The Pocket Kite

What A Concept!

The concept of the pocket kite had to find its way into kite outlets sooner or later...

Some retailers refer to the 'pockets' built into the sail. These become semi-rigid when filled with air, and take the place of the rigid spars of kites like the traditional Diamond.

However, the name is actually refers to the fact you can carry the sled kite, line and winder around in your pocket! The materials to make this possible have been around for quite a long time.

The Keyring pocket kite unfurled.Soft Sled, pocketable
The Keyring pocket kite unfurled.Soft Sled, pocketable

In 2008 when this page was first written, quite a number of similar products were widely promoted and sold on the Internet.

There were names such as Keyring Kite and the Frameless Pocket Kite. Plus, there seemed to be a few Chinese knock-offs floating around as well. No surprise there!

So what's so great about the concept? I'll try and list the selling points...

  • price - most of these sell for under, sometimes well under, $10 U.S.
  • convenience - virtually no setup time, you just pull it out and start flying
  • performance - very respectable performance in a wide range of wind conditions
  • durability - there's nothing rigid to break, so they tend to last for years

I read through some customer feedback on several websites, and people seem to love these little sled kites. It seems everyone from age 3 to 93 are potential customers! My guess is that the relatively good performance of these kites is the real clincher. If there were any significant problems with flying them, they wouldn't be so popular.

We saw at least a couple of these flying at the recent Adelaide Kite Festival, in the public area. The line angles were nothing to write home about, however, the tiny Sleds did seem to cope well with varying wind conditions.

And guess what - all it takes to make a soft, spar-less kite for yourself is plastic and tape...

Making Soft Kites is one of my printable e-books. It's a PDF file you can download. 



The Keyring Kite In Particular

On one website, which shall remain nameless, they claim 'arguably the smallest kite in the world'. Ha! That's hilarious! Haven't they heard about the immense world of miniature kites? Tiny tissue and bamboo creations only centimeters in height and width. Not for kids, because they are so fragile, but they are definitely real, working kites. In truth, the world's very smallest kites are measured in millimeters!

Anyway, getting off the track here, back to the Keyring Kite now. Here's a list summarizing this product...

  • inflatable spar sled kite, measuring 80 x 43.5 cm when laid flat (I presume!)
  • 30 meters of flying line on a simple winder
  • a keyring with a container for the kite itself, about the diameter of a large coin
  • comes with carry pouch containing all the above, which is just 14 x 7 x 1.5 cm



The Pocketkite - A Tiny Delta

The A.I.F. Industries Pocketkite (TM).A Pocketkite (TM)

Here's an interesting one, which is actually quite different to all the other 'pocket kites'.

This pocket kite is smaller than the pocket sled foils, and can be flown as a zero-wind kite. That is, it requires so little wind and so little space to fly in, that you can just tug on the flying line and have a bit of fun indoors! Here's some info based on what the manufacturers say about this kite...

  • totally waterproof
  • rip-stop nylon, like decent commercial kites
  • custom made to order!
  • highly visible colors

The name Pocketkite, all one word, is trademarked by A.I.F. Industries and refers to a small delta design for kids. Or the young at heart I guess!

Although you can't just cram this kite into your pocket, it shares many other positive qualities with the little sleds that have a similar name. For example, low cost, no setup, durable and good flying characteristics.

These kites tend to zip around somewhat erratically down low, since they are affected by every little bit of turbulence in the air. However, when flown higher, they settle down and become more stable in the smoother air. On a thin enough line, the Pocketkite has been known to fly at over 200 feet altitude.

The company is even trying to market this kite to corporations, with the lure of custom logos printed on the kites.

Hope you enjoyed reading about all about the modern pocket kite!




Remember that little soft sled you saw at the top of this page?

Don't forget it's possible to make your own soft sled or even an octopus...

Making Soft Kites is a printable e-book. It's a PDF file you can download.


I can tell you love kites...

Otherwise you wouldn't be all the way down here near the bottom of the page :-)

So, could you do me just a small favor? 

Please sign up for my free monthly publication, "Tethered Flying". No other emails will be sent, and your details are safe with me. You do need to be at least 16 years old. There's...

  • A huge "photo of the month" (linked from a much smaller one in the email of course)
  • 3 "tips of the month" (1 for beginners, 1 for parents and 1 for more experienced kite-fliers)
  • A "flight report of the month" (selected from my own flying logs and illustrated with a photo)

Looking forward to hearing from you...

P.S. My free kite-making e-book "Simplest Dowel Kites" can be downloaded as soon as you sign up.




 

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P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.

What's New!

  1. Adelaide Kite Festival

    Apr 17, 19 07:00 AM

    This previously published page is our photo-illustrated write-up of the first such festival we visited, back in 2007...

    Read More

Wind Speeds

Light Air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2

Gentle ...
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3

Moderate ...
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4

Fresh ...
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5

Strong ...
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7

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