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  1. #1
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    Exped Ergo... what happened to it?

    I just ran across the Exped Ergo hammock........ Much like the Amock Draumr, it appears to be significantly lighter in weight..... but it is no longer made. Was this a failed design? The main liability to me, is the lack of the adjust-ability of the lay, which is significant for me as I have to sleep in a reclined position, upper body slightly elevated, etc. Of course with the relentless approach of impending doom, being in the lower end of the "crosshairs" in terms of age, backpacking should be the least of my concerns right now.
    Their method of hanging by an array of lines fanned out from a common point to attach points on the sides of the hammock would lend itself to configuring a hammock for exactly the lay I want. I would expect the cross lay hammock such as this and the Draumr would be growing in popularity and increasingly imitated. Perhaps the unconventional approach puts people off? It makes perfect sense to me.

    H.W.

  2. #2
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    exped ergo essentially became Luke's 90 degree Hammock Tent (I believe)


    the details are hazy, and I haven't had enough coffee, but I feel like there's threads here if you look hard enough that go thru the history

    iirc Luke was working with exped on the ergo or some prototype of it, and then went on his own way with his design

    exped just didn't continue their exploration of the design

  3. #3
    OlTrailDog's Avatar
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    As an avid Hammocktent 90 degree user, and modifier and as a previous Exped Ergo owner and modifier, I have had several email conversations with Luke of HT. To the best of my understanding this is how it unfolded. Luke took his 90* idea to Exped (Luke and Exped are Swiss). Exped helped produce an early version of the HT and Luke used that on his PCT thru hike. Wonderful blog is available on that trip, hats off the Luke. Subsequently they had some up date design differences that resulted in Exped producing the Ergo and Luke going his way and producing the HT 90 alpha, beta, gamma, and gamma UL. And Luke worked with Zpacks to produce the HT90 CF tarp.

    Exped produced two versions of the Ergo. I owned the second version. In my opinion the second version contained too much loose fabric in the pad pocket region and the pad fit was not the easiest to achieve success with. I found the hammock comfortable and easy to enter/leave due to the oblique or semi-tangential lay design. It was much heavier than Luke's HT 90s and consequently was not a good choice for back packing, but suitable for indoor or truck camping. The tarp was inexpensive and fit well for the oblique lay of the hammock, but was not well suited for use with any other hammock including the HT90s. Since I preferred my HT90s over the Ergo, I sold the Ergo and it now resides in Japan, last I knew.

    Unfortunately, Luke had some problems with his manufacturer in Malaysia or Indonesia? not being able to meet his order and consequently ended up producing his hammocks on a more limited basis at home in Switzerland. That came with a commensurate increase in cost/price.

    I modified the HT90 to be used with a pad or underquilt a couple of years ago and took the idea to Luke. Luke wrote that he preferred to remain focused on his niche producing the lightest weight backpacking hammock possible and since my design increased the weight, he wasn't in favor of the design. However, he gave me the go ahead to pursue my design thoughts. I approached a HF vendor with my ideas and the vendor thought the design was interesting enough for consideration, and ask that I keep it on the down low while the vendor sorted it out...along with their regular production and updates.

    About a month ago I wrote the vendor to see if the vendor was still interested and the vendor indicate that they had just recently been mulling over the design and they were still interested. So mum is the word and fingers crossed. I was candid with the vendor that I am not in this to make money, but for me it is the personal satisfaction and recognition for having a small part in the modification of the HT90 is what I would gain out of the experience.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlTrailDog View Post
    As an avid Hammocktent 90 degree user, and modifier and as a previous Exped Ergo owner and modifier, I have had several email conversations with Luke of HT. To the best of my understanding this is how it unfolded. Luke took his 90* idea to Exped (Luke and Exped are Swiss). Exped helped produce an early version of the HT and Luke used that on his PCT thru hike. Wonderful blog is available on that trip, hats off the Luke. Subsequently they had some up date design differences that resulted in Exped producing the Ergo and Luke going his way and producing the HT 90 alpha, beta, gamma, and gamma UL. And Luke worked with Zpacks to produce the HT90 CF tarp.

