Best Running Parachutes Tested & Rated

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Parachutes aren’t just for jumping out of planes. They are actually a great accessory for runners. More specifically, they can enhance the effects of your speed workouts by adding resistance to your run. The benefits of using a parachute during a speed workout include increasing your sprinting speed, heightened explosiveness in your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, and improving your drive. Another benefit of parachute training is that the resistance it provides mimics the same resistance provided by running hills. So, if you hate hills, but still want to get some resistance training into your routine, a parachute might be a good addition to your equipment stash.

Last Updated: June 6, 2017
By Brian Price:

We wanted to give you a little more than just a few products to look at. To make this guide more helpful, we sat down to do a bit more research into just what makes the products so good, as well as some factors that you might want to consider while shopping around.

Additionally, near the bottom of the page, you will find a selection of frequently asked questions, which we were able to pu together during our research.

OSG 48” Speed Training Chute
  • OSG 48” Speed Training Chute
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Increase Speed + Strength
  • Price: See Here
SKLZ Speed Resistance Parachute
  • SKLZ Speed Resistance Parachute
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Increase Speed + Strength
  • Price: See Here
Jumping 56” Resistance Parachute
  • Jumping 56” Resistance Parachute
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Increase Speed + Strength
  • Price: See Here

4 Best Running Parachutes

 

1. OSG 48”

1. OSG 48”
Length
This is a 48” parachute.

Attachment
The OSG Speed Trianing Parachute attaches to your body via a belt-style harness that goes around your waist. It is adjustable to so it can almost any runner, and can meet your desired level of comfort.

Material
This running parachute is made of synthetic materials.

Durability and Performance
Users report that this is a very durable parachute that is also very effective in improving speed. One user reported that just after two months of regular use during training, their sprints were much faster than prior to incorporating speed parachute training into their routine.

Storage
This parachute comes with a convenient storage bag for easy transport between home and training.

Value
This is slightly above-average priced running parachute.
Pros
  • Effective at improving speed
Cons
  • Not long lasting

2. SKLZ Speed

2. SKLZ Speed
Length
Unspecified

Attachment
This running parachute attaches securely around your waist with a 2-inch thick nylon belt. The belt has a free motion ring that allows it to rotate freely 360 degrees around, which means that you can sprint in any direction. The free motion ring also allows for both linear and parallel starts to accommodate your training needs. The belt releases with a quick release buckle so you can feel ultimate acceleration after training with the resistance of the parachute. Users noted that this parachute would feel a little more secure if it had a shoulder harness rather than a belt.

Material
This parachute is made of synthetic materials. The belt is made of nylon.

Durability and Performance
Users report that this parachute is highly durable and provides between 15 and 30 pounds of resistance. However, it is also best for adults that weight less than 200 pounds. If you are over 200 pounds, it may not provide enough resistance to benefit your training. If a child is using this parachute, it may be too large.

Storage
This parachute comes with a convenient storage bag that is only 12” x 3” x 6” and in total weighs just over 10 ounces.

Value
This is a higher priced running parachute.
Pros
  • Provides adequate resistance
  • Very durable
Cons
  • Only for adults under 200 pounds

3. Jumping 56”

3. Jumping 56”
Length
This parachute is 56” in size. The length can be adjusted to adapt the resistance to the specific needs of the athlete.

Attachment
The belt-style harness has a waist that adjusts between 20 inches and 42 inches, accommodating athletes of all body types. The belt has a velcro closure which releases quickly.

Material
This parachute is made of polyester.

Durability and Performance:
Polyester is an extremely durable, and light weight material. However, the manufacturer warns users to not allow the parachute to drag on the ground, or else it may be damaged. Additionally, some users reported that this parachute ripped during its first use. This parachute can provide between 11 pounds and 33 pounds of resistance. Multiple parachutes can be attached to the harness if more resistance is needed.

Storage
This parachute can be folded up into a small size and stashed in the included carry bag.

Value
This is a very inexpensive running parachute.
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Adjustable waist and resistance
Cons
  • Durability is questionable

4. AGPTek 56”

4. AGPTek 56”
Length
This is a 56” parachute. It is also available in a 48” size.

Attachment
The belt-style attachment of this parachute has a quick release function. It can fit up to a 42” waist.

