Review of Blackbird on Practical Backpacking
Hey! That reviewer swiped my avatar! ;) Nice to see Blackbird getting space on different forums. :)
Is there any way to read that/register without an ISP email adress :confused:
Sry for the OT
See, I really don't like that - my ISP email address IS a yahoo address (which I never use). When you have AT&T as your ground line/DSL provider you are given a yahoo.com email.
Really it's the IMpractical backpacker. I emailed them and told them their policy prevented me from following their rules. :D
But I did manage to register using an email I created from a domain I administer for someone - it's a nice review. I get the impression there aren't many hammock users over there. I did see some familiar faces.
I'll ask. . . . . . . . . . .
I'm sure Brandon will thank you for the publicity. :cool:
It's a pretty asinine policy with the whole ISP email thing. It serves no meaningful purpose for the site and just alienates those of us who would like to keep the same email address when we move from one ISP to another. Most folk don't use their ISP email anymore.
Until they are willing to give up that policy, practical backpacking is missing out on a lot of potential members, myself included.
yes...I signed up (I even contributed) so that I could read "the rest" of the reviews. There has been some useful information posted there. But I've found the whole environment with respect to posting a bit restrictive and perhaps even heavy handed. The very few posts I've made were edited, with some information deleted.
Reality can run his site any way he likes. As potential members / posters we can choose to play his way or not. I've mostly chosen to stay away.
BTW HappyCamper, nice review of the Blackbird.
For those of you who can't read the review... (copied from Here.)
Comments on Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock
"Thereís a new hammock on the market thatís creating quite a buzz. Itís called the Blackbird and it's American-made by Warbonnet Outdoors. I got one last week and thought Iíd post some comments here. As I just received this hammock last week and have only spent two nights and several afternoons trying it out, this is not a long-term, field-tested durability post. Itís mostly to post my initial comments on the features of this new design. Iíve also included some explanation on why I like certain features for people unfamiliar with hammock camping.
For veteran hammockers, the Blackbird replaces the Eldorado. Thatís before my time so I canít comment on any of the differences. But what I can say is that the Blackbird is a gathered end hammock with attached netting. The netting has a full length zipper on one side making it a top entry. Dimensions are 120"x 72" with a 101" internal structural ridgeline, which holds up the netting. Mine weighs 880 grams / 31.04 ounces.
What I and others find so interesting with this design is the extra fabric Warbonnet incorporates into the design to create wings and a footbox. The footbox gives you extra space where you want it so your legs can spread out in different directions. The footbox also allows you to sleep in an asym (sideways) position for a flatter lay than the average banana hammock where the curve of the hammock can stress your knees.
I still find I need a pillow under my knees even in this hammock for the most comfortable nightís sleep. For me the flattest lay in a hammock is still a bridge. The extra fabric in this hammock makes it unusually comfortable to lay in different positions. The Blackbird practically begs me to sleep on my side when in most hammocks Iíve tried Iím a back sleeper only.
When you first see a Blackbird, the most prominent features are the wings. One wing creates a large side pocket for storage within the hammock. Itís a shelf thatís approximately 2 square feet that can hold a down jacket, fleece vest, etc. But it is shallow enough that you can reach small items like your glasses or headlamp while laying flat in the hammock. The top of the wing is netting, the bottom is the hammock's nylon material. Each wing is held out in two places by cord that comes together in a triangle shape and connects to a bungee cord. This bungee cord has a loop at the end where you stake it to the ground and allows the wings to stay pulled out and staked even when the hammock swings.
The Blackbird comes with a structural ridgeline so the hang and comfort of the hammock are the same every time you hang it. The full length zipper allows the netting to be thrown over the ridgeline and out of the way when not needed or when using the hammock as a camp chair.
(Hey! Did you just say that if I take a hammock camping I also have a "no additional weight" camp chair? Why, yes. Yes, I did say that. )
The long zipper has two zipper pulls that allow you to position the zipper opening where it is most convenient to you. Nice! The great part about the zipper on the netting (as opposed to hammocks with attached netting like the Hennessy) is that you can unzip it and reach out and feel the hang of your underquilt to see if it is too tight or too loose. The correct positioning of an underquilt is very important in keeping you warm. If it is not hanging correctly, youíve wasted your back hiking it in with you.
The suspension webbing has a loop sewn at the tree end so you can use it with or without a carabiner. The Ďbiners makes for a quicker setup so I tend to use them. If you opt for the cord suspension, tree straps are included that keep the cord from damaging the tree.
