Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

IR - Crazy Creek LEX - Jeff Jackson

Expand Messages
  • Jeff
    For your editing pleasure... I tried to get the Yahoo-isms, but it s also in the test folder at
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 22, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      For your editing pleasure...

      I tried to get the Yahoo-isms, but it's also in the test folder at
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/Crazy%20Creek%
      20IR%20-%20Jeff%20Jackson/

      Jeff

      ===================

      Crazy Creek
      Crib LEX Lightweight with UltraLite Tarp
      Initial Report - 20 June 2006

      [picture]
      Crazy Creek - Crib LEX Lightweight w/ UltraLite Tarp

      BIOGRAPHY

      Name: Jeff Jackson
      Age: 30
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5' 10" (178 cm)
      Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
      Website: http://www.tothewoods.net/
      Email: jwj32542 at yahoo dot com
      Location: Monterey, CA, USA

      Backpacking Background:

      I have been backpacking for about eleven years. Three years ago I
      switched to lightweight hiking and I always keep my packweight below
      30 lb (14 kg) for seven days or less. I generally hike in mild
      weather (50-85 F/10-30 C) with some winter (~20 F/-7 C) and warmer
      (85-100 F/30-38 C) trips. I take a hammock on every trip, with many
      nights in my Hennessy Hammock and my homemade hammocks based on Ed
      Speer's design. I often sleep in my hammock at home, and I have
      hammocked in temps as low as -10 F (-23 C).

      PRODUCT INFO

      Manufacturer: Crazy Creek (http://www.crazycreek.com/)
      Product: Crib LEX Lightweight w/ UltraLite Tarp (2006)
      Color: Forest/Royal (Hammock/Tarp)
      Listed Weight: 54 oz (1531 g)
      Measured Weight: 58-3/4 oz (1664 g) (8.7% over listed)
      MSRP: $199 US


      Website Description:

      Crazy Cribs are complete personal shelters that are great for
      backpacking, car camping, sea kayaking, trekking, beaches,
      backyards, rafting... wherever you want exceptionally comfortable
      off-the-ground sleeping

      The Ideal Portable Hammocks

      - Convenient Top Entry
      - Simple To Set-Up
      - Resists Unsteady Rolling
      - Provides Off-Ground Gear Storage During The Day
      - 1" Wide Suspension Webbing For Excellent Weight Distribution
      - Double-Stitched Seams And Reinforced Corners For Durability
      - Can Be Used As A Ground Bivy
      - Fits Into A Small Stuff Sack
      - 300 lb. Weight Capacity

      Here's our "carb-free" Crib!... features a fully zippered no-see-um
      bug netting canopy with 70D coated ripstop nylon bottom, along with
      Easton 7075-T9 aluminum poles and an internal sleeve that accepts a
      sleeping pad for added comfort. Also inside are two accessory
      pockets. Nylon jersey-mesh pole sleeves are positioned on the
      exterior for convenient set-up and easy zipper use. Crazy UltraLite
      Tarp is made of 30D silicone impregnated Cordura ripstop. Includes
      guy lines, stakes and stuff sack.

      First Impressions

      I'm a guy, so my first test was to set it up without reading the
      directions...very easy. Except for the tarp, each component was
      simple to operate and seems to perform its function well.

      - Hammock and Bugnet - 24-3/4 oz (700 g) measured weight - The
      hammock is simply a rectangle of silnylon, measuring 45.5 x 104.5 in
      (115.6 x 265.4 cm) with a matching bugnet mesh sewn on top. [Listed
      specs 44 x 98 in (110 x 245 cm)] A zipper runs down the center of
      the bugnet for the length of the hammock. A hem along both short
      ends provides a channel for the support straps; each corner is
      reinforced with leather patches. A pad pocket measuring 24 x 82 in
      (61 x 208 cm) is centered on the hammock body. Showing as blue in
      the pictures, it is sewn with a straight stitch around three sides
      with an opening at one end to insert the pad. When laying in the
      hammock, a mesh pocket measuring 8 x 6 in (20 x 15 cm) is sewn into
      the bugnet-hammock seam at my right shoulder and left knee.

      To set it up, I simply wrapped the strap around the tree, threaded
      it through the buckle, and pulled tight. Very simple - quicker than
      other methods I've used, and no knots or lashings to learn.

      After setting it up, I found the Crazy Creek easier to enter than
      any other camping hammock I have used. I simply unzipped the
      bugnet's two-way zipper, pulled the bugnet down, sat down in the
      middle of the hammock, and laid back. There were no tight sides or
      bottom entry slit to put pressure on my legs. The poles make the
      Crazy Creek feel very open inside, with plenty of space between the
      bugnet and my face.

