Dream Hammock DangerBird
An excellent four-season hammock that is built to…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200--built to my specifications
An excellent four-season hammock that is built to the specification requests of the user. The quality and innovation of the DangerBird rivals any other hammock I have used. Customer service is outstanding—when planning and placing your order, you work directly with the people making your hammock, not a customer service representative.
- Hand-made in the USA
- Quality construction and stitching
- Custom-built to order
- A four-season hammock
- Customer service has been great
- Being custom built, there is a wait time
- Like a single-wall tent, the "overcover" will build up condensation during the night if not vented
So, if you don't want to read the entire review (which you should), you can watch this video and then decide to buy your own Dream Hammock...
I spent several months investigating the right hammock for my needs. If I was going to spend quite a bit of money on a hand-made hammock, I wanted to make sure I bought the right one. While there are several high-quality hammock makers in the United States, Dream Hammock offered one of the few 4-seasons hammocks. I settled on the DangerBird for several reasons:
In cold weather, the “overcover” adds 10-15F inside the hammock, blocking wind and moisture (although a tarp is still required, as the hammock is not waterproof).
In buggy weather, the mosquito net deploys within seconds.
The DangerBird was half the price of the other manufacturer I was looking at.
Each hammock is custom-built to the user's specification: size, materials, colors, lay of hammock and optional add-ons
Dream Hammock's reputation is outstanding.
Owner Randy Smith (aka “Papa Smurf”) exchanged several helpful emails with me, answering my many questions.
Of the various options, I selected an 11' by 60”, single layer hammock made with 1.8oz olive ripstop nylon. I selected a black overcover. Based on my hanging preference, I ordered Left Lay Asym, meaning I prefer my head to the right of the hammock and my feet to the left. Although I had considered a wider hammock (some of the fabric options allow up to 72”), I found 60” to be sufficient. I selected a Whoopie Sling suspension over the Cinch Buckle option.
Like Dream Hammock's more expensive model, the ThunderBird, the DangerBird can be hung in three modes: Topless, Bug Net, and Overcover. The primary difference is that the Bug Net and Overcover cannot be completely removed from the DangerBird, as it can with the ThunderBird. While this makes the hammock consistently heavier when one of the modes is not needed, I concluded the difference was only a few ounces and I would probably carry both on any extended hike.
The deployable Bug Net is made of .95oz Noseeum netting. When not in use, the netting stuffs into a mesh stuff sack at one end of the hammock. Zippers run on both sides of the hammock, allowing for entry from either side. It also allows for easier adjustment of an UnderQuilt.
The Overcover is made of 1.1oz ripstop nylon. The overcover zips along the same track as the bug net, with its stuff sack located at the opposite end of the hammock. The Left Lay Asym built into the hammock works so that the user places his head toward the stuff sack he wishes to deploy.
The DangerBird comes with an integrated Ridgeline. Accompanying this is a handy 6.5”x14” Ridgeline Organizer, giving me a place to put my glasses, headlamp, and phone.
Tie outs on each side of the hammock are made with shock cord and adjustable guylines. These successfully keep the bug net or overcover off the sleeper's face.
Four grossgrain ribbon loops are provided to help the user hang his UnderQuilt. This is a feature I have not used yet.
The DangerBird comes with a double-ended stuff sack. This allows the hammock to be deployed and put away without separating the bag from the hammock.
The hammock comes with a full suspension system. In my case I selected Whoopie Slings and Tree Straps.
I can't say enough about the quality of this item. Attention to detail is seen in every aspect of the hammock. I was immediately impressed and commented on it to several people I camp with. When I showed it to a backpacking buddy who makes his own hammocks and tarps, the first thing he noticed was the superiority of the stitching. He told me how difficult it is to sew a zipper onto a curved hammock without bunching the fabric in spots. He also mentioned the stitches used in making the tree straps were superior to other tree straps he has seen.
WORTH THE WAIT
A nice feature of the website (www.dream-hammock.com) is the Order Status Page. When you place an order with Randy, you are given an Order Number. The Order Status Page lists what orders are being worked on, when the order was placed, and what the approximate wait time is until an order is fulfilled. Although a 4-week wait time defeats the urge for instant gratification, seeing one's order climb up the “In Progress” ladder gives a sense of expectancy—like waiting for Christmas morning.
I left tent camping behind after purchasing a cheap clearance hammock and discovering a comfortable night's sleep. The comfort I have discovered in the DangerBird is exponentially better than any other hammock I have slept in. Short winter days make for long nights reading, doing crossword puzzles, and sleeping in a hammock (or tent). On a recent cool (31F), windy night, I spent a full 12-hours in this hammock, without any stiffness or soreness the next morning. At $200, the DangerBird is not a splurge purchase. However, it is far better than any other tent or hammock I have used.