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Skydiving AAD's - Which One Should You Buy?

Skydiving AAD's - Which One Should You Buy? - SkydiveShop.com

Introduction to Skydiving AAD's

Automatic Activation Devices (AADs) are an essential piece of equipment for skydivers, especially for beginners. These devices automatically deploy your reserve parachute if you're unable to do so, making them a crucial safety feature.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Skydiving AAD

  • Lifetime and Maintenance: Consider the service life and maintenance requirements.
  • Battery Life and Change Intervals: Check how often the battery needs to be changed.
  • Compatibility with Container Systems: Make sure the AAD is compatible with your skydiving rig. Some containers need 2pin AAD's.
  • Multimode Features: We recommend you to for AADs with adjustable modes. After all, their lifetime is 15-20 years.
  • Cost and Budget Considerations: Prices can vary widely, so set a budget beforehand.
  • Brand Reputation and Customer Support: Read reviews and ask for recommendations. Ask your friends, instructors or if you are shy, go to Reddit! It is a great place to ask questions about Skydiving, but don't always take the answers seriously. 

Types of AADs and Their Specifics


  • Lifetime: 15.5 years
  • Battery: Voluntary maintenance at 5 and 10 years
  • Key Features: Multiple modes, long battery life
  • Cost: $$$

Cypres is one of the most trusted names in the AAD market. Known for its reliability and advanced technology, a Cypres unit offers multiple modes for different types of jumps.

Vigil Cuatro

  • Lifetime: 20 years
  • Battery: Replacement after ~10 years
  • Key Features: No scheduled maintenance, easy to use
  • Cost: $$$

Vigil offers affordability without compromising on safety. The Vigil Cuatro has four modes and is easy to operate. It's a great choice for skydivers looking for value. It has a quite user-friendly interface for checking information, changing configuration, etc. You still need to change the battery after ~10 years, which will add to the cost / value ratio.

MarS m²

  • Lifetime: 15.5 years
  • Battery: No battery change or maintenance required
  • Key Features: Versatile, lowest price
  • Price: $$

MarS M2 is known for its versatility and lowest price. It's the most affordable option, making it popular among skydivers looking for budget options.

Tips for Buying a New or Used AAD

  • Pros and Cons of Buying New and Used: New AADs come with warranties and keeps their value relatively well. Used ones are cheaper to buy, although because of their expiration date, usually cost/value is higher.
  • Precautions When Purchasing a Used AAD: Always check the device's history and condition. Check the Service Bulletins to see if it doesn't need repairs.
  • Recommended Sources for Buying Used AADs: Stick to reputable sellers or platforms. Facebook Skydiving Gear Selling groups is an option, but proceed with caution.


The market offers various options, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Brands like Cypres are renowned for their reliability and advanced technology and come at a higher price point. On the other hand, Vigil Cuatro offers an easy-to-use interface and is less pricey, but will cost you more later. If you're on a budget, MarS M2 provides a versatile yet affordable option.

While these factors are important, the most crucial thing is to have an AAD in your rig. No matter which brand or type you choose, having an AAD significantly enhances your safety by providing an additional layer of protection. So, take your time, weigh your options, and make an informed decision that aligns with both your needs and budget. Safety is paramount, so ensure that your skydiving rig is equipped with an AAD.

If you would ask our personal recommendation, we would suggest going for CYPRES AAD



  1. How often do I need to change the battery in my AAD?
    • Vigil - after 8-12 years. Cypres - 5 and 10 years maintenance recommended, but not mandatory. MarS m2 lasts 15.5 years and you won't need to change the battery.
  2. Can I use any AAD with my existing container system?
    • Most AADs are compatible with standard container systems, but always double-check. Some containers need 2pin AAD's. 
  3. What are the recommended features to look for in an AAD?
    • We recommend getting an AAD with changeable mode.