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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Hammock
    WBBB 1.7 dbl or HH Explorer UL
    Tarp
    Siltarp 2 Stock HH
    Insulation
    JRB MW3 or HHSS
    Posts
    387
    Images
    31

    Thoughts on HH Explorer UL + SS after 3 years in a WBBB

    After several years and many nights in my HH Explorer UL early in my hammock career, with the exception of one night, I have been using a WBBB for the last 3 years. Last weekend I reverted to my HH to save weight and space in a new pack I have started testing. Part of the equation is even after many years I have not laid out the cash for an UQ, so have been using pads with my 1.7 DBL WB. Throw in an 8x10 tarp and you have some weight and bulk. I often get asked about HH vs WB, so thought I'd throw out a few observations:

    • It took one hang for me to get used to tieing the HH hitch again after 3 years with the WB ringbuckles & webbing straps. Took a few tries on night one to get the tension right, but by night two it went up easily.
    • I had forgotten how warm the SS+SB is. After 3 years of Cold Butt Syndrome it was nice to be toasty at all corners. It is amazing what that little bit of OCF pad + mylar sheet + UC will do. It got down to about 40F at Manning Camp, but I never even needed to zip into my mummy bag all night.
    • It was such a joy to only carry and pound in two stakes instead of 6-8 for the WB+tarp. Here in Arizona that can be a big deal, as the ground is either hard granite or soft sand.
    • I am not a perfectionist when it comes to a taut tarp pitch. It was great to not have to hassle with pitching the tarp once the hammock was up, just adjust the prussics and good-to-go. OTOH, on night two I was kept awake for quite a while with a light breeze flapping the tarp ridgeline around. I finally got up and tightened down the side tieouts and was fine after that.
    • Nothing breaks down faster in the morning than an HH in snakeskins. The only thing I pack separately is the OCF pad in a silnylon sack.
    • The WBBB is more roomy and comfy with the big footbox, but by night two I had acclimated to the HH and slept great.
    • I actually like the bottom slit entry over side zippers. Bombproof, and no zippers to search for in the middle of the night. Just put my legs down and I'm out.
    • I saved maybe 8 ounces on weight, but quite a bit in bulk. The OCF pad compresses down pretty well.
    • I didn't really miss the WB shelf. I just don't keep that much stuff inside my hammock at night, and the HH ridgeline mesh bag was plenty big for the iPod, etc.
    • Tom Hennessy is a genius. When you consider when this hammock was designed, and the reliability of the system as a whole it is pretty amazing. No whoopies to mess with, no zippers, no quilts to adjust, everything just keeps working. OTOH, I had forgotten how obsessed he was with elastics: side tieouts, UC cords, OCF loops -- this thing is held together with rubber bands. Mine are starting to show their age, and sooner or later one is going to snap, but I know that if I'm out in the backcountry I can just tie the pieces together and keep going.


    Picture of my setup at Manning Camp in Saguaro National Park:


    So which is better? YMMV of course. They are both great pieces of gear. For comfort and roominess I do like the WBBB and will use it again on trips where I'm not trying to save ounces or a few cubic inches. I'm looking into getting a netless hammock, as here in AZ bugs are not the issue they were in Minnesota. Most trips I don't need a tarp: when the weatherman says "0% chance of rain" here in Tucson he really means it! Took me about a year to have the courage to venture out tarpless.

    Anyway, that's my story. I'd appreciate hearing from others who also have bounced between the two and compare notes.

    Regards,
    --Kurt

  2. #2
    Gary_R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Hammock
    HH Explorer UL with Mod 4
    Tarp
    Gargoyle Custom
    Insulation
    Leigh'Lo/HG
    Suspension
    Adjustable Straps
    Posts
    1,265
    Nice write up.
    I love my Explorer UL and prefer it over the WB.

  3. #3
    richtorfla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Clearwater,Florida
    Hammock
    Warbonnet BB, HH Explorer deluxe
    Tarp
    AHE Toxaway:HH hex
    Insulation
    sleeping bag,KAQ
    Suspension
    strap/buckles
    Posts
    1,330
    Images
    1
    That was a nice write up. I started out with a explorer deluxe. I still like the bottom slit too. After using both styles of hammocks myself, I take the BB along the most because of the dbl layer since I don't have a supershelter. Both to me are great hammocks. I have enjoyed sleeping in both. I think I futz a lot when getting my hammock set up and got use to cinching up the webbing. I still think the figure 8 knot set up is ingenious for its simplicity and how well it works. Since I futz, I think I tie that thing too many times till I think I got my lay right!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Bend Or / Boerne TX
    Hammock
    UK Woodsman, HH Explorer
    Tarp
    AHE Hard Rock/OMW
    Insulation
    Leighlo , HH SS
    Suspension
    whoopie,WB adj web
    Posts
    460
    I made a similar decision late last year. I went as far as putting the warbonnet suspension on the HH lol.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Kansas City, KS
    Hammock
    HH Explorer Deluxe+2QZQ Mod #4
    Tarp
    HH Hex w/ 2QZQ OFS
    Insulation
    20* bag, PL, HHSS
    Suspension
    Whoopies+Biner
    Posts
    1,168
    I was lucky to catch the HHSS on sale...paid $99 for the undercover, overcover, and pad complete.

