Hammock Bliss No-See-Um No More Hammock
Weight (tested): 31.06 oz/879 gr (with standard ropes) + 2.83 oz/80 gr for
straps (not included with standard hammock)
Weight limit: 350lb
The Hammock Bliss No-See-Um Hammock is constructed of tough parachute nylon with a very tough no-see-um mesh top. The basic construction is a gathered end hammock put together with a large opening zipper on one side for easy entry. One thing is for sure - this is a monster sized hammock, I had plenty of room for myself in it and could have probably found a way to put all my gear inside the hammock and still had room for more.
The material is highly breathable, sweat evaporates right out fairly quickly, and the hammock dries super fast when it gets wet. The net of the hammock is super strong, it resisted all attempts to tear it and didn't snag on loose sticks or other objects. More about the toughness of the net later on.
The hammock includes many small "tweaks" as I like to call them. There are pockets inside on the mesh panels on both ends for storing items inside the hammock, and since they are both ends it doesn't matter which way you decide to orient when you get in. The tie outs for the net sort of served as a net ridge-line without having to have a string the entire length of the net, and these strings have small pockets on the outside of the mesh to store them away when not in use. The hammock stores inside a generously large pocket which is attached to the hammock and is on the outside of the net when the hammock is in use.
I also found a couple of cord loops on the ends inside the hammock that I didn't see an obvious use for, but could probably be used to attach a pillow with a cord to one end to keep it from sliding to the center when you are not in the hammock, or maybe even clipping small bags or packs to if you wanted to have them inside the hammock with you.
Hammock straps are not standard with this hammock, but some were included with this one for testing. They were very sturdy at 65" long each and 1.5" wide. The eyes for the straps were re-enforced in a way that made the eyelets very easy to work with as they were doubled over along the edges of the eyes which helped to hold them open slightly when not under load.
The set up is pretty straight forward. The straps go around the trees, the ropes go through the straps and you tie it off using the knot of your choice that will hold the weight and still allow you to untie it later. The net lines are tied up a few feet higher than the hammock straps on the same trees.
The hammock does not come with a tarp, so you will have to decide what you want to use for weather protection. Hammock Bliss does offer a diamond tarp on their site that would probably work well with this rig. I used an Ettowah Outfitters 10'x8' tarp that I already had on hand. I will say that this hammock is LONG. So, in my opinion, you need to choose a tarp that will be at least 120" long, if not longer.
To be honest here - I didn't care much for the ropes that come with the hammock. They do work fine and they will hold up the load without question. They also were plenty long enough at 8' long each. But as soon as I saw the gathered end I knew this hammock would be perfect for a set of whoopie slings - the gathered ends are just perfect for customizing your suspension. Kudos to Hammock Bliss for making the hammock this way.
So I saved a few grams by switching over to some Amsteel Whoopie Slings but then I used some carabineers to connect the whoopie slings to the straps for testing which negated the weight savings. For my normal desired load this hammock is WAY bigger than I am used to and takes up a lot more pack space and weighs a little more than I would normally carry. But as a car camping hammock this was a great set up. I used it a couple of different trips messing around with set ups and configurations.
One thing I need to mention is the breathability of this hammock is a super plus in hot weather, you won't sweat to death in it. On the other hand, it gets cool easy in moderate weather. I found that even in the 70s I wanted some sort of insulation under me. I used both an IX Underquilt from Molly Macpac or a pad on various trips, and I found them adequate for the job. I haven't used the hammock yet in cold weather, but it looks like most under quilts and pads will work well. In fact I'll cover that a little deeper now...
I mentioned before that the net on this hammock is tough. Something I've never seen before but was on the instruction card of this hammock was to INTENTIONALLY flip it over and sleep on it. This net is so tough that it will serve as the bottom for the hammock in winter using the hammock like a double layer bottom. And the big zipper is just perfect for letting you slide a pad (or pads) in there and getting it set to stay exactly where you want. In normal mode I found the hammock to be comfortable, but flipped over for a double layer bottom hammock I really love the lay of this hammock. Based on this, I almost always used this hammock as a double bottom hammock unless there were biting bugs present.
Now my not so favorite part of the hammock - with the net up. The hammock and the net are huge, but the hammock sinks down and the net stays mostly closed in on itself when you are inside. There is a huge potential for space in this hammock, but the design basically pulls it all into itself. There is a solution for this, probably side pull outs, but I'm not sure since I never tried to modify the hammock. It isn't s show stopper though. It is a comfortable hammock, and I always had room to read, sleep, or whatever inside the hammock.
This is a good hammock, especially for the price which sets it as a great hammock for someone wanting to get into hammock camping without dropping a fortune on a more expensive hammock - especially when you aren't sure what you want, and don't want in a camping hammock. You may get one as a starter and find you don't need to move into a different hammock ever - because the No See Um No More has everything a hammock camper could want. Sure the hammock doesn't have a tarp, but this lets you start customizing your rig right away with tarp selection. And, as I mentioned, the suspension just begs for you to experiment.
The weight isn't bad, it is just a lot more than I normally carry. That weight also buys you a tough hammock that will stand up to a lot of use. The advertised weight says 350 pounds, but the Hammock Bliss website mentions they have had 5 people in one of these things! I'll add to that this little tidbit: according to Dov, future models of the hammock will be a couple ounces less - 28oz.
Based on the idea of flipping it over to create a pad pocket, this one hammock can serve most hammock campers well for their 4 season rig since they have the option of UP in the buggy months, and DOWN in the cold months where you have to get some serious insulation under you and to get it to stay in place. An entry level hammocker can make good use of multiple inexpensive pads with this design. No need to drop a bunch of money on expensive under quilts to get started.
So, breaking it down; for the user I would recommend:
1 - Get a tarp. 8'x10' minimum in my opinion.
2 - Get some straps. It helps ease set up, and protects trees. We hammock users have to protect the trees or we may find spaces banning hammocks.
3 - Play with the suspension. This hammock is prime for customization.
4 - Whenever possible, sleep with the net down. It just feels great.
For Hammock Bliss:
1. - I don't know how, but it would be sweet if you could make that net open up a little more when you are in the hammock. There is so much potential up there. Maybe side pull outs on the body or two pull out points at the top so you could pull from one, wrap around the tree, and attach to the other for some spread.
And I'll finish this up by thanking Dov Frazer again for making this review possible. It made for some great nights out there Dov.