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  1. #1

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    BB Design Features - What are they? What Option and Why

    I am trying to decide on a first camping hammock to purchase. For that purpose I am trying to learn more about the WB Blackbird hammock and attempting to not assume I understand certain design features about the BB which may be incorrect assumptions. To that end I have a few , actually several, questions which perhaps someone here could answer. I started out with a long winded list of questions which I was going to break up into seperate threads but on second thought I've tried to simplify the questions and trim down the lenght of my post.

    First fabric - 1.1 , 1.7 - what is it ? Is it 1.1oz or 1.7 oz weight per square yard ? I think it likely is but it doesn't say. So maybe it means something else.

    Why choose one over the other ? What drove your choice ? - ligher , tougher, flatter , stretchy or not , you backpack or never carry far from car or canoe. One just feels nicer to the touch. What are most folks purchasing 1.1 or 1.7 ? Would you make a different choice next time or purchase the different type fabric for a different use? By different use I mean short hike vs long hike,. summer / winter or something carrys the hammock , car,canoe, kayak or you.


    Single or double layer. Am I correct that only the double layer has a pad pocket ? ( I am almost certain that I will prefer a pad pocket design no matter what make hammock I purchase but perhaps my idea of its importance will change after hearing others opinions ) Are most folks buying a double layer hammock to put something in the pocket or simiply to have two layers for extra strength, less stretch, to defeat the skeeters long reach? Some other reason ? If you have a single or double would you choose differently next time or buy the other type for a different use? By use I mean what carries the hammock you or the car,canoe, kayak, pulk whatever.

    Are these fabric breathable or water resistant/proof ?
    Not sure which I would prefer. It seems waterproof may protect against blown rain, or splash up,but be more prone to condensation. Breathable may let you get wet from rain but not condensation. Seems sometimes either way you may get wet from time to time - you only get to choose what type of wet you prefer .

    Suspension systems. I am trying to understand the difference between the two available suspension systems. I have seen pictures of the adjustable , double tri-ring suspension. I think I understand that choice. Seems like a nice system.

    But I am not sure how the other, line/tree strap, system works. Is there a picture of it somewhere in the gallery that I have missed? I do understand that this system is lighter than the other. Just not sure I understand what it is and how it works.

    Also , are to two systems interchangeable after purchase ? iow - is it the case that no matter which suspension is initally ordered that the other system be changed to easily ? No need to rip seams and such to change systems?

    Is the BB designed to easily go to ground if necesary?

    I've not seen any reference or pictures of a BB gone to ground. While I think it could likely be done if necessary. But are there designed in features to make this easy to do when necessary? Are peg out loops etc built in to make this easy to do if necessary?

    Some other designs seem to go out of their way to promote the fact that their model is designed with that possible situation in mind. But I've not seen anything about it in regards to the BB. Now I have come to appreciate that going to ground seems to brand you a heritic among the hanger addicted and may get your forehead branded with GD, ground dweller, as a warning to others to shun you. However- There are places where hanging isn't possible - you thought there'd be good trees but there aren't or its not permitted by local rules or your the late arrival type and the good spots are gone and your on the ground or not part of the group , to hang is to go hermit at the edges if you can hang at all. Therefore being able to so do easily is a consideration for me.

    Looking forward to the feedback.

    David

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Oh boy, OK here we go.

    1. You nailed it, weight per square yard.
    2. Personal weight and comfort or insulation choices are what are going to drive this decision. I err....we have a 1.1 & 1.7 in the double model. I chose the double 1.7 because of the comfort factor. I will be ordering a single 1.7 for hiking. Generally speaking, I think 200 lbs is kind of the mark for the fabric choice you'll make. 1.1 starts getting stretchy over 200 lbs and losses some of that all important comfort factor. Can't have that!
    3. Everything you mentioned is correct. Depends on your needs. Yes, I'll take long hikes with a single layer version, but I'm a weenie.
    4. Yes they are breathable fabric. Hammock doesn't get wet if the tarp is right.
    5. The webbing set-up is just too easy for me so I don't have any advice to give you about the line/tree hugger combo. Somebody will post a pic from the gallery.
    6. Change as often as you'd like.
    7. Yeah, to even suggest such a thing can get you tar and feathered around here. There is no reason it won't function just as well as those other hammocks on the ground, although it may be more susceptible to ground water than the other hammock I think you're talking about.

    I think that covers it. Did it help any?
    Trust nobody!

  3. #3
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    I have had a Hennessy and will be using the Blackbird this weekend. What I will appreciate about the Blackbird is the ease of hanging and adjusting the way the hammock hangs, ie the angle and height of the hammock as well as how it is centered between the ropes. I didn't have rings on the Hennessy, just the stock rope/strap setup, and adjusting was more labor than it has to be.

