Filling a Car with Helium Balloons

How Many Balloons Can Fit in a Car?

Everyone, at some point or another, has witnessed another person outside of a party store attempting to awkwardly stuff a big bouquet of balloons into their car.

When I was 15, I worked at a dollar store, and part of the job was taking and fulfilling balloon orders. I blew up dozens and dozens of balloons for people eager to decorate their birthday parties, graduation parties, baby showers, etc.

When people place their balloon orders, they can often be ambitious and forget to consider what will actually fit into their vehicles. Unless they plan on walking them back, the balloons have to get from Point A to Point B somehow.

So how many balloons can actually fit into a car?

You can safely fit 12-24 helium-filled balloons into a car, and if you have a larger vehicle with more space, anywhere from 24-60. But, the answer isn’t exactly straight forward.

The number of balloons that can fit in your vehicle is determined by the type of vehicle and its available space, what size of balloons, and how they’re filled.

Or maybe you want to fill a car to the brim with balloons or need to transport air-filled balloons loosely in bags? Read on to get a more accurate idea of what your vehicle can hold in all of these different scenarios.

The Size of Balloons

The two most common types of balloons are Latex and Mylar. The type of balloon and its size may affect how many balloons can fit in a vehicle.

Latex Balloons

Latex balloons are made out of rubber. They usually last around 8 hours when filled with helium. They may last several days if filled with air.

A normal shaped, latex balloon comes in two sizes: 9 inch and 12 inch. Most people use 12 inch balloons for parties.

Mylar Balloons

Mylar balloons are made with a non-stretchy material and are covered with a metallic coating. They have less flexibility and are typically helium-filled.

Mylar balloons come in several different shapes and sizes. They can be round, square, in the shape of a birthday cake, shaped as a number; the possibilities are endless.

Mylar Balloons in a Car

A typical round Mylar balloon is 18 inches.

The answer to the question, how many balloons can fit in a car, will be based on a 12 inch latex balloon and an 18 inch Mylar balloon. If using smaller latex balloons or larger Mylar balloons, answers may differ.

Latex vs. Mylar

While the numbers might indicate that Mylar balloons take up more space than latex balloons, that isn’t necessarily the case.

Latex balloons may be 6 inches smaller, but they are more bulky when blown up. Mylar balloons tend to be slimmer and less spherical when blown up.

Overall, both types of balloons take up a similar amount of space in a vehicle.

Filling Balloons with Helium or Air

The type of gas may affect the amount of balloons that will fit into a car. The most common gas used to fill a balloon is helium.

Party stores, dollar stores, and even grocery stores are all common places that can fill balloons with helium. Because helium makes balloons float, it makes it more difficult to put them in the car. Therefore, less balloons will fit with helium.

Note: It is very important to ensure that the helium-filled balloons are secured together and weighed down.

Latex Helium Balloons in a Compact SUV

It is less common to need to transport balloons filled with air. Examples of when this may happen include: if they are being used as part of a balloon arch or display, for games, for large events, or even as loose decoration for the kiddos.

However, filling balloons ahead of time is a big time saver, especially if they are in large quantities. More balloons will fit in a vehicle if filled with air.

How Many Balloons Fit into a Smaller Car

If the vehicle is on the smaller side, such as a compact car or a compact SUV, less balloons will fit. Balloons can be transported easily in the backseat or the back hatch, or both.

Balloons Filled with Helium in a Smaller Car

12 helium-filled balloons can safely fit in a typical backseat. If you have room in the trunk or back hatch, another dozen or so can fit.

So roughly, 12-24 helium-filled balloons can be transported in a smaller vehicle. While it may look like more can fit, remember that all the doors must safely close without damaging the balloons.

Balloons Filled with Air in a Smaller Car

Filling balloons with air ahead of time requires them to be transported in a different way. The best way is in large trash bags. A good size is 33 gallon.

33 gallon sized garbage bags for transporting air-filled balloons

About 8 latex, 12-inch, balloons can fit in a 33 gallon sized trash bag. Roughly 3-4 bags can fit in the backseat or hatch.

Therefore, anywhere from 24 to 32 air-filled balloons can be transported in a smaller vehicle.

How Many Balloons Fit into a Larger Car

If the vehicle is on the larger side, such as a mini van or a normal sized SUV, more balloons will fit. Balloons can be transported in the back. However, substantially more can fit if the seats are taken out or stowed.

Balloons Filled with Helium in a Larger Car

Assuming only the back of the vehicle is available for transporting the balloons, an estimated 24-36 helium-filled balloons can fit.

If the third row is stowed, another dozen or so can fit. Therefore, 36-48 helium-filled balloons can be transported.

If the entire vehicle is stowed and available to use for transporting the balloons, roughly 5 dozen, or 60 helium-filled balloons, can fit.

Balloons Filled with Air in a Larger Car

Approximately 7 bags can fit in the back of an SUV or mini van if the third row is stowed. This is a total of 56 air-filled balloons.

If the entire vehicle is available for space, with all seats stowed, approximately 13-15 bags can be transported. A total of 104-120 air-filled balloons.

Air-filled Balloons in Bags
A Chrysler Pacifica Mini Van Filled with Bags of Air-Filled Balloons

Filling a Car to the Brim with Balloons

Maybe you aren’t having a party or needing to transport balloons. Or, maybe you want to surprise someone. Or, maybe you want to prank someone.

Filling the inside of someone’s car with balloons is a safe, easy way to have a little bit of fun. So what is the best way to go about this, and how many balloons will you need?

Car Filled to the Brim with Balloons

The best balloon to use for this purpose is a 12 inch latex balloon. Unless you want to go blue in the face blowing up balloons, invest in an electric balloon pump. This is a quick and easy way to fill balloons up with air.

How many you will need depends entirely on the size of the vehicle. However, here are some rough estimates:

  • A normal sized car (not including the trunk): 50 balloons
  • A compact SUV (including the trunk): 100 balloons
  • A larger SUV or mini van (with seats installed): 100-125 balloons

Final Thoughts

It is always best to plan ahead if the balloons are to be blown up ahead of time or filled with helium at a store.

If necessary, bring more than one vehicle. Allow yourself enough time. If possible, remove or stow seats to open up more space.

Always keep in mind the safety of the balloons. Don’t slam any doors or push too hard on the balloons. And, always have helium-filled balloons secured.

Transporting balloons does not have to limit how many balloons can be used. Plan accordingly and you can have all the balloons you want!

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