Material
Unspecified

Durability and Performance
Users reported that this product is not very durable. Many users had the belt or parachute itself tear or break by the third use. One user that used the parachute on his dog to teach him how to run at a slower pace had successful results.

Value
This is a very inexpensive running parachute.
Pros
  • Adjustable, quick release belt
  • Multiple parachute sizes available
Cons
  • Poor durability

Criteria for Picking out A Good Parachute for Running.

A good sports parachute will definitely determine the life of an athlete especially a skydiver and a runner. Skydiving is one of the most thrilling sporting activities and with very high risk. Only the bravest are able to venture into this kind of sport. With a good parachute, the skydiver can either be dead or alive, or the skydiver can have a very smooth ride in the clouds or a bumpy and rocky ride that is dangerous.

While runners also buy running parachutes especially those involved in sprinting. The parachutes help the athlete become more strong and increase the level of resistance that the runner may experience when running. Purchasing a good parachute is the first major step that an athlete needs to take when planning to become a good/ regular skydiver and an elite runner. In addition to that, the novice athletes tend to find this to be exciting. Though it’s important to note that the whole process of buying a good parachute requires plenty of forethought.

Skydivers tend to look for specific attributes and features in parachutes & any related paraphernalia, when making a purchase of their sporting parachute. Making the most perfect choice of a parachute literally means focusing on other attributes other than size, design, make, and fitting rather than style and color. Understanding a parachute’s function and basic structure and function, will make it easier for an athlete or a skydiver to pick the parachute that will be most comfortable to him or her. Buying a parachute for skydiving can be a very fun filled process for beginners, since you will very many colorful and flashy options to choose from, not to mention the variety in sizes. However, it’s good to note that the key factor in any parachute is safety and never the style.

A running chute is normally harnessed onto a runners’ body during a sprint and an interval training run. A wind resistance is created by the chute that will help in muscle building, mental readiness and muscle endurance, that are helpful during races. There are several factors that are considered when buying a running chute: the size, type & design of harness, plus the accessories a runner will need. Customer reviews & personal trials will also help in determining the quality and durability of the running chute and whether it will be able to fulfill the personal needs of an athlete.

That’s why we came up with the below factors that were used in picking out the best parachutes for athletes.

The Size of the Canopy:

There is very little difference when comparing running parachutes except how big each running chute is, and of course maybe the type of harness. Generally, these sporting gears come in the below sizes from small to medium, and finally the large sizes. How much wind resistance experienced by the runner is determined by the size of the canopy of the chute?

A small size parachute will offer approximately 15 pounds which is equal to (6.8 kg) of added wind resistance. While a medium-sized running parachute can offer extra 20 pounds or 9 kg of resistance to the runner, and the larger chutes might be able to offer a resistance close to 13.6 kg which is 30 pounds of added resistance. The interesting parts of these chutes is that you can even use two together in order to increase the level of challenge. It’s more efficient to get a canopy that is larger in size than a canopy that is small in size. The parachute should be one that is large and safe, and be able to satisfy all the safety needs.

Beginners Vs Experienced Runners.

Beginning runners that have smaller stature, will find a smaller running parachute to be best in achieving their running goals. While the runners who are intermediate will prefer the running chutes that are medium in size. Elite or advanced athletes who are taller and much heavier will definitely opt for chutes that have bigger canopy.

Most athletes (both the elite and the amateurs) possess comprehensive programs for strength-building, that need a good amount of time in a weight room. When using running parachutes, the athlete is able to build strength during running. The runner is able to combine the resistance training & the interval training all in one training session. For the runners who are die-hard, building up their strength without being able to sacrifice their running workouts is very interesting. The wind resistance workouts and training have several benefits to runners: building strength in large-muscle, enhance performance during the race. However, using the speed parachutes exclusively is not recommended and discouraged by the elite coaches/ athletes. Even though parachute training can be considered to be an excellent extra training for runners.

Middle and long distance running athletes, when using the chutes tend to focus more on building their strength & increasing their endurance while still being able to maintain their flexibility. They focus on building the muscles that are slow twitch. These twitch muscles tend to use oxygen more efficiently so that a running athlete is able to perform continuously, for prolonged duration. This is very critical when taking part in long distance races. Since the running parachutes don’t fully build the slow twitch muscle, they are not as used as much by the athletes who are involved in middle and long distance races compared to runners who take part in short races like sprinting.

