New here, but...
I've been a lurker for quite a while, but decided to post finally.
My wife and I are dedicated ultralighters (7# baseweight when NOT using hammocks). We tried using Hennesy Ultralight Backpacker hammocks a few times, and find them very comfy, with great bug protection (very important to us here in SW Michigan).
BUT: For 2 people who share gear and sleep together, we just can't make hammocks work for us because just 1 full hammock setup (Hennesy ULB , Jacks R better retro tarp for Hennesy hammocks, JRB nest, JRB topquilt) weighs more than our 2 person tarp, bug net, and single 2 person quilt. By the time we each take one hammock setup, we've over doubled the weight and volume of our shelter compared to the tarp, bug-net, single quilt, and 3/4 length 3/8" foam pads. Yeah, the hammock is considerably more comfy than much of the ground we find, but that's where we find the convenience ends for 2 people sharing all gear. We just haven't been able to convince ourselves that the comfort outweighs the significant weight and bulk savings we get with our tarp, not to mention warmth, covered square footage, and warmth (WHEN SHARING ALL GEAR).
Anyway, I just can't justify keeping the (very expensive) hammocks. I can see the efficacy for solo folks, but for two?
Before we bail and go back to ground permanently, anyone have comments and/or suggestions?? It's kind of hard to completely abandon the comfort and overall niftyness of hammocks...
Perhaps a different hammock setup could save some weight. Depending on the Hennessey models you have they could be heavier than needed. Could you please tell us a bit more about you and your wife such as height/weight. With that info folks might be able to suggest a rig that will shave off some of the weight.
Hammocks are light, but not the lightest set-up. After 5 years of thinking about them, I took the plunge and truely enjoy them. I still use my Contrail Tarptent when weight is an issue on a serious climb (this past weekend on a Clingman's Dome loop hike). But if you and the Mrs are just doing a weekend at Nordhouse Dunes, hammocks is not much of a weight issue.
Grand Trunks UL hammock, 12 oz OR'
Grand Trunks Nano 7, 7 oz - smaller hammock, more $$
Paps Smurf bug sock, 5 oz - mydiygear.com
Cuben tarp, 5-7 oz depending on your needs
- zpacks, hammockgear,mountainlaurel designs.... all 3 make great cuben tarps.
At most you are at 24oz, or 1lb 8 oz set up here.
Your TQ can be the same whether you are in a tent or a hammock.
UQ - for 40F temps
tttrailgear has a 3/4 IX UQ @ 12 oz,
hammockgear has a 3/4 UQ @ 11.5 oz
for colder temps this will, of course, go up in weight. I've gone from April to October, 1/2 the year, with a GT Ultralight, 3/4 IX UQ, IX TQ, and cuben tarp just fine. Very light, no hipbelt used on my pack, no problem. I've been known to cover 16 miles before lunch with such a light load.
Comfortable sleep, as the body heals while resting, is very important. Can't see where the slight difference in weight would be worth the less comfortable sleep. Too each their own.
My wife and I are 5'6" and 5'8" respectively. We really like sleeping next to eachother, and sharing warmth when it's cold. (Most of our hiking is summer, though, where warmth is not an issue). We're both quite fit multi-sport athletes, but we like light and simple things.
Our trips are usually 6-10 days with (usually) no re-supply, summer mid-western trails. We use the same gear for local over-nighters, for testing and practice. We are somewhat new to, and still learning, ultralight methods.
I'm sure I *could* get the weight of 2 hammocks close to our current 2 person ground setup, but, then, I could make the same changes (e.g. Cuben fiber shelter (and smaller than our current 8 x 10') and 900 fill down) in a ground setup using the same money and materials, and end up lighter... and cheaper for that matter. I recognize, though, that it's certainly not ALL about getting lighter. But, I've found I VASTLY prefer lighter, even when the difference is just a couple pounds total.
Quality of sleep IS a concern, though, thus my hesitancy to commit to abandoning hammocks. That said, as a belly sleeper, I often have difficulty in hamocks-- while surprisingly flat, they're not flat enough for that, at least not without making my back feel hyper extended in the morning.
I think things just get tough for hammocks when two folks can share everything.
I'm 6'2 and I share a WBBB 1.7 double layer with the missus who is about 5'8. Together we a bit under the 400lb weight limit. The setup is by no means ultra-light, but may make a good compromise when the load is split.
Takes practise to get and stay comfy all night. It also helps if you are both cuddly people. This also allows for some bonus unmentionable time.
We're pretty cuddly, but I'm not sure we'd be able to stand a hammock together, particularly when it's really hot and humid.
What's a WBBB?
WBB = warbonnet blackbird hammock
I did a write up on the lightest hammock set up I could think of:
You could easily get a larger tarp to hang 2 hammocks underneath. Not sure what you're current set up is but I think having 2 people in one hammock would become tough for extended periods of time.
My current ground setup is a 8 x 10' Sil-ny tarp. I probably could figure out a way to rig both hammocks under it, but I'm not sure how comfy that'd be, with gravity pulling the 2 hammocks, and therefore bodies, into constant moderate pressure contact, which, while nice and cuddly, might get old eventually.
Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.
Welcome from Ga. Lots of great ideas around here I am sure you will find a solution.