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  1. #1
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    Warbonnet RidgeRunner w. Sleeping Pad vs BMBH..First Impressions

    I know there are some forum members out there who like to use a sleeping pad with there setup and are interested in how well the Warbonnet RidgeRunner works with one. I hesitate to call this a review, really they are just my initial impressions as Ive only spent the better part of two days and two nights in the RidgeRunner. And Ive only been "hanging" for a little over a year, so my knowledge and experience is limited, but I have used the Warbonnet BB, currently own the BMBH and now the RidgeRunner. It was nice to hang the JRB BMBH next to the RidgeRunner and hop from one to the other to make comparisons.

    I have the Warbonnet RidgeRunner Double Layer with a woopie suspension system. I wanted a double layer because I like to use an air pad because of the added flexibility it gives me should I have to go to ground. In the RR I used a full length Neo Air All Season Pad. This pad measure 77x25x2.5 inches. I used a full length Neo Air "the original" measuring 77x25x2.5 inches in the BMBH. The JRB BMBH has been reviewed several times so I wont give my impressions on that hammock except has to how some components compare to the RR.

    There are several things that I really like and appreciate about the RR and some areas that I see room for improvement.

    1. Having a zipper that goes around the two sides and the head end makes entering and initial setup of the hammock much easier than the BMBH. I find myself swinging alot on the sides of hills with uneven terrain, so being able to get in from the uphill side while not being concerned with the initial setup orientation of the hammock is a big plus. Also having a storage area for the netting is a nice touch to keep it out of the way on those rare (for me) bugless nights.

    2. The saddle bags are a bloody brilliant design. Having ample storage space is something that I really missed from the WB BB shelf, and having room to put things like your down jacket, extra clothing, book ect. and keep them out of the way is really nice. The JRB has two netted pockets on the head and foot end that do a great job for little items like your glasses or pocket knife, but its nice to have a place for larger items.

    3. The head end dipped pocket is also a nice feature. Its easy to just take a piece of clothing off and throw it back behind your head and know that it will be there when you wake up. It might be nice if this pocket was a bit deeper to allow for bigger items, but its functional as is.

    4. The Bug Net. When I first saw the design and even the youtube video Brandon put out I thought the bug net looked kind of gimmicky on the RidgeRunner. I really liked how the BMBH bug net worked and contrary to some, I found the bugnet to always be taut and a nice distance from my face. After using the RR, I have to say that the bugnet in practice works very well. There seem to be enough attachment points somewhere to hook the mitten clip to and it does a great job at pulling the net from your face in a taut, professional looking manner. The saddle bags have the added benefit of "pulling" the bugnet slightly outward so you have more interior space. The overall effect it that you feel more like your sleeping in a one man tent rather than in a "coffin" for lack of a better description...which also has to do with...

    5. The view. The view while laying on this hammock if phenominal. I thought the view from the BMBH was pretty good, but I see what Ive been missing now. This is primarily because of the limited height of the sides of the hammock coming up vertically. Of course with a tarp deployed for rain purposes, the veiw is totally negated but I find myself putting up my hammock first thing when I get to camp in the afternoon and taking a nap. I love to just take in my surroundings from that position. The limited side height also makes...

    6. Getting into and out of the RR is definately more graceful than with the BMBH. Even with alot of practice I felt like I was falling into the BMBH whenever I entered. I invariabley had to sit on a portion of the side which would cause the opposite end of the hammock to swing upward, a bad situation when the spreader bars would then make contact with the tarp. For whatever reasons, its much easier to grab the opposite end of the RR with your hand, stabilize the hammock and lay down with minimal movement of the spreader bars. I dont sit from my hammocks much, but I know that many others like to lounge from their hammocks. I definately see the RR being more comfortable in that regard.

    7. The neck/head support. This is a bit tricky to describe but while laying in the hammock there is a supporting "ridge" of fabric that is somehow sewn to raise the level of the hammock where your head and neck would be. Im not overly fond of this, but it may grow on me. I like to use a nemo Filo pillow. Using the pillow with the ridge makes my head lie to high and not using one keeps my head too low for my liking. I also dont like the feel of my head or face on the hammock fabric so I need something underneath my head. Maybe a shallower pillow will do the trick.

