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  1. #11
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    Yeah, an underquilt seems cool aside from the expense. But I prefer having a pad because what if there's no trees? I guess if you're hiking on the east coast it's not likely to be a problem but almost all my backpacking experience has been in the middle east where maybe there's trees, maybe there's not, and it's drilled into my head to look for the campsites when they come, and to be prepared for when I can't find trees in the right configuration.

    What's a "footbox?" And how would a shelf in the hammock work?

    Anyway, like I said, I'm not looking to buy another hammock, I'm just wondering what makes people want to "upgrade." I still kinda have a hunch it's that same bug that gets everybody who gets into any pastime, like how one bike is ok, but once you get that second bike, suddenly you need like fifteen.

  2. #12
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbphilly View Post
    .................................................. .............

    And here are some potential things I could gain by upgrading:
    -Some models have a double bottom which would allow me to slide my sleeping mat in, rather than lying right on it and having it shift around under me.
    .................................................. ............
    Quote Originally Posted by jbphilly View Post
    Yeah, an underquilt seems cool aside from the expense. But I prefer having a pad because what if there's no trees? I guess if you're hiking on the east coast it's not likely to be a problem but almost all my backpacking experience has been in the middle east where maybe there's trees, maybe there's not, and it's drilled into my head to look for the campsites when they come, and to be prepared for when I can't find trees in the right configuration.........................

    Anyway, like I said, I'm not looking to buy another hammock, I'm just wondering what makes people want to "upgrade." I still kinda have a hunch it's that same bug that gets everybody who gets into any pastime, like how one bike is ok, but once you get that second bike, suddenly you need like fifteen.
    Middle East? OK, I thought you were in PA! That is quite different!

    I don't think you will be upgrading, as you seem pretty happy as is, so why spend the money, right?

    But if you ever do get the itch to experiment and play hammock tester, and since you are one of the few who is happy with and plans on sticking with pad only, the JRB BMBH is really in a different category IMHO. Actually, it is in a different category in so many ways. For me, it is maybe the most OVERALL comfortable or at least tied for that. By overall, I mean in a variety of sleep positions, though at least without a wide pad it won't allow me full fetal. Which is important for a lot of folks I guess. So, a few folks have either not liked it or preferred a more traditional design. A few others ( other than the Jacks ) have absolutely loved it, it is their favorite.

    But when it comes to the pad question, for me their is no debate. Most folks here don't like- or even hate- pads in gathered end hammocks. Double bottoms or Speer SPEs make all of that a good bit more manageable, but still a hassle for me, and not as comfy over all as without a pad. But since a BMBH is pretty much a flat rectangle bed, then a flat rect. pad just fits it perfectly. In some ways it actually improves things compared to quilt use. It sort of "widens" the bottom of the hammock, making the lack of shoulder room a non-issue for me. OK, I can get over all REALLY comfortable on my back in the BMBH, but it forces a slight curve into my shoulders, which is perceived by some folks as shoulder squeeze. This goes away with a wide pad. When I put my 25" wide(BMBH takes a 26" wide max) way thick Thermarest in the pocket, laying flat I have room on each side of my shoulders, and can even lay pretty much fetal on my side.

    The BMBH works so well with a pad that I have almost- but not quite- switched to pad only simplicity and bomb proofing. In some ways it is not quite as comfortable as an UQ, but the dif is not huge like it is with some hammocks. So, as a dedicated pad only guy, seems to me you and the BMBH should meet some day!
    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

  3. #13
    Senior Member Festus Hagen's Avatar
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    A double-layer hammock like the DD Traveler or Frontline is a joy to use with a pad.

    I cut mine to a taper to allow them to fit better in the gathered ends. As was mentioned previously the pad spreads the hammock out, sort of provides a "frame" which makes getting in easier. The double layers of the hammock keep the pad right where it belongs.

    Don't get me wrong I like my UQ but I can live without it. If I didn't camp in extreme cold I probably wouldn't have bothered to buy one.

    BTW I have a Grand Trunk Ultralight, I like it a lot and don't mind using it with a pad when I'm trying to go light... not quite as comfy but it's ok. I do worry about the GT holding up over the long term but I'm a bigger dude.

