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3911Hennessy Safari Hammock Report

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  • rosaleen43@aol.com
    Aug 2, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Third Report: Hennessy Hammock, Safari Model
      Testers: Family of Rosaleen Sullivan

      Background info:

      A call went out for hammock testers who were over six feet tall
      and/or 240 pounds, and who were already
      familiar with the Hennessy Hammock line. Rosaleen (Mom) Sullivan had
      recently purchased an original
      model with which she was greatly pleased, and the four male family
      members are all over six feet and
      weigh from about 160 pounds to nearly 300 pounds. One son is 6 feet,
      seven and a half inches tall. With
      the consent of the guys, we signed up for a family test.

      We have camped off and on as a family for close to thirty years, 15
      of those years with Boy Scouts. We've
      used gear from canvas cabin tents and pop-up campers to open tarps
      and camped in places from Maine to
      California. This Safari has seen a lot of our back yard in eastern
      Massachusetts, and part of the Metacomet-
      Monadnock Trail in west-central MA. It's about to spend two weeks on
      the AT, a stretch covering part of
      PA, MD, and VA. Mom, this writer, has the mental ambition of her
      thirty-year old reined in somewhat by
      the physical reality of her fifty-something year old body.

      I (Rosaleen) am writing, so I'll input my observations first. While
      I'm 2-3 inches short of the six feet, and,
      fortunately, below the 240 pounds, I'm most familiar with Hennessy's
      products and the one who got us
      involved in the test.

      The hammock arrived in a simple, unpretentious Tyvek-type mailing
      envelope. It has no poles or stakes to
      bend in shipment, so it arrived in perfect condition. It seemed to
      weigh the approximate 3-½ pounds one
      would expect from the labeling. Another tester actually checked his
      on a postal or similar scale and it
      weighed the stated weight. I have access to a bathroom scale. The
      set up instructions are easy to follow and
      printed on the stuff sack, making them darn hard to lose. The stuff
      sack is generous enough to hold the
      hammock and fly, plus the stakes, reflective blanket, and 50 plus
      feet of nylon line that I like to carry.

      The Safari attaches to trees by means of web straps, similar to seat
      belt webbing. They are easy enough to
      use, on first examination, and should cover concerns about damaging
      tree bark, but we found that they
      stretch significantly more than the ropes on other models. One
      solution that worked for us was to attach to
      the first tree, at least shoulder height on the user, walk the other
      end back around the second tree, and pull
      the second web really tightly around the second tree, using body
      weight to effect major tension. I believe
      that Hennessy is switching to a different webbing to correct this
      problem next year. The user might want
      the foot end just slightly higher than the head, to counteract a
      tendency to slide slightly toward the foot end
      during the night. The hammock body is especially roomy. At 5' 8" I
      could easily have pulled my whole
      pack inside with me. I can sit up, change clothes, or sleep
      comfortably inside it. The ridgeline can support
      shoes hanging from it, and has a mesh double pocket, plus two hooks
      for hanging small items. The fly can
      be left off in warm weather, or snugged down to keep out rain. This
      hammock has a zippered entry with an
      ingenious string and ring system that makes opening and closing it
      very simple. One son raised a concern about the
      zipper end breaking, but the open end is toward the center and well
      reinforced. As a long time sewer, I judge
      it to be reliable. As with the other models, lying in the hammock
      on a slight diagonal feels nearly flat. Again, the hammock has the
      advantage of
      being off the ground, and is much more comfortable than even the best
      inflatable backpacking mattress. The generous
      fly is big enough to serve as a shelter on its own, and the hammock
      body can be pulled aside to allow one to leave
      the complete set up in place except one side tie-out while cooking
      or doing other camp chores from shelter.
      We did find that rain leaked in at the ends. I had assumed,
      incorrectly, that it was sealed, as is the original
      model. Applying seam sealer to the stitching solved the problem. I
      slept in it in the backyard during a couple of
      strong storms to make sure.

      My rating on the hammock is an 8 on a scale of 10. It's plenty
      roomy, but more than I need so I would
      normally prefer a smaller size to cut weight. I'd like it better
      with less stretchy straps. My bigger, stronger
      guys find the strength needed to pull out the stretch less of an
      issue than I do.

      Larry, Sr., at 6'3" and 260 pounds, found it comfortable and roomy,
      rated it a 9.5. He's over the weight
      rating on the original, so it's a good choice for him. Unless we go
      somewhere really exotic, he's likely to
      use it only in the backyard on lazy days. He's getting into
      the "whip out the plastic" and stay in a motel
      stage. Looking at the smaller models, he thought he'd feel
      claustrophobic in them, but was fine in the
      Safari. He, too, found it more comfortable than the ground.

      Larry, Jr., at 6'1" and about 160, is our thinnest. He fits in any
      model from the ultra light through the
      Safari. He really liked the extra room and feels it is worth the
      extra two pounds over the Ultra light to get
      the extra space. He is also young at thirty, and strong. He rates it
      a 9.

      Sean is our big guy. At 6' 7 ½", he also has plenty of room in the
      Safari, and is too heavy for any other
      Model. He can sleep comfortably without feeling claustrophobic. He
      is also getting away from camping
      but sees an advantage to using it on a motorcycle trip. He gives the
      hammock a 10 for comfort and room,
      while admitting to preferring the idea of tent camping or staying in
      a motel if he travels with company.

      Dan is 6'3'' and about 229 pounds. Dan had plenty of room and was
      comfortable in the Safari, rating it a 9.

      Bonus opinions:

      Friend 1, 6,"4," found the Safari "awesome." Surprisingly
      comfortable and roomy. He has never camped,
      but would try it with a Safari.

      Friend 2, 5'6", about 170 lbs. Another "awesome." He's a friend's
      son, and a beginner camper. He was
      given a choice between using the Safari and the original, and was so
      impressed with the roominess that he
      chose the Safari.

      Summary:

      Tester Ease of set up Comfort Weight vs. size Roominess
      Climate control Overall
      RS 5 10 8 10 5,
      10 after sealing 8
      LS,1 8 10 10
      10 9 9.5
      LS,2 7 10 10
      10 9 9
      SS 7 10 10
      10 9 9.2
      DS 7 10 10
      10 9 9.2

      Avgerage 6.8 10 8.2 10
      9.2 9
      of the 5
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