1996 Dolphin D4 Harness/Container System
Review by: Lunduna, 2013-02-04
(PRE UPDATING BY MANUFACTURER) First rig after obtaining my A-license. Purchased my 96 DOLPHIN D4 used just over a year ago. My first 50 jumps were all made on "adjustable" rental equipment (mainly Javelins). This last 50 jumps were all made on the DOLPHIN. I'm 5' 9" 190lbs and my XL sized harness fits better than any of the rental rigs I flew. The DOLPHIN is not as "solid/stiff/rigid" as the Javelin, but that suits my body shape better (long body - short legs). The DOLPHIN seems to flex a lot better because it doesn't have so much material built into the containers.
It is way more comfortable on the ground and on the ride to altitude it comforms nicely, even in a jam-packed caravan. In freefall the harness allows me to move freely and the containers have enough flexibility to make it seem like I'm not wearing a rig at all.
The lack of buckles and rolled-up/excess webbing (that was always present on the rental rigs) just makes my DOLPHIN fit way more snugly, but not too tight. All handles are easily reached, and because the harness fits so nicely and the containers are less "bulky", I can actually reach round a "feel" my own closing pin under the main closing flap before departing the aircraft.
Under canopy my D4 feels non-existent. Don't get me wrong. I feel totally secure in the harness, but at the same time I "don't" because it is so darn comfortable!!! It literally feels like I'm not wearing a rig.
The only negative thing I can say about my DOLPHIN (mine had the "snaps" on the riser keepers) was that before I sent it in for modifications, the main risers would fall over the side of my shoulders "occasionally" (on the ride to altitude) if I didn't stow the risers tight enough in the container when packing. I would get numerous comments from fellow divers that my rig was definitely "NOT" freefly friendly. Also, a small amount of pilot chute bridle would be exposed to the relative wind.
Because of these issue (the exposed risers and bridle) I never flew anything but belly, and decided to look for a way of rectifying the limiting factors of my harness/container
(POST Manufacturer updates):
I have a new rig. Not literally, but darn close to it!
I contacted ALTICO to see if there was anything to be done about my "concerns". I received an email back, from the Company Owner himself, Mike Furry, detailing the numerous updates that could be made and some other modifications that would be made at no charge to me. Simply put - my updated DOLPHIN is absolutely beautiful. It is even more comfortable than before AND is now completely freefly friendly. And I don't know how this is possible, but it feels even more secure than before ... it's wonderful.
New velcro-less tuck-tab reserve pin cover.
New over-the-shoulder tuck-tab main riser covers.
New main closing loop anchor point (with no grommet exposed).
New longer/sleeker BOC pouch.
Updates to stiffeners/grommets in main container closing flaps.
New bottom flap on main container which incorporates a channel that conceals main PC bridle.
New wrap-around laterals.
New Cypres closing loop/washer for reserve.
New/extra stitching in leg straps, chest strap junctions.
$360 Shipping Included.
Am I happy with my DOLPHIN? I LOVE IT!!!