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  1. #21
    Senior Member inspectorguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnlvs2run View Post
    Setting aside the issue of weight, couldn't spreader bar (not bridge) hammocks be attached with two suspensions at each end, which would eliminate the tippiness? For example, a single strap looped around a tree, then attached from each side to one end of the hammock and the same on both ends, or attached to two studs on each side in a house would add stability.
    I think the "apex" creating a constant and even tension along the sides and up to a central point, is key to a bridge hammock and minimizing risk of collapsing the spreader bars, which I fear would happen in the scenario you describe.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Valpo, IN
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    Towns-End Luxury Bridge
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    A slight twist on Cougarmeat's post.

    I prefer the method here to reaching back. In part because some of my bridges are wider, and because if you keep your feet in contact with the ground as you lay down you are more stable overall. Some do have problems laying down in this manner and I suggest placing your hand into the center of the bridge to help ease you in. If you're really sneaking into a tight spot or tarp then reaching back can help too.

    PS- the I love lucy hammock is a spreader bar hammock- not a bridge. Part of the reason bridges have a bad reputation is because so many think of spreader bar hammocks (where the rope or fabric is attached to the bar.

  3. #23

    Join Date
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    As a simple answer to the stability- if you look at the still photo for the video above (at least as it displays for me).

    While my the bedspace in my bridges is shallow relative to some others- you will note that my hip bones are still below the plane of the sides at the center.
    My entire body is well below the spreader bars, which are well below the apex of the suspension triangles, which are also below the anchor points (trees). Even when I am sitting up you can see that my shoulders are lower than the apex and my head several inches below the RL.

    Of course gathered end users may ask... what's the big deal? Sounds more like how a gathered end works? Well... yes, yes it does.

    Not to pick on this guy but since we are discussing alternate suspensions or additional stability options:


    If you pause the video at :24 seconds in you will see him hop in to his rock solid bridge.
    You may note that his head is nearly level with his anchor points on the tree while sitting up and nearly his entire body is well above the spreader bars. As he lays down at 26 seconds in- his toes are nearly level with the spreader at the foot end and his elbows stick up fairly high above the bar as well.

    You may also note that his hip bone ends up in about the same place as my hip bone ends up.

    When he rolls onto his side at 32 seconds in- you'll see his shoulder is roughly level with the head end spreader bar.

    He then goes on to show you how stable his bridge is... and proceeds to show you exactly how horribly tippy it would be without his anchor system at :40 seconds in.


    As I mentioned in the other thread- I'm not crapping on this dude and there is more than one way to build a bridge.
    His solution to this is unique, interesting and well thought out.
    But he's also applying it to what is basically an even shallower hiker dad bridge cranked to trampoline tight- which is the about the best way to dial up the tip factor to 11. It does get you a flat bridge...

    I mainly point it out as his bridge and mine are basically two extremes of bridge design.
    A razor tight minimalist end bar bridge vs a generously sized recessed bar.

    I like swinging/rocking in a hammock- any hammock.
    Having to 'lock it down' is a deal breaker for me.
    I get you can bounce it a little- but you're not swinging.

    As mentioned in the other thread as well- this strikes me more as an amazing solution to a problem he created to me.
    It is still a cool bridge and a neat solution... but there is really no compelling reason to build that bridge to me.

    So point being- you only need to solve a problem if one exists.
    If you create a problem... it's cool to have a neat solution... but better to avoid the problem in the first place.

    On the other hand- creating a problem and then selling a solution is sales and marketing 101
    So kudos on that as well!

  4. #24
    New Member
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    Mar 2019
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    I'm pretty new to hanging...followed the standard course of getting a netless Dutchware and playing with that for a season, then deciding I needed to be more comfortable if I was going to really give hanging a fair shake, and bought a netted RR. Just used it on a week-long trip and loved it. So did my 40# dog.

    Some additional data in case it helps: I am 5'11" and 170. My RR is a double layer and I used it with a Long Xtherm pad and a 10 degree top quilt and was often too warm on nights in the 40's. The length and width of the RR are great - some room to move for someone my size. Did have to be more thoughtful about picking the right trees, as others have noted.

    That said, my knees love lighter weight...and one of Bill's hammocks is likely in my future, if I can convince him to make me one.

  5. #25

    Join Date
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    I'm already convinced
    Only issue is that I'm easily convinced and can't build them as fast as I'd like.
    If nothing else works... nothing else will do and I try to keep my focus on building the high end ones for those who really need them.

