I'm 52, Male, size XL (but within the limits of a Hennessey). I have no
idea how to communicate my experience, since I haven't done a lot of
through-hiking on any major trails and I don't bag all that many peaks,
but have done most of my backpacking in California and Nevada, roughly
from Shasta to Anza Borrego, from the coast to the Shoshones. My last
trip was over the Kearsarge Pass (abt.12,000') (two weeks ago). My
partner and I carried under 30 pounds each, slept in a Stephenson
Warmlite 2R in temps in the mid 20's (I was under my own home-made
quilt) and shook the frozen condensation out of the tent in the morning.
I'd be happy to check out the Hennessey in cold weather -- our choices
include the San Jacintos, the San Bernardinos and the Sierras, and I'd
guess that we'd be at 10K feet and below. I'd expect not much snow
before thanksgiving, but there should be some nice cold temps to try
out, and some serious wind.
With all due respect to the Hennessey's, this isn't much of a test of
the hammocks themselves, but more of the temperature management
techniques necessary to use them in cold weather. I don't anticipate the
basics being much different from sleeping in a tent or large bivy.
You're still going to need insulation under your body and, probably
anywhere that you contact the fabric of the hammock. A simple pad might
suffice, though I'd consider something a lot less stiff than your
standard closed cell or blow-up pad for a hammock.
I'm looking at putting together something very much like the
Down-filled Air Mattress that Stephenson makes for his bags -- it's very
light, much more insulated than a standard air mattress or foam blowup,
contours more easily to the shape of the hammock and it provides 3-4
inches of insulation rather than the 1.5-2 of a standard blowup. And
it's not limited to 20" wide.
If it's really cold, I'd also make sure that I had a vapor barrier
liner inside the bag (OWARE makes a silnylon one for about $30, Integral
Designs has one for sale at REI for around $80), and I'd probably also
put a piece of space blanket, shiny side in, along the entire bottom of
I frankly don't think that a simple mylar bivy is going to do it. It's
not a first choice for any other kind of backpacking sleeping in a
shelter in the winter, and it's not likely to be a first choice with a
> 1. The tester agrees to post to the list with in 24 hours of receiving their hammock. The post must indicate when they received it, its condition, its completeness, and if you had any trouble understanding the setup instructions.
> 2.The tester agrees to post a second report with in 3 days of receipt of the hammock. This report will give the testers general impression of the hammock, any problems or concerns you have at this point, how any local (at home) setup and/or trial of the hammock went, and your strategy for winter use of the hammock. You must state what materials you have ordered (if you had to order anything), why you ordered that particular item and how much you spent on these items. If you are just going to use a pad and bag report details of brand and model of each.
> 3. The tester agrees to post at least one more report. This report must be posted within 21 days of receipt of the hammock. This report must be based on a field trial of the hammock with winter use set up. The report must, as a minimum, include length of trip, night time temps (be as accurate as you can), general weather conditions (clear, rain, snow, etc.), location and general description of the test area (mountains with approximate elevations, flats, desert, etc), and a detailed description of the sleep system used to include all items involved (bag, pad, space blankets, etc), their manufacturers, and, if special, where obtained and how well or poorly the system worked. This report should give your impressions of the hammock in general and its use in winter in particular. Feel free to make any comments you please, positive or negative, but a reasonably detailed statement of why you feel that way must support all evaluations. If you have an improvement to the product to pr!
> a problem with it that needs solving, give details as to what and why.
> The testers must also agree to the conditions, requests, and requirements of Tom Hennessys post calling for testers. I am going to have you post your reports to the list. All testers must also agree to upload each of their required tests to the Files section, Hennessy folder of the BackpackGearTest group. If it seems we are getting off track on the tests or some testers are experiencing problems, I will help get things back on track. Any pictures you take of your hammock in winter use and release to Hennessy Hammocks would be a real plus for some very nice people.
> Before you send your applications in remember, this isn't a $20 or $30 water filter. This is a $100 to $200 (I'll get the retail price from Tom and post it) piece of gear. If you are not going to post the reports in good faith then please don't apply. The hammocks do not become the property of the testers until AFTER they have posted their required three reports. You MUST include in your application that you understand all of this and will comply or you will send the hammock back to Hennessy at your expense.
> In your application include your personal info (age, gender, size, etc.), your experience level, and the area you propose for your test. You should also include a general idea of what your strategy is for using the hammock in winter conditions.