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  1. #11
    I own both...

    I'd say they are both very comfortable. (almost equally comfortable....slight advantage to RR, and that is only because it takes a lot less time to find a sweet spot)

    if you sleep with your knees tucked up, go with the BB
    with my BB, I can only sleep on my left side(facing zipper/entry).... sleeping on right doesn't work for me-probably due to shape/cut of hammock--RR you can sleep facing left or right. (Some may feel comfortable laying on right side in BB, it may only be an "issue" with me)



    It probably would be best to get both and give them each a try.
    If you are backpacking, the BB would be the lighter choice of course.

  2. #12

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    I owned a Blackbird and didn't care for it....sold it. I currently own the Ridgerunner and prefer it immensely. My wife and I own at least seven hammocks and it's by far my most comfortable. The only downside is the slight weight penalty because of the poles but even with that, I will probably take it when I return to the AT this Spring.

    As you can see there are a variety of opinions so I would take Brandon's advice and buy both and return one. Better yet....keep both.

    Miguel

  3. #13
    sturgeon's Avatar
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    blackbird pros for me: lighter hammock, small light tarp, nice shelf, ridge-line to hang a light,

    blackbird cons for me: more fiddle factor getting the lay just right, more fiddling with underquilt, knee hyperextension big problem for me, unnatural pressure on the heels of my feet, just never got comfy for me, a little enclosed, less view, entry from one side only.

    ridgerunner pros for me: easier, faster,more forgiving set- up, underquilt fits perfectly every time, place for glasses behind my head, saddlebags are useful, very comfortable lay every time, less problem with knee hyperextension, ability to remove a pole section to sink deeper into the hammock, great view, able to get in from both sides

    ridgerunner cons for me: weight, poles, larger heavier tarp, fiddling with tarp now instead of hammock, no ridgeline to hang stuff from, trees need to be a bit farther apart, difficult to really pull knees up, a little worried about breaking the poles

    I choose to use a hammock for comfort, so the ridgerunner is the definite winner. I'm willing to take a weight penalty, even when backpacking, in order to sleep comfortably. Neither hammock is ideal for sidesleeping, but i feel the ridgerunner has more options for sleeping positions, and is immediately comfy.

    Hope that helps...

  4. #14
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    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.

    I must say that I am back to leaning toward the RR again. That is where I was a few weeks ago because it looked like the bridge structure might help avoid shoulder squeeze when sleeping on my back. More recently I started to reconsider because on some of the videos I've seen, the "shape" of the RR looks like it might be more "rigid", resulting in less flexibility in sleeping position. But when it comes down to it, the only reason I move from my back is because of discomfort/pressure and when I am on my sides, I usually only have a slight bend in one leg, never going fetal unless I'm having a restless night and am desperate to find a comfortable position.

    Like sturgeon, this entire decision, for me, is based on comfort. The extra weight and other nuances are very very secondary.

    Let me ask another question ... Is the RR any more "stiff" or "taught", and can the "stiffness" be adjusted by adjusting the suspension? In some of the videos it looks as though the RR doesn't have the "soft bend" that the BB has - in the vertical axis, if you know what I'm trying to say.

  5. #15
    hairbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1csleptonkayak View Post
    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.

    I must say that I am back to leaning toward the RR again. That is where I was a few weeks ago because it looked like the bridge structure might help avoid shoulder squeeze when sleeping on my back. More recently I started to reconsider because on some of the videos I've seen, the "shape" of the RR looks like it might be more "rigid", resulting in less flexibility in sleeping position. But when it comes down to it, the only reason I move from my back is because of discomfort/pressure and when I am on my sides, I usually only have a slight bend in one leg, never going fetal unless I'm having a restless night and am desperate to find a comfortable position.

    Like sturgeon, this entire decision, for me, is based on comfort. The extra weight and other nuances are very very secondary.

    Let me ask another question ... Is the RR any more "stiff" or "taught", and can the "stiffness" be adjusted by adjusting the suspension? In some of the videos it looks as though the RR doesn't have the "soft bend" that the BB has - in the vertical axis, if you know what I'm trying to say.
    You said you didnt mind the weight. The rr is your choice then.

  6. #16
    samsara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1csleptonkayak View Post

    Let me ask another question ... Is the RR any more "stiff" or "taught", and can the "stiffness" be adjusted by adjusting the suspension? In some of the videos it looks as though the RR doesn't have the "soft bend" that the BB has - in the vertical axis, if you know what I'm trying to say.
    If you are asking "Is the fabric so tight that it isn't comfortable like the cots with cloth stretched over them?" then the answer is no. It is tighter than a BB because they are two different types of hammocks and the bridge hammock (RR) uses the same principles as a suspension bridge. I would say that it feels a lot like laying on a memory foam mattress. You don't have the sag of a gathered end hammock but that is also why you are able to get a much flatter lie (lay? ) in it.

