some very interesting new stuff(prelim review) vs some great old stuff

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BillyBob66
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Posts: 729
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Tupelo, MS
Hammock: Claytor/JRB/HH/SB
Tarp: JRB 11X10
Suspension: CinchBuckle/WS/TriG
Insulation: HHSS,P.Pod,MWUQ,Yeti

some very interesting new stuff(prelim review) vs some great old stuff

#1

Post by BillyBob66 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:36 pm

Well, here I am 12 years older than when I started with my HH Super Shelter on a fall high mountain trip(10k-11K sleep elevations), and I have still to come to a firm conclusion as to which system is hands down best overall. Bottom line is I have or had several systems which have got the job done for me. All things considered, I lean strongly towards the bridge hammock, mainly for 2 reasons(guaranteed zero calf ridge every hang, easiest to insulate-again every hang, every time, nothing to go wrong, easiest except for maybe Pea Pod. Closest to PeaPod, very close, even better for TQ function).

Still, the non-bridge certainly have their charms. I won’t go into the HHSS here, as I have written volumes about it elsewhere. But I want to start with something old that is new again for me(WL hammock) and something REALLY new and quite fascinating. First is something I have had a while but not used as much as maybe I should have, a Wilderness Logics double layer, 17 oz(in sack, with Whoopies) hammock. Maybe it is the Lite Owl? Not sure:
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I am reminded that there is something almost obscenely comfortable about this hammock. When I 1st used it some years ago, I was disappointed to find at least as much calf ridge as my Claytor(which is to say never much and occasionally zero), although all other comfort areas were at least tied for 1st place. And what did I need that extra foot for that had to be covered with a longer tarp?

But on recent use, for some reason I seem to be getting even less calf ridge, mostly zero, and using the Knotty mods make it deep and great for keeping a quilt inside. Plus, does anyone here use a knotty mod to for a faux pillow? Seems to work great for me, perfect head/neck support without forcing my chin forward and down. Anyway, it felt fantastic hanging between these trees, either on my back or side. And I have become aware that, if I am not using the Claytor with the PeaPod, it can be difficult to deal with a TQ in such a narrow, shallow hammock. That narrowness is a benefit with a Speer Pea Pod, which I don’t have right now, but not so much with a TQ. So I am probably going to be giving this hammock a lot more use going forward, as it also saves me a few oz one the Claytor.

But now for the really new and very interesting! Thank you Spiguyver (sp?) for putting me onto this, see his excellent video review of this product: the Sierra Madre 30F Inferno quilt set. First, the 19 oz (!) UQ placed on the WL hammock. (this wide hammock drapes over the edges of the UQ making it hard sometimes to see, other times the wind was blowing the hammock edges in a way which interferes with pics) Head end right:
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First thing to notice is how well “sealed” the triangle shaped end cap is. This is accomplished with nothing more than attaching the one webbing strap and adjusting as directed, so that there is a tiny gap under the unoccupied hammock. It seals even better when there is weight in the hammock. Here it is on the Claytor with some pack weight in the hammock: Image

And again, notice at the far head end(below), the light blue edge of the UQ inner shell can be seen hugging the green of the Claytor, nice and snug. Mostly due to the natural shape and elastics of the UQ. On the near(foot end) I think the little triangle thing has a little bit of down in it, but the big puffy lump below the triangle is where my feet usually end up. Same on the head end. A triangle attaches to the suspension, with a rounded area where my head usually ends up. Most of all, notice the way the side edges also hugs the full length and around hammock edges right on around the foot and head. This is all accomplished by simple attachment of one elastic strap to the hammock suspension, and side elastics.
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Head end on the Claytor with the weight of pack: Image



SMR hooded(a 1st?) TQ sitting down inside the UQ, you can see it and the WL is being lightly hugged by the elastics in the sides of the UQ: Image