      [picture]
      Support Channel Showing Reinforcements

      [picture]
      Nice and Roomy Inside

      At this point, I found two issues that concern me. First, the
      directions say to "fully tighten straps," which eliminates any sag
      in the hammock. However, this makes laying on the diagonal very
      difficult, and laying on the centerline causes my body to be bowed
      like a banana. After a short time, this led to knee pain because my
      knees were locked. Although the directions say that "A few minor
      adjustments may be necessary to get the desired comfort level," they
      mention nothing about the important role that sag plays in hanging a
      hammock.

      Second, the pad pocket is parallel to the centerline of the hammock,
      so it does not provide insulation if laying diagonally. (Apparently
      this hammock breaks with convention and was not designed to lay on
      the diagonal, although this is not addressed in the directions.)
      Coupled with the sag issue, this did not make the hammock very
      comfortable. Additionally, when I hung the hammock, the gathered
      ends caused the ends of the pad pocket to shrink to ~6 in (15 cm),
      which caused my 1/4 in (.6 cm) thick pad to buckle and allowed the
      hammock's side to compress my sleeping bag's insulation, causing my
      shoulders to get cold. Using a 1/2 in (1.3 cm) pad reduced the
      buckling somewhat, but this will add a lot of bulk to my pack. Using
      the 2.8 in (7.8 cm) inflatable pad made the hammock very
      comfortable. Actually, using this pad (Exped Downmat 7) made this
      the flattest hammock I have ever slept in; I actually slept on my
      stomach for almost an hour.

      [picture]
      Pad Pocket Doesn't Protect My Shoulders

      I also found two minor issues regarding the bugnet. To enter the
      hammock, I needed to unzip the bugnet almost completely to avoid
      putting too much stress on the zipper. After entering, however, I
      had to do a complete situp and reach about 2 ft (61 cm) past my feet
      to grab the zipper head. This was a bit tricky and made closing the
      bugnet at that end a minor hassle; I had to grab the edges of the
      hammock to pull myself to the end so I could reach the zipper. This
      situation is repeated in reverse for exiting the hammock. Also, when
      laying in the hammock I sometimes wanted to open the bugnet to the
      breeze, but the bugnet does not easily remain open. Putting a small
      velcro loop near the grommets that could wrap around the pole to
      hold the bugnet open would resolve this issue with little added
      weight or complexity.

      [picture]
      A Loop Would Help to Keep the Bugnet Wide Open

      Lastly, I am concerned about condensation when sleeping with non-
      breathable material wrapping half of my body, but after three nights
      in the Crazy Creek this has proven to be a minor issue. I hope to
      test this under varied conditions, though. Also, this material seems
      to be heavier than necessary, which adds to the weight but may also
      allow it to perform better as a bivy.

      - Strap and Buckle - 3-7/8 oz (110 g) each - The hammock supports
      are simple straps measuring 11 ft 9 in (3.6 m x 2.5 cm) with a
      buckle on one end. The straps pass through the channel at the ends
      of the hammock, wrap around the tree, and connect to the buckle.
      This is the easiest hanging system I have used, and at less than 4
      oz (113 g) each, the weight compares favorably with most other
      hammock support systems. I would be concerned about using the
      buckles in freezing rain or winter conditions (though I will
      probably not have a chance to test this during the testing period),
      but overall I really like the straps and buckle setup.
      The straps also include a small circle of silnylon with a 1 in (2.5
      cm) slit in the middle. These drip guards are designed to prevent
      water from traveling down the straps and onto the hammock.

      [picture]
      Support Buckles

      [picture]
      Silnylon Drip Guard

      - Poles - 3 oz (84 g) each - The four section, shock-corded poles
      snap together very easily and feel very sturdy. They slide easily
      into the jersey mesh pole sleeves, and contoured ends hold them
      securely in the grommets on the hammock. When assembled, they form a
      semi-circle to hold the hammock open wide and support the bugnet.

      [picture]
      Pole Grommet

      [picture]
      Jersey Mesh Pole Sleeve

      One minor change could improve the performance of the poles, though.
      A few times when I removed the poles from the grommets, the
      contoured end piece pulled out of the pole segment. Rather than
      sliding back in, however, the shockcord knot pulled out with it and
      I had to stuff the knot back in before the end piece would slide in.
      Adding a bit more shockcord to the end, so the knot could be moved
      about 1 in (2.5 cm) further into the pole, would alleviate this
      problem.

