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Travman

Z1 Full Face

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After reading the posts for the Oxygn A3 I thought I might get peoples opinions on the Z1. I will be completing my AFF soon so its time to start looking at gear.
I haven't decided on Open Face or Full Face yet but I do like both the Z1 Full Face and Z1 Evo Open Face.
Any thoughts or experiences, how do they compate to the Oxygn A3?

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I love my Z1. The visor is easy to use and secure. I like the extra chinstrap. I like everything about it. My wild ass guess is that about 60% of RW folks use Z1’s and 40% Oxygen.
As far as open face vs. full face I highly recommend a full face unless you plan on going directly into free flying. For RW virtually everyone wears full face. Imagine being on a 16 way skydive with 6 floaters and 10 people crammed in the door and all bailing out at once. What do you think the chances are of getting a foot or elbow in the face?
"We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." CP

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I've owned a Z1 full face for about 2 years now. I like it, it's a decent helmet, but IMHO, it is WAY overpriced. For the workmanship I've seen with mine, I wouldn't spend more than $110 USD for one -
First off, it's a simple formed shell with velcro-lining all through the inside; the Size of the helmet is determined by the thickness of the Velcro. What has bothered me is the workmanship of the linings and the method of attaching the piling to the helmet - looks like cheap hardware-store pilings and cheap glue.
I'm not saying that the Z1 is a bad helmet - on the contrary, it's an excellent helmet and it does what it is supposed to do - I just think that it is criminally priced......
If I could go back and buy my helmet again, I would buy a Factory Diver and save the $$ for lift tickets....
=========Shaun ==========


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Gerard imports them into Oz.

Total Control make a rip-off of the Z1 (Cougar or Rapier or something?). I've heard so-so things about them.

PA import the Oxygn into Australia.

I like my Z1. There's plenty around, so I'd suggest trying one on for fit at your local DZ.

edit: you jump at Picton. There's a shedload of Z1s and Oxygns around. Try some on. Also, talk to Adrian Lloyd and see what he's got secondhand. No point in spending AUD$400-600 if you don't have to.

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If you decide to go for an open-face helmet, just buy one from Cameron at the DZ. He makes the Fibre Zone helmets - I've never heard a bad word said about them. Top quality.

Have a chat to some experienced folk and instructors at the weekend about open vs. full-face.

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I think the Z1 has poor quality control and the helmets are minimal protection compared to a carbon fibre helmet. If you want to try something different ask Square One or Bonehead about the "Mamba", its a similar design to the Z1 but carbon fiber and has a nicer latching system.
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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My Z1 is a necessity in the winter. Makes it possible to jump year round here.:)
Skydivers don't knock on Death's door. They ring the bell and runaway... It really pisses him off.
-The World Famous Tink. (I never heard of you either!!)
AA #2069 ASA#33 POPS#8808 Swooo 1717

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I think the Z1 has poor quality control and the helmets are minimal protection compared to a carbon fibre helmet.



I agree about the quality control, but it seems to have gotten better in newer ones. Mine really looks like it was slapped together (when you take a very close look), but I still love it. Newer ones seem a lot cleaner. Mine came with a couple of the velcro pieces that hold the liner in sticking way out, sticky side showing when the visor is open, threads sticking through the mouth holes, slight orange peel in the paint, etc. But it's comfortable, fits fine, opens easily, and keeps my head nice and warm.

As far as impact protection, I'd LOVE to see any proof that one helmet is any better than another. Of course they aren't all equal, but without scientific testing, I think it's a very bold statement to say one untested helmet provides better protection than another.

Many people point out the protec is the "safest" helmet you can get for skydiving. What's it made of?

There is much more to how well a helmet protects the head than the material it's made of.

Dave

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I think the Z1 has poor quality control and the helmets are minimal protection compared to a carbon fibre helmet.



I agree about the quality control, but it seems to have gotten better in newer ones. Mine really looks like it was slapped together (when you take a very close look), but I still love it. Newer ones seem a lot cleaner. Mine came with a couple of the velcro pieces that hold the liner in sticking way out, sticky side showing when the visor is open, threads sticking through the mouth holes, slight orange peel in the paint, etc. But it's comfortable, fits fine, opens easily, and keeps my head nice and warm.

As far as impact protection, I'd LOVE to see any proof that one helmet is any better than another. Of course they aren't all equal, but without scientific testing, I think it's a very bold statement to say one untested helmet provides better protection than another.

Many people point out the protec is the "safest" helmet you can get for skydiving. What's it made of?

