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  1. #11
    Senior Member SunshineHiker's Avatar
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    I have had the same experience! I originally wanted a smaller hammock than the average purely due to my UL backpacking obsession but quickly found that the wider, longer hammocks just aren't as comfy to me. My Slice of Heaven is almost exactly the same proportions as your Lean Green and I have never had a uncomfortable hang in it though some longer predecessors were just disappointing. I have long since had the suspicion that a shorter hammock is actually more luxurious and the fact that it weighs less is purely a bonus!

  2. #12
    Member SwedeMix's Avatar
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    Forgot to ask O.P (and of course you other guys), did you keep the standard 30 degree hang angle or did you go less/more?
    People on this forum are absolutely incredible. I wish we could discover new land and inhabit it all together. :-) - Deadphans

  3. #13
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    I think I may have to convert a tablecloth blank to a small hammock and see how it works out. I am small so maybe a smaller hammock would be more comfy. So far, hanging in anything beats the ground.

  4. #14
    steveflinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carmen2kayak View Post
    hanging in anything beats the ground.
    AMEN!






    [this space intentionally left blank]

  5. #15
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    I thought my Hennessey Expedition was snug as a bug, but I sold it as the netting was too close, and sometimes I would wake up with mosquitoes chewing my face off.

  6. #16
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejoha View Post
    Great points Catavarie. I agree with you. I have a post on "advanced hammock theory" where I started to play around with this idea of proportions. I believe there is a formula for calculating all the factors involved with the "right" hammock for your height, including the right length, width, and sag.

    Just going wider causes the hammock sides or gunnels to "canoe," which introduces floppy fabric on the sides because you can't get any more diagonal without going "banana." A deeper sag with a wide hammock helps somewhat, but the right proportion of width to length and the right sag allows the hanger to get in the right diagonal position for maximum "flatness" and comfort.

    One of these days I'll get in a studio and film this, but it may take a while. It's sort of fascinating in a strange, geeky way.
    I need to track down your post on advanced hammock theory, sounds like a fascinating read, and I'd love see a video on it as well. Yeah, I'm a hammock geek.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwedeMix View Post
    Catavarie - that was a really great write up, made me smile from ear to ear!

    This is really interesting, been thinking in these exact terms myself. Maybe time to start experimenting, hmmm..
    Dejoha, a video sounds just great - it'll save us mere mortals tons of time and a few messed up hammocks! Love your teaching-skills, keep it up!

    // SwedeMix
    I'm glad you enjoyed it. The size testing wasn't hard at all. I simply took a large unwhiped hammock and folded it down to the size I wanted to test before cutting and whipped it up. Initially hung it like that for a comfort test and was so amazed that I immediately took it down and started cutting it down for further testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by samsara View Post
    I was going to link to a thread by MAD777 about narrow hammocks but I see that you already posted there

    I have a dream... a dream that some day we will have something like the foot size measuring device for buying shoes (do they have those things any more?). You lay down with your head at the top and someone pulls in the measuring sides and bottom and *poof* you have your measurements for the perfect hammock!

    Nahh

    Dave
    It was MAD777 post that got me really thinking about this and why I decided to finally try it out for myself. Such a device would be amazing. Imagine walking into REI and declaing, "I want a hammock!" And the sales person's responded, "Okay sir. Just laydown on the floor here while I measure you with this huge vise looking contraption to fit you for your best hammock."

    Okay, well maybe not a huge vise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsissewa View Post
    Those are called Brannock devices. (my head is full of useless information!)

    My first hammock was a smallish 4.5x9 parachute hammock. That darn thing is STILL the most comfortable hammock I have (out of 5!) I can hang it ANYWHERE, ANY WAY and it's comfortable! So, I think you're on to something there. I don't know if it's the proportion of length to width, or the proportion of length to the height of the user or what, but I agree with your findings, Catavarie. Thanks for the write-up!
    Better a head full of "useless" information than a head empty of thought. Of course now we see here that nowing what a Brannock device is, is not completely useless.

    I was truly amazed at the comfort of such a small hammock, never thought I would be a proponate of small hammocks.

    Quote Originally Posted by raiffnuke View Post
    Great write up Catavarie! I have been experimenting with larger hammocks, but I haven't played around with smaller hammocks...I guess it is time to get back to some napping...er I mean hammock testing!
    Hammock testing can be a hard job, but somebody has to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dragon360 View Post
    My smallest hammock would be a GT ultra-light I've had for some time. I've always found it comfortable but never been able to really get lost in it. My larger hammocks, I have an easier time evading the dreaded ridge but maybe I need to take some time to relook at this!
    The only difference between the GTUL and my Lean Green is a half foot of length. Otherwise the material and inittal construction are the exact same. The only other variable is the person laying in it, and since we are not all identical what works for me may not work for you. Smaller may not be better for everyone, but futher experimentation is always encouraged. And as the Mythbuster moto goes, "Failure is always and option."
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  7. #17
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Very, very interesting thread, Catavarie! And seems to be confirming some experiences I have had and posted about, though I don't think I had yet thought " Hmmm, could a smaller hammock be better?".

    First your thought on Big Red and " it is so wide that I can go completely to one side of it without much maneuvering": how often I have posted the same thought about the HH Safari! When I stay far enough to one side, the ridge hits me mid thigh where it is of no consequence. It can't seem to put pressure on a nerve as happens with some other hammocks causing calf pressure. I think yours is the 1st other post I've read stating a similar opinion, though about another hammock.

