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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperX View Post
    Being I weigh 220 lbs. it seems I only have a handful of fabrics I can choose without fear of failure because I am a bit on the larger size adult scale.
    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperX View Post
    I am now thinking of getting a netless that I would use specifically for Winter camping since a net isn't needed in the colder temps. I am looking at the SLD Tree Runner currently. I did send an email to Just Bill about a bridge hammock, but holy cow are those expensive at like $325. That's way beyond the $100 budget I am looking at.
    I was reading this thread and started thinking... this guy seems familiar.

    I agree with the others that if you want something different... get something different.

    As a side note- I prefer an 11' gathered end in Hybrid 1.2. I'm 230 and know a decent amount of folks who feel the same. So I wouldn't count yourself out of the lighter fabric market out of hand in a gathered end.
    If you like your SLD... consider talking to Jared about a Hybrid 1.2 model. That's not to suggest you should start ordering up other fabrics, but that very specific fabric is a viable option.
    I've got one for $50 if you want one- but happy to see Jared get your business too.

    There are lots of hammock fanatics who don't mind springing for something fairly pricey to tinker with, just like any sport/hobby really... part of the reason the 'for sale section' here is so active too.
    As many customers joke with me... my Driver/fishing reel/etc cost me $500 and this is a steal, lol.

    There are also many hangers here where a hammock becomes the only option other than staying home and they would pay double or triple for anything that gets them back in the woods.

    But generally I tell folks on a budget; if it ain't broke don't fix it.
    If you have a working gathered end... nothing cheaper or lighter.
    If you don't... play with fabrics or work on your setup.
    If you're bored... try DIY/MYOG or upgrade your tarp/quilts and bring new life into a stale setup.

    If all else fails- try a bridge. They are in my opinion easier to set up... though at around a year or two into this for me I'm finding that experienced gathered end users have the most trouble with them.
    Calf ridge, finding a sweet spot, consistent pitch from night to night, too much fiddling, and lack of sleep positions are all common reasons folks make the switch from GE to bridge.

    It's not all unicorns and rainbows though... because they are more complicated and dramatically different... you can easily find yourself starting over. Tarp, quilt, and even your whole kit could change.... so the sticker shock keeps on coming! As mentioned, if you're a seasoned hanger you could struggle to unlearn old habits and eyeball metrics and flounder with a bridge. Once you got it going at home... longer tree to tree distances and changes in site selection tactics can further mess you up when you head to the field.

    And no matter how crazy I get or how many custom Carbon Fiber poles I get mocked up... for the most part a bridge will generally be heavier than a gathered end hammock.

    I am working on some budget models in the near future... as there are some gaps in the marketplace still for a person like yourself who probably doesn't need all the features of my premium bridges but could benefit from a toned down version. Mainly it's labor for all this stuff and making sure that the product (regardless of cost) does the job it's intended to do. Though intending to do a decent job for a lower price is an acceptable choice so long as that's the plan from the start... but watering down a product just to hit a price point is never acceptable in my opinion.

    A gathered end is about an hour. (technically two or three per hour but that's just sewing)
    I can build a simple end bar bridge in a two hours.
    These premium bridges are 8-12 hours for me at this point... and several weekends for many DIY folks who try an Ariel.
    Though you are looking at a good $100 of material too with the poles, splicing, etc. Shipping, fees, and random other stuff chews up more than you might like to figure too.

    I can do the medium sized premium bridges for a bit cheaper (about 6-8 hours)... but those come in at $300 because they come stock with a $90 carbon fiber spreader bar set simply because I think that's it's a waste of your money not to offer this premium component in an otherwise premium bridge. In for a penny sorta thing...and my choice.

    Both the Ridgerunner and Bear Mountain are more affordable end bar models and have their own loyal customers. I probably 'sell' as many ridgerunners as I do my stuff simply based upon cost and Brandon's generous return policy. I tell folks try that... if it works... you win! They are also more established vendors with better options, delivery time, and easy return policy. Other vendors make gear to fit the products and there are many off the shelf solutions/plug and play options to build a system with if it turns out you like the bridge itself. If not... it's easy enough to undo your choice.

    There was no sense in me jumping in to do what they were already doing pretty well.
    So I jumped in and did things they weren't on the ultra light side and then on the big side.

    I call mine "premium" bridges because they are. The recessed bars and the suspension system does things the other models simply cannot do.
    They take 8-12 hours per bridge to make up and I'm positive I make less per bridge than others do. But it takes what it takes. For those folks who need these to work the way they do there is no other option.

    That said is no 'best' with outdoors gear. There is a balance sheet of factors only you can crunch the numbers for.

