I've got my new harness this weekend from the local paragliding school. It's an Advance Lightness and it has a number of pluses and minuses.
On the positive side it's a pod harness and it's extremely light; better glide, warmer in winter, lighter for hiking up to launch. On the negative side, it doesn't have a lot of storage space, it's a bit flimsy and has very little protection if you have an accident. I'm struggling with the choice; do the pluses really outweigh the minuses and make it a sensible choice? Will it be my everyday harness or just for some flights? Do the performance advantages really outweigh the safety / practicality issues?
I was a bit nervous about flying it, but everything seemed very straightforward. The speedbar is very easy to find; it was easy to launch and land. There were a few things to worry about; the carabiners are higher than my previous harness, so I need to keep my hands higher and weight shifting is harder. I have to sort the cockpit out so it's easier to read the instruments.
So far it's hard to know how well it will work out, but it was a promising start. No-one liked the flying conditions this weekend, but I didn't have any problems. After a couple of flights (I had an early morning flight to try it out in easy conditions, before a spicier afternoon flight), I watched some tennis before cycling back up to launch to retrieve my car.