Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Zip
An excellent all-in-one hammock system that won't…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $169.95
An excellent all-in-one hammock system that won't break the bank. A little on the heavy side, and improved with some slight modifications. Overall a great introduction into the world of hanging. Protects from the elements, and is ideal for camping, hiking in most of the Northern hemisphere.
I recommend the Hennessy hammock system to anyone looking for a full on 3-4 season hammock/shelter system and that spends a good amount of time in areas with trees.
- Versatile multi-season sleep system
- Reasonably priced
- Hennessy offers all components
- Easily modified
- Easy to set up
- It's a hammock :)
- No trees.. No hang
- Heavy for a hammock
- Provided suspension not the best
- Shoddy weight rating
Ahhh Hammocks! Providing me with the best nights' sleep in the woods, a place to relax during the day and a swinging chair when I just want to sit and.. well... swing.
Tom Hennessy and Hennessy hammocks provide a relatively easy and fairly inexpensive opportunity to break into hammock camping. The part I liked the most was that you can place one order and have everything you need to run out into the woods and "hang" out for the night. Mind you I have been sleeping in an ENO for some time and researched many, many options. It was the all-in-one package, along with a nice sale on the 4-season insulation system that sealed the deal for me.
Here you have the Hennessy Expedition Asym (for asymmetrical) Zip model, I upgraded to the larger Hex fly, got the 4-season insulation and modded the support ropes with Stews "whoopie slings" and tree straps on a marlin spike toggle. Here is a pic; hanging off a section of the North country scenic trail in WNY.
- What you get: A basic order will get you your hammock; you can choose from a bottom entry or a side zip model, heavy duty climbing grade rope attached at each end (~10'), 42" tree straps ( essentially webbing straps to protect the tree bark), stuff sacks and a basic fly cover. All for around $200 shipped (depending on the model). Additional options include; larger tarp options, 4-season insulation system, snake-skins (tubing to slide over your hammock), and water catch funnels.
- Setup: Setting up a hammock is by far one of the easiest chores of camping for me. Find two trees roughly 12-25' apart encircle each tree with a webbing strap, and tie in your provided rope at the desired height and you're done. Granted there is some fiddling to get it just right, learning the proper methods, knots takes a bit, but like anything else once you got it down it's super easy. Hennessy gives great tutorials on set up and the stuff sacks come or at least used to come with directions printed on them.
- Warmth/Ventilation: I have only had this hammock in temps ranging from 30f - 78f With the 4-season insulation system and my Therm-a-rest alpine down blanket I was always comfortable. Granted I hang my hammock slightly different than the fly to ridge-line method that is stock (also a nice easy and fully functional system, just not how I hang). But I never woke up wet or cold.
Now anything below 40f for me requires an under insulation, everybody is different with cold tolerance. Rest assured even the slightest breeze can literally suck the warmth from beneath you in a hammock. Sleeping bags DO NOT properly insulate. Once the loft of your bag is compressed it becomes useless. I promise, I learned the hard way. Here's me in ANF, PA. The nights hit around 9-15 degrees f. In my ENO and a military -40 sleep system, full thermals, fleece, down coat and I could still feel the cold at my back on the bottom.
- Comfort: I had tent camped for years, eventually my back and my side sleeping habits put a halt to any real quality sleep in the woods. My first hammock (ENO SingleNest) was very nice and got me hooked. But the asymmetrical cut of most modern hammocks allows for a nice flat lay. You can still lie straight if you like, but I like the support of the asym hammocks.
- Interior space: I am 5'8" 160#, I have more than enough room. There's a handy gear bag hanging from the ridge line that you can fit your phone, flashlight etc. into. I can slide side to side and up and down with no issues. I generally have my down top quilt, my clothes sack for a pillow, and what ever i had in my pockets go into the gear bag. The integrated ridge line (rope that runs the length of hammock from tip to tip) keeps the bug netting off your face and the integrated shock cords on either side allow you to "spread out" the width as well. If you've slept in a mummy bag you'll have no issues here.
- Packing: Here's where the Hennessy lost points in my book. The hammock alone weighs in at 2.5#, once you have all your gear in there you're around 5# for a 3-4 season hammock. Which isn't terrible but definitely heavier than other (more expensive) hammock brands. Stuffing all this into the provided stuff sack is ridiculous to try to put into your backpack unless you have a huge pack. The hammock and fly take a lot of real estate.
My trick: I keep my hammock in the snake skins and snake the entire tube along the back of my pack, then make a bow-line or figure 8 with the suspension rope and clip it to the h2o clip for easy access. I then proceed to pack my bag like normal.
