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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Hammock and size

    Hi
    I'm new here and about to by a new Hennessy hammock for backpacking. So i have a few questions for you experts.

    1. I'm 5'11 and a half inches tall and 195lbs. That brings me in half an inch under the height limit and 5lbs under the weight limit. Would you recommend a standard 6foot 200lb limit hammock or going for the 7ft 250lb version? Do the standard 6 foot versions have more room than they say? can it handle my weight with a 200lb limit?

    2. As a bikepacker i like things to be lightweight. I was looking at the ultralight backpacker or the explorer.......which do you recommend?

    3. and does this Garda hitch thing really work?


    let me know I would love to hear your take on these things. I'm based on Alberta Canada and really want to start using a hammock.

    Thanks

    Rich

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Hammock
    WB XLC
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    WB SuperFly
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    Members of this forum will often steer people away from two hammock brands: ENO and Hennessy. The main reason is there are often more comfortable or versatile alternatives in each of those price ranges. That isn't to say they are bad hammocks. Lots of people use them and love them. For many of us here those were our "starter hammocks" until we understood their limitations and wanted something better.

    1. At 5'11" you will likely be most comfortable in a longer hammock, so if you're going with the Hennessy go for the big boy. It's not that the shorter hammock won't have plenty of room inside. It will. It's that it just won't be as comfortable. The fabric starts to bunch up as you get closer to each end of a gathered end style hammock, and that causes pressure points on calves and shoulders that people often find uncomfortable. A longer hammock can reduce or even eliminate those pressure points. As far as weight capacity I'm sure you'd be fine in the shorter hammock. Vendors provide conservative numbers for the capacity of their gear.

    2. I'd recommend you explore all your options. If you definitely want Hennessy I'd go with the UL Explorer Zip for more comfort. People that get the bottom entry model seem to often regret it and many retrofit it with zippers after the fact.

    3. The Garda hitch works, but there are many alternate suspension options available. It's less popular than most of the alternatives.

    Read up on bottom insulation. It's very important in a hammock.

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Apr 2015
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    Alberta canada
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    Thats brilliant advice thank you..What other hammocks would you recommend for me, my size what I need it for?

    I'm a bikepacker and need a hammock to use across western Canada on the Trans Canada Trail. Trees are obviously in abundance so it will be the perfect set up. It needs to be light, waterproof and small enough to fit in a sweet roll rackless bag system on the bike. Right now I have a Big Agnes UL1 Flycreek tent which weighs 1.5lbs and easily fits my bag if that helps for comparison.

    Rich

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Instead of recommending anything specific I'm going to ask you a few questions.

    What's your budget like? That may narrow down your options a little. For example, a top of the line UL hammock setup (all necessary components for shelter and sleeping) could run as high as $1500 USD. Chances are you don't want or need to spend that much, and you likely have some gear that will already work with the hammock (e.g. sleeping bag). Chances are also good some of your gear (e.g. sleeping pad) isn't very suitable for use in a hammock. Staying warm in a hammock presents a challenge until you get the right insulation and the right amount of know how. Assuming you'll need to invest in new bottom insulation you're probably looking at a minimum of about $500 USD to convert to hammock camping with light weight gear that packs well for bikepacking.

    Do you mind mixing gear from different vendors to allow lots of control over your individual components, or would you prefer a one-stop shop where you can buy just about everything in one place?

    Do you want an integrated bug net (like the Hennessy provides), or would you rather it was separate from the hammock so it can be left behind when conditions allow?

    Essentially you'll need the following:

    Hammock, hammock suspension, tarp, tarp suspension, bugnet, bottom insulation (underquilt or pad), and top insulation (sleeping bag or top quilt)

    If you make good choices your hammock, suspension and bugnet together will compress to about the size of a Nalgene 1L plastic bottle. Your tarp and its accessories will likely pack to the size of another Nalgene bottle. Depending on the bottom insulation you choose, that might take up another 2L or more. Then you've got your sleeping bag or top quilt to finish it off. At the end of the day you likely won't save any weight or bulk versus your UL tent setup, but you should have a more comfortable sleep at night. UL campers who expect to shed weight converting to a hammock usually wind up disappointed. At best it winds up being about a wash.

    Still interested in going down the rabbit hole?

  5. #5
    New Member Iamrain22's Avatar
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    Wow Dangles^.. That post got me thinkin, about my own rabbit hole, my newness to all of this setup stuff. I'm interested in what is being shared here, but I also wanted to throw my little theory at the thread creators stew of thoughts-

    Well see, I am working on my own "custom" setup, also for ultra light use as well as biking. I am nearly certain you can get a very light setup for just a few hundred dollars- depending on if you have a quality sleeping bag already. I think there are a multitude of different factors involved like Dangles was explaining up there, but I just wanted to share my knowledge through my own current planning that it can be much more do able, although it may be a bit of work to do the right kind of shopping, or heck building or sewing if your skilled in that way.

