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  1. #1
    Senior Member sk8rs_dad's Avatar
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    JRB MW4 at 5 degrees and lessons learned

    We took the Scouts out for a winter camp so I finally got a chance to try my cold weather setup. As winter nights go, the weekend was fairly mild at -15C (5F).

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I don't have any pictures so...

    My setup includes a JRB Mt. Washington 4 UQ (the last of the Kelly green's), a JRB Nest and Hudson River (long) as top quilts, HH Explorer Deluxe with HH PU Hex fly and an HH overcover. I expected that combination to keep me warm, and on the second night I was downright toasty, but the first night is a different story.

    Before leaving, I rigged my HH with the MW4 and the HH overcover which I stuffed into an OR drybag because I knew I would be setting up in the dark. After arriving, and hiking in 1.5km (3/4 mile) to the campsite we got the Scouts settled. The CAF has a policy of making gear available to Scouting organizations so we were able to borrow winter sleeping bag systems for each of them that are supposed to be rated to -60C (-76F). We didn't have any complaints so I'm guessing they work as advertised.

    I got my hammock rigged up, tossed in my quilts and my Nalgene bottle full of hot water. Then I rigged my tarp low so it was resting on the snow and fairly tight to the hammock. I tied the head end flaps together and anchored them into the snow using a carabiner as dead-man. The foot end was left open for ventilation. I got changed into my sleeping toque, fleece pants and shirt, and crawled inside. That's when things started to go wrong. I had the MW4 micro-biners hooked up over the ridgeline, which was fine for the foot end, but the micro-biner on the head end let loose causing a big air gap between the MW4 and the hammock body. So I crawled out, fixed up the micro-biner and crawled back in. It still left a gap, but between the hot water bottle, my fleece PJs, the top quilts, and a small tear in the mesh that I made bigger to tweak the MW4 from inside I was able to get through the night, not exactly comfortable but not really cold either.

    The following day I sorted out the rigging on the MW4 and it made a huge difference in my comfort the second night. I had to kick off one of the top quilts because I was too warm. To fix my issues from the first night I clipped one of the head end micro-biners to the shock cord suspension of the other side of the UQ over top of the ridge line and slacked off the MW4 head-end cinch cord completely. Clipping to the shock cord provided enough slack to keep the caribiners from getting overstressed. Slacking off the cinch cord seems to let the MW4 and it's suspension match the circumference of the hammock and ridgeline on the HH Explorer. It seems to me that the shock cords are unable to support the weight of the MW4 on their own so I also took one of the side tie-outs off the Explorer (since I wasn't using it anyway) and tied the MW4 side tie-outs together over the ridgeline to help hold it up in the middle.

    So about those lessons learned:

    1. I can really appreciate the desire to have a side-entry hammock for being able to adjust things when in the hammock, and for getting in when the hammock is strung low. Since my mesh now has a small rip it's time to do the zipper mod, but a WBBB Double 1.7 sure does look tempting... (so many dreams, so little money )
    2. The overcover when used with the tarp, traps humidity. It wasn't a problem for me since I could hang out the quilts to dry during the day, but if the weather was different, or the trip had lasted a few more days it could have become a serious issue. If I had it to do over again I would probably forego the overcover, or the tarp if I was not camping with the Scouts.
    3. The MW4 is awesome!

  2. #2
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    1. I've never seen anyone post that the regretted a zipper mod and most say that 2Q&ZQs prices are very reasonable. Start saving now cuz you will hammock more than ever if you get the mod. It's totally worth it, esp. with those great quilts that you have.

    2. I found the same. Others are good at venting but not me. I decided to trade out the weight of the top cover for more down.

    3. See above. Yes, I got one of the last Kelly Green quilts too. Totally awesome.

    Any chance you can post a picture of how you rigged the head end of the MW4. I'm always interested to see how others are doing it.
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I had a similar issue the first night I used my MW4. After corresponding with the JRB guys, they cautioned me to make sure that half-hitch in the suspension was as close to the UQ as possible. I haven't had another cold air gap since then. I have clipped the micro carabiners together over the top of the Hennessy ridgeline though, my air gaps were at the foot. I use my MW4 on a no net hyperlight. I suggest you shop around for a used Hennessy and remove the net for winter use. They have sold no net hammocks during their OCT clearance in the past. Call them, they might have some.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    At that temp, you may have condensation regardless of the top cover. I had a steady wind blowing thru my hammock all night at -2 and 9000', and I still had all kinds of condensation. No top cover...just the WBBB's bug net.

    Great report.

