View Full Version : Stephensen Warmlite D.A.M.
Just searched here and over on WhiteBlaze for feed-back on the Stephensen Warmlite D.A.M. Hiking buddy used one in an '03 attempt and loves it. I *DID* see pics of the D.A.M. being used in a hammock and it appears to pack down very small.
Boy is their gear expensive! ~~ $160.00 for an air-matteress..?!?!?!?
Anyone using it...? Is it really worth the $$$...???
I think if you want to spend that much, get a JRB quilt you can also use as camp clothing. Same principle - down loft to provide warmth. But at least the JRB quilt is flexible and built to use with a hammock.
Everything has its tradeoffs, and the Stephenson DAM certainly has some. I've used their biggest one in a Speer class hammock (80" long, 28" wide at its widest point, 4+" thick and right at 2 lbs with its inflation sack). I went from an 8.0 Speer to an 8.5 Speer and also made the bugnet almost a foot wider to handle it... basically, I adjusted both the length and the girth but since I make my own I just happen to already have two of the the larger hammocks on hand, just had to make a new bugnet (although I rarely use the bugnet and don't think I have used the wider one). I use an 11"x24"x3/8" piece of 'sticky' (versus 'slick') closed cell foam between it and the hammock fabric to keep it from sliding too easily. Because of its size, I don't know if a person would fit inside some of the Hennessy hammocks with the one I used. It takes several minutes to inflate or deflate (?5 to 10 minutes) and it takes up a lot of volume in a hammock... enough to effect the stability on a smallish hammock. It packs down very small (comparable to a regular size Thermarest Guidelite or ProLite 4) and it just might be the warmest bottom side insulation available for a hammock... it is quite thick and having the down encased in an airtight container adds considerably to its insulation value (if you were to compare it to a breathable down quilt). It is plush in a hammock and those hard shelter floors... you can pretty much just laugh at them. From just looking at it, I do have some concerns about the reliablity of the valve; I think I understand why they use the one they do (its designed to be inflated inside a Stephenson tent and it allows you to operate the inflation sack while you are positioned on the side of the DAM) but looking at it doesn't give me the confidence that the the ones used on the self inflating pads do and it doesn't look to me like it is made to be easily replaced, if it can be replaced at all... but I don't know that there is any problem with the valve.
J.D., I am planning on going to Hot Springs next month, I'll try and remember to bring it so you can take a look at it. I'll have something else to show you that will be another option, maybe you will like it. It is something that I worked out last spring; a couple of my buddies and I have used it with much success this winter on the ground, in shelters and in hammocks this winter on the Pinhoti Trail(AL), the Florida National Senic Trail and the Benton MacKaye Trail(GA)... add to that a few nights in the backyard with temperatures in the teens, so it has been tested pretty extensively. At least you will get to see a few things and maybe kick the tires a little-- Ed Speer will be there as well as Jack (Peter Pan) to show their hammock stuff. I know it can be frustrating trying to figure out what to use when you can't touch, feel or try out things for your hammock. Hot Springs ought to be neat for us hammockers.
First: Thanks, Sarge! Enjoying your birthday I hope?
Second: Thanks, Youngblood!
You have both hit upon the quandry... There are too many options! I think I remember reading a post by Lone Wolf that he uses "Mother Nature" (on the ground) and doesn't bother with pads.
It's not like I haven't managed (some how!) to stay out there for a couple weeks now and then since the '70's. Managed to stay reasonably dry, warm, etc.
But, I am also pretty stubborn and want to figure out this hammock stuff. Made my own Risk ZHammock and proved I could stay warm. Everyone talks about the "Comfort Factor" and I want to find that WITHOUT carrying more weight & bulk than I am now.
I am soooooooooo looking forward to Hot Springs! My buddy and his D.A.M should be there along with his HH that he says he will sell to me at a good price. He didn't like it and went with a tarp and the D.A.M.
Thanks for the feedback!
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