View Full Version : UL Durability

2010-06-11, 12:38
I've been shopping the hammock market and I like the Hennessy UL Backpacker but a buddy of mine has heard that it doesn't hold up well, not durable at all. I'm thinking...I'm only going to be sleeping in this thing about 20 nights per year. I really don't like the idea of adding almost an other pound if not necessary. What do you think.


SGT Rock
2010-06-11, 20:01
I used a UL for 6 months straight in Iraq, my son still uses that hammock today. The only wear it ever got was when I stuck my hand through the net trying to get out during a mortar attack. I've got an ultralight I've owned since about 2001 that is still going strong.

2010-06-11, 21:35
Hey thanks for the first hand info. That's what I wanted to hear.

SGT Rock
2010-06-11, 21:41
Good luck.

2010-06-15, 06:28
This thread, and the one on shelters and privies on the AT, got me thinking about the relationship between durability and sustainability and aesthetics.

So I was thinking about materials like nylon, which provide considerable advantages in weight, water resistance, durability, reliability, and safety over natural materials. There can be an issue of sustainability, because even though nylon can be recycled, and even produced from vegetable oils, it can take alot of energy to do so. Also, it might spend alot of time in a landfill before it is recycled or biodegrades. Also, it might end up as garbage someplace else, like suburbia or the wilderness, and take a long time to biodegrade, long enough to become part of the archeological record.

So when to use nylon, and other such plastics? I think nylon should be used in applications like hammocks, where there are considerable advantages over more bio-renewable and bio-degradeable alternatives. Materials like nylon can even be considered more sustainable in such applications because they can replace these alternatives over multiple life cycles, and even hemp and cotton and such have life cycles with non-renewable components, in the processing, manufactuing, and transportation. Ultralight hammocks, when built well, can be more sustainably because they use less material, but less sustainable if they don't last as long. Often the critical factor is not how it is used by the consumer, but how much it is used by the consumer. Most stuff is overbuilt, and most consumers over-consume and under-utilize.

I think the UL Hammock described in this thread is an excellent example of the appropriate use of nylon, especially in the Rock's case, where it got so much use. A really good example of the inappropriate use of nylon would be some nylon lunch bags I bought years and years ago, thinking they might be good for something, but the velcro closure wasn't sufficient, and they were too heavy anyway, and there are too many better alternatives in terms of function and performance, and things like that really do not need to be durable or reliable. They would be more sustainable if built of a renewable material, with less energy, and a shorter life-cycle actually is more appropriate for such applications. I can't stand the sight of those nylon lunchbags. A nylon UL hammock on the other hand, is a beautiful thing, as long as it gets used enough. If it is just going to gather dust it might just as well be made of toilet paper. Shorter life-cycles are not neccessarily less sustainable, or less aesthetic. Longer life-cycles are not neccessarily less sustainable, or less aesthetic either. It depends on the material, and the application, whether or not it is even needed, and how often they will actually get used. Sometimes nylon is a beautiful material. Sometimes it isn't.

Anyhow, something to think about maybe when sitting on the privy, on the AT, or where-ever.

"Beauty will save the world." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
"Wildness is the salvation of the world." - Henry David Thoreau