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  1. #1
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    looking for first hammock

    I've been doing research for the last 3 days, looking for a hammock to replace my gortex bivy. So far, I've got it narrowed down to 3 choices.

    1). grand trunk skeeter beater pro
    PROS: cheapest, nice and big, bugnet
    CONS: need to modify suspension and bugnet, and needs tarp

    2). hennessy explorer zip
    PROS: nice and big, bugnet, includes rainfly
    CONS: need to modify suspension? not as comfortable as warbonnet for some reason?

    3). warbonnet eldorado
    PROS: everyone says it's more comfortable than HH, cheaper alternative of the WB blackbird xlc, bugnet, includes decent suspension system)
    CONS: no tarp (they're pretty pricey),

    I'm uncertain which direction i should take. all of these hammocks are large enough for my 6'1" size I think. the more expensive models have asymmetrical cuts, and a "footbox" on the WB to assist with comfort. I've never tried those, so I don't know how effective they really are. I believe the skeeter beeter can be easily modified to have better suspension and bugnet, thus making it easier to pack/unpack, so that's what i'm leaning towards right now.

    I think the warbonnet would be the way to go if I want to get more serious. it's supposedly more comfy, and provides a double layer option for insulation, which can be easily used with my air pad (I don't want to invest in an underquilt right now). But it doesn't have the rainfly, which is another $100 if I were to do it properly, and suddenly, I'm spending $300 for a hammock. So right now I'm think of just buying the skeeter beeter for <$90 after modification, and maybe a budget plastic rain cover for longer camping trips. what do you think?

  2. #2
    Halfed's Avatar
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    If I were you I would get the Eldorado and as you said use plastic rain cover till you can afford a good tarp!
    _______________________________________________
    "Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  3. #3
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    can you elaborate on why? given that the skeeter beeter and eldorado seem to offer the same things, except one of them costs quite a bit less.

    also, the eldorado is basically the same as the blackbird, except without the extra room to store things. I'm kind of surprised it's not more popular. Is there a reason for that?

  4. #4
    Senior Member kitsapcowboy's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
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    Kitsap County, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halfed View Post
    If I were you I would get the Eldorado and as you said use plastic rain cover till you can afford a good tarp!
    I concur.

    Of the three you menioned the new Eldorado stands as a Titan above the others, but there are so many good cottage vendor options, it's hard to go wrong. I'm a big Dutchware Chamelon fan myself, in addition to owning the Warbonnet XLC and the Simply Light Designs Trail Lair. Or if you have the time, Dream Hammock will certainly make your dreams come true. (I like the Darien...) Also have to give a nod to Little Shop of Hammocks for the Warrior hammock.

    Getting your priorities and preferences straight will help you narrow down these options to the right one for you, but if you want to pull the trigger quickly from your list, the Warbonnet and a blue poly tarp from Wal-Mart would be the way to go until you can save up the $60 to $100 necessary for the cheapest quality tarp option from one of the cottage vendors. If you wand to go full Jedi Padawan, you can DIY an asym tarp for $35 or less pretty easily, and it will be a fraction of the size and weight of most of your other options.
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  5. #5
    Member
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    Aug 2016
    Location
    Missouri
    Hammock
    Warbonnet Ridgerunner/blackbird xlc
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    Bushwack minifly
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    Dutch spider/poly
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    looking for first hammock

    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    can you elaborate on why? given that the skeeter beeter and eldorado seem to offer the same things, except one of them costs quite a bit less.

    also, the eldorado is basically the same as the blackbird, except without the extra room to store things. I'm kind of surprised it's not more popular. Is there a reason for that?
    The eldorado just came out. I have a Warbonnet Blackbird xlc and have bought 2 Hennessy explorer zip hammocks for my youngest boys. I’ve changed out the suspension of the Hennessy’s. I like blackbird better, they’re lighter, more comfortable to me. Wooki fits like a glove if you plan on eventually getting a underquilt.


    If the eldorado had been out when I bought the Hennessy explorers I would have most definitely bought 2 eldorado hammocks instead.



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    Last edited by mo_hunter; 05-15-2018 at 16:44.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rweb82's Avatar
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    Of those three, the Eldorado all the way. I have a Skeeter Beeter Pro (was my first hammock). It's ok, but no where near as comfortable as my Dream Hammock. But why not also throw in a ready-to-ship Dream Hammock Darien ($100), Dream Hammock Raven ($115) or Dutchware Half-Zipped ($115) into the equation?

    No harm in having more options!

    Plus, most folks here will tell you- you will likely want to go all-in at some point! Get a good hammock now. Save for a nice underquilt and tarp later. There are many inexpensive suitable options for tarps. I used a 9x9 poly tarp ($3.95), pitched in a diamond until I purchased a "real" tarp. Kept me dry every time.

    Lastly, there is a reason the Skeeter Beeter Pro costs less than the Eldorado. The Eldorado is longer, has a ridgeline, weighs a lot less, and is constructed out of a single piece of better fabric than the SBP. The triple panel design of the "parachute" hammocks makes it much harder to get a good diagonal lay. And it also keeps the hammock from spreading out properly. A hammock which "cacoons" you puts more pressure on your head, shoulders, and feet- making a comfortable night's sleep tougher.

