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Hennessy Hammock Asym

in Shelters - Hammocks & Accessories

Average Rating
4.44 / 5 (9 reviews)

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Jeffery Cowen
( wirerat123 )
Hennessy Hammock Asym on 11/17/2005 17:04:49 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Where to start, this just happens to be the one part of my backpacking gear list that I will NEVER skimp on. The only truely comfy nights sleeps I have ever had on trail is when I'm cuddled up in my Hennessy Hammock. No worries about finding a flat, rockless, non lumpy campsite, all I need is trees and I can sleep like a baby.

For those of you who like to sleep above or below the treeline, never fear, with your trekking poles you can setup quite a nice little bivy using the Hennessy Hammock and while setup in a bivy configuration you can actually stuff two very close friends in there, or if the conditions are right then leave the Hammock home and carry the fly part of it for a make shift tarp tent.

By far the greatest investment I have ever made for backpacking, at around 3lbs it's a tolerable weight for ultralighters, yet well more functional (and comfortable) than a tarp tent. Add to that the fact that Hennessy hammocks are VERY low impact, you have yourself one awesome shelter.

Worried about setup? I can set mine up in around 2.5 minutes, being off the ground I never have had any condensation yet, but if it is damp in the morning it takes no time at all to dry out so I can get it packed up and gone.

Only downfall of the Hennessy Hammock is that sometimes you are so comfy after a nights sleep you just hate to get out of it. I now have two friends that swear by the Hennessy Hammock too. I wouldn't backpack any other way.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Hennessy Hammock Asym priced at: $159.00
Gregory Jablunovsky
( jablunov )

Laurel Highlands
Comfy but cool on 12/25/2005 18:41:08 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The Hennessy Asym is a very different sleep experience than anything on the ground and well worth the reasonable weight and packed size for the comfort in moderate conditions.

I tried the Hennessy Asym after injuring two lumbar disks. This design provides a very even distribution of weight--no hard spots like on the ground. It affords a reasonably level position, unlike other hammocks that leave the sleeper slung in an arch. Overall, I'm at least as comfortable as in my own bed.

The bulk and weight is comparable to my light tent (Six Moon Europa).

This was true for me on nights down to about 50 deg F. With a 1/2 in closed-cell pad, I had some cold spots where my bag compressed directly against the wall hammock fabric. On hot nights, this is a benefit. Exterior insulation is an option I haven't tried, but will add to bulk and weight.

This hammock also provides very good bug protection for those confronting biting, buzzing bugs in the woods.

One consideration in using the hammock is storing gear. With no vestibule, the space below provides some protection, but will not stay dry in blown rain.

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Robert Stanek
( rstanek )

Southeast, Atlanta, GA
A totally different camping experience on 12/24/2006 18:59:27 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have to admit, I'm a pure disciple of the HH asym.

This single piece of gear has totally revolutionized my backpacking experience.

Not only do I sleep more soundly and comfortably, but can literally set it up anywhere.

In addition, the hyperlight version, and the cold weather kit and bigger fly option have given me absolute flexibility in weather and weight. The snakeskins alos provide multiple options for where to "lash" my shelter and free up valuable pack space.

When I plan correctly, I can sleep into the 20's with no discomfort. I can also take my complete backpacking ensemble in a 22' carry-on for cross country trips.

The design is thoughtful and clever. Ingenious might be a better word. I can only describe the things that I CAN Do with my HH, and can never come up with something I CANNOT do with it.

Hammock camping is a pure pleasure, and the HH design is my absolute favorite.

Richard Matthews
( food )

Colorado Rockies
well designed on 01/03/2007 15:09:11 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have used the Hennessy as my primary shelter for 4 years now.

The A-Sym design allows a poncho to be used as the fly.

The bottom entry allows the fly to be set very close to the hammock. This means you get very good coverage with a small tarp.

I have found the side tieouts are not really needed and it warmer.

I think it is easier to stay dry in a hammock than a tent.

I go to the ground above timberline, in the desert and in the snow.

The Jacks'R'Better 3 season set of quilts and expedition weight long underwear keep me warm to about 30 degrees. Add a closed cell pad and jacket and it goes to about 15 degrees.

The hammock does weigh more than my lightest ground kit, but the comfort is well worth the weight.

I put mitten hooks on stuff sacks and hang them on the ridge line. I feel much more organized than I ever did with a tent.

A downside is I don't hike as many miles because I have started to carry a radio that hooks on the ridgeline and a book. The hammock is the only way I have found to read comfortably in camp.

Wayne Teipen
( wamyteipen )

Better than the ground on 08/10/2007 14:32:52 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This is the first year that I have used the Hennessy Hammock so my experience is that of a novice. The comfort is definitely far better than any tent/pad combo I have ever used. It also is superior to a tent in forests or anywhere tree's approximately 10 feet apart can be easily found. The down sides to the HH Asym is that it can be tricky to find the right insulation combination to stay warm in cooler temps and that doing so can add significant weight to your pack. In my experience it is much easier to stay warm in a tent; however, the comfort of a hammock is worth the weight to me.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Hennessy Hammock Asym priced at: $159.00
Thomas Kight
( ningen )
Tweaking the Hennessey Asym on 07/02/2008 11:18:08 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Here are some of the lessons from my early use experiences with the Hennessey Ultralite Backpacker Asym:

1. If you are back sleeper, welcome to heaven. This baby is made for you. Other positions are viable (e.g. on side or fetal postions) and relatively comfortable. Stomach sleeping isn't easy to do unless you have a Cirque du Soleil background.

2. As is well-known, the Asym does sleep cold, and I am still playing around with different options other than adding more weight with an undercover, etc. (the hammock is already at 1 lb 15oz).

