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  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Speer advantages?

    I have read more than once from several folks here that they much prefer their (usually homemade) Speer type over HH. I have, and really like, both. Some such as Neo and Miguel prefer a Claytor to either one! I'd like to know specifics re: why some of you prefer hammocks types other than HH.

    Since I also already have and like my SuperShelter, that is a good incentive to stick with the HHULAS Explorer. Since I'm not sure how well an asym supershelter would work with the Speer, especially since it is sized/designed to fit over spectra, not webbing.

    But, forgetting for the moment about customer relations and patents and such, for those who prefer a Speer type, I'd like to know what your reasons are.

    It seems to me the huge advantage to the Speer is being able to reach out of the hammock. I also like the potential of the PeaPod, though I have never been able to commit, probably because of prices, and because I have been able to make the SShelter quite workable( on the HH only).

    Some might feel the top entry is superior, but this seems a wash or personal pref to me, as I am able to easily able to hop in or out of Speer or HH with about equal ease. I think the bottom entry might be an advantage if pitched with the ridgeline tight against the tarp ridge for maximum weather resistance. I can see that the top entry would be an advantage if the hammock was hung extra close to the ground.

    I used to think there was a huge advantage to the Speer when it comes to lounging/chair use. But, I finally learned to use the HH this way AND figured out to hang it kind of loose for chair use, which seems to get rid of most of the discomfort from the ridgeline. Or, just put a jacket between me and the ridgeline, though hanging it loose works better. If I do this, the HH might actually be a superior cahir, since it gives me a nice flat surface to sit on, instead of being down in a bathtub.

    If I am going to use the SPE with a pad, it is easier to just sit down on it with the Speer. But a pad is also quite workable with HH, just not as quick and easy as a top loader.

    Once in the HH, it definitely seems more wide open and spacious, with zero shoulder squeeze. But as long as I hang the Speer with adequate sag, there is no real shoulder sqeeze problem, there is just no extra shouder room. But the extra width in the HH is not really very useable anyway, since everything sinks to the low point! But the extra space just seems a little more pleasant.

    And if the Mosquitos are serious, I can see it would be better to hop into the HH from below, and have the thing quickly snap shut with netting all nicely in place, intead of having to hassle with getting the velcro lined up to close the netting on the Speer. If they are not a problem, I can save some weight with the Speer by leaving the net behind.

    Anyway, so much for my observations of pros and cons Speer vs HH. For those of you who have used both and definitely prefer your speer types ( including homemades? ) and have left the HHs behind, I'd like to know: why? What are the primary advantages of the Speer that have made you switch from the HHs? Is comfort a factor? Or is it just a strong personal pref for something I've already mentioned?

    For those of you who prefer your homemades, does that usually mean "Speer type"? And if so, is there any advantage other than cost and fun to your homemades? Like custom sizing making them more comfortable than a stock Speer?

    For that matter, if there are some here who have used both and definitely prefer HH, I'd like to hear your reasons also. I think both are fine products, with pros and cons. And maybe the Claytor is better than either?

    And then there are the new ones coming(maybe?) out from JRB and Warbonnet? )

    Funnything is, some folks here strongly prefer Speer type. But 5 or 6 folks at BPL.com reviewed a HH, and unanimously declared it by far the most comfortable hammock any of them have used! ( However, I'm not sure how experienced all of those folks are as hammock hangers)
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 05-23-2007 at 17:31.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frolicking Dino's Avatar
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    I found the HH very difficult to exit. Even before TH behaved as he did at TD, I had already decided to move away from the bottom entry hammocks. I also found the bugnet to be more in my way and I could never get nearly as comfortable as I did in either the Warbonnet or the new JRB hammock. I can find the sweet spot in a Speers on my back or either side pretty easily; not so with the HH. I was limited to my back or right side only in a HH. YMMV

  3. #3
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dino!