    Canada- winter? Which season were you shooting for with your setup?
    An under quilt may be one of your more important items in this setup, and I suppose that starts to put your budget to the next notch.. 250 if your shopping smart n cheap.
    Feel free to correct me guys but for the budgeting on a beginner setup:
    50- hammock
    50- tarp (100)
    30- carabiners, guy lines, stakes (130)
    100- under quilt (230)
    25- tree straps. (255)

    My apologies if budgeting isn't something u want to get into here. But I wanted to help with what I could!
    I am aiming at an inflatable insulated air pad called the klymit static v which is a pound and a half and also 5"x8" packed. Its saving a few bucks about (50) from the setup and I am pretty sure shaves off some weight and space in your pack. But if your getting into some extra frozen temperatures (below 30) I am thinking that the under quilt can come on in.

    A setup such as the one I've been pondering is at 7.5-8 pounds. If you find a descent lightweight hammock let me know though! I still haven't bought even half of my setup yet!

    And don't forget! I'm brand new!

  6. #6
    DaddyDaddy's Avatar
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    Speaking of rabbit holes.....feeling the urge to defend HH but I already know that will devolve into a less than productive thread for the OP.

    I'll offer up another suggestion that is both tried and true. It may be a bit of a challenge for you in the greater northern confines of Alberta but, put out the general call on the forum for hammock hangers in your area. We tend to be a giving and helpful bunch and anyone near you who has HH, Warbonnet, Dream Hammock, or any of the other fine manufacturers of hammocks spoken of on this forum will likely allow you the opportunity to test nap a brand they have.

    Better yet, if you can find a group hang near you, go to it. Post haste. What you will likely see there is a plethora of brands and suspension types and everything else related to hammock camping. You'll meet some of the finest people on the planet, a distinct byproduct of being a lover of the hammock, and you'll have the opportunity to try out a lot of brands all in one spot over a couple days. Not to mention the food we pull off at those little soirees.

    Sans those options, you'll be in the same boat many of us were in when we started. Buy it, try it, modify it or sell it and try something else. It ain't the cheapest way to go at it (that is likely the DIY option) but it is a heck of a lot of fun if you enjoy the discovery process.

    Either way, I wish you luck, and oh, by the way, I slept like a log last night....in my Hennessy.
    See my Blog @ http://msdaddydaddy.wordpress.com - YouTube Channel: MeyouandMaggietoo
    No wound? No scar?
    Yet, as the Master shall the servant be, And piercèd are the feet that follow Me.
    But thine are whole; can he have followed far, Who hast no wound or scar?
    Excerpt from a poem by Amy Carmichael. Missionary to orphans in India.
    She suffered much -- and bore much eternal fruit.

  7. #7
    dirtwheels's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
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    Northern South Carolina
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    +1 on the group hang, seeing AND testing setups is a great thing. Hammocks are very subjective, some are easier to setup consistently than others. I started out with a HH Explorer UL and a HH Super Shelter. The HH Epx UL was a great idea but the hammock was too finicky to setup for m taste, the calf ridgeline was my biggest problem. I could measure the angle with a phone app, hit 30* on the mark but get the calf ridgeline at times and not others. I loved the super shelter and over cover. I didn't really like the fact that the bugnet worked better when using the tieouts, I prefer the hammock to be free to swing and carry fewer stakes. The smaller tarp also proved to be a fine piece of kit and the setup on the same suspension wasn't bad either. That necessitated you stoop over nearly like crawling in a tent.

    I found I preferred walking under my tarp with the minimal amount of stooping and that the tarp have more coverage than the HH diamond or Monsoon. The HH EXP UL worked well with an UQ and the HH SS was a fine product, just be aware that many find the HH hammocks to have calf ridge issues.

    At 5'11'' & 190 lbs I found the Simply Light Designs Streamliner in 1.6 to be a good lightweight hammock, the 10' version I have is comfortable and the cat cut ends have never given me calf ridge issues, the cat cut sides offer better vision than standards gathered ends but lessen the comfort of the hammock for sitting in it as a chair. Mine is about 10 ounces with suspension. It works best with less than the standard 30* sag due to the width of the 1.6 fabric and you may be better served with a wider version. I chose the 1.6 for strength and weight savings as I was looking mostly for weight and bulk savings. I would readily choose the hammock again and it is my go to camping hammock. It's not as comfortable as a longer wider gathered end hammock, but it provides me a great nights sleep. And I found I greatly prefer the bottom entry bugnet Simply Light Designs made me over the zippered versions, entry and exit is cleaner, easier and faster.