    If you got $100 bucks to spend then these things are at least three to four times crappier than anything else you could buy.
    Even if you could afford it... if the Ridgerunner works for you at half the price... sounds like the best to me.

    If you don't sleep well in a gathered end and just plain old don't fit in another bridge... then my bridge may become the best by the simple fact that you're out of options.
    Though even then I was emailing with a potential customer and strongly encouraged him just to buy a big honking air pad and be done with it- http://www.exped.com/usa/en/product-...0-lxw-ruby-red

    I like hammocks but at some point if you're just car camping they make some pretty sweet portable beds too that require nothing more than for you to blow the thing up and lay down. Slap the sleeping bag you already own on top and you're in the woods for your annual hunting trip or get together with your friends without blowing the budget. If you still sleep in your bed at home... not sure what the aversion is to doing the same in the field if you can replicate the experience. Catch one of those on clearance and for $150 bucks or so you have a high quality mat that might just do the job.

    All I really care about is people getting the best gear they can so they can get out into the woods and have the best time possible.
    Ground, air, Gathered end, bridge or whatever you buy;

    If it works for you and you're happy... guess that makes it the best.

  2. #22
    TrailSlug's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
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    If you haven't tried a Bridge hammock you should. I love my Warbonnet Ridgerunner and wouldn't leave home without it.

  3. #23
    SnyperX's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    I was reading this thread and started thinking... this guy seems familiar.

    I agree with the others that if you want something different... get something different.

    As a side note- I prefer an 11' gathered end in Hybrid 1.2. I'm 230 and know a decent amount of folks who feel the same. So I wouldn't count yourself out of the lighter fabric market out of hand in a gathered end.
    If you like your SLD... consider talking to Jared about a Hybrid 1.2 model. That's not to suggest you should start ordering up other fabrics, but that very specific fabric is a viable option.
    I've got one for $50 if you want one- but happy to see Jared get your business too.

    There are lots of hammock fanatics who don't mind springing for something fairly pricey to tinker with, just like any sport/hobby really... part of the reason the 'for sale section' here is so active too.
    As many customers joke with me... my Driver/fishing reel/etc cost me $500 and this is a steal, lol.

    There are also many hangers here where a hammock becomes the only option other than staying home and they would pay double or triple for anything that gets them back in the woods.

    But generally I tell folks on a budget; if it ain't broke don't fix it.
    If you have a working gathered end... nothing cheaper or lighter.
    If you don't... play with fabrics or work on your setup.
    If you're bored... try DIY/MYOG or upgrade your tarp/quilts and bring new life into a stale setup.

    If all else fails- try a bridge. They are in my opinion easier to set up... though at around a year or two into this for me I'm finding that experienced gathered end users have the most trouble with them.
    Calf ridge, finding a sweet spot, consistent pitch from night to night, too much fiddling, and lack of sleep positions are all common reasons folks make the switch from GE to bridge.

    It's not all unicorns and rainbows though... because they are more complicated and dramatically different... you can easily find yourself starting over. Tarp, quilt, and even your whole kit could change.... so the sticker shock keeps on coming! As mentioned, if you're a seasoned hanger you could struggle to unlearn old habits and eyeball metrics and flounder with a bridge. Once you got it going at home... longer tree to tree distances and changes in site selection tactics can further mess you up when you head to the field.

    And no matter how crazy I get or how many custom Carbon Fiber poles I get mocked up... for the most part a bridge will generally be heavier than a gathered end hammock.

    I am working on some budget models in the near future... as there are some gaps in the marketplace still for a person like yourself who probably doesn't need all the features of my premium bridges but could benefit from a toned down version. Mainly it's labor for all this stuff and making sure that the product (regardless of cost) does the job it's intended to do. Though intending to do a decent job for a lower price is an acceptable choice so long as that's the plan from the start... but watering down a product just to hit a price point is never acceptable in my opinion.

    A gathered end is about an hour. (technically two or three per hour but that's just sewing)
    I can build a simple end bar bridge in a two hours.
    These premium bridges are 8-12 hours for me at this point... and several weekends for many DIY folks who try an Ariel.
    Though you are looking at a good $100 of material too with the poles, splicing, etc. Shipping, fees, and random other stuff chews up more than you might like to figure too.

    I can do the medium sized premium bridges for a bit cheaper (about 6-8 hours)... but those come in at $300 because they come stock with a $90 carbon fiber spreader bar set simply because I think that's it's a waste of your money not to offer this premium component in an otherwise premium bridge. In for a penny sorta thing...and my choice.

