The Paddlers Dream Hammock...Doesn't exist!
It's been a frustrating search. Most everything is geared towards backpacking needs/wants. Size and weight are good qualities but paddlers are not ounce concious. The boat carries the weight except on portages. A compact package is important but, certainly not in the limits of a backpack. Maybe there isn't a big enough market, but if you look at all the paddle craft moving down the highway on top of vehicles, I feel it's a market that hasn't been addressed properly and presents a real opportunity for those skilled craftsmen/women building hammocks.
I'm NOT a DIY hammock builder, nor do I care to be one. I'm frustrated because I'm a big guy (6'5" x 260lbs) and old enough (61 yrs) to value comfort and convenience. I'm a life long backwoods 4 season camper. I've skied into the Michigan winter woods with a pulk and emerged 9 days later with a smile. But....I don't care to do that anymore. Today most all of my camping is done out of paddle craft, most notably a sea kayak or solo canoe. I paddle anywhere from the Everglades to Isle Royale and love it. As I prepare for retiremnt (5/31/2014!!!!) and the luxury of time to do what I love most, I intend to do a lot more of it. I'm tired of crawling in and out of small two man (really one man!) tents, and the size of my sleeping pad has steadily grown over the years (now a 30" x 77" x 3" body mapped) to the point it no longer fits in a hatch.
Enter my new interest is hammock camping. What I want in a "hammock" is an incorporated bug net and the ability to deploy on the ground as well as hang from trees and made in the USA. The reality of paddling is that 30% of the time, available trees can be a problem. Beaches, sand bars etc. are common camp sites. Plenty of room to sprawl out but often no convenient trees. Rocky forrested coastlines scream hammock camp. I don't want to carry both a hammock and a tent.
If you've spent any time camping you know the value of a good tarp, and there are an infinate variety available so that is not what I'm looking for. There are plenty of 10' hammocks with incorporated bug nets, unfortunately those hammocks are too small for my comfort and don't adapt well to a ground setup. Those with an incorporated tarp/fly (HH) are out of the question unless you want to slither into it when on the ground. The "jungle hammock" from Thailand looks good, but Thailand, and only second hand information re: comfort for a guy my size. The BB is a beautiful piece of work....but sorry, for me it's just too small to be comfortable. An 11' version would be sweet.
So paddlers, what do you want in a hammock? Are there enough of us that we could show those who do sell/market hammocks that there is a market that's not being addressed? Is a flat lay 26" wide and 77" long impossible in a hammock with an incorporated net, side zip, a ridgeline, some interior and exterior storage? Paddlers have uprights (paddle sections) for ground. Don't really want additional tent poles. Plenty of sticks/driftwood out there. The Clarks fabric ends on the net would seem to limit air movement when it's 80F with matching humidity. Same with the "jungle" water proof exterior (we've all got ground cloths). Breathable two layer bottom so you can slide in your pad that you have for ground is necessary. A bug net you can keep off your face when on the ground ("jungle" is nice net idea w/loops and pockets for sticks). What else? Should be kept under 3-4 lbs, as small a pack size as feasable (compare with 2 man tent) and less than $300 if possible. Care to chime in?
Sorry for the length, but I thought information was needed so the currently available offerings aren't mentioned again and no thanks on DIY option. Thanks much for your time and energy!