TUFTEX 17“ – This balloon might get bigger than you think!

LOONERS UNITED_Maggy BerLoon_Tuftex 17_01

– A short balloon description of the Tuftex 17“ balloon and my opinion – 

Besides QUALATEX, UNIQUE (= Globos, Mexico), CATTEX, BELBAL etc. TUFTEX is one of the most known balloon brands worldwide and is manufactured by the Maple City Rubber Company from the USA. 1915 the family business was founded in Ohio and might be one of the oldest manufactures producing latex products. More than 100 years of experience they have the clock by now. TUFTEX offers a big range of different kinds of balloons varying in size, color and print designs.

Due to its vertical folds, the TUFTEX 17“ balloon has a comparatively round shape with a slightly tapered balloon neck. By the way, such long balloon necks are made to ease the knitting in the first place, but of course, a big neck has also much more nice value for us looner.

Just like all the other TUFTEX balloons the TUFTEX 17“ is available in different colors and with diverse designs and prints. Especially the various and bright crystal colors stand out from my point of view.

LOONERS UNITED_Maggy BerLoon_Tuftex 17_Grand Opening_02
LOONERS UNITED_Maggy BerLoon_Tuftex 17_Grand Opening_01

Since the company is specialized in producing balloons for outdoor advertising, the quality of their products is really good. A characteristic for TUFTEX balloons is the rather thick latex skin. But after inflating the balloon it feels much more softer than you might have expected before. Of course they are also made of 100% natural rubber latex and are biodegradable after a period of time and under certain conditions (CO2, moisture).

But I have to admit that the shelf life of TUFTEX balloons doesn’t convince me that much in comparison to other balloon brands. In average the shelf life of balloons is about 2-3 years, provided that they are stored protected against UV and moisture. There are brands, for example, QUALATEX, which balloons are much longer durable and in my experience TUFTEX balloons are below the mentioned average. So it might be better not to store them too long or just use them faster.

That´s why I see TUFTEX balloons in relation to the general quality right in between of QUALATEX and UNIQUE balloons. But this isn´t supposed to be perceived in a negative way, because all of the mentioned brands are suited on a really high quality level compared to no name balloons from the supermarket next door. Delicate nuances decide and can make a big difference of course. As in relation to such supermarket products, balloons have to fulfill far many functions for us looners than just to look nice.

LOONERS UNITED_Maggy BerLoon_Tuftex 17_Sale_01
LOONERS UNITED_Maggy BerLoon_Tuftex 17_02

In contrast to giant balloons, airship balloons or extraordinary figure shaped balloons, honestly there isn´t much to be said about the TUFTEX 17“ balloon. It´s not to big and not to small and gets a really nice neck, simply a perfect affair. That´s why this balloon is really popular no matter being a friend of balloons, looner or advertising customer.

But there is one more thing I would like to mention. I´ve noticed that TUFTEX balloons can get much bigger than the nominal diameter given by the manufacturer in comparison to balloons of other brands, especially with pre-stretching them before inflating. If you repeat this procedure a few times TUFTEX balloons can get insanely big. The difference to the first inflation is really enormous and impressing. But be careful, because repeated inflating doesn´t affect the balloon´s durability and stability in a positive way. The ballon can burst at any time, which might be bad for some and for others this risk could be a further attraction. However, I think that this issue is really remarkable and that´s why I would like to recommend the TUFTEX 17“ to those ones, who especially enjoy to over-inflate balloons. I´m off blowing now. Bye.

LOONERS UNITED_Maggy BerLoon_Tuftex 17_Winking Smiley_01
LOONERS UNITED_Maggy BerLoon_Tuftex 17_Winking Smiley_02
19 replies
    • Danny
      Danny says:

      I agree. I thought the Q16’s were loud when blown to Bursting, but these balloons…
      Not only do they get Huge, they Burst with an incredible B A N G!!! 8:D

  1. Joel Glass
    Joel Glass says:

    In the balloon industry, the folds you refer to in the Tuf-Tex balloon are referred to as a Fluted Balloon – A balloon is either Fluted or Non-Fluted. ( The fluting is what causes the roundness. Not a criticism, just a nerd thought. 🙂 Until a few years ago the only fluted balloons in the N America were manufactured Gayla Industries in Texas and Tuf Tex. Pioneer National started to produce them only recently to replace the 24″ for the outdoor car lot market. The other newer player to fluted is CTI factory in Mexico and they make a Neon 17″ that is only available upon request – in addition to several other colors. flexouniversal.com

  2. anonymous101
    anonymous101 says:

    So what is the best balloon for a looner that one can bounce on for a while without popping right away. I love bouncing, but I don’t like anything over 17″. Are Tuftex good for bouncing? Another thing that I feel I should point out is that I like when the neck pops out when I sit on it and goes back in when my weight comes off of it.

          • anonymous101
            anonymous101 says:

            I really have to say Maggy, got a chance to try my Tuf-tex’s and boy are they strong! I have been having a hard time popping this one! Even putting my full weight on it (around 140-160) it’s surprisingly strong.

            • CnD-Looner
              CnD-Looner says:

              Been using Q24 for 10 years since they’re discontinued I had to try out new products. I don’t like CATTEX brand at all isn’t much soft, smell strangely and didn’t lasted long. That’s sad… they are the only one that makes those huge cylinder such as GL500.

              But I’ve been playing a lot with Tuftex espically the 24″ one and damn !!! Im about 240 LBS and they last very very long compared to the Q24″ since I fear pops and im a non popper, I can tell finaly I’ve found a brand that I can trust to hold my weight and I can even bounce on it.

