User Review: Hennessy Hammock Ultralight Backpacker Asym
Price Paid: $496 new for entire setup--hammock, insulation, tarp and skins
I own the Ultralight Backpacker Asym with the Supershelter insulation system, Snakeskins quick-setup covers, and silnylon 30D Hex Tarp.
I ordered the setup for solo fastpacking in the Rockies, and it's been extremely impressive. Some of my major trekking issues—weight, aches from ground sleeping, cold sleep, and storm protection—are now only an issue when I go above treeline.
My first overnight test run started on a sunny March afternoon, but by the time I slogged into my campsite 10 miles out, hail was bouncing off my head. I whipped out the hex tarp, tied it up, got underneath to hang the insulated hammock, and snugged in. Within twenty minutes, snow was howling down at a 45-degree angle, and within the hour, it was near-horizontal.
I only had a twenty-degree down bag, and since I sleep really cold, I figured I was in for an ugly night—maybe a dangerous one, if meltwater leaked onto my down. Ha! I was totally toasty—it was like being in a 70-degree room.
By dawn, there was nearly two feet of snow on the ground, but I felt great—no aches, I had comfortably side-slept, and I was warm. And, when I called Hennessy the next day to ask about why my head had been weirdly pressed against the hammock's back wall, the owner himself called back to puzzle it out with me and give me the right fix (I needed to hang the foot higher).
I've had some of my best trips in this setup. I only wish I could use it above treeline, and with a partner. And that I didn't look like a burrito on a string for mountain lions, but what the heck—at least I'm not at serving-height, like I would be in a bivvy.
- Definitely get the Supershelter insulation system or use a sleeping pad inside the hammock—otherwise you can get as cold as sleeping on the ground without a pad.
- Because you don't have a lot of extra room, pack the rest of your gear small if you have a chance of windy precipitation—you can put gear in the hammock with you or outside under the hammock, but it doesn't provide a lot of shelter.
- Practice hanging it in your backyard a number of times before going out. It's easy once you figure it out, but it's best to be in practice.
- You probably won't sleep much the first time you use it, because it takes your body at least a night to get used to sleeping in motion.