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82341OWNER REVIEW - Grand Trunk Parachute Nylon Single Hammock

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  • Zachary Baker
    Sep 6, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi, I'm a newbie who would like to get involved in testing. Below is my first OR. I'd like to get some editing and advice on it.

      Grand Trunk Parachute Nylon Single Hammock
      Tester Bio:
      Name: Zach Baker
      Age: 37
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6’ 0” (1.8 Meters)
      Weight: 175 Pounds (79 Kilo)
      Email address: zachtb@...
      City, State, Country: Arlington, TX, USA
      Date: Sept 3, 2013
      Backpacking Background:
      My daughter is seven years old and still wants to do kid style car-camping which is perfectly fine with me. I’d rather she enjoy the adventure and ask to go again than for us to overdo things and ruin the outdoors for her. That does mean that our campouts incorporate folding chairs, the big family tent with a fat air mattress, and a cooler full of goodies instead of hammocks, bivy bags, and internal packs. As she enjoys the outdoors more, I am sure we will venture further out into the wilderness.
      Product Information:
      Manufacturer: Grand Trunk
      Year of Manufacture: 2012
      Weight Listed: 16 oz (.454 grams)
      Weight as delivered:
      Flat Dimensions: 10.5’ x 5’ (3.2 x 1.5 meters)
      Product Description:
      The Grand Trunk Parachute Nylon Single Hammock caught my eye this past winter when I was shopping for a family tent. It was bright blue and yellow and hanging on a scoot loop at Cabela’s. I’d been reading about Hammock camping for about a year and thinking it was something I’d like to try.
      The Grand Trunk website says that this hammock packs to the size of a softball. I think that with the shrouds it’s a bit bigger than that. A softball and a half maybe. The material is soft with a little texture to it which I find more pleasant than slick lightweight nylon. A cord loop is run through a sewn channel at each end of the hammock and drawn into a lark’s head. This brings the hammock ends together and forms the anchors which extend just four to five inches out. A pair of heavy steel ‘biners then attach to loops of cord approximately six feet long which serve as the suspension and tree wraps. These are not climbing ‘biners but industrial hunks of steel. Strong, but not light or pretty. Of course a pair of light and pretty carabiners would cost more than the whole hammock. The hammock body is made up of three pieces. The center section which constitutes most of the width has a panel sewn to each side. Mine has contrasting blue and yellow, but there are more subtle colors if you don’t want to stand out like a Macaw.
      Field information:
      I've used the hammock on two camping trips and three or four hikes. The first campout was a car camping trip with my daughter and wife in Oklahoma in humid and warm conditions.  I hung my hammock behind the tent and got a good hour's nap in the afternoon. The temperature was about 85 deg F and the humidity was fairly high, but I stayed very comfortable. The second trip was a two night campout in central Texas with my daughter and brother. Again, the big family tent was our shelter, but I got to have a couple afternoon naps in the hammock. This time the temperature was in the 90's F. I am sure that I would not have even attempted sleeping in the tent on my air mattress in that weather. Set up and take down were fast and simple.
      I used the hammock in the same way on several hikes by stringing it up just a little way from the path and sleeping for thirty minutes to an hour. Falling asleep with the wind rocking me back in forth is dead easy.
      That brings me to the real joy of this thing. Instead of being my shelter on overnighters in the woods, the hammock has become part of most hikes, trips to the park, and festivals. It is small and light enough that I hardly notice it in my knapsack when we go ride the train, or visit the water gardens, museums, or playground. At the dog park, we have strung it up between a couple trees and sat there enjoying the breeze and shade. Sometimes our smaller dog jumps up and we have a short nap before heading back home. At the kite festival this past spring, I strung it beside our picnic table so that my daughter and her friend could sit and eat hot dogs and apple juice while watching the fun. The hammock is bright and interesting and just plain fun. Its value is in making a trip to the park into an adventure.  Sometimes we don’t even break the hammock out, but I am always ready to stay just a little longer knowing that we can camp out for a little rest, even right in the middle of a city park, with just two minute’s notice.
      The one thing besides the carabiners that I did not like about the Grand Trunk in its as-sold condition is the suspension. The cords began chewing up the tree in my back yard after just a few minutes. I added a pair of loops made from ¾” bull strap which seems to protect well for little weight added. I also retied the cords to give some length adjustment to the system.
      I’m not one to often impulse buy, but I am very glad I spent the money on the Grand Trunk hammock. The comfort level compared to any mattress pad, air mattress or pile of rocks is off the charts. The parachute material feels nice against skin and breathes well keeping me cool in 90 degree plus heat. Also, the weight and bulk are minimal for my day-use needs so I end up taking it on almost every outing.
      My only complaints are with the suspension system. Straps are badly needed to protect tree bark, and better length adjustment must be devised by the user. The supplied ‘biners can be replaced with climbing equipment or done away with altogether in favor of knots. Carabiners are light and expensive, but knots are lighter and free.