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  1. #11
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Gear Ratings

    Warbonnet Winter Black Mamba Long/Wide: A-
    The way I use my top quilt is that I pull it up over my head and make a dome over me. I know your *not* supposed to breath into a sleeping bag or quilt, and that's not what I'm doing...I'm really just making a calm air dome over my head to keep my face warm, and allow me to read a book and still keep my hands warm. The length of the Long/Wide helps with this. The Width helps me since I'm a side sleeper. It had enough width so I can tuck it under me, even when I'm sleeping in a big S-curve. I was perfectly warm and comfortable down to 16 degrees. I would have given this quilt an A+, except for I felt the foot box is a little small. My toes were cold, even with the "down" slippers. I'm only a size 10, and while the slippers don't have great insulation in the toes, the quilt should have made up for that. A larger foot box would keep my toes from compressing the down and defeating the insulation. My JDempsy top quilt has a larger foot box, and doesn't have this problem. The Winter Black Mamba is otherwise one of the best pieces of gear I've ever bought! I expect with better clothing, it will take me down to 0F



    HammockGear.com Winter Incubator A
    With the foresight to put grosgrain loops on the sides, this under quilt is well made as well as well designed. I had mine made +4" wider (due to my being a side sleeper etc), and had 900FP with +2oz. I like my quilts a little on the firm side. I don't want to fuss with shifting down where I need it. I'll deal with the extra bulk and weight to know the down will be where I need it. I went all out on this quilt as I knew it's one I'd keep for ever. This is a great piece of kit and works perfectly along with the Winter Mamba. Adding the shock cord to help hold up the droop in the middle is necessary IMHO. The width is perfect for the Grizz Bridge, and the pleats and differential cut make it perfectly compatible with my Blackbird.



    And since I'll probably get asked, here is how I attached to the Grizz Bridge:
    I simply took the built in shock cord and stretched it around the bridges poles. It was a bit of a stretch, but it held perfectly, and I was still able to slide the Incubator up and down as needed. Again, I did add shock cord over the ridgeline to deal with sag from all the down. I'm not sure if any design change could alleviate that sag.

    Close up of shock cord stretched over/around bridge poles.





    Again, close up for shock cord anti-CBS setup:




    Grizz Bridge: B-

    Granted, my Grizz Bridge is well used, and an older version I'm sure. It's 1.9oz material held my 250lb fine. It's certainly flatter than my Blackbird. But a few things detract from me wanting to use it as a Winter Hammock. #1, as mentioned, I can't setup my tarp in a steep A Frame. The poles of the bridge would probably wear through the tarp. #2 I need some shock cord tie outs on the bridge like my Blackbird has. The Bridge just swings too much under hard wind. Granted, I'm sensitive to movement and acceleration. I know others are lulled to sleep by the swaying, while I am not. I can live with it, but I'm going to add shock cord tie outs. #3 The width is too narrow. I don't like the shoulder squeeze. Worse than that, once I get situated on my side (side sleeper) and I'm in my sleeping gear and wrapped up in a winter quilt...I'm really feeling squeezed. I need a wider bridge if I'm going to side sleep in it. On the plus side, and a huge plus to me, my knees were fine. I didn't feel the "calf pressure" that people have issues with in gathered end hammocks, and since I was nearly flat, I had no sideways knee bending! I'm a fan of bridge hammocks now (I never thought I'd be after trying the Blackbird, but I'm sold!), I just need to construct one to my needs; e.g. wider and with side tie outs to reduce sway. The 8' length on this bridge is perfect for me however. I wouldn't mind taller sides and/or bug-net/sock to help break the wind.



    DIY Tarp: C+

    I thought I'd make a tarp bigger than my Warbonnet Edge, but smaller than my Backwoods Daydreamer Winter (which is too big to fit on the deck!). This DIY tarp is made from my imagination with as much surface area as possible. It's OK, but could be better with better (straight) stitching, better planned cat-cuts, and probably more tie outs. I think a slightly smaller BWDD Winter tarp with pull outs would be better. Here are some photos of my work. It's not bad, but when you have it next to the quality of work in the Warbonnet and HammockGear.com stuff...it's clearly not (yet) in the same league.












