Whether you fly in a warm or cold climate, you’ll soon realise that a paramotor flight suit is essential to keep you comfortable during those longer flights. In this post we’ll look at some of the best flight suits on the market, and help you decide which one to get for your specific type of flying.
When I started flying it was mid spring and the weather was perfect, I didn’t think I’d need a flight suit. But after a few flights I soon came to grasp just how cold you can get while flying a paramotor. Not only do you have the regular wind chill that you’d expect flying at 35mph, but the prop also pulls air straight past you, and the air temperature drops lower the higher you fly.
Flying during a 35℃ heatwave will feel like a chilly winter’s day at 5000 feet, so although you may feel like it’s OK to fly in your shorts and t-shirt when you take-off, you’ll soon wish you’d put on a flight suit when you reach the higher altitudes.
What to look for in a paramotor flight suit
Every paramotorist has different needs and requirements, but there’s a few things that all flight suits should offer the pilot.
The main reason you’re looking for a flight suit is to keep you warm, but if your chosen flight suit lets the cold air pass straight through, then wearing it isn’t going to make much difference. Make sure the flight suit is made from a tough fabric that is windproof, but also breathable. If it isn’t breathable then moisture will build up on the inside making you cold, sticky and very uncomfortable.
You’ll want to choose a flight suit made from something hard wearing like Cordura®. You’ll want the flight suit to last you many years, and getting in and out of a harness hundreds of times will really take its toll on many fabrics, as will the odd bad bum landing or fall. So consider the materials your chosen flight suit is made from, and remember that toughness must also come with the windproof and breathable qualities that these materials sometimes lack.
Paramotors don’t have many in-flight storage options. Aside from harness pockets there really isn’t anywhere else to put the things that you may need to take along with you, like your phone, wallet, hook knife, fuel check mirror etc. So choosing a flight suit that has at least one big pocket that’s easy to access during flight is essential.
You’ll find it difficult, and maybe impossible to access regular trouser side pockets while strapped into your harness, so chest and arm pockets are what you’ll be looking for. Pockets on the front of the legs, or near the knees are also acceptable.
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
When choosing a paramotor flight suit, getting the correct size is super important. You’ll need the freedom of movement to run during take-off and landing, but at the same time you don’t want it to be too baggy, as this may cause it to catch on your paramotor’s frame, or under your own feet causing you to trip over. You’ll also need to reach up to the brakes, trimmers and tip steering without the sleeves climbing up your arms, so slightly loose fitting but not too baggy is important.
Having elasticated wrists and ankles is important to stop wind entering the flight suit and sucking all of the heat out of it. Some flight suits will also have an elasticated collar, or it will often be adjustable so you can tighten it up to stop the draughts.
Elasticated ankles will also help to prevent the flight suit getting snagged on anything during take-off, and causing you to trip over. This is something I’ve experienced while wearing normal trousers, they’ll actually get caught on the bottom of my paramotor’s frame! If I’m flying without a flight suit I’m always sure to tuck my trousers into my socks to stop this happening.
The best paramotor flight suits
Flight suits can be pricey, but once you’ve experience an icy cold flight you’ll soon understand that it’s money well spent. You do occasionally see good second hand flight suits come up on eBay, so it’s worth checking there before you commit to buy.
OZEE FLIGHT SUITS
I’m listing Ozee as my first choice as it’s the brand that I’m currently using, the one you see me wearing in the main image at the top of the page. Although mine has been through two previous owners and hundreds of hours flying on paramotors and fixed wing aircraft, it’s still in great shape, and it keeps me lovely and warm even during cold winter flights.
Ozee currently do three models of flight suit: the millennium thermal flying suit, the Exeat thermal flying suit, and the Xtreme air thermal flight suit. Let’s look at the Xtreme air option, as seen modelled by my friend Dave in the picture below! This is the simpler and cheaper of their three available flight suits, it’s a popular sight at the fly-ins, and it’s endorsed by paramotor, paragliding and microlight pilots.
The Xtreme air flight suit ticks off many of the features you should be looking for, like an easily accessible deep zipped chest pocket, tough windproof materials, and elasticated cuffs and ankles. It also has Loops on both thighs for instrument and map board attachment, which is great for pilots who enjoy cross country flying.
Available in a range of colours and sizes, and lined with 120 gram Thinsulate Thermal insulation, this paramotor flight suit is sure to keep you toasty warm and comfortable even on the coldest winter flights.
Xtreme air flight suit key features:
- Thinsulate thermal quilting
- Water resistant
- 2 way closed end zip makes the suit easy to get on and off
- 2 zipped hand pockets
- 1 zipped chest pocket
- Concealed zipped fly
- High back collar with toggle pull
- Ribbed cuffs
- Loops on both thighs for instrument and map board attachement
- Elasticated leg bottoms with elastic foot straps.
DUDEK FAN COLLECTION
Our next choice is the Dudek flying suit, which, once again meets many of our requirements, along with a few really cool extras. Some of these extras include channels to keep comms cables neatly tucked away, detachable knee pads which may come in very handy for beginners who have the occasional fall during launching and landing, and zippered vents in the armpits and the legs. These vents will be very useful during hotter days when your launch field is scorching hot, but you need your flight suit for things like higher altitude, or cross country flying.
The Dudek flight suit is available as a normal one-piece, or as a two-piece suit, and you can also order a separate full-body fleece warmer in a size perfectly fitting the flight suit. The fleece warmer is designed to give you extra insulation during those longer or colder flights.
