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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Bloomington, IN
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    WBBB 1.1DL
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    Warbonnet BlackBird 1.1 Double-Layer Extended Field Test

    I've been lurking on here for a couple months now. After a bit of searching, I haven't found any posts that have a fully documented, multi-part field test of this hammock. While I may not be the right person to do this, I'll give it a shot nonetheless.

    The Plan: I'll give my first impressions of the hammock. Then, I'll do a series of overnighters and report back with the results (3 - 5, or until further testing is redundant). I'll wrap it up with a multiple-night test.

    About Me: I'm 30, hike mainly in south-central Indiana (karst-style, rolling knob terrain), am 5'9", 180 lbs, and have little camping/hiking experience. I hike with a dog (45 lb shepard mutt). I tend to be a cold sleeper, and usually need something underneath me below 70*. My previous hammock was an ENO DoubleNest.

    My Equipment: Besides the hammock, I've got a no-sew PLUQ, and a PLTQ, and I usually carry a cut-down CCF pad for backup insulation and as a frame for my pack (50L GoLite Jam). My tarp is currently an 8.5 GearGuide Diamond Tarp. My pack weight B.W. (Before Warbonnet) was about 16 lbs base.

    Alrighty, here we go! Initial impressions coming up.
    Last edited by crashvandicoot; 07-10-2012 at 07:34.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Initial Impressions

    Bishop Bag: Lighter weight material than the hammock itself; but sturdy enough for its purpose. The bag does not compress the hammock a lot, but this is actually a plus. By leaving it loose, the user is able to choose to compress it lengthwise or widthwise, depending on packing preferences. I don't see myself replacing the bishop bag.

    Adjustable Webbing Suspension

    Straps: Sturdy and lightweight. I think I may have gotten ripped off when I bought my straps for the ENO. The vendor said they were nylon straps, but the ones supplied by WB are far less stretchy than mine. I was able to let out the straps about 4 feet on each side with no noticeable sag after 2 hours of hanging. I didn't get the biners from WB, so I just used the heavy clunkers from my ENO.

    Triangle Buckles: These things are CRAZY lightweight! They can be a pain to let out (I know about pointing them to the ground and sky). However, the upside is that you don't have to tie a slippery half-hitch to hold them in place.

    Suspension Thoughts: I'm inclined to replace the suspension with my whoopies. I'm not a weight-wienie, but I do value space in my pack, and those straps seem to take up a lot.

    The Hammock

    Body: Slick material. At 180lbs, I did not have any noticeable stretching after two hours of hang. My backside seems to get cooler faster than my ENO, which is surprising given the two layers. The two layers are very accessible through the head and foot ends of the hammock, with a 8 - 12 inch line in the middle where the layers are stitched together. I thought it would be easier to mistakenly lay in one layer, but I don't see that being a concern. As for the color (grey), is it just me, or does this thing appear more brownish-grey? I like natural colors, so a thumbs up for this. I can see this being VERY stealthy.

    Footbox: Fantastic feature. Doesn't add much bulk to the hammock.

    Shelf: Held my clunky kindle and my brick cell phone without sagging much. Didn't lay against my side when tied out.

    Bugnet: Seems pretty sturdy, as if it would be fairly difficult to rip. I could see this adding a few degrees, but further testing will be needed. There are two ribbons of fabric on the right side of the hammock that I assume are there to tie down a rolled up bugnet, but will report on this during an overnight test. When staked out to the opposite end, it doesn't fully move the bugnet out of the way, so there will always be a bit of a canoe effect on the shelf side of the hammock.

    Stitching and Zippers: Perfection (I really don't use that word lightly). Beautiful, even stitching with some very strong thread. I don't see myself popping a seam accidentally. Zippers are smooth and consistent. Can pull them open or closed from many different angles.

    Tieouts: Nice and stretchy. Pulls the ends of the hammock out nicely for maximum space, yet still allows the hammock to swing freely without pulling the stakes out.

    Ridgeline: I like that it's made out of Amsteel. I'll probably add a ridgeline organizer. Brandon's video, as well as Raul's review, shows that they are able to torque the ridgeline nearly 90 degrees. I've fiddled with the hang a little bit, but haven't been able to torque it more than 45 degrees, so it seems a little tight. Further testing needed to see how this affects lay.

    The Lay

    Flatness: Much better than the ENO. The greater length and the footbox really make the difference. Less fiddling required. No pressure from the hammock on my ankles. However, if I lay too far forward, this elevates the middle of the hammock and puts pressure on the back of my knees. Further testing required, but I believe I'll be most comfortable if I really elevate that foot end. When I turned onto my side, the hammock really fought me with some pinching. Further testing required.

    Head Support: This is something I never even knew I wanted with my ENO, but the non-shelf side of the hammock seems to be tensioned perfectly so that I can rest my head on top of it while laying diagonally.

    Chair Mode: Better back support than my ENO. Easier to stay somewhat upright and enjoy the view. I'm not tall enough for that ridgeline to really get in the way.

    View: On the shelf side, not a whole lot. I don't anticipate this to be a big deal most of the time because I usually pitch one side of my tarp lower for wind-shielding, privacy, etc. However, the non-shelf side has a GREAT view. No canoe effect here. Also, because of the head support on this side, it's nice and easy to lie in the hammock and turn my head left and get a nice view. Should also be nice for cooking breakfast from the hammock.

