I got a Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter a few months back after looking into lighter options than tent camping. Long story short, I love that thing. The comfort difference is just ridiculous.
I went back to ground camping to try and get myself used to it since I'll be on the ground for at least three weeks of an upcoming two-month trek, and aside from how good I feel while lying down, the biggest difference I notice is how it is waking up in the morning. In the hammock, first light comes up and I'm awake, on my feet and ready to roll. On the ground, it's 8 AM and I'm still having to kick myself to keep from throwing a t-shirt on top of my eyes to let myself sleep another hour. The difference, of course, is how well I slept during the night.
Aside from the unfortunate fact that I'm in an area where trees can be hard to come by, I'm totally sold on hammocks. And hey, since I'm using a foam pad for insulation, that's not a huge deal since I can go to ground any time, and just use the hammock for its bug net. Back home, except for when I venture into deserts and such, I see no need to ever sleep on the ground again.
Anyway, given that I chose this hammock based on it being the cheapest option that had an integrated bug net, but that it doesn't seem to be a very popular one and that everyone raves about more expensive models, I'm kind of wondering what exactly you gain by getting something more pricey. I don't have the money to get another hammock now, nor do I really want to since I'm happy with this one, but I am just wondering about the topic.
As I see it, the hammock I chose (Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter) has the following things going for it, as opposed to the things all hammocks have in common - comfort, less impact on the environment, ease of finding a site assuming you're in a wooded area.
-Lightweight - including bugnet and suspension (which involves ropes and steel s-hooks, and which I'll probably trade in for something lighter at some point) the whole rig weighs 20 ounces. Add a one-pound tarp plus some stakes and I'm set for way less weight than almost any tent.
-I weight about 140, and the weight limit is 250 so it can easily support the weight of me, my pack, and probably a little kid or dog, should the need ever arise (I hope not. That doesn't sound comfortable at all)
-If I don't want to use the bug net, I can flip the hammock over and just use it as a net-free setup. It appears some of the more expensive models actually don't have this option!
And here are some potential things I could gain by upgrading:
-Some models have a double bottom which would allow me to slide my sleeping mat in, rather than lying right on it and having it shift around under me.
-They could probably be wider, which might allow me to, if needed, put my pack into the hammock with me. As it is I don't really have the space to do that comfortably. Given that I like the psychological security of having my stuff in with me, not to mention the ease of getting something out, this is a potential plus - but I'm not sure if having a wider hammock would make it work more comfortably.
So what other potential pluses would there be to "upgrading?" Of course I use the term in quotes because it seems to me I have just about everything I need after having gone with the cheapest option on the market. Also, what do people think of my assessment of the pros of my current model plus a more upmarket one? Hope to get some interesting comments and discussion.