- Side notes: I found the provided suspending ropes stretched a lot throughout the night and I would wake in the morning with my butt just skimming the ground. I swapped them out for Whoopie Slings; a stronger and lighter option. The standard fly is just plain silly in my book; it's just enough to cover the hammock, not even sure how it would perform in driving rain. I upgraded to the Hex fly, essentially creating a tarp shelter around my hammock, very versatile can be pitched lower or at various angles to provide better views etc.
This is the toggle setup. I went with the longest webbing straps offered, and the Easton aluminum cut toggles to get around the big tree issue. Looped around that are the whoopie slings which I swapped out the original suspension ropes for. It's also a faster set up.
Final Thoughts: I really like this hammock, I take it everywhere I go when I'm solo sleeping. For me it is truly a comfortable 4-season sleeping system.
Note: I have decent cold tolerance. Not everyone can take this setup into below 40 or even 50 degrees. Additional gear may be required. Also, If you are taller than 6' look into the larger hammock options. They do offer ultralight models at a higher price tag as well.
I will say if I could have afforded it there were definitely other options I would have gone with. But, don't let that take away from the decent product Hennessy has. Please let me know if I missed anything.
Over-all a pretty sweet rig. Overall a pretty sweet…
Source: bought it new
Over-all a pretty sweet rig.
- Comfortable (no sticks, rocks or snakes)
- Stealthy (low impact visuals)
- Tree straps are innsufficiant
Overall a pretty sweet rig.
I've used it as intended, also when the need arises it makes a pretty decent Bivy on the ground (esp. with hiking poles to keep the bug net high).
I like the Zip model better the the original as it's easier for chair-mode, and much easier entry exit on a cold night (yeah, you know what I mean).
As with all hammocks, it still needs a good under-quilt/over-quilt instead of a sleeping bag, but that's offset by not needing a pad.
I use the optional snake skins which is of major benefit to packing, setup and tear-down. With the snake skins setup takes about 3-minutes (w/o the underquilt) and teardown is about the same. That time includes the rain-fly setup too!
You don't store much gear inside as it would slide to the center, but shoes go into the end well and there's a bivy sack that hangs from the ridgeline taht is great for the nessaceries.
All in all it's a great rig for those that want the flexability of a hammock, but don't want to make or have made a custom setup.
Great to use, but difficult to set up. Very comfortable…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $135.89
Great to use, but difficult to set up. Very comfortable and quite rain proof. Good for picky backs.
- Tree straps need certain trees
- Set up is a bit of a pain
I enjoy this hammock for trips to places I'm familiar with. It is very comfortable for sleeping, especially with a pad to help keep in the warmth. I sleep on my sides, and have some solid hips, so the older I get the worst sleeping on hard ground is. A hammock is a great solution, and this one is the best I've found that resembles a tent for comfortable protection. I can even change in it without much difficulty.
The first time I used it was in a rainstorm. I stayed dry, and while I swayed a bit, I didn't sink any. The rain was coming in sideways, and the fly still kept it off completely. I was concerned since the top is open. This also opened it up for great ventilation, didn't get stuffy, and all condensation took itself away on the fly.
Trying to store your gear in it can be difficult, but I put it behind my knees and found that a good way to keep myself at the diagonal necessary for hammocks. This one is made for those under 6 ft. I'm 5 and a half and felt a perfect fit, so If you are 6 ft I'd recommend going up a size.
My biggest problem is setting this thing up. The straps provided only fit certain trees and tensioning all the parts can be complicated. I do not have the Snake Skins, and I'm planning on purchasing them in hopes that this'll make things easier. When packed it takes up a bit more space than I would expect, but it's so much lighter without poles.
Fantastic design for all types of weather. This hammock…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 170 or so dollars
Fantastic design for all types of weather. This hammock does a great job keeping the bugs out. I'm happy to see that it now has a water collection system available.
- All-in-one system
- Very rainproof
- The straps that are included make it hard to find the right tree
- My Neoair slides all around making it nearly impossible to use for insulation
- I wish there was some way to secure your sleeping bag or air mattress inside to avoid slipping
- It would be great to have a way to hang using Nite Ize carabiner
The hammock is a fantastic design. Setup and tear down is simplified using the snake skins. There is very little sway to the hammock during sleep. I have used it in heat and cold and rain. Hammock functions great in the heat as you can get great airflow and its very water resistant.
I did have an issue when I tried to use my air mattress on a cold night. My sleeping bag and mattress slid all around in the hammock and I had only a few minutes of sleep as a result. I would like to be able to suspend the hammock with a Nite Ize carabiner so that I wouldn't have to "mess" with the suspension so much. As it is the right suspension is difficult for me to achieve as I am only 5 feet tall and can't reach high enough on the tree to avoid a sinking hammock. It's no fun to wake up on the ground in the middle of the night.
Overall, a well-constructed hammock (probably the best on the market) that travels well in my backpack. I just wish they'd fix a couple of issues.