2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

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2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#1

Post by Scuba » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:21 pm

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Dream Hammock Sparrow in Dark Olive Hex70 with a Coyote HyperD Overcover.

TATO gear Hammock stand. 7 ft legs and 13ft (2x 6.5 ft crossbar).

Review to follow....


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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#2

Post by Scuba » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:07 pm

Dream Hammock Sparrow.

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Wow, where to start. I love Dream Hammocks. OK, i am biased. I have owned other hammocks but have never found one i like as much as my Dream Hammocks. Before this purchase, I had an 11ft Double Layer Thunderbird in Multicam and an 11ft long 72 inch wide Olive drab Thunderbird ( i believe the first one Randy made with a foot side wing before the HyperD XL came on the market).

The ordering process with Randy and Deanna is so painless and they are so attentive to your needs, they set the standard for how ordering from a cottage vendor should be. The level of workmanship they put into their hammocks is second to none. The features they offer are incredible and how they offer such an incredible level of customization is impressive. Now, I have never ordered directly off the Dream Hammock website, instead usually just emailing back and forth with Randy saying what I think I want and him talking me down to earth or saying OK and then sending me a bill. I have in the past played around with their hammock builder/ordering system but never used it to pull the trigger. That said, i like how they have made ordering a hammock even more customizable. Now, almost everything is built into the option menu. Don't want the PackHooks that used to be a standard on the Thunderbird? No problem, just select no. Net only? Overcover only? Both? Pick your poison.

I loved almost everything about my Thunderbirds. Great 4 season hammock. The ability to open either side independently to adjust a quilt or grab an item off the ground is a necessity. The Peak Shelf option is a must have for a place to put my pistol and headlamp at night. I like their ridgeline organizer better than any other on the market (my kindle paperwhite fits PERFECTLY in the long sleeve).

But the one thing I have never been a fan of on the Thunderbird was if I wanted to unzip, i had to reach WAYYYY up over my head to grab the zipper pull. What an inconvenience! ( yeah, i know, poor me and my 1st world problems.) Apparently that was an issue Randy had never been happy with but never had a solution that satisfied him. Until the Sparrow.

Instead of having one long zipper on each side, running from the foot to the head, Randy gave us the ability to open the zipper from the middle of the hammock, near where my hand sits while i am laying down in it. What the Smurfs did was use 4 small zippers instead of 2 full length ones. On each side, a set of zippers start at the ends and meet in the middle where a velcro tab sits.
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This tab serves to close the small hole where the 2 zippers meet and allow for the user to quickly open the zippers. With this approach, if i just need to sneak a hand out near my shoulder i can just pull the zipper back a few inches, make any adjustments and then zip it back closed.

A 10 ft long NET ONLY single layer Sparrow starts at $175 and as posted above are easily customized from there.I selected the following options: 11 ft long single layer, net and overcover, premium fabric (costs a nominal fee more than the basic choices), all Quilt and Pack Hooks, ridgeline organizer and peakshelf, , and continuous loop only suspension.


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The hooks available might not be for everyone but i am so enamored of them I added them to a DIY hammock I made last summer. The hooks available are the Quilt Hooks and the Tie-out hooks. The Quilt hooks sit closest to the end of the hammock and their purpose is to snug your UQ suspension up, much in the same way other quilt devices operate. The Tie out hooks serve multiple purposes. One is to serve as hammock tie outs. The other is to work with the UGQ pack hook modification. According to the UGQ website it "allows for direct connection of the primary suspension to the pack hook located at your outer most shoulder." Of my 2 quilt sets, one is a 40degree set from UGQ. I LOVE how the packhook mod keep the UQ snugged right on my shoulder, all night long.

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The Ridgeline organizer is simple. 3 pockets on each side and one long pass through pocket on the middle. Nothing particularly earth-shattering but it is my preferred Ridgeline Organizer.

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The Dream Hammock Peak Shelf is a must have for me. It is a mesh shelf that is connected to both sides of the interior of the hammock and also to the Structural ridgeline at the hammocks head end. I use it as a place to throw my headlamp and my pistol, and anything placed there is easily reached.

On my scale of 0-10, the Dream Hammock Sparrow is a 10. I honestly don't have any gripes or areas where i think it could be or needs to be improved.

The Dream Hammock Sparrow starts at $175 and the model reviewed retails for $295.
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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#3

Post by Scuba » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:45 pm

The TATO gear Hammock stand.

http://www.tatogear.com/product/hammock-stand-kit/

I have seen and used other hammock stand options including the DIY TurtleDog, the Tensegrity, and the Hammeck Hammock stand. The Tensegrity to me is too involved/complicated. The Hammeck isn't as stable, IMHO, as it should be for a $250 piece of gear. Finally the TurtleDog is functionally perfect but I have never felt like building one from scratch. Enter the TATO kit, allowing you to build a TurtleDog type stand very easily using 1 inch metal conduit which I feel makes for a sturdier hammock than one made using wood.