There is much more to how well a helmet protects the head than the material it's made of.

Dave



Carbon fibre is strong, light and stiff, but it's rather brittle compared with glass fibre or kevlar. Since energy absorbtion is what you really need, I'd prefer kevlar over carbon. Doesn't look as sexy, though.

We have a drop-weight tester in one of our labs. If anyone would like to donate their helmet for a ASTM approved test, just send it to me.:)
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Would be really cool to do some independent testing of various helmets. Wonder if there's any group that would fund that kind of thing...

But anyway, kevlar (or spectra even) might have better properties than plastic or carbon fiber, but the material isn't everything. I very much wonder about a good blow to the ratchet on a Bonehead Havok or to the hinge points of a Z1, etc. How about hits to the different types of visors, chin cups, etc.

And then there's the padding inside. Do all the full face helmets use the same stuff?

Helmets do multiple jobs. Motorcycle helmets need to protect from very hard, blunt blows, and scraping against the road at high speed. An army helicopter pilot helmet won't hold up to road rash, but it can take a very hard hit from a pointy object and provide some protection from fire.

Skydiving helmets have their own unique job to perform. We just don't really know how well they do it, at least comparatively.

Dave

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Many people point out the protec is the "safest" helmet you can get for skydiving. What's it made of?

There is much more to how well a helmet protects the head than the material it's made of.



amen to that. Just because its made of carbon fibre or kevlar or whatever, does NOT mean its safer or stronger. Think about why no skydiving helmets are made out of steel... its stronger then protec's plastic right? cause material is only a small part of making a safe helmet.

MB 3528, RB 1182

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Would be really cool to do some independent testing of various helmets. Wonder if there's any group that would fund that kind of thing...

But anyway, kevlar (or spectra even) might have better properties than plastic or carbon fiber, but the material isn't everything. I very much wonder about a good blow to the ratchet on a Bonehead Havok or to the hinge points of a Z1, etc. How about hits to the different types of visors, chin cups, etc.

And then there's the padding inside. Do all the full face helmets use the same stuff?

Helmets do multiple jobs. Motorcycle helmets need to protect from very hard, blunt blows, and scraping against the road at high speed. An army helicopter pilot helmet won't hold up to road rash, but it can take a very hard hit from a pointy object and provide some protection from fire.

Skydiving helmets have their own unique job to perform. We just don't really know how well they do it, at least comparatively.

Dave



100% agree. I have a Z1 early model, made of GFRP, and the hinge bolts project inwards towards my temples with just a thin layer of fabric to cover them. Really poor design. I have a OXYGN made of CF that I won in a raffle. It looks cool but CF is not optimal for helmets, IMO. Have you ever looked at the sharp shards of CF when it shatters?
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Many people point out the protec is the "safest" helmet you can get for skydiving. What's it made of?



Ah but a Protec isn't 'COOL' and only uncool students wear them! I think it may be polyproperlene but don't quote me. As for being the safest, perhaps is was when it was first manufactures and for the situation it is used in but no open face helmet protect you from a 'boot in the gob'. As the sport & technology developes then new designs come out to extend the range of protection (tempt the skydiver & line the pockets of the industry).

Quote



There is much more to how well a helmet protects the head than the material it's made of.



Helmets are designed to flex and absorb the force of any blow so the material does matter. It may be a small part but it is an important part. Wearing a strong & ridgid helmet is more likely to transmit the force to the head (as would a thin or solid padding). There is no perfect helmet but a full face has a number of advantages (and probably disadvantages too) over open face.

Just remember, most helmets come in boxes marked fragile for a reason.

I have a 7 year old Z1 but need to replace it soon. I would consider another but cost is an issue as they seem to be overpriced in comparisson to others.

Decide what's best for your type of skydiving. Think about getting 2!
Helmets don't make skydiving safer, they just help if & when accidents happen.


Get out, Land on a green bit. If you get the pull somewhere in between it would help.

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I have Z1 for 2 years (200 jumps) + 4 hrs in tunnel.
No problems with it except narrow angle of side view.
Now, it’s not that important to you. But in couple of hundred jumps, if you will do more serious RW, it may. Try to look behind while in arch. Z1 have the narrowest angle of most full-face helmets.
Now I have Factory Diver, it has the best side view, lightest, simplest, cheapest.
The reason I didn’t get the Oxygen, was inferior flip visor. It’s not as solid as Z1’s, doesn’t flip all way up, and may open in free fall. Besides, having Z1, I found that I don’t use flip visor as much anyway.

Also take a look what best teams use, that’ll give you an idea.

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