    Research, research, research is my suggestion. We don't all agree on cars and we ain't gonna agree on hammocks. Happy trails!
    Give me more darkness said the blind man,
    Give me more folly said the fool,
    Give me stone silence said the deaf man,
    I didn't believe Sunday School.
    Phil Keaggy

  8. #8
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyDaddy View Post
    Speaking of rabbit holes.....feeling the urge to defend HH but I already know that will devolve into a less than productive thread for the OP.

    I'll offer up another suggestion that is both tried and true. It may be a bit of a challenge for you in the greater northern confines of Alberta but, put out the general call on the forum for hammock hangers in your area. We tend to be a giving and helpful bunch and anyone near you who has HH, Warbonnet, Dream Hammock, or any of the other fine manufacturers of hammocks spoken of on this forum will likely allow you the opportunity to test nap a brand they have.

    Better yet, if you can find a group hang near you, go to it. Post haste. What you will likely see there is a plethora of brands and suspension types and everything else related to hammock camping. You'll meet some of the finest people on the planet, a distinct byproduct of being a lover of the hammock, and you'll have the opportunity to try out a lot of brands all in one spot over a couple days. Not to mention the food we pull off at those little soirees.

    Sans those options, you'll be in the same boat many of us were in when we started. Buy it, try it, modify it or sell it and try something else. It ain't the cheapest way to go at it (that is likely the DIY option) but it is a heck of a lot of fun if you enjoy the discovery process.

    Either way, I wish you luck, and oh, by the way, I slept like a log last night....in my Hennessy.
    Ditto all of that. The problem with any recommendations from any of us is that, IMO, it's kind of like asking me to recommend the most comfortable pair of shoes for you based on what is comfy on my feet. Trying for yourself is the only real way to know, and even then you need to sleep in them probably more than once. And if that is not enough to make a rec difficult, there is the whole pro and con thing. For example: I tend to have calf pressure issues (a real downer) in most non-bridge hammocks. This can absolutely make sleep impossible. Any bridge hammock 100% solves this and a few other problems for me. But in some other ways, I much prefer non-bridge hammocks. Thus over an 8 year period, I still have not come to a 100% decision on which hammock is my favorite, though maybe 2 or 3 are tied for which one to take on a backpacking trip. But I might still choose slightly different for car camping or back yard hanging. Etc, etc.

    Can you get better prices and shipping on HH? What is their return policy? IOW, can you try some out? They might have demos. Also, don't confuse the bottom entry(BE, original style) HHs with their zip models, that is a whole different area of debate, pros and cons. A few folks don't like HH because they don't like the BE with no zippers, but you can get zip model HHs. I am 6'1", and range up and down from 205-220 LB. I started with a BE HH Explorer UL/HH Super Shelter. I thought I had gone to heaven while backpacking. This is still one of my preferred systems years later.

    Maybe my most comfy non-bridge is the way long HH Safari. Don't make the mistake of judging HH length by what is listed at their web site, that is Ridge line length, The safari is only listed as 4"longer than the Explorer, but Safari is probably more like a foot+ longer. It has what is called a huge sag, or room under the RL. More so than any other hammock. The Explorers are probably between 10.5-11 ft, don't know about the shorter HHs actual length(as opposed to RL length listed by HH) But some other hammocks that are very, very close to it for me in over all comfort are the Speer, Claytor No Net and Switchback, ranging in length from 8.5 to max 10 feet. These are as comfy overall for me as any hammocks I have used, except maybe a bridge and very close even then.

    Here is something to consider: if you try one hammock and don't like it, it is usually easy to sell it here with out too much loss, the the HHs might suffer more loss than others. But, you may have excessive shipping costs to deal with, I don't know. So look for a group hang or a neighbor with hammocks you can try. What you like may be totally different than what I find comfy.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  9. #9
    sargevining's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    I'll take issue with the advice against Hennessy, and the idea that its mostly panned by members here. Its not.

    Hennessy is the Ford Taurus of the Hammock world. Depending on model, its a good entry level all in one system that holds it value and will do good service over many years. They are durable and well made. They are also cheaper and easier to get for Canadians than the offerings of Stateside cottage vendors due to customs charges. I'd recommend going with the Hex Tarp rather than the stock tarp, and research methods of changing out suspensions.

    However, there is a new Canadian alternative to US Cottage vendors attempting to service the needs of Canadians who have trouble getting good stuff across the border. I've not seen anything other than photos of his work, but have seen many posts on Facebook from him and his customers which appear to be fairly positive.

    http://littleshopofhammocks.com/

    The advice above about getting to a group hang is good, although I've not seen the Hang Outs section of this site inundated with Canadian Group Hangs.

  10. #10
    bkrgi's Avatar
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    Pick a spot and just dive in ...there is no right or wrong. Take the advice listed above and through out this forum and go. If your addicted to the whole Hammy life your gear will evolve as time goes on anyways.
    Yup its a Rabbit hole that just never ends..hahaha
    Life is too Short to not feed the addiction....Hang on and explore the World

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