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Container comparison

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(edited)

There is not that much difference between containers other than cosmetics. 
They will all do what you want them to do - hold your canopies, keep you attached to your canopies, and provide a way to deploy them as well as cutaway from a malfunctioning main. As long as the harness fits your body and the container fits your canopies, any of those containers will be comfortable.
Of course what I jump is the best of the best. But all of those containers have excellent reputations.  I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. 

 

Edited by skybytch

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On 8/3/2019 at 9:33 AM, skybytch said:

There is not that much difference between containers other than cosmetics. 
They will all do what you want them to do - hold your canopies, keep you attached to your canopies, and provide a way to deploy them as well as cutaway from a malfunctioning main. As long as the harness fits your body and the container fits your canopies, any of those containers will be comfortable.
Of course what I jump is the best of the best. But all of those containers have excellent reputations.  I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. 

 

LOL doesn't Everybody say what they jump is the best of the best?!? But you really mean it though, right? xD

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The three you have listed are all fine. 
The difference between the manufacturers is not all that big of a deal.

I would be more concerned with fit and condition.
Those two would have far more influence on which one I would get, rather than brand.

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On 8/3/2019 at 10:33 AM, skybytch said:

There is not that much difference between containers other than cosmetics. 
They will all do what you want them to do - hold your canopies, keep you attached to your canopies, and provide a way to deploy them as well as cutaway from a malfunctioning main. As long as the harness fits your body and the container fits your canopies, any of those containers will be comfortable.
Of course what I jump is the best of the best. But all of those containers have excellent reputations.  I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. 

 

I was recently told by a rigger not to buy cheap South African knock-offs anymore (after he spent some time looking over my rig).  I asked him specifically what was wrong with my rig (Vortex), and he just vaguely stated that they do a crappy job at trying to imitate better brands.  Anybody have any insight on this?  I wasn't sure if I was going to get another Vortex again when I do buy another rig down the road, but it seemed like an unhelpful comment.

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3 hours ago, yobnoc said:

I was recently told by a rigger not to buy cheap South African knock-offs anymore (after he spent some time looking over my rig).  I asked him specifically what was wrong with my rig (Vortex), and he just vaguely stated that they do a crappy job at trying to imitate better brands.  Anybody have any insight on this?  I wasn't sure if I was going to get another Vortex again when I do buy another rig down the road, but it seemed like an unhelpful comment.

There are small details that can be classified as "fit and finish". When you spend more money you get a product more like a Caddy and less like a Chevy. However, Chevys are roadworthy and have seat belts and airbags that work just as well, if you get my meaning.

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3 hours ago, yobnoc said:

I was recently told by a rigger not to buy cheap South African knock-offs anymore (after he spent some time looking over my rig).  I asked him specifically what was wrong with my rig (Vortex), and he just vaguely stated that they do a crappy job at trying to imitate better brands.

I'm certainly no expert, but this sounds more like prejudice to me. Sure, I love my Vortex, and sure, I've not jumped other rigs that much (and the ones I have jumped weren't custom-sized for my body, so it's not surprising they didn't feel as good)
But: I've seen and talked to a number of hard-core jumpers, many of them competitive jumpers, who jump Vortexes and not one of them had anything bad to say about their containers. Certainly never heard the words "cheap knock-off" applied to them. (See also various threads here on these containers. Never really see anyone say anything bad about them...)

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I recently actually spoke to a rigger that pointed out one subtle advantage in one feature of the Vortex, when I asked him about downsizing and keeping my current rig: The Vortex has the attachment point of the closing loop at the back wall of the container, so when you close the container, the closing loop stretches over (and compresses the middle of) the D-bag first, before it goes through any of the flaps. This means that the D-Bag puts additional tension on the loop. This should make it generally less problematic to have a slightly smaller than ideal main canopy in the container--when compared to a rig that has the closing loop attached to the top of the container--because in the latter case the only tension comes from the flaps themselves, and if the D-bag is not pushing against them enough, there isn't enough tension. He showed me this and it made sense. (The Vortex isn't the ONLY rig with this arrangement, but it's one of few)
It's just interesting because that is a detail, I would never really have considered otherwise.

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Not all containers are equal.

