hammocks 101?
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Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
hammocks 101? on 03/07/2012 06:04:21 MST Print View

shameful to admit, but i'm in the dark with hammock options.
i'm selling my tent and paring.
what suggestions to fit this bill?
i'll throw down for something HQ,
but can't break the bank.
lightweight, but not so lightweight it lacks durability.
versatile.
as in i can use it for a fastpack-- be it one night or several months.
ease of set-up (though assumingly all are ridiculously simple/hassle-free)?
guaranteed, as in, i've a company fallback should i need it.
bottom line: middle road.
thanks.

jon fr
(brdaaw) - F
hammocks 101 on 03/07/2012 06:49:43 MST Print View

hammockforums.com
I'm tall (6'4'' @ 215lbs) and have the wilderness logics lite owl and love it.

Eric Braun
(Dukedante) - F
Hammocks on 03/07/2012 07:02:49 MST Print View

Well, the cheapest option that meets your other criteria is none other than the Grand Trunk Ultralight. The hammock body is 9oz when you take off their garbage suspension. Add some dynaglide whoopies and short tree straps and you're in the air for $40 and ~12oz. It's not the most comfortable hammock, but compared to laying on a 1/4" torso pad it will be heavenly. Good way to start IMO. Once you get into the hammock world you can play with other, more expensive options. The only drawbacks to this setup is that there's no bugnet (but you can buy or make a separate one) and that since you're coming from ground camping you're probably going to have a pad for underside insulation, which can be difficult in a single layer hammock. I'd opt to deal with it in the short term, save the coin instead of buying a more expensive double layer hammock for your pad, and just buy an underquilt in the future. UQ's are the most comfy way to sleep in a hammock, but again, you're coming from the ground so even a pad will be awesome to you.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Hammocks 101 on 03/07/2012 07:34:59 MST Print View

I second the hammock forums recommendation, good group of guys over there.

Last time I was over there, the overall favorite was the Warbonnet Blackbird hammock. I have one and love it!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: hammocks 101? on 03/07/2012 08:22:57 MST Print View

BTW, It is hammockforums.net (not .com)

There is a hammocks forum here too. Read my adventures in learning about hammocks at: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/50874

Things to consider with hammocks:

*They are heavier than a ground setup: you still need overhead coverage and bottom insulation, plus the weight of the hammock. My thumbnail estimate is that a practical UL hammock setup is 10-20oz heavier than a UL ground kit.

*Regarding bottom insulation: if you are using a hammock for sleeping in temperatures below 60F, you need some sort of insulation. 20" wide CCF pads aren't big enough. 24"+ pads will work, but they aren't very comfortable. I think that there is a need for a hammock design with the insulation built in, but the state of the art is to use an underquilt hung on the bottom of the hammock. An underquilt is made like a sleeping quilt and filled with synthetic or down for insulation, with all the pros and cons of insulation other sleeping bags and quilts. You can use a sleeping bag or UL style quilt for topside insulation.

*Some hammocks have built in bug screens, others use a separate insect "sock" around the outside. Or you can go without.

The lightest setup I know of it to use something like the Grand Trunk Ultralight hammock, a Papa Smurf tulle bug sock, a Gossamer Gear Thinlight wide pad, and a Cuben tarp. The Grand Trunk hammock will need to have the suspension upgraded using carabiners and Amsteel Blue "whoopie slings."

On the quality side, I would look at Warbonnet or Hennessy hammocks and tarps, or the Zpacks Cuben hammock tarp. For insulation, look at te-wa or jacks r better for down underquilts and Wilderness Logics or Arrowhead Equipment for synthetic.

Ryan Weisenbach
(rweisen)

Locale: Ozarks
Hammock Forums is the place to go on 03/07/2012 08:25:04 MST Print View

Check out Hammock Forums, as previous posters suggested. Keep in mind that not all hammockers are ultralighters.

I will say this. I thought hammocks were the way to go and thought I would sleep like a baby from the start. However, when I first tried a hammock on the trail(a blackbird), I didn't sleep very well. I had problems with a knee ridge putting pressure on my knee. Pretty disappointing when I was expecting to sleep like a baby right away.

It has taken me a couple of nights on the trail to get it figured out. I should have spent more time at home getting it lined out. There is a fiddle factor to hammocks. As with all gear, you definitely should practice set up at home and finding what works best for you.

I have a friend who borrowed my blackbird on a trip when I decided to go to the ground (I had a ground set up I wanted to play with). He said it was the best sleep he's ever had in the backcountry. I've seen many people say that. It didn't happen for me though.

I guess my advice is to try it and if it doesn't work out right away, don't give up on it if you don't sleep like a baby right away.

As for the favorite, it's the Blackbird. There are also those that swear by hennessy hammock and other brands. It's all personal preference. Just like there are some here that won't take anything other than a tarp for shelter and others must have a tent with a floor.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
My suggestion on 03/07/2012 08:51:58 MST Print View

My suggestion is to find someone that can loan you a set up to try this out. I also think that the best chance, least fiddle factor, is for you to try an open hammock instead of one with a built in bugnet and to use an underquilt instead of a pad. There will still be some fiddling and getting used to, but an open hammock and a simple bottom insulation will be easier to start with.