      I also tried to use the hammock without the poles. First, I removed
      the poles and flipped the hammock upside down, with the bugnet on
      the bottom, and laid down. The hammock was very comfortable in this
      mode. Without the poles, I could easily lay diagonally and get very
      flat. Also in this mode, I tried some cold weather insulation (the
      JacksRBetter No Sniveler and the Speer PeaPod) and both appeared to
      function correctly. Although I cannot remove the bugnet to save
      weight, this gives me confidence in the cold weather performance of
      the Crazy Creek.

      I also tried the hammock by only installing one pole at the head
      end. This was comfortable and would allow me to save 3 oz (84 g) of
      pack weight by leaving a pole at home.

      - Tarp - 12-5/8 oz (356 g) - The tarp is basically a rectangle with
      beaks at the ends. If the beaks were removed, the resulting recangle
      would measure 98 x 39 in (249 x 99 cm). The 16 in (40.6 cm) beak
      extends the length and contracts the width by varying amounts
      depending on how the tarp is setup, so the listed measurements of 77
      x 104 in (193 x 260 cm) sound reasonable.
      The tarp has one tie-out on each end of the ridgeline, one on each
      end of the beak, three tie-outs down each long side, and two lifter
      tie-outs on each broadside. At a minimum, the ridgeline, beaks and
      corners must be staked for proper performance.

      [picture]
      Crazy UltraLite Tarp

      [picture]
      Closeup of Beak

      [picture]
      Tarp Tie-Out

      [picture]
      Tarp Lifter

      The directions state that "All Crazy Creek tarps come with accessory
      cord, tent stakes, cord tensioners and Seamgrip. Tarp seams are
      factory taped; use Seamgrip for additional protection or field
      repairs." This tarp does not have taped seams and no Seamgrip was
      included in the packaging. I used the easy-to-find customer service
      address on the Crazy Creek website to ask about this, and got a
      reply a few hours later saying that "The directions for the LEX and
      LEX Lightweight are the same--the taped seams & seam sealer come
      with the LEX. The LEX Lightweight has a sil-nylon (30D silicone
      impregnated Cordura ripstop) Tarp, so no taped seams and no seam
      sealer needed." I have never heard that no seamsealer is needed for
      silnylon tarps; in fact, my experience has been the exact opposite.
      I replied saying that I had already tested the ridgeline seam by
      pouring water on it and watching it drip into a bowl, so this answer
      seemed suspicious to me. Later that day, I got another email saying
      that "I want to talk to our product folks on this. We'll get back
      with you tomorrow, OK?"

      - The Good - Two emails from customer service on the same day as
      my request. Promise of researching the right answer and a quick
      response. Very impressive.
      - The Bad - It looks like the information was incorrect. If I had
      accepted this answer and taken the tarp into the field, I might be a
      wet camper. In some cases, this mistake could be dangerous.
      - I will update this situation as it develops, but I will not
      rely on this tarp until the issue is resolved.

      First impression - I do not like this tarp. After the first setup, I
      found it much more complicated and time-consuming than a hammock
      tarp needs to be. First of all, it has 14 tie-out points, 8 of which
      are necessary for proper coverage. I have used tarps with 4 tie-out
      points that provide 15% more coverage than this tarp. This would
      also eliminate some stakes and guylines, further reducing weight. In
      my opinion, a simple 8 x 10 ft (2.4 x 3.0 m) tarp would be much
      simpler to construct and provide more versatility in setup options.
      Perhaps this opinion will change with further testing.

      - Guylines - 3-1/2 oz (100 g) total - This hammock includes a single
      82 ft (25 m) length of black guyline. No technical specifications
      are included, but it appears to be standard braided synthetic cord.
      The directions call for cutting to length and attaching the lines to
      the tarp prior to use. Interestingly, though, the directions
      recommend "6'-10' on ridgeline and 4'-6' on all other pullouts" (1.8-
      3.0 m and 1.2-1.8 m, respectively). If I had started cutting the
      maximum recommended lengths for all tie-outs, I would have come up
      10' (1.8 m) short! Luckily, I didn't plan on using the lifters and I
      used different lengths so I have 10' (1.8 m) left over.

      - Line Tensioners - 1/4 oz (6 g) total - Six common line tensioners
      are included. I simply slid the tensioner up the line to tighten the
      tarp. They worked well for the quick setup with no wind.

