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  1. #1
    I Learn So Others Can Too FireInMyBones's Avatar
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    Bridge Hammocks: Pros and Cons

    As a hammock over and one who spends too much time researching and not enough time outdoors, I am wondering about the pros and cons of the bridge hammock.
    I currently have 2 hammocks: HHULB and a DIY gathered end. I love the weight of the DIY, but the comfort of the HH is better, I think.

    Looking at the bridge hammocks, I wonder how do they compare. Should I make one? Why should I? Where can I cut weight?

    Thanks for the help in advance.
    -Jeremy

    "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
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  2. #2
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Here is my take on them.....
    Pros
    *Very comfortable and no "knee ridge"
    *Feet can splay out a bit
    *Good sitting lounger

    Cons
    *Longer suspension off o spreader bars
    *Has spreader bars to carry...gram weenie dread
    *Tarp pitch is a bit more critical....higher to clear bars

    Shug
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
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  3. #3
    Dutch's Avatar
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    It is a flatter lay but I fine it more confining. If I had detachable arms it would be ideal. The weight is low for the body but the poles more than make up for it. If you use hiking poles you can use them. It takes more pratctice to hang it. THere has to be the right amount of tension whereas it is just off the ground and 30ish degree angle for a gathered end. I find peeing over the side to be much easier in a bridge.

    If you have that many hammocks you should at least try one. If you can sew you should make one as they are easy. I can make the body in about 3 hours and the suspension in less than another hour.
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  4. #4
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Here is my take on them.....
    Pros
    *Very comfortable and no "knee ridge"
    *Feet can splay out a bit
    *Good sitting lounger

    Cons
    *Longer suspension off o spreader bars
    *Has spreader bars to carry...gram weenie dread
    *Tarp pitch is a bit more critical....higher to clear bars

    Shug

    +1, my bridge is the most comfy hammock I have, but not the lightest, so depending on the trip or outing is when I will decide on which goes with!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ShadowAlpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
    . I find peeing over the side to be much easier in a bridge.
    I might have to add this to my todo list!

    I never tried a bridge hammock - maybe one day I will
    are poles like these any good to use for spreaders?
    http://www.fibraplex.com/tentpoles.htm

  6. #6
    krugd's Avatar
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    Shug sums it up well.

    As for me, I find the gathered end to be more comfortable - for an hour or two. But for a full night, I really prefer the bridge - I sleep better and feel better in the morning.

    I'm sure this is one of those personal things, and the only way to know for sure is to try it out. As Dutch points out, they are fairly easy to build - or see if you can try one out at a hang. For me, while I really like the gathered end I made, I find myself grabbing the bridge whenever I will be out for a few nites.
    --Don---

    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Ed Abbey

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
    If you have that many hammocks you should at least try one. If you can sew you should make one as they are easy. I can make the body in about 3 hours and the suspension in less than another hour.
    Keep in mind, Dutch has mad DIY skills! It takes me closer to 8 hours of work for the full deal.


    Pros:
    *Flatter lay with no pressure on the back of the legs.
    *Easy to adjust the dimensions to suit your height, shoulder width and flatness preferences. Unlike Dutch I find the bridge LESS confining, even without cutting off my arms.
    *Easier to use a pad in than a GE (IMO) as you are laying down the center.
    *Can be fairly light if your weight is suitable to using UL materials. (My last double layer bridge with CF spreaders and dynaglide suspension weighs less than a stock WB Traveller, and I think I can knock another 2oz or so off the next iteration)
    *depending on the depth of your hammock (side to side) and the arc depth, you can have excellent views in roughly 270deg.
    *very excellent instructions are available from GrizzlyAdams and TeeDee here on HF. More people are starting to make them now so the body of information is growing.

    Cons:
    *Have to pack spreaders unless you rig the bridge to use hiking poles
    *Other than the JRB BMBH, there are no other commercial choices on the market. (Is this a con? DIY is fun! And the result is custom fit.)
    *Most bridges are heavier than a comparable GE, due to the spreader bars, but there are two ways to mitigate this as noted (CF tubes or using hiking poles). You use less fabric than a GE, but the decrease is cancelled out by the need for webbing or cord along the sides to make your arcs.
    *There are essentially no commercially available add-ons available (bug nets, weather socks) and fewer choices for UQs--more DIY!
    *Width of the spreader bars requires your tarp to be low and wide, or significantly higher to clear the spreaders (primarily the head end), though tarp poles or side pull outs can help. For me, this translates to a larger (read: heavier) tarp. I like a 12'x10', but YMMV.
    *By nature of the suspension, your tree to tree distance has to be a bit longer to hang a bridge (my ridge line from suspension triangle apex to opposite apex is 143"--many people use ridge lines on GE around 100-110")
    *some find a bridge hammock to feel "tippy", though after using one even a few times, I think most get past it.

    Should you make one? Heck yah!
    How to save weight? Bare bones single layer bridge with full dynaglide suspension and CF tubes or hiking poles. Head net for bug protection if needed for your area/season. Again the use of lightweight materials should match acceptable safety margins for YOUR weight and expected use.
    Last edited by BER; 10-22-2011 at 09:27.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    +1 on what everyone else said

    The only time I like my bridge is when I am sleeping in it

    I think a GE would win out in most other areas but I always go back to my bridge.

  9. #9
    Senior Member finskie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
    It is a flatter lay but I fine it more confining. If I had detachable arms it would be ideal. The weight is low for the body but the poles more than make up for it. If you use hiking poles you can use them. It takes more pratctice to hang it. THere has to be the right amount of tension whereas it is just off the ground and 30ish degree angle for a gathered end. I find peeing over the side to be much easier in a bridge.
    My thoughts exactly. I am a 70% side sleeper, but more of a fetal side sleeper. A bridge IMO is actually much worse than a GE for people who sleep fetal. I felt uncomfortable alot with the sides of the bridge so close to me, and on my back, I almost always got shoulder squeeze in my bridge(and i am not an overly broad guy). Bottom line for me is the weight and "fuss factor" in the end caused me to go back to the $20 GT, and I have never been more comfortable
    What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. - C.S. Lewis

  10. #10
    I Learn So Others Can Too FireInMyBones's Avatar
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    Keep it coming this is what I wanted to know. I would love to try one out.

    At 5'7" and 150#, I think I could get away with using a single layer of 1.4oz with .5" webbing down the side.

    I have worked with amsteel but not dynaglide. Is there a big difference?

    Where do I find said CF poles? I have been toying with the idea of a DIY Ohm clone and whatever I end up using for the frame be usable as the spreader bars if I ever went with a bridge hammock. Any thoughts?
    -Jeremy

    "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
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