Probably relay races, mountain paragliding or just my laziness to carry heavy equipment made me look for a harness among lighter ones. I have to admit that lighter fields can be still divided into cross country and superlight (usually available for the price of smaller or no back protector) or something completely specific for relay races such as Adrenalin cup, Outdoor Trophy or Dolomitemann. The last mentioned relay race (Outdoor Trophy) requires a harness with LTF test. It is a very important feature which narrows the choice to safer harness with a certified protector which after all can be used especially for common flying. A few Czech producers refused to lend me the harness for Dolomitemann. They probably know how the harness suffers during running down (sliding downhill on your butt) a steep hill at the beginning of the race. After the LTF test, the main criteria are low weight and opportunity to run down a steep hill at maximum speed without any limitations while being fastened in the harness with parachute at the same time. The result is that I haven’t found a harness such this one yet.
Kaprofly offered me to use a light X-alps 3 harness with inflatable back protector for the race. Therefore I could consider the comfort of the harness. At first I would like to mention that the harness is not tailored for such a kind of race as Dolomitemann which I could feel especially during running down because the material the harness is made of is strong and of a high quality and therefore it is a bit heavy and the seat is not suitable for sprint to distances about a kilometer long. But the indisputable advantage is a safe protector of the whole spine and I didn’t hesitate to use it for sliding down the hill at the start of the race. The protector is quite large but I can image using such a protector for flying because it would protect my spine and pelvis in case of possible landing on the ground. It is also proved by experiences of my friends with previous models. Harness fastening is very easy and intuitive. I’d like to point out that the harness has a fastening only for legs straps which forms the breast strap at the same time. As there is an absence of safety strap and the position of legs straps in the middle of the harness, the harness is suitable for pilots of intermediate level who will rather sit and fly than hang and top land, however, the straps are comfortable for this kind of purpose. Using just one strap allows setting the back support for comfort flying. Shackles are the part of the harness. Although they fit well in a hand and they keep the harness straps on its place, they give the impression of lightness. Storage compartment is large enough and during the race I managed to get a part of my wing in there to be able to throw it out behind my head without unfastening the harness. As a pleasant accessory there are spacious pockets on the sides of the harness which can hold a lot of things and therefore they are very useful during the flight. The most important thing for me during the flight was to find the speed bar by my leg quickly and press it fully which wasn’t a problem.
There is a possibility to attach the speed bar on the side of the harness by zip fastening. I prefer folding safety locks on the lines of the speed which are before pulleys (they are not part of harness).
Final landing I was doing getting off the harness with "folded ears" and even though I was able steering the harness just by tilting the seat drive.
Although there wasn’t much sensitivity in the flying I managed to land several times in a narrow space the way I needed and that was thanks to leans. Fortunately, I didn’t need a reserve parachute. However, I am sure that just small power is needed for taking the parachute from under the harness. The system of the reserve parachute has a tendency to be opened unintentionally which is a bit distorted by my quick and careless manipulation with the harness during the race. My overall impression and evaluation is as follows: It is a great harness for journeys by plane thanks to its compactness and weight. Furthermore, it is a safe harness thanks to a functional back protector. I recommend trying the harness out before you decide to buy it because you should try if the harness doesn’t make you uncomfortable during top landing or playing with wing on the ground. In comparison with the model 1 the weight of the model 3 has increased because of the material used for the harness. On the other hand, it was compensated with LTF certificate and product life. The resistance of material is very good and presumably, the harness will survive your flying demands but above all, careless landing.