An inflatable is an object that can be inflated with a gas, usually with air, but hydrogen, helium and nitrogen are also used. One of several advantages of an inflatable toy is that it can be stored in a small space when not inflated, since inflatables depend on the presence of a gas to maintain their size and shape. Function fulfillment per mass used compared with non-inflatable strategies is a key advantage. Stadium cushions, impact guards, vehicle wheel inner tubes, and emergency air bags employ the inflatable principle. Inflation occurs through several strategies: pumps, ram-air, billowing, and suction.

Examples

Typical examples of an inflatable include the inflatable boat, the balloon, the airship, furniture, kites, and numerous air-filled swimming pool toys. Air beams as as structural elements are finding increasing applications. Balloons are inflatables.