Best Hammock For A Noob

A place for new hammock users to get resources to help
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Best Hammock For A Noob

#1

Post by sarge » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:18 pm

The title says it all.

Tell us why.


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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#2

Post by Scott » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:16 pm

My DIY channel end tablecloth hammock has let me get a feel for the hobby over the past summer. 10.5' x 65". Austin has been using a shorter generic (maybe Yukon?) hammock from a groupon. 9' I think is the length of his. My bro-in -law also has a tablecloth DIY we made for him. His is 10'x60". He is 6'5" and LOVES it. Doesn't know he should have an 11'. He is our scoutmaster and uses it once a month on campouts. And he spent a week in it at scout camp. All 3 have SRL, and fronkey style DIY bugnets.

We also repurposed and made some alterations to an old tent fly, and a canopy cover for a fly for each of us. We will go a little lighter down the road, but they work for now as we decide what we like and don't.

The why. Inexpensive to test out. Long enough to use. Wife sews well so DIY was easy for me. :D We have tried different suspension options, bugnets, tarps, etc. Very versatile.
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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#3

Post by Scuba » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:30 pm

A Dream Hammock. With many models and price points, you can't go wrong.
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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#4

Post by Baby Huey » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:34 pm

I would have to say that Dream Hammock would be the best choice as well as even on the lower priced models you can choose length and width. I started with a Hennessy, but what you can get from Dream Hammock in the price range of a Hennessy would basically be everything you need. Hennessy, Grand Trunk, Eno, etc, etc, Have their place, but are built for those of average height or shorter. At 6'4" I could sleep in my Hennessy, but not with near the comfort or room as in my Dream Hammock. Grand Trunk and Eno are very similar to Hennessy in overall length.
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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#5

Post by Thom » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:54 pm

I'm no longer making hammocks, so I can freely give my opinion on other vendors. Dream Hammock makes some nice stuff. If I were to buy a hammock from a vendor it would be him.

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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#6

Post by gfstanley » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:05 pm

I am a definite NOOB, and I jumped into the DIY pool immediately. I bought 3 other no-name-brand hammocks for the wife and children, but I didn't feel comfortable napping in them, much less sleeping in them. So, I think a DIY hammock, after a little research of course, is a good option.

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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#7

Post by scgobbler » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:42 pm

I have started out this year with a Hennessey and I am already looking at one of Dutch's with a ARL.

The Hennessey is great don't get me wrong, it it seems really hot to me. The bugnet kills any type of breeze you will get.

Sent from Totem Pole Headquarters in God's Country, SC

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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#8

Post by UncleMJM » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:00 pm

For me, my entry was a very simple DIY test hammock followed by an REI purchase, (in case it didn't work out I could take it back), of a HH Explorer UL.

The test hammock convinced me I liked it and would want to camp with it and the HH gave me a complete system with no required aftermarket purchases.

I've since modified it and after many hammocks over the years, I find my greatest comfort in a simple top entry gathered end hammock with a homemade ridge line and simple hang over the line bug net. (my net is one with a larger hole/smaller hole count than noseeum so there is a breeze that the smaller nets don't allow. The more I've learned the simpler I prefer my set up.

There are many excellent choices and I tend to gravitate to the cottage industry whenever I can. For keeping it simple for someone new though, it's hard to talk down the Yukon with the integrated netting or the Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro as long as you know someone who can help with some needed mods. They both need after market suspensions and ridge lines but can provide a good starter hammock for a non DIY confident beginner.

My son and wife love their WBBB and Ridgerunner hammocks.

I've heard nothing but good about and liked what I've seen of the Dream Hammocks.

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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#9

Post by onfire » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:48 am

I began hammocking about ten years or maybe more ago in the UK and had a 3m 'parachute' type nylon hammock which I loved but which always gave me terrible shoulder squeeze. As the years passed I learnt more about tautness, ridgelines and lengths and I made a few DIY builds. I still profess DIY hammocks to be the best and I simply wouldn't consider anything less than 11ft long now!

HOWEVER, DIY to me means 'without sewing machine' ... and that is a lot of edge sealing with a lighter! So, after maybe ten DIY hammocks I tried Jarrod at Simply Light Designs in the US and his TreeRunner SL is the best Hammock I have had the pleasure to hang in. It is so rugged, gives the options of lengths as well as fabrics and weights ... and is unbelievably cheap!

Give his website a look!

