View Full Version : What bag/quilt/pad for Hennessy hammock

2005-08-05, 21:33
After much thought, I have taken the plunge and ordered a Hennessy Backpacker ultralite a-sym. I live in New England, am out July/Aug/Sept, likely to encounter temps down to around 35 degrees overnight. I also do car camping with a family tent (wife, 3yr old) and I was hoping to buy one sleeping bag that would cover both activities. I have a heavy fat thermarest for car camping so I am also looking for a recommendation for a pad for hammock backpacking (I don't think I want an underquilt at this time as I am new to hammocking and don't want to spend until I'm sure I will like it). I know I need a left zip in whatever bag I get, question is, mummy, semi-rectangular, does it need to be a full zip, or it's nuts to hammock in anything other than a quilt and I can't get away with one bag for both hammocking and tenting. Also as far as a pad, what type, how wide/long. Any input would be appreciated, thanks...

2005-08-05, 23:10
I'd recommend semi or mummy bag and you'll want a full zipper. Maybe not perfect when you're car camping but necessary for backpacking if you're going to carry a sleeping bag and want to be comfortable from 80-20 degrees at night.
Look, you can sleep under anything in a hammock as long as you are warm enough underneath. Carrying all that stuff is another issue. When you are sleeping on the ground, you are going to need a pad so why not start with that?
I slept in my new HH last year on a 26" wide, full length pad down to 39 degrees and it was OK. Kind of bulky to carry but not much weight. Made myself a polyester quilt last winter and I don't think I'll go back to the pad unless I can't find a place to hang my gear. I'll give you an update next week if anything changes as I'm going camping with the "little woman" Sunday. Another 10,500 ft box canyon trip.

2005-08-06, 00:33
i use my down mummy bag like a quilt unless it gets really cool ( i don't do 'cold'). i've tried ''nothing'', a 3/4" thick thermarest, and a blue foam pad from walmart. ''nothing'' is too cool for me, even if it's in the high 80s at night (i know... it's weird... but i just don't like a draft on my back.) the thermarest was overkill, and too heavy for the warmth it provided. the blue foam pad works for me. i made four 'wings', about 6 x 14, and duct taped two of them to each side of my 24" wide pad, starting about 8" down from the head end (think 'buttterfly on steroids'). these keep my shoulders warm, and allow me to move around a little without worrying about the pad being centered under me, which is a pain in the behind with a thermrest. speer makes a fabric sleeve for their 'wings', but the tape works fine for me. i stole the idea from someone, probably on this site. you might look at sgt rock's hammock camping section for a nice idea of a doubled up pad with side extensions. anyway, that's all i use... nothing fancy, and it still rolls up easily to form the interior support or 'spine' for my golite gust pack.

2005-08-06, 18:49
Hey Sheldon..
I use my Hennesy Asym with a Marmot holofill mummy bag w/ full length zip and it works just great either hanging, or when the hammock is used as a bivy when there's no trees or in my dome tent. It's great little 'hood' allows me to have a bit of a pillow to support my head and the shape fits the hammock better than a rectangular shape.
I carry along a military poncho and liner as well, the poncho doing duty as rain coat, trailside seat, bivy sheet, extra shelter, and the liner as extra padding or for warmth. For times when it might be getting a bit colder, or I know I'll have to bivy and the ground is hard I have a 3/4 length Ridgerest foam pad (superlight and keeps it's shape), which fits great into the hammock while leaving the 'door' unblocked and it's softness forms to the hammock's shape wonderfully.
These three things don't always come out with me, but even if I bring them all, the weight is minimal for such versatile kit.
Next time you get cold, try dropping the height of your hammock and fly down to reduce cool winds, especially the windward side.
If that doesn't solve your problem you can try using a pad, a light blanket or even drop the hammock down and bivy in it. Other than the slightly difficult crawl out, I was quite happy with using the hammock as a bivy and am no longer worried about finding out if there are trees where I'm going :-)
Oh, and don't forget your clean clothes just sitting in your bag. They make an awesome blanket and you don't have to put them on cold the next day ;-)
Let us know how you do.