    The BB should be easier to go to ground in than a bottom entry like the Hennessy. If you do not need the bug net simply set up the tarp and sleeping pad. If you do need the bugnet, I'd put the ground cloth/sheet down first, roll out the hammock, rope up the ends on the poles, put the pad in the sleeve, and climb in then zip up. You could stake out the tie-outs, I guess, but you're essentially using it for a bug bivy not a tent.

    As for splash up, there are weather covers you can make or buy to protect the underquilt or hammock bottom. I tend to hang high enough that I haven't had a problem. I don't typically use a cover and have not gotten wet yet, though I've slept through rainy nights.

    Not sure why you would want to swap from one system to the other, but that seems simple to me if you can re-whip the hammock yourself. Both systems will attach to the tree the same way.

  4. #4
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Wow. Have some questions, eh?

    I'll answer some of them. (There's a lot!)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidWa View Post
    First fabric - 1.1 , 1.7 - what is it ? Is it 1.1oz or 1.7 oz weight per square yard ?
    Yes, it indicates fabric weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidWa View Post
    Why choose one over the other?
    Lots of reasons for that one. Some want the most durable hammock possible so they choose heavier fabric. Some want the lightest possible hammock for backpacking. Some want heavier material for a higher weight limit. Some choose one layer of each weight. Etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidWa View Post
    What are most folks purchasing 1.1 or 1.7?
    Brandon will have to answer that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidWa View Post
    Single or double layer. Am I correct that only the double layer has a pad pocket ? Are most folks buying a double layer hammock to put something in the pocket or simiply to have two layers for extra strength, less stretch, to defeat the skeeters long reach? Some other reason ? If you have a single or double would you choose differently next time or buy the other type for a different use? By use I mean what carries the hammock you or the car,canoe, kayak, pulk whatever.
    Yes, only the double has the pocket. The primary reason for the double layer is the pad pocket, but using 2 layers also makes the hammock stronger for a given amount of weight. Personally, I think that unless you're looking for the lightest possible weight hammock, there is no downside to a double layer.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidWa View Post
    Are these fabric breathable or water resistant/proof ?
    Not sure which I would prefer. It seems waterproof may protect against blown rain, or splash up,but be more prone to condensation. Breathable may let you get wet from rain but not condensation. Seems sometimes either way you may get wet from time to time - you only get to choose what type of wet you prefer .
    Breathable. You don't want to use a non-breathable fabric for a hammock in many conditions due to potential condensation issues. When you *do* want non-breathable, it's easy to use something to act as a vapor barrier. i.e. a CCF pad or a sheet of plastic

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidWa View Post
    Suspension systems. I am trying to understand the difference between the two available suspension systems. I have seen pictures of the adjustable , double tri-ring suspension. I think I understand that choice. Seems like a nice system.

    But I am not sure how the other, line/tree strap, system works. Is there a picture of it somewhere in the gallery that I have missed? I do understand that this system is lighter than the other. Just not sure I understand what it is and how it works.

    Also , are to two systems interchangeable after purchase ? iow - is it the case that no matter which suspension is initally ordered that the other system be changed to easily ? No need to rip seams and such to change systems?
    The tri-ring + webbing system is very nice, and is a refinement of the ring-buckle approach that has proven very popular and durable. Again, unless you are trying to the least possible amount of weight it's hard to argue against. For your first one, I'd definitely lean toward this choice.

    I don't remember seeing a picture of the line/tree strap suspension on the forum, or I'd link it here. Essentially it uses cording instead of webbing for the distance from the hammock end to the tree hugger to save weight.

    I suppose that you could interchange them, as long as you were willing to undo/redo knots and add/remove cording as needed. I think you'd be better off just choosing one and sticking with it, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidWa View Post
    Is the BB designed to easily go to ground if necesary?

    I've not seen any reference or pictures of a BB gone to ground. While I think it could likely be done if necessary. But are there designed in features to make this easy to do when necessary? Are peg out loops etc built in to make this easy to do if necessary?

    Some other designs seem to go out of their way to promote the fact that their model is designed with that possible situation in mind. But I've not seen anything about it in regards to the BB. Now I have come to appreciate that going to ground seems to brand you a heritic among the hanger addicted and may get your forehead branded with GD, ground dweller, as a warning to others to shun you. However- There are places where hanging isn't possible - you thought there'd be good trees but there aren't or its not permitted by local rules or your the late arrival type and the good spots are gone and your on the ground or not part of the group , to hang is to go hermit at the edges if you can hang at all. Therefore being able to so do easily is a consideration for me.
    There are no design features of the BlackBird that I'm aware of that cater to using it on the ground. It's probably possible, but hasn't been discussed here at any length. Like with most lightweight hammocks, care would need to be taken with the hammock fabric to prevent any damage from roots, rocks, thorns, etc. Perhaps putting down a pad on the ground and then laying the hammock on top of that, and then suspending the ends of the hammock and tarp off the ground with trekking poles. - I'll bet now that this has been brought up, we'll see some testing of this soon.

