Which AAD should I buy?

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Whenever we face the purchase of an equipment either new or by parts we find this question, the section of containers, main canopy and reserve we usually have more options, but as for barometric devices generically called AAD (Automatic Activation Device) or what which would be translated Automatic activation device basically we have three options:

  • Cypres C-Mode
  • Multi M2
  • Vigil Quatro

We begin our analysis with the oldest device and surely with more units sold since 1992 on the market, Airtec is the German manufacturer of which Cypres is commonly called, it sells several versions.

Expert, Speed, Student, Tandem, C-Mode (the previous 4 in 1 device) this version is the one that we will compare with its competitors and finally the WSC version that is specifically designed for wingsuit (we will dedicate an entry from our SkyBlog soon) .

Units manufactured until 2016 must pass mandatory maintenance at their factory at 4 and 8 years respectively (with a margin of 6 months before or after that date of manufacture) having a total life of 12.5 years. For devices put into service from January 2017, they have a recommended maintenance at 5 and 10 years of age, with a life of 15.5 years.

Airtec in all its Cypres offers a guarantee of 5 years and later, whenever this revision is carried out (fixed price), it will include the repair or replacement of the complete device or any necessary element (cutter, battery, screen, software update etc … ) within factory checks at no additional cost. The cost of such maintenance is usually around € 150-180 depending on the dealer and whether you send the unit on your own or not.

All revisions are carried out at the official factory by qualified personnel.A small advantage of these reviews is that in the unfortunate case that your equipment is lost or stolen it has a list of lost or stolen units, when it arrives at the factory it can be detected and you will know where your equipment is since the revisions are only made through an official distributor

If you want to see how his cutter works by cutting a loop and one wire click the next video , this is the video and this one is cutting a 4mm steel wire.

The second to appear for sale back in 2003 was the Mars M2, a manufacturer from the Czech Republic that also offers containers, main parachutes and reserves among others.

The Mars Multi M2 offers 5 in 1, Student, Intermediate, Expert, Speed ​​and Tandem, like the other models in our review, the way we choose will determine the speed and height at which our device will fire if necessary.

It has a life of 15.5 years and depending on the use it does not need a change of batteries (up to 15,000 jumps). If necessary, the unit will display a warning message, such maintenance can be carried out by a rigger in your usual drop zone.

Mars offers a 2-year warranty on his device, but for example if you have to replace the cutter it will cost you at least € 150 and the work of your trusted rigger although it is undoubtedly the cheapest AAD of the entire comparison in terms of at acquisition and maintenance cost (provided that no additional problems arise).

The latest barometric device is the Vigil Quatro made in Belgium and put on sale also in 2003, it also has 4 modes to choose from: Pro, Student, Tandem and Xtreme.

The manufacturer gives an estimated life of 20 years (only the first Vigil I units have 17), in terms of maintenance they indicate in their manual that it is necessary to replace the batteries between 8 – 12 years, there is a service bulletin that requires Replace the batteries after 10 years for Vigil I users, this change of batteries can be done by a rigger at the dropzone.

Vigil has a two-year warranty, for the battery they offer 5 years or 2,000 jumps with a maximum of 12 years, the approximate cost of said battery is € 95, a cutter if necessary € 160 and a display € 280 plus work of the rigger in your drop zone.





To finish a small summary table of the main characteristics of the automatic opening devices, all of them are endorsed by the main container / harness manufacturers on the market currently: UPT Vector (Vector 3 micron), Mirage (G4), Aerodyne (Icon) , Sun Path (Javelin), Infiniti containers, Paratec, Wings, Rigging Innovations etc.

Cypres C-ModeMars Multi M2Vigil Quatro
Year of commercialization199220032003
Sale and maintenance.Germany, EEUUCzech Republic , EEUUBelgium, EEUU
Programmable modes451
Years of life15,515,520
Maintenance / Battery change5/10 years15.000 jumps10 uears
Offset programyesyesyes
Activation height changeyesyesyes
Waterproof1,5 m 24 Hours2 m 24 Hours1,8 m 24 Hours
Price (as of the date of this post)1140 €999 €1200 €
Discount trade-in an old unit-60 €– 50 €No

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