Eventually, I bit the bullet and purchased a Warbonnet Blackbird, specifically a Double Layer 1.7, which refers to the hammock having two layers of 1.7oz/70 denier woven nylon. This allows for a higher weight capacity and also the ability to more easily slip in a sleeping pad between the layers if you choose to go that route; more on that later. I chose this one because of several features; an integrated bugnet, easy to use webbing suspension, impeccable quality, but more importantly the inclusion of what Warbonnet calls the footbox and the storage shelf. The former, is an extension of fabric that lowers the height of your legs allowing a flatter “lay” when properly positioned in a hammock, which is diagonal to the suspension vs inline with it. The latter is a pocket of sorts that sits inside the bug netting but outside of the hammock sling itself. It can be used for any number of gear items that you might need close by while laying in the hammock.
Regardless of what hammock you choose, there are a couple of things to consider:
Trees: You need them, or at least something that mimics their function in the hammock equation. Something like Blue Ridge Overland’s hitch mounted hammock stand [link] or ENOs tire stabilized stands [link]. Or you can fabricate something similar, which is the route I’m going to go.
Temperature: Hammocks, being suspended in air lose heat through convection very quickly; which is great for summer use. But in the fall, spring, or for the more dedicated winter hammock enthusiast, an under-quilt is required. It’s essentially a sleeping bag for your butt and suspends tight against the underside of the hammock. Another option is to use a traditional sleeping pad placed inside the sling/or body of the hammock. I personally run a Hammock Gear 20 degree Incubator underquilt.
Weather: Rain specifically, if you truly want to expand the situations in which you can camp in a hammock, a tarp is a necessity. There a tons of options, hexagonal, diamond; different materials like silnylon or cuben fiber. My choice was the Warbonnet SuperFly.
So get out there and start hanging around either for camping or to just lounge on a beautiful day!
Happy National Hammock Day!
Shameless plug: Both Patrick and I used our hammocks for the recent Red Clay Rally, check out of documentary of the rally here: [link]