to ressurect an older thread - on it's anniversary to boot:
James K. - the brand I did not see mentioned is the Claytor hammock - the "jungle" is huge at 10' long and is made for larger folk. I agree that no way you are going to fit in a small 4x8' size but Clark now makes a "NX-200" that is designed for big guys. The high price is a stinger tho. Ive seen other threads where you mention inadequate coverage for tents and tarps as well. Hope you the best, I know its been a while since these postings but have you found sufficient shelter?
about staying warm: you use a pad on the ground, so why not in a hammock? it is a common mistake and often overlooked. about 5 years ago, i did it myself, expecting my bag to keep me warm. That was the beginning and the end of my hanging. It wasnt until 2 years ago that i was searching the web for down quilt instructions that i came across JustJeff's site and it was jammed full of useful hammock info, so i took it up again..(and never looked back)
so here i am, just under 2 years using a hammock, and about 1.5 years as a full time hanger, started out without any knowledge of proper site selection, didnt know anything about underquilts, or staying warm, and had a blind prejudice against hanging because i thought (like most others) isnt it hard to find trees? arent hammocks cold? what if it rains?
now i make and sell quality down underquilts in a 2/3 length (to keep torso and thighs warm) with 2.5" loft and will keep you warm down to freezing at least, in conjunction with a short lower leg pad (trimmed ccf) you can do well for 3 seasons. For as little as 14oz! Want to camp at 16°? add a 1/4" ccf pad to the entire rig, combined with the UQ and youre good to go. (provided your topside insulation is adequate)
i urge anyone seeking advice to visit the hammock forums. for some reason, even tho most folk on this site are very knowledgable, there are still arguments over which ground pad is better..etc.. when the point of hammocking is often overlooked and sometimes met with disdain - likely based on ignorance. and that's ok, we're here to help.
the ability to choose what shelter components work for you, your environment, and your hiking style are priceless. these choices can make the perfect shelter. so read up on them, decide what conditions you are willing to test your gear in, how much you want to spend, and if you are confident enough to take the plunge. the beauty of all this is you can pick a hammock, match a tarp to your expected conditions, tinker with the support system, use pads or quilts or both together- sleep 4 seasons in most areas of USA, (unless you like to camp in howling wind, 12' of snow and -22 degrees, thats all YOU, im staying home!)
see Shug's youtube videos of winter hammock camping in Minnesota.
fwiw, my 3 season rig good to below freezing is under 5lbs total. that's hammock, tarp, top quilt, underquilt and pad with all stuff sacks and stakes/guylines. I just got a MacCat spinnaker tarp so the weight is several ounces less since i last checked..
my winter rig is just ounces heavier since I forego a netting hammock but add weight with a much larger tarp, and all fits into a ULA Conduit. happy hangin' and we'll see you in the trees!