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
"hammocks 101?" my bad on 03/07/2012 08:57:57 MST Print View

yup, i'm in the dark fo' sure!
completely missed the hammocks forum. ;)
man, do i feel like an ass.
thanks all.
lt

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
Re: "hammocks 101?" my bad on 03/07/2012 10:12:38 MST Print View

Don't feel too bad. Most folks don't know about HF.

As far as middle of the road, what kind of conditions are you looking at? Is it three-seasons use? Will there be a lot of bugs where you're likely to be? Is having a modular system where the weight/bulk/cost of it goes up and down with the seasons worth the hassle for you?

Personally, if you're looking for a moderately-priced hammock without an integral bug net, my recommendations would be either the Warbonnet Traveler with the webbing suspension or the ENO Doublenest, replacing the stock suspension with either the Warbonnet adjustable webbing suspension or Arrowhead Equpment's version of the same. Many folks will tell you to go with whoopie slings, and they will save you some weight. However, the ease of set up with the adjustable webbing is hard to beat.

For a tarp, I'd go with either the Wilderness Logics Tadpole or the Warbonnet Edge tarp, as both give you good coverage under all but cold, blustery conditions without too much weight. They're very user-friendly versus the asymmetric diamond tarps that several companies sell, though the diamond tarps win out on weight. If you're willing to spend for cuben fiber, Hammock Gear makes a wonderful four-season tarp that comes in at under seven ounces and closes at both ends in the $300.00 range. Might be a bit rich for your blood.

For insulation, you can still use your sleeping bag or quilt in the hammock for a topquilt. However, like sleeping on the ground, you need some insulation under you; it's more difficult here, since more of your body is in contact with the hammock than it would be with the ground (one of the secrets of comfort in a hammock). You can either use a double-layer hammock and insert a wide pad into the pocket between layers (the WB Traveler double layer is designed for this) or get an underquilt. There are many quality manufacturers of underquilts, including Hammock Gear, Jacks R Better, Warbonnet, Tree to Tree Trail Gear, and Arrowhead Equipment. Here, it's really dependent upon what temperature ranges you're looking for, how much weight matters to you, and what prices you're willing to shell out for.

If you want a bug net, the two options I'd prefer with a netless hammock are Papa Smurf's bug sock and Warbonnet's Traveler bug net.

Whichever way you go, I highly recommend taking a month or so and looking over the information on Hammock Forums. They're all really welcoming and willing to help with someone looking at hammocks for their sleep system.

Edited by FLRider on 03/07/2012 10:15:42 MST.

Dustin Judd
(ddujnitsud) - F
try it out on 03/07/2012 12:24:54 MST Print View

Just order a Grand Trunk Ultralight from Amazon for less than $20 bucks and try it out. I have multiply hammocks, some costing upward of $450.00 and not ultra light and the Grand trunk certainly delivers on a budget what you want to know. Spend some time at home figuring out your hang preferences before you head outdoors with it and you will be rewarded with a great nights sleep compared to anything in the same weight category for the ground. My son has completely abandoned his bed at home in favor of a hammock now after doing some testing at home for a trip with our hammocks.

THomas Pettus
(trrpettus) - F
I'm 6'5" 240. I like my blackbird warbonnet and yeti underquilt and basic tarp on 03/08/2012 10:45:32 MST Print View

I'm 6'5" 240. I like my blackbird warbonnet and yeti underquilt. I can get all my gear in it, and even change clothes in it in the rain and never get wet!

chris markley
(motorapido) - F
Re: hammocks 101? on 03/08/2012 11:35:11 MST Print View

My hammock is under 7 ounces. Grand Trunk Nano7, with carabiners removed. Whoopie Sling suspension using Marlin Spike Hitch on tree straps and a stick for a toggle. Kelty Lightyear down bag with footbox zipper pulled like a peapod around the hammock. Ultra warm and cozy. Cuben tarp. Lighter than any ground-dwelling system, quick setup, good to 5 degrees for me with some clothing in the bag. See this link.
http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=41339&highlight=lightyear

Geoffrey Lehmann
(yipper) - MLife

Locale: deep south
lightweight hammock rigs on 03/08/2012 13:50:40 MST Print View

My Nano 7 hammock, dyneema whoopie sling with Dutch buckle, Papa Smurf bug sock, JacksRBetter 8x8 tarp along with cord and 2 ti stakes comes in at 1.lb 7.8 oz. Add 6.6 oz. 3.4 IX underquilt and GoLite ultra quilt at 19 oz. for 25.6 oz. of bedding. Total: 49.4 oz./3 lb. 1.4 oz. I sleep cold, but this has been comfortable down to the upper 30’s so far.

geoff

Jared King
(jking) - F

Locale: Middle TN
Re: Re: hammocks 101? on 03/08/2012 23:05:30 MST Print View

+1 on Hammockforums.net

I just got into hammocking 6 months ago, and I don't think I'll ever go back to the ground.

Also +1 on the GT UL. It's an awesome first hammock---very comfortable and lightweight. As other posters metioned, replace the suspension with some whoopies--check out whoopieslings.com.

For insulation (UQ and TQ) and for a cuben tarp, visit hammockgear.com. Awesome gear and great customer service.