That's right I am a convert. This weekend I went down to Trail Days. So lots of great gear, old friends to hand out with and new friends were made. And of course I had the pleasure of hanging out with Pan and Smee (as well as may other fine vendors and folks) for a bit as well.
So a little back history. I've tried 4 or 5 bridge hammocks over the past 3 years and have yet to find one that I found comfortable. I've tried a few DIY's as well as some made by vendors. I even tried the BMBH but found that it had to much shoulder squeeze for me like the rest of the ones I had tried out so was never really interested in them. My wife Little Legs however loved them. She found them much more comfortable to sleep in then a gathered end. She does not camp all that much so I've been hesitant to purchase a bridge for the few times a year she would use it and me not liking one just dident seem to make sense. Not that I did not want to buy her gear she dident want a bridge hammock exclusively for her cause she was happy with my extra WBBB.
Un-till this weekend. Recently the Jacks R' Better released their Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock Ultra Light.
Reviewed by forum member Joey here
And found on the Jacks R Better website here
I had been checking it out all day but for reasons stated I was not all that interested in it. Untill the hour I was leaving and Pan saw me checking it and and threw out the hook and line telling me it was on sale. So I called my wife and she said sure check it out and if its comfy bring it home. I was skeptical at first due to past experiences but immediately upon laying in it I fell in love. The hammock molded to my body without having to really find a sweet spot it found me. Sure I wiggled a little bit but no where as much movement as I have to do in my WBBB to get comfy. I felt little to no shoulder squeeze and had such a flat lay I was just amazed. I called the wife to get the ok and was approved. Before purchase I tried out the BMBH original. Within a second I found it to be no where near as comfy as the Ultra Light and remembered all the reason I was not a fan of Bridge Hammock. Went back to the UL and loved it. I was confused as to why and what I theorized and discussed with Pan was that because the ultra was shallower by 4 inches that I do not sink as low into the hammock causing less squeeze because their is very little fabric above my shoulders due to it being shallower. I find it to be the perfect depth and width for my 220lbs 6' and broad shoulders. I was in heaven. The hammock itself is very stable and I did not feel like I was going to flip over.
Purchased the BMBH UL and left trail days around 9pm Saturday night. Drove through the night and arrived home at about 4:45am. Came into the house gave Little Legs a kiss hello and told her I was heading to the back yard to try out the hammock. At around 6am I finally got all unpacked and outside to set up the hammock in my back yard hung the my UQ (which was super easy with no fuss what so ever I was using a custom Phoenix that review to come) and was toasty, toasty warm. Did not even have to cinch down on the UQ it snugged up perfectly against me and I immediately started roasting (it was about high 50's lows 60's in a 40 Phoenix with a 50 Burrow using a Black Rock pillow) Went to sleep around 6:15 ish and slept solid through about 10am or so. Woke up feeling better refreshed then I did the night before in the hotel bed.
The one thing I immediately did was attach Dutch Biners to the Rings and switched the straps out for woopies.
So over all this is just a great hammock and one I am excited to have added to my collection. My wife will use this on the trail I however most likely will only use this car camping due to the weight. My wife is more about comfort and that is number one for her. I carry most of her things any ways. . I can wait to get some more ZZZZ's in with this hammock. The craftsmanship is excellent, the stitching is spot on, the bug net does not hang in your face and if your looking for a bridge and you never like that shoulder squeeze well this is the hammock for you IMHO.
Thanks Jack and Smee for a most excellent hammock and for converting me. I may even have to buy a second one so when me and my wife car camp together we both have one.
Now my only and one complaint and this has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MANUFACTURING OF THE HAMMOCK OR THE JACKS but I know of at least one person on this forum to put a hole through the cuben tarp with a spreader bar and I believe others have as well. Due to the no stretch of the cube if a spreader bar hits it IMHO its going to pop a hole in it so when using this hammock I will be sticking to my sil tarp. I am just to clumsy to have any thing point under neath a cuben tarp. Again this has nothing to do with the way the Jacks built the hammock but a disadvantage I see with any bridge hammock. However when discussing this with Pan he mentioned that being a bit careful would be fine to use under cuben but I am not careful in the woods.
Thanks Jack and Pan for converting me and showing me a new and most excellent way of hanging.