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#396935
Hi there.

I'm in the process of getting a glider, harness and helmet. Due to this being my first ever hang gliding purchase, I would like to know if it is a good idea to invest in a cocoon harness while I'm getting airtime after I have been certified.

My instructor says that a knee hanger is comfortable for the first 20 minutes of flight time, thereafter it becomes a pain...literally.

Is this true?

Charles
User avatar
By Felix
#396936
Definitely a "real" harness: a Cocoon, or a Pod. The decision should be made between those 2 types of harnesses; a knee hanger is more for training, or a short joyride. Your instructor is correct. You want to be flying comfortably around the skies :)
#396945
gliderz_za! wrote:Hi there.

I'm in the process of getting a glider, harness and helmet. Due to this being my first ever hang gliding purchase, I would like to know if it is a good idea to invest in a cocoon harness while I'm getting airtime after I have been certified.

My instructor says that a knee hanger is comfortable for the first 20 minutes of flight time, thereafter it becomes a pain...literally.

Is this true?

Charles
Welcome Charles :welcome:,
I have Hang 4 and 5 rated friends who fly for hours on knee-hanger harnesses. Properly fitted, these can last you a lifetime. They do however produce more drag and lack storage. Cocoons are my favorite harness and can have lots of storage and be configured to be fairly streamline. However, an improperly fitted cocoon will hurt your back. If you go with a cocoon please get an experienced cocoon pilot to help you adjust it to YOUR anatomy.
Good luck!
Jonathan
User avatar
By Eteamjack
#396946
The knee hanger harness is a good begining harness, but be prepared to make another investment shortly. I found it easy to launch,fly, and land. Drawbacks drag and lack of lower body protection. I once made a belly landing on an asphalt street and was very glad i had the cocoon as it accepted some serious abuse. Cocoons are very comfortable and provide good frontal protection. Drawbacks somewhat difficult to enter. Can be a distraction getting into after launching and some aero drag. Lack of storage. I prefer the pod for comfort and ease of entry Dont believe there is a sign ificant performance gain over a cocoon unless you invest in a costly top of the line
Performance Pod. Pod has lots of additional storage which is positive thing
User avatar
By TjW
#396954
A lot depends on the knee-hanger part. A well padded one that's not too tight can be okay. You should be careful to spread your legs as you go upright.
If the knee-hanger ropes go behind your butt instead of out to the sides, it can make it harder to run out a landing.

A two-line pod harness (i.e. not a single suspension) is very easy to launch and land. If you don't feel like handling the complexity of zipping it up, then don't zip it up. Even unzipped, with your legs up, it's probably no draggier than a cocoon.

You don't have to hold anything, or drop anything, or learn the "figure 4" sticking-your-knee-out-to-the-side-so-you-don't-kick-the-boot-forward technique.
You can't step on the boot when landing, because it's behind you.

The one drawback IMO, is unzipping. That adds a little complication, You might want to unzip with some altitude so that in the event your pull line breaks, or the zipper jams, you have time to deal with it.

Also, some people don't like how warm they can be. For me, unzipping part way generally gets enough air to be comfortable. YMMV
User avatar
By RobertKesselring
#396978
I fly a GTXC pod harness from LMFP.

Easy to get into and out of and top notch build quality. :thumbsup:

I don't have a lot of experience flying other harnesses so I can't really make comparisons except to say that it's vastly better than the knee hanger that I took my 1'st few mountain flights in. I did not like the knee hanger at all. That said, I know a lot of pilots do a lot of time in knee hangers, so YMMV.
By gliderz_za!
#397013
Thanks guys for the help! I'm getting a Northwing EZY 190 and wasn't sure which harness to get. This clears it up! :thumbsup:

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