Skydive Rig Buying Guide: Which Skydive Rig is Best For You

Buying your first skydiving rig or even the second and the third could be a daunting task. You have to make so many decisions, including whether to buy a new or a used rig. With so many brands of skydiving gear, which brand should you choose. A complete skydiving rig consists of four main components:

  • The main canopy
  • The reserve canopy
  • The container system or the harness
  • An AAD; even if an AAD is optional, it’s recommended to have one.

New vs. Used Skydive Rig

The first decision you have to make when buying a skydiving rig is whether to invest in a new or used rig. The popular advice is that if you are buying your first gear, you should start with used. By purchasing used gear, you will save some money as you take some time to figure out what you want. As you gain experience in skydiving, you can invest in new skydiving equipment.


Before considering a used container, it’s essential to understand that a container’s size revolves around two considerations. The first is your body’s dimensions and the model/size of your canopies. Though not impossible, it isn’t easy to find a container that meets all the specifications, especially if you aren’t an average-sized person. The way a harness fits will determine your safety and comfort while jumping. If you have a loose container moving around on your body, it will affect your skydive experience. Purchasing a new container can help you get a safe and appropriate fit.

Reserve Parachute

Reserve parachutes aren’t used often and are usually in perfect condition even after many years. Buying a used reserve parachute could help you save a significant amount of money. An old reserve parachute is almost the same quality as a brand new one, only cheaper. The benefit of a new reserve parachute doesn’t justify its high cost.

Main Parachute

It’s advisable to invest in a new main parachute. If you opt to buy a used one, you should go for one with as few jumps as possible. You should not buy a used main parachute with over 200 jumps. Most of the time, you will rely on this parachute to save your life. You should ensure that the main parachute has its lines intact.


Whether used or new doesn’t matter in the case of an AAD. You will be paying a fixed cost per year for the AAD units. The price will vary based on the unit chosen, but it ranges between $80 and $160 per year. You can go for a used AAD if the cost is an issue.

The biggest gear-buying mistake is buying the container/harness first and trying to fit the canopies into it. You should start by purchasing the reserve canopy first and then invest in a harness/container. Buying a skydiving rig doesn’t have to be complicated. You only need to follow the proper guidelines.