  4. #4
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    I have both a Hennessy and Speer(non DIY). I have not taken the Speer on an actual trip yet but have layed in it often at home. They are close to being equal as far as overall comfort to me. I love the bottom entrance but could see a benefit to top entrance when my SPE is being used. I dont care for being able to reach something out the side of the hammock. Short arms.
    Hennessy wins in buggy weather IMO because I'm not a big fan of the Speer velcro enclosure. I'm also thinking of buying a top cover from Hennessy for the coming cold months and this would be another reason for my preference of the Hennessy. Might work with a Speer though. I did modify my Speers suspension system (as well as my Hennessy) with ring/buckles. Basically just undid the webbing, turned it around, and attached spectra to the hammock. No need to sew a loop in the webbing. Already had extremely fortified stitching.
    Now did I whipit....whipit good?
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  5. #5
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    I have read more than once from several folks here that they much prefer their (usually homemade) Speer type over HH. I have, and really like, both. Some such as Neo and Miguel prefer a Claytor to either one! I'd like to know specifics re: why some of you prefer hammocks types other than HH.

    Since I also already have and like my SuperShelter, that is a good incentive to stick with the HHULAS Explorer. Since I'm not sure how well an asym supershelter would work with the Speer, especially since it is sized/designed to fit over spectra, not webbing.

    But, forgetting for the moment about customer relations and patents and such, for those who prefer a Speer type, I'd like to know what your reasons are.

    It seems to me the huge advantage to the Speer is being able to reach out of the hammock. I also like the potential of the PeaPod, though I have never been able to commit, probably because of prices, and because I have been able to make the SShelter quite workable( on the HH only).

    Some might feel the top entry is superior, but this seems a wash or personal pref to me, as I am able to easily able to hop in or out of Speer or HH with about equal ease. I think the bottom entry might be an advantage if pitched with the ridgeline tight against the tarp ridge for maximum weather resistance. I can see that the top entry would be an advantage if the hammock was hung extra close to the ground.

    I used to think there was a huge advantage to the Speer when it comes to lounging/chair use. But, I finally learned to use the HH this way AND figured out to hang it kind of loose for chair use, which seems to get rid of most of the discomfort from the ridgeline. Or, just put a jacket between me and the ridgeline, though hanging it loose works better. If I do this, the HH might actually be a superior cahir, since it gives me a nice flat surface to sit on, instead of being down in a bathtub.

    If I am going to use the SPE with a pad, it is easier to just sit down on it with the Speer. But a pad is also quite workable with HH, just not as quick and easy as a top loader.

    Once in the HH, it definitely seems more wide open and spacious, with zero shoulder squeeze. But as long as I hang the Speer with adequate sag, there is no real shoulder sqeeze problem, there is just no extra shouder room. But the extra width in the HH is not really very useable anyway, since everything sinks to the low point! But the extra space just seems a little more pleasant.

    And if the Mosquitos are serious, I can see it would be better to hop into the HH from below, and have the thing quickly snap shut with netting all nicely in place, intead of having to hassle with getting the velcro lined up to close the netting on the Speer. If they are not a problem, I can save some weight with the Speer by leaving the net behind.

    Anyway, so much for my observations of pros and cons Speer vs HH. For those of you who have used both and definitely prefer your speer types ( including homemades? ) and have left the HHs behind, I'd like to know: why? What are the primary advantages of the Speer that have made you switch from the HHs? Is comfort a factor? Or is it just a strong personal pref for something I've already mentioned?

    For those of you who prefer your homemades, does that usually mean "Speer type"? And if so, is there any advantage other than cost and fun to your homemades? Like custom sizing making them more comfortable than a stock Speer?

    For that matter, if there are some here who have used both and definitely prefer HH, I'd like to hear your reasons also. I think both are fine products, with pros and cons. And maybe the Claytor is better than either?