But all these running groups, benefit from these resistance workouts, which not only builds additional strength in a runners’ thighs but also in their calves, quads and the core. This kind of holistic approach intended to achieve strength building enables an athlete to be most competitive and more vigorous.

When there is an increase in the total strength that a runner has, this means the quantity of force applied by an athlete to the running surface will be high, hence a faster run. More strength on the calves and the ankles of the runner makes the athlete have the ability to take off at a much faster speed and be able to make longer strides that are enhanced.

The Wind Resistance.

Wind resistance workouts are done using running parachutes, they also play a very important role when focusing on strength development, especially when an athlete is going through a recovery. Parachute training lessens the impact of a motion when compared to training in the weight room.

Running parachutes can also provide runners with endowed mental edge. In case, the training conditions you are on is difficult then a runner is guaranteed a smooth race even if they have to run in a windy weather that can be at a speed of 64 kph. The human body has the ability to effectively adapt to any difficult condition and environment if it is properly trained. This type of mental toughness comes into action when the race is almost ending and all the runners are tired. Wind resistance encourages endurance, extra stamina and the technique, which keeps the runner still energized and strong when the runners are more tired.

Other Important Factors To Consider

Harness

The running parachutes are mostly designed so that a harness is used to achieve an attachment to the runners’ body. Some type of harnesses will wrap around your chest, while the others fit nicely around the runners’ waist.  These two types of harnessing are available for all running parachutes. The preference between the two types of harnesses is determined by a runners’ personal preference, comfortability and fitness goals. Whichever type of harness chosen, the runner must focus on the most comfortable one and less inhibiting when having workout sessions. Another factor would be how easy or hard it is to attach and detach the harness. This plays an important role in picking out the type of harness.

Extra Features

Some running parachutes have various additional accessories during purchase, that can be useful to an athlete. A carrying case which can protect the running chute when it’s not being used. The case also makes it easier to carry the parachute and transport when it’s not in use. Often times, a new running parachute will have an instructional DVD or booklet that helps in demonstrating the safety measures of using a running parachute and the very best methods.

Price

Most running chutes their prices will range from $30 to $75, the running parachutes are inexpensive and very affordable to most running athletes. The cost is totally dependent on how big the parachute is, also the brand plays an important role on the price. Before purchasing your running parachute, it’s advisable that an athlete reads some of the customers reviews by athletes who have used the sporting chute before. This will give a clear idea on how beneficial a parachute is or how troublesome it will be. The other option to consider, will be buying a parachute that has return policy, then you can try it out personally. If it’s not what you are looking for then the runner can simply return it. To avoid all these hustles a physical purchase would be the best option to opt for when buying a running parachute.

Additional Information.
What are the advantages of a Running Parachute to a Runner?

Building strength means that the overall performance of an athlete will be better. Wind-resistance workouts with these speed chutes offers muscular resistance to the runner. Depending on how big the chute is, they can generate from 15(6.8 Kg) to 30 pounds (13.6 Kg) of wind resistance, this is similar to running in a windy climate, or through water and even taking a run uphill.

Speed parachutes build muscles fast that are twitched. These fast twitch muscle have fibres that are beneficial in short bursts of speed or strength, critical when taking part in races that are shorter like a 100m dash. That is why most sprinters will find using speed chutes as beneficial. These muscles provide speed & fast change with focus on direction when involved in the following sporting activities soccer, football, baseball or basketball.

Middle and long distance running athletes, when using the chutes tend to focus more on building their strength & increasing their endurance while still being able to maintain their flexibility. They focus on building the muscles that are slow twitch. These twitch muscles tend to use oxygen more efficiently so that a running athlete is able to perform continuously, for prolonged duration. This is very critical when taking part in long distance races. Since the running parachutes don’t fully build the slow twitch muscle, they are not as used as much by the athletes who are involved in middle and long distance races compared to runners who take part in short races like sprinting.

But all these running groups, benefit from these resistance workouts, which not only builds additional strength in a runners’ thighs but also in their calves, quads and the core. This kind of holistic approach intended to achieve strength building enables an athlete to be most competitive and more vigorous.

