Best Water Balloon Launchers

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

21 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
108 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best water balloon launchers

Last Updated December 2019

A backyard water balloon fight is fun, but you can really take it to the next level with a water balloon launcher capable of hitting targets a hundred feet away or more.

These gadgets come in a variety of styles. Some require as many as three people to use: two to hold the handles on the rubber tubing and one to load the water balloon and let it fly. Others with a slingshot or bow design are made for one person to use. The distance a launcher can reach depends on a combination of the type and the people using it, but some can send balloons up to 1,500 feet. When shopping for a water balloon launcher, it’s important to consider your desired distance and the age and size of those who will be using it.

Even the most impressive water balloon launchers are fairly inexpensive, but it’s still important to find one that meets your needs and is easy to use. We’ve put together this buying guide to help you learn more about water balloon launchers, and we’ve included some of our favorites.

Use physics to your advantage! The optimal angle for reaching a maximum distance is 45°. This basic principle applies to launching or throwing any projectile.

Key considerations

A water balloon launcher is a toy that uses elastic rubber tubes to send a water-filled balloon flying through the air at high speed and for long distances. You can use a launcher to simply see how far you can make a water balloon go, or you can use two in a long-distance water balloon fight.

Some launchers take more strength — and more people — to use than others. You should consider the ages of those who will be using the launcher and whether they’ll be able to safely use it to launch balloons.

Types of water balloon launchers

  • Handheld slingshot: If you want a launcher that can easily be operated by one person, a handheld slingshot is a good option. This type uses the same principle as larger launchers: two to four rubber tubes that connect to a frame to send balloons flying. While these can be fun for younger children, it’s often difficult to get much power out of them compared to simply throwing the water balloons.

  • Hand launcher: This one-person launcher resembles the handheld device used in the high-speed sport jai alai to launch the ball at a deadly velocity. While you won’t achieve the same speeds with a water balloon, these curved handheld devices are more reliable than handheld slingshots for launching one a decent distance.

  • Large slingshot: If you’re serious about your water balloon fights, a large slingshot is the way to go. Some of these require three people to operate, with two people holding the handles while a third person pulls the cradle back and sends the balloon into the air. Other models can be used with one person by looping your feet through the handles and lying on your back. Large slingshots can achieve distances ranging from 100 to 1,500 feet. While they’re a ton of fun for teens and adults, they might be difficult for younger children to use.
EXPERT TIP

If the water from your spigot is too cold, fill the balloons ahead of time and let them sit in the sun for a while before the battle begins.


Staff  | BestReviews

Water balloon launcher features

Water balloon launchers vary in construction and included accessories like balloons and nozzles. In addition, different types of launchers handle balloons of various sizes.

Materials

What a water balloon launcher is made of and how it’s made determine how long it will last and how easy it is to use.

  • Tubing: The most important component is the tubing. While less expensive models use rubber, nylon is a more durable option. Vinyl is the strongest and longest-lasting choice, though it may not achieve the same power as nylon.

  • Handles: Also consider what the handles are made of. Plastic handles can be uncomfortable and are prone to breaking. Handles covered in foam or rubber are more comfortable. Metal handles are unlikely to break.

Balloon size

How big are the balloons you want to launch? Look at the size of the launcher’s cradle to determine what size water balloons you can launch. Bear in mind that larger balloons are heavier and therefore harder to send long distances.

Accessories

Some water balloon launchers include as many as 300 balloons, so you won’t have to buy them separately. Some launchers also include a nozzle for quickly filling the balloons and get you playing sooner. A carrying case is a good way to keep your launcher, balloons, and nozzle in one place so you don’t have to go digging for them at the start of summer.

Water balloon launcher prices

Inexpensive: Water balloon launchers that cost $5 to $10 are usually made from lower-quality materials and don’t usually include accessories. These may be handheld or require three people to use, but the distance generally maxes out at around 50 feet.

Mid-range: In the $10 to $20 range are water balloon launchers that may include accessories like balloons and nozzles. These tend to be sturdier in design and may be capable of achieving distances up to 1,500 feet.

Expensive: Water balloon launchers that cost $20 to $30 are usually larger ones that require three people to use. These may have high-quality nylon or vinyl tubing for good durability and impressive distance. However, children might have trouble using these larger launchers.

DID YOU KNOW?

Many water balloon launchers require three people to use, so you might need a crowd for a proper water balloon fight.

DID YOU KNOW?

The smaller your water balloons, the easier they are to send extreme distances. Larger balloons require more power to send a long way.

Tips

A water balloon fight is a great way to cool down on a hot summer day, and there are no winners or losers — just play until everyone is soaked to the skin! Here are a few ways to make sure everyone enjoys a great water balloon fight.

  • Fill the water balloons ahead of time. Stopping the fight to restock is a bummer, and there’s a good chance you’ll get pelted in the head while you’re doing it.

  • Keep water balloons in a large bucket or tub. This prevents them from getting accidentally popped.

  • Be careful. Don’t pull back your water balloon launcher to its maximum when your target is close by. Being slapped by a high-speed water balloon can hurt. Only pull the launcher all the way back when you want to send the balloon long distances.

  • Set boundaries for your fight. Be aware of bystanders. Not everyone may want to get wet.

  • Divide into teams. If both sides have launchers, you can set up forts or areas for each team, turning the water balloon fight into a long-range battle.

  • Stash water balloons around the “battlefield.” If you’re setting up an arena for your kids and their friends, consider positioning secret stashes of water balloons around the area.

  • Keep tabs on the fight. Know when to step in.

Other products we considered

While we believe our top picks are the best water balloon launchers available, there are a few other products worth calling out briefly. If you’re looking for a powerful launcher that works for one or three people, the SinoArt Water Balloon Launcher is a good choice. It has fabric loops that you can easily hold or slip your feet through. Despite its low price, it comes with a lifetime guarantee and includes 500 balloons, making it an excellent value. For an option that gets you playing quickly, the Bunch O Balloons ZURU Slingshot is another affordable launcher. It includes 100 self-tying water balloons that are fully biodegradable, so there’s no need to worry about bits of balloons harming plants and animals.

Large water balloon launchers aren’t limited to launching balloons. They can also be used to launch snowballs, fruit, or other items.

FAQ

Q. Are all water balloons biodegradable?

A. No, but some are. If you’re worried about all those bits of balloons affecting the environment, you should opt for biodegradable balloons, but you should still pick up as many pieces as you can after the battle.

Q. Can water balloon launchers be dangerous?

A. Certainly. Getting hit in the face with a water balloon can hurt, and launchers can be used to catapult other items that aren’t as forgiving upon impact. Teach your kids how to properly and safely use a water balloon launcher, and remember that you don’t have to launch water balloons at people.

Q. Why are my water balloons popping before they leave the launcher?

A. You may be overfilling the balloons, or the balloon material may be too thin. Consider buying better-quality balloons, and be sure that the sling doesn’t twist at all when you release it.

The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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