    There are some folks who prefer the SBP design. But by in large, most people find the cottage vendor hammocks much more comfortable.
    Last edited by rweb82; 05-15-2018 at 16:59.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rweb82 View Post
    Of those three, the Eldorado all the way. I have a Skeeter Beeter Pro (was my first hammock). It's ok, but no where near as comfortable as my Dream Hammock. But why not also throw in a ready-to-ship Dream Hammock Darien ($100), Dream Hammock Raven ($115) or Dutchware Half-Zipped ($115) into the equation?

    No harm in having more options!

    Plus, most folks here will tell you- you will likely want to go all-in at some point! Get a good hammock now. Save for a nice underquilt and tarp later. There are many inexpensive suitable options for tarps. I used a 9x9 poly tarp ($3.95), pitched in a diamond until I purchased a "real" tarp. Kept me dry every time.

    Lastly, there is a reason the Skeeter Beeter Pro costs less than the Eldorado. The Eldorado is longer, has a ridgeline, weighs a lot less, and is constructed out of a single piece of better fabric than the SBP. The triple panel design of the "parachute" hammocks makes it much harder to get a good diagonal lay. And it also keeps the hammock from spreading out properly. A hammock which "cacoons" you puts more pressure on your head, shoulders, and feet- making a comfortable night's sleep tougher.

    There are some folks who prefer the SBP design. But by in large, most people find the cottage vendor hammocks much more comfortable.
    how is the eldorado more comfortable than the skeeter beeter? the fabrics are more or less the same dimensions. is it the way that it's cut that allows you to lie flatter?

    never looked into the dream hammocks or the dutchware stuff. how do they compare to warbonnet?

    also, I'm leaning towards a single, and using the pad inside if needed (as opposed to a double). spending an extra $50 for another layer of fabric underneath for the air pad seems like a lot. I've had no problem sleeping on the pad in my bivy, but I can imagine that being a little more challenging inside a hammock. what do y'all think?

  8. #8
    Halfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    can you elaborate on why? given that the skeeter beeter and eldorado seem to offer the same things, except one of them costs quite a bit less.

    also, the eldorado is basically the same as the blackbird, except without the extra room to store things. I'm kind of surprised it's not more popular. Is there a reason for that?
    I can't talk about the skeeter beeter, but HH is recommended up to 6' tall people, as you are just a little above the limit, Eldorado should be for you, because it is 11' hammock and must be more comfortable. I'm 5'7" and my expedition is on my limit. Eldorado also has the foot box which is an awesome feature! My wife is shorter than me and she loves the HH, which is a great hammock too, but after replace the suspension.
    That being said, if you go with Eldorado I bet you will never think of getting another hammock unless you became addicted like...uhh...a lot of us here?
    _______________________________________________
    "Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halfed View Post
    I can't talk about the skeeter beeter, but HH is recommended up to 6' tall people, as you are just a little above the limit, Eldorado should be for you, because it is 11' hammock and must be more comfortable. I'm 5'7" and my expedition is on my limit. Eldorado also has the foot box which is an awesome feature! My wife is shorter than me and she loves the HH, which is a great hammock too, but after replace the suspension.
    That being said, if you go with Eldorado I bet you will never think of getting another hammock unless you became addicted like...uhh...a lot of us here?
    no man, I can't afford to become addicted. lol. I'm just looking for a setup that will let me sleep well during my next trip, and wake up feeling fresh, and not with a bunch of bug bites.

    you refer to the expedition, but the HH explorer's dimension is just as good as the warbonnet. the explorer is rated for people up to 7'. that's why i wonder why people keep going to the warbonnet from hh. maybe they were just using the smaller version of the HH?

  10. #10
    Senior Member rweb82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    how is the eldorado more comfortable than the skeeter beeter? the fabrics are more or less the same dimensions. is it the way that it's cut that allows you to lie flatter?

    never looked into the dream hammocks or the dutchware stuff. how do they compare to warbonnet?

    also, I'm leaning towards a single, and using the pad inside if needed (as opposed to a double). spending an extra $50 for another layer of fabric underneath for the air pad seems like a lot. I've had no problem sleeping on the pad in my bivy, but I can imagine that being a little more challenging inside a hammock. what do y'all think?
    I'm sorry if I did not answer that sufficiently in my previous post. The SBP uses a triple panel design- which inhibits the hammock's ability to spread open. Thus, it makes it harder to lay on a good diagonal, and achieve maximum comfort. The nature of triple panel hammocks also tends to add pressure to the head, shoulders, and feet- causing discomfort for many folks.

    The Eldorado, as well as Dream Hammock and Dutch hammocks use a single piece of fabric for the hammock body. This not only provides more comfort, but also provides a better strength-to- weight ratio. Trust me, the fabric on the Eldorado (as well as the others I've mentioned) is much better than the "parachute" nylon used on the Skeeter Beeter. Their fabrics feel better on the skin, and also provide a more optimal amount of stretch to keep the user comfortable.

    Lastly, the bug net material on the Skeeter Beeter is very fragile, does not provide good visibility, nor does it allow for good airflow. The Warbonnets, Dream Hammocks, and Dutch offerings use a much better netting- which fixes all three of the aforementioned issues with the netting on the SBP.

    Dream Hammock creates an amazing product (I admit to some bias- as it is my main hammock). But Dutchware also makes fantastic hammocks- which many people can attest to. They both compare very favorably to Warbonnet in terms of comfort and quality.

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    Last edited by rweb82; 05-15-2018 at 18:08.

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