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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Mar 2014
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    Athens, Georgia
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    Which Blackbird is for me??

    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.
    Last edited by fernweh; 03-31-2014 at 13:27.

  2. #2
    gunner76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Beaufort, NC
    Hammock
    Blackbird 1.7 double
    Tarp
    HG Cuben
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    Do not apologize for asking questions. That is what this forum is here for.

    My wife is 5ft 3 and about 150lbs. She uses a BB 1.0 double which is no longer made. I would think that the 1.1 single or double would work fine for you. The double layer would allow you to use a pad for insulation and also skeeters have a hard time biting thru a double layer hammock. The 1.7 would be overkill for you IMO. I don't think you will gain that much comfort with a XLC and my wife manages to turn completely around in her BB at night while sleeping so it has lots of room.

    Whoopies or Straps. I would recommend staying with the stock straps and cinch buckles. Get some Dutch Clips and you have a fast easy set up.

    The nice thing about the Blackbirds and XLC's is that if you get one and don't like it, you can sell on the forum for almost full price and usually in manner of hours. No other hammock can make that claim.

    Also, while pads work, UQs are much more comfortable.

    My BB on the AT in GA
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    Last edited by gunner76; 03-31-2014 at 20:02.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member DRobertson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Worland, WY
    Hammock
    WBRR / WBBB
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    WB Superfly
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    Buckles / Whoopies
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    414
    Im 5'3", and I find the wbbb 1.7 single layer just right for me. It's actually much longer than the hennessy expedition, which i have. And yes, I'm talking about the normal blackbird. I would also recommend the newer version of the blackbird, which has the xlc style netting, even though It's not completely removable. Also, warbonnet does sell a sock for the blackbird and traveler hammocks. As much as I love whoopie slings, there are a few components to lose, so I would second keeping the webbing and buckles. I hope this helps.
    I'm a Mormon. I know it, I live it, and I love it.

  4. #4
    rhjanes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas Tx area
    Hammock
    WBBB 1.1 DL
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    HG Cuban, SuperFly
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    All the advice is spot on.
    I'm 5"11. The WBBB 1.1 DL is very nice. You can roll the netting back and tie it out of the way. I recently got an XLC. The removable stuff is also very nice. I can tell the winter top does add to the warmth, but it is also a tad claustrophobic in there! You don't need the length of the XLC, I don't think. I'm much more comfortable side sleeping in the XLC compared to the BB, but I'm also taller than you.
    SO, either is going to be super. The double, lets you do a pad really easy.
    Webbing and buckles is nice and easy. Get some climbing rated caribiners for quick set up around the tree. Whoopies are also nice, but have some tricks to them to remember.
    Call me Junior

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  5. #5
    hutzelbein's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Hammock
    WBBB DL 1.0
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    I'm 5'4" and of all the hammocks I own (most are 11' hammocks), the 10' Blackbird is without a doubt my favorite hammock. I don't really get a whole lot more comfort out of the longer hammocks. Especially if you want to use the hammock on a long distance hike, I would advise you to go with a 10' (or shorter) model and save some weight.

    With regards to the non-removable bug net, I find that I almost always use it. Either to keep the bugs out, or to keep more warmth in. It is very rare that I don't want and don't need the bug net. Also, on a long distance hike you would probably carry a bug net anyways (?) - so why not save some weight by having it permanently attached to your hammock? If removability is really super important to you, have a look at Dream Hammocks. Randy could do you a 10' Danger- or Thunderbird, which would mean you could remove the bug net completely.

    Which fabric weight is right for you depends. A heavier fabric usually provides a more firm lay with little stretch. Lighter fabric is more "springy". Some like it fimer, others springier. If you have the chance, go to a hang and ask to test a couple of hammocks. Personally, I think any fabric is still a lot more comfortable than the ground If I was planning to carry the hammock for 6 months every day, I would pick the lightest I could get away with. However, I would probably stick with a double layer, because it makes supplementing the underquilt with a small sit pad (or a larger sleeping pad) much easier.

    If you go with Warbonnet, get the webbing suspension. It is more versatile than the whoopie suspension (easier to hang in tight spaces) and much simpler. This is one instance where I don't mind paying the slight weight penalty.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Woodstock, VT
    Hammock
    WB XLC
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    161
    Have you contacted WB? They can share their advice with you, and I imagine they could make you a BB wit attached bug net (or shortened XLC?).
    Add life to your years!

  7. #7
    Senior Member barchetta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Too many to list :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubahhh View Post
    Have you contacted WB? They can share their advice with you, and I imagine they could make you a BB wit attached bug net (or shortened XLC?).
    Ditto on this. I've seem guys on here selling custom 10 foot XLC's with removable bug nets and winter covers.

  8. #8
    Senior Member fiveonomo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Powhatan, Virginia
    Hammock
    WBBB XLC
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    Adjustable Webbing
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    560
    I'm 5'10" 215 lbs. I have the WBBB XLC double layer and I'm not sure how it can get any better. Of course to each his own and I recommend trying out as many as you can, that's how I ended up whee I am at. For me though it's the WBBB XLC. Good luck.
    "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member climbing.kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Hammock
    WBBB 1.1/1.7, WBRR 1.1
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    Phoenix20/ahjb/diy
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    buckle/whoopie
    Posts
    176
    I use underquilt only, but i got the double layer because bugs will have a harder time biting me through the hammock. I got mine used and the previous owner tore a hole through one of the layers (i think because he had something in his pocket). So having a double layer acts as a fail safe to keep you from falling through in the event you rip one of the layers.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Athens, Georgia
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    10
    Thanks SO much for all of the responses. Based on the advice, what I'm currently leaning toward is the WBBB double layer 1.1 which will weigh 1lb 11oz. Now, the decision I'm trying to make is between this and the Hennessy Expedition, located here, which is 2lb 9oz but includes a tarp.

    Honestly the only thing swaying me toward the hennessey is the tarp. Can I get a decent tarp/fly for the WBBB at a cost that's going to put my total at about the same? Even if I upgrade the Hennessey package to a hex tarp, the price still comes out to $200, which is really where I need to be before purchasing insulation. The WBBB is $175 and I'd still have to get a tarp.

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