I'm a complete novice at camping/backpacking and especially hammock camping but it's something I'm trying to get into. I've done a ton of hiking, but usually just day hiking, and am planning for a 2015 thru-hike of the AT. I'm planning several weekend up to week-long backpacking trips for the summer months and from the research I've been doing, I'm leaning toward hammock camping over tent camping.
I currently own an Eno doublenest hammock that I purchased mainly just for lounging, but due to it's weight and the cost/weights of the "accessories" (bug net, rain fly, etc.) to get it up to par for actual camping I'm leaning toward selling it and purchasing a Warbonnet Blackbird. The reviews I've seen for these hammocks are nothing but good and the price is within my range. I like the integrated bugnet and that the hammock is much, much lighter than my Eno.
So my question is, which Blackbird hammock should I get? Most of my hiking/camping this summer is going to be in the North Georgia and Western Carolina mountains, so it will be warm, but I'm making this investment with the intent of using this hammock for my thru-hike next year.
The first choice is between the standard blackbird and the XLC. I'm only 5'3 on a good day, so I'm not considering the XLC for the extra length, but I LOVE the fact that the bugnet is removable, and can be replaced with a fabric top for colder weather. However, I'm trying to decide if the extra weight (4-5oz) is worth it.
The second choice is double or single layer. I've not decided whether I would try to use an UQ or a pad for colder temps as insulation and I know the double layer is better for use with a pad, but it's again added weight which would be pointless if I end up going with an UQ for insulation in the end.
The third choice is the 1.7 or 1.1 model. I don't think I really understand what the difference is between these two, other than one can hold more weight than the other. If I go with the single layer, I'm leaning toward the 1.7, but if I go with the double layer, there's 7-9oz difference in the weight between the two and the 1.1 would be plenty for me.
Finally, whoopies or webbing? The weight difference is 3oz. I've been using straps with my ENO and like the idea of the webbing/buckles for simplicity. I've never used whoopies and don't know much about them. Thoughts?
Sorry for so many questions. This is a big budget purchase for me so I want to be sure I make the right decision! I'm also considering the Hennessy Expedition Asym Classic, but it seems to be much heavier than the Blackbird. Is this correct? I can't figure out if the weight of the included rain fly is part of the "hammock weight" or if i t needs to be considered separately.