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  1. #1
    tessiea's Avatar
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    Aug 2018
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    JRB BMBH, WBBB XLC
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    No Love for JRB BMBH?

    Hello everyone,

    I just started hammock camping this year and picked up a JRB Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock in perfect shape from Kijiji. Iíve used it for probably about a week this year and have no major complaints.

    Iíve been reading through a lot of the forums here and rarely see the JRB BMBH mentioned. Most references to bridge hammocks that Iíve noticed are the WBRR or some sort of diy. Just wondering why this is?

    Thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    heyduff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Concord, NH
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    DYI Bridge
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    Depends on mood
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessiea View Post
    I...picked up a JRB Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock...no major complaints...and rarely see the JRB BMBH mentioned.
    Do you have minor complaints?

    I can only imagine the buzz when people saw it on display at Trail Days in 2007.

    In the intervening years between then and now, there have been quite a few thought changes as the products matured. My thought is there is nothing wrong with that hammock, I have laid in one, not an extensive test. It is a tub style bridge hammock and I could see how it would work out fine.

    Why is it not mentioned more? That one I do not know...

  3. #3
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    I love the JRB bridge!

    Quote Originally Posted by tessiea View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I just started hammock camping this year and picked up a JRB Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock in perfect shape from Kijiji. Iíve used it for probably about a week this year and have no major complaints.

    Iíve been reading through a lot of the forums here and rarely see the JRB BMBH mentioned. Most references to bridge hammocks that Iíve noticed are the WBRR or some sort of diy. Just wondering why this is?

    Thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You are correct that, like a few other great items, the BMBH just sort of disappeared after the WBRR appeared on the scene. Sort of like what happened to HH and Speer use when the WBBB showed up. All most (but not quite) all interest went to the WB, and then to a few other newer models that started showing up.

    Me, I have both JRB models and the WBRR and either love or am just fine with all 3 of them. I see slight differences in the 3 hammocks but it all comes down to a few pros and cons. Actually, I have continued to use my JRBs far more since I got my WBRR a few years ago, due to the fact that the RR requires a significantly greater span between the posts, and I found it almost impossible to use with my flexing Vario stand. So the only way I could ever appreciate it was to go to the woods. However, once you have some posts far enough apart, it really shines.

    Again, I currently go back and forth between the 2 JRB models and the WBRR, and while I like all of them over all, there are distinct pros and cons. Then you just have to pick your poison, but I am super comfy in all of them.

    The first big(at least potentially) negative for the JRB, especially the original, is shoulder squeeze, or at least perceived shoulder squeeze. I got one of the very 1st BMBHs to be shipped out, and I actually returned it for a full refund within the 30 days allowed return for any reason. Later, as I reviewed some of the great things about that hammock, I worried I was in a rush to return it and that I had not given it a fair chance. So I quickly got another one(still have it and use it!), and after I experimented for a while( it was SO different! ) that I decided- looked at over all, all things considered, it was probably my most comfy hammock, lack of shoulder room or not. One thing was for sure: zero calf ridge, no matter how it was hung or what position I tried to get in. This problem simply did not exist. No problems with waist "torque" when on my side. As for the shoulder squeeze, true, there is no excess room for shoulders when flat on my back, like zero. I am broad shouldered, (6'1", 194-226 lbs, up and down) but I don't think that matters: my much smaller wife and a smaller friend noticed the same "squeeze". But I came to realize for me it was not an actual squeeze like I feel in a GE hung too tight. It is simply the U or V shape of the occupied hammock is fixed, and your shoulders must assume a shape as if I had my arms crossed. Same as if I cross my arms over my chest while sitting in my recliner, except my elbows and probably shoulders are just barely in contact with the side of the hammock, supported by the hammock. If I did that, there was no actual squeeze. And, found that very comfy, with flat on my back probably more comfy over all than any of my other hammocks. Finally, even shifting just a little to my side made the shoulder thing a moot point, as my upper shoulder was now not restrained at all by the sides of the hammock. And I have always been very quick to go to my side(a little or a lot) and lean back into the deep sides of that hammock. I love to do that.

    The RR has much more shoulder room, and the JRB UL has noticeably more shoulder room than the original(because it is not as deep), but it matters not to me, as I am at least OK shoulder wise in all of them.

    Again, the RR has much more shoulder room, even though some folks still don't like the shoulder room even in that one! And it is very comfy for me, and I LOVE the saddle bags. It's sides are lower than either JRB, much lower than the original(now deluxe?) JRB, giving a better view if that is important to you. It has a great pad pocket like the Deluxe JRB. Both work GREAT with pads.

    But those benefits come at a cost(pros and cons). The extra shoulder room is there because the spreader bars are that much wider. I already had issues with the JRB spreader bars contacting my tarp, especially if the wind was terrible and I needed to narrow the tarp pitch. The WBRR's wider bars only made that worse. And that better view is because it is more shallow than the JRB UL, which is already more shallow than the JRB deluxe. But what about when I like to lean back into the sides of the hammock? I can still do that with the WBRR, but I am always way more nervous when doing so, afraid I might roll out in my sleep. It doesn't seem like I could, but I think I have read of 1 person doing so.

    And, the WBRR must require several feet more distance between the post. I have always been surprised how often that has kept me hanging at some spot that I wanted to, because I had to find some trees farther apart. Of course I can always find some, but t can be a minor irritant sometimes. And a big problem with some stands.

