Best Balloon Arch Kits

Updated October 2020
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Buying guide for best balloon arch kits

A balloon arch can create the illusion of substance without too much work. If you’re looking for an easy way to add flair to any event, a balloon arch could be for you. While semi-circular arches are the traditional design, helium- or air-filled arches can be formed into many different shapes and are limited only by your creativity.

When is a balloon arch an appropriate decoration? Balloon arches can be used to add character and fun to graduation parties, proms, and other formal gatherings, as well as occasions like football games and festivals. These whimsical decorations, often brightly colored, are easy to put up and create a merry atmosphere without a huge expense.

Some balloon arch kits include balloons in various colors. Others consist of just the “bones” of the arch, so to speak, leaving you to choose the balloons separately. Our buying guide will walk you through the different types of balloon arches and their features to help you make your event as colorful and festive as possible.

Because balloon strip kits are so lightweight, they can be attached to the walls and ceiling with minimal effort to create dazzling effects.

Key considerations

Placement

Indoor and outdoor events call for different anchoring systems for a balloon arch — this is where you should begin your search.

Inside: If you’re using a balloon arch inside it won’t require much anchoring to hold it in place, regardless of whether you’re using air-filled balloons or helium-filled ones. This allows you to make a semi-circular arch, known as an organic arch, a climbing arch like a vine, or long wavy lines undulating across the wall or ceiling. Indoor arches may be anchored with table clamps or weighted plastic bases.

Outside: When you’re constructing a balloon arch outside, the wind may try to tear your arch apart and scatter the balloons to the four corners of the earth. For outdoor use, you need a strong, sturdy, and durable arch kit that will be able to withstand the constant tugging of the wind. It will also need to be able to withstand the changes in wind direction and should be anchored appropriately to the table with strong nylon twine. If they’re free-standing, you’ll need to anchor them with weights (see below).

Stands or Strips

Balloon arches use a rod to either clamp to a table or stand upright with weighted floor stands. The stands have some weight in them but may need some additional weight if you’re filling all your balloons with helium.

If the kit you purchase has strips, it will have to be anchored to a weight or attached to a wall with nails or strong adhesive. Alternatively, you can use helium-filled balloons, which will lift the arch into a naturally curved shape. This requires weights heavy enough to keep your arch from escaping, however.

Features

Size

Length

Most balloon arch kits are geared toward six to six-and-a-half-foot long tables. The rods for the kits come in short sections to accommodate shorter tables. Once assembled, the long rods can be bent to form an arch. The longer the completed rod, the taller the arch you can have. If you want an arch that is tall enough to walk through, you may need to purchase two sets.

Number of Balloons

Closely related to the length of the rod on your arch is the following question. How many balloons will you need for your arch? You will have to do a bit of math — use the following calculation to figure out how many balloons your arch calls for.

W = the diameter of your balloons in inches

4 = the number of balloons on each clip (top, bottom, and sides)

L = the length of your arch rod in inches

(L ÷ W) x 4 = number of balloons

For example, if you’re using 10-inch balloons and the rod on your arch is 12 feet long (144 inches), your equation would look like this:

(144 ÷ 10) = 14.4, and 14.4 x 4 = 57.6, rounded up to 58 balloons.

Material

PVC and fiberglass are the most common materials used on the rods for balloon arches because those materials can bend and flex as needed. The clamps are normally plastic or steel and the balloons are usually latex.

Essential accessories

Few balloon arch kits come with everything you need — here are a handful of the most useful accessories you can pick up before you start decorating.

Balloons: Elecrainbow 100 Pack 12 Inch Balloons
This package of 100 balloons is available in 44 different colors and color scheme combinations. You can purchase two sets of different colors to create an eye-catching spiral design.

Air Pump: Control Balloon Products 2-Way Dual Action Balloon Pump
If you’re going to make a balloon arch, you will have a lot of balloons to inflate. This handheld pump is one of the most affordable options, and purchasing a pair can make quick work of blowing up several dozen balloons if you aren’t working alone.

Electric Air Pump: Party Zealot Electric Balloon Inflator Air Pump
If you prefer to let a machine do the hard work, an electric air pump is the way to go. This electric air pump can inflate up to four air-filled balloons simultaneously. You’ll need this when you’re inflating sixty or seventy balloons (or more) for a balloon arch.

Helium: WORTHINGTON CYLINDER CORP 14.9 cu. Ft. Disposable Helium Tank
This helium tank is equipped with a built-in tip for inflating balloons. It will fill between 30 to 50 9-inch balloons. Once you’re done with it, the tank is disposable — however, it cannot be refilled.

Balloon Weights: Creative Balloons Mfg. Inc. Bubble Weight Balloon Weight
If you’re using helium-filled balloons, you need small balloon weights to keep them from escaping. This set includes 10 weights, each of which weighs 35 grams. They are available in three colors: black, baby blue, and baby pink.

Balloon arch prices

For under $10 are balloon arch kits that come with strips, but not balloons. These kits are one-time use only.

Most balloon arch kits cost from $10 to $30, including our Best of the Best pick. These are solid, reusable kits that will be dependable for multiple parties.

For over $30 are kits with arches, independent stands, balloons, and all the accessories needed to get your decorations up quickly. If you don’t want to worry about picking up additional accessories, these sets are your best option.

Tips

  • Don’t try to bend the individual short rods. Assemble the rods to your desired length, and then bend the arch. This puts less stress on the rods and reduces the chances of damaging or snapping them.
  • The balloon clips slide over the rod, so all the balloons will have to be on the rod before you attach it to the stands or the table clamps.
  • The balloon clips for arch strips can be attached before or after the strip is in place.
Air-filled balloons are the best choice for outside arches because they don’t add their own upward tug to the unstable structure of the arch.

FAQ

Q. How long do helium-filled balloons last?
A.
Helium balloons have a short life span of about 12 to 24 hours. If you are setting up your balloon arch well in advance of your event, bear this in mind to prevent your balloons for going droopy when the party is just getting started. Air-filled balloons have been known to last for several days at a time, up to a week in some cases.

Q. How long does it take to set up a balloon arch?
A.
The first time you put up an arch, it will probably take two to three hours. If you have extra helping hands, you may set up your arch faster. Take into consideration that inflating the balloons can be the most time-consuming part.

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