He had a spare, so we used them on a bivy scout.
Maybe it was fluke, but I slept terrible and had sore neck/back.
He slept great and is going to use it on our upcoming elk hunt.
I'm an engineer, so tend to weigh pros/cons and am very particular.
IMO pros include: light weight; no need for flat ground; mice & little critters no concern.
Cons: Need appropriately spaced trees; very tough to change clothes inside; I could not lie flat & sides wrapped me like a cocoon which I did not like.
Based on one night only, I personally am not ready to switch from bivy tent.
Best of Luck, Jeff (Bowsite Sponsor)
Rain? Buy the rain fly, set it up taut. Bring a plastic tarp to put underneath your hammock, fold it over during rain or night, keeps your stuff clean and dry.
Cold? I use a therma-rest in my hammock, keeps me insulated and keeps me from sliding down. If that's not enough, there are companies that make thermal 'blankets' that go around the hammock.
Trees are oddly spaced? I use the Eno's Pro-Straps, have yet to find a place I could use it.
I used to think hammocks were for the hippies, slept in one and I'm a convert.
Weight: apples to apples, the hammock comes in heavier since a tarp and an underquilt is a necessity to keep you warm.
Comfort goes to the hammock for most people.
I like the idea. I like the sleep I get. I just don't care for the hassle.
I tried a Hennesey Hammock in Idaho and named it the Hennesey freezer bag. By the time you pack enough stuff to keep you warm you might as well pack a tent, especially when you can get a good tent that weighs close to 2 pounds.
And then there's the hassle of getting dressed standing outside, which is even more of a hassle if it's raining or snowing.
Don't get me wrong, the Hennesey is very comfortable and I still use it occasionally on Canadian fishing trips but in my opinion for elk hunting it's not worth the hassle or inconvenience.
I just use a sleeping bag. It frosted a few nights during my hunt, but I was toasty. Just depends on how well and comfortably you can insulate yourself, same as when in a tent.
If I were to spike camp it this would undoubtedly be my choice. I sleep like a baby in this thing and it certainly reduces those aches you get when you get out of bed in the morning.
If I had anchors, I'd use it in my apartment instead of my tempurpedic.
Cant comment on the temp cause each time I've used them it only got down into the 50s and I was in my 0 degree bag.
The threads he referes to are very old. You need to know that hammock camping has come a long way in the last 5 - 10 years. Just as the hunting clothing industry has as well. The bigest factor for this is advanced materials and application. You also should know that elk hunters have not kept up with this about hammocks and the group tends to be more opinionated than other groups. People backpack all the major trails in the US (even the continental divide through the Rockies) with hammocks all the time but for some reason they just can't work for an elk hunt? WTF? I elk hunt up to 12,200' in late Sept in CO in my hammock for 10 to 12 days every year, rain sleet or snow, in as much comfort as can be had outdoors for that long.
I have a lot of experience in hammocks and I can tell you that Noresman or any other that slams hammocks do not know what they are talking about. And don't stake a lot on a guy that has one night in a hammock. Granted, there are things that you need to do right but it only takes knowledge, which is free to anyone wanting to know, but then there are the know it alls that spew crap from their mouths with no interest in knowing. I can't stand that type of person.
From the posts so far I can make these statements. 1 Eno hammocks are bottom of the barrel as for comfort mainly due to size/length, I think they have a larger model that would be ok so if you go with that brand make sure it is big/long enough. It should be about 120" long x 60" wide if you stretch it out so you get a good flat lay and not wrapped up like smarba describes. 2 You lay on a diagonal in these hammocks, if you don't know about laying diagonal you will have problems, if you do you will be very flat and comfortable. 3 Your foot end should be slightly higher than your head end. 4 The best set up uses under quilt and top quilt, preferably of down fill, rather than a pad. 4 Invest in a good tarp with doors like the superfly from Warbonnet for complete protection.
Pros - It is a wash for weight vs a tent/pad/bag. I am always warm, dry and comfortable. I sleep the same everynight regardless of relocating because the hang is the same. Can hang anywhere there are trees and there are trees everywhere I hunt, even on the steepest rocky slopes. Less time looking for suitable camping spots vs tent. You can set it up in about two minutes unless there is brush to clear between the trees. I tend ot pick trees with no brush if I can. You can sit in it like a camp chair.