    8. The double layers. Ive always wondered why the BMBH didnt have openings from both sides. It was fairly time consuming to thread a 25 inch pad through the sleeve system from just one side while to trying to keep everything in position as the pad moved forward. The RR does have an opening on both sides and it makes putting in a sleeping pad very easy. Start it through on one side and pull it into position from the other-very quick. Also the head end sleeve is much wider so starting the pad through the sleeve is simple. The RR does not have a way to keep the pad from sliding out when not is use. I have come to appreciate the little velcro tab on the BMBH that keeps the pad from sliding back out, as I have had this happen when I forgot to velcro the tab and came back to find my pad missing on a windy day! Im sure this is an easy fix, but I really wish it was there to begin with. I will also say this, and I dont know if it makes a difference in use or not, but the top layer seems to hold all the weight of the person, as the second layer is somewhat loose if a pad is not inserted. When a pad is inserted, it fills the inside between the two layers very nicely. Maybe this is so your bottom insulation is not as compacted as much when in use? But for those heavier forum members hoping that a double layer will hold more weight as compared to a single, I would think not.

    For those planning on buying the single layer to save weight, and laying an air pad on top, I would say that its doable and comfortable but not as good if used in the sleeve. Maybe the single layer is cut differently than mine, but when I layed the air pad on the top, I felt less stable. I suppose that was from a higher center of mass and would probably depend to some degree on how thick your pad is- agian mine is 2.5 inches and probably inflated half way. Remember that the sides are very shallow on this hammock so raising yourself a couple more inches doesnt leave much to keep you in the hammock.

    9. Suspension Triangles. Im not very happy with the design of the triangles as compared to the BMBH. The line from the two ends of the spreader bar form a very large triangle where they meet some distance from the hammock itself. This makes enclosing the door ends of a tarp problematic if you are hoping for full enclosure without using a very, very, big tarp. In my opinion, the biggest draw back of a bridge hammock are the trials assoicated with finding and deploying a tarp to fit the bridge style hammmock and its wide spreader bars. The triangles further add to that complexity. Sure it can be done with the tarp rubbing against the suspension triangle, and maybe its not a big deal, but its definately not an ideal situation. Im not a math major and wouldnt know where to begin with the geometry involved and weight bearing forces should the triangle be shortned. Im sure there is a reason for the size that they are, but maybe something can be worked out to decrease the triangle to something more manageable like the BMBH. Im currently using a superfly and it works, but I may be refining my setup in the future if I decide to keep this hammock.


    10. The lay. I have been a big fan of the lay in a BMBH. Im 6'2, 205 lbs and I found that with a 25 inch pad inserted there is no shoulder squeeze for me in the BMBH- in fact the fabric would not even touch the sides of my shoulders. But there was a bit of what I call a "cupping" sensation, that seems to curl your shoulders inwards like what you would think of as sleeping in a half pipe. Also with the BMBH, for me it always felt like I was sleeping on one side of the hammock or the other. What I mean by that is if you were to draw a line down the middle of the hammock length wise, it would seem like you were either on the left side or the right side depending on how you positioned your weight while lying down. I am happy to report that shoulder squeeze with the ridgerunner is non existant for me. Also the "cupping" sensation and the side to side issues I have had are much less. If I had to put a number on it I would say 50%. The lie in a ridgerunner feels more like laying on a cot to me, whereas the BMBH felt more like laying in a slightly curved bottom casket. I dont mean that negatively for the BMBH, as it truely is a great hammock, but thats the best way I can describe it. The wider header spreader bars on the RR really make a difference, especially for those that like to sleep with their arms up my their heads like me. I even found that I could lay on my stomach with my arms up by my head and was comfortable. One nice thing about the higher sides on the BMBH was that when laying on your side, it was comforting to have an edge for your rear end to lay against, giving me more confidence that I would not be falling out anytime soon. That ledge does not exist to the same degree on the RR, again think cot, so sleeping on my side was a bit more disconcerting but as comfortable, maybe slightly moreso, as the BMBH. So I would say that for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and side sleepers, especially those that need more room around their head area, this is definately a hammock to try out.