    Both the Ridgerunner and Bear Mountain are more affordable end bar models and have their own loyal customers. I probably 'sell' as many ridgerunners as I do my stuff simply based upon cost and Brandon's generous return policy. I tell folks try that... if it works... you win! They are also more established vendors with better options, delivery time, and easy return policy. Other vendors make gear to fit the products and there are many off the shelf solutions/plug and play options to build a system with if it turns out you like the bridge itself. If not... it's easy enough to undo your choice.

    There was no sense in me jumping in to do what they were already doing pretty well.
    So I jumped in and did things they weren't on the ultra light side and then on the big side.

    I call mine "premium" bridges because they are. The recessed bars and the suspension system does things the other models simply cannot do.
    They take 8-12 hours per bridge to make up and I'm positive I make less per bridge than others do. But it takes what it takes. For those folks who need these to work the way they do there is no other option.

    That said is no 'best' with outdoors gear. There is a balance sheet of factors only you can crunch the numbers for.

    If you got $100 bucks to spend then these things are at least three to four times crappier than anything else you could buy.
    Even if you could afford it... if the Ridgerunner works for you at half the price... sounds like the best to me.

    If you don't sleep well in a gathered end and just plain old don't fit in another bridge... then my bridge may become the best by the simple fact that you're out of options.
    Though even then I was emailing with a potential customer and strongly encouraged him just to buy a big honking air pad and be done with it- http://www.exped.com/usa/en/product-...0-lxw-ruby-red

    I like hammocks but at some point if you're just car camping they make some pretty sweet portable beds too that require nothing more than for you to blow the thing up and lay down. Slap the sleeping bag you already own on top and you're in the woods for your annual hunting trip or get together with your friends without blowing the budget. If you still sleep in your bed at home... not sure what the aversion is to doing the same in the field if you can replicate the experience. Catch one of those on clearance and for $150 bucks or so you have a high quality mat that might just do the job.

    All I really care about is people getting the best gear they can so they can get out into the woods and have the best time possible.
    Ground, air, Gathered end, bridge or whatever you buy;

    If it works for you and you're happy... guess that makes it the best.

    Thanks for the crazy detailed response. Much appreciated. Maybe someday I'll jump into the bridge hammock pool.
    Regards,
    SnyperX

  4. #24
    SnyperX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailSlug View Post
    If you haven't tried a Bridge hammock you should. I love my Warbonnet Ridgerunner and wouldn't leave home without it.
    My only concern is the Ridge Runner has a max weight of 250lbs. I weigh 220 lb. already and only being 30 lbs. from the max weight makes me nervous.
    Regards,
    SnyperX

  5. #25

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperX View Post
    My only concern is the Ridge Runner has a max weight of 250lbs. I weigh 220 lb. already and only being 30 lbs. from the max weight makes me nervous.
    I wouldn't worry about approaching the load limit.

    Get yer salt shaker as I'm technically the competitor;
    Many of my customers under 250lbs or even folks who just contact me generally have used or tried a RR.
    Based upon their feedback it seems somewhere around one or more of the following the RR doesn't quite do the job:
    225 lbs, taller than 6', men's shirt size Large (back sleepers) or XL (side sleepers)

    There are a handful of folks who will happily chime in to point out that they are one or more of those things and love their Ridgerunner.
    Brandon's bridge isn't just a straight end bar/rolled web... it has a few tricks so that's pretty reasonable to agree with them.

    It is a one size fits most product at a good price. That's why I suggest folks try his first, especially if you're just 'bridge curious' and are not looking to solve a specific problem so much as try something new.

    Busting calf ridge and off the shelf easy-piesy underquilts are often all you need.
    If you want an integrated bug net or a pad sleeve.... the RR has you covered.
    If you're under 6' or under 200lbs it maybe the best hammock you'll ever own.

    The RR used to be rated to 225... probably more realistic in terms of expectations for the customer. But it probably holds 250+ just fine.

    I rate my hammocks for comfort more so than absolute load limit. Every fabric behaves a bit differently and I believe that users are better served with a realistic range of comfort rather than absolute limits.
    I weigh 230 and side sleep... I can't sleep in my Big Guy without getting hip pain because it is too firm for my weight. So the Big Guy has a bottom rating of 250 and unless you really like a super firm mattress at home I would encourage you not to buy that model, which is why I make two in the first place and Brandon offers the RR in several different combos of fabric.
    My Big Guy I rate at 350+. Will it hold more... you can ask the half dozen or more folks around 400lbs who use it and they'd say yes.
    Realistically though around 350 you're probably going to physically max out the available real estate and not enjoy the bridge as well as a 300 pound person might.
    At the end of the day regardless of the rating if you don't fit or find your spot then it doesn't matter what the load limit is.

