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  1. #1
    Senior Member Shrewd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    353

    The WB Ridge Runner or the Dutch Banyan?

    Hey folks, Ive read quite a few posts about both hammocks, but was hoping for some more specific info.

    These two are probably the most known bridges out there due to the manufacturers.

    Ive been eyeing a bridge for awhile and am keen to pick one up. Ive taken my XLC on two thru hikes now and, while I adore it, Im looking to play with something new.

    I love Warbonnet but Id like to try Dutch as al my hammocking experience has been WB.
    However, Im also 63 with fairly broad shoulders. I must admit I enjoy the shelf on my XLC so the fact that the ridge runner comes with them is a plus.

    That said, this will be for fun, short trips, not country spanning death marches, so weight and certain luxuries are less important to me than pure comfort. I side and back sleep.

    Does anyone have experience with both? Or perhaps roughly my size and have experience with either?

    You all rock!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Albany, ny
    Hammock
    Just Bill Happy medium
    Tarp
    11' HG w/ doors
    Insulation
    DIY or HG
    Suspension
    Webbing/Beckett
    Posts
    286
    https://thisgearsforyou.com/

    Bill's bridges are more comfortable for me and even the medium bridge is wider then the RR. Let alone the big guy bridge. No experience with the dutch.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Kimberley, BC
    Hammock
    WB Ridgerunner
    Tarp
    UGQ WD12
    Insulation
    D-back / Lynx / LL
    Suspension
    DG Beetle Buckle
    Posts
    59
    Images
    2
    Have to agree with Chapinb for someone your size. I have a Ridgerunner and love it as a side sleeper, but I'm 5' 7" and 130 lbs, broad shoulders for a woman (did a lot of swimming as a kid). There are times even I feel a bit constricted in the RR; I can't imagine it being comfortable for anyone over 6' tall and male with your build. You could always pick a Ridgerunner up on sale, give 'er a go, and resell if it doesn't work for you.

    The number of Banyan owners can probably be counted on your fingers and toes at this point. Supposedly 13-15 shipped before the COVID19 shutdown and maybe a handful since.
    Last edited by Canadark; 05-22-2020 at 20:44.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mr. Gillam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Central Indiana
    Hammock
    Warbonnet Ridgerunner
    Tarp
    12' HG DCF tarp w/
    Insulation
    Ridge Creek xl
    Suspension
    Becket Hitch
    Posts
    156
    Quote Originally Posted by Shrewd View Post
    Hey folks, Ive read quite a few posts about both hammocks, but was hoping for some more specific info.

    These two are probably the most known bridges out there due to the manufacturers.

    Ive been eyeing a bridge for awhile and am keen to pick one up. Ive taken my XLC on two thru hikes now and, while I adore it, Im looking to play with something new.

    I love Warbonnet but Id like to try Dutch as al my hammocking experience has been WB.
    However, Im also 63 with fairly broad shoulders. I must admit I enjoy the shelf on my XLC so the fact that the ridge runner comes with them is a plus.

    That said, this will be for fun, short trips, not country spanning death marches, so weight and certain luxuries are less important to me than pure comfort. I side and back sleep.

    Does anyone have experience with both? Or perhaps roughly my size and have experience with either?

    You all rock!
    I am 6'2.5" tall and around 255.

    I like my RR and haven't experienced shoulder squeeze though, I feel better sqeeze oddly enough.

    I spent about 30 nights in the hammock last year and would guess, that you might be okay but, who knows.

    The side pockets are amazing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mr. Gillam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Central Indiana
    Hammock
    Warbonnet Ridgerunner
    Tarp
    12' HG DCF tarp w/
    Insulation
    Ridge Creek xl
    Suspension
    Becket Hitch
    Posts
    156
    Quote Originally Posted by chapinb View Post
    https://thisgearsforyou.com/

    Bill's bridges are more comfortable for me and even the medium bridge is wider then the RR. Let alone the big guy bridge. No experience with the dutch.
    A built in bug net would be a great addition to these hanmocks. Thats what I've been waiting for.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    314
    Get the Ridgerunner (its currently on sale).

  7. #7
    TrailSlug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Hammock
    Warbonnet RR / BlackbirdXLC
    Tarp
    SimplyLightDesigns
    Insulation
    Lynx / LocoLibre
    Suspension
    webbing/buckles
    Posts
    7,629
    Images
    1
    Get one of each and let us know which one you like the best. I love my RR and have 2 of them so unless this Banyan is a game changer I'll stick to my RR's.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Maryland
    Hammock
    Ridge Runner, Hennessy
    Tarp
    UGQ Winterdream 13
    Insulation
    UGQ Zepplin, ridgr
    Suspension
    Whooppees
    Posts
    50
    Inam 6-1' 225 lbs. no shoulder squeeze at all on the RR. I love the fact that I can see out of it while lying down - not something you csn do with most bridges. If you like to draw your knees up far, like toward your chest, the RR becomes a bit tight. The shelves are great.