    Remember that I have only spent two days playing with and two night sleeping in the hammock, and admittedly my experience in nowhere near what some on hear have. But thats my impression of the hammock so far for those that are on the fence about upgrading or buying one, especially if you are planning on using an air pad. I will continue to fiddle with mine during the next week- and then make a decision on which to keep but right now Im leaning towards keeping the RR.

  2. #2
    Rooster's Avatar
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    Very nice review.

  3. #3
    Member ChacMool's Avatar
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    Thanks, CFI! Your detailed comments here are very helpful for me.

    Particularly interested in comparing the WBBB and the WBRR, looking at my first purchase of a camping hammock. So I wonder if you can elaborate on your impressions of the RR in comparison to the BB (esp. DL 1.1).

    I realize this partly asks about pragmatic differences between backpacking or camping with gathered end vs. spreader bar hammocks, but its especially focused on the BB and RR.

    FWIW, I'm about 5' 10", under 185 pounds. I like sleeping on my stomach and roll around a lot. While I'm a total noob with camping hammocks, I've enjoyed two hammocks for decades. One is a rope hammock with 5' 3" oak spreader bars (6' 8" apart), hanging on my deck via chains from posts 19' apart. My second one is a large string hammock, bought in Merida (in the Yucatan) over twenty years ago. I like them both. Every summer I lounge (and sometimes nap) in my string hammock in the woods, but never tried to sleep the night in it. I did try to sleep in my deck hammock last summer in a sleeping bag, but gave up without actually falling sleep.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate any thoughts you (or others) may have comparing RR with BB, which I was all set to order before I saw the RR announcement. Perhaps points 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 in your post above can structure your thoughts about the BB vs. RR.

  4. #4
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    +1 to some of the points on the double-layer RR with a partially-inflated neo-air. The full-size pad is a tight fit. The 25" width is held pretty snugly at the narrowest point of the hammock, so I'd be surprised if it would ever fall out or even shift much. Length-wise, the pad is a little longer than the hammock - when I tried it, it stuck out an inch or two from one end or the other. I thought this would be a problem, but it's convenient having the valve remain outside for adjusting the air pressure.

    An air pad does seem to distribute my weight across both of the hammock's layers. Without the pad, the bottom layer is pretty loose; with the pad, both layers are taut. The pad also flattens out the foot area a bit - without the pad, my feet tend to fall to the centerline of the hammock; with the pad, they're comfortable spread to the corners.

    I'm new to the bridge hammock thing, so still trying to figure out the best lounging positions. Laying on my side felt much more awkward than in a gathered end hammock - mostly because I couldn't figure out a comfortable thing to do with my underside arm. Flat on my back was super cush, as expected. Also, an angle about half way between back and side was very comfy.

  5. #5
    Kyle's Avatar
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    Excellent review. I'm with ChacMool - I'm absolutely torn between a BB and a RR. Despite the fact that I'm a side and stomach sleeper, primarily, I'm leaning towards a BB because I don't like that the RR is so specialized. Normal quilts won't work (as well anyway), the Superfly I just bought won't work without being gimped by the triangles, etc. At the same time, if need be, I could sell the SF and buy a Cloudburst (it fits the triangles, I assume... maybe not...), but that's even MORE weight on top of the spreaders, etc. I don't have any quilts yet, so I could get the Lynx, but then it would be less useful with other hammocks.

    All that said, I really thinking the Blackbird is what I'll be getting, but I'm not sure how comfortably it can be slept in on stomach and side. I'm only 5'10" and 140lbs, so I kind of have to imagine it would be fine since I can ALMOST get comfy in a ENO DN on my stomach. The extra length combined with the footbox, I suspect, would make it a good fit.

