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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    Bridge hammock with bottom entry

    Hi guys,
    This is my first time posting here, but after recently missing out on a great deal on a Hennessy Hammock ($60 at REI scratch-n-dent), I've been intrigued by the idea of hammock camping. I have a screwed-up back, and sleeping on the ground on a self-inflating thermarest can get pretty brutal.

    Due to those back problems, though, I've been looking away from the HH, and instead become interested in the bridge hammock design. The one feature I really dig about the Hennessy design, though, is the bottom entry slot, where you just sit down and lift up your legs, and the hammock snaps shut.

    Can anyone comment on the feasibility of doing this in a DIY design, and whether it would work well on a bridge hammock? For that matter, can you give me an idea how well DIY bridge hammocks compare to the Jacks-R-Better design when it comes to actual comfort and laying flat? I'd like to build my own and save a few bucks, but if the JRB hammocks are superior to DIY designs, I might just bite the bullet and buy one.

  2. #2
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    I have just completed two DIY bridge. I made the mistake of trying to do the dual mode Bridge that Griz developed first. I say a mistake because I think when I got frustrated and went to the basic bridge he post I made much more progress and better understood what the dual mode was all about. The basic is also a much easier DIY if you are not an already skilled seamster. I am sure there are people working on the bottom entry to the bridge as I type this. I've seen reference to it before. However... My suggestion to you would be to try out a HH if you can swing it. I have the Safari and I have mobility issues which make the bottom entry very helpful. But if you want to tinker with the bridge, (I made one for flamingo, my wife) then go ahead and tackle the basic design. It is fun to make and very satifactory. Flamingo like it so much she has tentatively committed to the MAHHA in Sept. Could've knocked me over with a feather.

    But first, get a handle on the mechanics of the bridge by the basic design. Then look to messing around with mods.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  3. #3
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    bottom entry bridge hammock

    I tend to hang my bridge "low" because the spreader bars are "high" and interfere with the tarp. That would be a consideration for a bottom entry.

    The spreader bars would need to be pretty firmly attached to the corner ends, because you'll probably need to lift up the end of the hammock to get to an entry slot. So they shouldn't joggle out when moved around.

    The slot would need to be oriented 90 degrees from what it is on a Henessey, e.g. it needs to be cut parallel to the short end, because the stress on the fabric is oriented 90 degrees from what it is on a HH. It would not close automatically close the way it does on a HH.

    RamblinRev...maybe you could try this on yours...sounds like this an issue for you too.

    Grizz

  4. #4
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    RamblinRev...maybe you could try this on yours...sounds like this an issue for you too.


    I tend to hang high, but haven't used a tarp yet so I am not sure what I am going to find. I still like my HH but I must admit the Bridge is nifty. I don't feel skilled enuf to mess around with that kind of mod at this point in my DIY stuff. But thanks for the thinking of me. I will be sticking with the HH for the time being except for playing around.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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  5. #5
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site. I own a JRB bridge as well as a DIY bridge. Wise choice in wanting to go the bridge route. I would not try putting a bottom entrance in a bridge hammock.
    It is just too easy to enter/exit from the top. Besides you will have a bugnet that will detach from the hammock, As to which is more comfortable, that is up for debate. I find both of them very comfortable. My DIY is wider and has less of a squeeze effect.
    The JRB bridge is best suited for a more slender/lower bodyfat type of person.
    If your interested, maybe we could go on a hiking/hanging trip and you could check out both of these hammocks. Even use one if you'd like. PM me if interested.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  6. #6
    Senior Member CajunHiker's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried to build a half bridge / half HH?
    Bridge w/spreader at the head, slit with whipping at the foot?
    To Boldly Hang Where No One Has Hung Before...

  7. #7
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Bottom entry is not all it's cracked up to be, IMHO. It's novel idea for a while but it does get old, especially when dealing with under quilts
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  8. #8
    LostCause's Avatar
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    I'm curious to what makes a bridge likable. Does it enable you to lay more flat in line with the hammock? I've seen pictures of a bridge hammock, but I've never seen a picture with someone IN the bridge hammock.

    When I get home I plan to make a DIY speer type. I don't have a sewing machine yet, but I plan to find one soon. I have plans, lots of plans....

    I have never been inside a cloth style hammock before. My hammocks are all the woven kind but I used to sleep in one for years instead of a bed.
    I haven't been camping since I was a kid. My wife and I were talking about camping and since I am kinda obsessed with hammocks, so why not put the two together? That's when I found this place and have been searching the site daily for info and ideas. Thanks for the resource, by the way.

    So back to the topic at hand... what makes a bridge so likable over other types?

  9. #9
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    here is a pic of my diy bridge, the photo looks like the head end is way low but that's just how the camera was held... I relate the sag on the hammock to be equal to my own matress at home (a $1,000 Sealy) where your bottom and shoulders sink into it more than your legs. It does have a very flat feel to it even where in this pic it isnt hung tight enough. What is of mention is that the suspension system pulls up on the center of the hammock body to aide in a flay lay.

    its very comfy and I dont like gathered end hammocks that I own as much. Plus, a rectanular underquilt is likely to fit a bridge much better. My 0.02
    Last edited by te-wa; 08-06-2008 at 17:20. Reason: i kant spele

  10. #10
    LostCause's Avatar
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    Thanks for the picture mikeinfhaz. It's good to see one in action.

    I think I would like to try out one of those.

    Can you lounge in a bridge too? Or do the sides come up to high for that? You could probably remove the spreader bars for that, but would that make the bridge less stable?

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