Aug 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm #1277826
Addie BedfordBPL Member
Companion forum thread to:Aug 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm #1767528
Brad – what is the weight recommendation for the Hammock? Body plus gear? Thanks,Aug 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm #1767561
@erdferkelLocale: S. California
Hennessy's website says 200 lbs.Aug 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm #1767722
Dan DurstonBPL Member
Great article. I'd like to try a hammock sometime.Aug 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm #1767724
I had better lose some weight.Aug 10, 2011 at 8:14 am #1767808
John McBPL Member
I assume you can drop the weight even more with a cuben fiber fly. I see them on Joe's site at zpacks……oh…I have nothing to do with zpacks, that was the first site that came to my mind.Aug 10, 2011 at 9:29 am #1767827
Douglas FrickBPL Member
If you're interested in trying a hammock, but don't have a buddy with a Hennessy or othe asym hammock to borrow, the Byer of Maine/Amazonas Moskito Traveller (15.3 oz, no tie ropes or tarp) is available cheap on the 'net. I picked one up for under $20, and I often loan it out. It's not near as comfortable as my Hennessy, but it's an easy way to get the general idea (and nice in the summer in the back yard, too).Aug 10, 2011 at 9:55 am #1767833
Weight-wise, my Hennessy can't compete with my H.S. Contrail tarptent. But hammocks are very comfy and are fun to tinker with. Hennessy offers hammocks in two sizes: 1) if your height is up to 6 foot and 2) if your height is up to 7 foot – along with different weight restrictions. Check out their website for details.
Check out http://www.hammockforums.net/ to learn about different manufacturers and methods of hanging.
RocheAug 10, 2011 at 10:49 am #1767858
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Nice to see a hammock review!
Yes, Cuben tarps will help drop the weight and increase the coverage– that doesn't happen often!
The suspension lines can be converted to Amsteel Blue 'whoopie slings' to drop weight and they are much easier to adjust. They connect to the tree straps via carabiners or toggles.
Insulation is the dirty little secret with hammocks. The insulated air mattress is a possibility and wide CCF pads work, but any internal pads detract from the comfort and support of the hammock surface. 20" wide ground-camping pads are too narrow for hammock use and need some extra help from shoulder to hip. There are several cottage manufacturers turning out down or synthetic under quilts that hang outside the hammock on shock cords and come in a range of lengths for partial or complete coverage. They do add considerably to weight and cost, but provide a warmer and more comfortable hammock experience. Hammock campers have taken on Minnesota winter nights of -26F comfortably.
Another method of insulating hammocks is the Garlington Insulator which is basically a light trash bag with a crumpled and folded space blanket inside. The insulator is used with an under cover to hold it in place and provide an additional barrier to wind and rain. I had a custom silnylon poncho made to do double duty as an under cover.
Two interesting Hennessy accessories are the SuperShelter insulation system and the Cat Cape rainfly that doubles as a hoodless poncho/cape.
The SuperShelter is a silnylon under cover with an open cell foam pad for insulation. The pad is used along with a standard space blanket. There is an accessory top cover to use for colder conditions.
The Cat Cape rainfly is an asymmetrical silnylon tarp with zippers to allow use as a hoodless poncho or cape. The Xl model provides a bit more coverage than the standard Hennessy tarp and weighs 11.8oz.
As to tarps, many hammock users go with larger tarps in the 10'x12' range. They provide much better weather coverage and many pitching options for camping outside the hammock, like cooking or dressing. Again, the cottage manufacturers have stepped up with the features and offer silnylon, spinnaker and Cuben fabric models. Zpacks offers a nice 11'x8.5' Cuben hammock tarp that is just 5oz.
My current UL hammock is 15.3oz for hammock and suspension and I use one of the Hennessey XL Cat Capes at 11.8oz. The lightest insulation option I have is a 25"x50" CCF pad at 9.5oz. I am still working on insect protection for this one. Full coverage insect net options range from 3oz on up to a pound.
I also have a Hennessy Expedition Zip model that is 41.6oz with suspension. I can use the CCF pad or the SuperShelter pad at 8.5oz and my poncho under cover at 9.5oz, or a Kick Ass Quilts synthetic under quilt at 17oz. My current tarp options are the Cat Cape at 11.8oz or the Hennessy Hex tarp which is 10'x12' PU coated nylon that is 23.8oz with Dynaglide guy lines and a mesh stuff sack. The lightest combo comes to 4 pounds– about the same as a light double wall tent and pad.
It is possible to make your own hammock very easily. If you can make a tarp, a hammock is a very quick project. Most are using 1.1 to 1.9oz ripstop nylon.Aug 10, 2011 at 10:58 am #1767859
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
The Grand Trunk Ultralight is another good inexpensive hammock. I have been eying the Hammock Bliss No-Seeum No More. The GT UL is $18 at Campmor and the Bliss is $60. Both need to have the suspension re-worked and tree straps added.Aug 10, 2011 at 11:10 am #1767865
Matthew PerryBPL Member
I've used the Hyperlight and i'm 6'2" tall, 225 lbs…no problem. It's the lawyers who make up those weight limits.
