Dueling jet packs prepare to take off

$250,000 or $155,000 for a half-minute flight.

The Rocket Belt, left, vs. the Jet Pack H202 Popular Mechanics

If there was ever a case where we would strongly encourage competition, this would be it--and the products in question have barely hit the market.

In March we lusted unabashedly for a Jetson-style "Rocket Belt" being developed in Mexico, but its $250,000 price tag put it slightly out of range for a Father's Day gift. Only a few months later, however, we learn that Jetpack International is offering a rival model that's "competitive priced" at only $155,000, according to Popular Mechanics. Still a tad steep for us, but that's a pretty good price trajectory.

The trajectory in the air, however, is less comforting. The Jet Pack H202 and the Rocket Belt can fly only for 33 seconds and 30 seconds at a time, respectively. As Jetpack founder Troy Widgery told the magazine: "If something goes wrong, you can get killed." We were planning on waiting till they shook out the bugs first anyway.

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