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garyhugo

Newbie first rig. Container advise, pah-lease!

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About to buy my first rig. Nervous! Big money and many avenues. 6'2", 180lb.

Thinking 210 Pilot ZPX, in a 190-170 container, so could (maybe, possibly, one day) downsize, without replacing harness.

Problem is, which container?

Javelin quote was $2700, Infinity $2200. etc etc

I'm not too bothered about the $s.

I just don't want f^%$-uo my first real big purchase.

I'm sure "they're all fine," but I don't know the differences.

So maybe share a little to a newbie?

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What size reserve are you planning to buy? That should be your first decision and build everything else around that. :)
"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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Easy way not to f@#$ it up - demo before you buy.

A way not to waste a lot of money (you might f@#$ up the purchase, but so does just about everyone) is to buy used. There's always a lot of demand at your size/experience, so you'll resell for what you paid less usual depreciation. Worry more about the fit than the brand name - buy local if you can, and if you can't, try to find a container made for someone your size, and a reserve that puts you at a comfortable WL.

You'll keep the first rig for a relatively short period of time, and have something to jump while you wait for something custom. Transfer canopies or buy something to go in the new container, and you'll have time to find the gear that's right for you.

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As long as you buy from the most popular half-dozen rigs: Advance, Icon, Infinity, Javelin, Mirage, Teardrop, Vector, Wings, etc. you will get reliable gear.
The next caveat involves advising you to get measured by a parachute rigger or tailor. You cannot measure yourself accurately.
Like the other poster suggested, decide on the size of your reserve first. As long as you buy from the top half-dozen reserve manufacturers: Aerodyne, Next, Performance Designs, Precision, etc. you will get a reliable reserve.

Delivery time varies widely, so talk with three or four major gear dealers and be flexible on colours.
As for the finer points, consult your local instructors and riggers. Hint: if your local rigger curses every time he mentions "Brand Z" don't buy Brand Z.

As for the advice about down-sizing, that fashion is thankfully falling out as200-jump wonders decide to try wing-suit flying and are glad to hang under a boring canopy after an "invigorating" wing-suit flight. The other discipline that discourages down-sizing is BASE jumping.

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Aside from bells and whistles options all containers are pretty much the same in that- they hold your canopies until deployment.

The differences come at the reserve part of the container.

Examples:

Racer- reserve PC pop top exposed (not covered by any flaps) and reserve pins against the jumpers back.

Wings, Vortex, Glide, Triton, Javelin- reserve PC pop top partially exposed (under 2 flaps) and reserve pin on the back of the container.

Vector, Icon, Infinity, Mirage- reserve PC pop top not exposed (underneath up to 6 flaps) and reserve pin on the back of the container.

Personally that would be the first thing I would look at if I was shopping for a container.
diamonds are a dawgs best friend

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One thing to note is that different manufacturers come standard with different things (i.e. Javelin is standard with stainless hardware while it is an upgrade on Infinity). Build exactly what you want and compare prices then. I went with articulation and stainless on my Infinity for my first rig. I highly recommend used main and reserve as you can get one with no rides for 2/3 the price and let someone else take the depreciation hit. AAD doesn't matter used or new as they depreciate a set amount per year. I got a new container because I have a long torso and broad shoulders for my weight. I would highly recommend a used container first if you can find one that fits, I love mine but I wish I had been able to go used first and then get a new one for my 2nd container. Side note: Pilot ZPX 190 doesn't pack down as well as a Pulse 190 and my container is fit for up to a standard ZP 170 canopy. The packers have a heck of a time getting my 1,000 jump Pulse 190 to fit in the container.

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Used containers can have the harness resized to fit your body, for less $ and less time than a completely custom built rig.

Find a container that fits the canopies you want that has the yoke (width across the top) to fit your broad or not shoulders. Have a rigger or dealer measure you for the rest and send it in for resizing.

UPT resized my Vector 3 harness and leg straps in 4 weeks for $500. That's a significant cost and time savings (new Vectors were 26 weeks out at the time, longer now I think).

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jumpwally

C'mon,,,,,nothing wrong with a Racer.....B|;)



Except the RSL.

I did a fair amount of research and got a Wings for my first container because it was substantially less $ than other manufacturers.

I knew that a first container would outlive its usefulness in a few seasons, so didn't want to commit too much $ to something that depreciates quite a bit.

