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UL hammock makers? Who?
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Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
UL hammock makers? Who? on 09/30/2011 01:09:29 MDT Print View

This was posted in 2011 so thank you to those who are now offering 2015 solutions to the original post.

Where are the UL hammock makers? There are hammock makers, and light tarp makers, but no UL hammock makers.

Since CT2K08 ripped, why isn't someone using doubled CT1K08 or limiting the weight of the user? Tom Hennessey sells hammocks that are sized for average, tall, and very tall users with fabrics for 200, 250, and 300+ pound users.

The most recommended hammock at HF is one sized for up to 6'8" users and is popular due to its comfort. It still has metal in its suspension, just like backpacks in the 1980s.

My opinion is that length is almost a foot too long for my 5'8" length. Sounds like frame packs in the 1980s: big, wide, not light, and one size fits all.

My garments and pack and sleeping bag are all sized to fit my weight and dimensions which reduces the weight that I carry. When will hammock making enter the 21st century? In the 1800s, boots were not sized by numbers nor shaped specifically for left and right feet, buyers just chose whichever two boots felt most comfortable from the bootmaker's inventory.

Why isn't someone selling a hammock with a strong 27" cuben center (half width of cuben from the factory) with add-on sides of lighter cuben, or adding strong reinforcing strips length wise? Cuben doesn't breathe. Well neither does tarp fabric, but good design has circumvented the condensation problem.

On a double layer hammock, often each layer is fully adequate to support the user. Why? Using the same fabric is convenient for the maker, not for the person who carries it. Why isn't the second layer SUL since all it carries is the weight of the insulation? Why aren't we seeing cuben Garlington tacos that will accept any sheet insulation including a 7D down quilt, Insultex, CCF, or Climashield?

Seems like the hammock industry is in the Henry Ford mindset of "You can have any color of car that you want, as long as it is black."

Edited by heyyou on 04/05/2015 23:48:09 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: UL hammock makers? Who? on 09/30/2011 04:59:07 MDT Print View

It sounds like you should buy some cuben & some bonding tape and go to town on inventing the latest, greatest UL hammock ;)

Have you looked at a GT Nano? Change out the suspension to dynaglide whoopie slings and it's pretty light. Works fine for a smaller person.

BTW, the second layer in nylon double layer hammocks DOES support your weight. I believe you are looking for something like a Clark Jungle hammock with storage bins sewn under the hammock, which can be filled with insulation. Only, you want it in a lighter package.

You never know, we all may be buying "heyyou" hammocks in the future!

chris markley
(motorapido) - F
Re: UL hammock makers? Who? on 09/30/2011 06:03:16 MDT Print View

Grand Trunk Nano 7 hammock. Replace carabiner suspension with whoopie slings. With the whoopie sling suspension and without the carabiners, the whole thing weighs only 6 or 7 ounces. Stuffs smaller than a baseball. Use half-length ccf pad in hammock when cold, and pull down sleeping bag (with zippered footbox or double zipper down the side) over and around the hammock and you have an ultralight all-season setup. Cuban tarp. Voila. Way lighter than tent setup or even most tarp/bivvy setups. I've been comfortable down to 5 degrees F with a 20 degree down bag pulled around my hammock and wearing smartwool top/bottom and inside a cuben VBL inside the bag. Super comfortable. Way more comfortable than ground dwelling.

The Grand Trunk Nano 7 precisely meets the UL needs you expressed.

Nathan Baker
(Slvravn) - MLife

Locale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
Re: UL hammock makers? Who? on 09/30/2011 06:41:02 MDT Print View

While the weight/strength of cuben would seem ideal for hammocks its lack of breathability is why most manufacturers have stuck with some type of breathable nylon. Not saying it cant be used (I think Bill Fornshell made one)but it appears that most users dont like sleeping in non breathable material.

Also what do you consider UL? Under 10oz with suspension, under 5? What type of sizing are you looking for and how many smaller hammocks have you used that you have been comfortable in? The reason I am asking is that I am about the same height as you and just because a hammock is shorter does not make it more comfortable.

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: Re: UL hammock makers? Who? on 10/13/2011 09:11:50 MDT Print View

My Grand Trunk Nano 7 is 5 oz even. With 2 Edelrid carabiners, 2 AHE 5' tree huggers and Dyna glide whoopie slings the total weight is 8 oz. All I need is a tarp!

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
UK Hammocks--wicked lite!!! on 10/20/2011 15:39:44 MDT Print View

The UK Hammocks Woodsman Lite hammock, at 6.5 ounces, is the lightest hammock i have found that is comfortable and will hold "big guy" weight. And, Mat is a super guy! YMMV.

