Dec 29, 2011, 4:29 PM
Post #1 of 4
Teflon wire vs zipper
Can someone explain to me what are the pros and cons for teflon wire and the new ones with zippers. I know the new wingsuit with zippers are faster to put on and I heard about some damages to the harness with the zippers. Thanks!
-Cables take longer to mate the suit to the rig. -Possible to mis-route cables (handles inside, wrong side of MLW) -Same as above, cables can look more sloppy/less cool. -Cables can catch on things on the ground and aircraft (I once caught a cable on a helmet hook at Pepperell, had to scratch cuz there wasn't time to re-rig, stupid me). -Cables can get lost. -Cables aren't cheap. -Cables poke you/poke your neighbor. -Cables are kinda ugly.
+Cables are more "custom fit" to rigs, so more rig tolerance and no potential for shoulder zipper damage. +Cable tabs are cheaper to repair than a damaged zipper. +Cable suits are all but gone, so are available for less $$.
-Shoulder zippers can be damaged, particularly if the chest strap is loose (we spend a quite a bit in zipper repair each year, but we have a lot of suits). -Shoulder zippers can blow out if the suit isn't properly stretched inside the harness. -Shoulder zippers are on all the new suits, so will cost more than a used cable suit.
+Shoulder zippers are faster to mate suit/rig. +Difficult/near impossible to mis-rig a shoulder zip. +Zippers allow for a smoother airflow. +Zippers look cool.
If you're jumping mostly WS, cables don't take THAT much longer, and they do fit a variety of rigs better. I use cabled suits for FFC's all the time. Cabled suits can be found relatively cheap.
If you're doing back to backs and you want to get a suit on fast between tandems or video loads, the shoulder zips are probably highly desired.
Bear in mind, I'm talking about zippers vs cables for rigging the suit, vs cutaway cables for safety release. I think suits without a cutaway cable are greater risk, as discussed ad nauseum in another thread.
I'm a fan of zipper shoulders. Most people are, I think.
(This post was edited by DSE on Dec 29, 2011, 5:49 PM)
Separating cables as a rigging system, and cables as a cutaway system, i think cables as a cutaway system have a good safety record when combined with proper instruction, similar to cutaway pads used on rigs. The function of the cables as a cutaway doesn't depend on weather, clothing worn underneath or other outside factors. They have a better and more durable safety record than zippers and their function. Especially if the suits have only zippers, and not an added cutaway.
Cables used as a rigging system on older suits mostly take up more time, and have a few more possibilities to rig incorrectly when not used with proper instruction/guidance. But patience/time would be the only factor I use to separate the two.
In ease of function, I like many others do prefer the over the shoulder zippers.