    Working on that a little and testing a method that would let me build something a bit less involved than my premium designs as those take 6-12 hours each to build. There are some subtle compromises but thus far in testing it seems that my sensitivity to these differences is not as big a deal. A few folks even prefer my new method which is encouraging. I like to get a 10 person 90+ night per person trial in though before I feel good about selling them. Still goofing a bit on where I want to go with the final designs, but the construction method itself is holding up thus far. Besides being a bit faster to build (and thus cheaper) they are also a hair lighter as I'm eliminating the amsteel in channel components.

    By far- I feel the most comfortable bridge possible uses the amsteel in channel design as the bridge can 'self adjust' to conform to your body no matter how you lay in it. This is especially critical for pain management customers or for the Big Guys.

    That said... 80% of perfect is still pretty good especially if I can cut out some weight and cost in the bargain.
    I've done a luxury prototype that came in at the current weight of my Medium... and a medium that is cracking a pound.
    My end bar 'just a bridge' is doing pretty well in testing and offers a pretty compelling bridge too.

    Not sure exactly where I'm going... but I'm thinking I may be able to offer my Happy Medium and my Luxury in two versions.
    Standard (new construction method) for cheaper/lighter for those more average backpackers who are under 200lbs with no physical issues.
    Premium (current models) for those who really need that extra umph and performance of the amsteel in channel construction.

    Too many ideas too little time, lol.
    But perhaps breaking things up a little like this might allow me to get a few more out the door.
    On the flipside it makes things even more confusing too.

  6. #26
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    Wow - lots going on!

    Eager to learn more about the new designs & see photos once you are ready.

    Cheers!

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Morris County, NJ, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by seekinggoodsleep View Post
    For the gathered-end hammocks, sleeping on the diagonal and hanging properly seem to be the big secrets (absent CBS) to getting comfortable sleep.

    It's impossible to lay on a diagonal in a bridge, though, right?
    Thanks!
    Welcome to the forums. Though you've gotten some great replies, I want to address something from your first post.

    Yes, for gathered end (GE) hammocks, sleeping on the diagonal and hanging properly are important, but it is important to know why, so that you can understand why you do NOT need a diagonal lay when using a bridge.

    If you look at a GE, in it's basic form, it's just a piece of rectangular fabric, gathered at the ends to make a "pouch". However, that pouch, because it's gathered, has no structure other than between tree to tree. If you lay in a GE hammock in line with the trees (feet lined up with one tree, head lined up to the other tree), you will find your body shaped like a banana. However, by rotating your body a bit, it spreads the fabric out, and the combination of the points of the suspension, and the points of your feet and head, create a flat plane on which to lie.

    The difference between the GE hammock and a Bridge Hammock, is that the bridge hammock has spreader bars, which, in effect, do a similar thing to what the suspension points, plus your head/feet do in a GE - it spreads the hammock out on a more horizontal plane so that you have a flat lay.

    The end point is that you don't NEED to lay diagonal in a bridge hammock because the spreader bars do that job for you.

    I am a bridge hammock owner, who is a flippy floppy side sleeper, with back and hip problems. Although I only tried it once, for me, the need for my own body to act as the structure for a GE didn't work for me. It was difficult for me to move around, and I think I tired out by having the constant pressure against me to keep me diagonal (because it works like the school teaching "for every action there is an equal and opposite RE-action). In other words, as I pressed my feet and head out and to the sides, the hammock fabric would resist. As a side note, I think the idea behind the wider hammocks is that there is less resistance from the sides against your body, thus, for many, creating a more comfortable situation.

    Important to note - you will get some resistance with a bridge hammock as well, depending on how wide the hammock is the width of your body, and what style sleeper you are. Some bridge hammocks may not be wide enough to allow you to comfortably lay flat (whether back, side or belly), without experiencing some of that resistance. For me the RidgeRunner is JUST wide enough for me to be comfortable, but then I don't mind a little "hugging" from the edges.

    In the end, your best bet REALLY is to find a local hang and some good folks who can let you try out both styles, and while your in them, be sensitive to those physical pressures so you can figure out what's most comfortable for you. After I had my one night in a GE, the next morning, someone let me try out their bridge hammock, and I immediately sighed and relaxed. I instinctively knew this was a better (at least for now), style for me and my current needs.

    Good luck!
    Dawn in NJ
    Last edited by NJHeart2Heart; 06-19-2019 at 08:17.
    ~~~NJHEART2HEART Dawn~~~
    "Seek God, Embrace the Journey, Leave a Legacy of Love"

  8. #28
    Billmichhiker's Avatar
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    Gathered end for me. I have had both. But as with most everything it come down to personal preference and perception. Try both.

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