When there is an increase in the total strength that a runner has, this means the quantity of force applied by an athlete to the running surface will be high, hence a faster run. More strength on the calves and the ankles of the runner makes the athlete have the ability to take off at a much faster speed and be able to make longer strides that are enhanced.

The running chute offer progressive resistance, this means that the faster you are running, the more resistance you will experience and hence building more strength. More resistance experienced by an athlete means more strength is being built. They are perfect for all ability levels.

How to Train with a Running Chute

Running chute workouts are not the type of training sessions that you can do every day. These workouts are best implemented together with other types of sporting resistance training like the resistance bands & the ankle weights, occasionally. Start out the training by adding these other workouts like once weekly. The athlete should use them on shorter distances, one can start with 50 yards and continue to even 100 yards.

Pick open areas as your training grounds when using running chutes. Like a football field. While it’s possible to train using the running chutes on curves, it makes more sense to run straight as this means more resistance will be generated by the chute. Hence get the needed drag for the workout. Keep of trees or objects that might trap the chute and even tear it.

While the running chutes do permit and allow for lone workout or training, having a partner with you can help in making sure you get the extra resistance, he/she can throw your chute upwards in the air in order to get resistance much faster. Never the less, picking up speed very quickly will enable the chute to expand and hence expand and drag.

The Different Parts of a Skydiving Parachute

Though a little different from the running chutes, it’s good to know the basics when it comes to the sky diving parachutes. So that you do not confuse the two types of chutes when looking for a running chute. Skydiving parachutes can be described as sophisticated devices that have very many diversified working parts, this includes the parachute not forgetting the very small details that make the whole parachute, you will realize it’s much more than just large pieces of clothes sewn together. The main parts in a skydiving parachute bundle are:

  1. parachute
  2. reserve parachute
  3. container

However, it’s important to note that all these parts have smaller parts and connectors. The parts of a skydiving parachute are as listed below, with their functions and what they are:

A Parachute: it’s a big parachute and forms the main part or canopy of the parachute.

A Pilot Chute: this is the smaller parachute, that is normally attached to the main part of the parachute, its function is mainly to open up the bigger parachute.

The Bridle: this is a webbing made of nylon and is between 7 to 10 feet long. The bridle acts as the attachment between the pilot chute and the main parachute.

The Reserve Parachute: it’s also a big parachute, and acts as the backup parachute just in case the main parachute or canopy fails to open up or function properly.

The Parachute Container: this is simply a backpack; it has extra straps that go around the legs of the skydiver. Its main function is to hold the parachute securely onto the backside of the skydiver. It also contains all the equipment.

The Lines of a Parachute: these are straps or cords on the parachute. They are long and thin. Their function is to connect the parachute securely to the risers.

The Risers: they are also straps, similar to the lines, the only difference is that they are thicker and much shorter. They connect the container of the parachute to the liners. They also connect the liners to the skydiver.

The AAD (Automatic Activation Device): this is an electronic device which is small in size. The function of AAD is the deployment of the reserve in scenarios of absence of the skydiver.

The Toggles: These are strap webbings made of nylon. Their main function is to give the skydiver the ability to control the speed and direction of the parachute while in air.

When shopping for a parachute you will find minimal or tiny variations on this parts depending on the type of style of the parachute. But most of the parachutes for skydiving will have most if not all of the above parts present. Make sure that the parachute you are buying has all these parts as they are very important. 

 

FAQ

Below are some of the questions that are normally asked by athletes when considering to buy running chutes.

Q. Can Middle and Long Distance Runners benefit from Running Chutes?

A. Middle and long distance running athletes, when using the chutes tend to focus more on building their strength & increasing their endurance while still being able to maintain their flexibility. They focus on building the muscles that are slow twitch. These twitch muscles tend to use oxygen more efficiently so that a running athlete is able to perform continuously, for prolonged duration. This is very critical when taking part in long distance races. Since the running parachutes don’t fully build the slow twitch muscle, they are not as used as much by the athletes who are involved in middle and long distance races compared to runners who take part in short races like sprinting.

But all these running groups, benefit from these resistance workouts, which not only builds additional strength in a runners’ thighs but also in their calves, quads and the core. This kind of holistic approach intended to achieve strength building enables an athlete to be most competitive and more vigorous.

