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  1. #1
    Member
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    New BB first impressions

    Just got my new Warbonnet Blackbird on Friday and had a chance to string it up in the back yard today. My last hike I was feeling cramped (though admittedly would have been tolerably comfortable in my frugality if I had not just read several rave reviews of the BB before the hike) in my Claytor Expedition. Even at 5-8 I was always trying to releive my heels from digging in on the Exped, and found myself wishing for some place to put "stuff" - cellphone, beanie, headlamp, etc. So as soon as I got home I got on the e-horn with Warbonnet and ordered one.

    Wait time was only 2 weeks~ish - I was expecting a lot more due to the hype on here, so I was pleasantly surprised. My Claytor took just as long but it ships from southeast asia. Ordered on the 7th, shipped on the 21st, arrived on the 24th. Sweet deal.

    I love the double ended stuff sack. I went ahead and tied a second knot on the head end drawstring after initial unpacking, just so I'd know which way to point it when hanging. Initial impressions lying in it: Comfy! I never could seem to get flat enough in the Claytor, without feeling like I was forcing the hammock into an asym line with pressure on my heels, or having to curl up in a ball on my side. In the BB you are enveloped in a billowing cloud of ultrasil wombness. And I can get pretty flat, or at least much more comfortable. And there is so much material! If not for the shock-cord tie outs, it feels like it would wrap in on you. The inside structural ridge line could also be handy for clipping gear to. My model has the double bottom (Claytor bias). I like how the inner lining is stitched on the zipper side. There is so much material, it would surely bunch up in the bottom of the hammock if not secured this way. Installing the pad was no problem.

    If I had to pick one point to dock, it would be that the sides are so high, it blocks most of any breeze. This probably comes from the Henessy end of the design influance spectrum (just from looking at pics of the HH). The BB is more like a nylon bowl with a mesh lid, where the Claytor was more like a pea pod with a nylon bottom half and a mesh top half. But for a backpacking hammock, most hang time is spent in the cool/cold night hours studying the backs of your eyelids, not hot afternoons swinging in the breeze. Field report will follow up on that. But so far I like it.

    To backtrack a bit, the Claytor Expedition is a fine hammock. The fact that it is half the price of the BB almost puts it into a diffferent category for comparison purposes. The best features of the Claytor (the features that initially convinced me to get a Claytor) are available in the BB (double bottom for pad instertion, zip-off/open mesh) . The BB incorporates some of the best features of other designs and DIY mods as well - asym, tie-outs, gear storage, ring buckle straps.

    Pic:
    Shown with Claytor "Small" tarp on the diagonal.
    Last edited by urbansix; 04-27-2009 at 04:33.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I'm waiting on mine. I don't have any other hammocking experience to compare it to except those string hammocks for the backyard. You've got me all excited now!

    I am frugal to a fault, so it was difficult for me to pry that much cash out of my wallet, but I figured I'd end up with a BB anyway, whether or not I bought a different one first.

    Also, I'm 6', which is above the comfort limits of a lot of the hammocks I looked at.

  3. #3
    Just another hanger attroll's Avatar
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    Yes the biggest thing about the BB that I do not like is the sides being so high, but I have learned to live with it because I consider that minor compared to all the other things i do like about it.

  4. #4
    the high sides are result of a wide hammock body which is needed for laying diagonal and getting flat and all that.

    you can stake the zip side ties down more steeply to bring that one down some

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    you can stake the zip side ties down more steeply to bring that one down some
    This does make a pretty big difference. When I set-up my BB it looks like a bird of prey that's gone ballistic on a target. The wings are tucked in and at a steep angle. I agree that the view could be better, but by tucking those wings in you do pull the fabric down a couple more inches. I also lay with my head pretty far over the the left, which further enhances the view by pulling more of the fabric down under my weight.
    Trust nobody!

  6. #6
    Senior Member keys?'s Avatar
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    "billowing cloud of ultrasil wombness" sounds like heaven

    My BB arrived yesterday evening, but it hasnt stopped raining long enough to hang it. stupid rain... I'm thinking saturday's the big day

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chris.Biomed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarahgirl View Post
    "billowing cloud of ultrasil wombness" sounds like heaven

    My BB arrived yesterday evening, but it hasnt stopped raining long enough to hang it. stupid rain... I'm thinking saturday's the big day
    Ha ha! Sarahgirl, you've only posted 42 posts when I'm righting this and you've already got your second hammock It's too late to stop now, you've officially become an addict!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarahgirl View Post
    My BB arrived yesterday evening, but it hasnt stopped raining long enough to hang it. stupid rain... I'm thinking saturday's the big day
    It's gonna get worse. If you are like many of us here, you'll get excited when it rains. It means you get to go test something. There are days that I risk many a traffic violation trying to get home and get set-up before the storm passes. I've surrendered to the Kool-Aid.
    Trust nobody!

  9. #9
    Senior Member keys?'s Avatar
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    You guys are too funny!

    I was excited for the cold weather, to test the NA, but Im not proficient enough yet to set it up in the rain...one of these days

  10. #10
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    Just throw on your rain gear and pitch the tarp first. Then you can work in dry peace beneath your tarp.

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