  9. #9
    Senior Member stevebo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Moreland Georgia
    Hammock
    WBRR
    Tarp
    diy sil argon camo
    Insulation
    lynx
    Suspension
    whoopie slings
    Posts
    1,830
    I have used the rr for about 5 years, and have recently upgraded to the Bgbh ----at 240 lbs , 6'4" with broad shoulders, here's my opinion: I slept pretty good in the RR, on my back, but was never able to sleep on my side (its pretty narrow). The Bgbh is luxuriously big, and more comfortable in any position!

    So, RR pros, easy to set up, really easy to insulate, storage space is excellent (saddle bags) its pretty affordably priced, and is usually in stock. Cons, at my size side sleeping doesn't work well, the spacing between trees is pretty big (barely fits under a `12 foot tarp, ) I never really had a problem with shoulder squeeze.

    Big guy bridge hammock pros- higher weight rating, much bigger sleeping space, shorter distance between trees, all in all I find it a much more comfortable hammock to sleep in. Cons-more expensive, a lot harder to insulate(not impossible, but I got really spoiled with the ridge runner and its "plug and play" sleep system!) less storage space, heavier, and not always in stock.

    I dont consider the weight to be an issue--by using a really light pack (zpacks arc blast) and a Cuban tarp, and by creatively rigging up my trekking poles as the head end spreader bar and using a carbon foot end bar, to save weight in other areas, the Bgbh is very usable on a backpacking trip. Also, Im not a huge fan of the bug net that comes with the BGBH---its functional, but I will make something different in the future.

    Another thing, Warbonnet is a bigger business,they will answer your questions, but with Bill townsend its more of a personal experience --Bill makes the Bgbh in the basement of his home, and his customer service is top notch--hes a great guy to deal with and will spend how ever much time you need with you to answer all your questions! (and you've got to check out his book "lying on the trail"---its a backpacking classic!

    So both hammocks have pros and cons, --at the moment I am totally in love the the BGBH--its an extremely well made, well designed complex hammock---I haven't got all the bugs worked out of my system yet, but I've been really happy with it! (nothing wrong with the RR---Im just at the extreme edge of being able to fit in it. From what Ive read, the banyon bridge is even shorter, so that's not an option--very clever design --,might consider it if they come out with an xl version!)
    FYI: If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then,
    run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it's a black
    bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it's a grizzly bear : )


    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
    --unknown

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Valpo, IN
    Hammock
    Towns-End Luxury Bridge
    Posts
    1,590
    Quote Originally Posted by Shrewd View Post
    Hey folks, I’ve read quite a few posts about both hammocks, but was hoping for some more specific info.

    These two are probably the most known bridges out there due to the manufacturers.

    I’ve been eyeing a bridge for awhile and am keen to pick one up. I’ve taken my XLC on two thru hikes now and, while I adore it, I’m looking to play with something new.

    I love Warbonnet but I’d like to try Dutch as al my hammocking experience has been WB.
    However, I’m also 6’3 with fairly broad shoulders. I must admit I enjoy the shelf on my XLC so the fact that the ridge runner comes with them is a plus.

    That said, this will be for fun, short trips, not country spanning death marches, so weight and certain luxuries are less important to me than pure comfort. I side and back sleep.

    Does anyone have experience with both? Or perhaps roughly my size and have experience with either?

    You all rock!
    Those who like Brandon's stuff tend to like Brandon's stuff... and it's nice stuff.

    Start with the Ridgerunner.

    There is some pent up demand for the Banyon and I doubt you'll get much feedback on it anytime soon. It's not clear what the quilt situation is, there may or may not be kinks to work on. So realistically- sounds like you would be waiting a bit to see what is what on the Banyon personally regardless. So unless you're just dying to be an early adopter... might as well try something else while Dutch recovers from shutdown delays.

    To be perfectly blunt- 6'3" and broad shoulders is potentially a losing proposition but I have heard of some (especially side sleepers) who find the Ridgerunner perfectly acceptable if you can avoid getting bitten in the knees.
    A commonly successful bridge sleep position is 'semi side'. Since many bridges have a bit of a 'half pipe' cross section to them you can scoot to one side or the other and be side sleeping, but still mostly laying on your back. Harder to explain but easy to do once you hop in it. Point being- this position (since one shoulder is up 'above' the bridge) is a way to reduce shoulder squeeze and maximize the available bedspace that and its often the most comfortable position.
    This is very good for folks with a hip or shoulder issue too as you can get nearly all the weight off your injured side this way.

    I tell most folks to try a RR first (or the REI quarter dome with a good pad).
    No offense to Don at Jack's- but the RR is a pretty good 'one size fits most' design. Just as importantly- it's been around, has the accessories, quilts, and saddlebag storage. It's affordable and returns are easy.
    Technically- all those things are true about the BMBH, but it is a narrower/deeper design that hugs you. For people who really like that 'cozy' feel of a gathered end- the Jacks bridge is ideal.