    Here are my pics for how to do the half-hitch:
    http://www.tothewoods.net/JRB.html
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  5. #5
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take-a-knee View Post
    I had a similar issue the first night I used my MW4. After corresponding with the JRB guys, they cautioned me to make sure that half-hitch in the suspension was as close to the UQ as possible. I haven't had another cold air gap since then. I have clipped the micro carabiners together over the top of the Hennessy ridgeline though, my air gaps were at the foot. I use my MW4 on a no net hyperlight. I suggest you shop around for a used Hennessy and remove the net for winter use. They have sold no net hammocks during their OCT clearance in the past. Call them, they might have some.
    Zipper mod or no net is about 100 times easier to use with all types of under insulation, all types that are outside the hammock. If for no other reason than just the ability to reach out and under to figure out what is going on gap wise or compressed loft wise, or maybe to reposition something. It is a huge benefit when playing with a SS, for example, and virtually a requirement with several types of insulation like WB torso UQs or Pea Pods.

    Plus. there are many other good reasons to have a zipper mod on your hammock for when you actually want a net in place. It will add a small amount of weight, but I don't know how much.
    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

  6. #6
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    If the body end had an air gap it is almost 100% guarentee that the Suspension cord was not rigged correctly...And if correct was not adusted properly...See HC post and review SS set up on the JRB web site.

    Still an interesting adaptation to solve your issue.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  7. #7
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_pan View Post
    If the body end had an air gap it is almost 100% guarentee that the Suspension cord was not rigged correctly...And if correct was not adusted properly...See HC post and review SS set up on the JRB web site.

    Still an interesting adaptation to solve your issue.

    Pan
    HC post? Happycamper's request for pics? Ditto that request.

    I'm still not quite sure what is being done? Is it that, where the biners are ordinarily clipped through the quilt end loops, they are instead run through the loops and then back up to the ridge line and clipped to the RL? That seems like it would be really tight? I would love to see pics.

    Weren't there some directions here at one time saying that there should be X number of inches( 8 or 10 or more?) between left side of the quilt end loops and the right side, for correct adjustment? And if too tight it would cause some type of gap? Anyone know where that post/thread is?

    But, whatever works! I enjoy the MW on all of my hammocks, but using it(or anything else) on gathered ends re-emphasizes one of the delights of the MW4/BMBH combo: there really hardly anything to adjust. Once you have it attached, it is almost a perfect fit, automatically.
    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

  8. #8
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    HC post? Happycamper's request for pics? Ditto that request.

    I'm still not quite sure what is being done? Is it that, where the biners are ordinarily clipped through the quilt end loops, they are instead run through the loops and then back up to the ridge line and clipped to the RL? That seems like it would be really tight? I would love to see pics.

    Weren't there some directions here at one time saying that there should be X number of inches( 8 or 10 or more?) between left side of the quilt end loops and the right side, for correct adjustment? And if too tight it would cause some type of gap? Anyone know where that post/thread is?

    But, whatever works! I enjoy the MW on all of my hammocks, but using it(or anything else) on gathered ends re-emphasizes one of the delights of the MW4/BMBH combo: there really hardly anything to adjust. Once you have it attached, it is almost a perfect fit, automatically.
    BB58, et al,

    Find pictures and directions here... http://www.jacksrbetter.com/UQ%20Installation.htm

    Problems often occur because"we don't need no stinkn directions"...

    pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  9. #9
    Senior Member sk8rs_dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_pan View Post
    BB58, et al,

    Problems often occur because"we don't need no stinkn directions"...

    pan
    In fairness, I tried to follow those directions including the half-hitch loop around the hammock but found the suspension was way too tight when stretched over the full length of the Explorer, especially once the foot-end centre pull drawcord was attached. I'm not sure what I was supposed to do with the head-end centre pull draw cord since since it isn't even mentioned in the directions but I don't think it's possible to attach both on an Explorer without gathering the quilt ends more than they ought to be.

  10. #10
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8rs_dad View Post
    In fairness, I tried to follow those directions including the half-hitch loop around the hammock but found the suspension was way too tight when stretched over the full length of the Explorer, especially once the foot-end centre pull drawcord was attached. I'm not sure what I was supposed to do with the head-end centre pull draw cord since since it isn't even mentioned in the directions but I don't think it's possible to attach both on an Explorer without gathering the quilt ends more than they ought to be.
    With a HH Explorer or another larger hammock a single girth hitch is generally sufficient but put it where the overhand cince in the picture is.( Actually on the hammock material and not further up the HH suspension line)

    The center pulls are generally only used on the foot end of gathered end hammocks... Same principle as the foot end draw cord on the JRB Nest and Winter Nests...Head ends never need the additional center support.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

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