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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Valpo, IN
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    Towns-End Luxury Bridge
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    Town's End- Big Guy and Luxury Bridge update

    Hello- just wanted to poke in for a quick update.
    I've been laying low intentionally and not promoting these but figured I'd let at least a small kitten out of the bag.

    The testing period is complete and I'd call it a resounding success!
    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...IG-GUY-Bridge)

    There are now over sixty Big Guy and Luxury bridges out in the wild with testers ranging from 125lbs to 370lbs...
    Male, female, backpackers, base campers, backyarders, and home sleepers. Motorcycle and bicycle touring, hiking, or just good ol hanging out some of the original testers have clocked over 100 nights of use now with no failures from use. A couple 'user error' issues but even those have proven useful lessons for all of us.

    So... I am working on moving these to production. I had some great feedback here from the community when I reached out for sewing contractors. Nothing firm yet but two promising vendors are working on these and one more remains to get going once I get things ready on my end. I've got a local person I found to do some splicing, a website set up and slowly but surely I'm farting along.

    Word of mouth, community support, and folks simply reaching out have kept me pretty busy thus far. A huge thanks to those of you who have become 'early adopters' and chosen to try this bridge out and help keep things rolling. This product alone has required over $15,000 of investment to develop thus far. Each bridge requires genuine Easton Pole sets, over 75' of Amsteel spliced into multiple components and of course yards and yards of Hybrid 1.7 XL material cut, folded, sewn, pressed, turned, pressed again, sewn and sewn some more!

    I have a day job in the construction industry that requires 60+ hours of time a week plus a wife and two young children so at this point free time is slim and unfortunately I won't be doing this as my principal source of employment in the foreseeable future. For those of you who follow it, it's also FKT (fastest known time) season on the Appalachian Trail, my background is in working with some of the insane folks who go out and cover 30-60 miles per day! Besides being a fan, I help out with these when and where I can too.
    Folks like my buddy Joey Camps- https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthr...pported-AT-FKT

    In fact if I hadn't built the lightest bridge hammock in the world(9.25 oz) for super ultra light FKT use... I would have never been able to build the highest weight capacity bridge available to date. And because of that backround the Luxury Bridge (235lbs) remains under 2lbs and the 370 pound capacity Big Guy clocks in at a relatively svelt 2lbs 4 ounces... while my SUL friends would groan... many a customer thus far considers that well worth it even for a backpacking trip. And my car camping customers and house hangers could care less!

    For you less than big backpackers just looking for room. The Luxury Bridge is a single layer bridge and I am currently working on testing the latest Hybrid 1.2 fabric and carbon fiber poles from Rota Locura. Nothing major to share yet but I am flirting with the possibility of creating some UL Luxury models, 200-225lbs or so rating that will come in at 1lb or less. Truly trail worthy comfort.

    I am still working hard to keep up with any early adopters who are interested in this bridge hammock and appreciate your patience if you do reach out. Feel free to email me at [email protected] with any questions or inquiries. I may not get back to you until weekends but my goal at this time is to get a bit of inventory built up so that wait times are as low as possible, if not zero.

    These bridges are very labor intensive and even when done in batches can take as long as 12 hours each to complete. By contrast I can cut, sew, fold and have ready to ship a basic gathered end in 35 minutes. I'm trying to keep the cost as reasonable as possible so the only way to do that is building them 15-20 at a time, which is why it's not fair to either of us to treat these like other custom 'one off' gear. One at a time these would need to run close to $500. Thus far I've been able to keep early adopter pricing at near $300 with a bugnet and hope to keep final retail costs around $300 per bridge. While some of my testers would tell you they are well worth the money... Let's not get too crazy here. It's still just a hammock and I want to try to find a balance of price and production level that makes sense while preserving the labor intensive quality and features that make this bridge do what other bridges don't.

    I don't plan to officially open the doors until I can get ahead myself (not likely) or get a vendor or two lined up to sew them (looking good)!
    In addition this bridge is a standalone at this point and not a complete system.
    There is a bug net available on round two of design, but it could always be better.