Q. What is the difference type of resistance offered by the different sizes of running chutes?

A.There is very little difference when comparing running parachutes except how big each running chute is, and of course maybe the type of harness. Generally, these sporting gears come in the below sizes from small to medium, and finally the large sizes. How much wind resistance experienced by the runner is determined by the size of the canopy of the chute?

A small size parachute will offer approximately 15 pounds which is equal to (6.8 kg) of added wind resistance. While a medium-sized running parachute can offer extra 20 pounds or 9 kg of resistance to the runner, and the larger chutes might be able to offer a resistance close to 13.6 kg which is 30 pounds of added resistance. The interesting parts of these chutes is that you can even use two together in order to increase the level of challenge. It’s more efficient to get a canopy that is larger in size than a canopy that is small in size. The parachute should be one that is large and safe, and be able to satisfy all the safety needs.

Q. How to Train with a Running Chute

A. Running chute workouts are not the type of training sessions that you can do every day. These workouts are best implemented together with other types of sporting resistance training like the resistance bands & the ankle weights, occasionally. Start out the training by adding these other workouts like once weekly. The athlete should use them on shorter distances, one can start with 50 yards and continue to even 100 yards.

Pick open areas as your training grounds when using running chutes. Like a football field. While it’s possible to train using the running chutes on curves, it makes more sense to run straight as this means more resistance will be generated by the chute. Hence get the needed drag for the workout. Keep of trees or objects that might trap the chute and even tear it.

While the running chutes do permit and allow for lone workout or training, having a partner with you can help in making sure you get the extra resistance, he/she can throw your chute upwards in the air in order to get resistance much faster. Never the less, picking up speed very quickly will enable the chute to expand and hence expand and drag.

Q. What are the advantages of a Running Parachute to a Runner?

  1. Building strength means that the overall performance of an athlete will be better. Wind-resistance workouts with these speed chutes offers muscular resistance to the runner. Depending on how big the chute is, they can generate from 15(6.8 Kg) to 30 pounds (13.6 Kg) of wind resistance, this is similar to running in a windy climate, or through water and even taking a run uphill.
  2. Speed parachutes build muscles fast that are twitched. These fast twitch muscle have fibres that are beneficial in short bursts of speed or strength, critical when taking part in races that are shorter like a 100m dash. That is why most sprinters will find using speed chutes as beneficial. These muscles provide speed & fast change with focus on direction when involved in the following sporting activities soccer, football, baseball or basketball.
  3. Middle and long distance running athletes, when using the chutes tend to focus more on building their strength & increasing their endurance while still being able to maintain their flexibility. They focus on building the muscles that are slow twitch. These twitch muscles tend to use oxygen more efficiently so that a running athlete is able to perform continuously, for prolonged duration. This is very critical when taking part in long distance races. Since the running parachutes don’t fully build the slow twitch muscle, they are not as used as much by the athletes who are involved in middle and long distance races compared to runners who take part in short races like sprinting.
  4. But all the above running groups, benefit from these resistance workouts, which not only builds additional strength in a runners’ thighs but also in their calves, quads and the core. This kind of holistic approach intended to achieve strength building enables an athlete to be most competitive and more vigorous.
  5. When there is an increase in the total strength that a runner has, this means the quantity of force applied by an athlete to the running surface will be high, hence a faster run. More strength on the calves and the ankles of the runner makes the athlete have the ability to take off at a much faster speed and be able to make longer strides that are enhanced.
  6. The running chute offer progressive resistance, this means that the faster you are running, the more resistance you will experience and hence building more strength. More resistance experienced by an athlete means more strength is being built. They are perfect for all ability levels.

 

Conclusion

Before purchasing your running parachute, it’s advisable that an athlete reads some of the customers reviews by athletes who have used the sporting chute before. This will give a clear idea on how beneficial a parachute is or how troublesome it will be. The other option to consider, will be buying a parachute that has return policy, then you can try it out personally. If it’s not what you are looking for then the runner can simply return it. To avoid all these hustles a physical purchase would be the best option to opt for when buying a running parachute.

There are a variety of running parachutes available on the market today, and they are definitely not one size fits all. If you are exploring the idea of adding parachute workouts to your training routine, read our guide of the best running parachutes before you make your purchase to ensure you get the right parachute for your fitness needs.


Here are the sources we used while conducting  our research.

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