    I've not yet used the overcover. Been out in 22deg F with 30 mph winds.

    LOVES ME my HHED and HHSS.

  6. #6
    Cali's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Modoc, SC
    Hammock
    HHDJ/Speer/T-Bird/WBBB/Lite Owl
    Tarp
    SF/CF/Cloudburst
    Insulation
    Incub/Buro/Snugfit
    Suspension
    Cinch Straps
    Posts
    3,309
    I have the HHDJ XL and love it. It has a double layer, so that is nice, but it is heavier. I love the soft silkiness of the fabric, and it is very roomy. I also have the Super Shelter, and I use that with an UQ. I don't like the pad as much. I had a WBBB 1.1 dbl, but sold it. I loved the shelf and the footbox, but for some reason (not sure why) I sold it. I guess I was having a moment. LOL...
    Happy Hangin!!!


    AKA BajaHanger

    You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. -Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
    Posts
    8,463
    Images
    353
    kwpapke, I forgot about or never saw this thread. It is a very good review of an older system. Your thoughts on this seem to almost exactly parallel mine. There are times when I wonder why I have even gone with my other systems, considering this always worked for me, to a degree greater than you would expect for relative to cost, weight and bulk.

    You even like the bottom entry, which I sometimes miss, though I would enjoy it more with at least a minimal zipper mod. So I could reach out or the hammock. But for getting in and out fast, I was perfectly happy with that bottom entry, even with the SS UC added.

    kwpapke:
    I had forgotten how warm the SS+SB is. After 3 years of Cold Butt Syndrome it was nice to be toasty at all corners. It is amazing what that little bit of OCF pad + mylar sheet + UC will do.
    Interesting that you were warmer with the HH OCF pad/sb than with some CCF?

    It was such a joy to only carry and pound in two stakes instead of 6-8 for the WB+tarp.
    I agree. And I feel a lot more secure with that little HH tarp when I also have the HH sil-nylon UC!

    Tom Hennessy is a genius. When you consider when this hammock was designed, and the reliability of the system as a whole it is pretty amazing. No whoopies to mess with, no zippers, no quilts to adjust, everything just keeps working. OTOH, I had forgotten how obsessed he was with elastics: side tieouts, UC cords, OCF loops -- this thing is held together with rubber bands. Mine are starting to show their age, and sooner or later one is going to snap, but I know that if I'm out in the backcountry I can just tie the pieces together and keep going.
    Ditto!
    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
    hairbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    n e missouri
    Hammock
    wbrr/d i y speer
    Tarp
    hg 4sccc 12 foot
    Insulation
    lynx/w/logics
    Suspension
    straps /pole mod
    Posts
    968
    ive had both.i really didnt like either.i still have my hh survivor ive been thinking about making the foot end into a bridge ,leaving the head end as a gathered end.i liked the lay of the hh but a metal plate in my ankle does not allow twisting my foot to the left without discomfort.i have a bridge now,it is the answer for me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Hammock
    WBBB XLC 1.1 Dbl
    Tarp
    Mamajamba
    Insulation
    pad & sleeping bag
    Suspension
    WB Cinch buckles
    Posts
    122
    Images
    1
    hmm, good points to consider. I need another hammock as I am going to pass my HH Expedition Classic on to my son.

    I'm trying to decide between Explorer Deluxe or the Explorer Ultralight or a Warbonnet Blackbird (probably the 1.7 dbl).

    I've only slept in my HH Expedition one night, and frankly I'm hooked on Hammocks. I slept extremely well.

    What to do? Most times my son's Boy Scout troop is not serious backpacking, more like car camping. Some trips, my favorite ones, are real backpacking ones. I hope to do some more serious backpack trips and I harbor dreams of doing the 100 mile wilderness of the AT trail some day.

    Thank you for making my choice even harder!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Western Oregon
    Hammock
    HH Explorer, Exped, WBBB
    Tarp
    WB Edge,MacCat Mic
    Insulation
    Phoenix, Incubator
    Suspension
    Stock
    Posts
    808
    I have both, although my Explorer is the deluxe. I agree with the simplicity of a Hennessy with stock tarp. Those ropes drive me nuts though, I wish they came with adjustable webbing. Like them both a lot. All else being equal, the adjustable webbing and gun shelf gives the BB the nod for me.

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