Whatís really cool about the Blackbird is that itís somewhat of a designer hammock. From a list of features you can design your hammock the way you want it. You can choose your suspension: webbing or ultralight cord. Do you want a double layer hammock with a pad pocket or do you want only a single layer hammock? Your weight will determine what weight fabric the hammock will be made from: 1.1 or 1.7. Do you want it in olive drab green or dark grey? Send Warbonnet guy a nice email and he may make one layer dark grey and the other layer olive drab green.
The website mentions another color mint green. Thatís what mine is only I call it drool green. Itís such a pretty green when you see it youíll be drooling all over my hammock.
OK, so enough with the drooling. Whatís not to like? Not much for me so far, although there have been questions about using underquilts with this unique design. This is my concern as well. So far when I have backyard tested it, my No Sniv (size regular) underquilt has stayed in place under the footbox, but has pulled down on the left side slightly. I would reach out and reposition it but with some movement in the hammock it would slide down slightly again. Since it was not too cold, I donít know if the slight amount of sliding will cause a problem in colder temps. If it does, I donít think it will be difficult to come up with a solution to keep the underquilt in place on the side. An additional loop on each side of the underquilt at my shoulders may be all that is required with attachment points on the hammock. Because I am a cold sleeper it will probably be only a matter of time before I add some type of mod to the Blackbird and No Sniv to keep it in place. Staying warm is important to me whether on the ground or in a hammock. Other types of underquilts may not have this issue at all or maybe they do. Someone else will have to post on that because the No Sniv is the only underquilt I own.
From the above comments itís pretty obvious that I like this hammock. You can tell that an experienced guy that knows hammocks and backpacking designed it. Itís the little things that add up. Example, the tree straps have a single, 8-gram metal triangle sewn into one loop so you donít have to worry about your cord sawing into the strap and weakening it to the point that you have to guess-timate on when itís eventually going to break sending you and your hammock to the ground.
Even the silnylon stuff sack serves multiple purposes. Itís a stuff sack that opens on both ends so that it can be used like a Black Bishop Bag, allowing it to hang on your suspension so when you are taking down your hammock, you can easily start stuffing one end of them hammock into the sack while the other end is still attached to the tree. This keeps the hammock off the ground and clean each time you break camp. And because the stuff sack cinches at each end you can use it for storage while it hangs on your suspension line.
I also like the fact that WarbonnetGuy knows people like choices and offers them. All the hardware and fabric are extremely lightweight and the craftsmanship of the design and manufacturing is first rate.
Weights for the different hammock styles are listed on the website.
My hammock is 1.1 double layer nylon with 14 ft of webbing suspension on each end. With stuff sack, webbing, triangle buckles, hammock and the tiny suspension cords I added for underquilt, my Blackbird weighs in at 880 grams. Thatís 31.04 ounces or a smidge less than 2 pounds. This doesnít count the stakes or tarp that are needed for hammock camping. Three-season tarps can weigh-in at approximately 10 to 20 ounces depending on the model and size. Winter tarps even more. Warbonnet Outdoors sells tarps too, but sorry no experience with those . . . yet.
Didn't want to bore you with this at the top but here is my hammock resume to show you where I hammock and to show you what experience I have and don't have . . .
Iíve been hammocking for about two years now. Mostly weekends, few days longer when I can. My first hammock was the Hennessy Backpacker Asym model which I eventually had modded by 2Questions with two zippers turning it into a top loader. I replaced the small original tarp with the larger JRB 11 x 10 cat cut tarp. I often swap out the cord suspension with webbing and then back to cord again depending on my mood or season. I also made my own Zhammock with nylon material from the $1 bin at Walmart and I own a Ticket To The Moon Compact Hammock. And now I've added a Blackbird. (Oh, I've also had an ENO knock-off that I sold. Almost forgot about that one!)
I backpack alone sometimes but would rather have company and have camped with other hammockers in WV, PA, MD and VA. I car camp now with a hammock. Iíve camped with scouts with my hammock. Iíve been to several group hangs. I blog with other hammockers almost daily. I test my hammocks and gear constantly in my back yard and I take one day hiking or rail-trail biking practically every time I go out. I even take them to family reunions and any type of fair or festival where itís going to be a long day and I think I can find two trees to throw up a hammock and nap.
My relatives have started whispering that I have an unnatural relationship with these hammocks. Since I started backpacking with a hammock I have yet to go back to my tent (except two winter nights so I could compare how warm my Exped Down Deluxe 9 mat was in my hammock compared to being on the ground in a tent at 17 degrees.) My lowest comfortable temp in a hammock is 10 degrees. My only experience with a bridge hammock was one night in a JRB at a group hang and I found it to be quite comfortable."
Yes, and I posted pictures and sent copy of review to Brandon. :)
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