    Exped produced two versions of the Ergo. I owned the second version. In my opinion the second version contained too much loose fabric in the pad pocket region and the pad fit was not the easiest to achieve success with. I found the hammock comfortable and easy to enter/leave due to the oblique or semi-tangential lay design. It was much heavier than Luke's HT 90s and consequently was not a good choice for back packing, but suitable for indoor or truck camping. The tarp was inexpensive and fit well for the oblique lay of the hammock, but was not well suited for use with any other hammock including the HT90s. Since I preferred my HT90s over the Ergo, I sold the Ergo and it now resides in Japan, last I knew.

    Unfortunately, Luke had some problems with his manufacturer in Malaysia or Indonesia? not being able to meet his order and consequently ended up producing his hammocks on a more limited basis at home in Switzerland. That came with a commensurate increase in cost/price.

    I modified the HT90 to be used with a pad or underquilt a couple of years ago and took the idea to Luke. Luke wrote that he preferred to remain focused on his niche producing the lightest weight backpacking hammock possible and since my design increased the weight, he wasn't in favor of the design. However, he gave me the go ahead to pursue my design thoughts. I approached a HF vendor with my ideas and the vendor thought the design was interesting enough for consideration, and ask that I keep it on the down low while the vendor sorted it out...along with their regular production and updates.

    About a month ago I wrote the vendor to see if the vendor was still interested and the vendor indicate that they had just recently been mulling over the design and they were still interested. So mum is the word and fingers crossed. I was candid with the vendor that I am not in this to make money, but for me it is the personal satisfaction and recognition for having a small part in the modification of the HT90 is what I would gain out of the experience.

    I'm frustrated with this site...... I post something, and then it suddenly decides that I'm not logged in and I lose it!!! Thanks for the info. I'm just newly exploring modern hammock options. In the late '60's I spent an entire summer living in one of those light weight net hammocks that will fit in your pocket. I can't tolerate being a banana like I could when I was 14!

    The horizontal hammocks are the answer for me it appears, and I appreciate the pointer the HT. I have a cheap backpack hammock purchased on Amzn.... with a discount, less than $20, and not a bad product surprisingly for the price (Anortrek). I bought it just to play with because it was cheap. I plan to sew a nylon strap into each side, and put in grommets or loops so I can side hang. The idea is that I can adjust the harness strings to give me exactly the hang I want, with my back elevated a bit, a butt pocket, provision for bent knees, and perhaps even increased tension for lumbar. I like the adjustability of the multiple strings. I'm hoping some pad manufacturer will realize that there is a potential market for an insulated air mattress with some grommets to keep it centered. A sleeve seems like a silly addition when the pad could actually be secured at as few as two points.
    The problem with most 90deg hammocks seems to be weight. I see little or no reason why some ultra light hammock could not be side hung............
    H.W.

  5. #5
    OlTrailDog's Avatar
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    Luke targeted niche with his Hammocktent 90s is for the light weight backpacking market. His HT hammocks do have some height/weight limitations. Many folks like bridge hammocks as an alternative. I had a War Bonnet Ridge Runner (WBRR), but sold it because I found the HTs more to my preference and comfort. But Big Bill makes a Towns End bridge that is wider and perhaps a workable option. Another newer, and as yet fully tested and reviewed, option is the Haven Tent hammock. A few folks have been experimenting with those. I think they look like a design I would like to try....when they have a slightly wider option available that can accommodate aftermarket insulated inflatable pads, e.g. Exped, Thermarest, Big Agnes, instead of their proprietary pad. They also will be a bit heavier than a typical GE hammock. Plus, if I had a Haven Tent hammock I could not resist modifying it to accommodate an UQ as a challenge.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. My HT90, like all my hammocks, definitely has it's pros and cons. However, in at least a couple of important ways, it is the best of the best(for me).

    Speaking of a pad pocket, the HT90's is unique as far as I know. It's primary advantage, seems to me, is that adding even a 3" thick pad does not raise the center of gravity at all, unlike all my other hammocks, including my other hammocks which work well with pads, i.e. bridge hammocks.

