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brbjumping

Advice on Container Sizes

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Hey Guys,

I'm looking for a bit of friendly input about purchasing a rig.

A little background info first... On student status I was jumping a 200. Ever since getting my license, I have been jumping a Sabre 2 190 and been having a good time on it (I weigh 160). At first I was looking for used rigs, but I am finding it hard to find one to fit someone of my size (I'm 6'4 and skinny) and would rather pay more for a container that will be comfortable and fit me properly.

In addition I never got good at packing, and would really like the opportunity to practice throughout the winter so that I don't have to keep waiting for packers on busy days along with.. having to pay for a pack .. and being worried that they rushed the pack to get another done blah blah.

I'm in no rush to downsize and have no problem continuing to fly a 190 for quite some time yet, but everyone keeps telling me that I will want to be downsizing soon to a 170. So, while I plan on sticking with the 190 for a long time yet I figure I should at least see what the possibilities are for downsizing in the distant future.

I've heard that containers can sometimes hold up to 3 different sizes of canopies. If I look at a container where it's meant to hold a 190, will it be easy to pack in a 170 or does that really mean that it can fit it... but it's going to take quite a bit of working to get it in there. Is it no big deal to get one of those off-sizes in, or should I plan on buying a rig and only using that particular size canopy?

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The answer is of course going to be "it depends," but three sizes is a decent rule of thumb, though that will vary by canopy style - for example, in my own experience, I found a Spectre 230 (7 cell) packed about the same as a Pilot 210 (9 cell). Both of these fit into a container that was built for a 190.

Another way to expand the range of your container is to consider some of the newer canopies with low-bulk fabric. Mains include the PD Pulse and the Aerodyne Pilot ZPX (not to be confused with the standard Pilot which does not have low-bulk fabric). Reserves include the PD Optimum.

Canopies made with these lower-bulk fabrics typically pack one size smaller than another canopy of the same size.

So if you decide a 190 is the right starter canopy for you, you could look at a container built for a 170 but comfortably put in a Pulse or Pilot ZPX 190 in there. You could probably squeeze other 190s in there, too, but a lower-bulk one will be a more comfortable pack job.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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If I look at a container where it's meant to hold a 190, will it be easy to pack in a 170 or does that really mean that it can fit it... but it's going to take quite a bit of working to get it in there.



It sounds like you're asking if it will be harder to pack a 170 into a rig built for a 190 than packing a 190 in that same rig, right?

It's the exact opposite. The smaller canopy will be easier to pack, as there's less 'stuff' going into the same size space.

What you really want to do, is look for a rig that will hold a 170, and then do one of two things to make a 190 fit - option one (as mentioned) is to buy a low-bulk 190 made from ZPX, and it will most likely be new or close to new, as ZPX itslef is new to the market. The other option is to look for a well-used 190, one that that has been 'broken in' and is easy to pack.

Option one is going to be more expensive (of course) and the downside is that when you want to downsize, you'll lose some money on the sale. A canopy with 0 jumps is very expensive while a canopy with 100 jumps is going to be several hundred dollars less, and the difference is the money you lose.

Option two is cheaper to start, and cheaper to finish. The price difference between a canopy with 700 jumps and 800 jumps is almost nothing. If you get a good deal on a used canopy, and find a buyer willing to pay top dollar, you might even make money on the deal. Provided it passes a riggers inspection, a canopy with 500-1000 jumps on it should be an inexpensive and easy to pack first canopy.

In the end, you end up keeping your new container through 3 canopies, the 190, 170 and 150. By the time you're packing a 150 in there, it will be loose and easy, and you'll be a good packer by that point. You should be able to get the job done in 8 to 10 min, no problem (by that time; the 190 is going to take you longer the first 100 times).

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I found myself in the same situation coming off student status - being quite tall (6'3") and around 200 pounds it was hard to find a decent used rig which would fit me properly, so I opted for a new rig.

To keep as many options available in one rig as possible I did the following:

Got an Icon i5, built to fit most canopies in the 150-range. This meant that it would normally have no problem going up or down 1 size, which basically gave me a container for canopies in the range of 135-170 sq feet. Now, in addition, seeing that I couldn't jump a 170 straight off student status, I bought a 188 Pilot ZPX. The ZPX fabric packs about 1 size smaller so I have never had any problem fitting it into my container.. It increased the range of my Icon to 135-190 sq feet and gave me a rig which offered 3 potential downsizes without changing my rig.. Even going into a fairly aggressive downsize scheme would bring the rig up to about a 1000 jumps before considering to change it..
Good thing is that it holds the size of reserve in the upper range - I put a 175 Smart into it, which would basically mean that I could put a 190 Optimum (packs smaller) into it as well..