    And then there are the new ones coming(maybe?) out from JRB and Warbonnet? )

    Funnything is, some folks here strongly prefer Speer type. But 5 or 6 folks at BPL.com reviewed a HH, and unanimously declared it by far the most comfortable hammock any of them have used! ( However, I'm not sure how experienced all of those folks are as hammock hangers)
    i need to take the time to figure out how to break up a persons quotes into sections<g>.
    i'll try to add more later but the main reason i like the speer type top entry is that i often spend a lot of time in the hammock, especially when i'm by myself. i'm often reaching for something, water, mocha, food, the stove, a book, taking off or adding clothing, etc. with the top entry i can do this w/ ease.
    i used to have stuff on the ground beside me. then i started using a gear hammock. now i'm using the storage end covers. but either way i can reach stuff w/o getting out of the hammock.
    but also, i can reach the same stuff when i walk up to the hammock, w/o having to go inside.
    but a big thing for me is that i absolutely LOVE to lay in the hammock & have a clear view of the world around me... no bug net.
    i also make my top entries about 50" wide so the sides don't come up so far for the same reason.
    and the spreader bar helps w/ that even more.
    but the hh is extremely comfortable. a friend felt the same way about liking the way his hh laid but didn't want the bug net unless it was actually needed, so he had me cut the netting off. he likes his hh that way.
    i recently had an opportunity to try out headchange's hh clone & it was really comy. and it gives the option of bug net, 1.1 rip stop, or nothing. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  6. #6
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I have always thought that HH had a slight advantage over Speer types in the comfort dept. I do think the Speers are very comfortable, but the HH feels better.

    When I first got my HH I really liked the bottom entry method, but after the hassle of getting in and out (it does become a slight hassle after a while, IMHO) and trying to adjust my gear while in the hammock, plus that added fact that you basically have to exit the hammock to get to anything outside of it I started thinking about wanting a top entry hammock with the feel of my HH. I also really like side tie outs on the hammock to open it up inside. That's why I went on a mission to combine traits I liked from each hammock into something that's perfect for me.

    If I had to pick one hammock from a Speer type or a HH I would probably go HH.
    “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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  7. #7
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    Like my Safari the best - It has the advantages of both the top and bottom loader since the bug netting is removable...... Since I used 1.9 oz DWR ripstop, the weight is just slightly less than the ULBA.......
    By the way, making the bug netting removable on any HH is easy, just take the plunge and you have both a top and a bottom loader all in one.
    Did you make this Safari yourself, or is this the standard HH Safari model? With removable netting?

    I would love to make this netting removable, but taking the plunge is a bit scary! So, what, you just cut it off? And then what? Is there a thread somewhere telling exactly how to do this?

    Thanks everybody for the opinions/info. Keep it coming! Neo, isn't that Claytor (sp?) better than either HH or Speer?

  8. #8
    smithobx's Avatar
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    I bought my first camping hammock abou 6 months ago. It was an HH with the full super shelter. I also bought a Claytor Expedition model. I tested the HH and experimented in the yard quite a bit, befor taking the HH on a Three night trip in the SNP, near Charlottesville. Loved the comfort and freedom of site selection--did not like: the lack of headroom(that d@#*% ridgeline ripped my glasses off every time I tried to get in or out), I found the bottom entry a pain, especially with the SS in place. I also did not like the hassle of getting in and out of a sleeping bag, or trying to add or remove clothing inside the HH without being strangled by that d---- ridgeline. Not being able to reach outside for water or to retrieve some item from your pack was another big negative, not to mention the inability to cook without leaving the hammock in cold weather. I also froze my but off, but that was probably due to my lack of experience with the SS. When I got back form the trip, I pulled out the Claytor and all the negatives went away. I sold the HH, upgraded to the Claytor Jungle Hammock and never looked back. I could go on about headroom, water proof double bottom, and the versatility of being able to change from rope to webbing but I guess you figured out which I prefer. I cannot compare to the Speer as I have never used that brand.
    Last edited by smithobx; 05-24-2007 at 09:18.

  9. #9

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Did you make this Safari yourself, or is this the standard HH Safari model? With removable netting?

    I would love to make this netting removable, but taking the plunge is a bit scary! So, what, you just cut it off? And then what? Is there a thread somewhere telling exactly how to do this?

