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nwt

OP143 or PDR126 in Vector V308?

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Long, long ago when I paid the deposit on my new Vector3 my plan was to get a V310 which would have been a "full fit" with my current main, a Katana 150, and I ordered a brand new OP143 (standard fit) Which I now have in my hands. My thinking was:

  • 143 seems like a comfortable size reserve for myself with my current experience on the KA150
  • Optimum is a newer design and maybe flies better? I've never flown a reserve.
  • Who knows what the market will look like if/when I sell this rig, but right now it seems favorable to have an OP in it.
  • Everything else being equal, standard fit seems preferable over full fit
    • especially since I'll be packing it myself as I work toward my rigger's ticket
    • don't want my brand new custom rig to look "pregnant"
    • UPT cautions against using both a full fitting main and full fitting reserve

Today I finalized my order and ended up choosing the V308 to fit my next main, a KA135, with a scheduled completion date still months away. Like the V310, the V308 is a standard fit for the PDR126. However, the OP143 is listed as a full fit. In addition to the factors above:

  • Isn't an OP143 supposed to have about the same pack volume as a PDR126? That's what PD says, and even UPT usually has them together in the same column. This is confusing, and I may ask UPT about it.
  • It's a seller's market for OPs and I should get full retail for mine or close to it, and pick up a used PDR for cheap. There's even a really old one (1996, 30 packs) listed right now for only $500. That difference would cover the cost of a new Cypress, which I'm going to need at least one of, or two if I want to keep my current rig active!
  • 126 sounds a bit uncomfortable to me now, but that might change after I start jumping the KA135.
  • Whichever route I go, I plan to demo my chosen reserve as a main and put a bunch of jumps on it, maybe even before the KA135.

What are your thoughts?

1011489947_v308canopies.png.e0abf546f4e64e7c35273ad7e26c55e2.png

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(edited)

With an OP143/KA135, you've got a tight fitting reserve and main... which UPT specifically advises against... As you've noted. I see they sometimes pair an OP143 with a 126R, but not always, confusing? maybe, but to me it says the OP is slightly bulkier than the 126R, and depending on the reserve tray dimensions, the fit will vary between them.

I've got a PD126 (std fit) and a full fitting main in a V308 and I certainly don't want more bulk to deal with.

 

Food for thought.

Edited by ajay

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I didn't specifically see a 308 with a full fitting main and reserve at the same time, but I have seen a V309 and a V310 with full fitting things in top and bottom, and I have seen an ancient V34X (can't really remember exact number) which was overstuffed beyond factory full fit in both top and bottom, but somehow managed to handle it as it was old/stretched. Basically, all of those were safe, but the look of the container was not really good. I would still recommend that over getting a smaller reserve than you are comfortable having, especially because with your KA being a KA you might be needing that reserve a wee bit more than if you were flying say a Crossfire. 

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I agree with BMAC615. Consider worse case scenario, I'm unconscious, on my back, and my AAD opens my reserve container. Any delay or hesitation in the reserve being extracted from the container could have really serious consequences.

I've chosen a standard fit reserve in my 306 in the belief that it improves the chances of a clean quick deployment and any reserve that's inflated over my head is better than a larger one that's still in my container.

Just my reasoning behind my choices.

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1 hour ago, Grumpy said:

I agree with BMAC615. Consider worse case scenario, I'm unconscious, on my back, and my AAD opens my reserve container. Any delay or hesitation in the reserve being extracted from the container could have really serious consequences.

I've chosen a standard fit reserve in my 306 in the belief that it improves the chances of a clean quick deployment and any reserve that's inflated over my head is better than a larger one that's still in my container.

Just my reasoning behind my choices.

That's an interesting point I hadn't considered. Do you think there's a realistic chance of such a delay with a manufacturer-approved configuration? Enough of a chance that it's worth being under a smaller canopy for that unconscious landing?

I wonder if, on the spectrum of full fits, this is "less full" than most others being that the two canopies are supposed to be the same pack volume according to PD, and are both usually in the same box according to UPT.

On 1/27/2021 at 9:00 PM, BMAC615 said:

I recommend the largest sized reserve you can fit as a standard fit. I recommend against full fit reserve regardless of the main. This opinion may be unpopular.

Would you mind explaining why?

On 1/27/2021 at 2:46 AM, Kenzdik96 said:

I would still recommend that over getting a smaller reserve than you are comfortable having, especially because with your KA being a KA you might be needing that reserve a wee bit more than if you were flying say a Crossfire. 

Well, jumping with a reserve I'm not comfortable with isn't really on the table. If I do choose the PDR126, I won't be jumping with it until I'm satisfied I'm ready, and my first flights on it will be with a demo version configured as main. Same for the OP143 because why not?

