Model rocket kits are great ways to build low-flying rockets out of safe and lightweight material. Different kits are created with different emphases. Some are intended for younger people who may be new to the hobby, while some are designed for practice for aspiring scientists. We will look at ten of the best current kits on the market, assessing each according to the types of people each one is likely to be the best for. Although we will look at the strengths and weaknesses of each product, we must remark that each of these is among the best presently available. We are not intending, therefore, to rank the products or name one as the best in a generic sense. Instead, we want to help you figure out which is likely to work the best for you.
Best Model Rocket Kits 2020 for Adults and Children
|Model||Altitude, ft||Altitude, m||Length, in||Length, cm|
|Estes Majestic (Editors Choice)||2000′||609||35.3″||89.7|
|Apogee Apprentice Starter Set (All-in-One)||250′||76||16″||40.6|
|Estes Show Stopper||875′||267||26.2″||66.5|
|Estes Tandem-X Launch Set||650′, 1650′||198, 503||30″, 15.6″||76.2, 39.6|
|Madcow Rocketry Mozzie||1000′||305||19.5″||49.5|
|Estes Alpha III Launch Set||1100′||335||12.1″||30.7|
|Quest Aerospace Striker AGM||900′||274||27.75″||70.5|
|Estes Loadstar II||1000′||305||23.3″||59.2|
Estes Majestic Pro Series II – A Great First Model Rocket Kit
This first model rocket kit we will address is capable of flying up to heights of 2000 feet. The product is sold with easy-to-follow instructions for both assembly and use, a motor retainer that is simple to screw onto the rocket, an 18-inch parachute recovery made of nylon, plastic fins, and self-stick decals. You also can purchase the Pro Series II Booster to achieve an extra 1000 feet of height. The company offers a 1-year warranty with the purchase of this kit.
Its E2X assembly package ensures that every part of the model will be exceedingly simple to put together. To get this rocket ready to start flying, assembly requires finishing equipment. Users will also need to a controller, launch pad, engine, and 4 double-A batteries.
Apogee Apprentice – Quickest Assembly Process
Like the first one we addressed, this product is a starter kit aimed for those at a beginner’s skill level. As such, it includes all the instructions necessary to educate a beginner, especially aimed at teaching children how to prepare a rocket for flight and how to begin flying it. At only 1.4 ounces, it is one of the lightest rockets currently available in kits.
Unlike the Estes kit previously assessed, this one includes engines, igniters, a launch controller, and batteries. This helps to make sure that users can assemble the product completely upon opening the package without requiring additional purposes that can make the assembly process take longer. Almost everything you need to get the rocket flying is included in the product packaging.
With easy-to-follow instructions and many features included in the product packaging that allows users to start flying their rockets quickly, this product is recommended for beginners like the first one.
Estes Show Stopper – For Building a Sturdy Rocket
This second Estes product we will look at is equipped with plastic fins and the ability for a 15 parachute recovery. Like the first Estes product we assessed, this kit does not include engines, igniters, controller or batteries. At 6.4 ounces, it is significantly heavier than several of the other rockets we are assessing. It comes already chromed and ready to begin assembly, although several additional purchases must be made in order to get the rocket ready to fly.
The product packaging consists of instructions that are simple to understand and follow. These instructions empower beginners to construct a rocket that will fly effectively as its controller directs. They also assist young users in building a rocket that is sturdy enough to fly for a long period of time. As such, we recommend this kit for pre-teens who are interested only in flying a rocket while content to let parents do most of the assembly.
Apogee Aspire – Highest Flying Model Rocket
The second Apogee product we will address is the Aspire kit, which allows users to build a model rocket that can reach over high. It is intended for people who have already built and flown model rockets. Although not a great deal of experience is required to construct and use a rocket made using the Aspire kit. It is a lightweight rocket at 1.85 ounces that uses streamer recovery.
This kit assists users in building a model rocket that possesses one of the highest flight potentials currently available. This height is possible when using the rocket with an F-sized rocket engine. Nevertheless, the kit is sold with an adapter, so if you have purposes other than the height that you want to use your rocket for, you can do so with different engine sizes using that adapter.
Apogee Aspire is quite easy to assemble. A 3-hour process to get the rocket ready for flight appears to be average. This kit is recommended for kids with previous rocket experience who are likely to enjoy putting the product together with some parental assistance.
Estes Tandem-X – Dual Rocket Package for Multiple Purposes
The Tandem-X Amazon is the third Estes model rocket kit we will review. This kit has users build its dual rockets onto an 18-inch parachute that comes assembled and creates ease in parachute recovery. When following the basic instructions, the Amazon rocket can reach heights of 650 feet. Nevertheless, the kit comes with a Crossfire bullet that can almost triple that height potential.
This kit equips users to build two rockets, both of which are intended towards novices. Both rockets can be made by children as young as 10 with adult supervision. However, each has a different type of construction, providing educational value for kids to learn the skills for building the models and flying the rockets with different emphases.
Estes Magician – Best for Seasoned Model Rocket Enthusiasts
Another product from the Estes brand, the Magician can fly up to heights of 1600 feet. It is especially known for its massive payload section of 5 inches. It is possibly the most elaborate of all the models addressed here. On average, it takes several days for users to prepare the rocket to begin flying. It is designed for people who have a significant amount of experience both building and flying model rockets.
