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Tuf-Tex 17
Tuftex17
Crystal burgundy (oxidized)

Mold type

Four flutes

Color sets

Standards
Crystals
Pastels
Metallics

Overall

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Size and shape

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Latex quality

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Reliability

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Durability

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The Common Loon's review

Overall comments

It's crowded at the top, but these balloons have risen to the challenge. Tough, thick latex and a more manageable size than 24" balloons make the 17" Tuf-Tex a balloon of choice. Deceptively big and spherical like Gayla or Granger, but thicker than Qualatex, these balloons are shaped like punch balls and almost as strong.

Size and shape

Unlike most balloons, Tuf-Tex 17" are consistently larger than their rated size. On first inflation, tight and full doesn't happen until at least 18.5" to 19". (The one at right is a new balloon at more than 19" diameter.) Big, fat, and round is the name of the game, thanks to the four-flute design that gives a balloon which is perfectly spherical until the neck begins to come out... and come out it will: with a little stretching it can be safely inflated to several inches long!

Latex quality

As you'd expect from Tuf-Tex, the 17"s are thick and durable, but not so much so that they become hard to inflate by mouth. The latex remains quite supple, however, until the balloon is overinflated. Colors are deep, and though the color is more variable than Qualatex, especially along the peaks and valleys of the flutes, these are merely color fluctuations and not defects or thinning. Bubbles and other defects are much rarer than average.

Reliability

The rubber of Tuf-Tex balloons stretches unbelievably for being so thick. The balloon at right is already 2" over rated size, and still has at least another 2" of room before it's in danger of popping. Tuf-Tex are built to last. If one does pop, however, the price to pay is a much louder than average bang.

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