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  1. #1
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Single or Double Layer Hammock?

    So, here's the deal. I've decided to get off the ground. I've joined this forum and have been reading for a few weeks. Let me say that this has been a truly educational experience and a pleasurable one. Everyone here generously and graciously shares their knowledge.

    I am now faced with a basic dilemma. I see that some hammocks have two layers of nylon and some have one.

    I understand that the strength of a hammock should be matched to the weight of the occupant. I'm sort of in the middle on that statistic, so I could go with two thin layers or one slightly heavier layer.

    I need help deciding which option is better for me.

    My style is close to ultralight. I like things simple and minimal. I carry small, frameless backpacks that weigh less than a pound. Even in winter in New England, I carry very little clothing. My entire kit in summer is less than 10 lbs. and in winter is about 15 lbs., not counting food & water.

    I give you this background, so that you can see why I am leaning toward a single layer hammock. But, if double layer hammocks offer some unresistable something, I'm ready to reconsider.

    In my untried opinion, a double layer has the following disadvantages: Instead of having to stuff a pretty big wad of nylon into a stuff sack, I would have to stuff two pretty big semi-connected wads in. This resulting in a larger package, not to mention, a heavier one (remember, I'm a gram weenie).

    I have read that one can slide their CCF pad in between the two layers. Some have said that this is better then laying on the foam, but honestly, I'm not convinced a paper thin layer of nylon would make a lot of difference.

    On the same note, some have said that the two layers hold the pad in place. Perhaps, but what if it does shift? If the pad was inside the hammock with you, it could be adjusted, but to adjust it between the layers would mean exiting the hammock, right?

    I can only speculate my hammocking behavior at this point, but I foresee using a pad only in warm weather. I have a 1/8" thick, 84"x30" CCF hammock pad that I bought from Gossamer Gear years ago. (Guess I had a premonition I'd become a hanger). It weighs 7 oz. As soon as it gets too cold for that, I would switch to a down UQ. I've become pretty handy wth my sewing machine! I could make one under 1 lb. for 3 season and one about 1.5 lbs. for winter. So mostly, I think I would be using an UQ, except during the hottest part of the year.

    So now that I've shared my imagined hammock experience, please tell me the real scoop!

  2. #2
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    Sounds like it is going to be a single layer to me. I have gone to single layers and have no problems. I like the torso size quilts especially for warmer temps and I always have a small pad for the legs if needed.

    A double layer will lay "flatter" which is the real advantage IMO.

    You will end up with both anyways if you hang here too long!

  3. #3
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Well, it depends! That's really helpful, isn't it?

    But really, it depends on what you want to do and a few other things. Either approach might be right for you, or not.

    If you are going to use a full length pad, a dbl layer is a huge benefit. Believe me. The best of all ( for a full length pad) is the dbl layer JRB BMBH. But, other double layer hammocks like the War Bonnet BB or Claytors are much more pad friendly, IMO, than any single layer hammock. And, you can use a dbl layer 1.1, for ex, for close( or more?) to the same strength as a single layer 1.7, with little weight penalty.

    All of the above kind of goes out the window ( see what I mean about DEPENDS?) if you are going to use a Speer SPE to manage your pads. It is about as handy for managing a pad as is the double layer in most ( but not all) ways, and handier in some ways. And it only costs you 4 oz.

    It also goes out the window if you are going to use an UQ, as you won't need a pad then. Or, if you are going to use a torso length UQ with a leg pad. A leg pad works just fine either inside the layers of a dbl layer, or just inside the hammock. You won't need a dbl layer to do fine with just a leg pad.

    Some say the dbl layer, because they are stronger with less stretch, are more comfortable. If on my back with something under my knees, my single layer HHUL Explorer is about as comfortable as any other gathered end hammock. My dbl layers (Claytor,WBBB) are probably a bit better when on my side. But I don't know how much of that is due to the dbl layer or something else like being longer. My dbl layer JRB BMBH is definitely more comfortable for side sleeping than my single layer hammocks, but that has nothing to do with it's dbl layer, but rather it's bridge design.

    So there you go, no useful info at all! Just a bunch of pros and cons. But I think with your extreme UL approach, you are probably going to end up with a WBBB single 1.1, or even one of his travel hammocks. And you will still be way better than on the ground, whether you use a pad or UQ. However, just how big a boy are you? If you are pretty stout, you are going to need a stronger hammock!

    Welcome to the forum and the world of hammock hanging!
    Bill
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 05-18-2009 at 20:00.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Well, it depends! That's really helpful, isn't it?
    Thanks for the thoughts! Keep 'em coming! I know there is no right or wrong answer, but by reading all your replies, I can borrow your insights.

    I wanted to include my background information so you could see my perspective but, I didn't include my size. I am 6'-1" tall and weigh 185 lbs (um ... when not wearing my hiking gear). I am also a 100% side sleeper.

  5. #5
    2 layers of 1.1 is about what you need at 185, you could go with less, but you'll get more stretch and thus it will be less flat, this will be most noticeable when laying on your side. you'd save a very small amount of weight with single 1.9. 1.7 would work but is a very rare find, and single 1.1 would stretch too much for side sleeping @185

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    2 layers of 1.1 is about what you need at 185, you could go with less, but you'll get more stretch and thus it will be less flat, this will be most noticeable when laying on your side. you'd save a very small amount of weight with single 1.9. 1.7 would work but is a very rare find, and single 1.1 would stretch too much for side sleeping @185
    How about 1.1 single at 160#?

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