Over the years, I have often complained about the ease of opening up an unintended draft around the neck of an UQ, as well as the head/neck “seal” that is lost with a quilt vs mummy bag or pod. Admittedly, using a separate hood had solved most of these issue, but this baby is just like a mummy bag! It is closed in the back of the upper shoulder/neck/head/back area just as it is down in the foot box. This seems REALLY advantageous! For example, trying to have my arms out to read-as in the picture, even with a hood, is probably going to lead to a struggle not to open up a draft around the neck. But in this picture, both arms out, (I'd use JRB sleeves if cold enough) the sides and back of my head/neck/shoulder remain fully draft proof. Also, no pillow or pad needed under my head, here supported by the knotty mod formed pilot with the Q “head pocket” (more or less) insulating under the hammock:
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Here, arms inside and complete “seal” achieved easily around neck/shoulders/head. There will be no draft opening up here if you move wrong in your sleep!
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Consider this just a preliminary review. I am not at all sure that we can not get more down for the money from one of our more traditional vendors. As this set is only rated for 30F. At least a couple of testers have taken it well below that. As for me, I have not had much chance to test, I got one night in the Claytor at exactly 30F, just a thin base layer under cotton PJ bottoms, toasty on top for sure( 16-17 oz including hood! ). Could have gone lower (on top) I’m sure. Not as certain about the results on bottom. Was definitely warm enough most areas, back, butt, but may have had a few cool spots at a few spots under the legs. But who knows, I may have had it too tight based on my habits with other quilts, they do warn about that, even though it is Dif cut. Also, no tarp and a slight breeze on and off. More testing is needed and I’m running out of cold nights. But for the warmth vs weight, my 1st impression is: absolutely top notch! As far as some probably advantageous construction techniques and draft prevention without going full pod, the may well jump to 1st place. Also, very high quality!

So, why is this not my hands down go to, why am I still debating? See next post!


Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

User avatar
BillyBob66
Reactions:
Posts: 729
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Tupelo, MS
Hammock: Claytor/JRB/HH/SB
Tarp: JRB 11X10
Suspension: CinchBuckle/WS/TriG
Insulation: HHSS,P.Pod,MWUQ,Yeti

Re: some very interesting new stuff(prelim review) vs some great old stuff

#2

Post by BillyBob66 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:06 pm

The trouble is, how am I really going to beat this older system of mine, other than saving a few oz, and avoiding spreader bars and assuming I'm ok with bridge hammocks to start with?

Quilt was already attached to the hammock inside the pack, just took the new set up down and had it up and correctly tensions in 3 or 4 minutes. Just pull until the net is tight, and then back off a bit! Then hop in. Instant back warmth noted. Even loft and a snug fit head to toe. This is an old discontinued convertible model JRB MW3, and I have always suspected it picked up a smidgin of length compared to the regular models, so it ha never seemed to have the custom fit I got with the regular MW ups on a JRB bridge.
Snug on the bottom, but maybe too loose on the sides. No big deal. I just us the suspension cords that came with the quilt to snug up the sides a bit, and bazinga! Snug all the way around, top to bottom.

I hop in and feel the instant back or side warmth, head to toe. Always snug everywhere, never compressed! Always, guaranteed ZERO calf ridge without worrying about the perfect hang. No worries about going perfect quilt fit or finding the calf ridge if I move. Never ever a calf ridge. Or I get in my fav partial side position and lean back into the sides, and the quilt is always right there, I immediately feel the warmth. Side sleeping, no problems either side, ever. TQ seems to slide down the steep sides and hug me better with fewer draft issues. All very consistent.

The negatives? Comfortable enough even flat on my back in my shoulders, I never notice any tightness after a minute or so, but maybe not as luxuriously comfy(in the shoulders) in this position as this WL. (Then again, sooner or later, me and those calf ridges!) But certainly not a deal breaker me. Have to carry spreader bars, and make them work with my tarp. They might break, and add weight. Still, calf pain can be a deal breaker, and I have never had a problem arise with insulating this hammock. The only non-bridge set up I can say that about is the Speer Pea Pod around my Claytor. So whenever it is time for a multiday, many mile trip, it is always a hard decision. But truly, for me, this is a hard set up to beat. And I must admit, I have left this behind for another non-bridge set up, and found myself wishing for this after about day 5 or 6.
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Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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