Skydiving Equipment List

Skydiving Equipment List

Skydiving is an intense activity that can provide the adrenaline rush of a lifetime. However, there are plenty of safety precautions that are needed as it can be a very dangerous activity if not performed correctly. Many safety precautions to be aware of come with the equipment worn. Learn more about skydiving equipment in this comprehensive list below.

Skydiving Equipment

Skydiving Equipment

Having the proper equipment when skydiving will assure safety and make for a more enjoyable experience. The intense speeds and altitude faced when skydiving require certain equipment to combat the elements. For example, goggles and neck gaiters are necessary for skydivers to keep the wind out of their eyes and face while also keeping warm. Harnesses are essential for beginners who are participating in tandem skydiving as it connects the students to the teacher. More often than not, parachutes come in handy while skydiving as well.


The AAD stands for Automatic Activation Device. It is a computer installed into a container that acts as a failsafe in case an accident occurs when skydiving, such as two divers colliding or a diver passing out. The computer reads barometric pressure and speed. When a diver gets to a  dangerously low altitude and high rate of speed, the computer will automatically deploy the reserve parachute for the diver. 


An altimeter is a device used to measure the altitude of the diver and keep them aware of what altitude they are at. The altimeter looks like a watch that is worn on the wrist of the diver. There are three types of altimeters that skydivers use, an analog altimeter, a digital altimeter and an audio altimeter. While the analog altimeter and digital altimeters look like watches and are worn on the wrists of skydivers, the audio altimeter is located in the helmet of the diver to alert them as a backup in case the wrist altimeter does not work.


Skydiving is such a unique experience that you will want to have videos and pictures to remember your excursion. When skydiving, the service that will be providing the excursion will have a camera man to capture the experience. Let the professionals hold the camera and refrain from bringing your own.


The container looks similar to a backpack and holds both the parachute and the reserve parachute. It secures itself around the diver similar to a backpack while also fastening to the legs of the diver. The container is also called a rig, as it contains most of the necessary equipment used for skydiving.


When skydiving, having a neck gaiter will make the experience more enjoyable by shielding the face from the harsh winds and colder temperatures that are dealt with when being at skydiving altitudes. The average skydive excursion is over 10,000 feet in the air and temperatures can get pretty cold at that height. That along with the speed of a moving plane makes wearing a gaiter very useful during a skydiving excursion.


Wearing goggles while skydiving is essential to the safety and enjoyment of the diver. Sky divers can reach speeds of up to 120 mph when falling. It would not be much fun skydiving without goggles as reaching those speeds will cause the eyes to water a tremendous amount. One of the greatest aspects of skydiving is being able to see the views thousands of feet in the air and wearing goggles allows you to experience this.


Aside from the parachute, the harness may be the most important piece of equipment when skydiving. Beginners in skydiving will participate in a Tandem Skydive in which they will be harnessed to an instructor for safety. The harness secures the diver to the instructor. More experienced divers will be able to jump on their own without an instructor. However, the harness still secures the diver to the parachute.


Helmets are worn by student skydivers and by almost all experienced skydivers. Helmets can double as goggles and a gaiter by offering full protection of the head area. While it can double as wind protection, having a helmet reduces the risk of head injury as well. Helmets provide more than safety equipment, they are also a medium for documenting the skydive experience. With the invention of the GoPro, skydiving helmets have started to have mounts built on them to hold the GoPro and give the perfect angle for documenting the fall. Camera usage is only allowed for licensed jumpers meeting the USPA recommended requirements such as having 200 jumps.

Hook Knife

It may sound dangerous, but it is actually helpful to have a hook knife handy while skydiving. It is often referred to as the last line of defense of a skydiver because when something goes wrong and there is a technical issue, the hook knife is used when all other options are exhausted. When the parachute has trouble deploying, the skydiver must cut through the lines of the parachute using the hook knife before the reserve parachute can be deployed. A popular saying amongst skydivers is “Hook Knives Save Lives.”


While it is recommended that divers wear street or athletic clothes when diving, jumpsuits can be worn by divers to preserve their clothes. The jumpsuits are specifically chosen for the best fit of the diver and to help the diver stay at a comfortable fall rate range. The two most common types of jumpsuits are the belly suit and the freefly suit, with both suits having a specific type of skydiving in mind. Beginners should wear the belly suit as most first time skydivers will jump in a belly-flight style.


A logbook is similar to a journal or a diary in that it is a diver’s personal recorded history of skydiving. The logbook is used as a document of identification, providing each new drop zone a diver visits with proof to back their skydiving licenses, ratings and currency. In the absence of this proof, a skydiving facility will likely deny the right of the diver to jump at their facility. 


The parachute, also referred to as the canopy, is the most important piece of equipment when skydiving. The parachute is the ultimate form of safety when skydiving as it prevents the free fall from going any further. The parachute is so important that all skydivers wear not one but two parachutes in case there is an issue with deployment of the first parachute. The second parachute is known as the reserve parachute.

Pilot Chute

When first jumping out of the plane, a smaller parachute will be deployed by the diver. This is known as the pilot chute. The pilot chute catches the air and pulls the parachute out of the container. The pilot chute is also known as the drogue chute in tandem skydiving instances.


When skydiving, it is recommended that sneakers are worn. Sneakers are advantageous over sandals or other shoes because skydiving is a more physical activity and sneakers are more securely fastened to the foot than other shoes. Wearing and tying sneakers eliminates the possibility of shoes flying off during the jump. Sneakers also provide a more comfortable landing.

Street Clothes

While divers have the option to wear a jumpsuit, street clothes or workout clothes are recommended when skydiving. As skydiving is a physical activity, formal attire should not be worn. When going skydiving, dress as if you’re going to workout. Don’t wear anything that you would not want to fly out of a plane.  

Proper equipment when skydiving will assure safety and make for a more enjoyable experience. Learn more about it in this comprehensive list below.