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.
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 sold for under, sometimes well under, US$10
- 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 Adelaide Kite Festival one time, 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.
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 are flown, 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, I'm getting off the track here, so it's back to the Keyring Kite now. Here's a list summarizing this product:
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
- ripstop 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 that could be 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.
I hope you enjoyed reading about all about the modern pocket kite!