starting to fall in love
Man, it is a tough choice between the pros and cons of my favorite hammocks. Several of them each really have their individual strong pros and cons.
I still really like my original HHEXPUL with SS, though I have not been using it much in a while. In some ways I think it is the most bomb proof storm shelter I have, what with the built in wind and rain blocking abilities of the UC and the fast drying synthetic pad. For me, when it comes to blocking wind and side driven rain/snow, though not perfect, it is better than a large tarp. Though I usually use it with a large tarp any way, I don't have to worry near as much about a perfect pitch. I'm sure I mainly love it due to nostalgia, as my first couple of weeks worth of super sleep in the woods happened in this hammock. The big discovery of the advantages of hanging happened in this hammock.
My Claytor No Net with Speer Pea Pod is some sort of super comfortable, super warm easy to set up sweet deal. It is also my most comfortable gathered end hammock when it comes to sleeping on my side with both legs more or less straight.
My JRB BMBH, especially with the MWUQ is the all around super comfort king. Zero center ridge problems at my left calf, total flat lay comfort on my back, or fully/partially on EITHER side with legs straight or slightly bent. And it makes a unique sit up with back supported chair/lounger, untouched by other hammocks. And it is GREAT with a pad. It has been my overall favorite comfort wise for a while.
Each of the above( and others) has has it's own list of little imperfections. But I can be way happy in any of them compared to on the ground.
Due to initial reports, I had super high hopes for the WBBB 1.7 dbl, but I was unable to quite join the crowd in declaring it my fav, despite it's many appealing design features. Immediately fell for the "shelf", the stock suspension/buckles were the best I had seen, the net was extremely functional and stayed far from my face. It is extremely comfortable on my back with all that shoulder room. It was pretty comfortable on my left side with legs straight( not quite as much as the Claytor and def not as much as the BMBH), but not so much on my right side. However, it was a bit better than my Claytor for left side fetal, and I can not do fetal in the BMBH. So that makes it the best for left side fetal. And though a benefit in some ways ( like the shelf!), I wasn't crazy about the wall on the right side blocking my vision, not being able to get the net/wall all the way out of the way on the right and not being able to reach out on that side. The main thing though was: pressure on my left calf, which was as bad as any of my gathered end hammocks, and maybe worse than most. I seemed to be suffering with that problem way more than most others. And it is a bit heavier than most of my hammocks, though not more than the BMBH with bars.
So these minor drawbacks kept me from jumping on the band wagon and joining the crowd declaring it best hammock ever. Though I'm sure it was for many, it was not quite able to take that position for me.
But lately, I am just a little closer to joining the crowd( still not quite!). See, the thing is: if I put the leg pad in the pocket, that gets rid of about 90% of the left calf problem, and with or with out the pad, if I just use my old HH trick of a stuff sack under my legs, then that gets rid of 100% of the problem. At that point, I have comfort matching any and exceeding most other hammocks, plus I have all of that shoulder area spaciousness, plus stuff goes in the shelf and doesn't fall out as I get in and out. And like my Claytor, it works perfectly with my torso Climashield WB UQ /leg pad combo. I really like this combo, since I always carry a pad anyway, it is a very weight efficient approach, and the calf pressure is automatically dealt with.
OTOH, I remember it also worked well at a windy 18*F with my MWUQ, which kept me from having to worry about any body part getting on a cold spot. So that is a winner also. And of course, it is easier to close a tarp down on the ends to block wind when you don't have to deal with spreader bars, though they can be dealt with.
So, good stuff. It is still a tough call for #1 IMO, but this thing is a definite contender for #1 overall, despite the drawbacks I have mentioned. I can find drawbacks with all of my hammocks. Unless, of course, I am comparing them to a pad on the ground! ;)