I’ve been using these Genie cylinders for a while now and I’ve been thinking about the advantages and disadvantages. I’m still using the old heavy cylinders as well because I have a regular customer base who want them (customers who don’t need to move the gas because it sits in the back of their store).

The first thing you notice with the Genies is the tactile softer plastic that’s better and easier to handle than the standard harsh metal cylinders. Basically they’re easier on your hands….. like fairy liquid. I use gloves when moving the old cylinders but with these things I don’t feel the need.

The other great advantage is they can’t fall over, on a health and safety side this is priceless. The V size cylinders (old style cylinder) are terrible for this and every time they fall the filling kit breaks. On that point I like the fact that the kit is the same length as the radius of the new Genie so there’s no way it can be knocked or accidentally broken. As we hire the cylinders out we are constantly buying new universal kits sometimes after 1 hire. With the Genie each kit will hopefully last longer.

The down side is the monthly rental. It’s substantially more than the standard bottles and it’s charged the second you collect rather than at the end of the month – so the cost of each cylinder is a months rental more than you think.

I’ve not bothered buying the clip on wheels yet. I figured that as I’m renting the gas out I didn’t want to invest in several sets of wheels and drag handles until the product is more established (my wife likes the look of them though so it won’t be long). Also the wheels make each cylinder twice as big – what’s the point of filling something to 300 bar and then clipping a plastic shell to the side that makes it twice as big?

The cylinders come in 2 sizes a G10 and a G20. As the monthly rental is the same for both I’ve only been buying the larger size G20.

Each cylinder is filled to 300 bar rather than the usual 200. Obviously this results in more gas compressed into a smaller space. Like the 300 bar Air Products cylinders, the pressure is nice and constant all the way to the end – so you can fill balloons fast.

The digital display on the side has it’s advantages and disadvantages. When hiring the cylinders out its a rule that most customers return them half full – this might not happen now there’s a visual display. That said I would rather each customer use all the helium and get their moneys worth. The trouble is customers will want to keep the cylinder longer because they can see it’s not empty – and getting the things back has always been a problem even with a decent cash deposit.
A plus side to the gauge is the possibility of renting out half full cylinders. The gauge clearly shows the number of balloons remaining and that’s a plus when customers only want to inflate 50 balloons on a Sunday.