    Hopefully, I'll be able to get out to the Deam Wilderness in Hoosier National Forest this weekend to do an overnight test.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Bellke's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Location
    Louisiana
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    Excellent review and I have to agree on just about everything you say about the hammock. Youíve put into words what Iíve been thinking about it. I love the room it gives me and its very comfortable. The foot box is a great idea. It's funny you mentioned the color, I wanted the grey but because got the 1.7oz double layer, mine was olive green. Itís ok, but I would have preferred the grey just for the reasons you mentioned. I'm still undecided about replacing the straps w/ whoopie slings. They are somewhat difficult to let out but not unduly so.

    I was very surprised in one regard, like you I expected the double layer to be a little warmer. I was in it this past weekend and my back was cool. It felt great considering the heat but I was surprised what a little breeze did.
    I never hike alone. The voices in my head are always with me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellke View Post
    It's funny you mentioned the color, I wanted the grey but because got the 1.7oz double layer, mine was olive green.
    That's funny, I totally would've taken the 1.1 in the olive green. Different strokes for different folks!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    UPDATE: Overnighter in Harriman State Park

    Well, I got out of Indiana and got to do some hiking in the Catskills this week. Here goes:

    SET-UP
    On this trip, I pushed myself way too hard after not hiking for a while. When I set up the BB, I was on the brink of total exhaustion. Furthermore, the site I had picked were two trees about 21' apart from each other. Now, I'm hesitant to use the term "idiot-proof" because I've set up hammocks before, but at the same time, I know my mind was not completely there when I was doing this.

    With this setup, I was pushing my tree straps to the max, and whoopies close to it. I was not able to both get a 30* hang AND get my tarp/hammock set up for the storms that were coming in. That said, I got the BB up in a couple minutes without much fuss. In the state I was in, that says something.

    WARMTH
    You'll notice I'm not calling this "Insulation." I don't want to focus too much on my other pieces of gear, but the hammock necessarily influences their performance. For this trip, I had a poncho liner top quilt and an AHE Jarbridge UQ. The temperature got down to around 60 degrees, and a number of very strong thunderstorms moved through the area.

    The BB's netting also does a fantastic job of keeping in radiant heat. I ended up kicking off the TQ for most of the night. There is also a fairly wide strip of nylon below the netting before the edge with the zipper. This blocks wind from passing through the hammock and stealing away heat. When I wanted to vent the hammock, I just cracked the zipper open a bit.

    Most of you have seen Shug's recommendation in his videos to carry a 12" x 14" piece of reflectix. I wholeheartedly echo that. The BB's footbox is perfect for holding the reflectix in place to keep your feet warm with a 3/4 UQ setup. At first, I was going to stuff it in between the DLs, but decided I might want to move it around.

    WATER REPELLING
    More just an interesting observation here. When the storms hit, I got a fair amount of misting on the head end of the hammock. However, the water stayed on the outside of my hammock, and I stayed dry.

    THE LAY
    I wasn't able to jack up the foot end of the hammock with the trees the way they were. The hammock also didn't have a 30* hang. Not ideal. I found myself sliding into the footbox, and if I tried to lay on my side, I would either get pinched by the sides of the hammock, or I'd create a sharp shelf that would bite into the back of my legs. Hang is everything with this hammock.

    That said, I found that if I can't jack the foot end up, lying more toward the center of the hammock (yes, the dreaded banana shape) was actually a bit more comfortable. It stopped me from sliding forward into the footbox, and the pinching was almost completely alleviated if I could stay farther from the foot end.

    Here's a picture of my set-up the following morning.


  6. #6
    Jayson's Avatar
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    Thanks for this. Keep it coming, I recently swaitched my HH for a WWBB 1.1 Dbl. Having trouble getting it dialed in. Find I am getting alot of pressure against my heels and my knees are hyper extended much more than in the HH.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    Having trouble getting it dialed in. Find I am getting alot of pressure against my heels and my knees are hyper extended much more than in the HH.
    Here's a checklist of things to try based on what little I've done so far:

    Lay on more of a diagonal
    Increase the sag
    Raise the foot end
    Move your lower torso away from the foot box
    Move closer to the head end

    I'll supplement this once I get more testing in.

  8. #8
    optimator's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashvandicoot View Post
    Here's a checklist of things to try based on what little I've done so far:

    Lay on more of a diagonal
    Increase the sag
    Raise the foot end
    Move your lower torso away from the foot box
    Move closer to the head end

    I'll supplement this once I get more testing in.
    Raise the foot end. Try this first. I've found that most of my problems when I first started hanging were due from this. Get the foot up at least a foot higher. You can always bring it down if it's too much.
    It's only an addiction if your trying to quit

  9. #9
    samsara's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashvandicoot View Post
    Here's a checklist of things to try based on what little I've done so far:

    Lay on more of a diagonal
    Increase the sag
    Raise the foot end
    Move your lower torso away from the foot box
    Move closer to the head end

    I'll supplement this once I get more testing in.
    From my own personal experience (YMMV) here is the checklist that I would recommend:
    • Raise the foot end
    • Raise the foot end
    • Raise the foot end
    • and raise the foot end




    The other things are important too. I just found huge differences when I raised the foot end. I have found that raising the foot end helped a lot with my DN that I recently purchased too.

    Dave
    "Laying and swaying in a hammock is like a steady morphine drip without the risk of renal failure" - Dale Gribble

    The Florida Hangers Facebook page and the Florida Hangers web page

  10. #10
    dragon360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashvandicoot View Post
    Here's a checklist of things to try based on what little I've done so far:

    Lay on more of a diagonal
    Increase the sag
    Raise the foot end
    Move your lower torso away from the foot box
    Move closer to the head end

    I'll supplement this once I get more testing in.
    Raising the foot end might help!



    The above have helped me as well. Seems that slight changes can make for big effect.
    The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. - St. Augustine

    Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
    - Bob Marley

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