SGT Rock's Hiking H.Q.


Hennessy Ultalight A-Sym


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Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links
Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links


Picture from REI Web catalog.

 Weight (advertised): 28oz

Weight (tested): 31oz

Price: $149

Weight limit: 200lb

Contact Hennessy Hammock directly: 1 (888) 539-2930



This Review also posted as part of a test by Backpack Gear Test.

The Story


The Review

Military Training

Storm Set Up

Climbing In


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Storm Set Up

The Hennessy is like a tarp in one way: it can be set up in more than one way. For light rains and warm weather, setting the fly up high with lots of ventilation is only logical. But if the weather ever turns nasty you will need to "batten down the hatches" so to speak. Even though a Hennessy Hammock gives good foul weather coverage, you will need to take precautions or end up wet.

1.  Select the proper site. The best location is on the back side of a hill, preferably in a draw with some vegetation in the direction of the wind to help wind block, get the wind to hit at an angle to the side, with the foot downwind. Get the wide spot by your head into the wind. Hard compacted ground can cause a lot of splash and pooling of water, so look for a site over forest duff.

2. Choose the right trees. Don't get the biggest, oldest trees around. Try to find some smaller trees that do not have heavy old or dead branches over you. Lightning is a remote possibility even though you are attached to trees, you are not the shortest route to ground and are in an object that will offer resistance to electricity even if the tree were struck. The main threat is from falling braches in high winds. Another slightly more remote danger is falling trees when they become water logged and the ground supporting them gets soft in the rain.

3. Tie the hammock so that there is 9"-12" between the bottom of the hammock and the ground and the support ropes are as tight as possible. Fold the hammock over to make a seat (see Tips) and sit in it to check for stretch, then tighten again.

4. Put the fly as loose between the support ropes as possible. Then pull the side guys down as far as possible until you cant get them down any further. The fly should be pulling the centerline down in the middle with a good deal of tension. Stake the hammock and the fly with the separate stakes on the head side, ensuring they are both centered up on each other. On the foot side, put the hammock and the fly on separate stakes so you can use the fly as a vestibule (see Tips) during the storm if you need to. Another thing you should do with the two stake method is ensure you leave some air space between the hammock fly and the net, if they are right on top of each other it will cause some condensation problems in humid conditions. The moisture from your breathe will condense on the cooler tarp and then form drop into your sleeping area if the net and fly touch in any place other than the ridgeline, otherwise the condensation will simply run down the sides to the ground. Then after that is all done, pull tension into the ends that are along the support rope. Once your done, there will probably still be some fly folded over on itself on the center support line, but everything will be under tension.

5. If possible, put something over the top of the stakes, under heavy saturation they may try to pull out.


Climbing In

I am often asked how to get into the hammock, and the Hennessy Hammock web site does discuss it. My technique is slightly different.

Pads together in the hammock Now the bag is in Getting in
1. Start by laying in your pad at an angle inside your hammock. 2. Then lay your bag or blanket on top centered where you want it. 3. Stick your head in and turn to face towards the floor end.
Sit down lie down Cover up
4. Sit down on the hammock and pad like a chair. 5. Bring your feet in and lie on the pad. Use a clothing bag as a pillow. 6. Cover up or zip up your bag.
Sleep on your side Sleep on your stomach Hammock camp site
7. If your a side sleeper, you can do that, just turn on your side. I sleep this way the most. Very comfortable! 8. Can you sleep on your stomach? Yes. I don't like to, and it isn't as comfortable as on your back or side. But it can be done. 9. My camp with a food bag hung (not shown) and all my gear inside. Ultralight hiking makes it possible! Check out Tips.


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Hall of Honor recipients for this page
Tom Hennessy