First BB Hang!
Okay, while I am not a hammock expert, I thought I'd weigh in with my impressions on my first night in a Blackbird. You should know I have spent only about 12 nights in a Hennessey Expedition with different configurations, but have never dealt with either hammock in hot weather or bug situations.
The Hammock: Blackbird DL 1.0
Insulation: Hennessey Underpad with Space Blanket
Tarp: Hennessey Hexfly
Suspension: Strap and buckles
The BB is nice and light. I really liked being able to set up my bed before getting in (I know you can do that with a HH but it's trickier). I liked the RL being out of the way and it seemed a little higher. One unexpected bonus is that the thinner fabric of the BB made it so I could see where my underpad was because of the light making it through the hammock fabric. I liked how easy it was to place my insulation between the layers. Yes I loved the shelf. I liked the easy adjustability of the buckles (which are amazingly light). I liked the quality of the zipper system. And I also liked the lie, no bump where the velcro is in the HH.
I found the buckles a little tricky to loosen (I suspect there is a thread showing a simple way to loosen off when there is tension but for a first time it was tough). It may be me, but I think the BB was a little cooler. I slept fine, but I suspect it's just the difference in the thickness of the two hammock fabrics (OTOH this will likely be a plus in hot weather). I also wonder how huge the trees are where Brandon comes from. I like the thinner webbing, but wonder if most people cut them short.
Overall, I am very, very happy with the WBBB and will be moving it up to preferred status. I still like my HH, but for weight, function, and lie, I like the Warbonnet Blackbird even better.
Nice report on the new hammock. Glad you are liking it.
Bluefin, from the other side of the country.
That Brandon does know how to make a hammock!
you won't be able to loosen them when they have tension on them. the hammock will have to be unweighted, you should be able to pull on the webbing so any weight goes off the buckles. You just have to spread the buckles apart with your fingers and tilt them backwards so they point toward the ground and the sky (rather than toward hammock and tree) then the webbing should slide easily in both directions from this position, if it doesn't then you're doing it wrong. There's just a little learning curve there but once you figure them out the webbing should feed smoothly in both directions with ease.