That having been said my next container will probably be a Vector, maybe an infinity. Because I intend on keeping it around for much longer.

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lyosha

***C'mon,,,,,nothing wrong with a Racer.....B|;)



Except the RSL.

I did a fair amount of research and got a Wings for my first container because it was substantially less $ than other manufacturers.

I knew that a first container would outlive its usefulness in a few seasons, so didn't want to commit too much $ to something that depreciates quite a bit.

That having been said my next container will probably be a Vector, maybe an infinity. Because I intend on keeping it around for much longer.

Do you not feel like a Wings container will last as long as a vector? One of my containers is a 7 year old wings that still looks like it just came from the factory. It's how you take care of it that matters. The wings container will last you as long as you want it to.

Full disclosure I'm a wings dealer so I'm biased toward wings. I have several rigs including a vector, several wings rigs, and a vortex but I still love my wings rigs most. I became a dealer because I loved the product, not the other way around.
www.facebook.com/FlintHillsRigging

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I think what he means is that he is willing to put up with the relative deficiencies of a Wings container because he will not own it for too long while he saves money for a higher quality h/c that he will keep for longer.

I can understand this point of view myself. Wings are highly adequate containers, but a notch below the top of the line products. You get what you pay for, and you pay less for Wings.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Don't take this as argumentative...I'm legitimately curious. If you get the wings container with all the options and not just the base model, the price still gets up there but is less than several of the other containers. My question is, if you aren't comparing the base model wings to another container with some of the options as standard, and instead are comparing apples to apples (adding in all the options so the rigs have the same features) what are you citing as deficiencies? I have seen a few differences in construction between the Wings and some of the other rigs on the market but they all have their differences. I am legitimately curious what you see as a deficiency.

Please lets not let this devolve into a Wings bashing thread. I don't want to be a part of that. I'm just curious what about the other rigs people prefer other than brand. I also deal Parachute Systems stuff and recently got a brand new Vortex which came standard with a lot of features. It's basically a duplicate of the Javelin. There were a few things I saw that were different from the Wings and I can see someone liking one rig over the other but I didn't see anything I would say was deficient about the Wings in comparison to either that or my vector....just different.
www.facebook.com/FlintHillsRigging

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What are the relative deficiencies of Wings as compared to Vector in your opinion? I'm curious, because I see Vectors being unchangingly popular, despite their hellishly long wait times (40 weeks, seriously?) for very much not discount prices, yet I don't see anything about a Vector that shines so brightly compared to other options with way shorter turnaround times, and some areas where a Vector seems to be clearly beaten (like how well it fits, where everyone just can't shut up about how amazing Curv is). So it seems to me like a lot of it is that it's *the* Vector built by *the* Bill Booth's company, and everyone knows you just can't go wrong with Vector, which is certainly true, but doesn't necessarily mean you can't go best with something else.
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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mcordell

******C'mon,,,,,nothing wrong with a Racer.....B|;)



Except the RSL.

I did a fair amount of research and got a Wings for my first container because it was substantially less $ than other manufacturers.

I knew that a first container would outlive its usefulness in a few seasons, so didn't want to commit too much $ to something that depreciates quite a bit.

That having been said my next container will probably be a Vector, maybe an infinity. Because I intend on keeping it around for much longer.

Do you not feel like a Wings container will last as long as a vector? One of my containers is a 7 year old wings that still looks like it just came from the factory. It's how you take care of it that matters. The wings container will last you as long as you want it to.

Full disclosure I'm a wings dealer so I'm biased toward wings. I have several rigs including a vector, several wings rigs, and a vortex but I still love my wings rigs most. I became a dealer because I loved the product, not the other way around.

I did not mean that my container will fall apart. I meant that I'll likely downsize out of my first container in a couple of years, and will need a new container.

Two things happened since I started skydiving:

1. I got some direction with what in the great many things one can do in the sky I enjoy more.
2. I absorbed a TON of information about rig design.

For my body type and the activities I envision myself spending more time doing I feel Vector and Infinity offer the best rig for the size of parachutes that I will likely stick in them.

I have two criticisms of Wings rigs - their reserve compartment likes to hold on to the freebag, restricting its exit sideways (kind of important in case a cypres has to save your ass) and their freefly handle really really really likes to pop out on the plane ride up. Aside from that - functional, cheap and comfortable.

