Pete Adams is lead designer (and manufacturer, and chief bottle washer) of Whatever Kite Factory USA. Last Summer I commissioned him to design me the world’s lightest backpacking kite — a real one with a frame and not a mere paraglider.
He designed a couple of prototypes and I selected the “heavier” of the two at 26 grams for kite, tail and a couple of hundred feet of Spectra kite line. The lighter version was 24 grams but made of a material that wouldn’t stand a chance against Sierra Nevada granite.
The first day of my trip was breezy, but unfortunately I was in the trees all day. The morning of Day Three found me in a wide open area of granite slabs and a light breeze. It flew with a plucky attitude, given the altitude was only a few feet under 11,000′. I liked it.
I still need to experiment with angle of attack line settings and the proper amount of tail, since I’m an amateur at this, but I’ve always wanted to fly a kite from a peak and now I have the kite to do it.
Whatever Kite Factory makes some pretty interesting kites, so if you’re interested in a quality kite for your next backpacking or peak bagging trip, you can contact Pete at firstname.lastname@example.org.