    You probably should either try Brandon's suggestion or find a hang near you and see if there will be a RR and BB that you can try. I think you'll be happy with either but it seems like you'll probably like the RR better. Buy both and keep both... there isn't any one hammock that is perfect for all conditions (I have 6 and they are each "best" for different things ).

    Also, I forgot to mention... I don't know that anyone over 6'4" can use a RR. I'm 6'2" and have no problem in it but I don't have a huge amount of real estate above my head and below my feet. Plenty for me to be comfortable and I think if I was 2" taller I would be ok but beyond that I think it would be "head and feet against the ends".

    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

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsara View Post
    If you are asking "Is the fabric so tight that it isn't comfortable like the cots with cloth stretched over them?" then the answer is no.
    Yes! That's what I was getting at. Another nudge toward the RR.

    Can a bit of sag be achieved by adjusting the suspension on the RR or does that kind of defeat the purpose of the design?

  8. #18
    samsara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1csleptonkayak View Post
    Yes! That's what I was getting at. Another nudge toward the RR.

    Can a bit of sag be achieved by adjusting the suspension on the RR or does that kind of defeat the purpose of the design?
    There is some sag already and more when you get in it. If you get one I would set it up the way Brandon suggests in his video, try that, and adjust if you feel the need. I have found it to be more comfortable that way and when I couldn't get a wide enough space between the trees (forcing more sag) it wasn't quite as comfortable for me. As always... HYOH

    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

  9. #19
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    I've just recently purchased a BB for my kiddo (but I may end up stealing it) I've slept in it more than he has. It's nice and comfy even though I'm used to an 11' hammock.

    I had a RR for a short time but did not really dig it. To me a bridge just doesn't have the "hammock" feel that I love so much. Lots of people love them though. Sorry you missed out on the group thing. Those are the best opportunities to get a feel for what you are getting in to.
    If you ain't havin' fun, you're doin' it wrong

  10. #20
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    Ridge Runner takes the early lead

    I still have lots of time for evaluation, but I FINALLY received both hammocks yesterday, and after some considerable setup consternation, chose the RR for my first night trial.

    After quickly setting up both hammocks in the back yard yesterday afternoon, it was immediately very obvious to me that there is going to be much more of a "fuss factor" involved in figuring out how to get comfortably situated in the XLC vs. the RR. All told, the trees that I have for setup in my back yard aren't as wide apart as I thought they were - just over 14 feet. I assumed that this was going be more of an issue for testing the RR than the XLC, but it ended up being the opposite. After a very quick setup and 30 minute recline in each, it was VERY obvious that the XLC was going to require much more tweaking and experimenting to figure out how to get comfortable and stay warm in without a UQ for insulation - which I don't yet have. Based on that, I decided to go with the RR for the first night test in the back yard.

    Dumb luck or not, I was immediately comfortable in the RR after throwing the suspension up and sliding a piece of reflectix between the layers. I only adjusted the suspension enough so that I was sure to keep it a few inches off the ground after getting into it. No other adjustment was needed or made the remainder of the evening. Lucky for me, since I really didn't have much space to work with.

    My first concern after lying in the RR for a while was shoulder squeeze. I'm only 6 ft. tall and 180 pounds, but am prone to shoulder aches and pains at 56 years of age. Right away I could feel my shoulders ever so slightly bunched forward while lying on my back. After a 6.5 hour evening, though, I only felt a very slight bit of stiffness in my right shoulder - less than I usually feel after a night in bed. Definitely not enough discomfort to be discouraged - yet, at least.

    I was able to easily change positions during the night while lying INSIDE of my bulky military sleeping bag with gore-tex bivy. I never felt a bit of instability while moving around. I was even able to get nearly full fetal by wedging my feet and knees between the webbing on either side of the hammock. I didn't stay in this position long, but wanted to see if it was comfortable and stable - and it was. I did require moving around a bit to avoid stiffness in my lower back, but no more than I usually do in bed. I'm hoping that I can eventually reduce the need to move even as much as I did by tweaking the suspension.

    I used a 48" x 24" piece of reflectix between the double layers of the RR and was VERY pleasantly surprised how well it stayed in place in this hammock. I don't think it moved at all from where I initially positioned it. It only got down to 51*F last night, but I'm confident that, with the addition of a wing of some design added to the reflectix and a couple layers of clothes, I'll be able to stay warm down to the low 40s / mid 30s. If not for my upper arms, i would have been very comfortable in the sleeping bag with a t-shirt and shorts last night. I added a light poly/wool top to keep the upper arms warm.

    Now that I know I can stay warm at this season's temps, I'll be getting out to test both hammocks in a better selection of trees. After the first day/night, the XLC has some catching up to do, for sure.

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