When you order the TATO kit for $119, it comes with:

2 Hinge Sets

1 Top Rail Extender Plug

2 Top Rail End Plugs w/ loops

6 Plastic Feet

6 Rubber Boots

All I had to do was buy 8 pieces of 1 inch EMT conduit ( less than $5 for each 10ft section at Lowes), cut them with my reciprocating saw (make sure to use a metal blade), and assemble. I tend to like my hammocks to sit higher off the ground than some people ( and Faith likes the extra room under it) so i cut the legs to 7ft long (TATO recommends 6-7 feet) and because i tend to 12ft ridgeline tarps, I cut the pieces to 6.5 ft each for 13ft overall when the connector is inserted ( 13ft is the max length recommended by TATO).

One assembled (and the easily followed instructions are on their website in .pdf form), the result is an incredibly stable, strong hammock stand. When i laid in the stand made by HAMMECK, it felt "wiggly" to me and i couldn't see myself sleeping in it overnight. The first time I laid in THIS stand, i WANTED to sleep in it overnight. Having since slept in it overnight, I am very happy. Even flopping back into the hammock after the dreaded 3am bathroom break, the stand was rock solid.

After spending $119 on the kit, about $40 on the conduit, and 10 minutes of my time cutting the conduit, I am the very happy owner of what I think is the best hammock stand available.

Now i just need to clean the conduit and paint it.....
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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#4

Post by losthanger » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:02 am

good reviews. Glad I got to see the whole setup at the Frozen Butt Hang in McKinney Falls. Definitely tucking away ducets for a new Sparrow.
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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#5

Post by sarge » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:00 am

Great reviews. One can feel your enthusiasm for the product, and you describe them well. I'm willing to be we see more Sparrows at the November Hang this year.
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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#6

Post by Rick TDBT » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:25 am

Nice Hammock, I am ordering one in woodland camo. I can't wait.
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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#7

Post by BillyBob66 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:55 pm

Good review, looks like nice products. Is there a 12 ft limit on the top bar? That is plenty for all of my hammocks but one: the WB bridge which I think requires a 15 foot spread. I find that length to be the main negative to that hammock.
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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#8

Post by iconicflux » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:56 pm

I don't know about the Tato; however, be aware that 1" conduit begins to get very flexy after you've joined two pieces and it only comes in 10' lengths so you'd have to join it to get longer than 10'. That's the reason that people using Turtledog stands tend to go with chainlink top rail. The longer the top rail, the more flexy it gets.

I'm a big guy.. ~300lbs give or take. I could sleep in a hammock using conduit BUT I'd have to get the suspension of the conduit perfect so there was minimal flex. Even the 1.338" chainlink top rail flexes a good amount if you don't get the setup right.


BillyBob66 wrote:Good review, looks like nice products. Is there a 12 ft limit on the top bar? That is plenty for all of my hammocks but one: the WB bridge which I think requires a 15 foot spread. I find that length to be the main negative to that hammock.

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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#9

Post by hikehunter » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:48 pm

Good review. I love my Sparrow. I may never use any of my other hammocks again. The Sparrow addapts all year around.
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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#10

Post by alt.thomas » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:25 pm

Great review, awesome pics. I noticed on their ordering website that the peak shelf is not an option. How much extra did that cost? Can you still access the shelf with the cover on? Many thanks!


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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#11

Post by Scuba » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:22 pm

On the bottom of the order sheet is addons, scroll right to the peak shelf option. Yes, the shelf is inside the net/overcover.
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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#12

Post by alt.thomas » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:27 pm

Cheers. Do people find the versatility of changing/removing top cover one of the best feature of the Sparrow?


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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#13

Post by Scuba » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:20 pm

more of the versatility of having a true 4 season hammock that can be totally removed from the hammock. I only take the overcover when overnight temps will get below about 40. 40-60 i go topless. Above 60 the net is a necessity here in Texas. Whichever I am not using (or both) stay home, no point carrying extra weight.

The best feature of the Sparrow (and what sets it apart from the Thunderbird), is the zipper system.
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Re: 2 Reviews in one: Dream Hammock Sparrow and TATO Hammock Stand

#14

Post by Polkster13 » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:28 am

On the Peak shelf, when you order it, you get one shelf on one end. If you want shelves on both ends (which I did want on my new DH), then you need to order two of them. Since the Sparrow doesn't have a designated head end, (if you only order one shelf) they don't ask you which end you want it on, they just put it on one of the ends. You can then decide if you want that to be your head end or your foot end.

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