First thing to look at is re-sell value.  The containers that hold their value more than others do so for a reason.

Next is discussing what your rigger prefers to pack.  Some containers require knowledge and experience with that specific reserve container to get it to pack up cleanly.  If you have the only container of that type that your rigger ever packs, it will be more of a challenge fro them.

Lastly, the Micron has magnetic riser covers.  They do not open until deployment.  They open at the same time (unlike tuck tabs), and they open before the canopy comes out of the bag.  Microns have internal riser covers.  Microns have the Shyhook as an option.  Recently did 3 intentional cutaways on a Micron, 2 with Skyhook, 1 without.  Skyhook is amazing.  Microns have a semi-stowless main deployment bag as an option.  Easier to pack and better openings.  The freefly pud main PC handle is nice.  New construction method on leg pads is very nice.  UPT's customer service is industry-leading.

With few exceptions, all containers are good these days.  But Microns are better.

Derek V

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I don't think I would use the word Prejudice, I think cultural is a better fit. 

The guy who uses a work truck for a living, and runs them till the motor fails will get different options than the guy who drives it to and from work.  

Now for the rigger who is looking over the rig and calling the vortex a cheap knock off, that just sounds like his opinion based on his experience.  Prejudice is opinion not based on reason or actual experience.  

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2 hours ago, Hooknswoop said:

Lastly, the Micron has magnetic riser covers.  They do not open until deployment.  They open at the same time (unlike tuck tabs), and they open before the canopy comes out of the bag.  Microns have internal riser covers.  Microns have the Shyhook as an option.  Recently did 3 intentional cutaways on a Micron, 2 with Skyhook, 1 without.  Skyhook is amazing.  Microns have a semi-stowless main deployment bag as an option.  Easier to pack and better openings.  The freefly pud main PC handle is nice.

I don't know much about Vortexes but have packed a few. They also have Skyhooks, magnetic riser covers, optional internal riser covers, optional semi stowless main bag, optional freefly pud.... all that stuff you mentioned for UPT rigs.

(Yeah it can be hard to keep track of what is available on various rigs, especially if one sees more of one brand than another...)

The Micron might indeed be better but just wanted to keep things clear here.

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I would get them in the order you mentioned. 

Talon

Vortex

Wings

I am a rigger and prefer working on Rigging Innovation gear. They also offer a MARD (optional) if this is part of your selection process. 

I am also a Wings owner, and it is my least favourite rig to work on. 

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Something else for you to consider would be your location. Your profile suggests you are located in Sydney. I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of Talons in Australia were built by Parachutes Australia who are conveniently located in Sydney. Of the 3 rigs you mentioned one has local support, just saying....

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On 8/3/2019 at 4:33 PM, skybytch said:

There is not that much difference between containers other than cosmetics. 
They will all do what you want them to do - hold your canopies, keep you attached to your canopies, and provide a way to deploy them as well as cutaway from a malfunctioning main. As long as the harness fits your body and the container fits your canopies, any of those containers will be comfortable.
Of course what I jump is the best of the best. But all of those containers have excellent reputations.  I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. 

 

This is so wrong to say. Harness container is most important component. This component decides if your canopy starts to open on its own, can you find pilot chute, how it is hard to pull it, also what happens with other handles (cutaway and reserve), geometry of 3 ring must be precise in mm's or it won't work as it should. Toggles on your canopies can unstow and this can lead to cutaways. There are some toggles that will not release if tab is made to soft. How much stitching is there is in corners is also very important do that canopy can deploy regardless of body position, and that it still retains deployment bag until bridle stretch.

Will cutaway handle slip under your shirt, can you snag it with steering toggle, how reserve pin is swagged, how long is ripcord cable, etc. ? 

Reserve PC is also story for it self. What type of coil, what material, strength, center of mass, type of fabric, diameter and ratio between mesh and fabric.

I didn't even mention of something is snagable on container and how it would behave in case of snag.

And many more things,...

Most people will focus on options like good mard and magnetic riser covers, but core functionality must be good also (and in most H/C it is).

Master rigger,
Jerolim

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Hey jerolim,

You may be technically correct but it isn't helpful to a newbie to give them a million options that don't matter much at their level.

