I arrived home today after work to the unnatural parting of clouds and a ray of sunshine throwing a shaft of light illuminating a white box left on my front porch. As I got closer, I could feel it's warm glow and I swear I could hear angels singing.
Could it be?!! "Yesssssss!" (pumps fist)
It was here! I took it out to my test area in the backyard and quickly looked over everything, having read the pre-downloaded and printed manual for three days now.
I went about setting it up. I have to admit, it took a while to get it all sorted out. I'm glad I'm not the kind to run out for a weekend on the trail thinking I'm going to have a breeze of a time with it and then have the skies open up with the fury of an angry God. Because that's exactly what would have happened. It's nice to have a controlled open area and a time set aside to just tinker with gear at first.I've helped set one up before and have seen the system, so that helped also.
First, the hardware:
It seems really well made with extra support where I thought it would need it. Upon flipping it around and getting it ready, I was glad a lot of thought was put into the stress points.
I was amazed at how big they are and could see how much gear you could possibly stuff in them. Much bigger than I expected. Plenty of velcro also, to keep them shut.
Impressive and certainly big enough. There are two additional tie outs on the foot end it looks like? Anyone verify this? Also, I would hope that the end of the hammock stays protected from rain? It seemed to come up short and I attribute this to my Clark hanging noobness.
I'm glad I went with the bigger NX. I'm 6 ft tall and 187 lbs. I would not want to go any smaller. I think at first, I had it too tight as I didn't zip the bug netting as it seemed to stress it a little too much. I loosened it to take the stress off and the netting was really tight around me. I'll play with this before trying again. I found four loop tabs along the sides of the hammock....any clue what they are for? There are also two loop tabs up at the ends of the netting. I'm thinking for the addition of an internal ridgeline to hold stuff?
Not too impressed for right now. I adjusted a few times and could not get a flat lay (I'm not expecting really flat like a Mayan style hammock, but flat enough for sleep comfort). The sides really squeezed my shoulders more than I think they should. This I will have to play with a few times. Once again, I'm glad I went bigger. After a while, I figured I would have to learn all of my "sweet spots" for a good pitch on this system because every little adjustment made a difference. I'll get it, but it will take a few hangs.
I first started to roll up my hammock and thought, "There's no way this is fitting in that bag", but it actually went in quite easily.
So, all in all, I've got some things to work on. I think my HH Expedition sets up a lot faster, but then again, I've had that for 5 years and I'm used to it. I really think I'll come to like this a whole lot after some practice and I hang it enough to want to fully try out zipping everything tight and eventually hang overnight in it.....
....sometime very soon!