GRAND TRUNK ULTRALIGHT HAMMOCK
BY ERIN M. HEDDEN
November 25, 2010
NAME: Erin M. Hedden
LOCATION: La Junta, Colorado
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 145 lb (65.80 kg)
Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking since I was 4 years old, taking trips into the mountains for week long stays at a time with my family. When I reached 16 years of age and got my own drivers license I began taking weekend trips of my own along with day hikes that added to my family outings. I hike all seasons and all terrains.
Manufacturer: Grand Trunk
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.grandtrunkgoods.com/
MSRP: $20.00 U.S.
Listed Weight: 10 oz (283 g)
Measured Weight: 10.4 oz (295 g)
Steel S hooks, high strength breathable polyester taffeta, high grade nylon triple interlocking stitching, dimensions are 4'6"x9'6" with a weight limit of 250lbs. Includes two 10' pieces of 4.5mm climbing rope. Comes in Forest Green or Royal Blue.
Having owned the forest green Grand Trunk Ultralight Travel Hammock for a total of 5 months I have used it on 8 separate occasions, all ranging between 2 and 3 nights of use for night time sleeping and/or day time lounging around the campsite. Out of the 8 occasions of which I set up the hammock 5 of those were trips in which I hiked in and out from my campsite while the remaining 3 occasions took place at campgrounds where I could pull up and set up camp from the trunk of my car.
On 1 occasion a rain storm rolled in while I was away from camp and when I finally got back I found that the hammock had gotten soaked while having my sleeping bag still attached to my pack which was kept dry beneath a lean-to I had constructed using a tarp that I had brought along in place of the tent I opted to leave behind at the car. A good choice, or a lucky one, either way, my sleeping bag was dry but my hammock was drenched but surprisingly it only took a matter of 30-45 minutes for it to dry out once I took it down and brought it into the lean-to near the fire then set back up, this time stretching the tarp over it as a fly as I should have done in the first place. Its quick dry time saved my bacon. No mildew, mold or other growths have taken to the hammocks materials either.
It comes with two pieces of 4.5mm climbing rope, both 10' long, which did the job just fine on all 8 weekend trips taken, both in the lower elevations and hotter climates of eastern Colorado and the higher, colder elevations of the rocky mountains but the optional slap straps would make for an even easier set up.
The hammock actually packs up in its own attached stuff sack, ropes and all, to a package about the size of a softball which frees up more space in a backpack to pack more of the materials or supplies needed for the particular climate, terrain, weather and occasion a person will be visiting.
With dimensions of 4'6" (1.37m) x 9'6" (2.90m) its capacity is 1 person and 250lbs (113kg) it is a snug and comfortable hammock which also allows for some wiggle room.
In summary the Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock was a sturdy, well constructed yet lightweight hammock that proved itself to be a space saver in a backpack while allowing one to rest easy, for all the right reasons, and sleep well in comfort and security.
Small enough to fit in a waist-pack and light enough that its barely noticeable means that this hammock can be carried anywhere, by anyone. It fits even in the lightest of lightweight backpacker packs and still leaves room to spare for other items to make a trip into the wild more of an adventure and less of a burden for any adult, elder, teenager or child.
Being easy to set up it is ideal for any outing be it an afternoon in the backyard, a company picnic at the city park, a weekend in the mountains or if your in the doghouse with your spouse, it is ideal for any occasion and in any place with two trees, posts or other anchor points to stretch this hammock between and its easy enough to set up that children wont be asking for their parents to help put it up.
Breathable material allows for warm weather comfort and with proper set up and addition of extras such as mosquito nets, fly, and/or under quilt it will measure up to any occasion, be it a snow storm, a down pour or a gator hunt down in the bayous and swamps and not only withstand the elements and pests but it will do so in style!
Overall the Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock impressed me and was the envy of friends and family who, after seeing mine in action, had to run out and get one for themselves for "next time".
THINGS I LIKE
I liked the attractive design of the hammock and that it was comfortable, easy to set up, lightweight, a space saver in a backpack, it was constructed well and was sized adequately.
I also liked the attached stuff sack so there was no keeping track of rogue bags to poles, stakes and all the little ties that secure everything. It was all stitched together so you couldn't lose the bag and it served a dual purpose and could be utilized as a pocket for keeping the gear you might need during the night, like a flashlight, book, water and dry socks close at hand so there's no feeling around and searching in vain for that headlamp and wad of toilet paper when you really got to go and go now at 3 in the morning!
In warmer climates sleeping in comfort without getting overheated is not a problem since the material is breathable as well as durable.
In colder climates at higher elevations I had no problems with getting a chill from the ground since I used a mat to create that barrier between me and the ground, and once utilized a tarp and stretched in out beneath the hammocks bottom to create that dead air pocket for warmth. A hammock quilt underneath is a given with 9 out of 10 hammocks but even while lounging in the hammock while waiting out a rain storm without the mat or the tarp underneath my body I never really got chilly which was a plus for this product as well.
Being a quick drying polyester it was also guaranteed to be rot resistant as well as mildew resistant and so far the hammock has proven to be all three of these things.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
The S rings were not something that I liked about this hammock because of the fact that they are open ended and could slip out of their loop thus dropping you on the ground and giving you a rude wake up call. This dislike, however, was easily remedied by replacing the S rings with Carabiners.
Erin M. Hedden
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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.