  4. #14
    Senior Member opie's Avatar
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    Ahhh.... Ive seen it in the past. The first sign of addiction. The "hypothetical" reason to upgrade.

    The first and ONLY question you need to ask yourself when you feel the urge to upgrade EVEN IF what you currently have is working fine....

    why not?
    I am not a gram weenie. , But Im starting to see the merits!!!

    Kris' Splicing

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  5. #15
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opie View Post
    Ahhh.... Ive seen it in the past. The first sign of addiction. The "hypothetical" reason to upgrade.

    The first and ONLY question you need to ask yourself when you feel the urge to upgrade EVEN IF what you currently have is working fine....

    why not?
    Yeah, I know I'll probably fall into it one day. Right now lack of funds means I can't really, but in general it's just that I don't like buying stuff that I consider unneccessary.

    Yeah, I'm in Israel right now, getting ready for a two month thru-hike of the entire country. Finding trees can be a real issue (and the first 3 weeks or more of the trek is in the Negev so I'll be on the ground guaranteed). In the center and north of Israel it's not too bad thanks to ecologically questionable pine and eucalyptus groves that have been planted everywhere, but in the West Bank and Jordan it's even rougher - trees are few and far between except for orchards, which are someone's private property and usually don't consist of strong enough trees to hang anyhow. I have hung from olive trees before, but they're usually not close enough together or the right shape, plus they're usually someone's private orchard. Once back in the US, I wouldn't need to worry about not having trees as long as I stay on the east coast, but my next planned trip is around the US and there's plenty of parts out west where trees aren't guaranteed either. Anyway, that's a ways in the future.

    Why do you worry about the Grand Trunk Ultralight holding up over the long run? I assume the lower price is a result of weaker fabric being used, but again, I weigh 140 or so, which seems to be way below everyone else who posts their weight here.

    Anyway, since the point of the thread is to pick people's brains, I'm just wondering what exactly it is that people like more about a "high end" hammock once they've gotten it, or about one high end versus another one. (I just posted a similar question in another thread regarding Warbonnets).

    Oh yeah, and the BMBH looks interesting, but kind of on the heavy side. If I were dedicated to using a pad, I'd probably go with a double-layer hammock instead. Once I've gotten used to this 20-ounce setup, anything more than that seems like a step backward!

  6. #16
    Senior Member Festus Hagen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbphilly View Post
    Why do you worry about the Grand Trunk Ultralight holding up over the long run? I assume the lower price is a result of weaker fabric being used, but again, I weigh 140 or so, which seems to be way below everyone else who posts their weight here.
    Grand Trunk advertises the GT Ultralight weight limit at 250 lbs. I think it's some kind of polyester blend, but when I get in and out it seems to "give" more than my double-layer DD hammock which feels sturdy and bulletproof in comparison. Also, I've read a fair number of reports of the GT Ultralight having ripped in the field. I try to spread my weight as I get in and out of the hammock, I try NOT to raise up by putting weight on an elbow or the palm of my hand.

    Regarding body weight, I think the national average for adult males is around 190 lbs. Not sure if the HF average is higher or lower than that, I'm not helping it any that's for sure. I weighed more than you do at the age of 12 (with very low bodyfat, back then.). Comes in handy at times, but now that I've gotten more into hiking and kayaking, I envy you lighter folks.

  7. #17
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    Just remember....you don't have to buy a new hammock to "upgrade". I've almost always had some kind of project that allows you to "accessorize". At one point my old truck was worth more in bolt on parts than I paid for it originally.

    So far, my HH has a zipper mod, new suspension, and a totally different tarp/ridgeline setup. So keep the parts you like, upgrade the rest. I wouldn't mind a new hammock but I've already sunk so much time/money into the one I have so I can't quite justify it. It's also just about the way I want it too so there's no reason to go elsewhere.

    Once you have a basic sleep system that works well then you can "pimp it out" with all kinds of goodies. Before getting on the forums here I had no idea that half this stuff even existed.

    Hammock gear seems to hold it's value better than some other items. Even if you purchase a new hammock you can probably sell off your older items for around 75% of what you paid. That's less than you'd spend on rental gear (if someone actually offered this kind of thing as a rental).

    HYOH...

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