Well let me first start out by saying I appreciate any and all help I've been getting from everyone on this site and I really do hope you enjoy giving it. I swear ever since I thought about hammock camping and really started getting into it I just keep finding more and more information which, as you guessed, just leads to more and more questions!! I've finally narrowed my hammock choice to the final two based on what I need and their respective price points. Those now being the DD and the Hennessy. Anyways, to my questions..
I'm interested in knowing how everyone likes their HH and how it has served them. Give me the good, bad, and ugly based on your experiences. Hows the sleep, would you recommend it, and is it holding up? Please do keep in mine that this will be my first hammock so I'm looking to keep my set-up under 200 dollars.
Once again I appreciate all your help and will give everyone a solid report on the hammock I do eventually decide on.
The HH Expedition Asym Zip was my first hammock. It certainly gets you hanging for under $200. It's very sturdy and durable and gave me many nights of reasonably comfortable hanging.
With that said, it's not particularly light, I find it too short for my height (5'11"), the stock tarp is fine for straight down rain, but the coverage is skimpy for blowing precipitation (upgrade to the Hex if you can). I never liked the rope suspension and replaced it with whoopie slings. I was also prone to calf cramps in the Hennessy, which led my current dislike of hammocks with zippers. I just can't get out of a zippered hammock quick enough - I need to stand right away to ease the calf cramp and I panic and can't find the zipper.
I've been using BIAS Weight Weenie and tablecloth hammocks since - no more calf cramps and I find them a lot more comfortable than the Hennessy. I still own the Hennessy but use it mostly as a loaner.
Still, it's a great starter hammock and it got me off the ground. Good luck in your quest to do the same!
+1 to what Surfer said. Good starter hammock b/c its inexpensive, well made, and an all in one system. They hold thair value fairly well so can be sold if you decide you want to upgrade.
I have a netless Expedition that is just a tad short for me, but is good for my Significant Other. My favorite hammock by far is my HH Deep Jungle XL. Roomy and comfortable, a double layer so its better protection against through the hammock skeeter bites and it comes with a reflectix bubble pad that is enough insulation to get you down to about 40*. Its my full time sleeper b/c its only drawback is its a bit heavier than I'd liike it to be for distance hiking, but it will always be my go-to for car camping and quick overnights where a lot of food and water doesn't need to be carried. Its a bit higher dollar-wise than other HH's, but once you consider that it comes with enough insulation to get your through most of the rest of this year without having to buy an underquilt, its worth considering. Get the HH Hex tarp with it and you'll have a pretty good system.
I've been using the Explorer Deluxe classic since last summer. The whole family has Hennessys now. Being taller, I chose the Exp Deluxe, but my wife finds her's extremely comfortable as well. I haven't had any issues with the tarp, but my wife was worried about it so I ordered her a Typhoon for Christmas, and she really likes the look of it.
I love the bottom entry, especially when the mosquitoes are swarming. Very quick and easy to get into, and almost no bugs can follow you in.
We added descender rings and biners to the Explorers to make set up a bit easier. The other three are still stock suspension. I don't mind it at all.
Thanks for the information guys, keep it coming. I'm also curious as to what other people prefer when given the choice between bottom entry or zippered.
The strength of the Hennessy is the integrated approach. What bugs me is the Hennessy Zip. The bottom entry is so much better it is not worth talking about. The only problem is getting to gear at the head end or playing with your quilt. A 2QZQ mod 1 type zipper fixes that quite well. The rest of the mods and the side zip miss the point. If you do not want the bug net a DIY is much easier and cheaper.
I started with a HH Explorer UL bottom entry, and I love it. I concur that the stock fly is not enough coverage for me...I also got a Hex that I love and have since bought a Monsoon and made a Winter Dream.
We like them so much that all three of my boys now have HH. One is a Hyperlight with Typhoon fly (which is a really cool design), and two are cubs (which are OK, but have a really low weight rating). I agree that the bottom entry design is a great design and works really well. I have made several other hammocks (including a couple modelled after the HH bottom entry with bugnet), but I don't have experience with any other hammocks. But I do love the HH...have found no reason to switch to anything else.
I have an Explorer Deluxe Classic for me, Expedition for the son/wife (depending on who's camping), and two cubs (the last three are all zips). I love my classic. I take naps in it every weekend and it is extremely comfortable. If I get the hang right, i.e. foot a little higher than the head, I don't have issues with my legs and obviously no sliding down. I'm good for about 10-15 minutes of reading and I can't keep my eyes open.
I wanted the bottom entry and do like it, however, I will be getting a 2QZQ Mod 4 on this baby soon. I like the side access option when using a pad and it allows me a chance to use the hammock like a table for gear repack, etc. I don't like stooping over all the time. I would not have gotten the zip and not have the bottom entry available. I like versatility and flexability so I want both.
I did upgrade to the Hex. Only knock on this I wish it had more of a cat cut in it to get the tie out a little more taut. I will probably change to a different rain fly down the road but at this point I'm very happy with the hex.
I made a good choice for us for how and when we camp/hike right now. I can see myself getting some other hammocks down the road and testing them out as well, but I'll need to get a nut hut like Shug to store it all.:shades:
I agree with silver surfer completely! It's such a great started hammock because its ready to go as is. The boys are starting to get interested in DIY versions but still love their HH expeditions.
SS has the pros and cons down perfectly. I love my zip option because I don't always need the net. And sometimes I want to just sit up in it, lean on the net as the back of a chair, and relax.
Whatever you get, I'm sure you'll love it.
I started with a Explorer Deluxe classic. Found that a short UQ worked well with the bottom entry, but that you really need the zipper mod so that you can reach out and adjust the quilt - which I have not done. I just don't stake the hammock out which allows the uq to wrap better.
I love the bottom entry. Aside from winter tarps that enclose the ends, the end/bottom entry for me is the most sensible point to enter and exit a hammock, period. That said, I found that I really didn't want a net, so instead of doing a mod, I got a regular gathered end hammock, and I now reluctantly enter as everybody else does, on the side. I almost never pull down both sides of my tarp now, always staying in porch mode, making my annoyance with having the tarp on my back as I enter and exit a moot point.
If you want to be enclosed and be able to pull down the tarp for weather protection, then I highly recommend the classic bottom entry, and would do the zipper mod as well for versatility and ability to adjust an UQ.
I found the stock tarp to be sufficient, especially when pulled close as it normally is when attached to the tarp clips on the HH suspension lines (which is really the only "all-in-one" benefit of the HH in that you don't need ridgeline tie outs for the tarp, and it can be packed all together). Keep in mind that with the bottom entry, you're not getting all that much more useful coverage with the hex tarp. Your most useful coverage is on the end for classic entry, and that's where you'll want to create some "under the tarp" space. So, IMO, with the bottom entry, you'll probably want a longer tarp, like 12'.
I've also owned a BB. If you're going to go with a netted/staked-out hammock, the BB already has a zipper, it has the footbox which I liked over the HH, it has the shelf for storage, and you're not paying for a stock tarp which you'll probably replace. So, the only real benefit of the HH is the bottom entry - again, which I really like, but obviously it wasn't enough for me to stay with the HH.