 feet tall when fully inflated.
These tetroons are very easy to inflate and fly. A blow dryer works better to inflate smaller balloons. Takes less than 2 minutes to inflate one. Without a tether, these can travel hundreds of miles! A great balloon for beginners or for free flights. Approximate inflated volume 30 ft3
Price: $8.00

7-foot Solar Tetroon 7-foot Solar Tetroon
Approx. 7 feet tall when fully inflated.
The next step up from the 5-foot tetroon, this is just as easy to fly but is larger and generates more lift. In cold weather, it is possible for this balloon to lift compact cameras that weigh 6 ounces or less, although it is easier to fly without a camera. Another good balloon for beginners, releases, or just for fun. Approximate inflated volume 100 ft3
Price: $12.00

9-foot Solar Tetroon 9-foot Solar Tetroon
Approx. 9 feet tall when fully inflated.
This larger tetroon can carry small or compact digital cameras and take aerial shots! Takes less than 6 minutes to inflate with a blow dryer, although a fan is recommended for easy inflation. Approximate inflated volume 140 ft3
Price: $16.00

10-foot Solar Tetroon 10-foot Solar Tetroon
Approx. 10 feet tall when fully inflated.
Great for aerial photography! A fan is best for inflating this balloon - it will heat up very quickly and will be able to carry a camera within a few minutes. If you are using a digital camera that weighs 1/2 lb. or less, this is the perfect balloon for you to snap aerial shots with. Approximate inflated volume 240 ft3
Price: $20.00

13-foot Solar Tetroon 13-foot Solar Tetroon
Approx. 13 feet tall when fully inflated.
This balloon dwarfs the 10 foot tetroon with its immense size & capacity. It is capable of lifting over 1 lb in ideal conditions, which is about 2 times as much weight as the 10-foot tetroon can lift! Use it if your camera is too large for any other tetroon. It is fun to fly whether you are taking pictures, advertising, or just flying for fun. A good fan is recommended for inflation. Approximate inflated volume 480 ft3
Price: $35.00

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Solar balloon returns

List of solar balloons I released, with "if found" tags, that were found after landing. Arranged in order by total distance traveled.

10-foot tetroon broke 700!

10-foot solar tetroon shortly after release, beginning a 780-mile flight November 2007
I'm a little late in getting the word out, but now the video is done and I am announcing my longest flight yet...A 10-foot tetroon flew 780 miles in less than 6 hours!

I've confirmed the sender's IP address so this is not a hoax. The balloon was found near Quinby, Virginia the day after the release.

This particular 10-foot tetroon was over a year and a half old when I released it. As you can see, it has many patches and some small holes and has been my aerial photography balloon since I built it in the early spring of 2006. This is the tag attached to the balloon prior to inflation When I built the 13 foot tetroon, I decided I should get rid of my old beat-up balloon - and of course, I got a tag ready and turned the old tetroon into the sky.

You can make and fly your own balloon this far! Here are a few links to help you get started.

How to make your own
How to release solar balloons
Buy pre-built solar balloons

Here's the video

500 miles!

Solar balloon was released and flew 500 miles in 7 hours!
Yes, a 5-foot tetroon has flown 500 miles, in just 7 hours! It was released in the morning so it had lots of time to fly. The previous record (230 miles to North Carolina) only had 4 hours of travel time. This one flew more than twice as far in less than twice as much time! Watch the video to see the whole story.

Out of state! 5-foot tetroon makes amazing 230-mile flight in less than 4 hours

solar balloon 230 mile flight February 4, 2007: Another 5-foot tetroon was released around 1:30 PM CST. Two days later it was found in a creek bed under a canopy of trees! The balloon probably washed a short distance downstream before it was found on February 6th, in Hayesville, North Carolina.

This is my first out-of-state flight ever that has been recorded. From the time the balloon was released to the time the sun set was less than 4 hours. The balloon was traveling at over 60 mph!

See how I did it!

Solar tetroon traveled 170 miles

Solar balloon beginning 170 mile journeyOn December 27, 2006, I released two 5-foot tall tetroons. Each one had a card attached to it displaying my Web site address and where/when it was released. That evening I got a return from one of them. It had flown approximately 40 miles northeast of the launch site before landing in a pond.

Three days later, I released another tetroon. After the sun had set and I was sure the balloon had landed, I checked my email. Sure enough, someone had found my balloon. But as I read the message, I learned that it was the other balloon I had released 3 days before—and it was over 170 miles away ...

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