excellent idea to go to a hang-gathering and check out what other folks have. Perhaps you could even hook up with someone on a weekend in a park near you, for an hour and check out their gear and get some pointers and ideas.
On your bulkier question. Perhaps that is true. I got a cuben tarp, weighs nothing and goes outside the pack anyway. the top and under quilt are, to me, about equivalent to a sleeping bag. But warmer as the UQ isn't compressed. I don't necessarily take a pad with the hammock. But might take the therma-rest, partially inflate it, for extra bottom insulation. Comfort is my thing. I never slept well in a tent. My only trip so far with the hammock, it did take me longer than my tent-dwelling canoe buddy to set up. But when I hurt my back when we crashed the canoe, well one night in the hammock and I was good as new. Better than sleeping at home in the bed!
Call me Junior
Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
"For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away" Bryan Adams....