I have a few Hennessys and the materials and craftsmanship are very high. Surprised that yours aren't. Have borrowed and used a Blackbird and the quality is equally high and the design is more innovative.
The HH Explorer with zipper is more directly comparable to the Warbonnet Blackbird. The Expedition is smaller and thus less comfortable (for many). I find the Explorer and Blackbird to be about the same in terms of comfort. For those who plan to use a pad, the double layer option on the BB is an advantage. I've never been bitten by a mosquito through a single layer hammock but mine are treated with permethrin.
The BB shelf is a nice feature and I find it to be more useful than the ridgeline storage bags on the HH, however, the rigdeline bags are better protected from weather but that's not much of an issue.
Don't think you can go wrong with a Blackbird. Just a matter of whether or not hammocks really are for you and if you want to spend the money.
If you decide to get a blackbird, get a 1.7 single layer or 1.1 double if you want double. I bought the cheaper 1.0 import and didn't like it, the fabric was too thin and stretched and left stretch marks.
Also, I have since bought the warbonnet traveler with separate bugnet and like it much more than the blackbirds I've had. It's very roomy both ways, and if the bug net rips, you just get a new net. I will only own a warbonnet traveler now.
Just my two cents
I had the Hennessy Expedition Asym. The best thing about it was the price. $97 plus shipping and I had everything I needed to get started. I got used to the bottom entry but never "liked" it so I had ZQ modify it with the zipper mod.
I didn't like having to tie and untie the Hennessy knot to get it centered so I replaced it with straps and descending rings. I didn't like the tiny tarp in a thunderstorm so I bought a MacCat Deluxe and I was pretty well set up. The HH was a very comfortable hammock. Then I decided to buy a hammock for my wife, just in case I convinced her to go with me. Everyone was raving about the WB Blackbird so I got one. I took it for a spin just to make sure it was going to be OK for her... never slept in the HH again.
All of the mods I had done to the HH came standard on the Blackbird.
I really like the shelf, the footbox, and the double layer. (I like a pad and with a single layer, it moved all over.) The HH was a comfortable sleeper, but I believe the BB is at least as comfortable if not more.
I bought another Blackbird just so we could both have one and she's camped in it twice with rave reviews.
I sold the HH cheap to a Boy Scout on this site to get him started.
Buy one. You will not be disappointed.
He is your friend, your companion, your defender... he is your dog. You are his life, his leader, and master. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of that devotion.
Dale Gribble: I'm thinking, "new hammock." For me, laying and swaying in a hammock is like a steady morphine drip without the risk of renal failure.
Randy : yea but just remember yer roots and where ya come from....you got Hennessy in yer blood son......
I used a Hennessy Expedition bottom entry for all of last summer (approx. 30 nights) and found it to be a very comfortable hammock. It was a little small for me, so I think the Explorer would have been a better fit.
The bottom entry became an issue when winter set in and managing the larger quilts along with the pad became a real hassle. I never was convinced that using a UQ with the bottom entry would not have been a hassle.
I ended up using an open DIY hammock for the winter. As spring approached, I decided I wanted a larger top-entry hammock with an integrated bug net. Since I already had an HH, I decided to get a BB to compare. I have used it for 4 nights so far.
My general impressions:
- I like the additional size of the BB compared to the Expedition. I assume the Explorer would provide the same basic advantage.
- I like the shelf on the BB.
- I put whoopie slings on the HH and after trying the straps on the BB (again wanted to see the difference) will probably do the same with it.
- The BB is much lighter than the HH. Even with the 1.7 DL, I feel like the HH fabric is more substantial.
- I like the double stitching on the HH. It seems a little more solid.
- There is leg pressure with the BB that has not been reported with the HH. I had the same pressure with my DIY, so I think it is a function of the gathering technique, but have not experimented yet.
- I prefer the top entry to the bottom entry. Much easier to align everything.
I would have no qualms about recommending either hammock. Those are my impression anyway. YMMV
We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. - Ben Franklin
(known as a win-win on this forum)