Cons - My set up shares the same con that ground dwellers have with down fill bags. You have to protect the down from moisture for the whole trip.
Sorry to hit a sore spot with you MC. I have a Hennessey and tried it in Wy. Froze my butt off. Tried it again in Nm. Still was cold at night. Great for daytime naps though but bugs can still bite you through the material if there is no space seperating your flesh. I even talked with Hennessey about solutions. But they just made a new 4 season model. No real solution for the older models unless you want to spend hundreds more buying a bottom insulator and sewing in a pocket. After all this and the upgrade size in sleeping bag. A 3 person tent is just as light and has the room for pack cloths, gear, bow. My 20 degree down bag is good up to about 50 degree nights in my Hennessey. Just givin my opinion. Been there done that. To each his own I guess.
Having said that I don't know much about them, but I would imagine he is right about their evolution in recent years.
Talk about lite and bivy setting.
Good luck, Robb
Here is the problem with Hennessey hammocks. I'll compare them to a regular end gathered hammock: 1. They are heavier than a regular hammock because of all the material. 2. They are very limited on the type of bottom insulation you can use due to their design, especially the old bottom entry designs. The proprietary insulation system they sell for them is not good for bivy hunting or cold temps in general. A conventional end gathered hammock can utilize bottom quilts from many suppliers and it is as warm as can be and they pack as small as the best lightweight tent and down bag combos that include a pad. 3. They are limited in space and coverage under the small tarp that comes with them. A conventional end gathered hammock can utilize any of the large full encapsulation tarps made by the same guys that make the quilts. They can offer as much space as any bivy tent, usually more space. Mine has doors.
You need a conventional end gathered hammock and use an underquilt. A good combination is the Warbonnet Traveller hammock, underquilt and topquilt and a superfly tarp. I personally wish Hennessey was not popular when they were becasue they made a bad influence on a lot of people.
I've never been bitten by bugs in Sept Colorado and I don't even use bugmesh at all. A lot of folks just use a tarp and throw their sleeping/bivy bag on the ground, some of them don't have mesh for bugs either. The only difference between the tarp ground guys and my hammock system is I am off the ground and it only costs me ounces more to do it. It is really only a few oz more weight than a lot of bivy bags. The combination of 20 degree underquilt and top quilt is about the same weight and compressed size of a top of the line 0 degree down mummy bag.
Cheesehead, Norseman and others got into hammocks with bad methods and models of gear for the conditions they tried to hang in and failed. Now they slam hammocks and ward off anyone that could very well love them. What is funny is that when more and more people start to use them the right way those old posts they wrote will forever show that they are the type guys that spout off about stuff they don't fully know about.
Sorry for ranting.
Good luck this season!
Good thing you guys didn't tell MC that his truck sucks! Imagine that lashing?
MC Are you a hammock salesman?
What's the best hammock for banana protection on an elk hunt?
People come on here with the intent to learn. They are hoping that they get good information. Why is it wrong to help them with that when you really know something and you see someone steering them astray. The only way to do that in this type of case is to show how a person is biased and or ignorant when they say wrong and biased things like that which could effect decisions people make. If we were standing around having this discussion I would set my stuff up and let you decide for yourself. Show you the inns and outs. And when a guy like Noresman comes up I would show you why he didn't know what he was talking about and try to show him what he did wrong. He would probably only have sarcastic things to say and leave non the better.
I know that it appears that I am just a loose cannon that went off but there is history behind the all these hammock threads that get torpedoed by the same group of guys using the same sarcastic phrases. They say this topic has been talked to death after they describe how they failed at hanging. I am just here to say that they are wrong and if you do it right you will not have a better sleep system in the bush. That even goes for most guys that think they can't do it. I really believe that, from a lot of experience. I spend at least 10% of the year in a hammock in all weather conditions. There is no way I would willingly spend that much time on a pad on the ground. I would even rather be in my hammock than on a cot in a wall tent.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if it were full of guys like you two?
If it's going to get cold, I'm bringing the paratipi.
First year I had a $20 gathered end hammock from academy. Underquilt was two poncho liners sewn together. My regular marmot helium gets used topside. Tarp was the Noah's tarp 9. This rookie system worked well, had room for improvement. I stayed dry, wasn't sleeping on the hard ground, and stayed as warm as I did on the ground.
