Short Review of the WBBB XLC 1.7 DL
OK so I got a chance right before the rain started to set up my new WBBB XLC 1.7DL, I am super impressed. First impressions are it is strong, soft and made better than any car camping tent I have ever owned.
I am a brand new ground dweller attempting to convert to hanging, this is my first hammock and first review so take it easy on me. My only option to hang a hammock in my back yard is between two clothes poles that only stand about 5'5". So I can set up a hammock but due to clearance issues I am not able to get into the hammock (wish my trees would grow faster). As a result this is just a setup and take down review, I will try to a better review when I take my first camping trip (maybe next weekend).
A couple of boxes where on my doorstop today, one I knew was my New Road underquilt. The second was a mystery to me so I opened it up and was surprised and very excited to see my new WBBB XLC 1.7DL and Superfly after only about 3 weeks of waiting. I was surprised because I didn't get a shipping notice or if I did it went to my Hotmail address that I can't get into anymore (I gotta stop using that account). So I posted the above link in the HF, gathered my new hammock and headed into the backyard to at least string it up. Its no fun having a new toy you can't play with.
The WBBB XLC comes in a blackbishop bag (I think that's what they call it; it's just a stuff sack that opens from both ends) and is available with either a cinch buckle or whoopee string suspension. It is also available in different weights of fabric, 1.1oz/sq.in. fabric or 1.7oz/sq.in. You can also get this hammock in a single or double layer. This hammock has a couple of design features that separate it from the competition. The first is the foot box that is supposed to keep the fabric from wrapping around you tightly. The second is a built-in storage shelf, good for storing small equipment. The XL stands for x-tra large its 11 feet long one foot longer then the orginal blackbird and the C stands for convertible, it comes with a bug net or an over-cover that completely detach, so if you want to go topless you can . So as I mentioned above I went with the 1.7 double layer with the cinch straps as my suspension as weight isn't that big of deal to me yet.
So shortly after receiving the package I immediately posted it's arrival on the HF and went outside to brave the heat to setup my new shelter. Using the cinch straps to hang the hammock was easy I'm sure I had it up in around 2 minutes and I have never set one up before. However, It was quite simple and just like he shows in his video. I Just opened one side of the bag, wrapped the strap around the pole, and secured it with a carabineer. Then I cinched up the end of the bag around the suspension, loosened the other end and walked the hammock to the other pole where I again wrapped the other strap around the other pole and secured it with a carabineer. Quite pleased at this point I decided to stake it out and snap a couple of photos. Now I have to be quick about taking these photos because there has been thunder in the background for about 20 minutes or so and the sky is getting dark with heavy clouds. Just as I finished taking photos and a quick video it started raining. Time to take it down.
Now I'm under pressure to take down my new WBBB XLC 1.7 DL before mother nature completely soaks both me and the hammock. I must say it was just as easy taken it down as it was setting it up. I just unclipped the end that the bishop bag was hanging on and started stuffing it into the bishop bag till I got to the other pole where I just unclipped the hammock from the pole and cinched up the bag. It took about the same amount of time as the setup maybe less. I set up and took down my hammock for first time without letting the hammock touch the ground and I took it down before the impending storm soaked us to much. I was actually successful in getting my hammock down and it only got hit by a few drops of rain.
It has pleased me so far with the quality of workmanship and ease of setup and takedown. I also like the shelf storage option, it isn't to big but I think it will store my flashlight, knife, phone and other smalls quite nicely. I don't have much else to say about it at this point other then I am excited to get both my WBBB XLC and my Superfly tarp into the swamp so I can give them a proper test. That's about it for now, if someone would explain how to upload photos I will gladly post them, I just don't know how.
The following photos are of the WBBB XLC 1.7 DL:
These show the WBBB XLC from the footbox/shelf side
Closes Up of the shelf
From the top
The suspension straps and the blackbishop bag
Thanks to the Shug for showing me how to post photos. For any noobies reading that are about to purchase their first hammock I strongly suggest that you watch his Hammock Hangin' How-To ... Essentials For Noobs. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB8752777861C2AA8 This is a link to a ten or eleven part series, but the guy is a good entertainer and explains how to hammock camp and what you should and should not do very well. this can be found on the Hammock Forums under General Hammock Talk