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Skytrooper

Which rig would you recommend? Wings, Mirage, Icon, etc.

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Hello,

next year my Javelin rig is 20 years old. I bought it used and have 350 jumps on it. I do a lot of freefly and have a 150 sabre2 + 150 reserve. Maybe I want to switch to a 130 main in a couple of years.

Instead of buying another used rig, I am thinking about buying a new rig thats fitting my body perfectly. I dont want to spend too much money. Therefore a new Javelin might be out of reach.

What modern rig would you recommend, and why? I know there are a lot of subjective opinion around. But maybe there are some things to know. Like riser-covers not staying closed, loose fit, etc. BTW, are there rigs that are smaller than others (if they store the same canopy size)?

Kind regards & sorry for any language mistakes.

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In my personal opinion SWS Fire has the best quality/price ratio at the moment and it is what I would get if I was looking for a new rig. It is well built and rigger-friendly and doesn't even look bad

As a Rigger I dislike wings (for many reasons), Jumping a Mirage right now and nothing wrong with it. No experience with Icon...

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One Master Rigger's opinion: start by asking your local rigger which container they like packing.

Good call about Javelins. Javelins are expensive and a bit "dated." I took me a decade to learn the finer points of packing while hiding delicate pilot chute fabric. Hint: the latest version of th manual shows the best method.

Wings are based on the Javelin design, but with som updates. I took me a decade to learn the finer points of packing Wings "prettily."

Vortex are similar to Javelin except for smaller diameter pilot-chutes (easier to pack pretty) and tight side flaps (more difficult to close).

Vector 3s are great, but expensive.

Mirages provide great pin protection even if their design is a bit "busy." Mirage G4 require fewer steps to pack.

Icon is also top-notch, but again "busy."

Infinities are the best compromise of features and price.

Some riggers love Racers while other riggers hate Racers. An FAA Senior Rigger recently asked me to repack her Racer. I offered her free Ghost Loops and a packing lesson. She offered me an extra $10. If I skipped th lesson!
Hah!
Hah!
It took me a decade to learn how to pack Racers. The learning process included discarding my first set of steel T-bodkins and learning how to make ghost loops (special tools unique to Pop-Top reserve containers. Eventually the Racer factory started handing out free Ghost Loops. Also consider that Racers require 2-pin ADDs which are more expensive.

I have never packed an SWS Fire.

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Hee!
Hee!
The OP never asked about Talons or Voodoos.

Er ..... I was trying to remain unbiased .....

R.I. was still selling the ocaissional Talon 1 and lots of Telesis 1 when I started working for them in 1994. I had recently bought a '94 Talon and a couple of lessons - from factory riggers - taught me the finer points of packing the new generation of R.I. containers with molar bag, Stealth pilot-chute, etc.
Eventually I incorporated those packing secrets into the Talon 2, Telesis 2 and Aviator packing manuals Talon 3, Talon FX , Telesis 3 and Voodoos all use the same Stealth pilot-chute and variations on that molar bag. I still jump my 1997- vintage Talon 2.
If I needed to replace my 20-year-old Talon, a Voodoo Curv would be my first pick. The only limitation is that my old Talon refuses to wear out.

In conclusion, yes I like packing Rigging Innovations' containers.

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I'm going to second the motion on the Racer - for what you are describing, they are the best place to start.

Call the factory or find a dealer in your area - you can get a CUSTOM harness, reserve, and Firebolt main for a bit more than a container alone of another brand. The design is simple and functions flawlessly. You mentioned your desire to have a new container for comfort - that is the Racer's strong point. Top that with Spacer foam backpad and articulation, you won't want for anything. THIS LINK is a good place to start understanding the benefits of the system. The 2K3 version has evolved and evolved, and come completely sealed with magnetic riser covers and 'double tuck' tuck tabs.

I don't understand why some riggers struggle with them - to me at least they are easier and more intuitive than other rigs, but to each his own.
=========Shaun ==========


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Unstable

I'm going to second the motion on the Racer - for what you are describing, they are the best place to start.