Second year upgrades. JacksRBetter bridge hammock (you lay FLAT). Underquilt was a 0* down incubator. Tarp is a hennesey hex with 2qzq doors added. Marmot helium still gets the nod for topside insulation. I now have my ultimate sleep system. If you try out a quality system like this you will love it.
My buddy as a Clark NX-250 that is very nice, too.
I'm 6'3" and toss and turn all night, so I use a Tree to Tree Trail Gear Switchback 1.9 SL with a custom OES MacCat tarp in snake skins.
HAMMOCKS ARE NOT COLD!!! IF you know what you're doing. I have a hammock gear 20° underquilt for my hammock, and several foam pads to use in my wife's. A top quilt will take me down into the 30's in mine. Below that and I prefer my Seek Outside LBO.
Hammocks are much more comfortable for me than sleeping on the ground, they are better in buggy country, they're better in rain and mud, and they are much faster to set up than a tent.
But, you need trees so above timberline is out, and it is more difficult to stay warm in truly cold temps. On a September elk hunt there is a distinct possibility that I will need to camp above timberline, so I will take the LBO. I love the hammock for 3 season camping and backpacking though.
Do you guys have any photos, both set up and packed up?
I thought mine was great.....I think it was truly one of the best night's sleep that I ever had in the backcountry. I did get a little bit chilled in mine. I will be using a cheap foam pad the next time I use it (this weekend) - and can't wait!!!
Here is a pic of my two hung. I like the detached tarp because if the weather is nice I can set the pegs but disconnect the two on one side and flip the tarp over the ridgeline for single sided protection so I can stargaze. If it rains it takes a few seconds to flip it back over and snug it down.
- EE 20° Rev X Quilt - Hammock Gear 20° Incubator underquilt - Tree to Tree Trail Gear Switchback 1.9 SL hammock with whoopie slings and tree straps with Dutch clips - Custom OES MacCat Deluxe tarp in snake skins - Nalgene for comparison
Everything but the nalgene weighs 6 lbs 9 oz. I could save around 10 oz by going with a netless hammock. If I were only using it for the CO highcountry I would do that, but I need bug protection here in TN.
If you do the foam route then get a double layer hammock so you can put the foam between the layers. A blue walmart pad works fine. A sleeping bag is easier to use if you leave it unzipped and just pull it over you and tuck in the sides.
My TQ and UQ will be going into a single dry sack instead of their separate stuff sacks.
The owner made sure to get to me very quickly. This is my first time (in a while) using a hammock so I went cheap and will reuse what I have already. (RockChucker30's point)
Cost with shipping was around $85.
This coupled with my Kelty 12x12 tarp comes in at 4.5lbs. I'm going to use a 30x48, 3/8" closed cell foam pad to keep as much cold out as I can.
I'm open minded and tried a hammock before most people even heard of them for hunting. As much as I wanted it to, it didn't work well for me.
I know I might be labeled as ignorant and negative by some, but here goes...
When I pack into the mountains I'm usually there for 5 to 9 days before returning to my truck to restock or regroup. Food for 9 days takes up a lot of room in my pack. One of the problems I had with the hammock was how bulky everything was that I had to carry to stay warm.
Also, I can sit up in my tent and get dressed or undressed. I have room for my pack inside my tent and if it's raining or snowing really hard I can stay in my tent and study maps, read, whatever. I can also cook (boil water) in my vestibule while sitting up or laying in my sleeping bag. I also have room for my boots and my bow inside a vesibule.
Questions for you guys that use hammocks.
1. Can you get dressed/undressed inside and how easy is it? Do you bring your boots inside?
2. Do you have room for pack and or bow inside with you?
3. Can you cook/boil water inside the hammock?
4. Would you be comfortable inside the hammock all day if you had to stay there because of weather?
5. Can you comfortably study maps, read, etc. inside the hammock?
6. How many days do you usually stay out on the mountain continuously and do you have room in your pack for all the gear and food for 5 to 9 days?
7. How hard is it to get in and out of the hammock to answer the call of nature?
The attached photo is my sleeping gear consisting of a Stoic 15 degree down bag, Neoair pad and Double Rainbow tent with a can of beer for size perspective. Total weight is 6 pounds 13 ounces, minus the beer.
