Advance AXESS 4 paragliding harness review

The Advance AXESS 4 is an all-rounder designed for beginners but equally suited to recreational pilots who want a straightforward harness with trouble-free handling. With a low packed volume and simple features, it offers good protection and reassuring feeling of balanced control through the seatboard.

Advance AXESS 4: Construction

Advance AXESS 4 review: soaring

The Advance AXESS 4 looks similar to the Success 4 in geometry and layout, but it’s more affordable. The main difference is a large airfoam protector under the seat that is made of a very different kind of spongy foam with a bigger volume. It looks a bit deeper than the Success 4, but the protection stops in the lower back, then becomes SAStec (high density foam), which would stop rock penetration and provide some cushioning, but it’s not as complete as the Success 4 which wraps around the sides and back with ‘crash-tackle’ armour. The advantage of the airfoam is that it compresses more during packing.

The large rear pocket has space for absolutely everything you could possibly carry up the hill. Insert your rolled backpack towards the bottom of this storage area to help extend the back protection. There is a routing channel for a drinks tube and covered shoulder reserve points with a built in strop.

It’s made of very durable, solid fabric that looks like it will outlast your wing, and serve you throughout the common transition period from naughty newbie to pod harness hero. The weight is almost the same as that of the Success 4 because it’s built of similar fabrics.

Advance AXESS 4: Flying characteristics

Advance AXESS 4 review: side view

Clipping in could not be simpler. The leg straps and chest are integrated in one unit, so you just connect left and right and you’re ready to go. It is easy to use as it doesn’t need the leg straps to be tight to avoid slipping: the balance system helps you get in and transition out for landing.

The reserve handle is positioned by a magnetic keeper and is easy to find during flying. The pins look well secured.

Advance AXESS 4 review: gliding

In the air if offers an upright comfy feeling that is really nice, hugging your hips. The side protectors give contact with the harness, and you can feel the support across the entire back. It’s easily adjustable in the air, and the reclined range goes to further than you’d probably need, so you can tweak it to get just right. Even when leaning back at full recline, it supports you and doesn’t give a feeling of tipping over.

Weight shift turns are effective, but you do stop up against the V of the central leg straps; you can’t cross your legs, only put your foot on your opposite knee, or rotate in your seat a bit. It’s mostly stable, but allows you to tip into turns if you want to.

On speedbar it feels comfortable, but the foam in the rear section does kink a little and push into your lumbar spine gently. With the included carbon speedbar, it’s very easy to hook the bar: just put your foot back and tread down.

It moves nicely with the air currents, offering a balanced default position and simple weight shift control. It feels comfortable as the G forces increase in a spiral, it doesn’t bend or flex at all and continues to feel secure.

Advance AXESS 4 review: front view

Advance AXESS 4: Who’s it for?

The Advance Axess 4 is best suited to beginner and intermediate pilots due to its simplicity, upright comfort and good protection. Also consider the more complete protection of the Advance Success 4. Great advance manufacturing means that the Axess 4 will definitely outlast your wing. I liked the ease of adjustment in the air, the balanced feeling and the high quality components.

Advance AXESS 4: Compared to the competition

Advance AXESS 4 review: hovering

Advance AXESS 4 (M) 4060g includes carbon speed bar, built in dyneema bridles and all protectors

Supair EVOLITE (M) 3868g after adding necessary bridles, maillons and a speed system

WV HASKA 2 (m) 4430g with added back and side protectors

Prices are almost identical when you include the necessary components allowing like-for-like comparison.

Advance AXESS 4 review video

Find out more about the Advance Axess 4

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