Call the factory or find a dealer in your area - you can get a CUSTOM harness, reserve, and Firebolt main for a bit more than a container alone of another brand. The design is simple and functions flawlessly. You mentioned your desire to have a new container for comfort - that is the Racer's strong point. Top that with Spacer foam backpad and articulation, you won't want for anything. THIS LINK is a good place to start understanding the benefits of the system. The 2K3 version has evolved and evolved, and come completely sealed with magnetic riser covers and 'double tuck' tuck tabs.

I don't understand why some riggers struggle with them - to me at least they are easier and more intuitive than other rigs, but to each his own.




If you guys are going to recommend Racers here that's fine. But don't forget to mention the dangerous RSL setup to the new jumpers. It matters.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Quote

If you guys are going to recommend Racers here that's fine. But don't forget to mention the dangerous RSL setup to the new jumpers. It matters.



I'm not a fan of the 2-sided. My last rig and others I've helped people get into have a standard single sided RSL option from the factory. You can have either one you feel better with.
=========Shaun ==========


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Is that on the Racer that they're getting a one-sided RSL?

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Hi Skytrooper,

You mentioned that you were doing a lot of free flying. Then you cannot go wrong with a Vector which has been embraced by free flying community for a reason (skyhook , Collins lanyard, magnetic riser covers and ton of other options). I used to jump Icon and it definitely worked fine(got ~600 jumps on it). But I like my Vector way better. Plus it provides an extra peace of mind at higher free fall speeds (Vectors seem to be a primary choice for serious angle flyers). Just my opinion.
The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

Stephen Hawking

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Racer one sided RSL:
Careful about characterizing or assuming the Racer one sided RSL as "just an option", as though one would blithely assume the Racer design would be like all of the other one sided RSL's available in the industry. It is not. It has little resemblance to the rest of the industry standard designs of one sided RSL's. The purchaser should look at it carefully and see what has to happen to eventually extract the reserve pin. Then decide.

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RSLs are a huge and complex topic. Since the 1960s, RSLs have evolved from 4-pin steel ripcords to curved Sigma pins that are not permanently connected to the ripcord handle.

Racer is one of the few sport reserves that still uses 2 straight ripcord pins swaged (permanently squeezed) onto a MIL SPEC steel ripcord cable.
Racer is unique - among American-built containers - in locating its ripcord pins in the back pad, against the jumper's spine. If an RSL is going to open a Racer reserve, it has to pull the ripcord pins out of the back pad.

Racer has a more complex RSL that works great when assembled correctly. OTOH Racer RSLs leave more leeway for "creative rigging." "Creative rigging" can negate the virtues of any system = killing customers.

In conclusion, I would only buy a Racer with a single-sided RSL and preferably attached to the right main riser.

Disclaimer: I neither like or hate Racers, but seem to be one of the local rigger's who understands how to pack them. Today I have to repack a pair of Racer reserves and - if time allows - will repack a Strong seat pack, also with a Pop-Top reserve.
Hint: I made my own Ghost Loops long before the Racer factory started giving out free Ghost Loops.

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gowlerk

***Yes. Now an option.



Yes, but it's an option you have to know enough to ask for.

Actually it is discussed with the customer if they ask about an RSL. We do not lead them blindly into using either RSL, we give them information on both (including emergency procedures) and let them make the decision.
Blue SkiesBlack DeathFacebook
www.PLabsInc.com
www.SkydiveDeLand.com
www.FlyteSkool.ws

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dpreguy

Racer one sided RSL:
Careful about characterizing or assuming the Racer one sided RSL as "just an option", as though one would blithely assume the Racer design would be like all of the other one sided RSL's available in the industry. It is not. It has little resemblance to the rest of the industry standard designs of one sided RSL's. The purchaser should look at it carefully and see what has to happen to eventually extract the reserve pin. Then decide.



