The Impress 4 of Advance - titled "The Throne" - but what is true about this statement?
The Impress 3 was my first reclining harness over 5 years ago. Since then there was no further successor in the Impress series. The Lightness 2 should replace the Impress 3 as a lighter version, but as a full lying harness. After the Lightness 2, the successor Lightness 3 followed - but no Impress 4 in sight. Or is there? Chrigel Maurer was already seen flying on track in 2019 in prototypes of the Impress 4. The long rump on the recumbent harness was the program from now on. Also with Advance.
In 2020 the Impress 4 finally came on the market.
At the Stubai-Cup in March 2020 I had the opportunity to test the part. At that time I was a bit deterred by the dimensions of this racing car.
When I was looking for a disguised harness with an option for a 2nd rescuer, I was initially taken with the Gin Genie Lite 3. The option of a second rescuer mounted on the cockpit seemed ideal to me. Unfortunately neither the size M nor the size L fitted me. M was a bit too small, L was much too big. So I took the Impress 4 again to test it extensively.
Size M: once sat in it, 2cm on the leg bag adjusted. Perfect! I felt immediately welded into the seat shell of the Impress 4, surrounded by SAS-TEC protectors in the hip area and on the back a feeling of security. The support of the leg bag is unparalleled! It is sufficient to engage the knees slightly, without any pressure on the foot plate. The entry and the buckles are reduced to the necessary and without unnecessary metal buckles in Advance-manner. Now to the details.
What can the Impress 4?
- consistently high-quality material with proper grammage in all important places
- The neoprene leg bag is made of the same fabric as Lightness 3
- - light but not too "windy"
- The cockpit with windshield is stiffened and therefore stays in shapeThe rump is made of light fabric and has ribs on the inside
- Lightweight aluminium carabiners
- the seat board is made of carbon
- The protector is also foam
- Side and back protectors made of SAS-TEC material
- it has 4 pockets which can be reached in flight. One on the left, two on the right and the pocket under the cockpit
- a pocket for the radio to the right of the cockpit (inside the leg bag)
- under the seat board a storage space for ballast
- On the back a large storage compartment for rucksack and co. Above it a small compartment for purse, cell phone... and for the drinking bladder an extra compartment
- The compartment for the Anti-G can also be misused as storage space
- Cockpit details: openings + compartment for external power supply (batteries). Neoprene cover for instruments, cockpit removable by zipper
Seat belt procedure:
- Getup system with high quality buckles
- a plastic buckle to tighten the leg bag crosswise
- String with eyelet and ball (like the Lightness 2/3) to tension the cockpit
- narrow strap to secure the shoulder straps
- foam protector under the butt
SAS-TECT Protectors left/right on the hips and back up to almost full height
Leg bag adjustment:
- 3 bracings per side. One above, one below and one diagonally on each side. All 6 are adjustable with balls
- adjustable via 3 suspensions per side
- 2 rescue compartments (left/right) with easily accessible handle
- This time the rescue is again integrated under the seat board, NOT in the lumbar area!
Hanging height / chest strap:
- the hanging height is comfortably chosen, the feeling to the umbrella is slightly indirect
- The distance between the carabiners can be adjusted with the chest strap. It has no ABS system (a kind of cross bracing for more stability).
- the harness is noticeable by the long, stiff seat shell in the back of the knees and thus limits the take-off run somewhat
- the leg bag can be easily grasped with the heel after the start - provided you have a distinct pattern
- the Bürzel inflates reliably after a few seconds via a single valve on the left side
- extremely comfortable bedding
- Legs relieved without any tension
- no pressure marks
- stable flight around the yaw axis (thanks to Bürzel)
- 2-stage accelerator with relatively large rollers deflected
- glider feedback via harness rather muffled
- Weight shifting with seat board well possible and sufficiently effective
- Cockpit (inclination) ideal readable
- Bags all easily accessible in flight
- Settings possible in flight
- can be folded in the middle and fits even in an 80L backpack with a light or semilight paraglider
- Weight without rescuer around 6,5kg
I don't need to lose anything about the advantages. The only disadvantages from my point of view:
- Storage compartment at the back could be bigger. When a lot of drinking water is loaded it gets a little tight
- die Farbkombi passt in den seltensten Fällen zu einem Gleitschirm 😉
- The silhouette looks already powerful under the butt - but you get used to it
The Impress 4 is certainly the best but also the most expensive harness on the market. RRP is around 2.500€. Over the counter it might be around 2.000€.