On 1/27/2021 at 1:11 AM, ajay said:

With an OP143/KA135, you've got a tight fitting reserve and main... which UPT specifically advises against... As you've noted. I see they sometimes pair an OP143 with a 126R, but not always, confusing? maybe, but to me it says the OP is slightly bulkier than the 126R, and depending on the reserve tray dimensions, the fit will vary between them.

Yeah, Mark from UPT explained that as the canopies get smaller, low bulk becomes less significant because the lines have the same volume.

On 1/26/2021 at 6:22 PM, Diego R. B. said:

Just throwing my opinion, I'd go with the OP143, same size as the PDR126 (per https://www.performancedesigns.com/size-comparison-chart/), but you'd be more comfortable for sure. The last thing you want after a malfunction is to worry about landing the reserve.

Yeah. That's why I've been leaning toward the OP143. In addition to being larger than the PDR126, PD seems to indicate that even for the same size it should land better. But, even though PD claims they have the same pack volume, that seems to not be precisely true--so I'd like to understand the implications of that best I can.

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15 hours ago, nwt said:

That's an interesting point I hadn't considered. Do you think there's a realistic chance of such a delay with a manufacturer-approved configuration? Enough of a chance that it's worth being under a smaller canopy for that unconscious landing?

I wonder if, on the spectrum of full fits, this is "less full" than most others being that the two canopies are supposed to be the same pack volume according to PD, and are both usually in the same box according to UPT.

Would you mind explaining why?

Well, jumping with a reserve I'm not comfortable with isn't really on the table. If I do choose the PDR126, I won't be jumping with it until I'm satisfied I'm ready, and my first flights on it will be with a demo version configured as main. Same for the OP143 because why not?

Yeah, Mark from UPT explained that as the canopies get smaller, low bulk becomes less significant because the lines have the same volume.

Yeah. That's why I've been leaning toward the OP143. In addition to being larger than the PDR126, PD seems to indicate that even for the same size it should land better. But, even though PD claims they have the same pack volume, that seems to not be precisely true--so I'd like to understand the implications of that best I can.

It comes down to this: You have the opportunity to design and jump a harness and container with a reserve, AAD & Main of your choosing. Why wouldn’t you choose reserve components that have optimal fit? My opinion is you should decide on an appropriate sized reserve and then consider which reserve of that size you want to buy based on price you are willing to pay. THEN, match the reserve container size with an optimal fit for that reserve, not the other way around. Then, decide on a main based on your desired flight characteristics. THEN choose a WL based on your desired flight performance and piloting skills. THEN choose the container based on those components.

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On 1/30/2021 at 11:15 AM, BMAC615 said:

It comes down to this: You have the opportunity to design and jump a harness and container with a reserve, AAD & Main of your choosing. Why wouldn’t you choose reserve components that have optimal fit? My opinion is you should decide on an appropriate sized reserve and then consider which reserve of that size you want to buy based on price you are willing to pay. THEN, match the reserve container size with an optimal fit for that reserve, not the other way around. Then, decide on a main based on your desired flight characteristics. THEN choose a WL based on your desired flight performance and piloting skills. THEN choose the container based on those components.

I'm already committed to the container. Maybe my process wasn't optimal, but it's moot at this point, and I still would have had to make similar decisions.

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17 hours ago, ajay said:

haha, was it too tight?

Too expensive when there was a (very) used PDR126 I could get for $450 shipped :p Sold my OP143 to a friend for $1650 and bought an AAD--now I'm just waiting on UPT production!

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Save My Lifestyle
Sandy Grillet

I personally always want the largest reserve I can safely put into my container. This is just one of the reasons I like the low bulk Optimum by Performance Designs.


After having a malfunctioning main canopy and cutting away or just going straight to your reserve, you will always have more adrenaline and stress. People often make poor decisions when we are stressed. Add to that - you are flying a 7 cell F-111 type canopy on which few people have much experience, which can also lead to poor landings.

With a larger reserve, I have a canopy that is more forgiving of mistakes I might make while landing. And it will stay in the air longer, giving me more time to calm down and more time to make better decisions on where to land and might even get me over that tree line to a clear area.

In addition – if you have an AAD save, you may very well be unconscious under canopy. Common sense tells us we have a better chance of survival under a larger reserve canopy.
Many people think of their reserve as saving their "life". That's important of course, but my life revolves around skydiving. If I get hurt while landing my reserve (most likely while trying to land off the DZ) then I may not be able to skydive any more. I not only want my reserve to save my life - I want it to save my “Life Style”.

I choose my reserve based on that criteria. Then I choose my container.

Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be

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(edited)

I refuse to go bigger than standard fit, I really don't like stuffing the rigs to the tits. So go with whatever biggest canopy that will fit as Standard fit IMO. 

Also what Sandy said. 

Edited by Kalrigan

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