During a recent USPA Coach Course, the candidates practiced gear checks with their own equipment. When they inspected the area under their reserve flaps, the examiner noticed damage on one of the candidates’ reserve loops. The candidate believed that it may have happened during a bad landing weeks earlier.
Although a main closing loop can have as much as 10% wear before being replaced, this standard does not apply to the reserve loop. The reserve closing loop should be in near-perfect condition. A rigger can easily replace a reserve closing loop on their own pack job, and most riggers will do it for a fraction of the cost of a repack. Some riggers will even do it for free to encourage proper gear maintenance. If the original rigger is not available, a new rigger would have to perform an entire reserve repack, since replacement requires breaking the seal that designates whose pack job it is. In either case, it is a good investment. A reserve closing loop breaking at an inopportune moment could easily be deadly.