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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#10

Post by Keehar » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:59 am

I'll second Simply Light Designs. One of the nicest things was being able to actually talk to him. When I had questions on some of the options he was just a phone call away. Best service ever.
I understood at a very early age that in nature, I felt everything I should feel in church but never did. Walking in the woods, I felt in touch with the universe and with the spirit of the universe.

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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#11

Post by TXyakr » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:00 am

I strongly suggest that a Noob (someone new to hammocks) make their first purchase from a place where it can be returned or at least buy one that is easy to resale not a highly customized hammock unless they are certain about it. Or used ENO on Craigslist/Ebay for not much, many people buy these then realize there are better.

Ideally they should try to go to a group campout or demo event (check with REI/Meetup etc.) and actually tryout as many different styles and ask lots of questions because a hammock and matching tarp (length) and bottom insulation is far more personal and specific to their body type and personal preferences than a tent and sleeping bag + ground pad.

Then decide if they will be mostly in climates and times of the year where insects (mosquitos etc.) will be a major issue or not. An integrated bug net adds a lot of cost and is a nuisance to deal with but can be lower weight and easier than an add on net. I prefer to have at least one hammock of both with and without integrated bugnet.

Finally comfort, if not backpacking go for long and comfortable depending on your height and weight many manufacturers have suggestions about weight a few do about height when it comes to layers and thickness of fabric and length of fabric. I like to over do it in both of these and if possible have an extra hammock just for ultra light long distance backpacking that I only use for that but never for all other camping.

Definitely try out a bridge hammock especially if you are new to hammocks, many like this if you have issues with wide shoulders, calves, sleeping on sides. They don't appeal to me but are great for many folks.

List of great vendors on this forum and also: Dutchweargear, SimplyLightDesigns, Hammeck. I recently ordered Breezy from Hammeck, they make to order so are slower but SimplyL.D. has excellent quality is very fast (ordered a tarp from him and love it!), Dutch is outstanding! Many others. I also like Warbonnet but XLC is very expensive and not ideal for a Noob who may not end up using it much.

Then if you have time and know exactly what you want DIY is not that difficult, but I find I don't save much $ only that it is a good way to get something I cannot find for sale, or something quick and cheap like tablecloth hammock.
"I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Apostle Paul's letter to Church in Philippi Chapter 4 NKJV

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#12

Post by TXyakr » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:37 am

Another tip is write a brief question to the owner of whichever hammock manuf. you think you will prefer such as Dream Hammock (Papa Smurf?), or Jared Baker at SimplyLight or David Meck at Hammeck and tell them that this will be your first hammock. Then what your exact size and age is and if you have any health issues or disabilities etc. They can suggest the best type of fabric and layers etc. also length for the type of camping or use indoors that you intend to use it for.

Then they can make some recommendations for you. Some of these people are very responsive nothing like large retail stores such as Walmart who's stock is dropping like a rock and just lost over $1 billion in value... Times are changing!
"I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Apostle Paul's letter to Church in Philippi Chapter 4 NKJV

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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#13

Post by Pine E. Woods » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:55 am

I started with a Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1DL and that's what I'm still using 4 years later. It may sound expensive for a starter, but I feel its everything you need, and all you'll ever need. I did end up getting the basic Traveler 1.7SL to cut weight and bulk in the winter or whenever the bugs are gone.

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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#14

Post by UncleMJM » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:44 pm

Pine E. Woods wrote:I started with a Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1DL and that's what I'm still using 4 years later. It may sound expensive for a starter, but I feel its everything you need, and all you'll ever need. I did end up getting the basic Traveler 1.7SL to cut weight and bulk in the winter or whenever the bugs are gone.
There is much wisdom in paying for quality and only having to pay once. So many of us start cheap then buy more and more until we find what we like and end up spending much more in the process.

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Re: Best Hammock For A Noob

#15

Post by PREACHER » Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:26 am

I mean... don't most noobs wander their way into an Eno, with a few finding enlightenment and moving on to something better?

I started w a Hennessy and could argue that it is the perfect starter because it gives you the basic necessities in one (relatively) affordable package. It's just great enough to hook you, and just flawed enough to make you wonder what else is out there, thus potentially plunging you into the world of forums, suspension upgrades, DIY, and cottage makers.

I don't know if I would recommend Dream Hammock or a serious DIY hammock to a noob. Lots of options and choices that will mean nothing to a beginner, and likely be overwhelming. Let a Dream Hammock be what you aspire into imo. :)

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