    Ultimately, I am genuinely worried that I'll just have to buy them both, see which I like more, and take a small loss on the other. But maybe not! Let's start seeing less BMBH vs RR threads and more BB vs RR threads! XD

    Thanks again for the review. Very well done.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the great review....especially the part about the pad. I now think I'll order a double layer. I love the fact that the bottom layer is loose to accomodate the pad....simple but brilliant.

    Miguel

  7. #7
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    Well written first impressions and comparisons.
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  8. #8
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    Lots of good points of comparison. I was going to be the 1st to comment, but had to go and am just getting back over 3 hours later. But when I read your 1st impressions, I was just getting in from a backyard nap in the BMBH UL in one of the most beautiful days I have seen this time of year. It was downright coolish with the wind chill! I was trying to read a book on my Kindle and I passed out. A neighborhood dog playfully running around my hammock woke me up, I was afraid he was going to steal one of my Crocs!

    So I guess you have the BMBH with pad pocket, and not the UL? I have both JRBs. I noticed once again that the UL has less forced curve in the shoulders (and a bit more shoulder room) than the deluxe. And it has a better view, really a lot more so than the deluxe. But I'm not sure how important any of that is for me, I really get by shoulder wise OK with the deluxe even without a pad, and I usually don't get in it until bedtime anyway, so not much looking around. And I do love the pad pocket in the deluxe. But the UL does save about 1/2 lb. I'm not certain yet that I really like the UL any better overall than the deluxe even with the increased shoulder room. There is just something- other than the pad pocket- about the deluxe, that I like, or maybe I am just used to it. I do feel that I can find more usable book reading/lounging positions in the deluxe ( actually, mine is an original, not the zippered Deluxe, but I think they are VERY similar). And when it comes to lounging, I have only so far done this with the original model, I don't think I can do this in most hammocks:


    I know what you mean about "One nice thing about the higher sides on the BMBH was that when laying on your side, it was comforting to have an edge for your rear end to lay against, giving me more confidence that I would not be falling out anytime soon." The sides are so supportive that I can lounge like in the above pic, leaning back with chair like back support. The UL model still has a lot of this side support, but not as much.

    Another thing I am waiting for winter to check out in the BMBH UL, and wonder about even more with the WB RR: ease of keeping quilts tucked. Last winter I became aware of what seemed to be an actual benefit to the lack of side/shoulder room in the BMBH, the aspect that caused the most complaints. This half pipe shape actually tended to "funnel" the quilt down to my sides. The UQ wrapped up well above on both sides and well above the edges of the UQ, whether it was just laying loosely on top of me or tucked under my sides. It just started seeming to me that I was having a much easier time avoiding TQ drafts compared to my non-bridge hammocks. Sense my BMBH UL is not as deep and is a bit more "open" in the shoulders, I will be interested to see if it works as well in this regard. I am also curious about the WBRR in this regard.

    Again, good comparison, keep us posted.
    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.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
    Excellent review. I'm with ChacMool - I'm absolutely torn between a BB and a RR. Despite the fact that I'm a side and stomach sleeper, primarily, I'm leaning towards a BB because I don't like that the RR is so specialized. Normal quilts won't work (as well anyway), the Superfly I just bought won't work without being gimped by the triangles, etc. At the same time, if need be, I could sell the SF and buy a Cloudburst (it fits the triangles, I assume... maybe not...), but that's even MORE weight on top of the spreaders, etc. I don't have any quilts yet, so I could get the Lynx, but then it would be less useful with other hammocks.

    All that said, I really thinking the Blackbird is what I'll be getting, but I'm not sure how comfortably it can be slept in on stomach and side. I'm only 5'10" and 140lbs, so I kind of have to imagine it would be fine since I can ALMOST get comfy in a ENO DN on my stomach. The extra length combined with the footbox, I suspect, would make it a good fit.

