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  1. #1
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    Critique my purchase plan?

    Hello all, long time tenter here, never hammocked before. I've long been interested though, mainly for more options when camping out on backpacking trips and not being quite as limited to common overnight sites. I'm 5'11 and 160 to 170 pounds.

    I guess I've sort of settled on getting a Dutchware hammock; either a Chameleon or a Half-Zipped.

    My main considerations are weight and comfort and ease of setup (in that order, probably).

    I currently have a 28 oz trekking pole tent. I know I probably won't get below that, but I also don't want to go much higher than that.

    I have a few thoughts that I'd like to share and maybe and hopefully get some thoughts on.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Heavier, initial thoughts:

    1) Chameleon 1.6 with Sym bugnet and Beetle Buckle suspension comes out to 26.6 oz, and along with a 14.1 oz Hex Tarp this total setup is 40.4 ounces, which is around 13 oz heavier than my current tent. I have read and seen YouTube video reviews indicating 1.6 is quite a bit more durable and also more comfortable (subjective, I know) and that the Beetle Buckle system is easy and recommended for new users. $207 for hammock and $160 for 11' Hex Tarp equaling $367.

    2) Complete Chameleon package in 1.6 comes to 43.1 ounces. I'm not sure why that's 2 ounces heavier than the above Chameleon as I tried to use the same accessories and whatnot. This one is $335, or a $30 savings.


    3) The Half-Zip with Hex Tarp separately, comes at 39.1 ounces, or 1.3 ounces lighter than the Chameleon with the same accessories. This comes to $154, and then with the tarp the total cost would be $314. This is only $20 less than the Complete package Chameleon, and it would be nice to have a fully detachable bug net with the option of later on getting a top cover.

    4) The Complete package Half-Zip comes to 38.2 ounces (again, not sure why the 1 oz discrepancy) and is $280.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    So those are the 4 main choices that I have come to. My biggest worry is getting one of those and then a few months later wanting to change my setup; getting lighter components. I'm not set on 1.6 fabric but I am pretty set on a full bug net. I am also not set on a suspension system.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'd really like to explore ways to lighten this load.

    1) Using 1.0 fabric. This seems to save 4 or 5 ounces. I've read the 1.6 is a bit more comfortable/rigid and more durable. I dont' want to think of this hammock as "disposable" either. Will 1.0 last me a quite a while. I'd go with 1.0 if so.

    2) Using whoopie hooks with 5 ft huggers would save 2 ounces or so. I'm not sure what's meant by tree huggers but would that be the strap that wraps around the tree and connects the whoopie hook to the actual hammock? sorry, I'm a newbie.

    If I make those 2 changes then the Chamelon (with tarp) becomes 34.3 ounces, the Complete package Chameleon becomes 38.9 ounces (that's a pretty large difference, and again, I'm not sur why), the Half-Zip becomes 33.2 ounces and the Complete Half-Zip becomes 33.3 ounces. So we are talking 5 or 6 ounce differences making these 2 changes.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Obviously choosing a Dyneema Composite 11' tarp would save a lot of weight...7 ounces versus the 14 oz regular hex tarp. If doing that I could get the Chameleon and tarp down to around 27.5 ounces and the Half-Zip and tarp down to around 26 ounces.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'd appreciate any thoughts of these 6 setups I came up with (1.6 chameleon with tarp, 1.6 half-zip with tarp, 1.6 complete chameleon, 1.6 complete half-zip, and then 1.0 chameleon with dyneema tarp and 1.0 half-zip with dyneema tarp). I want to go ultralight but not stupid light.

    Also, any other ways to get lighter? Am I missing anything? Thank you so much if you took the time to read all this text. I know I rambled quite a bit.
    Last edited by red05; 07-30-2020 at 18:22. Reason: More info

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rolloff's Avatar
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    These are all very good hammock kits for the weights and price points. I don't intend to pick any of them apart. Lighter is out there.

    My opinion on the the lighter fabrics runs toward application. If you are looking to go light and your weight limitations allow you to use fabrics below 1.6, you do that. If instead you want the best lay you can get 1.6 might or might not be stiff enough. Different materials stretch at different weights as well. You might have to try out several combinations to find the Goldilocks zone. Lightest is an easier target. You still aren't in a tent.