    Thanks everybody for the opinions/info. Keep it coming! Neo, isn't that Claytor (sp?) better than either HH or Speer?
    Not Neo, but of course the Tom Claytor Jungle Hammock is the world's greatest hammock! Claytor Jungle Hammocks are kinda like sex......you know you're gonna like it before you even get to try it.

    Back to reality....there are several things I really like about the Claytor hammock. First off, I could never deal with the (in my estimation) the hassle of a bottom entry and the lack of zippers/velcro on the bug netting. You ever notice that the new hammock hangin' logos have the person lounging with one leg hanging out of the hammock? Guess what...that ain't happening when you're all coccooned up in a Hennesy. And how the heck are you going to reach your beverage and snacks? There are a many reasons why I need to enter, remove or place things in my hammock while camping. It would drive me nuts if I had to crawl under hammock, seperate the velcro( not to mention the noise it makes) and crawl through a hole, every time I needed to.

    Getting more specific to the Claytor hammock...I really like the double bottom as it holds any pad in place quite well. I can move around as much as I want and the pad stays in place. I can see the merits of an underquilt but as of yet I'm not ready to part with that much dough when the pad serves me quite well. I've slept quite comfortably down to 32 degrees and don't plan on hammocking any colder.

    I like the added length of the Claytor as I am on the tall side.

    I love the way the netting is suspended and the ability to use a spreader bar to open it up. Originally I made spreader bars from wooden dowels but soon discovered it's easier to just make one on site from small dead branches readily available in the woods. They don't even need to be measured and literally only take seconds to install. It makes it seem quite spacious when inside. If you want to lounge/sit you can use a clothes pin to lift the netting and keep it out of the way.

    Overall I have found the quality to be excellent. I sleep like the proverbial baby in my Jungle Hammock. I'm also using the ring system which I love.

    In sum, it was the length, ability to top load and especially the double bottom that sold me on the Claytor. The new hammocks that were recently posted look very interesting as do many of the homemade rigs. Of course when it's all said and done it boils down to your personal likes and dislikes.

    BTW...my wife will be going away for 21/2 months this summer and I will be kayaking and hammocking extensively. (read....almost constantly)

    Miguel

  10. #10
    Member Touch of Grey's Avatar
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    Have both a Speer and HH...

    I have both a Speer and an HH. Both have things that please me. I used the HH during my most recent AT thru attempt with both my homemade KAQ under quilt and the SS undercover.

    Comfort wise, the HH is slightly more comfortable to sleep in for me at least. On the otherhand as noted it does have some issues that bother me. They both have to do with the underquilt more so than the hammock itself but when you are doing three season camping the UQ is a necessity. The problem for me is that stretching the quilt or SS foam to one side is stressful on the side tie-outs and the foam can tear easily. Thus for long term hiking. I will most likely use the Speer and the Peapod UQ exclusively. For short-term or car camping the HH will get the nod.

    Other than the UQ issues I would venture to guess that I would use my HH 10 percent more than my Speer. Both do an adequate job of keeping me warm now down to the mid-20's and windy conditions.

    I also prefer a slightly larger tarp coverage. I have a MacCat Standard which gives me the coverage I want without getting overboard on it. Yes there was one night about a mile from Blue Mt. in GA (shelter just before Unicoi Gap) where the winds blew and the rain came very hard and the rain blew thru the tarp and up under the tarp but that is probably one of the great exceptions to everyday use.

    I did pickup some sil-nylon at a recent close-out sale of the local Minnesota Fabrics and Hancock Fabrics stores here in Michigan and have ideas to make a Cat Tarp of my own using the Black Cat template. This way I can custom tailor the tarp to cover better without getting into the next size commercial tarp available such as the MacCat Deluxe. Or if I can figure it out I like the Tarptent I have seen used with a hammock. That is another possibility.

    I like Brians design but hey if I can make it custom to my dimensions then why not?

    TOG
    Last edited by Touch of Grey; 05-24-2007 at 11:01. Reason: Spelling errors...

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