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Thread: Lay Flat?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Peg-Leg's Avatar
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    Lay Flat?

    Is it really possilbe to lay flat in a hammock? I can get close in some DIY's I'm working on, but it seems My knees are still slightly hyper-extended. For reference, the two hammocks I'm working on now are rougly 56'' wide by 9' and 11'. The 11' comes close but I know it's way to long for a good backpacking hammock set up. The Hennessy site show's most of theirs under 10' and only 48'' wide. I just don't see how 48'' would give enough room to lay diagonally and flat without my feet hanging over the edge of the hammock. I'm 6'2'', 230lbs.

    I'm thinking of making one extra wide, say 84'' and see if that helps.

  2. #2
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    I only have experience in a Warbonnet BB and more recently a Hennessy Ultralight backpacker.

    In short answer, yes. I can lay flat in the warbonnet. The hennessy is another story, but that's mainly because I'm too tall (I'm 6', and he advertises that hammock to be good for those up to 6', so I guess maybe it's fair).

  3. #3
    Senior Member Peg-Leg's Avatar
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    WB

    The War Bonnet has a "foot box" correct? It appears the WB has an extra set of fabric sewn in?

  4. #4
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    The flatest lie, bar none is found in a bridge hammock.

    When I am doing a DIY gathered end I often start with 12-14' of fabric. The ridge line may be 10' but the fabric itself is significant longer. The HH hammocks are listed as 60" wide. That is a full foot wider than you quote in your post. Not sure where you got your figures. The shorted of the fabric lengths is 12'. Again significantly longer than you cite. The ridgeline of the expedition is llisted as 100 inches but the hammock sags down from that length.
    The 11' comes close but I know it's way to long for a good backpacking hammock set up.
    I know of no such criteria. A good backpacking hammock setup is what feels good and fits right.
    Last edited by Ramblinrev; 06-08-2009 at 00:30.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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    Bridge hammocks seem to me more stable and flatter than the gathered end hammocks, all right. Haven't tried one yet tho.

    When we say "flat" we mean "flat enough to be comfortable." The hammock conforms to our bodies, and it's more like having a "flat" waterbed than a mattress. In the Warbonnet BB I am far more comfortable than I was in a Hennessy ULB, probably because it does have the footbox and it's roomier. when I compared the actual measurements the BB was wider and slightly longer than the HH.

    I'm curious to know what you mean by your knees being hyperextended. Are you using your legs to force the material flatter? I curl up in a hammock, with knees bent.

  6. #6
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    many here use a full stuffsack (I use my clothes bag) under our knees to bridge that gap...that might be another option
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Peg-Leg's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info and opinions. I checked back on the Hennessy site and I was wrong on the widths. An old link to their site did show 48'' though for some reason.

    I thought about the stuff sack under my knee idea. that should help tremendously.

    My main concern is making a hammock that's comfortable, but too long for a tarp to cover.

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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerrx7 View Post
    My main concern is making a hammock that's comfortable, but too long for a tarp to cover.
    That's understandable but primarily a function of the ridgeline length if structural or the amount of sag if there is no structural ridgeline. Hanging the hammock too tightly is intuitive but incorrect. It takes a while to get used to the idea of hanging with a lot of slack and high sag. Too tight means the fabric does not have the flexiblity to displace on a diagonal lie. So you are contrained in the a near axis lie. Hanging the hammock with a pronounced sag frees up the fabric to displace. If the 11' hammock is your original fabric length, try hanging with a very pronounced sag. The support ropes should be at about a 30 degree angle to horizontal. It may look like a super banana but lie in it and see how much room you have to move off the diagonal. A ridge line of 10' between suspension supports is not uncommon and should be covered by most readily available tarps if they are hung correctly. play with the amount of sag before you move to really exaggerated dimensions. The DIY process is mature enough that the range of fabric sizes has been pretty well refine. According to Speer's guide of 2' longer on each end than your height an 11 foot hammock body should be workable. I know many people in cluding myself like a longer bed length but 11' minus 4' would make the espected height around 7' tall. 60" should be more than ample to get a good diagonal lie.


    You may also want to play with the amount of pull on the edges when you whip the hammock. That will affect the way the sides behave when hung with proper sag. All these calculations are available in other threads on the forum.
    Have fun...
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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    I need something under my knees - a stuff sack or some folded zrest - in my HH, but nothing in my Blackbird. Both are comfortable, but the BB is close enough to flat to call it flat.

  10. #10
    alot of hammocks are 10', so 11' is not out of the question at all, i'm sure some here use one that long and longer. when you put a decent amount of sag in the fabric, the actual length (ridgeline length) might only be 9' or so which should fit under a tarp with a 11'rl without much trouble.

    i also highly recommend the stuffsac under the knees when laying on your back, it enhances the comfort alot imo.

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