Review of the Majiloon Balloon Pump
I recently heard about a new electric pump on the market, the Majiloon pump. For several years I’ve been happy with the Balloon Buoy, as anyone that reads my reviews or has seen me lecture knows. The Majiloon pump sounded interesting enough that I really wanted to give it a try and see how it compared to the pump I’ve come to rely on.
For starters, the price sounded good. With an introductory price of $169, including one battery and a charger, this sounded too good to be true. If it really does what it’s advertised to do; it will at least make a great backup pump. Not that I really need *another* backup. Cheezo’s Hip hugger, T Myers’ Pogo, Justin Hamilton’s Balloon Master Pump, and several others are all within reach of me as I write this. But, well, I’m still looking for the perfect pump.
Prices actually vary somewhat depending on the configuration you get. You can get the regular or heavy duty pump and you can get the regular or heavy duty battery charger. If this pump interests you, figure on spending between $150 and $225. That will cover everything you need for whichever configuration you want – pump, battery, charger, and even a video tape on proper care and feeding. If price were the only thing to consider, there wouldn’t be much point in discussing much else. Even maxed out with heavy duty everything, it’s a better price than most of the electric pumps I’d consider using. (Yeah, I’ve seen the $60 hand held compressor, but I can’t imagine using it for anything practical.)
There are two basic styles of battery powered pumps for entertainers that I’ve seen. They are either designed to be worn around the waist or with a shoulder strap. My preference has always been toward pumps that have a shoulder strap. My experience with waist style pumps is that they have to stay fairly stationary on my hip, and over time they start to hurt both my hip and my back. On the other hand, with a shoulder strap, it’s easy for me to move it around with one hand as I work. I always have the pump right where I want it.
The Majiloon pump actually rests on the back, rather than the side. After a few hours of wearing it, I didn’t get the same pains I normally feel with a pump on my side. The evaluation pump I got for this review is the heavy duty one. It weighs about a pound more than the Buoy. Until I wore it for a while, I was very doubtful that I’d be comfortable with it on. The padding that this thing has on it did make it quite comfortable.
Since the pump is worn on the back, it doesn’t have the usual stationary nozzle attached to the main part of the pump. Instead it has a hose that extends around your body. The switch to operate it is on the hose itself. The instructions state that some versions of the pump have a 2 position switch for different speeds. Mine doesn’t seem to have that. The switch that is there is certainly easy enough to use. I can slip a 260 or 350 onto the nozzle and inflate, all with only one hand. (It takes a bit of practice to get a 160 on quickly and I found that to be a two-handed operation.) The retractable thread reel that attaches the hose to the strap around the waist even keeps it easily within reach no matter what you’re doing.
Overall, I like the pump. It looks good and works well. There are a couple of negatives that I encountered. I still haven’t decided if I like the pump on my back. I perform in a variety of different costumes. I still think the shoulder bag style of pump looks better much of the time. For example, if I’m wearing a jacket, I either have to wear the pump over the jacket or have a huge hump on my back. I haven’t decided if I like the battery it comes with. For a number of reasons, sealed lead acid batteries, which this pump uses, are better for this kind of device. (I won’t go into a big thing on SLA batteries here as I’m no expert on the subject. I’ve just done some reading elsewhere on the ‘net and consulted with a couple people that do know more about batteries than me.) What I like about the Buoy’s batteries is that they’re standard drill batteries that I can find in any hardware store. I can recharge them in less time than it takes to fully exhaust another one. That means that when I work a lot of hours, I only need two batteries to work continuously. Of course, that comes at the cost of having to buy new batteries from time to time. A properly used SLA battery will have a longer life.
Other things to consider with an electric pump are the noise and the speed of inflation. The Majiloon pump is certainly quieter than any other pump of it’s kind that I’ve seen. But that’s not to suggest it’s quiet. Personally, I’ve always used the noise of the pump to my advantage when performing anyway. I was hoping that this pump would be faster than the others I’ve used. Unfortunately, it isn’t. So, when working extended periods of time on multi thousand balloon sculptures, I’ll probably find myself just falling back to the old standby of nitrogen tanks.
I think I’m going to buy one of these for myself since the one I received for review is just that. I don’t own it. I like it enough that I don’t want to send it back. Only time will tell if I’ll switch to it as my main pump. The Buoy has just been so good to me for so long that even with my initial positive reaction to this new pump, I’m hesitant to make a complete switch just yet. If you’re in the market for a pump, the Majiloon pump is definitely worth considering.
It seems that everyone else beat me with reviews of Twist & Shout. So rather than repeat what others have said about how much fun it was, I thought I’d take a different approach. I picked up a few new items while there and thought I’d share my thoughts on them with all of you. The first two are books. One has been out for a while and one, I believe, made it’s debut at Twist & Shout. The last item is a pump that I’ve been wanting to play with for some time. I also thought I’d throw in a follow-up to the Majiloon pump I recently reviewed.
