DISCLAIMER: I purchased this product and was not given any compensation by Warbonnet Outdoors. I am conducting this review solely to pass the information to others that may be interested.
As promised in a previous post, I am slowly reviewing my gear one piece at a time. As most of you know, the “perfect” set of gear takes years to evolve regardless of the research and reading of reviews before your purchase. This is a perfect example. I researched, read more reviews than I care to count, and researched some more. I eventually purchased a Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1 Double Layer (WBBB 1.1 DL). I loved this hammock and it never gave me any issues as it was comfortable from the first set up. My WBBB 1.1 DL went on several trips where I discovered a couple of things through actual use. First, I didn’t really need the double layer for use as I have an underquilt. Second, I often grabbed the layer when looking for my zippers – not a huge issue, but it happened several times and was slightly irratating. Finally, after some discussion with hangers at my first ever group hang it was determined that I was well within the safety limit of a single layer concerning weight. That was all I needed to make the decision! So I sold my WBBB 1.1 DL and purchased a new WBBB 1.1 Single Layer (WBBB 1.1 SL).
Of course, there were a few weeks I was totally without a hammock. That’s not a good thing during the spring, but luckily I made it without breaking out in hives! I received my hammock and tarp and have already posted a review of the Warbonnet Superfly in a previous post. As I was taking the hammock for its initial test hang in my testing area, I noticed that I had a double layer. I contacted Warbonnet and they quickly sent me a new single layer the same day they received the new double layer I returned to them.
Once I pulled the hammock out of the box, all that was required was to install the adjustable webbing (I had kept the webbing from the double layer since it had gotten dirty during teardown). As a bonus, the webbing already had the Dutch Clips installed on the ends. I was now ready to hang! First, I had to weigh it (it’s a new obsession as I’m trying to lighten my load). The total weight was 21.65 oz. As you can see, I just wrap my webbing around the stuff sack. I’ve never had issues with tree sap, but maybe I’ve just been lucky!
I quickly set it up and tried it out for comfort. Perfect as always! I personally don’t understand how people can’t get comfortable in a hammock. I’ve never had a bad night/been uncomfortable in one, but maybe my years in uniform taught me to sleep regardless of comfort. One thing I quickly noticed was I had the “new style” where the netting comes all the way down to the zipper. I didn’t think this would make much difference. While the “shelf” (more of a pocket in my opinion) blocks the view from one side, the additional netting allows better visiblity within the hammock. I like it!
I do have two little tips that I have learned from experience that I would like to share. The hammock tie-outs often got in my way when stuffing back into the stuff sack, but I found a way that works for me. On the zippered side, the tie-out goes in the hammock. On the “shelf” side, I used to also put this inside the zipper but found a way I like better. Toward the foot end, there is a piece of cloth designed to be used to hold the bugnet in the open position. Instead I used cloth in an overhand knot to retain the cording.
Another issue I have is knowing which side is the head end because sometimes it matters when I set up my hammock. Because of terrian or preference I want one the zipper to face a particular side for entry/exit – for example I want to plan which side of my tarp I will use in porch mode and want to enter/exit that side. It used to be a guess and more than once I had to take down my hammock and switch sides. Maybe I’m OCD and it’s not a big deal, but it was a little irratating. How could I distinguish which end of the hammock was the head end versus the foot end. While daydreaming about hammocks one day at work (please tell me I’m not the only one) I realized how easy it could be! I just leave a little bit of the head end of my hammock outside the stuff sack.
Although I haven’t used this hammock in the piney woods, I plan on a quick trip Friday night to the Sipsey Wilderness. Yes, there is rain in the forecast, but I have a Superfly that also needs testing in the weather. Many thanks to Squidbilly (screen name on http://www.hammockforums.com), I know a great little camping spot not far off the road that is protected on all sides by ridgelines, has a reliable water, but without a threat of flooding or having to cross a creek/river with high water. For those familiar with the area, it’s the campsite above Eagle Creek Falls.
I’ll post some pictures early next week after the trip to show both the Superfly and Blackbird in their natural environment….