View Full Version : My Hammock Plan...What do you think?

2005-03-15, 11:28
My Hammock Plan…What do you think?


I am very interested in purchasing a HH for the up coming spring/summer/fall hiking seasons here in the mountains of Wyoming. I have been researching a great deal and have sort of formed a plan I would like input on…here it is.

I plan to purchase a Hennesy Hammock Expedition A-sym with the larger silnylon rain fly upgrade (I want to be able to cook and hang out under it with friends in the rain). I also will purchase the undercover and underpad to add warmth (I am considering getting 2 underpads and doubling them up for colder weather…does this sound like a good idea? The mountains can get pretty cold in the spring…20 degrees is not unusual in the spring). As I tend to hike in places with huge trees I think the larger/longer Tree Huggers might be a good idea as well.

Added to all this, I was thinking of getting a set of the Jacks-R-Better Python Skins to encase the whole thing in…the idea being I could more easily put up and take down the hammock with undercover/underpad/larger rain fly all attached. The Python Skins are described as “Snake Skins on steroids. 4½” diameter and 75” long. Oversized snake skins capable of holding the hammock, tarp (up to 8’x10’) and under quilt. Makes set-up and take-down a snap. Weight: 2 oz. Python Skins with a hammock, 8'x8' tarp, and the Nest under quilt will pack to a bundle approximately 6"x6"x12".”

So does this sound realistic and logical? I realize I am adding some weight to the system with these additions, but the whole package still weighs less than my current tent/pad combination…and by all accounts should sleep more comfortably.

Before I spend a small fortune on this thing I would love some reassurance or criticism from those with more experience hammock camping.

Thanks for your time and consideration.


2005-03-15, 12:02
Dan... so how much does all this cost? I know it is going to be scary, most of us buy the stuff incremental, don't get as much use as we hoped with some of it and probably don't really know how much we have invested in it... but I look at is something like a hobby so I don't feel like a dope for spending so much money. :rolleyes:


Just Jeff
2005-03-15, 12:38
I think it sounds like a good plan. From what I hear, I would definitely recommend two underpads for 20F weather. I haven't used them, though.

Any reason you chose the HH cold-weather setup over the JRB kit? Seems that for almost the same weight I get about 15F more warmth out of the JRB. (I'm haven't quite been comfortable to 30F with the 3 season set...could be the wind, though.) Cost was an issue for me, but in the end I chose the JRB because it's more versatile...I can also use it on any of my homemade hammocks.

2005-03-15, 12:46
I think it will all run around $350...I`m not rich, but I`m not dipping into my kids college fund either. I don`t mind spending the money. I guess I`m sort of an all-or-none kind of guy (probably to a fault). So with all that in mind I guess I`m saying if my little plan sounds reasonable and I will get a shelter system that will keep me warm, dry, comfortable and weighs less than my current 6 pounds of tent/pad, I will consider it money well spent.

If hammock system sounds flawed in some way...that is it will not accomplish these goals or I should consider purchasing a diffrent product or eliminating one, then I would love to hear those suggestions.

The JRB quilt is really expensive and I think heavier...I was hoping to accomplish the same thing at a lower expense by doubling the pad. But I would absolutly get the quilt set up if it is the better option.

I`m not sure I expressed all that very clearly...anyway thanks for your input.


SGT Rock
2005-03-15, 12:58
The JRB system may be a little heavier, but it also eliminates needing some layers of warmer clothing in your pack. So in a way is is like adding a 1.5" thick down vest by only accepting a few ounce more over the HH system.

Just Jeff
2005-03-15, 13:55
The HH undercover and two pads weigh 18.5 oz according to the Hennessey website. It's 66"x30", but I think you can order up to 36" (for more weight and probably more cost). I didn't find a thickness on my quick search but I think it's 1/4" for each pad...giving you .5" of loft. At most it's .5", creating 1" of loft. Cost is $160.

The JRB NS weighs 20 oz, is 78"x48" (meaning no worries when rolling over or changing diagonals), and gives 1.5" of loft for $220. Plus, you can use it as a normal quilt, a poncho, and it'll fit on any hammock you buy or make. Sometimes I even use it here in the house!

Aside from being $60 cheaper, the HH would function better when wet. I've only heard of a few folks having issues with not staying dry while hammocking in the rain, though, and it seems like those were due to improperly pitching the fly.

I'm not saying the JRB is the right answer...just the one I chose. Keep in mind that if you go all out and get the 3 season set, you can ditch the bulkier sleeping bag and probably cut even more weight...but that gets pretty spendy!

If you have (or know someone who has) even rudimentary sewing skills, check out Ray Garlington's undercover w/ bag o' feathers idea. Probably a lot cheaper, albeit not as versatile as the JRB.


P.S. Btw...I don't have any financial interest in JRB, I just like the product.

2005-03-15, 14:51
How much space does the JRB take up in your pack compared to the Hennesy?

2005-03-15, 20:36
Well, I am by no means nocking any of these guys here, they certainly know their hammocks. I just find myself in much the same situation that you are in. I have a HH and I want to use it in the same temp range. I just dont want the bulk and volume of a complete underpad system. I do not yet have the perfect solution to avoiding the underpad arrangement, but I started a thread about a product called Aerogel which I hope that from the expertise of the guys on this forum is going to lend me a perfect alternative to the JRB underquilt system. All I can say is keep your eye on the Aerogel thread and see what the experts here have to say about it. I think the product has the capability of being a superlight and super small alternative to an underpad.
Just something to make you aware of. Don't know for sure yet, but look into it anyways.

Just Jeff
2005-03-15, 22:52
Like I said, I don't have the HH system. This site says the underpad compresses to 5"x8", and the undercover is probably the size of a baseball or softball added to that.

One JRB quilt stuffs to 7"x7"x7" cube. You can just leave it in the python skins instead of stuffing it, though.

Does anyone have both systems? Can you give us an accurate comparison of the two? Maybe post a picture of them side by side?

bearbag hanger
2005-03-16, 01:21
Maybe I didn't read your post right, but a couple questions.

You mention getting a HH underpad/undercover and in a later paragraph hint at getting a underquilt. Why get both? I've tried the underpad/undercover and wasn't happy with it, but others have liked it. Right now I use a JackRBetter underquilt and am so far happy with it. I bought the JRB underquilt after finding out I didn't like the HH underpad/undercover and is the only reason I have both at this time. I think the underquilt is a little cheaper and, I believe, you'll be much happier with it. The HH underpads are very fragile and will tear, particularly if you try to pack two of them into a pack.

Also, why pay for the HH oversized canopy if your going to replace it with a 8 X 10 tarp you mention later? Right now I use the the JRB 8 X 8 tarp and am very happy with it. The HH canopy works very well and weighs less, but it's so nice to have a little more wiggle room went it rains. I was happy with the orginal HH canopy during my 2004 thru hike. Didn't know about the larger tarp options from other companies before the end of my hike.

Other than that, looks like a good plan.

Another thing to look at. I use a silnylon poncho (mine is the Sil Poncho from Integral Designs) and can be used as an additonal layer under my JRB underquilt. The HH undercover serves a similar function, but can't be used as a poncho or anything else. I've slept very comfortably down to about 35 degrees, which is as cold as it has gotten down here in South Florida.