Woody Valley Wani Light 2 harness review

The Wani Light 2 is a reversible airbag harness with integrated reserve, designed to help you get your kit really compact and still have certified back protection. In this class are the Supair Altirando Lite and Gin Gingo Airlite 4. Although the Skywalk BREEZE and Advance EASINESS 3 are similar, they are split-leg designs with no seatboard. The Wani Light 2 has a broad lightweight seatplate that helps to improve the minimalistic crash protection and provides maximum weightshift control and feedback.

Wani Light 2: On the ground

Woody Valley WANI LIGHT 2 in backpack mode

In the backpack mode it has a good volume, helped by the clever ‘click-down’ system where the cover layer tidies up the harness. There’s a void in the bottom area so I would pack your jacket there, leaving a reasonably flat space to place your folded paraglider into. I had no problem with a standard sized wing, however, it has no way of adjusting the volume – it would have been nice to have some compression straps on the outside of the backpack for smaller wings.

I was able to insert a fairly large reserve to test the system (High Adventure Tranquiliser 120 35m2). Most modern reserves would be fine.

Folding the backpack away into the voluminous rear pocket you’ll notice plush, well padded carrying straps, and a nice thick removable waist strap with zip pockets on both sides left and right. I would note that this comes around your hip on the sharp point of your hip so it’s no good for putting your smartphone in because you’ll crack the screen. Smaller items that can be moved around are better suited for these pockets. It has a very deep water bottle pocket on the side, a pocket for hiking poles, a top pocket, elasticated straps and a stowable helmet net.

Reversible harness backpack clickdown
When using a reversible harness you don’t really have much to pack in the back because your backpack is already inside, and you’re probably wearing everything else for warmth during your flight, so the big volume provided in the Wani Light 2 is more than enough for a Volbiv adventure or overnight peak mission. The back area is not connected to the airbag so it doesn’t matter where you pack things you can just stuff things in and fill it up. 

For added back protection you can purchase the optional LIGHTSHIELD foam insert, which would enhance the back comfort.

Nitinol wire stiffening helps to keep the shape of the airbag. It fills even when standing on launch. Clipping in, the push-through buckles are soft cornered and the flexible webbing make them easy to do up.

Woody Valley Wani Light 2: in the air

Wani Light 2 flying position

When flying, you’ve got zip pockets on either side, it’s probably the best in terms of storage that I’ve seen in this class. 

The reserve handle is on your hip, well secured by the fabric on either side. It also has some hook and loop fastening at the back and two reserve pins that pulled out easily during my test deployments. It has a nice ‘bomb bay’ door that opens forwards and backwards with the zips, providing a big opening on deployment.

Woody Valley WANI LIGHT 2 review: speedbar

A simple ‘stand up’ speed bar system comes integrated with the harness, and it is easy to get your feet onto it. The pulley used on the speed system is a bit basic, but adequate. It’s positioned low down, which has the good effect of transferring the force of the speedbar into the seat area, avoiding the lower-back pressure that some harnesses in this class display.

Neoprene coating on the leg straps make it that little bit more comfortable.

The lower adjustment straps (to change your seat angle/carabiner height) are not adjustable in the air. It’s designed that way so it won’t slip once you’ve got the adjustments correct. The lateral adjustment (on the sides by your ribs) can be modified in flight or can be ‘locked off’. The shoulder straps are freely adjustable and easy to operate once you find the right angle. This is an intelligent design mix that matches the needs of pilots.

WANI LIGHT 2 roll stability

Woody Valley Wani Light 2: After flight testing

For me it was great to fly in because it was a very responsive harness, it gives the maximum feedback (particularly in roll) of what the air is doing so if you are wanting to get more feeling and feedback from your wing the Wani Light 2 is a good option. It does tip around quite a bit in thermal conditions so if you’re unsettled by that you might want something with a little bit more stability or dampening. It is certainly very low dampening but some pilots will like it because of the freedom of movement. You’ve got a classic seat board feeling. Your weight transfer is immediate (you can tweak your butt cheek and get that quick hook-it-tighter turn if you need it).

It does reach a certain point where it will give you more stability and it’ll tighten up a bit but it didn’t feel restrictive at all so I’d say it’s the most unrestricted harness in terms of roll freedom in the class. That means it’s giving you a lot of feedback about every little bit of lift which is quite good for light conditions but beginners might find it a little bit overwhelming just in terms of the amount of feedback.

It was very stable in pitch, it has a very nice comfortable position that was easy to fly in and it didn’t move around much. Yaw is very stable. So overall it was very comfortable in the air, I felt nicely supported and the straps had enough adjustment.

Woody Valley sizing guide

What size to get?

At 174cm tall and 70kg, the sizing guide from Woody Valley correctly indicates me at the transition (S/M). I was just big enough to be comfortable in the M size. The seatboard was just behind my knees, and I had good freedom of movement for my arms. As always, body dimensions are notoriously different pilot to pilot so I’d recommend getting a harness fitting before purchasing.

I left my chest strap as wide as possible at 48cm, but I could have reduced it slightly to 42cm for reduced roll sensitivity. It’s possible to tighten the chest strap to 36cm but going as narrow as this can negatively affect your safety on any harness.

There was some movement for me across the seat board (because I was at the lower limit of the M size). There’s a bit of freedom there but that means there’s space for more generously proportioned pilots.

Backpack mode – fly far?

My usual criticism of these reversible harness bags is that the bag doesn’t feel comfy and long walkouts can become a pain. The Wani Light 2 is great to carry. I did not feel the reserve pushing out. On my grand ascent of Firle ridge (about 100m) it felt comfy. For big peak ascents you might want to strip out the padded waist-strap to reduce weight, but I wouldn’t recommend that for most pilots, because it improves the carrying comfort a lot and takes the weight off your shoulders when set correctly.

Woody Valley WANI LIGHT 2 in the air

Who is the Woody Valley Wani Light 2 for?

There’s a fair amount of competition in this space – the reversible airbag harness for Hike and Fly. The Wani Light 2 meets the demands of the class very well. There is a lot of space in the back, more than enough for your wing, helmet, jacket and accessories. It is balanced and plush, with lovely finishes. It is very comfy in the air and offers a classic seat board feeling.

The only thing I found lacking is somewhere to put your instruments. I wish they’d done something like the Skywalk Breeze with a little cockpit option in the front where you could place your instrument or your phone. But you could always add a separate Flight Deck 

Apart from that, it is a very well-thought out, complete and beautiful design and overall it’s my favourite reversible harness airbag system.

It seems effective, the airbag is good, the volume in the back is good, it looks great, it carries well, it’s comfortable in the air with lots of feedback from the harness, the reserve is in a good position. So all-round really good for pilots that want maximum feedback from the harness and an unrestricted feeling and still want to keep their kit really light, have some airbag protection and have volume enough that with a light wing you could do a volbiv adventure just with the bag on its own. It’s a compact attractive and durable design that is great for adventuring and travelling.

Find out more about the Wani Light 2 

Wani Light 2: Review video

Join Greg as he repeats everything we’ve just said about the harness, almost word for word, while flying. Uncanny.

 

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