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Hammocks with Big Agnes: thoughts?


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  • #1218643
    Rob Mcrae
    Member

    @emptyman

    Locale: the other, big Ontario

    Any hammock campers out there who have any experience with a Big Agnes Bag (with integrated pad) inside a hammock? it seems to me that this would be great, and solve the problem I’ve had in the past with the CCF pad sliding all over the place during the night. Just wondering if there is anyone out there who has done this. I’ve been experimenting with cold weather hammock sleeping, trying to find the most efficient (cost and weight) way to go, and this looks like a good shot. BTW, I use a Hennessy UL. Cheers.

    #1356785
    Eric Noble
    BPL Member

    @ericnoble

    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    I haven’t used a Big Agnes bag but I have used a bivy, a pad, and a sleeping bag. It worked, but was a real pain to get into. The zippers on my bivy and my bag are not on the same side. My more complicated setup worked, though I wouldn’t do it again. Your idea is simpler and will work, and I believe it could work long term. I spent this past weekend with the scouts at Golden Gate state park in Colorado. I use my Hennessy hammock with two No Snivellers. One as an under-quilt and the other inside the hammock. This is my prefered setup.

    #1356797
    Rob Mcrae
    Member

    @emptyman

    Locale: the other, big Ontario

    Eric, yes, your setup is ideal, but I have neither the money to spend on two quilts, nor the will to carry both, which together would be a good weight more than just a light bag and pad (I think…). Thanks for your response.

    #1356800
    Eric Noble
    BPL Member

    @ericnoble

    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    Rob, you are definitely right about the cost. I was lucky and won a quilt in a drawing. The weight might be pretty close. My quilt weighs 1.4 lbs. My Prolite 4 pad weighs 1.5 lbs. In my case, two quilts weigh less than a quilt and a pad. I am guessing my quilt weighs less than your bag, and your pad weighs less than mine. The major advantage of your setup is that you can go to ground and still be comfortable. I think you are definitely on to something. Do you already have the Big Agnes bag? If not the Western Mountaineering Pod 30 might be ideal. Let me know how it works out. I am hoping, as I’m sure you were, that someone who had done what you suggest would respond.

    #1356801
    Jeff Jackson
    Member

    @just_jeff

    Locale: Colorado's Front Range

    I’m pretty sure a few folks at whiteblaze.net have tried this setup – post your question over there and you should get some responses.

    I agree w/ Eric about the weight – BA bags and pads aren’t all that light, so the weight will likely be similar to two JRB quilts.

    You could always make your own setup…probably lighter than the BA, too.

    #1356826
    Gerald Magnes
    BPL Member

    @gmagnes

    Locale: Southeast US

    I’ve used a Big Agnes Horsethief in an Asym. UL Hennessy Hammock and found it to be a good way to go. The integrated pad sleeve definitely helps keep the bag and pad aligned in a more effective way than separate components would, although in the end I moved away from a hammock. I just found it too tricky to maneuver in there and wanted a setup that offered me a place to relax while protected from bugs and rain in other than a prone position. Gerry Magnes
    Schenectady, NY

    #1356843
    Rob Mcrae
    Member

    @emptyman

    Locale: the other, big Ontario

    Gerry – thanks for your response. I wonder, going from a hammock, what did you turn to? I am in Canada, so getting off the ground, bug protection doesn’t come lighter or more comfy than the HH. While in the hammock, did you have any other configurations that were good? I admit that I may be irrationally hooked on the hammock – it is tricky, no doubt- but those times when it works for you, you can’t help but laugh at the rest of the world…

    #1356844
    Rob Mcrae
    Member

    @emptyman

    Locale: the other, big Ontario

    Jeff – I have been thinking about ‘make your own’. But I don’t have the heart to cut the bottom off of a sleeping bag to make a pad sleeve and then screw it up. Know anyone who’s tried it or has directions? Thanks.

    #1356874
    Jeff Jackson
    Member

    @just_jeff

    Locale: Colorado's Front Range

    Rather than cutting a bag down, just sew a pad sleeve with zippers down each side. Then mate those zippers to the zipper on your bag. (Assuming you have a bag with a separating zipper.)

    The sleeve must be as long as the sleeping bag’s zipper, and the zippers will come together into a “V” near the sleeve’s bottom so they can connect to the bag’s zipper.

    That’ll turn any bag into a BA-style bag, but keeping a full-size bag may alleviate some of the air gap problems described in the BPL article about sleeping systems. Plus, you can get many full-sized bags that weigh less than BA’s top bags…pick any bag you want, then find a matching zipper to make the pad sleeve.

    Then if you like that system, you could cut some width out to save weight.

    #1356875
    Jeff Jackson
    Member

    @just_jeff

    Locale: Colorado's Front Range

    Actually, you can buy a pad sleeve like this from DownWorks in Santa Cruz, CA. They make different sized sleeves, with different sized zippers, to fit various pads and bags.

    They also make pretty darn light custom quilts, too. I haven’t weighed them but I’m sure they compare favorably to any other quilts of similar size, and the quality is outstanding.

    I don’t know if they take phone orders, but they don’t have a webpage that I know of. It’s just a guy and his wife in a ~900sf shop full of respected brands (WM, Montbell, etc) and some of his own creations…his sewing machine is right there in the front room and he’s usually toiling away if he’s not helping a customer.

    Down Works
    222 River St
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    831-423-9078

    #1356922
    Rob Mcrae
    Member

    @emptyman

    Locale: the other, big Ontario

    Thanks, Jeff. I wish I would have known this when I was in SAnta Cruz last October! As a Canadian, I have learned the hard way about orderinng things from the US- you wouldn’t believe what we can get nailed with bringing things over the border. That’s why I ask about HH, Big agnes, and making my own- they are all feasible. If Jacks has any CAN distributors, I can’t find ’em. But your idea with the zipper is great. That way, I can zip the pad on or just use the bag by itself! I love it… I think it is time that I get handy with that sewing machine.

    #1356933
    john Tier
    Spectator

    @peter_pan

    Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA

    Rob,
    There are no Canadian distributors for Jacks R Better…We have shipped to several Canadians… None have mentioned the inbound customs as onerous or any issue.

    Pan

    #1357044
    Gerald Magnes
    BPL Member

    @gmagnes

    Locale: Southeast US

    Hey Rob
    I also tried a lt wt bag with a 2/3 zipper, so the bottom third of the bag was enclosed. I slipped the pad into the bag and wrapped the upper 2/3 of the bag around the pad into a quilt like effect. That also worked reasonably well, although I preferred the Big Agnes arrangement. I would agree with many others that once you get arranged, the hammock is very comfortable. As I said earlier though, I found that often I got dis-arranged during the course of the night.
    I switched to single wall tents with a Big Agnes, insulated air mattress and am very happy with that arrangement. I am now using the new Shires Tarptent, the Rainbow, and I am really happy with it. It offers much more head room than his earlier models and is quite roomy for a solo.
    If you’re not set on a new tent, you can probably find a used one out there and might be able to avoid such a heavy import duty on it.
    Good luck.

    Gerry Magnes
    Schenectady, NY

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