Traveling with pumps
I recently gave a very favorable review to the Majiloon electric pump (http://www.majiloon.com). I don’t regret having written that review. I had two of them with me at Twist & Shout to show off and to use for the lobby decor I worked on with Royal Sorell. One of my pumps circulated among those that helped. One of them stayed strapped to my waist the whole time we worked. As I had said in my original review, it seemed like a really good pump for large scale projects, but I didn’t like it as much for performances. Well, having now completed a large scale project with it and having had it on my waist the whole time, I have to say it worked exactly as I had hoped. Even after several hours of having it on, I was quite comfortable. I never had the battery die on me during the construction, and we were able to inflate everything from 260′s to 524′s consistently without a problem. It’s still not my first choice for a stage show, but if you need to pump out balloons quickly and want to remain mobile, this is something to consider.
Kelly: Got the pump. Worked my 1st party. Wow!!!!!!! Moves balloon art to a whole new level.
PS: Regarding why people ask you about how much it weighs. For myself I schlep a fair amount of equipment along to gigs…I asked as I was concerned on how it would impact me physically carrying it. However, the amount of ease for which it does its job…it’s worth its weight! Excellent design for a heavy-duty piece of equipment.
My pump arrived today and it is terrific. I wore it around work and forgot that it was there a few times. The inflator and clip are wonderful for being able to keep that nozzle handy for just when you need it. I have previously worked festivals and blown up over 300 balloons by mouth in about a ten hour time period (I know its not safe, but handheld pumps slow me down and the electric/battery types were too darn expensive). I am looking forward to my next event and anticipate doubling the number of balloons that I do.
I bought a Majiloon Pump a while back and have been very happy with it. The weight is almost unnoticeable, and the sound it produces is less obtrusive. Wearing the pump on the back is much more comfortable, and I like that I can control where I position the nozzle depending on what type of gig I do. It works great with 350s, hearts, and rounds as well as 260s, and almost as well with 160s. I depend on the reliability of my equipment to get me through my presentations, especially those I do of an evangelical nature. The integrity of my performance is as important to that of the message of my performance. I’m glad to have the Majiloon Pump among my equipment, as it allows me to feel confident as I share that which is so important to me.
Jack Porcello “JP”
Air To The Kingdom
Balloon Art – Storytelling
I LOVE THE PUMP! You are a true artist. I’ve used it a dozen times since receiving it and it’s quick, quiet and NO STRESS on the back. The power cut off switch is an added bonus. You have a winner here. Already, a friend of mine has ordered one from you and I am very glad I got the extra battery.
Thanks for the opportunity to work with time saving, fast and great pump.
Dennis in Chicopee, MA AKA
Mister K, The Balloon Man AKA
Eyedrop the Clown
I saw your pump in action Sunday and was very impressed, I’ve been doing balloons for twenty years and that’s the best pump I’ve seen. My friend Pinwheel the clown AKA Janice DeSpears was using hers, I wish to buy one.
Roger J Mai AKA Sprocket the Clown
Kelly, the pump arrived in great shape. I can see the difference in power from another version I won’t mention. Everything looks professional and reflects on your integrity.
Good Balloon Business to you
I’ve used this wonderful pump 3 nights in a row, will use it again 2 more nights this week, between 3-4 hours of continual use. It works great, fast, efficient. I wear the belt part underneath my clown costume so from the front no one knows or sees anything except the tubing, which happens to blend right in. The fanny pack sits nicely on my back at the waist. The kids actually giggle when they hear the hummmm of the air blowing the balloon up. Aside from performing at numerous birthdays, company parties, grand-openings, daycare’s, schools, etc. I also entertain at 4 different restaurants in SW Florida, from a casual pizza parlor, to two 4 star hotel & resort restaurants. This is where my evenings take me. I have gotten big thumbs up from the management at these restaurants. My mobility is less cumbersome & I don’t need to carry around pick & then set down a bulky big, tall push down with all your might balloon pump. Many times that pump was simply in the way. Now I only have your Majiloon pump on me & I carry all my balloons on me in deep large pockets that are part of my costume. Thanks for making my entertaining so much easier.
Lori Stamm – “Fruit Loop”
just wanted to say thanks I received your pump just in time for a big rodeo finals! I was the funnyman, along with telling jokes I’d twist balloons and give them to who is yelling the loudest. I have to be portable because sometimes you have a ton of pissed off hamburger chasing you. I was using one of those hand pumps you had to stroke 3 or 4 times to blow up a balloon it was a pain and it took to long it was always being dropped in a chase. With your pump I’m very portable [ can run and jump on fences in a single bound ] and look very professional. I can tell jokes over my mike while pumping up balloons with no problems. I must of under charged because they gave me a bonus when it was over. We had the crowd going and a lot of it was due to being able to make more things, beings your pump is so fast.
thank you from Bill Schlobohm.