Check out my new favorite Hike n Fly Vario! The FlyNet XC3 is a vario with integrated GPS and comes in a VERY small package. It's so tiny I can't believe it...about 1/3 the size and weight of my cell phone. I know, that's a very scientific measurement. Ok, it actually weighs about 52 grams. Pretty much nada.
The GPS/Vario can be used independently of anything else. In other words, you push the button to turn it on, it beeps like a vario, records your flight, and then you can download the information later. Simple.
|Size comparison of the FlyNet to the Flymaster Vario. Pretty small!|
Or, you can bluetooth it to your phone or iPad or whatever screen you want to use in flight, and see all of your flight information just like a normal, heavier Vario. It's compatible with about 20 different Apps for iPhone, Android, Windows. So far I've used it with FlySkyHigh, FreeFlight, and FlyNet Apps and they all work great. Plus you can customize the color displays and maps to show the information you need for your flight.
Since I'm carrying my phone anyway, this seems like a pretty nice way to avoid carrying larger electronics on a short hike n fly. I do carry a small backup battery for my phone, like the Flip 10 Recharger by Goal Zero, as using bluetooth in flight drains it rather quickly.
The price is right, too! This little device is 1/2 or 1/3 the cost of a Flymaster or Flytec vario, making it an affordable backup, or great for those just starting out.
This XC3 was just featured in the German Paragliding magazine Thermik. I could only guess at what some of it said but I've posted it below.
For an English version, check out Cross Country Magazine's review here:
|Thermik (German) Paragliding Magazine|