(That doesn't change that I just sold my Icon to get a Vector a couple of weeks ago, but I have kept the same mindset ordering the Vector.. it was just a more educated/informed choice after jumping the Icon for 170+ jumps and knowing more what I was looking for)

By playing around a little with pack volumes and container sizes you should be able to get a custom rig which will allow for you to downsize at least two times.. If you're getting ready to jump a 170, get a container built for 150 and you'll be able to go to a 135 the day your skills allow it..

Packing shouldn't be a problem - just invest some time in it (pack pack pack on your living room floor!!!), get familiar with your own equipment, get good advice from your local heroes and you'll pack that shit in no time! :)
have fun browsing the web - the options are endless but in the end you'll end up with a Vector ;)

and btw: before placing an order for a custom rig, make sure you check with the manufacturer or your rigger if your choice of canopy (at least the biggest one) will fit. UPT has their sizing chart online, I think Aerodyne (Icon) as well.. An make sure you can get a reserve size you will find comfortable jumping from day 1 and throughout your whole progression..

alex.

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If I look at a container where it's meant to hold a 190, will it be easy to pack in a 170 or does that really mean that it can fit it... but it's going to take quite a bit of working to get it in there.



It sounds like you're asking if it will be harder to pack a 170 into a rig built for a 190 than packing a 190 in that same rig, right?

It's the exact opposite. The smaller canopy will be easier to pack, as there's less 'stuff' going into the same size space.

What you really want to do, is look for a rig that will hold a 170, and then do one of two things to make a 190 fit - option one (as mentioned) is to buy a low-bulk 190 made from ZPX, and it will most likely be new or close to new, as ZPX itslef is new to the market. The other option is to look for a well-used 190, one that that has been 'broken in' and is easy to pack.

Option one is going to be more expensive (of course) and the downside is that when you want to downsize, you'll lose some money on the sale. A canopy with 0 jumps is very expensive while a canopy with 100 jumps is going to be several hundred dollars less, and the difference is the money you lose.

Option two is cheaper to start, and cheaper to finish. The price difference between a canopy with 700 jumps and 800 jumps is almost nothing. If you get a good deal on a used canopy, and find a buyer willing to pay top dollar, you might even make money on the deal. Provided it passes a riggers inspection, a canopy with 500-1000 jumps on it should be an inexpensive and easy to pack first canopy.

In the end, you end up keeping your new container through 3 canopies, the 190, 170 and 150. By the time you're packing a 150 in there, it will be loose and easy, and you'll be a good packer by that point. You should be able to get the job done in 8 to 10 min, no problem (by that time; the 190 is going to take you longer the first 100 times).



Wow Dave. It's really rare that I disagree with you on stuff, but I do here. You are the one who usually says to get the gear you will jump now not the stuff you will jump in the future
Squeezing a 190 (with the exception of the low bulk ZPX) into a container made for a 170 can be done, but it has it's downsides.
It's a real pain to pack.
Long term, it will damage the container. Stiffeners will deform and crack, the stitching on the flaps will start to come undone, grommets will dislodge.
And a very tight main pack can cause reserve hesitation when dumping the reserve with the main still inside.

For the OP I would suggest finding a used container that will hold a 190. You may have to be patient and look for a while, you may have to find one that fits the canopies and have the harness resized.

You can put a 170 into it in the future, and if you choose a new 170 if/when you downsize, it will pack into a larger container more easily.

And you may choose to jump a 190 for a while. I was happy to stay on mine for a long time.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Whatever you decide to buy, make sure your reserve is 190 sqft or bigger. You do not want a WL higher than 1.0 for your reserve at this point (or, ever if you're smart) and you certainly do not want a reserve that's smaller than the smallest main you're comfy flying.

ciel bleu,
Saskia

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First off, thanks everyone for posting your thoughts.

It looks like I jumbled up some of my questions :D

I wanted to find out about being able to extend the use of the container through multiple sizes, and also wanted to find out about going from a container meant to hold a 190 to a 170. Since there will be less volume, I didn't know if that would have any negative affects?

You know what you know
You know what you don't know
and you don't know what you don't know

I was looking to find out what my options are and I think you guys helped lay some of them out for me. Again, thanks to everyone.

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