Hennessy Safari Deluxe
- Does any of the testers plan to test the Safari's ability to be a 2 man shelter as described on their web page? I would be interested in this possibility.Ben
- Since Safari Deluxe hammocks have come up, I thought I'd pass on that the zipper in my Hennessy Safari Deluxe has recently failed. At about 3am I needed to get up, but the zipper was stuck. This is the first time that I have had any real problem with the zipper. Like all zippers, there have been occasions when the zipper was a bit reluctant to zip or unzip. This time I struggled with it for over an hour, and I was actually considering cutting myself out of the hammock when it finally unzipped. Unfortunately now when I zip it, it pops open again and I have a heck of a time getting it back to the unzipped position. I have tried replacing the sliders, but that hasn't helped. I'm sure the folks at Hennessy Hammock could help me get the zipper replaced, but since I was never really comfortable with the zipper, guess I'll try to live with it. Hopefully I can keep the black flies out by putting clothing over the open slit.
I doubt this will be an issue soon for other Hennessy Safari Deluxe users. The zipper in my Safari has had a lot of use. Last summer I spent 2 days a week ( for 9 weeks) at scout camp, I slept in my hammock at night and left it up during the day for folks to see and try. With between 400 and 500 people a week in camp, I know I would be conservative in estimating 100 people a week tried the Safari. The zipper always gets a workout due to the nifty zipper pull rigging. Also I left it for people to look at and try at spring and fall scout camporee.
Given that over 1000 people have tried the hammock, and that I or a member of my family have used the hammock for 200+ nights, the failure is due to excessive use/abuse.
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- Clifford R. Haynes writes:
> Since Safari Deluxe hammocks have come up, I thought I'd pass on that the zipper in my Hennessy Safari Deluxe has recently failed.You should get in touch with Hennessy about this. Many of the better
manufacturers are very interested in failed gear. Getting a look at actual
field failures will give them a much better idea about what they need to
> Since Safari Deluxe hammocks have come up, I thought I'd pass onI don't think the new Safari has a zipper. From the problems you describe,
> that the zipper in my Hennessy Safari Deluxe has recently failed.
you can probably benefit from the following, which is something I wrote a
few months ago for another list. Might help somebody else too:
There are several kinds of zippers:
Plastic Vislon (Individual teeth)
Plastic Coil (Teeth are a long coil stitched to the zipper tape.)
(There are lots more, but usually you don't see them too often.)
The best and most durable zippers are Plastic Coil. Metal is second. Avoid
Vislon like the plague. If you crack a tooth on a Vislon zipper, it's
Most gear is equipped with Coil zippers now, and these are the most durable
and easiest to fix. There are several parts to a zipper: The Tape, the
teeth, the slider, the pull, and on coil zippers, a tiny piece of tape that
runs through the inside of the coil.
Before you go on a hike, you should buy spare sliders for each size of
zipper you have on your gear. Sometimes you can't find them individually,
so go to a fabric shop, and buy the shortest zipper of that size that you
can, and familiarize yourself with it. I recommend buying one, just so you
can break it and fix it so that you know how when you have to.
The weakest part of any zipper is the slider. The sliders are all made out
of either brass or pot metal. If you have a coil zipper, 99% of the time,
it's going to be pot metal. Sliders can wear out, and if you get trash,
dirt, sand, or your tent flap caught in one, the slider can expand - causing
The first rule of zipper maintenance is to be careful. A zipper is designed
to work easily. If you have to force it, something is wrong. Always make
sure that flaps or strings do not get caught in the slider, and if they do,
be careful in removing them. Lubricate all your zippers on a regular basis
using soap or candle wax. I use candle wax and soften it with a hair dryer.
Don't cake the zipper with wax, just use a little.
Barring this, if you slide the slider, and the zipper comes apart behind it,
try to adjust the slider. Zip the zipper all the way down and squeeze the
back end of the slider with a pair of pliers. Do this gently, and only a
little at a time. If you squeeze too much, the zipper will jam. Only
squeeze the back end of the slider. Don't clamp down on the little finger
that holds the pull, because it can break.
Failing this, replace the slider. If the zipper has a metal stop, remove
it. If the end of the zipper tape is stitched into a seam, DO NOT CUT THE
TAPE OR THE SEAM. This is important. The teeth of a coil zipper are
stitched through the teeth and onto the tape. Use a razor knife to cut
those stitches under the three or four teeth at the end of the zipper. Be
very careful not to cut the tape. Using nail clippers or some suitable
tool, cut the teeth at the point where they enter the seam. Sometimes you
have to remove two or three teeth, but try not to. Work the old slider off,
and the new slider on. Compare the sliders to make sure that they are the
same type. A metal slider will not work on a coil zipper and vice versa.
Once you have the new slider on, you can restitch the teeth, or simply whip
stitch the very end of the zipper together. Alternatively, you can buy
metal stops that work like a double staple that you can put through the
zipper and crimp with pliers. Do not use regular staples. Stitching is
Sometimes the stitching holding the teeth on wear out. You can use a very
fine needle and thread to restitch the teeth. Be very careful and
eventually you can learn the knack. It isn't that easy, but not rocket
The worst case is when the teeth break or pull away from the tape and become
extruded. Even this can usually be fixed, but it takes lots of practice and
sometimes more tools than you'll have on the trail. (Like a heat gun. This
is the kind of repair I showed everyone to do at a trade show all those
years ago.) Let's say the zipper on your sleeping bag gets snagged and
breaks in the middle. What are you going to do? Work the slider down to
the end, or take it off and cut the teeth as described above and zip the
zipper up to the break, and then work the slider so that it zips past the
break - even though you won't be able to zip it back down. Now take a
needle and thread and whip stitch around and around the break to hold the
zipper closed at that point. Now you can zip it down half way, and back up
again - which is invariably better than not being able to zip it at all.
Total zipper replacement is hard. Almost nobody likes to do the job. If
you are poor (like me) and can't replace or afford to have somebody fix your
gear, you can replace the zipper yourself. If you want to try it, go buy a
zipper of the correct type and length. Remove the old zipper, or if you
aren't' that brave, cut the tape at the seam. Using a staple gun, staple
one side of the zipper into place. Now staple the other side. Zip the
zipper up to make sure the ends meet, and redo the staple job until they do.
Now, while sitting in front of the TV or listening to music or visiting with
family, stitch it in by hand using small (not more than 1/4 inch) stitches.
The best thing to do is pass your needle back through the original holes.
Don't try to do it using a machine unless you are really good with the
machine. I am really good with machines, and I still do leather jacket
zippers by hand, because it's easier to hit the same holes.
Anyway, I hope this helps. If anyone has questions, I'll try to answer.
Good luck on the trail, and take care of your zippers!
- Hi Shane
Thanks. I used your post from the other list when I tried to repair the
zipper. Unfortunately it appears to be toast. I think I will just try to
live with it, I never really liked the zipper as much as I like the plain
slit in the original ( but you couldn't pay me enough to give up my Hennessy
Safari). I have been considering maybe sewing a flap onto one side of the
slit so it closes like the models without a zipper.