I read parts of the long thread on these hammocks on the Hammock forum today and felt that another unbiased view from my experience would help give a balanced view of the product. I live in France so have no connection to the company.
When I wanted a hammock at the end of last year, I looked around the web to see what was out there. I saw the Hennessys at over £100, but didn’t really care for the underneath entry…I looked at the US models (particularly like the Warbonnet blackbird…) but these are not readily available in Europe. Then a mate told me about his DD Travel hammock that he was very pleased with. So I scoured the net for info which was pretty favourable on the whole.
When I ordered I was pretty much aware of the advantages and the shortcomings of the hammock and what I received was exactly what I expected.
I found mine to be well made, not too many threads and sewing sloppiness others had commented on. One or two but nothing I’d really gripe about. I checked all around and no issues were apparent.
I didn’t even bother with the supplied webbing. I removed it straight away and tied up with some 4mm climbing chord on each end. (Lighter, stronger and less bulky than the webbing supplied.) These I attached to my tree huggers with a marlin spike hitch. (Thanks for the help Grizz on Hammock Forums). The set up was very nice, quick and easy.
I added a DD Camo Tarp set up as Dave Canterbury illustrates on his youtube site, in a diamond pattern. Works great!!
With a thermorest and sleeping bag opened as a top quilt I’ve been good to go!
Ok now the nitty gritty…likes and dislikes!!
I saw guys saying these were junk hammocks. I must say I can’t agree. The one I received in June 2011 was fine. No hidden surprises.
• Double layer for insulating pad
• bug net
• general comfort
• versatility… can use it as a bivvi if needed
• Pockets inside
• Double sided entry.
• The sleeves make putting it away a doddle.
• Suspension… a couple of lengths of Amsteel or even just climbing chord would be better than the rubbish webbing supplied. This is mentioned by just about every single review I’ve read. Be it just adding a carabineer or replacing the whole shooting match. I’d suggest to Nick it needs attention.
• I got two whoopie slings for £12 which might be an additional item he could supply on his site, even if it’s at extra cost. While I appreciate everything has to meet a production cost, to add a suspension system most people bin seems a waste of time.
• I was surprised looking at the videos of the product they advocated using sticks to tension the bug net. Could a cheap system not be supplied? This is a minor point and now I’m used to cutting a twig, no real hassle. I was just surprised. Seemed like a bit was missing. Again coming into cost is a consideration. Add too many bits and your base price rises too much!!
For me this is a great budget level hammock. The level of sewing was just fine on my version.. Ok! one of the Velcro tabs is coming slightly undone.. but hey! That is being really nitpicking. No sign of the mozzie net tabs breaking… and I’ve tensioned them and stuck sticks through them… All in perfect working order.
All in all a very versatile, comfortable and compact hammock. I’ve done around 20 nights in it so far and sleep wonderfully. I have used it with the DD Camo Tarp and been totally satisfied. Once I got a suspension I liked sorted I found it quick and easy to set up…(I have ordered whoopie slings…I’ll have to see if they are more of a gadget than a true advantage.)
I’ve read about the condensation issue on the non breathable fabric, but so far have not seen it to be a real problem. Yes I’ve had some dampness, mostly by my feet (guess I have sweaty feet) but it’s not critical and not something that would prevent me using the hammock. I use it with a thermorest in the layered pocket, so I question the actual breathability of say a “Frontline” used with the same mat???
Some of the comments I’ve read seem pretty unfair. This is a very well thought-out and practical hammock that comes in at under 50 quid!!! Ok it should do what it says on the box and from what I’ve seen Nick strives to see his customers are satisfied. But it seems unfair to slate it when other products cost three or four times the price.