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Thread: First rain fly

  1. #1
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    First rain fly

    I was given a Hennessy Hammock - it's a good few years old, but I think it might be an Ultralite Backpacker with bottom entry. It also has snakeskins - but no tarp! The owner kept the tarp for his tarp-based camping trips.

    So, I'm looking for a tarp, and thought I might buy a Hennessy Hyperlite tarp. I'd sometimes be using the hammock when cycle touring, so light weight is fairly important. However, I'm in Scotland (UK) so I'm not sure if the Hyperlite rain fly would be okay. Actually, I would probably have bought it by now, but the Hennessy UK site charges quite a lot for shipping, so I thought I'd look to add something else to my order to bring the total up to qualify for free shipping, but then I couldn't decide on what to buy!

    I then started to wonder if it would be more sensible to buy a complete hammock system (maybe the Hennessy Hyperlite) or a different make, such as a DD Hammock or a Kammok, for example. There are so many options, even with regard to suspension systems!

    Anyway, do you think I'd be wiser to just buy a tarp for my Hennessey, and if so, which tarp, or should I basically start afresh with a different hammock system?

  2. #2
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    Avoid DD: their hammocks are dreadfully heavy and mostly too small.

    The Hennessey is a good hammock, so I'd keep it and get a tarp. We're unfortunately limited on options without ridiculous shipping costs in the UK, but there are some decent ones:

    1) You can get Hennessey tarps off Amazon with free shipping.

    2) DD actually make pretty good tarps, though they aren't specialised for hammocks, so will generally be a bit heavier due to the unnecessary extra material. Also available on Amazon with free shipping.

    3) ENO tarps do the job nicely, and are on Amazon with free shipping.

    4) I have a Paria Outdoor Sactuary Siltarp that's excellent.

    5) UKHammocks do cat cut hex tarps, with or without doors.

  3. #3
    sidneyhornblower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesam3 View Post

    The Hennessey is a good hammock, so I'd keep it and get a tarp. We're unfortunately limited on options without ridiculous shipping costs in the UK, but there are some decent ones:

    1) You can get Hennessey tarps off Amazon with free shipping.
    I'd go with suggestion number one. My Hennessy hex tarp has lasted 5 years and is still going strong. Not the lightest tarp in the world, but it's well made, works well and mine came with tie-outs attached.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hennessy-Ha...dp/B0094NLB8E/

  4. #4
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    Thanks very much for all the advice.

    I hadn't realised that some Hennessy products were available on Amazon, so I'll probably go for one of those. I'm still tempted by the Hyperlite tarp, although I've read they need to be pitched accurately in order to provide adequate protection from rain, so perhaps one of their hex flies would be a better choice.

    I think it makes sense to try the hammock I have, and get some experience before looking for an alternative. I may also find that I need an underquilt, so my money would be better spent there.

  5. #5
    I've got a full DD setup which I bought a few years ago but only started using recently. They are based in Edinburgh and I'm in Glasgow. The 3x3 tarp I've been using standalone when Moto-camping as it's pretty robust but the whole setup is a bit heavier and bulkier than I would like.

    Having spent a few days a couple of weeks ago with guys running Warbonnet and Hennessy setups I was more impressed with both, particularly the WB setup which was the most comfortable and packed significantly smaller than the others. The doors were also nice on the mountain fly. The photo below shows the mountain fly beside the mamajamba which is similar to the Hennessy. My DD is also included for comparison sakes.

    That's where my money will be going next time (blackbird and mountain fly) but it's really pricey. The DD stuff is good for the price and for heavy use like the bushcraft crowd but where weight and pack size are considerations (or if you're tall) there are definitely better options.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member dakotaross's Avatar
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    If you're going for a diamond tarp to save weight, I'd go for the SimplyLightDesigns.com Simplicity tarp which weighs less than that Hyperlight and costs less, though with international shipping might be comparable. I'd splurge on getting it with the ridgeline with Flyz so that you can put it up independently from the hammock. During nasty weather, you likely want to use the hennessy prussiks to attach the tarp to keep in low and tight, but otherwise its sometimes nice to be able to give yourself some more room for air circulation up top.

    Speaking of air circulation, what are you doing for insulation on bottom?
    "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... ?"
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the pointer to the Simplicity tarp. It looks really nice, but the description says it's not suitable for heavy rain or wind, and that it could be damaged in strong winds (ie a Scottish summer!) Is that going to be the case for all lightweight tarps?

    Quote Originally Posted by dakotaross View Post
    Speaking of air circulation, what are you doing for insulation on bottom?
    I don't have any insulation at the minute. I've not slept in the hammock yet - I've only tried it once for about 5 minutes. I do have some camping mats and sleeping bags, but I was thinking I might try rigging up a Blizzard Blanket (a multi-layer foil survival blanket) underneath, and if I found I liked hammock camping I'd probably buy a Jacks R Better (or similar) under quilt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    Keep reading....there's more info on here about tarps than you ever wanted to know. As a person who's owned several Hennessy models over the years I can say their tarps are OK. The idea of rigging them to your hammock suspension is just terrible. Doing so sounds great on paper but then the whole system sags/droops when you get into the hammock. Whatever you choose definitely get something that you rig either with a continuous ridgeline or separate pullouts (both have advantages and disadvantages).

    I'm sure there are numerous silnylon and silpoly tarps you can source in the UK. Even Snugpak makes a pretty kickass tarp that's maybe overkill but will do the job nicely. Don't get too wrapped around the axle about brands. Just get one sized appropriately for your hammock and you'll be fine. FYI...from what I remember the hyperlite is really short to reduce the weight. That's a big tradeoff in comfort. Before you get too far down the rabbit hole with gear maybe try out some other hammocks if you have the opportunity. There's no substitute for a local "hang" to try out some other gear first hand.

  9. #9
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    I used a Hennessy Hex for years and only sold it because I had alternatives that weighed less with the same coverage. And I started using tarps with doors.

    But most important is you'll probably want more coverage than just your hammock - for example to also cover your cycle. I've found the additional coverage is well worth the slight weight/cost difference. The downside is sometimes needing to look a little longer to find trees oriented so they don't interfere with the tarp setup.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  10. #10
    Senior Member LuvmyBonnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deejayen View Post
    I don't have any insulation at the minute. I've not slept in the hammock yet - I've only tried it once for about 5 minutes. I do have some camping mats and sleeping bags, but I was thinking I might try rigging up a Blizzard Blanket (a multi-layer foil survival blanket) underneath, and if I found I liked hammock camping I'd probably buy a Jacks R Better (or similar) under quilt.
    I wish you luck with the Blizzard Blanket but if thats made the way I think it is you will probably have a problem with condensation. If you find just laying in a hammock is comfortable and you can sleep in it, definitely get an UQ! you won't be disappointed.
    Hanging in the woods, paddlin and catching trout- My kind of living...

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