    I think that it's not that hammockers don't ever consider the need to go to ground in certain situations, it's just that we mostly spend our time thinking of ways to minimize the need to do so. We do 'pick at' and make fun of ground dwellers, though. After all, this is HF.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidWa View Post
    Looking forward to the feedback.
    I can't say that I answered all your questions, but I made a good start. Hope this helps.

    edit - I took too long typing this up...got preempted by the above responses.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  5. #5
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    The tri-ring + webbing system is very nice, and is a refinement of the ring-buckle approach that has proven very popular and durable. Again, unless you are trying to the least possible amount of weight it's hard to argue against. For your first one, I'd definitely lean toward this choice.

    I don't remember seeing a picture of the line/tree strap suspension on the forum, or I'd link it here. Essentially it uses cording instead of webbing for the distance from the hammock end to the tree hugger to save weight.

    I suppose that you could interchange them, as long as you were willing to undo/redo knots and add/remove cording as needed. I think you'd be better off just choosing one and sticking with it, though.
    I have the line/tree strap option, and I love it. Here are some pics. I have modded the suspension since this picture. It could be interchanged very easily with the tri-ring + webbing, but because my setup now has the hitchcraft minis incorporated into the suspension, and I don't have to tie or retie anything, I will not be switching to something else. No knots, a couple of line wraps and I'm done. Even adjusting the sag is super easy with these, as easy as the webbing option.

    Suspension, if you hadn't noticed, will send some people here off the deep end with their opinions. Every one has their opinion of what the best is; and even when given two options like the WBBB has, it will morph into 800 variations due to what works best for the individual hanger. Does anyone still use the stock suspension system that came with their hammock? Only until you see what somebody else is doing, and try to fit it in to what works for you, or if you are too lazy or buzy to try something else.
    Last edited by fin; 02-14-2009 at 07:36.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishinFinn View Post
    Does anyone still use the stock suspension system that came with their hammock?
    For the first time ever, I can answer "yes" to that question. The tri-rings and webbing that came with the BB is the exact set-up I was already using except I had descending rings instead of tri-rings. I like the tri-rings better and am now busy replacing all my other set-ups.
    Trust nobody!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Big D's Avatar
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    I have both suspensions, and it takes about 5 min to change btwn them.
    I think WBG said 80-90% chose the strap suspension.
    "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." Gen. George S. Patton

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big D View Post
    I have both suspensions, and it takes about 5 min to change btwn them.
    I think WBG said 80-90% chose the strap suspension.
    I got the line suspension on my first warbonnet, and I decided it was worth the extra weight and bulk to have the easy adjustment of the webbing, so I had him add an extra set of the webbing setup to my second blackbird order. He includes instructions on removing the suspension with all of his orders, and it's quick and painless.

  9. #9
    the fabric is dwr (except for the mint green seconds fabric), so it has a durable water resistent treatment like the shell of a sleeping bag does, it's still breathable and NOT waterproof. waterproof would be bad in warm weather and it is afterall a mosquito hammock.

    as for ground, it goes to ground as easy as any of them. since the bottom isn't waterproof, and more importantly to protect the hammock bottom from abrasion, use a groundcloth or something underneath. all you need to do is pull the ends apart with something, like a hiking pole. either susp. is such that you could slip the tip of a pole into the base of the suspension, then just apply tension to the pole with a couple guylines, this will raise the rl and netting.

    most go for a double, it's a tossup as to which one as it's based alot on bodyweight, send me an email telling me your weight and i'll tell you your best couple options. cannibal is spot on, around 200# is the point where you will start to see an advantage in flatness by going with the dl1.7 instead of the dl1.1. for folks under 200, the 1.1 and the 1.7 will seem very similar in this regard. the heavier hammock will be more durable in the long run as well. if you're not concerned about packweight, there's really nothing holding someone from going up to the next heavier size. they all come in the same size stuffsac.

    the suspensions can be switched out rather easily if you know how. the line/tree strap suspension works like this: girth hitch strap to tree at appropriate height. one end of the tree strap will hang free with a ring on the end. tie hammock rope to that. when setting up a hammock, you often have to set one end, set the other, and then re-adjust one or both to get it where you want, this would mean tying and then re-tying a couple knots. the slipped buntline hitch can be very fast to tie and untie, but you have to take the time to learn to tie it, and it's still not as fast and easy as the adj. webb. susp. although it is a good bit lighter especially when you figure in the added weight of biners for the web susp. however, 95% go for the adj webbing susp.
    Last edited by warbonnetguy; 02-13-2009 at 09:33.

  10. #10
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    For the first time ever, I can answer "yes" to that question. The tri-rings and webbing that came with the BB is the exact set-up I was already using except I had descending rings instead of tri-rings. I like the tri-rings better and am now busy replacing all my other set-ups.
    My only concerns with the tri-rings...they bite too good!
    In the winter, I have issues backing out a 'little' webbing to make small adjustments.
    I like the BB supplied webbing much better than even Strapworks (lighter)
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~ Socrates

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