A paragon in the evolution of fast, big, high performance wingsuits.
Review by: Anachronist, 2015-09-05
To put this review in context (all numbers are approximations), I have about 300 wingsuit jumps, roughly 50 on a P3 and a S-Bird combined, 30 on an X-Wing (like a X-1), the rest are on an original Havok with a handful on other suits. Iím not an especially talented pilot but just a regular fun jumper with zero BASE experience. Iíve put about 10 jumps on the Colugo 2 at the time of writing this so it is an ďinitial impressionĒ type review.
As far as dealing with Squirrel prior to and during ordering as well as after the suit was delivered, I canít say enough good things. They responded very quickly and thoroughly to all of my inquiries and sent updates when the suit was finished, when it would arrive, and when it actually shipped. They quoted 4-5 weeks for delivery and I think it came in at 4 Ĺ weeks. They also followed up to make sure the fit was just right.
Trying it on and checking everything out: I tried it on without a rig and everything seemed to fit well, the arms seemed just a touch long (like Ĺ an inch) but that was made perfect after trying it on with a rig. I was already familiar with Squirrel construction and zippers, no surprises there. On a side note, Iím not a fan of any innie-outie system since I donít BASE jump so there is that, but take a look at how Squirrel suggests assembling it with the bungee routed between your body and the lift web and the handle swallowing problem is considerably reduced. On the ground, in the plane, during flight, and under canopy, my handles havenít been gobbled up yet.
The fit on the ground was a little snug in the crotch, when I sent a photo and asked Squirrel if it was suppose to fit like that they assured me it was not uncommon and as long as I didnít feel it in flight then the fit was perfect, which is the case. The zipper comes very high on my neck, the only time I could completely zip it up would be during flight. This is a problem Iíve had on every suit Iíve ever jumped, some worse than others. In general I zip it as high as is comfortable, leaving about 2 inches unzipped, I donít notice it during freefall or canopy flight. Over all the fit is ďsnugĒ and comfortable, perfect for flying in plain clothes but would likely be uncomfortable with any insulation underneath. If you jump with layers, I would suggest asking Squirrel about making it fit to allow that. The last thing to mention is the arms, they also fit ďsnug,Ē making a fist causes the arm to become a little tight, again feels great in flight but requires a little more effort at pull time. It comes with two sets of arm padding, thick and thin, the thick stuff is way tighter than I am comfortable with, I made a few jumps without any padding which was very comfortable, then added the thin padding which seems to be a good compromise between comfort and keeping the leading edge nice and shapely.
How it flys: Iím not a big suit expert and my only other experience is an X-Wing. I was impressed with how smooth the exit felt, immediate pressurization and transition into flight. (I made the first jump with the vents ľ unzipped, donít bother, just rock out full pressurization.) The suit immediately felt more stable and controlled that I expected and in a relaxed position it is very fast. I made a few small turns to make sure I could fly where I wanted to go and the input was incredibly intuitive. Then on to some nice big and hard turns, the suit stayed locked in exactly the orientation I put it in, it felt just as stable in a steep bank as it did flying flat and level. I then flew in a deployment position for a few seconds, again the suit was stable and controllable during the whole process and I could steer just fine with both hands on my rig and my knees bent. A few more turns and a little playing with pitch changes, the C2 responded precisely and stable to every input I gave it.
Subsequent jumps have included chasing Funk range suits, very steep dives, cloud carving, trying to max out glide and speed, and chasing an Aura 2 flown by a much more experienced pilot. The recurring theme is fast and stable. The C2 really likes to run, but I was able to shut it down, dig my knees in, and preform surprisingly smooth slow speed maneuvers chasing the smaller and slower suits.
So far I am very impressed with how it preforms both in raw speed/glide as well as intuitive control and slow speed flight. Iíve still got a lot to learn about it but Iím glad I chose the Colugo 2 for my upsize.
If you are coming from a Havok/Funk style suit then this should be an appropriate choice to upsize, it will feel a bit more ridged and sensitive to input so make your first couple of flights about learning to go where you want and getting comfortable at pull time (I suggest jumping without any arm padding at first). It will also feel like it wants to pitch steeper but just relax and it will settle into a nice glide, donít be afraid of feeling you are pitched down, just go with it, the suits wants to fly nicely in a relaxed body position. If you are coming from and earlier X-1/2/3 then youíll notice that the leg wing is a lot more flexible, you can actually tap your heels, and the arm pressure feels a little lighter. That said it is certainly faster than the X-1 even though it isnít as stiff and the tail is a little shorter. It will also feel much more stable and controllable.
The only thing Iím having trouble making it do is fly slow and floaty, but it wasnít really designed for that, and Iím sure it will come with more jumps. May not be the best choice for XRW unless you are a very light or highly experienced big suit pilot. Everything else it eagerly obliges to.