    Much like a 9' ENO is not anything like an 11' XL gathered end... no two bridges are alike. But there aren't really many options so it doesn't have to be that confusing... just depends on what is best to you.

    If sitting on a shelf, integrated nets, lower prices, easy to find add ons, and a few other features sound good then Brandon or Jacks make the best bridges. For sure they offer the best balanced total systems with many years of happy customers as well as the depth of accessories to back up the base product if you want to trick things out down the line.

    If you love Dutch, then of course Dutch makes the best bridge even if hardly anyone had a chance to try one Mainly my take is that the Banyon is an end bar bridge with the Dutch system up top. If you like those options then Dutch is the only one with his chameleon style dutchness on top. Much like the Chameleon... the advantage here is you can swap in new tops (or bottom if something happens). If you screw up your double layer netted RR... well you need to replace your full hammock. Tear a net, poke a cover, or mess up the bridge itself and you can easily swap in a part or pick up the eventual add-ons Dutch will no doubt stock to customize your experience. The Saddlebags are cool- but really what they are is an amazingly efficient way to attach a bugnet. They are after all just pockets... If they don't work for you then you're sorta SOL. In theory with the Banyon you can get more creative if storage is your thing.

    The REI thing is a pretty compelling low cost entry into bridge like hammocks too- though it really needs a pad.

    WV makes really nice bridges, Grizz makes even nicer bridges- but since you can't buy them I suppose that makes them the worst

    As a few other mentioned- there is another jackhole who makes bridges- but generally you should only reach out to him if nothing else works and you're horribly desperate.
    That dude is expensive, there are no integrated bug nets, and typically there is a waiting list. It's not a full time job, so production is spotty. Nice bridges- the rest is pretty meh.

    He's really weird too.

    He's sorta got some folks pinned into a corner since nobody else builds a bridge that can hold more than 250lbs or much past an XL shirt size worth of shoulders... so in theory if that's you then the great bridge debate more or less stops there. If you want recessed bar bridges... pretty well the same problem on that topic. Course if a recessed bar terrifies you... then that also pretty well ends the discussion. Structural adjustable ridgeline and a chair mode help a little too. Lightest bridges in the world, largest weight capacity, carbon fiber pole options, and some other stuff most don't care about too. To top it all off he's got some crappy book at least one person who's name starts with Steve and ends with O read. But it's a book about lying so I wouldn't trust anything that dude says. I read that book too and mainly it's about how you should never get involved with a coyote.

    For sure- nothing redeeming about the bugnet situation on this one. You can wear a headnet, buy permethrin, drink citronella oil, or pick up the basic bugnet… it's an okay net I suppose. It works on the ground as a net tent and the zippers are guaranteed never to fail. But it's not integrated and for many folks in the south east and that special country of Florida that is a bigger deal than some dude from Chicago likes to think it is. So again- maybe a dealbreaker right there. There's a pocket or two depending on the model- but no fancy ding-dongs or whoopty whoop bags are likely to appear in the near future.

    If'n you can get past all that. Supposedly he makes the 'best bridges'. As in the actual bridge bedspace itself if you strip away all the rest of the noise and look at the butt nekkid hammock itself... but after that though yer pretty well on your own with the rest of the system. That's either good or bad. You might struggle a bit with an Underquilt but you don't have to go buy a special one to get started, but if you do fall in love there ain't no special UQ to invest in. Regular tarps work if you own one already. So the ol switcheroo might not be too bad on the total package after you get over the wallet slap to the face of the bridge itself... and of course here n there you'll find that what seems like an affordable base model can add up right quick when you start tricking it out. You don't need a 'double layer' for your pad only to find out you really wanted a single layer (or visa-versa)-you just put the pad in the bridge and adjust the ridgeline.

    As usual- there ain't no best. The good news with bridges (at least for now) is there really are not many viable options so while there are a few dandelions in the lawn you're unlikely to get too lost in the weeds trying to sort a twixt em.

    If you like your gathered end hammock- a bridge will not do anything amazing. It's still just a hammock. Erectile dysfunction, baldness, and halitosis will not improve with regular bridge use and your money is better spent directly addressing those issues. Increased alcohol use and drifting thoughts are common side effects of continued bridge use. Please consult your physician and remember- If you ain't got a problem to fix then new gear cannot solve it.

    If you weigh more than 250lbs- yer screwed and you gotta deal with that Bill guy they mentioned.
    If you've had good luck with Brandon- no reason not to try again with the Ridgerunner.
    If you like Jacks- give the Bear Mountain a try... it is the original after all.
    If you like Dutch, you'll probably still like Dutch after you try a Banyon. If you like the Chameleon and you're 'bridge curious' then why not swing both ways and get a bridge too.
    If you don't like Dutch- he doesn't come included with every Banyon so who gives a crap if you like him or not if the hammock works.

    IF you need something else... I wouldn't call ghostbusters or Bill- both lines are no longer in service. But I hear he's got an email.

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