I have only used a Hackey or the little piece of PVC pipe, I like the Hackey much better. As mentioned, it is a little bidgger and softer, which to me, makes it a bit easier to find and grab, especially with gloves on (the tacky gloves work real good!!) even with an occasional "loose grab" every now and then.
I like Monkey Fists. I just put one on my new Javelin Odyssey RS. As I am from Raeford, I was actually lucky enough to have the manufacturer, Eddie Spears, put mine on personally. I have had hackey handle as long as they have existed, but I am very happy with the "feel" of my Monkey Fist. You can buy them as just the handle, or as a complete kill-line pilot chute; I got the latter.
Concerning weight comparisons between Monkey Fists and Hackeys; there are at least two types of hackeys: one heavy, with beans inside; the other with some type of white foam stuff inside. The monkey fist is smaller in diameter than both. It is heavier than the "foam filled" hackey, but lighter than the bean filled ones.
There are a ton of colors available. Mine was woven of the orange and blue nylon cord and I believe is refered to as the "mandarin mix". Outstanding.
Is there a website where I can get ordering info on these things??? I would like to see what kind of colors and what the cost difference there is between the monkeyfist and a hackey. I beleive that I was on a site that had this info, but my brain isnt working to well today...little help?
I don't have this month's Skydiving newspaper with me here at work, but There is a full color ad in there; it may have a website listed. The Auger Inn paraloft (which makes Monkey Fists) is right behind SkyKat on Raeford DZ, and SkyKat sells Monkey Fists, so go to www.skykat.com and see if they are listed on that site.