My name is Pete Swan. I started skydiving in 1978 and currently have over 5,000 jumps, both from aircraft and fixed objects. I am a Master Rigger in Northern California and have been operating my company, Independent Parachute Service, since 1997. I do all sorts of things from repacks and repairs to high profile demonstration jumps and movie work. I keep up on what gear gives my customers an edge in whatever type of skydiving they like to do.
I have been recommending the Infinity Harness container system, nearly exclusively, to my customers since 2004. Here's why...
All of Velocity Sports Equipment's harnesses are custom sized, that means you will get a rig fit to you as closely as possible the first time.
My personal favorite option are the Floating Laterals. The Floating Laterals are , in my opinion, the single most innovative improvement in harness design in a few decades. It is a "semi-passive system" that automatically adjusts to give the wearer more comfort during canopy flight. I mean semi-passive in that, when the main container is full, the harness is pulled back at the Lateral strap by means of a slot in the hip ring that is oriented in the vertical axis keeping the container pulled into the wearer's lower back. When you, the jumper, deploy the main parachute, the lateral strap is given some room to allow a slight increase in dimension. That in turn feels like the harness adjusts by itself for a more comfort after opening.
The Cutaway and Reserve handles are well placed and secure. They do not move from position with a harness sized for the user. The customization available makes sense for whatever style jumping you may need FF, Belly, Wingsuit, and CRW.
VSE risers were designed from the ground up to be maintenance free, hazard free, and with the integrated grommet/cable housing, they are the most worry free design I have ever seen! No one else even comes close!
The main container has all the features you might expect from a contemporary design:
- A main bag that is secure with a grommet closure to help prevent premature canopy release- it's both robust and easy to pack.
- A BOC that is integrated near the bridle protection flap.
- Shaped corners that give extra security to bridle stowage and shape to the container in a way that tie in to the side flaps.
- Pin protection that is robust yet easy to use. You never need to put much worry that you may have knocked the pin cover open when climbing around inside or out of the aircraft.
- Riser protection- the main riser tuck tabs that have been well thought out for each size and combination of containers and are always secure with minimal attention to packing variances. The secondary riser covers that are artfully crafted into the sideflaps of the reserve container and are a real example of "form follows function". Meaning that when properly packed, you cannot tell they exist and I even wondered at times when I first saw a Velocity Sports Equipment Infinity "How'd they do that?"
The reserve container and pilot chute on the Infinity is simple yet, so well put together in design and craftsmanship, I have yet to see a bad reserve pilot chute launch. Even with some really (and I mean _REALLY_) bad reserve pack jobs, I have yet to see a substandard launch that would have made for a delayed or otherwise unacceptable deployment.
The security of the reserve pin cover is very good, I never think about bumping my rig when I head jam a 4 way exit from any large aircraft. When you do release the pin on the ground, tell your Rigger to "stand back, the bright orange PC is coming at you!" The deployment bag for the reserve is also orange, giving visibility both in flight and for retrieval after cutaways.
Its simple design is a pleasure to pack and easily accepts a wide variety of canopy sizes in its range. The RSL is there for you, always tucked under the webbing flap designed for ease of use and durability. The RSL has a short pocket behind the right 3 Ring to stow that little bit of excess lanyard that you never seem to know what to do with.
There is not a lot in the reserve container to worry about. The parapack lining gives the container extra durability for rough landings. The two layers will shift slightly when friction is applied to the outside from a tumble and will resist tearing because of this, giving you extra piece of mind that you will not damage your reserve by scraping a hole in it from normal wear and tear. The reserve steering is very secure, pretty much free of any sort of premature release.
All in all, as a jumper and a rigger the Infinity is my rig of choice. I have had one since 2005 and am ordering another for this year. Nothing is wrong with mine; I plan on jumping a lot more and will need a second rig to accomplish that!!!
Here is to a safe 2015!
- Pete Swan