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Reviews for Monarch Average Rating = 3.25/5 Average Rating : 3.25 out of 5

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Monarch 155 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: BryanCampau, 2014-04-27

I got this canopy a few weeks ago and have put about 15 jumps on it. I was expecting to get hard openings but it didn't happen. The openings are brisk but far from painful. The flight characteristics are great. Fantastic landings. Really fun to fly. And you can get them at great prices!


Only jumped it because it was the only one available 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: Absolut, 2014-01-08

I jumped this canopy because I worked at a dz as a packer and this one was the only one available I could jump for free. Since I worked as a packer long enough I basically know every trick to slow down openings, but nothing really helped here.

Almost every opening felt like it would break my neck, I only saw a snivel on this canopy once for half a second. since it wasn't my rig I couldn't install another slider which would have probably helped. once the canopy is open, it's a dream to fly though. I had it in since 135, only had around 150-200 jumps at that time and enjoyed having a faster canopy which wouldn't be too aggressive because of it's square surface. wouldn't recommend jumping it though if there is no way around. watch your necks!!

Monarch 175 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: bgammill, 2012-04-04

Bought a rig with a monarch for my first rig, had really hard and off heading openings, until I had a pocket slider made. it slowed the openings and then when I started packing it correctly and stopped doing the tricks I was taught to slow the openings down the openings are Brisk but not unmanageable and on heading.

I really enjoy my monarch and you can pick them up cheap. mine was an older well used canopy but I still got great surfs loading it at 1.3. Good canopy for the money.


How can I slow the opening speed of this canopy? 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: Zymurdoo, 2009-05-04

I have tried it all (short of duct taping the bag closed) and this canopy provides near instantaneous openings at terminal with great predictability. If you do slow the openings down it develops unpredictable off heading openings.

Once you survive the opening this canopy is fun, fun, fun with awesome landings and surfs like crazy without and radical approach set-ups. If I could just slow the opening speed I would love it.


monarch canopy 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: mrbiceps, 2008-10-30

I brought the monarch zp canopy which is a 215 sqf 1993 model. It had done 80 jumps and the first time it opened it nearly killed me. It was extremely painfull and not fun at all. I had tried different packing methods like rolling the nose numerous ways. I had 4 different people pack it their own different way and do different things with the slider. Nothing worked. After reading about early model saber canopies doing a similar thing I decided to get a bigger slider made up. The original one was 610 x 710 mm. the new one measures 750 x 850 mm which was 47% bigger. The first time it opened I waited for the snatch to happen but it never did. It now opens great. I am only a beginner jumper so I havnt really experienced a modern canopy open so I cant really compare it to one. All I know is that I am no longer in a lot of pain after opening and now my skydives are 100% fun fun fun. The monarch flies and lands great. I love it.

Bad quality for money 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: nicknitro71, 2002-06-13

Don't get it. For less money you can get a Hornet that is a superior and easier to land canopy. I did not like flying it and could not land it properly.

The Monarch is an excellent first canopy 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: AHetherington, 2001-10-03

I currently have just over 200 jumps and have made 125 or so of those on my Monarch 155 (loaded at 1.1). I bought it used with about 100 jumps on it, and have been extrememly happy with it. I bought it for the same reasons everyone else does, it seems. I heard it was comparable to a Sabre and I could get one much cheaper. I have since jumped the Sabre 150 and 135 a few times and have noticed they are not as alike as I thought, but each having it's better points.
PROS: - Value: these canopies give excellent performance for the money, and can be very cheap on the used market.
- Surfs: I get excellent surfs (better than just about any other square canopy at my DZ) with a conservative wing loading and never more than a 90 degree front riser turn or some speed-building s-turns.
- Reaction to turbulence(or lack thereof): I cannot count the number of times I have landed at our often-turbulent DZ without a second thought only to hear other jumpers exclaiming wildly about how bad the turbulence was during their canopy flights. The worst I ever get is a little buffet when other canopies are getting thrown around and wanting to collapse.
- Speed: This thing is fast if you are willing to fly. Only one guy beats me down if I am flying it, and that is our head instructor on a Crossfire 89 who has vowed suicide the day I beat him to the ground.
CONS: - Openings: It will spank you if you don't figure out how to pack it. Mine does pretty well if I roll the crap out of the nose and pay close attention to the slider. But I still get smacked on about 1 in 20 jumps.
- End cells: I have only had end cell closure about 5 times, but they always open very slowly, and after the canopy is moving forward. This creates the diving turns the others describe if one opens faster than the other.
- Slider feature: Damn that stupid velcro slider-killer. That thing sucks and the first thing I did was have kill lines put in my slider. If you do anything but standard half-toggle turns and straight in approaches, your slider will be open five seconds after you spend two minutes trying to get that velcro band around it.

That's about it, just one more thing. I also use a smaller 24" ZP pilot chute. That may be one reason my openings are not as bad as others describe. But, I really believe that it's all about keeping that nose away from the airstream, because that's where the smack usually comes from.

All in all, the Monarch is a great first canopy that flies very well at conservatice wing loadings. It will carry you through your first few jumps without trying to hurt you and will still be there for you as your skills improve and you become a more aggressive pilot. I highly recommend it.

I was very happy with the Monarch as a first canopy. 0 out of 5 stars

Review by: C.J., 2000-12-07

I bought a Monarch 215 for use as a first main canopy. My belief at the time was that it would be much like a Saber, but it was considerably cheaper (I bought it used). When I started jumping the canopy I had about forty jumps. I was loading it at about 1.05 (suspended weight 220). After putting nearly fifty jumps on the canopy, and about fifty on smaller, high performance canopies (170's), I began to realize just how high performance the Monarch was.

