Matt Warren heads towards the light and finds ‘an awesome bit of kit’
Light is increasingly right in paragliding. But how light? Well, if you’re not a vol-biv pioneer, who counts every gram and cuts the handle off your toothbrush before flying, Supair has struck a happy medium. At 3.7kg, the new Delight 3 offers all the features and comforts of a heftier harness – but won’t buckle your back on the yomp up to launch. As Supair claims, “The Delight 3 is a cross-country harness light enough to go hiking with.”
Based on the Delight 2, it takes its predecessor to the next level. Out of the box, it looks – and feels – remarkably well put together. The speedbag, made from Supair’s tried and tested Aquatech Stretch fabric, seems reassuringly robust, and can be detached for repair. There’s a nicely thought-out integrated flight deck with a zip-up storage space, enough room in the boot for a bivvy kit, and a 16cm Bumpair protector – as well as 40mm Plastazote back protection which offers additional support in flight. It has a striking profile, set off by the colourful detailing.
A closer look only bolsters its appeal. The speedbar pulleys are large and well-made, there’s an integrated ballast pocket beneath the seat and you’ll even find a built-in system for securing yourself in the event of a tree landing. It also packs down into a manageable size, although the volume is increased once a reserve is installed as it prevents the harness from folding neatly in half.
Overall, the Delight 3 is like the perfect diet: it lets you shed a few kilos without having to sacrifice any goodies.
Some pod harnesses can be time-consuming to set up. Not the Delight 3. The chest strap, shoulder straps, back rest, lumbar support and upper and lower speedbag lengths are all easy to adjust and securely lock off. I did, however, find the M a little snug, even though I’m shorter (182cm) than the official maximum for this size (185cm).
The reserve is also relatively easy to install, but carefully check the zips on either side of the handle before launch as they can sneak their way open. There’s a zip-up pocket in the side to safely stow phones, wallets, car keys and nibbles and a separate accessible radio container. There’s also an opening for the hose of your hydration system.
Clipping in is simple and secure via two robust self-locking buckles, with a small second connector to keep the shoulder straps in place.
Once buckled up, it’s comfortable during groundhandling and you can remain mobile and nimble on take-off thanks to its relatively light weight. The speedbag is easy to get in and out of, and the solid flight deck settles into a good position for viewing instruments. As Supair claim, the pod appears to be 100% windproof.
The Delight 3 comes with a small, shaped carbon fibre seatplate and is extremely comfortable and stable in flight, supporting your sides and back in a reassuring, relatively upright position. I flew it on two cross-country flights in some rough air and for several hours in scratchy conditions close to the terrain. It turns responsively without excessive weightshift and locks beautifully into thermals. It is particularly stable in yaw and roll, suiting those upgrading to a pod for the first time as well as more experienced XC hounds.
The speedbar system is easy to find and apply cleanly and there are no obvious snags or pinch points. The footplate is also well positioned. I did find the reserve handle a little low for my liking, but I normally fly with a front-mounted system and would put this down to personal preference.
This is an excellent harness that will suit a wide variety of pilots. I did, however, manage to split the speedbag on launch from a grassy take-off. Given the fabric has been used by Supair for years, however, this was put down to an anomaly in the tension of the stitching and a replacement came via return post. It didn’t put me off, though – I liked it so much that I went straight out and bought one of my own. An awesome piece of kit.
Supair says: “Welcome to the world of light and high performance gear!”
Use: XC, hike-and-fly
Pilot level: From intermediates switching to a pod for the first time to XC hounds
Sizes (cm): S (150-170), M (165-185), L (180-195), XL (>195)
Harness weight (kg): 3.7
This review appeared in issue 196 (December 2018 / January 2019)