Patricia Combee
(Trailfrog) - F

Locale: Northeast/Southeast your call
RE: UL hammocks on 11/01/2011 15:00:43 MDT Print View

They do have a pretty light hammock; per their site, the their U-L hammock weighs under 7 ounces including the suspension and in the stuff sack. It is 48 inches wide x 108 inches long and is tested to 200 pounds. I have never used one and don't know of anyone that has, but just throwing this one out there.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
UL Hammocks. on 11/01/2011 15:56:15 MDT Print View

Is that the same DPhammocks that won't tell you what kind of insulation he uses? Caveat Emptor!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: UL hammock makers? Who? on 11/01/2011 16:33:11 MDT Print View

You are buying into a system, so it needs to be looked at as a whole. The hammock boy itself is just one component and any extra weigh becomes a smaller percentage when added to the other items needed. Manufacturer's vary a great deal on what they recommend for the user's weight. There are no real standards, so it is a game of what the particular manufacturer thinks is safe, or comfortable. The fabric can sag and stretch differently with various weights. Warbonnet documents that fairly well. I think it needs to be noted that there are some safety considerations with hammock design and fabric types and weights, which isn't an issue with most other backpacking gear. I would err on the side of safety and save the weight with other components.

The suspension is pretty easy to get light. Some use Dynaglide, but I prefer a little more and use Amsteel Blue whoopie slings. 1" polyester tree straps are just a couple ounces. You can use light carabiners that are 0.8oz each or toggles that are just a few grams.

A Cuben tarp takes care of the overhead coverage. Zpacks makes a hammock tarp that is about 5oz. The challenge with hammock tarps is that they are typically the size of a 2 person ground tarp to get good coverage, with length being more the issue. Keep in mind that you are sleeping in what amounts to a bathtub if your shelter doesn't keep the rain out. Wind is a problem as it is with any large ground tarps.

I think the hammock proper and the bottom insulation should be looked at together. If you are going to use a CCF pad like the Gossamer Gear Thinlite, then I don't see why a Cuben hammock wouldn't work just fine, provided it can handle the user's weight: breathability of the hammock body is meaningless when you have a closed cell pad under you.

Other's mentioned the Grand Trunk Nano 7 as a lightweight. It is, but it is shorter and has less width, so it isn't very comfortable for someone over 5'6" or so. The Grand Trunk Ultralight is light and has more length and width. The suspension is a joke, but easily converted to whoopie slings. I think the manufacturer is optimistic with the weight recommendations on the Grand Trunk Ultralight and I would limit to under 200 pounds-- less would be better. The fabric is quite thin and any damage may find you on the ground. I had one rip and drop me on my patio. Both the Grand Trunk models are simple rectangle of cloth with a channel on the end for the suspension, so there is nothing mysterious in the design: make it smaller or use lighter cloth to get a lighter hammock.

Double layer hammocks like the Warbonnet Traveler make CCF pads easier to manage at a small weight gain. Keep in mind that Warbonnet's published weights included suspensions which can be adapted.

Under quilts are typical insulation and IMHO, the real weight hit on hammock systems. Weights vary with length, fill type and amount, and shell material, just like quilts or sleeping bags. I think the market is well served with good lightweight down and synthetic models available. I'm sure someone could to a more radical tweak with SUL Cuben fiber shells and the like.

You can get a full insect net that is about 2.5oz, with others going upwards of a pound. I don't know of any hammocks with integral insect nets that are what I would call ultralight, although some are much lighter, usually limited by the user's weight--- compare something like a Hennessy Expedition with one of the Hyperlight model, or the Warbonnet Blackbird with various fabric weights.

Making your own hammock body is one of the easiest MYOG sewing projects around. All that is needed is a simple rectangle of ripstop nylon with hemmed sides and a channel in each end for the suspension. Most use a triple row of stitching for safety on the end channels. Typical full-size dimensions are 60"-65" wide by 108" long.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
UL hammock makers? Who? on 11/01/2011 19:27:12 MDT Print View

"I don't know of any hammocks with integral insect nets that are what I would call ultralight"--

My Papa Smurf/DIY Gear Roaming Gnome hammock made of 1.0 rip-stop nylon is 17.5 ounces rigged with whoopies and has a full bug net. My Warbonnet Eldorado is 12.5 ounces rigged with Dynaglide whoopies and also has a full bug net.

DIY Gear Roaming Gnome hammock:

"I'm sure someone could to a more radical tweak with SUL Cuben fiber shells and the like. "---

Already on the market. has a cuben under quilt:


Edited by bigfoot2 on 11/02/2011 13:42:15 MDT.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
WB ElDorado on 11/29/2011 18:39:25 MST Print View

The WB El Dorado is no longer being produced. If someone is making a clone, please speak up.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
cuben hammock on 01/23/2012 11:17:11 MST Print View

some folks on hammockforums have done DIY cuben hammocks, including one who integrated an underquilt for sub-freezing winter use, free VBL as well...

