Help for a Newb - Lots of Decisions
I recently got into hanging.
To try it out, I picked up a Skeeter Beater UL from Grand Trunk.
It worked pretty well, but there are some annoyances with it. There is just way too much bugnet, even after doing Grizz's ridgeline mod. At 102"x54" it seems short to me, but I still sleep in it pretty well. There's a pretty sharp ridge in the center but I'm not sure that it isn't largely due to the amount of tension on the suspension to keep it off the ground. Also, I thought I was doing a good thing by upgrading the suspension, but I used a bunch of climbing rope and tape and it is stretch city.
I am now trying to decide what my next move is.
Keep SB but mod it with a better suspension, ASR and possibly a knotty mod or just start using the extra bugnet as a BB-like shelf.
Downside, it would end up being a sort of franken-hammock and one of the issues that I had was getting bitten by mosquitos through the bottom fabric. The other options would be double layer for the increased protection and for the ability to put in a small pad for really cold weather. I would probably treat anything I have with Permethrin from now on for maximum protection.
The benefit is that with the money that I save not buying a new hammock, I could probably pick up an underquilt for winter.
Option 2: BIAS WW DL with buginator and other accessories.
Option 3: Dangerbird 60 1.8 taffeta inner, 1.1 ripstop outer.
The decision between these two hammocks is that I love the whole package of the dangerbird, but the weight is what keeps me from ordering right now. I don't like the fact that even if I don't need the overcover or bugnet, I am still carrying that weight. I saw some vids of the size of the stuffsack and it seemed large.
This seems like the most comfortable hammock though and seems like the overcover would make it inherently warmer. Also, I'm 5'11 225 so if I really want to shave carry weight, I got a lot of gut that would be the first place to cut. I also like that for the price it comes with a black bishop bag and the nice ridgeline organizer.
The BIAS would be more modular. I like the ease of the knotty mod over having to use tie outs. Considering the cost of a double layer and a knotty mod though, it's not any cheaper than the Dangerbird. I'm assuming carry weight of the WWDL with Buginator is 25 ounces versus 35 ounces for DB. In the winter when I'm not carrying the bug net it goes down to 18 ounces or so. I like the light weight and the options for customization.
So my question is, which would you do? How hard would it be to mod the SBUL? Does the extra length and width of the other hammocks make that much difference in comfort? Is the weight penalty of the DB worth the swiss army knife aspect of it? Does the overcover make a huge difference in temp during the winter? Also, I'm sure someone might wonder why the WBBB is not in the picture. I sleep head right, feet left so the BB isn't really designed for me. That may not be as big of an issue as I think though.
I'd skip option 1 - keep it as a loaner hammock. Your mods may go wrong and you'll end up with a useless pile of franken material.
As for the other two options, I think you answered your own question. I like the modular approach as well - only bring what you need. However, some folks want just one hammock for all seasons, which makes a lot of sense, just not to me. Last winter I would stare at my integrated bugnet and wonder why I was dragging that weight around. When I first started hammocking I was the exact opposite - I wanted the Swiss Army hammock with integrated bugnet.
I find the BIAS DL to be my most comfortable hammock, but I don't really need a DL because I don't use a pad. Nobody said that people make rational choices when choosing hammocks.
I love a detachable bugnet such as the Buginator (or to save weight, you can try and get the NanoBuginator, 21% lighter, but they aren't on sale yet). It just thrills me to leave the bugnet at home during winter.
I am considering an overcover/undercover or perhaps a hammock sock to add warmth, but frankly, I doubt I would need one until it got into the teens or lower Fahrenheit. Since the majority of my camping won't be that cold, that's another thing I can leave at home.
As for your length and width question, I am of the belief that length makes a huge difference. My 11 ft. BIAS DL, and two tablecloth hammocks (10.5 ft.) are light years more comfortable than my shorter hammocks (HH Expedition, Byer Moskito).
I don't think width plays that much of a role in comfort - you only use so much fabric establishing your diagonal lay and the rest is just excess weight to carry. Anything wider than 60" seems like overkill to me. Apparently others agree, since BIAS offers 52, 56 & 60-inch hammocks.
I think you're right. Sometimes it helps just getting the ideas out of my head.
When I list out the pros and cons the BIAS comes out even or ahead in just about every functional category.