Other things to note:
- Half-gloves with a thumb hold and cuff
- Velcro-closed legs with silicon elastic to stop draughts
- Knees and shins insulated with fleece
- Breathable inner and outer layers
- High durability materials
- Lots of zipped pockets for storage
- External loops for securing instruments and gadgets
- Sizes to fit pilots of all sizes weights and body types
OZONE FLIGHT SUIT
Ozone Flight Suit (Unisex) for paramotoring / paragliding
- Ozone Flying suits are the most versatile and easy to use flying suits for Paraglider and Paramotor pilots.
- Specially designed to keep you warm at high altitude, in a dry or humid environment, this flying suit is really easy to add over your clothes, with the zippers running all the way from your ankle to your hips, you can quickly put it on even over the clothes you are wearing without taking out your shoes.
- Comfortable to fly with a Tshirt under it during summer and with multiple layers of clothes during cold winter days
- The Ozone flying suit also has very convenient zippers, under the sleeves just to add some air when you feel too hot.
- The Ozone Layer features a 3-layer waterproof / windproof shell with mesh liner, full leg and chest zips, zip pockets, and a high collar to keep your neck warm. Very comfortable and light, you won’t even feel it when you have to run for take off either to go thermal flying or to enjoy a PPG flight.
GIN FLYING SUIT
Next up is a flight suit from paramotor wing manufacturer GIN. This flight suit has been designed for paragliding pilots who need an overall that is light and easy to pack, but don’t let this put you off, as it’s still more than capable as a paramotor flight suit, and it ticks off many of our preferences.
The GIN flight suit has a weight of only 930 grams, so it’s much lighter than our previous choices, but this does come at a cost, as it lacks the thermal lining which is an important feature for many pilots. GIN have considered this and have a range of thermal wear that you can buy separately, like their Graphite jacket than can be layered underneath this flight suit on colder days.
Other important features include: three zipped pockets, and an easy to access one on the chest, elasticated cuffs and ankles with velcro for an extra wind barrier, and a Microfiber lined collar, chin guard and ‘one pull’ elastic drawcord at the neck to stop cold draughts entering the suit.
Another cool feature to mention is the boot leg ankle cuffs that are cut long enough to cover your boots, with elasticated retaining heel straps to prevent the suit riding up your legs as you pull yourself into your harness. And lastly a sleeve liner with thumb loops to prevent air gaps, another great way to stop those cold draughts from entering the suit and sucking out all of your body heat.
ICARO TOP GUN FLIGHT SUIT
The last flight suit on our list is by Icaro 2000, and it has been specially designed for use by paramotor, gyrocopter and ultralight pilots. They’ve considered all of the qualities we’re looking for, and came up with a stylish and durable overall that will keep you comfortable in all conditions.
They’ve used a super tough material called Dermizax™ that has been specially developed for use in action sports. This material has windproof qualities, it’s breathable, and it utilizes its ultrathin monolithic membranes polymer molecule movement, to efficiently absorb perspiration vapor build-up on the fabrics inner surface, and disperses it throughout the fabric.
Not that you’ll be intentionally paramotoring in the rain, but Dermizax™ is also fully waterproof, so if you do happen to get caught out, or if you live in a climate that has very changeable weather, you’ll remain dry and comfortable.
Other things to note are: multiple zipped pockets for in-flight storage, including two easily accessible zipped pockets on the chest. A high adjustable collar with velcro to keep out the cold draughts. Elasticated cuffs and ankles, and retaining heel straps to keep the suit in place as you move in and out of your harness.
Buying flights suits online can often cause problems when trying to find the correct size. You need to be sure that you have freedom of movement, and you need to make sure you can fit into it while already wearing your normal everyday clothes. One other big selling point of the Top Gun flight suit is Icaro’s promise to replace the flight suit if you accidentally buy the wrong size, simply send it back to them for the next size up or down, and they’ll even cover the postage costs, how’s that for good service!
Do you really need a flight suit?
There’s no rules that say you have to wear a flight suit, or any specific type of clothing while flying your paramotor. There’s times when you’ll be perfectly fine flying in your everyday clothing, so this really depends on when, where, for how long, and at what altitudes you’ll be flying.
LOCATION AND FLIGHT TIME
If you live in a warm climate where the temperature doesn’t really change from season to season, you may only need a flight suit to fly at higher altitudes. While paramotoring in the UK during summer, I can fly low for many hours and remain comfortable, but as soon as I climb above a few hundred feet I’ll start to get chilly.
Many pilots only fly during warmer months, and have no intention of flying during the winter, and some pilots just enjoy a quick 20 minute flight while staying within a few minutes of their launch field. These pilots may never need a flight suit, while others may feel more comfortable in a garment specifically designed for flying, so it may also be a matter of personal preference.
CROSS COUNTRY FLYING
If you plan on doing any type of cross country flying I recommend that you get yourself a flight suit. You’ll be in the air for many hours at a time, and there’ll be times when you need to climb to higher altitudes for long periods of time. These flights can require a lot of concentration, and the last thing you want is to be shivering in your harness miles from your landing zone wishing you could land.
If you’ve decided that you may not need a flight suit then other options would simply be warm clothing designed for winter use. Snow jackets are great, but be sure to buy one with a removable hood, as hoods can easily pass through your paramotor’s netting and get caught in your propeller.
Some of the manufacturers listed in this post also do thermal wear aimed solely at paragliding and paramotor pilots, so these products are definitely worth checking out if you need more options. Thermal flying wear like the previously mentioned GIN Graphite jacket that has a chest pocket for in flight storage, or Dudek team pilot jackets made with flexible materials that allow freedom of movement are both great options.
Other things you can use to keep you warm, and things that I always use are balaclavas (you can see me wearing one in the main image alongside my flight suit), and heated gloves. I’ve got a whole post dedicated to finding the correct paramotoring gloves, so that’s a good place to go to next by clicking here.
Don’t forget you’ll also need a helmet! Check out my helmet post HERE