    Durability. I sleep most nights in a DH Freebird 1.1. Last one went about 1250 nights before I could take a flashlight and see the stitching on the continuous loop channels stretching enough to see light around the individual stitches. It did not fail. But I wouldn't take it out in the woods and depend on it at that point. That being said, if you are only using it for hiking and camping, I can't imagine putting as much use on it as I do sleeping on the 1.0 fabric every night. It should last until you cut it up for stuff sacks at that rate.

    Bugnets. I don't do integrated net systems, strictly due to weight. Don't need it unless I'm at the lake in the summer, and I just never need one from Fall to early Spring. Sure the full bugnet I have is a tad bit heavier than most integrated net sys, but I've never needed it hiking so it just doesn't get in the pack. I wouldn't carry a heavier coat or 0 degree insulation kit, if I wouldn't need it. Why would I do that for bug protection.

    Dyneema Tarps. Pay the price points here and don't go Asym if you expect the same amount of coverage as the Hex. You can cheat a bit with an UQ protector, but price points and weight penalties when combined are almost exactly the same as just buying the Hex in the first place.

    Probably won't help you decide between your posted choices. Just perhaps different ways to look at the same equation.
    Signature suspended

  3. #3
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Jersey Shore, NJ
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    I have a Chameleon and am very happy with it. Personally, I experimented with lighter 1.0 and 1.1 fabrics for hammocks and am totally done with that. I'm not into disposable hammocks. It's just not worth it to me to try to save weight on hammock fabric - the weight difference between 1.0 and and 1.6 is just not enough to accept the trade-off between durability and weight.

    I personally prefer a simple, gathered-end hammock with Fronkey bugnet. I really only need a bugnet about three months out of the year here in the Northeast. Hard to beat the weight savings, especially when you don't have a zipper to factor in. However, my beagle Joey can't live with a Fronkey bugnet. He sees the ground and just wants to escape. Beagle Joey can't figure out zippered bugnets so that's the only reason I've been using the Chameleon the last couple of years.

    I do have an HG DCF Winter Palace - best purchase I ever made.

    As for suspension, I'm more comfortable with whoopie hooks and whoopie slings, but I have been using the beetle buckle suspension for a couple of years with no complaints.
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 07-30-2020 at 20:39.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4
    Member commanderkeen's Avatar
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    Oct 2018
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    Critique my purchase plan?

    Iím a big fan of having zippers in both sides, which helps with adjusting an underquilt, and just makes hammock life easier all the way around. This makes me lean toward the Chameleon over the Half-Zipped even at a slight weight/cost penalty. And it buys you into a system of potential upgrades as you pointed out.

    Hexon 1.6 is a good bet for fabric for your first hammock. Itís a good middle ground between the heavier fabrics, and the avant garde ultralight fabrics. Itís really nice, and is unlikely to disappoint. Tarp choice might be a better way to save weight, with no concern of encroaching on ďstupid lightĒ territory. But opting for 1.0 (through Dutch, some other vendors treat 1.0 as upgrades) is the cheapest way to shed 5oz. I can't tell you if you'll enjoy 1.0, or anything else, for that matter.

    Tarp choice. If you go DCF it'll be the single biggest gain in ounce shedding that you're likely to achieve. And with very little penalty in any metric, except cost. Pack size and puncture resistance are the weaker points, but many people are happily using DCF long term with no regrets. I'd more likely try to shed weight with a DCF tarp before 1.0 hammock if I weren't price sensitive. Only you know the answer to that.

    [Full disclosure: I'm lighter than you by a little, and I'm wanting to explore 1.0 in my next hammock for weight savings and for improved fetal side sleeping (not sure if it will help until I try). Comfort is subjective, but vaguely inversely proportional to weight at any given fabric weight. That explains why I'm suggesting DCF over 1.0 as your first stop to shedding ounces, while I myself am going the other way. Also because of price.]

    Did you tie knots with your trekking pole tent? Either way, you can save 3oz plus or minus if you're open to other suspension options. Beetle Buckles and Poly/Spider straps that come as stock suspension are nice, but you can save by using lighter weight straps and the Beckett Hitch. Cost to upgrade to such straps is ~$20-30, depending on which you choose to buy, and from where.