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mcordell

Don't take this as argumentative...I'm legitimately curious. If you get the wings container with all the options and not just the base model, the price still gets up there but is less than several of the other containers. My question is, if you aren't comparing the base model wings to another container with some of the options as standard, and instead are comparing apples to apples (adding in all the options so the rigs have the same features) what are you citing as deficiencies? I have seen a few differences in construction between the Wings and some of the other rigs on the market but they all have their differences. I am legitimately curious what you see as a deficiency.

Please lets not let this devolve into a Wings bashing thread. I don't want to be a part of that. I'm just curious what about the other rigs people prefer other than brand. I also deal Parachute Systems stuff and recently got a brand new Vortex which came standard with a lot of features. It's basically a duplicate of the Javelin. There were a few things I saw that were different from the Wings and I can see someone liking one rig over the other but I didn't see anything I would say was deficient about the Wings in comparison to either that or my vector....just different.



Well... to begin with I would be more likely to compare the Wings with a Javelin than a Vector. There are things to like about Wings, but it's nearly impossible to make the pack job on some sizes look as good. Particularly the w14 size with a 176 in it. But if you put them side by side and compare the level of finish, the type and quality of the hardware and the little touches about how they are assembled you can find a visible difference in the overall quality. Like comparing a finely made Italian suit to a more mass produced off the rack one. Or the fit and finish of a Mercedes against a Dodge. It's mostly a matter of small refined touches.

Both will do the job just fine. I pack many Wings here, they are quite popular. But mostly because of price. I don't steer people to them, but I don't steer them away either. I find that newer jumpers tend to buy them, often as part of a package. If you look at the big dealer pages all of the value priced rigs start with a Wings as the base container. It represents good value for the price. And they are better than the rock bottom stuff that is available in basic black only.

There customer service is not horrible, but definitely not up to the level of the larger more established players. I've had customers send them in for updates, or have problems like riser covers that won't stay shut and then not be happy with the results. One is now a Sunpath customer, the other a UPT customer.

As a rigger I don't like the fact that they make it difficult or impossible for me to order parts without going though a dealer. If I want parts for a Talon, Javelin, or a Vector I phone or email the maker and get it shipped within hours. With Sunrise I have to contact a third party. I don't have time for that, but that is the kind of service that comes with low prices.

I know the bashing you are talking about. I don't engage in it, ever. I'm not really sure if there is an issue or not. Many of my customers own Wings and I don't want them to feel the need to question their gear. But everyone knows what the concerns are and I get asked about them regularly. Sunrise has done little or nothing to address the perception problem they have, and that in itself is a problem. So all I can tell them is what they already know. Which essentially is "I don't know". I do tell them that I would not hesitate to jump one myself, and I explain that gear is not tested to work in all possible body positions.

So in short the deficiencies are only small details and only compared to the top shelf products. Javs, Vectors, Mirages, Talons, Glides, Icons and probably some others I'm not familiar with are all more refined than Wings. Although Wings does have my very favorite freebag none of my customers care one bit about that.

Then there are other little things like how the risers, dbag bridle and pilot chute are made. UPT, Sunpath, etc have all put effort into improving the details of these. The Sunrise parts are ok, but 2003 ok. No modern upgrading seems to be going on with these components. It's not that they are no good, or unsafe, it's just that they are not as good as more current designs.

Like I say, it's all little things. That's how any manufacturer does it when they make the decision to compete on price. I'm glad Sunrise is here as an option. They fill a much needed market niche. But you asked, and that's how I see it.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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There are things to like about Wings, but it's nearly impossible to make the pack job on some sizes look as good. Particularly the w14 size with a 176 in it.

There are things to like about Wings, but it's nearly impossible to make the pack job on some sizes look as good. Particularly the w14 size with a 176 in it.




I can agree with the top part. I packed Wings at a Wings-dominant DZ and racked up over 300 wings repacks, and you are right, there are some sizes that just....nope. I think they rely too much on the tight fit on the bottom half of the reserve container to stage the reserve deployment, which makes it a challenge.