    Also, once I got a JRB MWUQ, I was always in love with the custom fit with no worries of adjustments or gaps. It might all be in my head, but I always felt that my TQs also had less tendency to develop a draft in the narrow, deeper JRBs, at least compared to my GEs(can't really say about the WBRR). I just felt like the TQ tended to slide down the steep sides of the JRB original, with less tendency to develop some sort of draft on my sides. Can't prove it, but I had my best and most consistent success with quilts when using an MWUQ + TQs with that that original JRB. I have also done great with the JRB UL. I just don't have much winter use with the WBRR, but I'm sure it will do fine. I now have a stand I can use with the WBRR, and I have an UQ specially built for it on the way, so I expect to now do great with that combo.

    So, pros and cons as far as I am concerned, but for me(I'm sure few would agree though), I'm fine with any of them. You have slept in it for a week, and all is OK? Great, that tells you all you need to know! At least you didn't by some very popular hammock only to end up with painful calf ridge right off the bat! That does happen!

    Did you get a single layer, less deep UL, or a deeper deluxe with pad pocket? Either way, IMO, you have a great hammock!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 11-02-2018 at 09:05.

  4. #4
    tessiea's Avatar
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    Aug 2018
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    London, ON
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyduff View Post
    Do you have minor complaints?

    I can only imagine the buzz when people saw it on display at Trail Days in 2007.

    In the intervening years between then and now, there have been quite a few thought changes as the products matured. My thought is there is nothing wrong with that hammock, I have laid in one, not an extensive test. It is a tub style bridge hammock and I could see how it would work out fine.

    Why is it not mentioned more? That one I do not know...
    I've used the JRB BMBH on three separate trips this year. The first two were warmer weather and I had not yet purchased an underquilt so I used my Thermarest Neoair Xlite in the pad pocket with a Costco throw strapped underneath. This was really comfortable no matter how I slept, back, side or stomach and felt no shoulder squeeze since the pad kept the bottom flat.

    This past weekend I used this hammock again but this time with a UGQ Zeppelin 20 I recently picked up. I definitely felt the shoulder squeeze not having the pad. I also ended up having to spend the entire night on my back because I would develop cold spots when I would turn onto my side. I realize as I type that this was most likely caused by my side crushing the down of the underquilt.

    My only complaints with this hammock, while minor, are enough for me to consider selling this hammock. Firstly, I do find the spreader bars hitting my tarp quite often and I am concerned about wearing holes in the tarp. I have purchased some tarp pulls from Dutch to install adjacent the spreader bars that I hope will fix this issue. The other issue for me is the weight and bulk of the hammock. For my canoe trips this has not been an issue but I mostly do backpacking trips and this is where I run into problems. My pack is a MLD Prophet and since switching to a hammock from my Big Agnes Fly Creek tent I am having a hard time fitting everything into my pack. I think switching to a lighter weight/less bulky gathered end will likely be the solution.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessiea View Post
    I've used the JRB BMBH on three separate trips this year. The first two were warmer weather and I had not yet purchased an underquilt so I used my Thermarest Neoair Xlite in the pad pocket with a Costco throw strapped underneath. This was really comfortable no matter how I slept, back, side or stomach and felt no shoulder squeeze since the pad kept the bottom flat.

    This past weekend I used this hammock again but this time with a UGQ Zeppelin 20 I recently picked up. I definitely felt the shoulder squeeze not having the pad. I also ended up having to spend the entire night on my back because I would develop cold spots when I would turn onto my side. I realize as I type that this was most likely caused by my side crushing the down of the underquilt.

    My only complaints with this hammock, while minor, are enough for me to consider selling this hammock. Firstly, I do find the spreader bars hitting my tarp quite often and I am concerned about wearing holes in the tarp. I have purchased some tarp pulls from Dutch to install adjacent the spreader bars that I hope will fix this issue. The other issue for me is the weight and bulk of the hammock. For my canoe trips this has not been an issue but I mostly do backpacking trips and this is where I run into problems. My pack is a MLD Prophet and since switching to a hammock from my Big Agnes Fly Creek tent I am having a hard time fitting everything into my pack. I think switching to a lighter weight/less bulky gathered end will likely be the solution.
    Well, it sounds like you were plenty comfy at least with a pad. (funny how that works: most folks here hate pads in GE hammock, say it ruins the comfort ). As for that shoulder squeeze without the pad, experiment with having your arms folded over your chest, or simply turn very slightly to your side. Sounds like you got the deluxe, the deeper one with the pad pocket. It has noticeably less shoulder room(because I am deeper into the more narrow part of the hammock) than the UL, but I still do OK by folding my arms over my chest.

    You might save some room and weight by looking into hiking pole mods to be used as spreader bars. I think you will find the tarp pullouts work wonders to make room for the bars, they did for me.

  6. #6
    tessiea's Avatar
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    Aug 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Well, it sounds like you were plenty comfy at least with a pad. (funny how that works: most folks here hate pads in GE hammock, say it ruins the comfort ). As for that shoulder squeeze without the pad, experiment with having your arms folded over your chest, or simply turn very slightly to your side. Sounds like you got the deluxe, the deeper one with the pad pocket. It has noticeably less shoulder room(because I am deeper into the more narrow part of the hammock) than the UL, but I still do OK by folding my arms over my chest.

    You might save some room and weight by looking into hiking pole mods to be used as spreader bars. I think you will find the tarp pullouts work wonders to make room for the bars, they did for me.
    Thanks for the tips BillyBob, I really appreciate it.


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  7. #7
    Vanhalo's Avatar
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    I am waiting on the UL version to give it a ride.
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