    I'm not a Whoopie sling fan, but they can save you some weight, especially when paired with light huggers. But you might like that better than Beckett Hitch. Everyone is different.

    For ultralight and ultra clever suspension learning, turn to Jeff Myers. https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCAZ1U...ZrMfhEg/videos His Dutch bashing is cringey and unnecessary, but his ideas are fantastic. Especially great are the videos on ďEVO loopsĒ and their many applications, including in Beckett-based suspensions.
    Last edited by commanderkeen; 07-30-2020 at 22:46.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolloff View Post
    ...
    Probably won't help you decide between your posted choices. Just perhaps different ways to look at the same equation.
    Perhaps but your insights are very valuable to me and I greatly appreciate the time you took to write all that out. That info was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    I have a Chameleon and am very happy with it. Personally, I experimented with lighter 1.0 and 1.1 fabrics for hammocks and am totally done with that. I'm not into disposable hammocks. It's just not worth it to me to try to save weight on hammock fabric - the weight difference between 1.0 and and 1.6 is just not enough to accept the trade-off between durability and weight.

    I personally prefer a simple, gathered-end hammock with Fronkey bugnet. I really only need a bugnet about three months out of the year here in the Northeast. Hard to beat the weight savings, especially when you don't have a zipper to factor in. However, my beagle Joey can't live with a Fronkey bugnet. He sees the ground and just wants to escape. Beagle Joey can't figure out zippered bugnets so that's the only reason I've been using the Chameleon the last couple of years.

    I do have an HG DCF Winter Palace - best purchase I ever made.

    As for suspension, I'm more comfortable with whoopie hooks and whoopie slings, but I have been using the beetle buckle suspension for a couple of years with no complaints.
    Super helpful, thank you. The more I see comments like yours the more I'm inclined to go with 1.6. I also hadn't really considered going with a Fronkey bugnet and netless hammock but that is something I should really look into as well. Thank you so much.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by commanderkeen View Post
    I’m a big fan of having zippers in both sides, which helps with adjusting an underquilt, and just makes hammock life easier all the way around. This makes me lean toward the Chameleon over the Half-Zipped even at a slight weight/cost penalty. And it buys you into a system of potential upgrades as you pointed out.

    Hexon 1.6 is a good bet for fabric for your first hammock. It’s a good middle ground between the heavier fabrics, and the avant garde ultralight fabrics. It’s really nice, and is unlikely to disappoint. Tarp choice might be a better way to save weight, with no concern of encroaching on “stupid light” territory. But opting for 1.0 (through Dutch, some other vendors treat 1.0 as upgrades) is the cheapest way to shed 5oz. I can't tell you if you'll enjoy 1.0, or anything else, for that matter.

    Tarp choice. If you go DCF it'll be the single biggest gain in ounce shedding that you're likely to achieve. And with very little penalty in any metric, except cost. Pack size and puncture resistance are the weaker points, but many people are happily using DCF long term with no regrets. I'd more likely try to shed weight with a DCF tarp before 1.0 hammock if I weren't price sensitive. Only you know the answer to that.

    [Full disclosure: I'm lighter than you by a little, and I'm wanting to explore 1.0 in my next hammock for weight savings and for improved fetal side sleeping (not sure if it will help until I try). Comfort is subjective, but vaguely inversely proportional to weight at any given fabric weight. That explains why I'm suggesting DCF over 1.0 as your first stop to shedding ounces, while I myself am going the other way. Also because of price.]

    Did you tie knots with your trekking pole tent? Either way, you can save 3oz plus or minus if you're open to other suspension options. Beetle Buckles and Poly/Spider straps that come as stock suspension are nice, but you can save by using lighter weight straps and the Beckett Hitch. Cost to upgrade to such straps is ~$20-30, depending on which you choose to buy, and from where.

    I'm not a Whoopie sling fan, but they can save you some weight, especially when paired with light huggers. But you might like that better than Beckett Hitch. Everyone is different.