Again, I'm not slamming hammocks or anybody who uses them, but the bulkiness of all the gear and the answers to the questions above are what made me decide against mine.
1. Can you get dressed/undressed inside and how easy is it? Do you bring your boots inside? Yes, my tarp is a separate piece of equipment and I can raise or lower it in relation to the hammock. I can pitch it where it touches the ground and looks like a big two man tent or raise it up higher where there is a gap between it and the ground, depending on the wind. I sit in my hammock and change clothes and only have to stand up to pull up my pants. The ridgeline of the tarp is above my head. If I had a hennessey like yours this would be almost impossible.
2. Do you have room for pack and or bow inside with you? Yes, my tarp is big. See picture of the model.
3. Can you cook/boil water inside the hammock? Of course, just like as if I were sitting on a log and cooking with stove on the ground. You can even lean over the side of the hammock and cook while laying down. But I sit in it with my feet on the ground. My but is usually about a foot off the ground.
4. Would you be comfortable inside the hammock all day if you had to stay there because of weather? More comfortable than on the ground. I've had to do that.
5. Can you comfortably study maps, read, etc. inside the hammock? Yes
6. How many days do you usually stay out on the mountain continuously and do you have room in your pack for all the gear and food for 5 to 9 days? I took 7 days food last year but stayed out 6. Then went back out for 5 more.
7. How hard is it to get in and out of the hammock to answer the call of nature? As easy as getting out of a traditional porch hammock that you have hanging in your back yard. If I had a Hennessey it would be more difficult, like having a wrestling match at 2 am.
This is why I say that you need to learn more about them. They have evolved since you got yours. Ditch it and get a conventional hammock with quilts and a good tarp. You will see that it takes up no more space in the pack after the pack is loaded and the down quilts are compressed. The only difference between your Hut1 tarp shelter and my set up is I have a hammock holding me off the ground and it only costs me a pound and its volume is between the size of a softball and a small canelope. A pound is all and for the amount of comfort it gives it is well worth it.
No more digging trenches around the tarp edges to keep water from getting to your bag either.
I know one guy whose hammock was all ripped to shreds from a fluke storm we got in 2006.....IMO, asking for trouble placing a big tarp 5' off the ground where the wind can shred it.
I can use my 2# 4oz tent anywhere even above timberline- cook, dress, move in any position on my side,stomach knees or back- with all; tent, bag and Exped long/wide matt=6#
I have a TTT Trail Gear Switchback which is good for tall side sleepers who toss and turn. The Warbonnet Blackbird is very popular but IME is better for back sleepers who don't turn as much.
Hammocks are easier to get out of in the night, they are easier in wet weather, and you've got a built in chair.
They do have limitations IMO. Timberline is a big one and really bad storms is another. A good tarp will ride out a bad storm just fine, but I'd still rather be in a lower profile shelter pegged to the ground in 8+ places vs a tarp floating above ground and pegged in 4 corners in really high winds. Of course as always site selection makes a huge difference. If you're smart your hammock won't be taking full force winds.
that was the best two nights of sleep i have ever had in the woods. i did get a little hot but that was the weathers' fault not the hammocks. you could sleep on your sides or back but not stomach. with a fly, insulator pad, and hammock it was about 2.5 pounds. i know their are lighter tents but i have never slept so comfortable. you dont have to worry about level ground or a rock jabbing you in the hip all night. i will try it out this winter to see if i can stay warm without packing to much. the only problem is you need two solid anchor points to hang it.
i loved it and will use it again this year! sorry for the dark pic. it was late and i didnt have the fly up. i didnt need it.
You need an under quilt. Mine is climashield and is made of 3.5 ounce. It’s rated at 20 degrees. It weighs about 16 ounces in its stuff sack.
I use an over quilt too. I made it. I have them with 3.6 ounce climashield up to 10 ounce climashield. 3.5 down into the 40’s. 5 ounce into the 30’s. 7.5 ounce down to 25 or so. And the 10 ounce down to however low it’ll go.
You don’t need a bunch. And, if you can only have one, get the 10 ounce insulation to sew yours out of. Or buy one. It’s easy to cool off. It’s tough to sleep on the edge of cold. Your top quilt weight is going to run you about 20 ounces.