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
UL hammock makers? Who? on 01/23/2012 18:58:06 MST Print View

"The WB El Dorado is no longer being produced. If someone is making a clone, please speak up."

No, i have one of the five original El Dorados :)


Mark Armesto
(marmesto) - MLife
Tears on 08/20/2014 17:08:17 MDT Print View

I read an article, that says Cuben is no good for hammocks. It tears easily in that configuration.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
UL hammock makers? Who? on 10/07/2014 16:03:37 MDT Print View

BIAS(Butt in a Sling) are very weight conscious. They have various weights and sizes to match the person using the hammock.

They also have one of the best and lightest bugnet designs.

I would only consider using a down underquilt if you are concerned about weight.
Pads weigh more for the amount of insulation they provide and the bottom insulation is much more important than the top insulation when in a hammock.

I have also found that using a hammock sock in cold weather means you can use much lighter insulation. I have taken 30 degree bottom and top quits way below 20 deg f with a Warbonnet hammock sock.
Otherwise I'd have to carry insulation rated at 15 deg f or warmer.
The sock may weigh 9 ounces, but that is less weight than the additional insulation I would have to use without it.

Whoopie slings combined with soft shackles are what I would consider the lightest safest suspension. I use Amsteel 7/64 for my suspension, but I weigh 185 lbs.
If I was lighter, I'd go with with Dynaglide line whoppie slings and soft shackles and save an ounce or two.

Regarding straps, 6' x 1" are a good compromise, but wider straps may be required in places that have soft bark trees, like the Everglades.

I have take 8' straps, 8' whoppie slings and dogbone extensions in areas where old oak trees are the norm. Old oak forests have trees that are very thick and spaced very far apart. Even worse in areas with redwood and other fat trees.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Light hammocks on 10/30/2014 09:38:09 MDT Print View

I have two Simply Light Designs hammocks - a Tree Runner DL and a Trail Lair (bug net). They are pretty light for what they are and with a cottage manufacturer like SLD or others you can have one made to your specs including length, and materials to get the weight down as low as possible given basic materials tolerances.

I'll need to weigh mine but I think the Trail Lair is sub 20oz with whoopies. I admit that I have erred on the slightly higher end of the spectrum - I weigh 190 (headed south but still) and tend to opt for a higher capacity - I also like less stretch sag when you aren't pushing the tolerances. I've tried a 9.5' hammock and just prefer 10.5 or 11 foot dimensions to get comfortable (I'm 5'11"). What works for one won't work for another but a hammock is not really a weight savings strategy.

I think the biggest challenge is that all the suspension items have to support weight in ways nothing on the ground other than your pad does. Longer spans between trees and less than 30 degree angles and the stress increases. And if it fails you're going to go thump quickly and hope you hung low and not on a slope. So there is a conservative approach that just isn't as key in ground setups.

I also agree on the tarp needs, insulation needs, there is more fiddle factor, more stuff to deal with and less opportunity to shave ounces or at least shave ounces without bigger tradeoffs. Covering an 11 foot hammock even with a structural ridgeline requires a certain amount of material.

As for cuben - to someone elses point - there are limits to that material as I understand it that make it sub optimal. I was talking to a guy here in town who had a buddy that made a cuben hammock and one trip, unexpectedly it just ripped and dropped him on the ground.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Light hammocks on 10/30/2014 10:14:19 MDT Print View

Although the lighter thicknesses of cuben may not be durable enough, I'd bet the heavier duty cuben (0.74 or thicker) would be very durable. There is a very big difference in the durability of different weights of cuben.

I would never use cuben as a hammock material because it doesn't breath.
A breathable material would be much drier.

I know that I did get a little dampness in my hammock when I did use a closed cell sleeping pad on cold nights. Something I've never experienced since using an underquilt.
That's one of the other reasons why an underquilt is more comfortable.

Dan Wright
(kdzcouple) - MLife
UL HAMMOCK MAKERS on 11/11/2014 21:49:35 MST Print View

I have a DIY hammock from 1.1 nylon dual layer that I can put any insulation I want in between. I have even tried dry leaves in the fall. It weighs less than 8 oz with slings and straps. The thin nylon is offset with the double layers in strength and it is still breathable when I want it in the warmer months and I can put a combination of layers to stop this in the winter. .5 Cuben would be about 3 oz less in weight with thin layers but never be able to breathe in the Summer. I would wake up in a bathtub. I don't see the benefit from three oz weight with less ability to be used year round. JMHO