Pumping Up the Inflatables Market

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Belgian innovators solve the leisure-time problem of hassle with inflatables…it’s all about a new lightweight high tech pump that can be built into many inflatables—and yet removed to inflate/deflate others.

Christos Koptsidis and Patrick Spaas, co-founders of Coolado in the design city of Antwerp, have just launched on Indiegogo a revolutionary self-inflating lounge bag for sun, sea and beach—but their pump may soon take on a life on its own as a product.

The founder’s inspiration came on a beach while watching people running hopelessly in circles trying to fill their lounge bag with air. “Easy to inflate,” may have been the manufacturer’s promise but most folks struggled to learn the knack. Many gave up and returned to their beach towels, covered in sweat.

The business idea that popped up at the beach was a new generation of lounge bags with a high tech pump that would be specifically designed to be lightweight and super-fast.

Today the Coolado pump is the size of a soda can and even together with the lounge bag weighs barely two kilograms. And the pump can be easily removed from the lounge bag to inflate or deflate other mattresses or inflatables. The pump is re-chargeable via the ubiquitous USB also used for mobile, audio and computer devices.


Christos Koptsidis, co-founder of Coolado

“The built-in pump inflates the lounge bag automatically within two minutes,” says Christos Koptsidis, co-founder of Coolado. “The pump not only inflates, but it takes away the hassle of deflating as well. With the two extra nozzles we provide, you can also use the pump on inflatables—even ones not produced by Coolado.”

The pump, now with a registered patent on the pump and shell system, is so unique the founders are planning to launch it as a separate product in the future.

Meanwhile the pump serves as the key product feature in Coolado’s new lightweight, waterproof and airtight lounge bag. The design of the bag has been registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and is now a protected Registered Community Design (RCD), so others can’t copy it.

The Coolado lounge bag easily fits two people and up to 400kg. It’s waterproof and airtight (meets IP 67 standard). Compact and portable, you can take the lounge bag everywhere: a camping trip, a float around on the lake or pool, an outdoor music festival. Or you could create an extra sofa for the visit from family or friends.

In fairness, the pump isn’t the only feature of this lounge bag. After some pain-staking trail-and-error, Coolado chose a special durable material instead of plastic for their inflatables.

Coolado Pump

It’s basically nylon but bonded with TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane), an acronym you might recognize if you’ve ever followed waterproof diaper fabric technology. The expression “Smooth as a baby’s bottom…” comes to mind.

The closest analogy might be that protective sheet you put over the Gorilla Glass on your smartphone to protect your display from water, dust  and scratches. This fabric is the same type of melding, a 2-in-1 fusion that creates a new material that could be as welcome as sunshine on a beach.

More importantly, this nylon-layered-with-TPU material also allows Coolado to create attractive print designs and colors, turning inflatables into fashion statements.

“Standard” colors would be Lagoon Blue, Diamond Black, Golden Hay or Cherry Red…while the Fashion Prints include Neon, Green Foliage, Breeze, Patchflowers and more…

Can European design and innovation breathe new life into the inflatables market with a new generation of patented lounge bag with high tech pump and durable new fabric?

While the answer might have to wait until after summer, some of us are already “pumped up” over the idea of less huffing and puffing at the beach…

Go Coolado’s new lounge bag