Blackbird mini review
Just got my Warbonnet Blackbird in. I have the 1.7 dl version. Iíll be making comparisons to my Hennessy Safari in my review. Please donít take anything I say as a slam on either product, they are both excellent hammocks, the Safari being the only other hammock I have experience with gets to be the guinea pig.
The Safari (sans tarp) weighs on my scales at 2.8 lb.
The Blackbird, 2.6 (with two Metolius minicarabiners), though the Blackbird is far less bulky and takes up maybe 1/3 less room in a pack.
The Blackbird seems to have a steeper learning curve for me, but when mastered is much easier. The strap and carabiner setup beats the tree straps and rope hands down. I suspect in the long run the rope on the Safari will prove to be more durable, but also harder to replace. The Blackbird is also much easier to adjust once you set it up, just tug on the straps a bit, maybe raise the height on the tree and youíre done.
Again, the Blackbird wins, though the zipper mod from 2Q/ZQ could easily equalize this. I simply prefer the top entry, plus being able to access items outside the hammock is essential for me. I never fail to forget something Iím going to need in the night.
Both are very comfortable, though I find the Blackbird allows me to lie flatter than the Safari. I have sleep apnea, so the Safari is actually better for me in this regard, the slope of the Safari actually allows me to breathe better. The Safari also has more room inside than the Blackbird. For a 6í3Ē 300lb guy, I need the room. I wish the Blackbird was a hair wider. The pad sleeve in the Blackbird is wonderful. I canít stress this enough. My wrassliní matches with my Z-rest in the Safari are EPIC. Hulk Hogan wouldnít go anywhere NEAR the thing. I do have a bit of trouble with the Z-rest, but my Thermarest slides in and stays put. The pad sleeve was the nail in the door for the Safari. I do most of my camping in the fall and winter; Alabama summers are just way too hot for me. I handle cold weather pretty well; all I need is a pad. In the Safari, Iím warm and toasty, until the pad slips then I freeze my arse off. So far I havenít had that problem with the Blackbird due to the pad sleeve, though I admit I havenít spent an entire night in it yet.
I canít comment on Hennessyís customer service, as Iíve never had a problem with my Safari. Warbonnet Outdoors, however, responded to every question I had. In fact, Iíve never gotten faster response from my emails over ANYTHING. Brandon (along with sever other helpful people) even responded to my post on Hammock Forums when I had questions regarding proper setup.
You canít go wrong with either hammock in my opinion. With the zipper mod, the Safari would probably be very comparable to the Blackbird, and I may yet send mine off to have that done, but the pad sleeve seals the deal for me. My budget doesnít allow for an expensive underquilt, and honestly, the coldest Iím likely to see is low 20s, maybe teens once in a blue moon, so my old Z-rest is good enough for me. Iíve still got to actually sleep overnight in the thing, but barring something unforeseen, it will probably be my hammock of choice.
hey JRR. just a comment for you. being 5'10 290 pounds. i know where you're coming form with the width thing. i personally dont find it to be an issue and of course i've never used an HH product. the business tactic over there turns me off to it.
in any case, the blackbird also has a shelf. which the HH doesn't have. it seriously fits so much stuff in it. i mean i've left my pot of half eating food in the thing and still had space for like a book, my water bottle, a headlamp, an mp3 player etc, etc.
also, it has a footbox. the footbox, for lack of better words is awesome.
i find the blackbird, by measure of features, to be a better product FOR ME. i just felt it was necessary to throw in the fact that the shelf and the footbox are deal breakers and without them, well. i dont want to think about that...
keep in mind, if you want your upper body more elevated than normal, just hang that end of the hammock higher.
FWIW, the safari lists a fabric width of 60", the BB has 65" between the shelf and the zipper.
the tieouts may effect this difference in width you're feeling, hh tieouts are closer to the center of the hammock making for a wider feel in the middle, the BB tieouts are more toward the ends making for a wider feel in the head and foot areas.
Yeah, I completely forgot about the shelf while writing my post. There's a lot of room there for storage. The width issue, though is about personal space, not gear space. I seem to have more shoulder room in the Hennessy. I am very broad through the shoulders. Anyways, I just wanted to post my thoughts on the matter, not trying to start a hammock war or anything.
Originally Posted by srestrepo
great post and thanks for the report on the WBBB
I have taken my WBBB 1.7 on a couple of trips, and I have never taken my Safari ( no net) anywhere other than the backyard, or in the house. Probably because of the weight, though there really is not all that much difference in the weight of those two hammocks. And if I used a pad, there would be even more reason for not taking the Safari, because at least a lot of the BB's weight is the double layer.
But, for me, that Safari is one comfortable hammock. That is based on relatively few trials, however. It hangs so far below it's ridgeline that it makes it a challenge to hang it from my Vario hammock stand and stay off the ground, especially off the ground enough to use an UQ.
Having said that, I have found my Safari- on the few times I have really used it- to be probably the most comfortable gathered end hammock. I can lay flat as a board, and I can escape all calf pressure without having to use a leg pad or something under my knees. For me any way, that makes it unique among gathered end hammocks.
I was surprised you found the BB flatter than the Safari. Only because I have not found that to be the case. But I wonder if our relative weights might account for the fact that you did? I am "only" 210 lbs. Maybe the dbl layer 1.7 (same as mine) will support more weight than the single layer 210 denure Oxford nylon of the Safari?
Brandon has often said that the fabric starts stretching well before the strength rating is exceeded. So I'm wondering if my weight does not manage to cause any stretch in the Safari, allowing me to be at least as flat in the Safari as the BB dbl 1.7?
Doesn't matter why, just curious. It sounds like the BB will work better for you! And it does have all those great features like the shelf and a zippered net that works so great. These handy dandy luxuries are part of the reason it is almost as heavy as the safari.
actually the zipper and the shelf aren't all that heavy. for instance the sl 1.1 bb is very close to the same weight as the hyperlight (only about 2oz heavier) the lions share of the extra weight of the dl1.7 comes from the 2 layers of heavier fabric in the hammock body.
Originally Posted by BillyBob58
Thanks for that info. I guess if I had really thought about it, that small piece of single layer fabric that makes up the shelf could not really account for very much weight. I guess I would have thought the zippers would have accounted for more of the weight, but apparently not, judged by comparing the weight of the 1.1 single.
Originally Posted by warbonnetguy
So most of the weight is the dual layer of the heavier fabric, with a roomy hammock. But actually, the dual layer should have been included by me on the list of handy dandy features, along with shelf and zippers.
Are you familiar with 210D Oxford nylon? If so, do you think that 2 layers of 1.7 would stretch less than the Oxford single layer? I notice that the Safari is only rated for 350 lbs. Some single layer Parachute nylon hammocks are rated at 400.
hard to compare ratings between manufactuers. wt/yd of hammock fabric is best comparison. indeed, the single layer of oxford is lighter than 2 layers of 1.7 so the 1.7 double should stretch less. not sure exactly how heavy 210d oxford is, but the haab fabric is around 2.5oz/yd maybe (a guess)
Originally Posted by BillyBob58