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How Many People Can Ride In A Hot Air Balloon? Read On!

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Is There A Weight Limit On Hot Air Balloons?

If you are planning a dream hot air balloon ride or maybe you are just curious, you might be wondering how many people can ride in a hot air balloon if you are travelling with a group of strangers or if there is a weight limit? 

How Many People Can Ride In A Hot Air Balloon

A traditional hot air balloon basket can normally carry up to 6-8 people, however, this is variable according to the size of the hot air ballooning basket, some larger balloons might be able to carry up to thirty people for example. 

In our guide below, we will take you through the different sizes of hot air ballooning baskets, smaller vs larger hot air balloon basket sizes, if there is a weight capacity limit on balloons as well as how much it costs. 

Let’s get into it! 

Which Sizes Do Hot Air Ballooning Baskets Come In? 

Hot air balloon companies typically have different basket sizes according to the type of hot air balloon. 

Small size balloons are better for private hot air ballooning experiences and can typically have up to two-three comfortable passengers.

Commercial balloons are the average size balloon most companies offer, this hot air balloon can typically have up to eight people as we mentioned above in a medium-sized ballooning basket. 

For festivals or large tourist attractions you can find the biggest balloon baskets which take up to thirty people in the air, they are excellent for large groups of people.

Is A Smaller Sized Balloon Better Than A Larger Sized Balloon? 

Just because a balloon envelope and basket are larger, doesn’t mean that the hot air balloon ride will be better.  

We’ve listed the pros and cons of both large and small-sized balloons below. 

Small Hot Air Balloons 

Small hot air balloon rides are a more private and intimate experience when flying, they are great for couple rides or romantic rides since you don’t have to share private balloons with lots of passengers, only the pilot and staff member. 

Riding in a smaller hot air balloon is also quicker and easier during the landing and set-up process since the envelope is smaller and doesn’t take us much time to fold up or find space for landing. 

However, it should be noted that smaller hot air balloon flights will be more expensive since it’s the same amount of equipment to get fewer people up in the air.


  • A more intimate experience. 
  • Quicker take-off and landing.


  • More expensive. 

Larger Hot Air Balloons

Larger hot air balloon types have the advantage of being cheaper since you share the balloon with more people, they also offer more space which is essential if you are sharing the balloon with fellow passengers who you are not familiar with. 

These commercial balloons do take longer to set up and take down however, you also need to be mindful of how many strangers you will be sharing the balloon with since they can get cramped if the basket isn’t big enough.


  • More space. 
  • Cheaper price.


  • You have to share with strangers. 
  • Takes longer to take off and land.
  • You have to share with strangers. 
  • Takes longer to take off and land.
How Many People Can Ride In A Hot Air Balloon

Is There A Weight Limit On Balloons For Passengers? 

Since larger commercial balloons can sometimes house up to thirty passengers and even wheelchairs, you might be wondering if there’s a weight limit for these balloons? 

On average, you don’t find many larger hot air balloons taking off with over 1000 pounds on board, this accounts for any equipment on board too. 

You might be asked for your weight before getting on a hot air balloon, this allows the crew and pilot to calculate the amount of fuel they need with all the passengers on board the balloon.

Never lie about your weight otherwise the balloon engineers will not be able to calculate properly. It should be noted that balloon owners will often charge double for carrying passengers weighing over 200 pounds.

How Much Do Different Sized Hot Air Balloons Cost? 

A lot can impact how much a hot air balloon ride might cost, the season, location and time for example. But one major factor is the size of the balloon too. 

For example, a larger hot air balloon which takes more passengers allows you to split the cost between the group, averaging at about $250 per person. For a private smaller hot air balloon with one to two people, you’re looking at $700 per person since the cost is not shared.

What Is The Largest Hot Air Balloon Size?

The largest hot air balloon ever reported is the Cameron Z-750, this hot air balloon can hold up to thirty-two people, the envelope of this balloon was created with over 9000 square feet of fabric and ten miles of thread. 

As demand goes up for hot air balloons, there is a potential to see hot air balloons even larger with the capacity to carry more people in the future.

Essential Tips For Riding In A Hot Air Balloon

If it’s your first time riding in a hot air balloon you are probably researching everything you need to know before you fly, we’ve listed some essential tips below which are worth knowing to get the most out of your experience. 

  • Dress in layers – It will likely be cold when you start your hot air balloon ride, however, it can quickly become warmer throughout the ride due to the burner, dress in layers to give yourself more comfortability.
  • Take some sunglasses – It might be dark when you start your ride, but sunglasses are essential when the sun starts to rise.
  • Check the capacity beforehand – If you don’t want to be too cramped on your hot air balloon consider checking how many people are booked for your ride beforehand or how many people the balloon will be able to take, consider booking private if you don’t want to be cramped.
  • Be careful with your belongings – When you are high up in the air, make sure to have a decent grip on your belongings, especially your phone and camera since you’ll likely be documenting your incredible experience.
  • Be aware of the weather – Make sure to plan your hot air balloon ride for the start of your holiday experience and always be prepared for plans to change according to bad weather since it can be unpredictable.
  • You need to be in good physical condition – Not all kinds of people are allowed to fly in a hot air balloon, you need to make sure you are in okay physical condition, for example, you should not be pregnant, under 4 feet tall, under 6 years old and have no issues with standing for long periods and altitude issues.
  • Wear comfortable trousers and shoes – You will likely have to climb into a hot air balloon so make sure you’re wearing trousers and sporty clothing, you might have to tread through fields too so don’t wear expensive shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Air Balloon Sizes

Do private balloons have the same fuel cost as commercial balloons?

Fuel costs will be slightly different since the balloon is taking less weight up in the air, however, you will be flying the same distance with the same equipment which is why costs remain high.

What are the typical measurements of a hot air balloon?

An average hot air balloon will measure 55 feet across and around 80 feet in height.

How small can a hot air balloon be?

The smallest hot air balloon measures 600m3 of an envelope and is also known as a hopper meaning it can carry a single person only.

How Many People Can Ride In A Hot Air Balloon

Final Words

To conclude, the average hot air balloon basket can fit up to 6-8 people, however, there are also smaller hot air balloons which fit between 1-3 people and larger hot air balloons which can fit up to 32 people. 

Private balloons are more desirable for an intimate experience since they are smaller, larger balloons offer extra space and are great for groups, be aware there is a weight limit for balloons too, you might be required to disclose your weight before riding a hot air balloon for calculations. 

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