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Thread: Need Advice

  1. #1
    New Member trail_junkie's Avatar
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    Need Advice

    I've been researching hammock's and I'm quite impressed and ready to give it a go. Here's my problem though which one do I need? Even after researching and reading reviews here I'm still not sure. Having purchased an item in the past that didn't quite live up to standards, and having to purchase another model better suited to the particular task, I'd rather avoid that mistake here.

    I'm posting in this forum because I'm drawn to the HH line, but don't know enough about hammocks to make a decision on which one. That being said if there's another brand I should consider I'm open.

    What I'll be using it for is primarily bike packing in Colorado and Utah. I'd also like to be able to use it in the winter, mostly in Colorado, for snowshoeing. Weight is one consideration, but how much do I give up to save a few ounces, or do I give up anything at all? Since I'd like to only purchase one which one would be best year round? Camping in Utah will more than likely require some ingenuity in setting up and more than likely be on the ground. I don't know if that makes a difference model to model or not.

    So to summarize;
    Lowest weight
    Best year round
    Can be set up on the ground if necessary
    I'm 5'9" and 160 lbs.

    Having no experience with hammocks; is there anything else I should be considering for the kind of use described above?

    Thanks in advance for your help..............TJ
    Last edited by trail_junkie; 04-13-2009 at 14:49.

  2. #2
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I'm about your height and the Ultralight Backpacker has worked well for me. It can get kinda old getting in and out of the entry slit plus you can't access your gear once inside the hammock. Whichever model you choose, 2Q's zipper mod is highly recommended.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  3. #3
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    hammocks IMO are best "a la Carte"
    meaning that you piece together a system to suit your needs. while the HH line has some ready to go out of the box style hammock systems, i dont like them for 3 reasons:
    you cannot open the mesh netting without a modification that requires sewing a zipper
    you have to go in from the bottom, which makes using a pad a lot harder (not impossible, just harder than a top-loader)
    the tarps are rediculously small and you would do better by replacing it. Winter camping in Colorado, the stock HH tarp is near worthless. Unless you expect light rain that is falling nearly vertically, you wont get much protection from wind driven rain, snow, or wind itself. Want to be a 4 season hanger?

    a bug netting hammock is good year round so far as bugs are concerned, but you will need some insulation below you!
    "best year round" insulation doesnt exist. you'd use a light pad or underquilt in the summer and a heavy/thick pad or underquilt in the winter.
    at 160lbs I would highly consider the Warbonnet Blackbird in 1.1 double bottom as it is light, but has a pad sleeve that will let you use a pad in the summer, like ccf in 1/4" that weighs something in the neighborhood of 4-7 ounces.
    for a tarp you can buy a Jacks R Better 11x10 tarp that is on sale for $99
    or, for lighter/warmer weather check out the MacCat Standard.

    there are many styles and prices for underquilts. several people are making them for sale, including myself.
    Last edited by te-wa; 04-13-2009 at 16:09.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by trail_junkie View Post
    So to summarize;
    Lowest weight
    Best year round
    Can be set up on the ground if necessary
    I'm 5'9" and 160 lbs.

    Having no experience with hammocks; is there anything else I should be considering for the kind of use described above?
    One of the nice things about the HH line of hammocks is they have so many models to get the lowest weight hammock needed to support you. The stock tarp is also the lightest one around. It often meets with derision from large tarp aficionados, but if you read the threads they work remarkably well for keeping you dry. I think it would be tough to beat the HH line for meeting your weight objective.

    Year-round: you can add the supershelter when you are ready for cold weather. its the lowest-cost lightest weight solution.

    With your height and weight you could go for the Hyperlight.

    --Kurt

  5. #5
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    The HH tarps will do a good job of keeping you dry...as long as you are in the hammock. If you need to escape the rain sitting under the tarp, cooking or performing other tasks then the HH tarp will not provide much protection.
    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the HH line is an excellent option with a couple of caveats which would apply to most of the hammocks out there.

    1 The suspension of the HH is cumbersome at best IMO. I think the Blackbird is the only hammock that ships with a state of the art suspension as an option. The HH really needs to have the suspension replaced with a ring/cinch buckle system. Very easy to do and very much worth the effort.

    2 The stock fly on the HH is a sneeze past adequate. I much prefer the hex tarp available as an option on all models except the Sahara. I would not recommend the Sahara for you as it is intended for larger users and requires significantly more tweaking to adapt for winter.

    The HH is not an intuitive choice for ground set up although it can be done. When you refer to bike camping are you talking motorcycle or bicycle? If the latter, the hex tarp option would allow you to store the bike under tarp cover without a separate tarp. I think if could be well worth the adaptation.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    trail_junkie-
    I just drove past Longmont with all my hammocks today. Wish I would have known about this post. If you find yourself down Denver way, hit me up and you can try any kind you want; including a couple of the Hennessy models. Best way to make a decision is to try them on for size.
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  8. #8
    New Member
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    I would also recommend the blackbird 1.1 double layer given your size and weight. I just bought one and love it. I believe someone else had recommended the MacCat Standard for this, which I think you would be slightly better off upgrading to the MacCat Deluxe given the minimal price and weight difference. The standard would probably work, but it is nice to know you have that little extra on each for a little more protection.

    The other nice feature of the BB is that it is a top entry and has the built in shelf and footbox features. Before you buy a HH, you should try it out as far as the bottom entry is concerned. If you really want to test it, try climbing up in to your sleeping bag and back out. Now imagine doing that in the middle of the night to answer nature's call.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    I have the same problem with a sleeping bag regardless of whether its a top loader or not. I always use my bag open as a quilt no matter what.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Doctari's Avatar
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    I have sampled about 8 - 10 different models of hammocks. Some are ones I wish I had, Some are "OK", some I wonder at the owner being able to sleep in them. Seems to be a personal thing comfort wise. So if you get a chance to try out a number of hammocks before buying take it! Trail days is a good place to at least lay in many models for a few minutes. Or drop in on Canabal in Denver.

    My at work roommate / hiking partner has a different brand (so: model) than mine, I find his very uncomfortable. He likes it A LOT better than mine. To him, mine is "OK". The brand / model of hammock that convinced me to switch because it was SO comfrotable, I can't spend more than 2 minutes in one now!!
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
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