Next time, ditch the pad, get an under quilt and open that sleeping bag up as a top quilt and you'll be even more comfy!
UK Hammocks has a SUL hammock model called the Woodsman Light that comes in at 6.5 oz. in it's stuff sack (whoopies included!). I have one and they are great for winter when you do not need a bug net.Aug 10, 2011 at 11:56 am #1767880
Kevin BabioneBPL Member
I've posted this before, but it never hurts to put it out there again. Here's my current setup:
– Grand Trunk Nano-7 Hammock – 10.8 ounces
– Lawson Equipment HexaLite 11'x9' Cuben Tarp – 10.4 ounces
– DB Bugnet – .7 ounce (yes, just 19 grams)
Total: Just under 22 ounces!
The hammock weight includes the full suspension: two 6-foot 7/64" Amsteel Whoopie slings, a Dynaglide Structural Ridgeline, and two 1" poly tree straps (one 6-foot and one 8-foot), two toggles for the Marlin Spike Hitch, and three cordlocks (one lighted) on the ridgeline for the bugnet.
The tarp weight includes all the guylines with linelocs (8' on the ends and 6' on each of the four corners) and four LE Ti stakes.
The weight of the bugnet includes a sandwich-sized Ziploc that I keep it in.
I know there are tents out there that are lighter, but this tarp is huge. I had Lawson put grommets at each tie-out point so I can use my trekking poles to hold it up for better visibility when I'm in the hammock (at least on one side). It would be very easy for four people to be completely covered by the tarp in a storm. Try that in a 1-pound tent!
One other note…I'm not a small guy: 6 feet tall and 260 pounds. The Nano-7 is the smallest hammock in which I've slept (I also have a Speer, a couple of Byers, and a GT Ultralight) but it's still very comfortable.
My UL ground setup is a Gatewood Cape and a GG TorsoLight pad. I seem to sleep better in ANY hammock than I do on the ground anymore.Aug 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm #1767891
Joe KusterBPL Member
It's good to see the HH evolving. I've been a long time hanger (expedition for a few years first then upgraded to the original hyperlite). As previously mentioned insulation is the biggest challenge.
I've tried about every option and even spent the $$ for the "supershelter" upgrades, and every other "cheap" option but in the end I opted for a Jacks R Better down quilt. It's really no comparison, the various pads helped, but I never could stay warm enough in them since I'm a cold sleeper. The down underquilts completely solved the issue.Aug 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm #1767899
te – waBPL Member
a picture says a thousand words.. snow on the ground with a stock Hennessy? reminds me of that famous movie line "You're gonna need a bigger (boat) tarp". you HAVE to block wind.. that's an understatement!Aug 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm #1767905
Douglas FrickBPL Member
>"You're gonna need a bigger…tarp"
The stock Hennessy tarp does just fine in a blizzard. I stake the tarp a lot closer than I normally would, and I don't get any significant spindrift (it's also warmer that way). There's a picture of my Hennessy in a blizzard in this (quite old) thread, which describes cold-weather hammock gear. I've had my Hennessy UL Explorer out in -25F and windy.
I do occasionally use a Jacks R Better 8×8 tarp instead, but mostly in the summer when I want to hang it much higher than is possible with the stock tarp.Aug 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm #1767906
Russell BiserBPL Member
We have a vote for 6'2" being ok, anybody 6'4" or taller used the Hyperlite ok?Aug 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm #1767927
Joe KusterBPL Member
Honestly, I'm only 5'11" and I find the HH a little cramped. I'm pretty broad shouldered though so it means I don't fit in the taper as well as taller skinnier folk. My older expedition model was more comfortable, but the hyperlite is adequate.Aug 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm #1767999
Matthew DuchowBPL Member
Thanks for the good review. I just may become a convert.Aug 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm #1768013
todd harperBPL Member
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
I think 5'11" & taller only works for those who don't mind sleeping in somewhat of a banana shape. I'm 6'1" and found the UL Backpacker too short…the Explorer UL fine. (sold it, though when I got my JRB Bridge – ahhhhhhh – flat!Aug 10, 2011 at 7:05 pm #1768025
Hey, gang- thanks for the interest and feedback!
Thomas mentioned that his Hennessy couldn't compete w/his Contrail… that's the great thing about THIS Hennessy… it's only, by claimed specs, a half-ounce heavier than even the Contrail! (Although my measurements indicated about 3 more ounces on the Hyperlite.)