    Which is a roundabout way of saying that the Ridgerunner runs into the same issue.

    There are always exceptions to every rule; are you one? Statistically probably not, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a shot.

    As a side note:
    In testing with various people many of us who have some physical issues have come to find we need about three nights to 'switch' hammocks. For some of us that might even include going from bed to hammock or visa-versa.
    Just takes a few days for our bodies to adjust and the first night or two are typically unpleasant in the same way a workout or physical activity we aren't used to is.
    So the first few nights kinda stink no matter what we are using... and it really takes a week or so to truly figure out if things are better.

    I only share that as it's not a typical 'hanger' experience. For lots of folks of average size or physical condition there is a pretty immediate gratification that 'this is it'.
    In dealing with many folks with injuries of various sorts this need for an adjustment period seems to be a common one worth considering if you are looking to make a switch for this reason.

  6. #26
    SnyperX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    I wouldn't worry about approaching the load limit.

    Get yer salt shaker as I'm technically the competitor;
    Many of my customers under 250lbs or even folks who just contact me generally have used or tried a RR.
    Based upon their feedback it seems somewhere around one or more of the following the RR doesn't quite do the job:
    225 lbs, taller than 6', men's shirt size Large (back sleepers) or XL (side sleepers)

    There are a handful of folks who will happily chime in to point out that they are one or more of those things and love their Ridgerunner.
    Brandon's bridge isn't just a straight end bar/rolled web... it has a few tricks so that's pretty reasonable to agree with them.

    It is a one size fits most product at a good price. That's why I suggest folks try his first, especially if you're just 'bridge curious' and are not looking to solve a specific problem so much as try something new.

    Busting calf ridge and off the shelf easy-piesy underquilts are often all you need.
    If you want an integrated bug net or a pad sleeve.... the RR has you covered.
    If you're under 6' or under 200lbs it maybe the best hammock you'll ever own.

    The RR used to be rated to 225... probably more realistic in terms of expectations for the customer. But it probably holds 250+ just fine.

    I rate my hammocks for comfort more so than absolute load limit. Every fabric behaves a bit differently and I believe that users are better served with a realistic range of comfort rather than absolute limits.
    I weigh 230 and side sleep... I can't sleep in my Big Guy without getting hip pain because it is too firm for my weight. So the Big Guy has a bottom rating of 250 and unless you really like a super firm mattress at home I would encourage you not to buy that model, which is why I make two in the first place and Brandon offers the RR in several different combos of fabric.
    My Big Guy I rate at 350+. Will it hold more... you can ask the half dozen or more folks around 400lbs who use it and they'd say yes.
    Realistically though around 350 you're probably going to physically max out the available real estate and not enjoy the bridge as well as a 300 pound person might.
    At the end of the day regardless of the rating if you don't fit or find your spot then it doesn't matter what the load limit is.

    Which is a roundabout way of saying that the Ridgerunner runs into the same issue.

    There are always exceptions to every rule; are you one? Statistically probably not, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a shot.

    As a side note:
    In testing with various people many of us who have some physical issues have come to find we need about three nights to 'switch' hammocks. For some of us that might even include going from bed to hammock or visa-versa.
    Just takes a few days for our bodies to adjust and the first night or two are typically unpleasant in the same way a workout or physical activity we aren't used to is.
    So the first few nights kinda stink no matter what we are using... and it really takes a week or so to truly figure out if things are better.

    I only share that as it's not a typical 'hanger' experience. For lots of folks of average size or physical condition there is a pretty immediate gratification that 'this is it'.
    In dealing with many folks with injuries of various sorts this need for an adjustment period seems to be a common one worth considering if you are looking to make a switch for this reason.
    For the record I am 6', 220lbs. and a hard core side sleeper. Thanks again for the responses Bill!!
    Regards,
    SnyperX

  7. #27
    dakotaross's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    pick'm GE no net
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    I just want to note that I had issues side sleeping in the RR. Was a little too narrow for me in the middle where my knees would come up, especially when using a thick pad which was the reason I got one to begin with. Bill's bridge has more relaxed proportions. I've only layed in one for a few minutes, but I wouldn't anticipate side sleeping being an issue in his.

    And the load figures you mention are typically very conservative and not at all break point type of load figures. Rather, they are points where above that weight you may experience significant stretch - and like a lot of things, a little stretch can be a really good thing, or at least I find that to be so. Too much, of course...

    FWIW, the RR net has a load capacity of 90 lbs + as scientifically determined by two young kids who decided to play in my brand new RR the first time I set it up.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

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