It's like a novice driver asking, "Are Toyota's any good?" and saying, "Well, you should understand more about how they forge their crankshafts, because it's dangerous if that breaks!"

The newbies doesn't need to give a shit about how the reserve pin is swaged. They really don't.

Not when choosing a brand. Yes, if a particular rig is being inspected, if there's some substitution or damage or something, that's something for the owner & their rigger to look at.

The geometry of the 3 ring similarly doesn't matter in that all the major manufacturers have things sorted out and they are functional. Details don't matter if the details are correct in the first place.

How much the corners are stitched is also useless info for a newbie, as there is no objective guide to anything like that, nothing that says "Vectors score an 8, Infinities score a 7 on a magical combination of deploys-easily-when-it-needs-to-but-not-too-easily-when-it-shouldn't ".

I could go on.

Yes, riggers can argue all they want if they have strong opinions.

If one wanted to have super strong opinions on rigs, different riggers would ground just about every rig out there for some reason or other. Vectors' low drag reserve PC's (unless on their side) and huge number of flaps to push through. Wings for stupid mismatch of container and freebag shape and too little mesh on the PC. Maybe the same about the mesh for Infinities. Racers for needless complexity for some reserve pilot chute things in this day and age. Everything but Icons for not having the better leverage mini 3-rings. Everything but Mirages due to having a less potentially sharp AMP fitting replacement. And obviously ground Mirages for only being certified to super-vague 1949 standards. Ground Javelins for their snaggable main container side flaps. And so on.

You've built gear, you care about all the little details. You and I and other riggers can argue the details out all we want, but give the newbies a bit of a break.   :-)

 

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1 hour ago, jerolim said:

This is so wrong to say. Harness container is most important component. This component decides if your canopy starts to open on its own, can you find pilot chute, how it is hard to pull it, also what happens with other handles (cutaway and reserve), geometry of 3 ring must be precise in mm's or it won't work as it should. Toggles on your canopies can unstow and this can lead to cutaways. There are some toggles that will not release if tab is made to soft. How much stitching is there is in corners is also very important do that canopy can deploy regardless of body position, and that it still retains deployment bag until bridle stretch.

Will cutaway handle slip under your shirt, can you snag it with steering toggle, how reserve pin is swagged, how long is ripcord cable, etc. ? 

Reserve PC is also story for it self. What type of coil, what material, strength, center of mass, type of fabric, diameter and ratio between mesh and fabric.

I didn't even mention of something is snagable on container and how it would behave in case of snag.

And many more things,...

Most people will focus on options like good mard and magnetic riser covers, but core functionality must be good also (and in most H/C it is).

Master rigger,
Jerolim

I agree, the container is the most important component.  But I don't see a difference between containers in core functionality. Technical details about the reserve PC, ripcord cable, swaging, stitching in the corners.... this is all far beyond the ken of non-rigger skydivers.  When safety issues arise, a service bulletin is issued - I remember one that required that every reserve ripcord out there be inspected before the next jump and at least one that affected the 3 ring system.  Could you be specific as to which modern containers have design or construction issues in any area that affects core functionality that have not been addressed and what those issues are?

If my canopy decides to open on it's own, isn't that more a function of how I am packing and/or maintaining the rig than which brand it is?  A well maintained, properly sized and properly packed container with the correct length and condition of the closing loop isn't likely to randomly deploy the main, is it? Same with the reserve. If premature deployments are a brand specific issue, then why do they happen on every container out there? Premature brake release, handles under shirt, snagging a handle with a toggle, lines or bridle snagging on a handle or flap...how are any of these brand specific if they happen on every brand container?  I'd submit that these are jumper related issues instead.

 Being able to find handles - aren't handle locations the same on every container for that very reason?  Aren't jumpers trained to locate their handles before jumping from the very beginning?  The only potential problem I can see with this is if someone is not of average size and shape - ie a short person might have a problem reaching the p/c if the container is longer (top to bottom) than their torso is, or a weight lifter might have issues reaching the p/c due to larger than average shoulders, arm muscles and chest. Some manufacturers do offer container sizing that may address these issues.  Hopefully the jumper has someone around with some knowledge about these potential issues to advise them on which container might work better for them, but I think we both know how rare that is. 

