4 Inflatable Products and Their Impact on the Marketplace

Fill a flexible container with air and there is no telling what you can do with it. As evidence, consider all the inflatable consumer products that have made it to market over the years. Give it some serious thought and you may figure out that there are more inflatable products than you realized.

AirSkirts is a Connecticut company that makes a revolutionary inflatable RV skirting kit. Their RV skirting is the last on a list of four inflatable products this post will discuss. As you read about all four, see if you can remember other inflatable products of similar style and function.

1. Inflatable Punching Toys

In the 1960s, a number of toy manufacturers thought it would be a good idea to make inflatable punching bags for kids. These delightful products were little more than tall vinyl bags featuring printed images – usually clowns. Bobo and Bozo were fairly popular.

To keep the inflatable punching bag in an upright position, manufacturers created a separate compartment in the bottom and filled it with sand. No matter how hard a kid kicked or punched it, the bag would return to its normal upright position within seconds.

Inflatable punching toys remained extremely popular throughout the 1960s and 70s. You can still buy them today if you are so inclined. However, their heyday has long since passed.

2. Inflatable Air Mattresses

Though it is not quite clear when inflatable air mattresses first came onto the scene, they offered new hope to tent campers tired of sleeping on the hard ground. Inflatable air mattress represented a lightweight and easy bedding option that made tent camping at least marginally more comfortable.

Campers still use inflatable air mattresses today. Improving them over the years eventually gave way to inflatable beds and more conventional bed mattresses that substitute air-filled bladders for innerspring coils. The single chamber inflatable air mattress sure has come a long way over the last 50 years.

3. Inflatable Furniture

The home shopping catalogs that promoted inflatable furniture in the 1990s brought the products into the mainstream. But inflatable chairs and sofas were first engineered in the 1960s. They were meant to represent a cheap and easy way for young people to furnish their first apartments. Why inflatable furniture didn’t take off until almost 30 years later remains a mystery.

At any rate, a new generation of inflatable furniture can be had today. You can buy inflatable sofas, chairs, loungers, and even end tables. Some of the products are still as junkie as their predecessors. But some of the furniture is really good stuff.

4. Inflatable RV Skirts

Inflatable RV skirts are last on the list because they are the most recently developed of the four products. In fact, Connecticut-based AirSkirts is the only company that makes them right now. They protect the underside of a motorhome, fifth-wheel, or camper trailer by offering an insulating barrier that keeps out wind and preserves residual warmth.

It is still too early to say how AirSkirts inflatable skirting will affect the market. However, it’s hard to imagine this particular concept flopping. Traditional RV skirts consisting of thin tarps attached with metal snaps don’t even compare. They don’t offer nearly the insulating power nor the snug fit you get with an inflatable product.

You can do a lot of things with air if you find a good way to contain it. In addition to the four products discussed here, air has been used to make everything from tires to hot air balloons and swimming toys. Who knew such a common substance was so versatile?

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