You need a tarp. I’ve got 4 season tarps that have doors. I’ve got minimalists tarps that do nothing but keep the dew and frost off. I’d advise a hexagon shaped, catenary cut tarp that’s a foot longer then your hammock. When setup up, it’ll keep the nastiest wind blown water off but , be much lighter then a 4 season tarp. It’s going to weigh around 16-17 ounces with suspension.
Finally, there’s the hammock. This is where 99% of the people who use them screw up. They buy an eno or something name brand. And, what they get is a short hammock that’s is no where near as comfy as a longer one. I’ve been down this road and spent a lot of money on stuff that worked. But, wasn’t nearly as comfy as a longer hammock.
I’m 5’9” tall and run an eleven foot hammock. I can lay nearby sideways in it and do a lot of time. It’s so much more comfortable then the eno’s and other popular brands that rarely measure 10’ long. Most being 9’.
A good hammock with proper length is going to run you about $50. Not anymore then the shortys the name brands sell. Buy from a vendor who makes them. I bought mine from Dutch ware gear. I’m guessing I bought 6 brands of popular hammocks before this one. I’ve run this one for 6 years and ain’t changing. It’s that much more comfy.
The last two bits of info I’ll give you is to buy a hammock with material rated for your weight. It’ll be tempting to buy an 8 ounce hammock from one of the cottage vendors. But, unless you weigh 150 pounds, it’s going to stretch with you. Wrapping the sides around you. Becoming uncomfortable.
Name brand offerings make this consideration irrelevant. As they almost all use parachute nylon. Which would hold a truck. But, cottage guys offer a lot of material and weights. Keep this in mind.
Use a structure ridge line too. Start your adjustment at around 81% of total hammock length. Play with it until the hammock conforms perfectly to the shape of your body when laying at a diagonal in it. You’ll know when you get there. As you won’t move once it’s right. Kinda like a million fingers of angels holding and cradling you. Be prepared to wake up exactly as you went to sleep. No waking up uncomfortable.
So, buy one with material rated for your weight. The difference in finished weight won’t be more then an ounce or two. But the comfort it’ll provide over one that stretches will be priceless. My hammock with suspension cones in at 13 ounces.
The cons of a hammock setup are the weight versus a piece of house wrap or roof underlayment, a pad, a bag or quilt, and a tarp. And the bulk. It takes double the pack space.
My hammock setup with my self made 10 ounce over quilt comes in at 57 ounces. Unless you customize your top quilt and tarp like I did, you are going to be close to 60-65 ounces. Basically 5 pounds.
An ultralight setup can beat that if you spend big money. By how much I don’t know. But, I’m guessing 5-6 ounces of you use synthetic and buy a very expensive, minimalist pad.
But, you know what you get with that. I like to sleep. I like to sleep lights out. So, I’m going with the hammock every time. No contest. That’s the pros of it. Unaltered sleep. Nothing else compares.
I got long winded. To try and help people understand what it takes to get this right. I’m almost 50 years old. I can’t go on lousy sleep for days on end. I can’t get all stoved up and go day after day like when I was young. I imagine everyone on here is in that boat. Which is why it’s important to know how to make the hammock setup work for you.
Good luck and God bless.
I'll take my sleeping bag with integrated pad over a hammock any day and twice on Sundays.
Air circulation causing problems is just a theory if you are using an under quilt.
If getting in and out is a problem, your hammock isn’t hanging correctly. It has too much slack in it.
I’m not trying to be a contrarian. But, It’s all what you put into it. And, if you think you are going to just hang one and go to peaceful sleep, without the knowledge or the right gear, like a structural ridge line, you are going to be disappointed.
They might not be the thing for you. But, if it’s a comfort issue causing that, it’s because you were doing it wrong. Not being a wise guy. Just trying to be honest.
Whatever the individual decides is their business. Good luck.
I also keep my boots right below where my feet hang out the side so I can just slide right into them and take a few painfree steps away to a good spot to wet down and mark my territory.
The really bee's knees part of having a hammock in camp is it makes a great place to sit, relax, cool off in the shade when you are taking a break from the hunt, as well as being a bed. The key for my comfort is as WVM said, knowing how to properly hang it with a solid ridge line and proper tension so that when I lay asymmetrically I am pretty darn flat rather than curled up. When I find myself sliding down into a ball I know I've screwed something up.
I too am a side sleeper. I get what you are saying. But I love me a hammock.