    Another hammock with mostly no calf pressure problems has been my Claytor No Net. It is not all that long at 10 ft, but is also my most narrow hammock at 48". As well as my best hammock with a Pea Pod. I have always meant to try the shorter Claytor model, both for comfort and pod use, but have not yet done so.

    Finally, my old Speer 8.5 ( probably actually a 9 footer the way most folks measure) is my shortest hammock though wider than the Claytor. And I am always surprised that it consistently equals or exceeds any non-bridge I have tried for lack of leg ridge misery. It is not my favorite hammock overall, because I might have some slight knee hyper-extension ( way easier to deal with than calf pressure )and side sleeping with my legs straight is not so great ( fetal is fine ). But otherwise very comfy, and a match for any in the calf pressure wars.

    So, what's up with these short or shorter hammocks?
    I'm not completely sure what causes it to be so comfortable. If Speer made his hammocks at 9ft then how did we get to the 10ft models? My guess would be because of Hennessy, Warbonnet, Eno, etc using the 10 foot mark. Everyone I've heard of that has been in a Speer style hammock loves them, I had no idea that they were made around the 9 foot mark. Perhaps Ed was dead on with his measurements and we're just relearning this.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBRanger View Post
    Very interesting thread! I'm interested as I'm only 5'-9" and would love a shorter hammock but yet still maintain comfort of my 11' DIY. Definitely will be following this one.
    A easy way of finding out is re-whipping your 11 footer at 9 feet and give it a lay. That is basically all I did. I also took a bit of time to clip the extra side fabric underneath to reduce the width as well, but I'm not certain that is needed if you can imagine and restrict yourself to a more narrow design. The most you lose is a bit of time, but you gain time with and in your hammock.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunshineHiker View Post
    I have had the same experience! I originally wanted a smaller hammock than the average purely due to my UL backpacking obsession but quickly found that the wider, longer hammocks just aren't as comfy to me. My Slice of Heaven is almost exactly the same proportions as your Lean Green and I have never had a uncomfortable hang in it though some longer predecessors were just disappointing. I have long since had the suspicion that a shorter hammock is actually more luxurious and the fact that it weighs less is purely a bonus!
    Trying to lighten my packweight is what drove me to try the smaller hammock. Now though I wonder, what made me wait so long.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwedeMix View Post
    Forgot to ask O.P (and of course you other guys), did you keep the standard 30 degree hang angle or did you go less/more?
    Honestly it is probably a bit more than 30 but I didn't actually measure anything, just eyeballed it. I hung the tree straps at basically the same point I would for my longer hammocks and set the hammock height at around teh same height as well. I only say that it is was probably more, because it seemed a little steeper than with my longer hammocks. Although I would guess that a 30 hang angle would still be prefered/recommended by most. I certainly didn't string it up tight though.

    Quote Originally Posted by carmen2kayak View Post
    I think I may have to convert a tablecloth blank to a small hammock and see how it works out. I am small so maybe a smaller hammock would be more comfy. So far, hanging in anything beats the ground.
    +1
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  8. #18
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caribou Bentspoke View Post
    I thought my Hennessey Expedition was snug as a bug, but I sold it as the netting was too close, and sometimes I would wake up with mosquitoes chewing my face off.
    Those little vampires are always trying to ruin our outside fun.

    I've actually become a fan of detachable bug nets partially so that I don't have to carry the weight when the bugs aren't out and also I don't like not being able to easily adjust my UQ with a sewn in net. I use a partial length UQ though and I have an idea rolling around in my head for a new way of suspending it to prevent drooping and slipping. But that is another thread for another day.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  9. #19
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catavarie View Post
    I'm not completely sure what causes it to be so comfortable. If Speer made his hammocks at 9ft then how did we get to the 10ft models? My guess would be because of Hennessy, Warbonnet, Eno, etc using the 10 foot mark. Everyone I've heard of that has been in a Speer style hammock loves them, I had no idea that they were made around the 9 foot mark. Perhaps Ed was dead on with his measurements and we're just relearning this.
    Well, Ed certainly knew hammocks. And Pods, and Snugfits and SPEs! ( That is, Ed and Youngblood! )

    When I bought mine, it was actually the longer of his two models and was called the 8.5(ft), vs the 8.0 model. His very last models were called 9 footers. I asked him about this, thinking I might want to get one. But he told me there was no real change in the hammock, but in the way of measuring. Somehow he decided other manufacturer's ways of measuring were dif than his, and that when he measured by their way ( end of knots vs inside knot to inside knot? ), he came out more like 9 ft, and that 9 ft sounded better for sales. So I'm not sure if the hammock is 8.5 or 9 ft long, or exactly how to measure. But, it is obviously my shortest hammock, and is very comfy and at or near the very best as far as being comfortable in the calf area, no pressure points worth mentioning.

    Wish Ed was still here. I guess after so many years he burned out on hammocks. I have not seen anything from him since he sold out to TTTG. BTW, wasn't his rule of thumb that you always made your hammock 2 ft longer than your height?
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 11-09-2012 at 09:00.
    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

  10. #20
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    BTW, wasn't his rule of thumb that you always made your hammock 2 ft longer than your height?
    I'm not sure where I read it, but I had found someone had written "your height + 24 inches + 27 inches." I'm not sure how those numbers came to be though and could have just been someone's best guess, but they seemed awfully specific.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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