Published on August 5th, 2013 | by Greg0
Hennessy Hammock: Customized Comfort
Time is running out for summer activities! Labor Day is less than a month away now, and that means it’s time to get out your sleeping bags, tents, and camping gear for a few last trips before fall hits. We’ve been doing our part to enjoy nature- which is always a challenge in NYC- but even in our backyards and parks, we found a way to enjoy a siesta, afternoon nap, or just pretend we’re on vacation.
The Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Zip isn’t just your basic hammock- it’s actually more of a tent replacement. For hikers and backpackers who want an lightweight solution, a hammock means that you don’t need to setup a tent, or carry one and a sleeping bag around as well. This is especially handy if you’re going where level ground is unlikely to be an option, since you can throw up a hammock if you can find a couple of trees. For anyone who hasn’t tried it, it’s surprisingly comfortable overnight, if a little disconcerting in the morning when you realize that you’re suspended in mid-air. The asymetric in the name indicates the unique design that helps keep you more snug and your back more level, a far cry from those hammocks that are always threatening to tip over or leave your neck feeling awkward after a few minutes.
Hennessy makes a range of models, including an ultralite, a hyperlite, and a model for taller individuals. Ours was the Expedition with a zipper (a non-zippered Classic model is slightly cheaper but otherwise identical). When you purchase, you get to choose a few options, allowing you to pick from longer webbing straps for places with bigger trees, or even a variety of rain flys. The basic one is more than acceptable, a nice and large sheet made from 70D polyurethane coated polyester. We didn’t get a chance to try in heavy storms, but did have some rainy nights and it held up well. Setting up the fly isn’t too bad- few tents are as easy- but you’ll need to play around with angles and find the right trees and tension. The webbing straps are really nice, and protect the bark of a tree as well. Each hammock comes with mosquito netting as well as a free ‘Snakeskin’, which isn’t quite as exotic as it sounds. But it is a pretty nifty easy storage system that allows you to simply stuff your hammock in and go, without it ever touching the ground or getting dirty.
They offer other accessories as well, including a Monsoon rainfly that looks like it’s ready for a rainforest jungle excursion, and a 3-season radiant thermal blanket to help keep you cozy. Maximum weights and heights are clearly labeled, and the materials feel rugged and durable, ready for anything. We would’ve liked a few more color options- forest green is nice and basic. And we missed the extra flexibility and superior comfort of the Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock we reviewed a while ago, though they do weigh more and lack the range of serious weatherproofing options. For those looking for a basic backyard hammock, the DoubleNest has held up well and fits two people. But for anyone in need of a camping hammock, it’s hard to ask for more than the Hennessy Expedition, especially at the reasonable price of $150 or so.