Planet Hammock Parachute Silk Hammocks (Single, King)
I've had the opportunity to review two hammocks from Planet Hammock of the Netherlands. I've submitted a formal review to BackpackGearTest.org, but it won't be posted until the new year. I've been working on this review since October as I like to get in several field tests (backpacking, day hikes) for a more thorough review instead of just a cursory visual inspection.
There are a lot of "parachute silk" nylon hammocks out in the market today and those offered by Planet Hammock are near equal to the competition (e.g., ENO, Grand Trunk, Trek Light, etc.) with a few differences. First, Planet Hammock's headquarters are in the Netherlands, providing customers in Europe easier access to this type of gear. The second biggest difference is also the one flaw I found in these hammocks: the stuff sacks are small. This is minor, and many people probably won't care, but I like stuff sacks that are roomy, making the process of stuffing and packing a little easier, but also providing enough room for tree straps and suspension lines. The Planet Hammock stuff sacks are a tight fit for just the hammock alone.
I was able to test both the King and Single hammocks. The sizes listed on Planet Hammock do not match my measurements (listed below).
The King size is comparable with many "Double" hammocks on the market and is very large. Both hammocks are comfortable, but many will find the King more comfortable, especially large and tall folks. I like the Single, especially the camo color pattern, which is different than the U.S. patterns on the market. It seemed to match the vegetation in my area very well.
BGT won't let me combine gear reports, but I can here! I'm going to post a lot of photos so you can see these hammocks in more action.
Planet Hammock, Wintec Trading, Netherlands
YEAR OF MANUFACTURE
2011, made in Indonesia
High-grade, breathable parachute silk (nylon)
Attached stuff sack
Two stainless-steel hooks
Resistant to mildew
Can hold 353 lbs (160 kg)
Avoid long exposure to UV light
Do not enter hammock with sharp objects that could rip or tear the fabric
Hand wash and hang to dry
The manufacture also has a page listing safety warnings.
Weight: 11.95 oz (339 g)
Length: 107 in (272 cm)
Width: 57 in (145 cm)
Size: 128 x 60 in (325 x 152 cm)
Capacity: 353 lbs (160 kg)
Weight: 1.1 lbs (499 g)
Weight: 17.4 oz (493 g)
Length: 114 in (290 cm)
Width: 78 in (198 cm)
Extra strip of fabric width: 8.5 in (22 cm)
Size: 120 x 82 in (305 x 208 cm)
Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kg)
Weight: 1.3 lbs (590 g)
Camouflage (Single), Green (King)
Warranted against defects in workmanship and material. Requires return to the manufacturer.
The Planet Hammock Single hammock is a basic, durable, fairly lightweight, single-person, gathered-end hammock made of parachute silk (nylon). The fabric, when laid out flat, is rectangular. The long sides are hemmed with a triple stitch. The short ends are hemmed with a triple stitch, but create a loop where a rope can be threaded to gather the end. The hammock coms with two short lengths of rope, tied in a loop, that are used to gather the ends. Attached to the rope loops are a pair of metal hooks. The ropes attach to the hooks with a Lark's Head knot. The metal hooks are easy to remove.
A small stuff sack comes attached to the hammock on one of the long edges. The stuff sack uses a draw cord and plastic cord lock. The manufacturer's product tag and label are sewn onto the stuff sack.
This hammock comes in a variety of colors; I tested the camouflage pattern version.
The construction of the hammock is very good, with solid, straight stitching throughout.
FIELD USE CONDITIONS
I've taken the Planet Hammock Single hammock on several day hikes and three overnight backpacking trips in 2011, including these highlighted trips:
Nov 3: Old Caves Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona. One of my day hike adventures, this time with my son and his school class. We hiked, slowly, up to the top of Old Caves Crater, an elevations change of about 800 ft (244 m), on a clear and cool morning. We had two major stops where I pitched the hammock: at the top, elevation 7183 ft (2189 m); and at lunch at the base of the hill.
Nov 10-12: Upper Pumphouse Wash, near Sedona, Arizona. I took a three-day trip into the Upper Pumphouse Wash in Northern Arizona where temperatures got down to 15*F (-10*C) with scattered snow conditions. Elevation was 6380 ft (1945 m).
FIELD USE RESULTS
In order to use this hammock out in the field, I needed to pick up some webbing straps to create anchor points around trees, and a length of rope to connect the hammock to the anchor point (suspension lines). I also removed the metal hooks since I don't really use this type of connector in the field.
This hammock packs down to about the size of two softballs, and was small enough that I carried it in my messenger bag that accompanies me to work each day. In fact, on a few occasions, I would take my lunch break in the woods that surround my work building and lounge in the hammock while I ate and read *yawn* boring books on leadership.
The key to get a comfortable lay in any gathered-end hammock is to establish a good sag between the anchor points. A desirable hang angle, when measured from the ground up, is 30 degrees. I found that I got a good lay with a hang angle between 30 and 20 degrees.
I have seven gathered end hammocks made from "parachute silk" nylon, and with one exception, they all have the same style of fabric, which feel a little thick and heavy. This translates in to a very sturdy feel and I had no doubts it would hold my weight.
And while the hammock is small, I have pulled one or two of my kids in with me on occasion. On my day hike with my son and his school class up Old Caves Crater, I had trouble keeping all the children out of my hammock. Everyone was quite surprised when we reached the top to find me and my son relaxing in a hammock. The best alternative for everyone else was lava rock. I had several parents ask if I brought the hammock or if I found it up at the top. I quickly explained that I did bring it with me and that it packs very small (I had a small day pack too, so I think this all confused them).
My son and I lounged in the hammock during the lunch break on this school outing. I felt a little bad that we had the best seat in the house. A lot of people asked where I got the hammock, how it worked, etc. It was a great PR moment.
The hammock does pack down very small. In fact, this is my one gripe about the product: the stuff sack makes a tight fit. There is just enough room for the hammock to fit, tightly, with no room for the extra rope and webbing straps, which I had to pack separately. I wish the stuff sack was just a little bigger, not only so the job of packing is easier, but so I could fit the other pieces in one bag.
I like the small size for backpacking and sleeping over night because I can use a smaller tarp and a tighter pitch to eliminate wind drafts. I also like the camo color scheme as it blends in nicely when I want to be more stealthy in my hangs.
I like the small pack size of this hammock, which makes it easily portable for day hikes or to relax along the trail. The hammock could use a bigger stuff sack to make packing easier.
PRO--Light, packs up small, comfortable.
CON--Stuff sack is small.