Several people mentioned insulation. Yup, it's important. (It's important when you're sleeping on the ground, too!) The Exped Downmat visible in several photos is a Downmat 9 LW, the 25 x 77 model with R-8… 3.5 inches of down insulation under me. Love it! And while exploring the realm of hammocking, I decided to just use equipment I have on hand before investing in (or more likely making) an underquilt. I've been thinking about trying an Exped Multimat in the hammock this summer, the price sure is right, & I like the width.
The Grand Trunk Nano 7 is the other hammock I mentioned. I love the hammock, and I (GASP!!!) even take it with me on some backpacking trips when I'm already carrying a tent. I think mine weighs 6.7 ounces, IIRC. But I HATED sleeping in it. Small, compressed too much on the sides, far less stable feeling than the Hennessy. I guess I'm just not man enough to spend my nights in the Nano. BUT… that said, even with a custom cuben fly and bugnet, the setup Kevin described is only 2 or 3 ounces lighter than the Hyperlite. That's impressive specs for something "off the shelf!"
Happy hangin!Aug 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm #1768457
@herman666Locale: Northern Virginia
The best use for snake skins is to allow you to set up in the rain without getting the hammock wet, but you can only do that if you enclose only the hammock in them. You hang the hammock, attach and guy out the tarp, then, and only then do you remove the snake skins. The tarp shelters you and the hammock while you finish setting up.
The super shelter works ok at least in spring and fall but it is inconvenient to use unless you leave the pad in which precludes using the snake skins (see above).
In the winter when you really need insulation, I use two walmart blue pads. One 3/4 length, one full. I partially overlap the two which leaves a double thickness under me and single thickness wrapping up around my shoulders. I've found this to be very comfortable.
I couldn't tell exactly what you were saying about lashing to the tree huggers but it sure didn't sound like what Hennessy recommends. I usually use the recommended minimum of three turns, never more than 4. When I thread, I don't just pull the cord through the hugger loop, I help by pulling the hammock toward the loop to minimize the friction and wear on the loop.
Putting the "sausage" in the pack is easy. Coil it around the perimeter and stick clothes or sleeping bag in the middle.
Use your hiking poles to raise the tarp guy lines in moderate temperatures to improve the view and ventilation.
Things like glasses and headlamps can be hung over the ridge line leaving the meager pocket free for things you can't hang. Don't forget about the clips that come attached to the ridge line.
One of the more amazing things I've found is that the hammock stays up even if you only run the hugger from the cord, behind the tree and back to the cord instead of making a full turn around the tree. This greatly increases the number of trees that are candidates for hanging.
I was surprised to see it said that finding a tent site was never a problem. I've hung over bogs, on the sides of mountains and over rocky pointy ground far from any suitable tent site. Next to comfort, it's the most important reason to hang rather than tent.Aug 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm #1768886
Tim MullinsBPL Member
@timm02Locale: Brisbane, Australia
I have been using Hennesy Hamocks for about 7 years now and would not even think about sleeping on the ground. When I starting doing overnight / multiday walks my pack weight was too high and sleeping on the ground was far too uncomfortable with my injured spine. The only way I was going to do more multiday walks was with a lighter pack weight and more comfortable sleeping.
The Hennesy Hammock helped me acheive both outcomes. The sheer comfort at the end of a hard day getting into the hammock has to be experienced to be understood. There are indeed a few challanges to deal with like insulation and getting the levels right, but they are nothing compared to the pain of sleeping on the ground.
I now have 3 different Hennesy Hammocks. I have one for myself the Ultralight Backpacker, I have one the cheaper models I picked up on sale that I loan to friends that want to come on a trip and I more recently got one of the Deep Jungle Zip hammock for my 8yo daughter.
The deep jungle has been awesome, it solved a number of problems I had with previous versions. My daughter would always end up out ff her sleeping bag, off the insulation CCF mat and it was always a pain to fix it up through the bottom entry. The deep jungle zip solved all those problems. The insulation mat is between 2 layers of fabric which means she is always on top of it and the zip provides really easy access to stuff her back in her sleeping bag if needed.
I can take my daughter on multiday trips with 2 hammocks and everything else we need and still have a lighter pack than most of the others in the group only carrying for one.Aug 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm #1768996
@attaboybradLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Part 1 of 10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7NZVqpBUV0
I've had a Hennessy Hammock for a couple of years and absolutely love it. The above video series was produced by one of the regulars on HammockForums.net and it's the most entertaining, best produced amateur instructional series I've ever seen on anything.Aug 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm #1769016
David GoodyearBPL Member
I have been looking at hammocks for a while, but I suffer from positional vertigo. Is there a swing factor with hammocks? Will I wake up puking or spinning?
DaveAug 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm #1769018
drowning in spamMember
Dave, a hammock may not be for you. It didn't work for me for a similar reason. The slight movement was enough to keep me up all night.
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