Hennesseys are nice, and the WBBB is nice. PapaSmurf's Dangerbird has me drooling...
Ok, so apparently the hex fly is free to substitute for the normal fly, but I was unable to do this successfully. Does anyone know how? Also, does the normal fly hold up under storm conditions? I'm going to be using this on the AT, and storms are intense.
The standard fly will hold during storms fine. The real difference is when it comes to waiting out a storm. Especially on the AT; it gets boring just laying there in your hammock, not to mention stinky for a Thru. A larger fly will give you some room to get out of your hammock and move around a little, do some cooking, repair some gear, etc.
Yes, there can be some nasty storms along the AT. However, finding cover from those storms isn't too tough.
General opinion seems to be that the stock tarp is sufficient, when carefully pitched, for all conditions. The larger tarp is insurance for times when you might want a looser pitch for more air flow, or might want some dry space outside of the tent. It depends on your needs/wants/priorities, but if you're backpacking and keeping it light as possible, you may be happier with the stock tarp.
I have a monster tarp that I took on one weekend bike trip. It certainly kept the rain out and gave me lots of room to keep dry, but on my next trip, I went back to the stock tarp. The monster tarp will probably come out again, but only for colder weather or trips where I'm going to stay in camp a while. When my usual pattern is to set up at bed time, then strike and move on the morning, the larger tarp more hassle and more weight to no purpose.
I think you have a couple other factors to consider. First, if you replace the stock suspension on the ENO you can have substantial weight savings. I don't know the specifics off the top of my head but I know my dn is much lighter after replacing the stock rope and biners and slapstraps with whoopie slings and tree huggers from AHE. This also takes care of the stretch issue. Also you can get substantially lighter tarps than the eno tarps with much better coverage. For instance the toxaway tarp from AHE is only 14 oz compared to 22 oz for the ENO tarp. If also gives way better coverage. Another thing to consider is that an integrated bug net really limits your view from the hammock and can make getting in and out more difficult. Especially when you are camping in temps where you don't even need a net. Lastly, you really do need to look at a couple other brands. Warbonnet is a must. And I hear that wilderness logics has some very nice hammocks as well. Just my .02. Hope all this helps ( and if not, don't tell me because I can't bear to think that I just typed all that out on an iPhone keyboard for nothing). Happy hanging!
I started out with the ENO system and after I found this place I sold everything except the hammock (the DN is a great lounger) so I know what its like to be presented with so many options. That's part of the fun IMO. Have fun! I know you don't want to be overwhelmed but in addition to HH there are a lot of other great hammocks and tarps out there...Warbonnet, Wilderness Logics, Tree to Trail Gear. Keep looking around.
Don't let life get in the way of living.
My first hammock was the HH UL Backpacker Asym. I used everything stock, and it was a great set up. The fly looks small, but kept the hammock dry in some pretty nasty weather. the whole kit 'n kaboodle came in at about 2 pounds. I even like the bottom entry.
Some days, I don't know why I sold it, but I'm very happy with my WBBB!
You really should try a Hennessy bottom entry before buying. I'll take it over a side entry any time. OTOH from the number of folks pushing the zipper model there folks with other preferences. YMMV. ;-)
I started with a Hennessy over 10 years ago, when the stock flies were proportionally smaller and stayed dry in some pretty wild storms. Careful pitching and tarp adjustment were key.
I have a Hex and only use it when car camping, as I value weight and bulk savings over more room under the tarp. The tarp shaped to match the hammock helps with air flow, which is extra important in the summer. The bottom-entry is great for summer for quick escape from bugs or rain and fast exits for bio breaks. If you do more winter camping, you MAY want the side-zip which can make dealing with bottom insulation easier.
I haven't tried the other brands.
How long do people wait out storms? Hiking in simple rain isn't a big deal unless I'm negotiating slippery rocks. Throw in heavy winds, hail, or lightning, we have a different story, but they usually pass within an hour or two.
Hennessy Hammock afficionado and supporter.