First, it has an amazing forward speed. I never once found myself backing up under the canopy, even when jumping in 20+mph winds. Every high-performance pilot on my dropzone was always amazed at the speed the canopy had on landing. After putting nearly 20 jumps on a Sabre 170, I think the Monarch and the Sabre have nearly identical forward speeds. Second, the Monarch has a much flatter glide angle than almost any other square parachute I have jumped. It approaches what I achieved on elliptical 170's with a little brakes applied. To give an idea on the speed and glide of my 215, I was once on a cross country jump under the canopy, and a buddy of mine was on a Stiletto 150 with a suspended weight of 215. We managed to do some end cell-bumping under canopy with very little effort. He had to apply a little brake (less than 1/4) and I had to ride with my front risers down about 1", but in this configuration, we flew completely relative to each other.

The responsiveness of the canopy was fine for use as afirst canopy, but I after I got up to around 150 jumps, It was getting a little sluggish. This is probably just because the canopy was so big. I found that the canopy spiraled with a toggle pulled to about halfway between my hip and the bottom of the control range. The "sweet spot" of the flare was about at this point, as well. I found that if I buried a toggle and held it, I the canopy would stall-turn and twist the lines up, so the canopy was still capable of fast turns. Front riser pressure was very stought with a slow rate of turn. On the flare, the canopy had plenty of lift to plane out, but the flare was pretty deep in the control range, as mentioned above. Due to the forward speed and flat glide, the canopy would surf unbelievably well.

The openings on the canopy could get ugly. I found that it had end-cell closures almost every jump, and if the closure occurred on only one side, I would get a diving turn in that direction. I had several hard openings under the canopy, but I also had a few soft ones as well. I found that rolling the nose did almost nothing, but slider placement was critical. By pulling the slider mostly out in front of the nose, it seemed to make the openings comfortable. All in all, I would say the Monarch opens comparably to a Sabre, with the exception of the frequent end-cell closures.

All in all, I was very happy with the Monarch as a first canopy. I no longer believe that the canopy is basically a Sabre copy. I think the Monarch has a flatter glide, higher forward speed, and better "swoop-ability". I think it would make a good intermediate to high performance canopy as well if flown at higher wing loadings. I would be interested to fly a 195 or a 175 to see if the responsiveness and the flare got any better.


Finally, I just couldn't take it anymore and sold it. 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: skymonkeyONE, 2000-02-24

Jumper: Chuck Blue, D-12501
Experience: 2,350 jumps, 19 years in the sport.
SL and Tandem "I"
I put over 400 jumps on a Monarch 135 before I got smart enough to pawn it off on someone without a clue as to what this thing can do to your neck.

First, I must say that I was one hard-headed lad in the days I was jumping a monarch. I actually owned TWO Monarch 135's, plus a Saber 135 at the same time. At the time, I was a very active 4-way jumper and I supported much of my skydiving habit by jumping video for other teams and tandems. I had two matching mains; one a Saber, the other a Monarch. The Monarch was the one I normally jumped because it had a better "bottom end." I am now and have always been a turf-surfer. My Saber was a nice main, but the Monarch just flat out-surfed it.....period. BUT, and this is a big but, that damn parachute opened so hard (at least 70% of the time) that I was frequently incapacitated after several jumps. I sold the Saber after a while to my cousin because I just didn't jump it anymore. All that did was make EVERY jump a crap shoot on whether or not I would get spanked by the Monarch. Finally, I just couldn't take it anymore and sold it. Luckilly I found a used Stiletto and have since had nothing but a great time.

It must be noted that there were two very different varieties of Monarch's produced. The first ones were the like the two that I owned. The nose was not flipped over the leading edge of the cells. These were the ones that opened so horribly hard. The second edition had an overhanging nose and open better. BUT, the trade-off is in flight performance. The earlier Monarch's landed MUCH better (read: longer surf) than the later ones. Later Monarchs have no better flight characteristics than a Saber. I jumped both the old and the new, so I know what I am talking about. "Sometimes the price we pay for happiness is too high in the end." My orthopedic surgeon couldn't believe I still wanted to jump after all the crap that main put me through.

Thanks for your time.

Monarch is a great first ZP canopy 0 out of 5 stars

Review by: Brian "Rudd-man" Rudd, 1999-10-14

I have been jumping my Monarch 135 for over 200 jumps and am thouroghly and sometimes surprisingly pleased. From the 1st jump, the openings have been sweet but I do have to admit that the Monarch is notorious for end cell closures. If only one end cell remains closed, it can result in a rather interesting opening, creating a diving turn in the direction of the closure. After replacing the standard risers with three-legged, velcro-less risers, the flight characteristics are greatly improved, resulting in more responsive turns, quicker recoveries and longer surfs. My Monarch has been a pure joy to fly and with a brisk recovery from turns, has gottien me out of trouble I've put myself in by making a low turn. Though it has a quicker sink rate than allot of other canopies, it will beat most of the elipticals back to the DZ. If on a long spot, a slight input to the rear risers will almost guaruntee making it back. The Monarch's ability to literally SLICE through turbulence allows for smoothe control and landings when allot of other canopies are grounded. Easy to pack, easy to fly and a thrill to land, the Monarch is a great first ZP canopy and will progress with your canopy skills.

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