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Phantom 3: Balloon ZP or Parapak?

 


Naimanator  (A 61364)

May 31, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Phantom 3: Balloon ZP or Parapak? Can't Post

As the title of the thread suggests I'm looking for objective advice from people who have the Phantom 3 (or any other PF suit), and whether or not you feel the Parapak instead of Balloon ZP fabric is a good choice when purchasing a new suit.

I'll be using the suit solely for skydiving for at least a few years until I feel comfortable moving over to BASE. Supposedly the Parapak is more durable and PF recommends it as an upgrade for wingsuits that will see a lot of skydiving. Aesthetically I've heard that Parapak tends to get scuffed up fairly easily and the apearance of the fabric ages quickly.

So, from people who have them; do you think the Parapak upgrade is necessary / worth it?

Thanks.

P.S. I did try to do an exhaustive search to see if this question had already been raised/answered a million times but I was unable to find any existing threads. Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse with this one.


(This post was edited by Naimanator on May 31, 2012, 11:36 AM)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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May 31, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Re: [Naimanator] Phantom 3: Balloon ZP or Parapak? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have several of both, and some suits that are a hybrid.
I disagree that Parapack loses its color more quickly. It definitely is more warm in the summer, and significantly more resistant to tearing. I wish all my student suits were parapack.
Balloon feels more "naked" and it's a great feeling on a hot day to have no shirt on beneath. This is where I can easily discern the diff between the two fabrics.
If you are regularly flying a small plane with lots of knee/butt time scrunched up against others, I'd look closely at Parapack. If you're on a big Otter DZ and you prefer the "lightness" of balloon, that's another option. Me...I'm on an Otter DZ but still prefer Parapack.
Bear in mind that not all colors are available in Parapack.


Naimanator  (A 61364)

May 31, 2012, 8:05 PM
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Re: [DSE] Phantom 3: Balloon ZP or Parapak? [In reply to] Can't Post

DSE, thanks for the reply.

The number one thing I get out of your reply is that the Parapack really is more durable. That makes a big difference to me.

I usually jump at bigger DZ's so I do get a lot of jumps out of Otter's, but I do also spend time at dz's with PAC's (I love the PAC), where it is a little bit tighter.

The extra heat from the parapack I can deal with if it means increased peace of mind about the durability of the suit.

As far as availability of colors goes, my rig is black/yellow color themed (both of which are available in the parapack) so I don't think I'd have any problems there.

Thanks for your input.

Any others care to comment?


MrCat  (C License)

Jun 1, 2012, 2:44 AM
Post #4 of 8 (1124 views)
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Re: [Naimanator] Phantom 3: Balloon ZP or Parapak? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got a P3 in parapack after having a P2 in ZP (my Ghost is also Parapack). As DSE said the parapack is significantly warmer than the ZP - if you are jumping at cooler DZ (like the UK) then that extra bit of insulation is a very good thing !

However it is also heavier which may make a difference if you are trying to keep the weight down when you are flying on a scheduled flight. I tend to put my suits in my hand baggage and hope they don't weigh it..


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Jun 1, 2012, 7:33 AM
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Re: [MrCat] Phantom 3: Balloon ZP or Parapak? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
However it is also heavier which may make a difference if you are trying to keep the weight down when you are flying on a scheduled flight. I tend to put my suits in my hand baggage and hope they don't weigh it..

C'mon Tongue...it's not *that* much heavier. Traveling with a Ghost3 and two P2 suits isn't at all a heavy bag. You wanna feel "heavy," pick up an Alien suit.


SuperGirl  (D 30091)

Jun 1, 2012, 12:13 PM
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Re: [MrCat] Phantom 3: Balloon ZP or Parapak? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
However it is also heavier which may make a difference if you are trying to keep the weight down when you are flying on a scheduled flight. I tend to put my suits in my hand baggage and hope they don't weigh it..

I don't think there's that much of a difference, not enough to matter when traveling anyway. I always manage to squeeze a wingsuit and a laptop in one tiny bag, and take the rig as my other "item" on the plane. My rig is by far heavier than any bag of wingsuits I've carried onto an airliner.

I have owned (and flown the crap out of) both fabric types on Phantoms and in the end I really like the durability of the Parapak and always opt for that if possible.

In terms of flying responsiveness and maneuverability, the differences are very very small, IMHO. Suit flies GREAT in both fabrics.

As for the heat element - maybe I'm spoiled cause I spend all summer jumping in the Northeast and the parapak never bothers me, but I certainly recall feeling very hot in the balloon fabric, too, when it was really yucky hot outside. It might be a little nicer, but it's not like it's going to feel like wearing a summer dress... it's still ZP. Not a whole lotta breathability there. If you zip it up all the way, it'll get hot inside, balloon or parapak.


MrCat  (C License)

Jun 1, 2012, 2:32 PM
Post #7 of 8 (982 views)
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Re: [DSE] Phantom 3: Balloon ZP or Parapak? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
C'mon Tongue...it's not *that* much heavier. Traveling with a Ghost3 and two P2 suits isn't at all a heavy bag. You wanna feel "heavy," pick up an Alien suit.

I didn't have my ZP P2 and Parapack P3 side by side on the scales but I'd hazard at guess at about a pound difference.

In the UK depending on the carrier you can be quite tight on weight limits on hand baggage - I tend to carry my suits (P3&Ghost), camera/helmet, log book, laptop, and a few clothes in my carry on so to me it's a factor to consider.

Mind you next time I have to get three suits in my carry on...

Or an intrudair suit !! not felt the weight of an alien but the intrudairs are pretty heavy !


Naimanator  (A 61364)

Jun 2, 2012, 6:20 AM
Post #8 of 8 (938 views)
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Re: [MrCat] Phantom 3: Balloon ZP or Parapak? [In reply to] Can't Post

Well everyone, thanks for your input!

The general consensus seems to be that the Parapak really is more durable than the balloon ZP. I understand that it'll increase the weight of the suit a bit, and likely make it somewhat/significantly hotter to wear.

Given the trade offs, I think I'll definitely be ordering my P3 in Parapak.

Thanks again!



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