Touring - Hennessy Hammock review
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05-26-07, 04:36 PM
...based on my recent tour.
Overall, loved it! For anyone (else) new to this, I strongly recommend it.
I noticed that you said you need a sleeping pad to use it. I thought a pad wasn't necessary with the hammock. What happens if you don't use one?
05-26-07, 11:16 PM
Thanks, glad you liked the review.
...you get cold. Very cold. Without a pad to insulate you, the air whisks away your body heat and by 0200 in the morning, you're so chilly you can't get comfortable.
Of course, my ultralite SlumberJack Meridian sleeping bag is only rated for 50 degrees... so that may have had something to do with it. Though even with a better bag, you need some kind of insulation between the bag and the tent wall. Especially back on the mainland in colder weather.
Hammocks are colder than tents, they also offer no inherant bug prottection to your underside. You need enough thickness to keep the skeeters at bay. so two reasons for a mat.
Ahh yes, I'm familiar with the cold problem. When it stays 80 degrees through the night, no need to worry about warmth. :D Is a sleeping bag or blanket wrapped under you not enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay?
05-27-07, 06:42 PM
I have never used the Hennessy but am looking at buying one (probably the Expedition or Explorer) My question is about the rain fly.
The stock rain fly looks to be a bit small if you encounter any serious rain with wind. Hennessy offers a much larger fly called the Hex that is significantly larger (and heavier) which will work with any of their hammocks. Are the stock rain fly's OK or would the larger fly be desirable?
05-27-07, 06:47 PM
Got an email from the company based on a comment about the rain fly in my post. They said (and I recommend doing this) that they will swap the hex fly for the regular fly when ordering - at no additional cost!
Place your order by phone and tell them you want the hex fly. The additional coverage would be great when it is raining with any amount of a breeze. There were two times I set up camp under the hammock. Once it was a heavy sprinkle with almost no breeze, but the second one was heavy rain and wind. The hex fly would have made a MUCH better shelter.
Hope that helps!
05-27-07, 06:50 PM
Is a sleeping bag or blanket wrapped under you not enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay?
I didn't have a run in with any mosquitos on my trip (oddly enough), so I can't accurately answer that. But I can speculate. It seems that a sleeping bag and/or blanket would be enough protection from the skeeters, but you'll quickly find that a pad will be a great help in getting a warm night's sleep.
05-27-07, 08:19 PM
I use the standard fly with my hammock and I've been through some pretty heavy rain and wind storms without a drop of water.
http://www.bicycletouring101.com/HammockNoTrees.htm has a write-up of my experience using a Hennessy Hammock. The second picture on the right hand side of the page actually shows an exposed position where I went through a storm with winds recorded at 80 km/hr (50 miles/hour).
I take a thermarest with me even through I own the under and over pads. With the thermarest I can set up the hammock in bivy mode and have a reasonably good sleep if trees are unavailable. ( http://www.bicycletouring101.com/HammockNoTrees.htm )
Hammocks of any kind do have the risk of a tree coming down on you when you go to get into the hammock if you haven't carefully checked out the conditions of the trees that you connect to.
( http://www.bicycletouring101.com/HammockDanger.htm )
I also own the hex fly. It makes a wonderful bike cover for stealth camping. Despite the tons of reflective material on my bike and saddlebags once the cover is over top the bike disappears.
05-27-07, 10:05 PM
Nice site, Jamie! I visited your site several (ok, many) times while preparing for my recently completed first tour. A wealth of information. Couldn't have done it without the help of BF frequenters such as yourself, Sheldon Brown, Machka, and too many others to name.
I suppose that part of how effective the rain fly is as a cover depends on how high above ground you setup your hammock. The lower the hammock, the better the fly coverage, and better protection from the rain.
Oh, as far as protection from the rain, I was talking about when sitting on the ground below the hammock, not in the hammock. During the one time it got stormy during my short tour, I had no indication that I was ever close to getting wet while inside the hammock. Fully confident that I would stay dry inside the hammock in anything short of a disaster.
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