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  1. #1
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thoughts on Blackbirds, Incubators and other accessories...

    I recently went on a trek and was able to sleep in a Blackbird (1.0 Double) for the first time, and I came to some interesting conclusions. I have a GT Skeeter Beeter Pro, which, as I have stated on a few occasions, I am overall very pleased with. As this is my "goto" (read only) hammock, it is the only one to which I can compare my experiences in the Blackbird.

    The first night in the BB, I tossed and turned most of the night. I was on my back, on my side, half on my side, a little leaning toward my stomach...pretty much all over. I slept fine in all positions, and it was the footbox which allowed greater range of sleeping positions. I had periotic CBS with my Incubator attached, but thanks to some foresight on my part and some preemptive questions on my part, I knew what to expect, and these were easily resolved. Once addressed, I did sleep better and prehaps a little less fitfully than pre-adjustment.

    The second night was a whole different ball of wax. Though it was about the same temperature when I went to bed, it did not cool off as much during the overnight. I actually slept for 7 straight hours without waking, something I had never done in a hammock before. I slept (I think) mostly in the crossed ankle, ballerina positon or somewhere inbetween. When I did wake, I went back to sleep quickly, and slept straight through til morning.

    My only complaint with the Blackbird was the condensation, both nights. Recently in the Skeeter Beeter in sub 50° temps, I have been flipping the hammock upside-down (net down) as just a standard gathered end hammock. Here in the south, humidity is up, even in the winter, and breathing through my mouth as I do when I sleep, traps a lot of moisture on the netting and in the hammock, especially in lowers temps. Flipping a Blackbird is simply not an option.

    I have wanted to pick up a more basic gathered end hammock (open, without mosquito netting) for winter. This way, I when I carry heavier quilts, I can make up for some of it with a lighter hammock. I would very much like to try the WB Traveler. Being over 6' tall, I like the larger hammock, and the Traveler measures in at 6" shorter but 6" wider than my Skeeter Beeter Pro. Based on my experience with the Blackbird (same dims as the Traveler, I believe), I think this would be a comfortable size. (Feedback and opinions welcome).

    For spring-fall hanging (above 50°), I would very much like to pick up a WBBB. I was most impressed with the comfort, once I acclimated to it's shape and lay.

    My warm weather quilt, a Summer Jarbridge River, has a wider shoulder area, compared to the Incubator, which does a great job of keeping me plenty warm down to 40°, and should work fine with a WBBB. I have an "older" Incubator, which I believe is more rectangular than they are currently being made. I measured it a few months ago and could find only a 1/2" difference between the head and foot end. I assume that with a Traveler (with no footbox), this would be a great UQ. I am certainly satisified with it's performance now.

    Overall, I am not dissatisified with my Skeeter Beeter. Any yet, I think the WBBB beats it hands down in terms of comfort, though it is probably comperable in weight (remember, I used the no longer produced 1.0 Double; I do not yet know which model I will eventually purchase). I definately want to pick up a (lighter) winter hammock (with no bugnet), and the Traveler seems to be the hammock which may best fill this need. Again, just a question of which one.

    I am still completely content with my suspension: whoopies with toggles on a marlinspike hitch. It is simple, easy, adjustable, and has not dropped my yet. One cannot argue with a 0% failure rate.

    As for my UQs, with little expectation of going below 20°, I am still 100% satisified with my selection of bottom insulation. My overstuffed 20° Burrow is great, and I cannot say enough about top quilts. I still am looking forward to getting a lighter weight Burrow for those mid-level (40°-60°) conditions common during the spring and fall, but that is another topic for another time.



    Disclaimer:
    The opinions expressed here are those of the OP and may vary from readers or responding posters. YMMV.
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  2. #2
    Roadrunnr72's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    Nice write up. I would also like a WBBB in the 1.1 double. Never thought I would want to spend that kind of money on a hammock when I can and have made the gathered end hammocks for around $20. But with all the reviews about the WBBB, I want 1. May try a DIY, but will problably just buy one. Hmmmm, I wonder if there will be a tax return/spring sale. Should be getting a little back.
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