    This benefit is actually a potential problem if your pad is less than 3" thick, and/or underinflated, as you might not be laying firmly enough on the pad to get full insulation. OTOH, especially with some small mods to hold a quilt in place( I have added a few Cam Snaps), a quilt can actually be placed into the pad pocket to function as an Inner Quilt(IQ), either with or without a pad under the quilt. Or, puffy clothing can be added to fill any gaps caused by a thinner pad. It is really quite unique in several ways, and for the most part in a favorable way.
    A 20F-30F TQ o top of a 2.5" thick TR Neoair All Season 4.9R value Pad, inside the pad pocket of an HT90:


    CCF pads inside a Speer Segmented Pad Extender on the inside of the HT90(pad pocket not used here):







    Next to last is just the view out the side, last is fetal position with a 2.5" thick, 25" wide pad down in the pad pocket.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 04-07-2020 at 19:11.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the info and photos..... It's pretty clear to me that an inflatable pad is ideal. A longitudinal one would in some ways seem best, but then when I think about it, a horizontal tube pad would have the advantage of creating a roomier space, where you are not forced into the center necessarily.... You wouldn't be fighting the slope wanting to center you........Disclaimer.... I've never slept in a hammock with a pad, so this is just speculation. I know how much I hate bucket seats, much preferring old fashioned bench seats because I can move around. I remember traveling in a friend's Town Car... after a hundred miles when I got out I could hardly walk for a few minutes.... I stiffen up if I don't move around. I've always found bucket seats miserable, but I can ride or drive all day in a pickup with a good bench seat, probably because my muscles are always moving, countering the motion of the vehicle.

    It really does seem to me a "no brainer" that inflatable mats could have grommets or loops built in so you could tether them. It would be a weight and complexity saver in a hammock.

    H.W.

  8. #8
    OlTrailDog's Avatar
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    Personally, I've found the longitudinal pads to be my preference over the Thermarest horizontal pads. It sort of provides side rails a bit. I believe the Amok pads are also longitudinal. I used an inflatable in a single layer Dream Hammock Raven for a long time and it was a simple matter to sit on the pad, swing you legs and torso aboard, grab the sides of the pad, and scooch into a diagonal lay. I liked to hang my feet over the end just below the ankles and it completely does away with any heel pressure. The downside to pads vs. UQ is most all pads cause a bit of moisture build up from your body perspiration, some do better than others. For the double layer hammocks, DH Sparrow and WBBB XLC, in my case, you adjust the pad between the layers at a diagonal and they pretty much stay in place, at least acceptably so in my experience. The Ergo had ties between the layers and it really wasn't very effective.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlTrailDog View Post
    Luke targeted niche with his Hammocktent 90s is for the light weight backpacking market. His HT hammocks do have some height/weight limitations. Many folks like bridge hammocks as an alternative. I had a War Bonnet Ridge Runner (WBRR), but sold it because I found the HTs more to my preference and comfort. But Big Bill makes a Towns End bridge that is wider and perhaps a workable option. Another newer, and as yet fully tested and reviewed, option is the Haven Tent hammock. A few folks have been experimenting with those. I think they look like a design I would like to try....when they have a slightly wider option available that can accommodate aftermarket insulated inflatable pads, e.g. Exped, Thermarest, Big Agnes, instead of their proprietary pad. They also will be a bit heavier than a typical GE hammock. Plus, if I had a Haven Tent hammock I could not resist modifying it to accommodate an UQ as a challenge.
    I had to look up the systems you mentioned..... I'm "new" to modern hammocks obviously. The Haven Hammock Tent is an ingenious design, and I was not familiar with the term "bridge hammock". These actually resemble what I had originally envisioned, which was two vertical load bearing side panels, one on each side, and a spreader at each end. The bottom of the hammock being sewn in in such a way as to provide the desired sleeping position, which in my case is the so called "zero gravity" position. The idea of using an inflatable pad to control shape and spread the sides so you are not confined into a narrow cocoon came as a revelation of how to solve that particular problem, after I'd examined videos and such on the Draumr. A simple and elegant solution. The cross lay hammock like these solves several problems, and is basically simple. Billy Bob's photos show a really decent functional design. I'm enamored of the idea of a mattress with ties on it to eliminate the need for a pocket. The only real benefit of a mattress in a hammock is shape. Otherwise an under quilt makes more sense, but I see no other practical way to accomplish the things an inflatable offers. I think I'll proceed with my cheap AnorTrek as a test bed, rigging a side hang system just for the heck of it. I just looked back at the Amzn invoice and with a so called "flash discount", I only paid $14.39..... heck, just the suspension straps and biners are probably worth that! I'm thinking that I'll talk a lady friend into sewing a cord pocket in each side, with hemmed cutouts every few inches so I can thread a cord through and tie my harness strings to it at each point, probably throwing a hand stitch at each end of each of the short pockets to lock the relationship between the cord and the fabric so it can't slide or draw up. I can then work out zones.... my back zone, butt zone, upper and lower leg zone, and gather adjust string tension in each "zone" to get what I want. Work it all out with cheap nylon, then if I decide it's worthwhile use dynema.