    For ultralight and ultra clever suspension learning, turn to Jeff Myers. https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCAZ1U...ZrMfhEg/videos His Dutch bashing is cringey and unnecessary, but his ideas are fantastic. Especially great are the videos on “EVO loops” and their many applications, including in Beckett-based suspensions.
    Thank you for the insights. And your comment on sleep style led me to think of something I hadn't considered yet. I like to sleep on my sides (and even stomach) and that isn't any different when sleeping in a tent. Were you suggesting that 1.0 might be better for side sleeping when you discussed exploring a 1.0 hammock?

  8. #8
    Treehopper's Avatar
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    Critique my purchase plan?

    You canít go wrong with any of the setups you outlined. I have a chameleon in 1.0 and have loved it. It definitely is more stretchy than the 1.6, but I purchased it solely for the weight savings. Iím 6.1, 175.

    3 years later, I am now interested in trying a heavier weight fabric. Iím by no means a thru hiker, so the few extra ounces didnít bother me. Plus with a chameleon, you will probably find yourself eventually buying add ons. (Ridge line organizer, peak shelf or side car, etc.) I saw you were looking at the symmetrical bug net. If you go the chameleon route, think about the asym option as a slight weight savings. The nice thing with the chameleon is that is can be reversed for a left or right lay.

    As for your specific setup, definitely check out the becket hitch with a 1.5 spider webbing straps. Hands down one of the lightest suspensions you can get. To help with taking it down, the becket loop from Autumn Ultralight or Universal loop from Jeff Meyers are great substitutes for a traditional continuous loop.

    As for tarps, if you donít want to drop the money on a DCF option, check out Warbonnet outdoors. I have the Thunderfly which is a good comprise between coverage and weight savings. The thunderfly in 20D silpoly is 13.4 oz. The small doors donít look like much, but they have kept me dry through some very bad storms. You can even go smaller with a mini fly, but you need to get the pitch just right in downpours to avoid splash back.

    Speaking of tarps, a good single piece snakeskin is definitely an added luxury. Not really helping with your weight savings topic, but it was a game changer for me personally so I always recommend to first time hammockers.

    Long story short, buy what makes the most sense with your budget. If you can afford it, a 1.0 net less hammock, a fronkey bugnet, a becket hitch suspension and an ASYM DCF tarp is about the lightest you can get.

    That said, if you are like most of us, once you catch the hammock bug, you will end up with multiple hammocks, multiple tarps, multiple suspensions, and plenty of great memories in each.

    Make sure to share what you ended up going with!

    Doug






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Treehopper; 07-31-2020 at 08:31.

  9. #9
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Comfort and a good nights sleep will make you see thinks differently in time if you take to hammocks.
    A removable bug net is good.
    Get a smallish tarp and learn to pitch it in all conditions. I use an 11'x7" and have never gotten wet under it.
    1.1 fabric is pretty stretchy....consider your height and weight.
    Many suspension choices out there......https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...RN4_MaZ8UAyzWm
    Enjoy the hammock quest.
    Shug





    Lollygag Life Hammock Shirt... https://teespring.com/lollygaglifete...id=46&cid=2754
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    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Secure in Sector Seven

  10. #10
    Senior Member rweb82's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with any of the options you listed. But if you are willing to look beyond Dutch, I believe there are lighter- yet durable, options available at similar price points. As for suspension, I recommend considering a simple becket hitch. It is very easy to tie, and it saves a lot of weight over using Dutch bling. Here are a few examples.

    Hammock
    Dream Hammock 11' Darien 1.3 Mtn fabric- 14.7oz ($127)
    TrailHeadz Banshee UL 10.5' 1.3 Mtn fabric- 11oz ($170)
    Suspension
    Myerstech 15' UHMWPE Tree Straps 3g/ft- 3.3oz ($23)
    Dutchware 15' UHMWPE Tree Straps 2.4g/ft- 2.5oz ($29.54)
    Tarp
    UGQ Penny Pincher Hanger 11' Hex Tarp- 13.5oz ($79.95)
    TrailHeadz Hex Tarp- 12oz ($85)

    With these options, the lightest combination (hammock, suspension, tarp) comes in at 25.5oz. And the heaviest combination is 31.5oz.
    Last edited by rweb82; 07-31-2020 at 09:26.

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