              But of course (that’s the same with any balloon) repetive inflation/use makes the balloon weaker but you can literally get 2 type of fun with those. Either you inflate them very big and thick, it’s a spectacular view 🙂 or you under inflate it a little you litteraly get squished/absorbed by the loon, matching your own body’s shape, etc. Very fun to cuddle 🙂

              I didnt had the chance to try Belbals yet since they aren’t sold in North America, their price and shipping is quite expensive.

              But they’re no as soft (slidedy*) as Q24 but the Q24 lose that over time. Also about the necking, the neck are smaller then the neck of Q24 brand but believe it or with a quite used Tuftex 24 I managed to make a big neck just as the Q24 maybe a bit bigger, but it only happen 5 times 50 plays. Also I noticed a difference of thickness between my previous orders and most recents ones. The batch I ordered are so thick, they’re strong just like beach ball damn… I really hope I’ll be able to have my hands on more like this, but the opposite also happened to me, I got a bunch of new TT24 that are very thin… just like a Q24 that got used over 10 times. They’re fragile, very squishy, but I don’t throw my body on them.

              Overall will you regret buying or having some TT17 or TT24 laying around ? I don’t think so they deserve a try that’s for sure

  3. LoonMaster
    LoonMaster says:

    Probably one of the best balloon for a non-pop looner, neither too small nor too big, and durable.
    However, there is something weird about Tuftex balloons. I’ve bought several full bags of these in the past ( especially the 14 inch ) and in most of them the balloons were stuck each other, as if some glue has been put in the bag.
    Is this due to the washing process just before packaging ? Or because the shelf-life you mentioned is outdated ?
    Anything else ?

    • Maggy BerLoon
      Maggy BerLoon says:

      Sometimes that´s hard to tell. It might be that the manufacturer used not enough talkum powder or it´s the shelf life. Some colors can getting old quite quickly (more than other colors) also depending on several factors, for example like temperature or how you store them…
      So yes, the shelf life might be the only tiny little problem with TUFTEX balloons.

    • Joel
      Joel says:

      “14 is the slowest selling size. So if its not bought by a fast turnover company like united balloons or directly from mfr and even from thr mfr – you must request fresh stock as all mfr rotate stock Tuf Tex Tex is mostly bought by balloon printers and marketed as a “Large Balloon” its very strong and a printer can use a 14″ balloon on a 12″ print machine which saves cost on equptment and screens. Tuf-Tex in the US is marketed as a commercial printing balloon and as a outdoor balloon for auto dealers. The 17″ being most popular and the 24″ which is marketed as the “weekender” because it will last from Friday pm to Monday am with Helium outdoors. Tuf Tex is a superior balloon to Qualatex its just not marketed to the decor customer for a variety of reasons – mainly because you have to produce twisting balloons to compete – That is not their specialty and twisting balloons are laborous and expensive to make unless you have the 50 year foundation of making them like Qualatex and their Sister Company National – who probally has made them the lingest. -Tuf Tex unlike Qualatex has no marketing arms and no big hugs. Strictly business and thats why they get along best with old boys club retail Avenues like cars companies and printers. They were always a helium balloon street vendor balloon (and that is very very rare occurrence to see in us. Its a pity when a balloon has begun to decompose – Latex doesnt like Latex and will always decompose faster when touching on another. If you ever see a vintage old stock balloon that is on ebay its usually a single packed or card packed balloon that lasted simply because it wasnt touching anothet one. You can freeze latex balloons. weird idea but you can and it will keep them from rotting.

  4. Maluneri
    Maluneri says:

    Tuftex 17, I have kind of a love/hate relationship with those right now.
    Back in 2009 when I got my own apartment for the first time, it was the first big balloon I ordered, and I was really happy. Blew them big, got necks (though the necks quickly escaped back into the balloons), and they seemed to take a lot of abuse. 3 of them even carried my entire weight.

    But then, recently, I ordered another bag, which seemed to have aged. As you mentioned, the shelf-life is not very good, and the ones I got (from another store) were sticky and hard. They felt extremely soft when inflated, but were covered in all sorts of weird weakspots and patterns. I eventually got brave enough to overlook this, and inflated one to its rated size. As I squeezed it a little to get the neck out, it popped, scaring me.
    Right now, I struggle to regain the trust with these. I’m aware the ones I got are rotten… I blow them to about half the size just to have some float around safely, but I don’t dare go beyond that with the bag I currently got.

    As time passes, I’ll probably give these another shot and order a new bag of them, hopefully a fresh one this time, but for now, my phobia is too strong. Hopefully I’ll manage to get back to where I was and brave up a little.

    I’ll still try to remind myself the first bag I got though, only had 1 accidental pop out of 72, and that was because I kinda “accidentally” put my entire weight on it because I got too carried away.

    • Maggy BerLoon
      Maggy BerLoon says:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences here.

      I totally understand that your phobia is tooo strong at the moment after making such a bad experience. But as you already said, I think the best way is to think of the nice experiences.

      But if your feelings wont let you enjoy your TUFTEX balloons like you want to, just choose another brand …just an idea 😉

  5. Jo De Mulder
    Jo De Mulder says:

    Tuftex 17″…….. this is the most universal balloon for me !!!
    It is big but not overwelming so easy to play with ,perfect with a partner .
    as you discribe it Maggy ,nothing much to add there !
    One thing how ever ,after blowing/overinflating/popping a few thousands of these awesome loons i noticed that the yellow ones always get much bigger then the other colors !!
    This brand and size of balloon is very strong and easely holds my waight during bouncing ,even when blown to the max .
    indeed not the best loon but surtenly the allround working horse out there .
    i could never do without them !!
    Greetings Jo

    • Maggy BerLoon
      Maggy BerLoon says:

      Hey, that´s really interesting, thank you for sharing your impression of this nice balloon!

      “indeed not the best loon but surtenly the allround working horse out there” …this hits the nail right on the head, JO


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