    H.W.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owly* View Post
    I had to look up the systems you mentioned..... I'm "new" to modern hammocks obviously. The Haven Hammock Tent is an ingenious design, and I was not familiar with the term "bridge hammock". These actually resemble what I had originally envisioned, which was two vertical load bearing side panels, one on each side, and a spreader at each end. The bottom of the hammock being sewn in in such a way as to provide the desired sleeping position, which in my case is the so called "zero gravity" position. The idea of using an inflatable pad to control shape and spread the sides so you are not confined into a narrow cocoon came as a revelation of how to solve that particular problem, after I'd examined videos and such on the Draumr. A simple and elegant solution. The cross lay hammock like these solves several problems, and is basically simple. Billy Bob's photos show a really decent functional design. I'm enamored of the idea of a mattress with ties on it to eliminate the need for a pocket. The only real benefit of a mattress in a hammock is shape. Otherwise an under quilt makes more sense, but I see no other practical way to accomplish the things an inflatable offers. I think I'll proceed with my cheap AnorTrek as a test bed, rigging a side hang system just for the heck of it. I just looked back at the Amzn invoice and with a so called "flash discount", I only paid $14.39..... heck, just the suspension straps and biners are probably worth that! I'm thinking that I'll talk a lady friend into sewing a cord pocket in each side, with hemmed cutouts every few inches so I can thread a cord through and tie my harness strings to it at each point, probably throwing a hand stitch at each end of each of the short pockets to lock the relationship between the cord and the fabric so it can't slide or draw up. I can then work out zones.... my back zone, butt zone, upper and lower leg zone, and gather adjust string tension in each "zone" to get what I want. Work it all out with cheap nylon, then if I decide it's worthwhile use dynema.

    H.W.
    Sounds like you will have a good time with your experiments! And you may well come up with something beneficial.

    I will add what are some ( IMO at least) other pad benefits vs UQs. I have said, since my early days here back when this forum was just started, that the guys who could be adequately comfy using a pad in a hammock( back then virtually all gathered end, no bridges or 90 around here) were the lucky ones. And there were a couple of folks, even in a GE, who either tolerate or actually did fine with, a pad in a GE. Neo comes to mind, with his military pad in his Claytor hammock with pad pocket. Ducttape(sp?), at least zero or below, was another. But with the GE hammocks, fans of pads were few indeed. But, if you were in that group, here are a few things that made them the lucky ones:
    1:Cheaper, and many of us already owned the pads.
    2: If for any reason you are forced to ground(above timberline, shelters, hammock or suspension failure, etc) you are still OK, just like before your hammock days.
    3: wind proof
    4: water proof
    5: usually, no perfect adjustment needed, as there will be no gaps or drafts. There are some possible exceptions to this, but even then usually easily solved.
    6: If closed cell foam pads, absolutely bullet proof. If your hammock or suspension fails, and you hit the ground, or you carelessly allow something to rip your quilt's shell, you won't have to watch your 900FP down floating away in the breeze. Yes, I have seen such a thing happen. And as in #4, you won't have any worries about something soaking your UQ. Yes, I know these odds are very low, but they are not zero, and they are simply not worries with a pad, especially CCF.
    7: If you puncture your inflatable pad, you can usually patch them. Sadly, a ripped baffle in an UQ allows the down to run away.
    8: Some very warm pads, like the NeoAir winter pads, are just as light and actually take up less volume than equally warm UQs, at least based on a few folks reports. Others don't find them as warm in a hammock, but if it gets that cold you can still always go to ground, where they wil be adequate to well below zero.

    But all of that is dependent for many of us on equal comfort, or nearly equal. For most of us, with a pad in a GE hammock, the comfort is just not going to be there, so we will always choose something other than a pad. But there are certain hammocks - some bridges and certainly the 90 hammocks, that are- for a lot of people- either equally comfy with a pad or pretty darn close, to a GE with UQ. Heck, some folks even prefer the comfort with a pad, in certain types of hammocks at least.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 04-09-2020 at 23:05.

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