3. The tree huggers are a little limited in size. You'd be surprised to find how tricky it can sometimes be to find trees of the right diameter the right distance apart. One friend created carries longer webbing to increase set-up options.

4 OK so here's my big Pet Peeve: The Ridgeline cord on the Asym is very stiff. Hennessey gives directions for lashing the hammock to the tree (supposedly so that you are not required to know any "difficult" knots). The lashing is easy, but also a pain in the neck, mainly because you will almost always have to tighten your ridgeline after you have first gotten into the hammock after initial set up. I thought I'd be smart and just use a simple, easily-learned quick-release Siberian or Mooring hitch to tie the first line to a tree, and then a quickly adjustable but powerful Tensioning Hitch to tie and adjust the second line. With normal rope, these knots hold like steel but release with one pull on the free end of the rope. However, much to my chagrin, the knots completely jam in the stiff Hennessey cord. You can get it apart with the use of small pointed tools and much cursing, but then you resign yourself to using the less efficient and less effective lashing. If only there were a more flexible cord that could still carry the weight but in which one could tie efficient and highly effective knots, that would be a great improvement.

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Lori P
( lori999 )

Central Valley
Good hammock on 06/25/2009 08:55:09 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The Hennessy was my starter hammock. I had an Ultralight Backpacker Asym.

I used the HH for a year, and have to say that it completely re-organized my priorities for backpacking. I hated tents; claustrophobic reactions to mummy bags and waking to find myself in an opaque dome I couldn't stand up in following a night of tossing and turning and hardly sleeping, well - the hammock was a godsend. Sleeping (not tossing and turning, but comfortable, blissful sleep) was the biggest factor in whether I enjoyed my outing.

The issues others have had - the figure 8 lashing, the lack of storage space - plus my own gripes of always sticking to the velcro, losing small clothing items when I exit, and sometimes finding that the pad under me slides around or I roll off, eventually sent me researching. I solved an issue of sagging tarp by first tying it directly to trees, then by getting a larger caternary cut tarp that would keep everything under it dry in the rain, allowing me to keep pack, clothes and sundry items either on the ground beneath the hammock or suspended in a smaller gear hammock from the ropes. Then I started looking at other hammocks.

I found all kinds of hammocks but eventually purchased a Warbonnet Blackbird. A hammocker designed and makes the Blackbird himself, so sometimes there is a waiting list. The Blackbird is easily the best piece of hammock engineering I've found. I store things in the shelf, love the full length side zipper (so many veteran HH users will retrofit theirs with the side zipper), and most of all, the fifteen foot straps - use a biner to clip the strap around a tree, adjust strap length at the tri-rings, tie off with a half hitch, and you are done. Totally adjustable. My Jacks R Better quilt that worked with the HH also works great with the BB. There is a pad pocket to slide a pad in if I want.

Best of all, though the dimensions are essentially the same as the HH ULB, the feel is better - flatter lay, roomier, and just plain comfy. There were hangs that the HH did not feel comfortable; I have not found that with the BB.

It may seem that I have turned this into a review of the BB, but look again - the HH is a good hammock, but there are features of it that I found mildly irritating and solved in another hammock. The things that work in the BB are things the HH does not have. I went from tripping over black shock cord tie outs in the dark to avoiding reflective white ones. A HH is lighter, though, and you will find it's still a pretty good solution to uncomfortable nights on the ground. I found it clumsy using a pad inside with me, a minor annoyance, but still an irritant. I didn't want to retrofit with a SuperShelter when the blue ccf I had worked. I added a JRB underquilt and still found myself fiddling with the setup, as the hang has a lot to do with the geometrics of hammock and quilt. The stock tarp wasn't adequate for side driven wind or rain. Ultimately, it was the little things that moved me forward to a different hammock, which is about the same cost as the complete setup for the HH ULB but engineered with features I can truly appreciate after repeated figure eight lashings. I also find that the BB is consistently comfortable regardless of how close or far apart the trees are, where the HH was not; whether this is the hammock or my experience with hanging in general, I'm not certain.

I note that Hennessy is starting to put out hammocks with a full length zipper. Hammocking is an evolution. :)

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Keith Selbo
( herman666 - M )

Northern Virginia
great hammock on 10/09/2010 12:41:17 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I reviewed the hyperlight backpacker elsewhere, but I wanted to comment on the review above that said it's necessary to tighten the ropes after lying in the hammock.

This hasn't been my experience. When I hang the hammock, I make it very tight when I lash it. Before I get in the first time, the hammock is horizontal and twangs when I give it a tug and let go. When I get in, the hang is just right.

The Hyperlight is the lightest all-weather setup I know of. I also bought the Hennesy asym cape tarp. It has a zipper in it that allows it to be worn as a cape. It lets me leave my 11oz. poncho at home for even more weight savings. When it comes to innovation, in the lightest package, nothing else comes close.

Edited by herman666 on 10/09/2010 12:43:04 MDT.

Ross Williams
( rwms15 )
INNOVATION IN HAMMOCK FORM!!! on 05/15/2011 16:53:59 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I own the Expediton Asym. I love this hammock! It can be used as a chair, lounger, small dining fly, and a tent. However, there are some things to be wary of. First of all, don't pull the fly to tight as it will stretch! Second, do not, under any circumstances, sleep in a mosquito infested area without a shirt, sleeping bag, etc. underneath you. One night the humidity was unbearable, so I slept shirtless with my skin in contact with the hammock material. BIG MISTAKE! When I woke up the next morning, I was covered in hundreds of mosquito bites. The mosquitos bit me through the hammock! Needless to say, I won't make that mistake again. Anyway, this is a very innovative sleep system, but you must go through a process of trial and error before you get the hang of using a hammock.

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