 

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Maybe a thing I noticed is that some brands use a softer cordura than others. I jump a Vortex and the material is very stiff at the beginning, there is also some inconsistency. It is not on the important parts but it is there. For example: My first rig had a less slick BOC, the never one uses a different material, same as the Vector.

Is that important? Not really, atleast for the level at which I am right now. I haven't had any problems using them both. I also jumped older containers, Icons, some french older design, old telesis 3 and I can say for certain that every conatiner built inside the last decade is good enough for anything we fly today given the right options (free fly tabs, puds, etc.) The only brand I don't like is the Wings because of the troubled reserve tray design. I've seen a person go in on theese things after successfully executing the emergency procedures. The pilot chute just would not extract the reserve canopy. There are also videos of that on the net. Maybe that's just bad rigging and I'm biased but I would not risk it when you have many other options out there.

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7 hours ago, pchapman said:

And obviously ground Mirages for only being certified to super-vague 1949 standards. 

Hi Peter,

Re:  '. . . being certified to super-vague 1949 standards.'

Then you should include Vectors & Racers; just to be fair.

Jerry Baumchen

PS)  Read NAS 804; nothing vague there IMO.

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2 hours ago, Maddingo said:

some brands use a softer cordura 

Hi Maddingo,

Most rigs ( Jav, Wings, Talon ) use 1,000 denier Cordura.  Vector & Infinity use 500 denier Cordura.  Although, I believe that both Vectors & Infinitys can be ordered in 1,000 denier Cordura.

The 500 denier, being half the weight, is why it feels 'soft' to you.

You got this?  Because we are going to have a quiz on it this Friday.

Jerry Baumchen

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1 hour ago, JerryBaumchen said:

Hi Peter,

Re:  '. . . being certified to super-vague 1949 standards.'

Then you should include Vectors & Racers; just to be fair.

Jerry Baumchen

PS)  Read NAS 804; nothing vague there IMO.

Keeping me honest as usual.

This is getting more technical than needed for the thread:  NAS 804 & TSO C-23b have the problem of giving weights and speeds to test at, that are supposed to give a 5000 lb test load, given a certain type of 28ft flat circular canopy of the era. That's clear and in the NAS 804 specs.

As I understand it (but 'just as a rigger' and not as anyone ever involved in TSO testing) the problem is that if one tests with a different canopy, one might get lower forces at the specified weights and speeds -- thus putting a lower maximum test load on the equipment than intended. I don't know if that was actually something that happened with harness/container testing, but it was rumoured to be an issue with some of the lightweight round reserve canopies certified under those standards. 

And of course all those harnesses stay together just fine in practice -- even if one can point fingers at them for still using such an antiquated certification basis. (The Sunpath Javelin folks, on the other hand, spent the big bucks to recertify to a newer standard and specific weights too.)

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46 minutes ago, pchapman said:

(The Sunpath Javelin folks, on the other hand, spent the big bucks to recertify to a newer standard and specific weights too.)

Hi Peter,

And to keep you honest once again; the Jav went from an original certification under C23c to a new certification under C23d.

Jerry Baumchen

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On 8/27/2019 at 12:17 AM, JerryBaumchen said:

Hi Maddingo,

Most rigs ( Jav, Wings, Talon ) use 1,000 denier Cordura.  Vector & Infinity use 500 denier Cordura.  Although, I believe that both Vectors & Infinitys can be ordered in 1,000 denier Cordura.

The 500 denier, being half the weight, is why it feels 'soft' to you.

You got this?  Because we are going to have a quiz on it this Friday.

Jerry Baumchen

Yes I understood that it has to use some other cordura material (lighter)

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On 8/26/2019 at 6:17 PM, JerryBaumchen said:

Hi Maddingo,

Most rigs ( Jav, Wings, Talon ) use 1,000 denier Cordura.  Vector & Infinity use 500 denier Cordura.  Although, I believe that both Vectors & Infinitys can be ordered in 1,000 denier Cordura.

The 500 denier, being half the weight, is why it feels 'soft' to you.

You got this?  Because we are going to have a quiz on it this Friday.

Jerry Baumchen

The 500D may be softer but it doesn't wear as well. Wear spots will appear sooner. My first rig was made from 500D cordura.

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