Because this product intended for those with such experience in the hobby, aspects of its construction and use may not be approachable or safe for children. As such, the product packaging gives a recommendation of ages 18 and up for this rocket. If you are planning to purchase a model rocket kit for a child, you are likely to find a better fit with one of the other products addressed here.
Madcow Rocketry 2.6″ Mozzie – Most Customizable Rocket
The Madcow Rocketry Mozzie is a mid-power rocket kit. The rocket is made out us plywood that has been cut using laser technology. Its shock cord is made of kevlar/nylon. It includes a flameproof parachute protector and a parachute recovery capability of 18 inches.
This kit does not come with a motor, ignition or controller. Nevertheless, it is compatible with almost any type of each product. As such, this may be an ideal kit for those who are most interested in the process of building rockets. They will be able to mix and match parts to create exactly the rocket they want. They are not bound to the product packaging or limited compatibility with the package contents.
Estes Alpha III – Simplest Set-up
Another kit from the reliable Estes brand, the Alpha III is sold with easy-to-follow assembly instructions, controller and launch pad. It includes everything necessary to begin flying the rocket except for engines, ignition, wadding, and batteries.
This kit is designed for simplicity of assembly and use and is thus appropriate for those newest to the hobby. Children 10 and up can assemble and fly their rockets with minimal adult supervision. The assembly consists only of gluing and can usually be completed in less than an hour. As such, it is recommended most for novices who want to start flying quickly without as much interest in the building process.
Quest Aerospace Striker AGM – Best Looking Rocket
The next kit to look at is entirely color coded to assist towards a perfectly accurate assembly. The kit also helps towards a unique look with an aesthetic that transcends the appearance of a classic rocket design. It is a quite tall rocket; at almost 28 inches, it paves the way for a consistently straight launch. It can reach heights up to 900 feet depending on the type of motor used.
Like most other kits we have looked at, this product includes an instructional manual that is easy to follow and can pave the way for a quick set-up. The company estimates an average of 10 minutes for assembly, while actually an assembly process closer to an hour. Nevertheless, this is a quick process.
Estes Loadstar II – Empowerment for Variety
The final kit we will look at is the sixth Estes product spotlighted in this guide. This kit enables users to create a 23.3-inch tall rocket, which is a great length for producing straight launches. These rockets are good for flights up to 1,000 feet high. The kits are intended for people at an intermediate skill level who have some previous experience both building and flying model rockets.
The estimated assembly time for these rockets is approximately 3 hours. The kit does not consist of engines, recovery waders, igniters or a launch control system. As a result, these items must be purchased additionally and assembled with the rocket prior to any attempt for launch. The rocket is compatible with several different types of engines, so it is useful for a variety of heights, powers, and speeds to accomplish different types of flying.
Up to this point, we hope we have helped you weigh through several of the best options available for model rocket kits. You have had the opportunity to compare and contrast different products that are currently popular and believed to be among the best on the market. Now, we will offer some tips on how to choose the right kit for your individual purposes.
The first step in choosing the best kit for you is asking a series of questions about your intentions:
- Who is the kit for?
- How much assembly can the future user accomplish with or without supervision?
- Is it a starter or replacement rocket?
- How much am I willing to spend on the base kit?
- How much additional expense is required for items to make the rocket fly?
Beginner-Friendly or Advanced Rocket Kit
If the kit is for a beginner, those with a more limited scope and simplest assembly are likely to be appropriate. A beginner is most likely going to be more interested in getting out and flying the rocket than in building it and preparing it for use. For intermediate and advanced model rocket enthusiasts, on the other hand, building is likely to be a major part of the enjoyment of the hobby. So, taking these assembly factors into consideration is crucial in identifying whether or not the kit is likely to be a good fit for the person who will be using it.
Starter or Replacement Rocket
Similarly, if it is a starter rocket, simplicity is likely to best for both assembly and use. But if it is a replacement rocket, the user is likely to be looking for more of a challenge. So, finding a kit intended for a more advanced user is likely to be the best choice for a replacement rocket. In finding the best replacement, it will be necessary to know what the user liked and disliked about the previous rocket where applicable. This knowledge helps to find a new kit that will be more suitable for the individual than the previous one was.
For both of the price considerations in the list above, prospective buyers must be fully aware of the dramatically different product packaging between various kits. As you noticed from the reviews above, some of the kits are fully equipped with everything necessary to begin flying the rocket once it has been assembled, while others require additional purchases before an initial launch is possible. As such, there is much more to consider than the base price of any kit. Whenever considering any of the options at hand, it will be important to also find the prices of any other products that may be necessary for flight. Then, you will be able to calculate an estimated total for the rocket and its assembly requirements. In general, this means that the base kits in the middle price range ($30-35) tend to be the best values once all the extras are considered.
Now that you have had the opportunity to learn about ten of the best model rockets currently on the market and have some tips on what to look for when you purchase, you should be ready to start narrowing down your options and choosing the best kit for your purposes. As you do so, if you have any concerns that were not addressed here, it may be that another product outside of these ten will suit your purposes better. If this is the case, we suggest you begin that search with the Estes brand, which tends to be the most reliable as is evinced by the number of Estes kits represented here; half of those spotlighted are Estes products.
So, whether you choose one of these ten or extend your search to other related products, we hope we have helped you in your process of finding the right model rocket kit for you.