    Ultimately, I am genuinely worried that I'll just have to buy them both, see which I like more, and take a small loss on the other. But maybe not! Let's start seeing less BMBH vs RR threads and more BB vs RR threads! XD

    Thanks again for the review. Very well done.
    Hey Kyle and ChacMool...

    I owned and used the WBBB double layer for a very short period and maybe only put 2-3 nights use on it. I was pretty adament about using a sleeping pad with my system for the option of going to ground if I had to. I found that even with the double layer of the WBBB to sandwich the pad between, it still moved around too much for my liking and I was waking up trying to arrange it throughout the night. So admitedly, I may not have given it a fair shake, but by that time I was pretty interested in trying out the bridge designs. So Im probably not the best person to ask if your just trying to purchase one or the other...wish I could help you out, but I dont want to lead you down the wrong path.

    I will say that for me the only way to really know if a hammock is going to work for you is to get one, or borrow one, and try it out. Really what I would do is buy both excepting that one is going to be sold at a slight loss-probably $30-$35 with shipping when its all said and done- and just factor that into your purchase price. Or try and find a group hang.

    I hear what your saying about all the specialized addons for the RR. But from what Im hearing people are saying that their regular sized UQs are working pretty well. Good luck and sorry I couldnt be more help with your decision.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Lots of good points of comparison. I was going to be the 1st to comment, but had to go and am just getting back over 3 hours later. But when I read your 1st impressions, I was just getting in from a backyard nap in the BMBH UL in one of the most beautiful days I have seen this time of year. It was downright coolish with the wind chill! I was trying to read a book on my Kindle and I passed out. A neighborhood dog playfully running around my hammock woke me up, I was afraid he was going to steal one of my Crocs!

    So I guess you have the BMBH with pad pocket, and not the UL? I have both JRBs. I noticed once again that the UL has less forced curve in the shoulders (and a bit more shoulder room) than the deluxe. And it has a better view, really a lot more so than the deluxe. But I'm not sure how important any of that is for me, I really get by shoulder wise OK with the deluxe even without a pad, and I usually don't get in it until bedtime anyway, so not much looking around. And I do love the pad pocket in the deluxe. But the UL does save about 1/2 lb. I'm not certain yet that I really like the UL any better overall than the deluxe even with the increased shoulder room. There is just something- other than the pad pocket- about the deluxe, that I like, or maybe I am just used to it. I do feel that I can find more usable book reading/lounging positions in the deluxe ( actually, mine is an original, not the zippered Deluxe, but I think they are VERY similar). And when it comes to lounging, I have only so far done this with the original model, I don't think I can do this in most hammocks:


    I know what you mean about "One nice thing about the higher sides on the BMBH was that when laying on your side, it was comforting to have an edge for your rear end to lay against, giving me more confidence that I would not be falling out anytime soon." The sides are so supportive that I can lounge like in the above pic, leaning back with chair like back support. The UL model still has a lot of this side support, but not as much.

    Another thing I am waiting for winter to check out in the BMBH UL, and wonder about even more with the WB RR: ease of keeping quilts tucked. Last winter I became aware of what seemed to be an actual benefit to the lack of side/shoulder room in the BMBH, the aspect that caused the most complaints. This half pipe shape actually tended to "funnel" the quilt down to my sides. The UQ wrapped up well above on both sides and well above the edges of the UQ, whether it was just laying loosely on top of me or tucked under my sides. It just started seeming to me that I was having a much easier time avoiding TQ drafts compared to my non-bridge hammocks. Sense my BMBH UL is not as deep and is a bit more "open" in the shoulders, I will be interested to see if it works as well in this regard. I am also curious about the WBRR in this regard.

    Again, good comparison, keep us posted.
    Hey BillyBob, yes I have the BMBH with the pad pocket and attached bugnet, not the the newer UL. You are dead on correct with your comments about the higher edges of the BMBH "funneling" the TQ down around your and giving protection to the drafts. Thats one thing I really like about that design. I dont know how that aspect is going to playout with the RR. Havnt had really any cold or windy nights here to test that out, but its something Ive wondered about also.

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