The only difference between our single side vs say mirage is that ours goes in between two sections of housing vs in between two guide rings. The function is identical otherwise. The flexible section of housing allows for the pins to extract easily and like every other rig on the market not exceed the recommended pull forces for the pins.
Blue SkiesBlack DeathFacebook
www.PLabsInc.com
www.SkydiveDeLand.com
www.FlyteSkool.ws

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I've started to see SIFE rigs turning up at my local DZ's, they're an Austrian company and the price seems competitive. I'm no rigger so can't comment on any technical aspects but they look good.

Still, I couldn't trade my Vector for anything! ;-)

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FataMorgana

Hi Skytrooper,

You mentioned that you were doing a lot of free flying. Then you cannot go wrong with a Vector which has been embraced by free flying community for a reason (skyhook , Collins lanyard, magnetic riser covers and ton of other options). I used to jump Icon and it definitely worked fine(got ~600 jumps on it). But I like my Vector way better. Plus it provides an extra peace of mind at higher free fall speeds (Vectors seem to be a primary choice for serious angle flyers). Just my opinion.



Brand loyalty is very common thing among skydivers. Vector was "embraced" by the FF community because every freeflyer who is worth something got his rig for free or with some kind of a discount. And as we know, you should never trust sponsored jumper who is "advising" you what to buy. Here is some food for a thought....Speed skydivers and especially Speed skydiving instructors, are against magnetic riser covers as they don't hold well at high speeds. Funny eh?!
To the OP, buy an Infinity and you will never regret. Mirage and Wings are fine too.
"My belief is that once the doctor whacks you on the butt, all guarantees are off" Jerry Baumchen

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TMPattersonJr

******Yes. Now an option.



Yes, but it's an option you have to know enough to ask for.

Actually it is discussed with the customer if they ask about an RSL. We do not lead them blindly into using either RSL, we give them information on both (including emergency procedures) and let them make the decision.


That's nice. If they call you. And if they ask about the RSL. It needs to be in the manual, and it is not. Friendly telephone calls count for nothing in this sort of matter. Why would a newbie jumper ask about it unless they already had some knowledge? They would just assume their RSL is not a hazard. It has happened.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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" ..only difference"...."goes between two sections of housings...". Not that I have seen. I believe you are incorrect. I think you are leaving something out. I have not actually seen a Racer housing setup with the single sided RSL, (I doubt many riggers have), ( would love to have seen one at PIA), but I have seen a staged video of one deploying in their loft, posted by the company, showing the necessity of the housing to be pulled up in a big loop, and then break apart. Also, in the video I saw, the actual pulling on the cable was by a nylon loop, (as distinguished by a nearly frictionless steel ring around the cable. ) The video I saw showed a continuous housing which must first must somehow break apart first. That is the function problem and what distinguishes the Racer RSL from all other rigs, both domestic and foreign. This discussion has been ongoing for years and despite requests to see a picture(s) of this one-sided RSL none have been posted. Not in the manual either. If my assumptions from the staged loft deploy video are incorrect then I will stand corrected.

Reflex did it right. They had two sections of housings, which were secured at the ends and separated by a space. In addition, they used a frictionless ring on the end of the lanyard, not a nylon loop. Adopting the Reflex invention, which operates like every other RSL off one riser only, would solve Racer's objectors' criticisms. The necessity of a break apart housing, a nylon loop instead of a steel ring around the cable and the housing not being tacked at both ends distinguishes.

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JerryBaumchen

Hi Mike,

Quote

goes in between two sections of housing



This is how both the Eos & the Reflex did it.

Jerry Baumchen



-------------------------------------------------------------------

Voodoos also have RSLs pulling from the top of the shoulder. Two separate pieces of ripcord housing (flexible, spiral-wound, metal tubing) are securely tacked to the conainer. The longer housing extends from the ripcord handle (left chest) to the top of the left shoulder, while the second housing protects the ripcord cable between the pin and the top of the shoulder.

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