    And lastly, here's me in my sleeping gear. I'm not quite awake yet, sorry for the gloomy face (plus I hate having my photo taken). I did change into jeans at this point. That Mad Bomber hat is awesome! I just wish it breathed better.

    Last edited by Lonely Raven; 11-26-2010 at 13:30.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
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    You can also try a pole-mod/pull-outs to keep the tarp off the spreader bars. Still good report, wish I had a convenient place to test hang in the cold. I want to get to cold weather hanging but... taking a decent drive to test it by fire without a decent fallback plan is less than desirable.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbctx View Post
    You can also try a pole-mod/pull-outs to keep the tarp off the spreader bars. Still good report, wish I had a convenient place to test hang in the cold. I want to get to cold weather hanging but... taking a decent drive to test it by fire without a decent fallback plan is less than desirable.
    Yeah, I planned on pull outs, but not for this tarp. I like the idea of adding the pole-mod to this tarp though. It's size and shape I think suits that mod.

    I added those posts to my deck, just for testing this fall/winter. Come spring, I have a feeling both my fiancee and I will be camped out on the deck quite a few nights! (I got her a Blackbird as an early X-mas present)

  4. #14
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    You should try sleepin in just your long johns. It heats up the bag better and will help with the cold feet. I had the same problem and in my last trip I went long johns and it made a big difference. Takes a leap of faith but its a keeper for me.
    "If you give a monkey a gun and he shoots someone, you dont blame the monkey"

    The end of the world is not coming in December, it is happening now in my living room. - TFC Rick

    http://watermonkey.net/

    Youtube Channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RaulPerez1?feature=mhee

  5. #15
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    Raul, that's basically what I did. I had Polypro PJs on, socks, and slippers.

  6. #16
    stormcrow's Avatar
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    Hmmm - VERY interesting review... We just may modify the pattern for use in the bridge hammock..... We'll be getting one soon, so we'll get firsthand R & D to help dial in your needs. Once we've established a conclusion, we'll be sure to let you know. Thanks for the great and concise breakdown of your setup.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormcrow View Post
    Hmmm - VERY interesting review... We just may modify the pattern for use in the bridge hammock..... We'll be getting one soon, so we'll get firsthand R & D to help dial in your needs. Once we've established a conclusion, we'll be sure to let you know. Thanks for the great and concise breakdown of your setup.
    Just FYI, I also had sag on my Blackbird and used the same shockcord trick to pull the middle up. I really think it's all the down sagging to the middle that pulls it away from the hammock. The stock suspension just doesn't have the lift in the middle. I do love how the quilt can be slid up and down the hammock to adjust coverage; don't ever change that!

    If the sag is the fault of my setup, please chime in! I'd rather be wrong then blame the gear.

  8. #18
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    life in a bridge

    hey LonelyRaven, sounds like you had quite an adventure. Fairly normal, actually, insofar as getting an emsemble of gear all "dialed-in" never goes right the first time.

    The challenge of tarps with bridge hammocks is like the poor, something you have with you always. Solutions exist but none of them are the buttoned-down A frame you're used to. The one I like is to point the foot end of the hammock into the direction from which the wind is expected to come, close off that end either by using grip-clips or adding a beak, and then have the hammock open wide up towards the front. With bridge hammocks that have narrower foot ends than head ends you can pull this off so that the spreader bars are free of the tarp in the front of the "cave". In cold temps having the bridge in a sock would help a great deal.

    Can't help with the rotation and sway of the bridge. That's the nature of the beast.

    thanks for posting your reviews and the pictures.
    Grizz
    (alias ProfessorHammock on youtube)

  9. #19
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    Thanks for the hookup on the Bridge, Professor Grizz. It's given me ideas and opened up my mind on the bridge side of things. I just need to figure out if I can make one to my needs. I think even if I lost a bunch of weight, I'd still want a wider bridge, simply because of the way I sleep. Heck, that's why I had the two quilts made the way I did, and now they suit me perfectly. I just need to dial in a hammock to suit me now!

  10. #20
    Senior Member jloden's Avatar
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    Nice report, and congrats on the personal record low temp!

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