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  1. #1
    New Member ontariohanger's Avatar
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    Explain the Bridge theory to me

    hello all!

    i have recently been reading up on the bridge hammock posts and was wondering if someone could tell me alittle more about these products. I know that with WB and HH that they are gathered hammocks and all i have slept in but are like laying on clouds.

    I feel as though the bridge will put more pressure on my body since it is built more on the theory of an actual bed (flat lay, flat head and feet areas)

    and to anyone who owns both which do you prefer?
    Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing

  2. #2
    Bubba's Avatar
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    A bridge gives you a flatter lay, has no calf ridge pressure, and provides more foot room. There is the possibility of shoulder squeeze for some people. Tarp set up over a bridge requires a little care as the spreader bars means it takes up more sideways room. Tarp pull outs help. I have read that when getting in, the spreader bars can get pushed into the tarp causing damage. Also, unless you use trekking poles, the spreader bars add weight to your hammock set up.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sodakgrrl's Avatar
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    I recently built myself a bridge using ideas from Grizz, Hangnout, and Ber. I've only slept in it a couple of nights, but already like it better than my HH Hyperlite.

    There is no trick to finding the 'sweet spot' in a bridge. Flop in it, maybe squirm onto your side a little bit...the whole thing is a 'sweet spot!'

    There is no problem with hyperextended knees. With a flat platform, there is no chance of your legs going up the other side of the hammock curve. (If that makes sense??)

    It's warmer because the underquilt fits better.

    It seems to be easier to get out of than my HH...??

    Some posts have mentioned problems with spreader bars poking holes in tarps. I used my bridge at our Hang this last weekend, and was mindful of the tarp every time I got in the hammock, and had no problems.

    I'm already planning Version 2!
    "You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole." Capt. H. P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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  4. #4
    dakotaross's Avatar
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    I'm curious about this as well, especially since I have a RR on the way. I get that the hammock still conforms to your body - is it correct to say that the additional structure provided by the bridge evens out the other forces that cause calf ridges, etc.?

  5. #5
    Senior Member sodakgrrl's Avatar
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    Coincidentally, this thread has been resurrected...
    "You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole." Capt. H. P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

    'I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals. I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants." A. Whitney Brown

    "Everything takes longer once a cat gets involved." sm

  6. #6
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ontariohanger View Post
    hello all!

    I feel as though the bridge will put more pressure on my body since it is built more on the theory of an actual bed (flat lay, flat head and feet areas)

    and to anyone who owns both which do you prefer?
    It is flat in the sense that it allows your body and spine to be in alignment much like a bed. You are still being supported by a piece of fabric so it that sense it is no different than a gathered end hammock. If you view someone in a hammock from the side you can see that your body has curves (in and out) along its length.

    As Bubba mentioned, one of the main benefits to a bridge hammock is the support of the hammock is along the edges which eliminates calf pressure from the center ridge of a gathered end style hammock. Most bridge hammocks require the use of a pillow since you are laying as flat as you do in a regular bed. Other items to consider is that making underquilts for a bridge hammock is easier as they are plain rectangles and don't need any complicated 3D geometry to fit properly like a gathered end style hammock.

    I used to use gathered end hammocks and found the calf pressure on the center ridge to be a problem that I couldn't overcome. Switching to a bridge style hammock was the solution to that problem. Granted there are challenges to bridge hammocks with their spreader bars. Those can be accommodated with out much effort. So I feel, for me, the benefits outweigh the down sides.

    If you look at the new setup videos for the Warbonnet Ridgerunner, Brandon shows a technique for entering and exiting a bridge hammock that minimizes the chance of the spreader bars hitting your tarp.

    Cheers

    Brian
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sodakgrrl View Post

    There is no trick to finding the 'sweet spot' in a bridge. Flop in it, maybe squirm onto your side a little bit...the whole thing is a 'sweet spot!'
    This is a great description of one of the biggest advantages of a bridge. At 5'11' and 185 I find my JRB bridge confining compared to a gathered end hammock. In a bridge I tend to sleep side fetal and the JRB is very comfortable just restrictive. Think of being zipped up in a mummy bag. Doable, if I have to, but not a lot of room to move around, it grates on me over time. With the wider head bar in the ridge runner I am hoping there is more room for my legs to move around when I am side fetal. I have one coming so should know in a few weeks. Laying flat on my stomach or back in a JRB bridge is super comfy and doesn't feel restrictive. Pick a hammock that suits your predominate sleeping style. Horses for courses.

    As for your question on pressure on your body I think that has to do with the give of the material used in a hammock. The rip stop conforms nicely to your body when not highly tensioned in both bridge and gathered end hammocks. It is possible in gathered end hammocks to set them up too tight and create ridges and lines of high pressure. The webbing in a bridge is very tight but the bed is low pressure and conforms to your body everywhere.

    Andy
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Banana vs. Soda Can

    I find it helps me to visualize the basics shapes.

    The shape of a gathered end hammock can be visualized as a banana. As you lie in it, your back and legs will be rounded. The "calf pressure" issue arises from the fact that our knees don't bend in that direction. But proper set-up along with placing something under your knees and/or lying at a slight angle with respect to the suspension axis helps alleviate that problem.

    The shape of a bridge hammock can be visualized as a soda can on its side. As you lie in it, your shoulders will roll forward slightly. The "shoulder squeeze" issue arises from the fact that our shoulders only roll forward so much. But a pad in the hammock sleeve and/or lying on your side slightly helps alleviate that problem.

    The new WB RR uses a wider spreader bar at one end to increase the diameter at the shoulders which i think will make it more comfortable for a wider range of people than the JRB BMBH.
    Last edited by tjm; 08-22-2012 at 12:07.
    Love my JRB BMB

  9. #9
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    You'll soon know with a bridge.

    From the last 18 months of reading comments, I have the impression that those who use gathered end hammocks have lots of opportunities and ways to try to make it better, including opps taken when they have already found it very good.

    With bridge hammocks: Folks know immediately if it is for them.....or they change their mind after not too many nights. The hammock is designed to a suspension model, and except for DIY constructors who can vary the dimensions and fabric, the fiddle factor is smaller, as is the possibility of discovery the ridge-line, angle, sweet spot, etc, that will improve on the experience.


    My body trained and comfortable with hundreds of nights in a relatively stiff bed of 2.x oz Clark hammocks, I know that absence of local stretch is what I now prefer in any hammock.....I think.

    One of the fine things about the HF Marketplace forums is that buyers have settled on an attitude about previously owned but as-new gear, which makes trying truly new gear an economically un-costly thing to do. I'll try a bridge.

  10. #10
    Senior Member stevebo's Avatar
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    In my opinion, a well built bridge hammock, custom designed to fit your body (shoulder width) is really really comfortable compared to a gathered end hammock---especially if you are tall with wide shoulders (like me!)
    FYI: If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then,
    run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it's a black
    bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it's a grizzly bear : )


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