    Underquilt, tarp, gear storage and other accessories are in the works but moving slowly. While my testers and early adopters have been great innovators and creative hangers... there are still a few who struggle with hanging an UQ or pitching a tarp so I'd like to see a few more of those items get flushed out in the near future. This bridge does work great with a pad, some testers have no issues with their UQ and there are several tarps which do work just fine.

    The goal on my end is to get a few sewing contractors going on the base bridge itself so that I am freed up to complete the rest of the line. Some of these folks are the same cottage vendors you already know and love- and by working together they can not only keep the American workers they do have busy... but maybe even take the chance on hiring some more if I can send work their way.

    I'm a carpenter by trade... and while many of us can swing a hammer- I believe when you want it done right you hire a master craftsman. It takes years to develop a good quality sewing shop, and we have some truly professional craftspeople out there with decades of experience going unused... why start from scratch when we can put those folks to work? I'm serviceable with needle and thread, but why have some carpenter sew for you when you can have a tailor.

    So it's going slowly, but I don't plan on going anywhere either. Thanks for your patience and interest!

    At the end of the day we all visit the same woods... doesn't matter to me if you're the fastest to ever hike the trail or the fastest dad to take a nap at your next scout trip. Hope to see you out there either way.

    Cheers-
    Just Bill

  2. #2
    ofuros's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up, Bill....good luck with your hammock enterprise.
    Mountain views are good for the soul....& getting to them is good for my waistline.

    https://ofuros.exposure.co/

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Apr 2017
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    Ramsey MN
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    Very cool. I am looking forward to the opportunity to get a big bridge to help my wife get comfortable in a hammock, so we all can hang.

  4. #4
    gunner76's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    Beaufort, NC
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    I am waiting for things to cool off so I can take mine out into the woods. So far I have been using it in my backyard testing area. Both The Terminator and I have used it. I am still tweaking the set up for comfort as I am not quite there yet. At least I finally have a bridge hammock that will hold my weight to play with.
    3rd Annual Frosty Butt Hang Feb 2019 ............

    I am 18 with 47 years of experience ! ................ Hike the Neusiok Trail & check out the NTforum !

  5. #5
    Senior Member Johnny Gunz's Avatar
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    May 2016
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    Thumbs up

    Keep up the good work! Folks like you continue to reopen the doors to Camping for those of us who would otherwise need to drag a Tempurpedic mattress into a tent
    But for the grace of God, there, I go...

  6. #6
    BananaHammock's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
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    IMG_0287.jpg

    Just spent the night in mine last night and boy did I sleep well. In fact last month, my friend JoeDotCom and I were trying to nap through a hot afternoon and our regular hammocks were just too hot for the job. We ended up taking turns in the Big Guy Bridge! So much better
    Get lost in the woods and find yourself again. A vacation,to me, is working with your hands and surviving because of the fruits of your labor. In the business world I teach;in the natural world I learn.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Oct 2016
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    Sandy, UT
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    As an original tester, at over 300lbs, I have been sleeping in mine, nightly at home, since the end of February - still absolutely the best night's sleep! No wear, no tear, just a great product!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Valpo, IN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beemermcr View Post
    As an original tester, at over 300lbs, I have been sleeping in mine, nightly at home, since the end of February - still absolutely the best night's sleep! No wear, no tear, just a great product!
    Even with a hole in it... you may at this point be leading the pack as a nightly sleeper. There are a few floating around but with 150+ nights you might be slipping into the lead!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Valpo, IN
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    Quote Originally Posted by BananaHammock View Post
    IMG_0287.jpg

    Just spent the night in mine last night and boy did I sleep well. In fact last month, my friend JoeDotCom and I were trying to nap through a hot afternoon and our regular hammocks were just too hot for the job. We ended up taking turns in the Big Guy Bridge! So much better
    I know that spot!
    Though now I can't seem to get the image of you and Joe napping out of my head.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Even with a hole in it... you may at this point be leading the pack as a nightly sleeper. There are a few floating around but with 150+ nights you might be slipping into the lead!
    I would call it "sleeping into the lead!"

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