I don't know why they give you grief on parts ordering - I ordered a reserve freebag from Sunrise Manufacturing just last week - called up, placed the order, and it should be here Thursday or Friday. Making people go through a dealer for parts is insane.
=========Shaun ==========


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I don't know why they give you grief on parts ordering - I ordered a reserve freebag from Sunrise Manufacturing just last week - called up, placed the order, and it should be here Thursday or Friday. Making people go through a dealer for parts is insane.



It's not that they refuse. I've just had so much trouble getting through in the past that it's easier to order though Chuting Star. The web page has no parts information or pricing or ordering info, they just say they only sell through dealers. The last time I phoned them it was leave a message city. It was a couple years ago though.

On the plus side, I'm looking right now a w-22 that I just put a 193 into. It may be my nicest Wings pack job ever. It's wide enough to allow the cap a place to sink into, unlike the smaller ones. I think the main problem is having to put all the material inside the coils makes the spring too bulky on some sizes.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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gowlerk

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I don't know why they give you grief on parts ordering - I ordered a reserve freebag from Sunrise Manufacturing just last week - called up, placed the order, and it should be here Thursday or Friday. Making people go through a dealer for parts is insane.



It's not that they refuse. I've just had so much trouble getting through in the past that it's easier to order though Chuting Star. The web page has no parts information or pricing or ordering info, they just say they only sell through dealers. The last time I phoned them it was leave a message city. It was a couple years ago though.

On the plus side, I'm looking right now a w-22 that I just put a 193 into. It may be my nicest Wings pack job ever. It's wide enough to allow the cap a place to sink into, unlike the smaller ones. I think the main problem is having to put all the material inside the coils makes the spring too bulky on some sizes.



I know you have to pack in accordance with manufacturer instructions, but I've "heard" of riggers pulling all the PC material to the top instead of stuffing it in the coils. There's a nice little depression at the top when you close the top flap that seems like a perfect home for all that material as long as it's not stuffed under the side flaps. I've heard of that....I would never do that... :P
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I know you have to pack in accordance with manufacturer instructions, but I've "heard" of riggers pulling all the PC material to the top instead of stuffing it in the coils. There's a nice little depression at the top when you close the top flap that seems like a perfect home for all that material as long as it's not stuffed under the side flaps. I've heard of that....I would never do that...



That would be tempting....but I'm too afraid of a possible coil lock to take the chance. At least I assume that's why the manual says to stuff it in the coils. That space at the top is where the Dolphin manual says to put it, but Wings close almost like Javelins. If I didn't have to put it in the coils I would put it in the bottom. Except that's where the last part of the bridle goes.... I think I'll just play it safe and follow the manual unless the manufacturer tells me a better way. I'm not smart enough to think of all the possible ways things could go wrong.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Regarding Wings' reserve PCs, I haven't heard of all the fabric being moved out of the coils. But I have "heard of" a little bit of the fabric being let loose into that pocket area at the top, to slightly reduce the bulk between the coils. Not sure how much it helps.

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If I didn't have to put it in the coils I would put it in the bottom.




On a few of the Wings I've worked on, there was so little room in the bottom I could barely fit the bridle stowes.

The Wings design in and of itself I think is sound, but when they send out rigs with pilot chute caps with nearly the same diameter as the reserve packtray width, then there is going to be and issue with bulk distribution.
=========Shaun ==========


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pchapman

Regarding Wings' reserve PCs, I haven't heard of all the fabric being moved out of the coils. But I have "heard of" a little bit of the fabric being let loose into that pocket area at the top, to slightly reduce the bulk between the coils. Not sure how much it helps.



It helps a lot if there is enough fabric there. I don't mind moving it all up there like a dolphin. It doesn't cause problems as long as it's pulled up there and not rolled. I did just repack a wings rig yesterday that a different rigger had packed previously and he had roll folded the fabric all to the top and then made a bundle and twisted the bundle tight. It undid itself when I opened the rig but it had tension on it that undoubtedly would have caused a hesitation. I'm not cool with that at all. Storing it loosely at the top gets it out of the coils and lets it nest in the packjob better and doesn't seem to cause hesitation.
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Another thing that has helped me lately is the Mark Lancaster winch type closing tool. Because it leaves me with both hands free I can actually get all the fabric inside the coils. There really is room for it to nest there, but it's very hard to get it into the small tube while holding the spring with one hand or my knees. If any fabric does get out I'm careful to make sure it's at the top or the bottom. Not the sides where it may interfere with getting the cap settled in place.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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