Picking a Bridge Design
So, I took a couple of gathered end hammocks for a test drive this past week, and decided I just can't quite get flat enough to happily sleep on my side in one. I'm going to have to stick with my bridge.
I'm about to embark on a new bridge hammock build with my wife's new Christmas Present sewing machine (A big hit, thanks to the guys who gave me some advice in my thread) to replace my first attempt, and I want to roll around all the advancements and features that have come along in the last few months before I start putting scissors to fabric.
While I've done a fair bit of researching on bridge hammocks in general, it seems like a lot of new stuff has come out this past year or so, and I'm only finding it in fragmented bits and pieces.
My previous designs were all based on dimensions given by Dutch in his BridgeSkin III thread. I went with those because I liked the look of the shallow lay it offered, but I'm finding that it doesn't lay as flat as I'd like, and is a little narrow, so it's time to move on to a new design.
If I'm building from the ground up, what features do you bridge sleepers find indispensable, and what are some things you'd like to avoid in the future? Has anybody besides Grizz come up with any really stellar new designs of late? Has anyone come up with any real keys to keeping it light besides carbon fiber spreader bars (already got two of those)?
I'm a bit confused about your request. By features are you asking about? End caps? Netting? Something else?
I would probably say that there is no new "stellar designs" because a bridge is a bridge. They all have spreaders, suspension triangles and side arcs. Some, like Grizz's, have netting and he has several designs regarding different ways of doing the netting that I have found interesting but not yet tried. He has also shown several different ways to attach the hammock body to the suspension.
There are a whole range of dimensions for length, head width, foot width, arc depth, spreader length. It depends on your size, wants and tolerance for tippiness. In each of my 4 bridges so far I have played with at least one of these dimensions. I think I know what I like now...
My goal over the last year has to lighten my bridges while trying to find the dimensions I like best. So I am using dynaglide (or Endura-12 which is very similar) for the whole suspension and arcs, CF spreaders and now using some lighter materials (the current fabric on the cutting board is a coated polyester weighing 1.24 oz/sq yd.--hopefully a single layer will hold me!) I expect to have this simple bridge at <13oz including tree huggers. But it will not have a net. If I am satisfied with this design (and there is certainly no guarantee there) then perhaps I will work on netting... In truth I rarely take the hammocks out for a trip as most of my camping is with my decidedly ground-loving wife. But it gives me something to putter with when I am caught up on real-world work.
So I guess it would be helpful to know what exactly you are looking for. Note you can also search just the DIY forum for key works or the tag: Bridge to narrow your search.
If you've looked at posts by Griz, TeeDee, BER, and Dutch you have a lot of good ideas to assimilate and process. You might also consider the early and unconventional work of Mule. Griz, have you tried Mule's mod?