      - Stakes - 5/16 oz (12 g) each - Six 3-sided, 7 x .5 in ( 17.8 x 1.3
      cm), "Y" shaped stakes with notches to hold the guylines. These
      stakes look great so far, but could benefit from a hole in the top
      with a loop to make removing them easier. I was surprised that Crazy
      Creek did not include a stakebag to protect the tarp and hammock
      when packed.

      [picture]
      "Y" Stake

      [picture]
      Stake with Guyline

      - Stuff Sack - 1-3/8 oz (38 g) - Simple stuff sack with a drawstring
      and cordlock at the top, and a Crazy Creek logo on the bottom.
      Measures about 16 inches tall by 6 inches in diameter (40.6 x 15 cm)
      when stuffed.

      - Extra Bugnet. Square of bugnet to be used for repairs.

      - Instruction Sheet. The instructions are relatively clear and
      include pictures. Unfortunately (as described above) the
      instructions do not appear to match the actual product in some
      cases. They also give no information for using the hammock as a
      bivy, although this use is listed as a feature.

      Overall First Impression

      I was skeptical about this design at first, but now I'm intrigued.
      This is the first hammock I have used with poles, and I find it very
      comfortable in some configurations. It is very well made, with no
      loose stitches or cosmetic blemishes. However, considering that a
      competitor makes a full hammock shelter with tarp and bugnet that
      weighs 15 oz (425 g), marketing this 58-3/4 oz (1664 g), one-person
      setup as "the perfect ultra-lightweight camp hammock" seems to be a
      stretch. Without getting into the semantics of drawing lines between
      lightweight, ultralight, etc., I do not consider this an ultralight
      shelter by common standards in the lightweight backpacking
      community. I do, however, consider it a very interesting design that
      I plan to explore more completely.

      Test Plan

      I will use the Crazy Crib in rainy, sunny, foggy, windy and possibly
      snowy conditions. I will test it while lounging in the backyard and
      on several 1-3 day hiking trips to Los Padres National Forest and
      the Big Sur area, and at least one weekend trip to Yosemite National
      Park. If all goes well, I would like to take a weeklong trip to the
      Wonderland Trail in Washington State. I will test the hammock in
      temperatures ranging from 30-80 F (-1-27 C), and at elevations from
      sea level to ~10,000 ft (3,000 m).

      I will evaluate the Crib on the basis of comfort, durability, and
      performance.

      Comfort.
      - How comfortable is the hammock? Can I lay flat? Can I sleep on the
      diagonal? Can I sleep on my side?
      - Can I use the hammock as a lounger? Is it stable?
      - How can I stay warm in the hammock? Does a pad in the Crazy
      Creek's pocket cause condensation like the previous pads I have
      used? Will the JRB underquilts fit the Crazy Creek?
      - Do the Crazy Creek's comfort and ease of use justify the
      additional weight over similar shelters? Do the extra luxury
      features like the poles holding up the bugnet actually add to the
      Crazy Creek's comfort?

      Durability.
      - Does the hammock body show any wear over time? Does the body show
      any abrasions over time, especially after using it as a bivy? Do any
      threads fray?
      - Do any holes or tears appear in the bugnet?
      - Do the straps stretch, become disfigured, or lose enough friction
      to slip through the buckles?
      - Does the tarp remain waterproof throughout the test period?

      Performance.
      - Do the supports leave marks or damage upon the trees?
      - Will the Crazy Creek function on my hammock stand? Will it connect
      to "non-traditional" supports like corner fence posts, pavilion
      supports and rock-climbing cams?
      - How easy is the Crazy Creek to set up as a bivy? How comfortable
      is it?
      - Can I set up the tarp separately in the rain?
      - Does the tarp actually keep the hammock dry in the rain? Does it
      function effectively in windblown rain?
      - Does the tarp provide enough coverage to cook under during
      rainstorms?
      - Are there any areas where water drips down the support ropes onto
      the hammock?
      - How easy is the hammock to pack up when breaking camp?
      - How easy is the packed hammock to store in my backpack?

      In sum, does the Crazy Creek's extra comfort convince me to replace
      my current setup as my shelter of choice?

      What I Like (So Far)

      - Very easy to set up
      - Comfortable (Very comfortable when used with an inflatable pad)
      - Mesh pockets are convenient and actually usable

      What I Don't Like (So Far)

      - The tarp
      - The weight
      - I can't sleep on the diagonal

      I would like to thank Crazy Creek and BackpackGearTest.org for the
      opportunity to hang in this Crib.

      Jeff Jackson
    • Jeff
      Hi, I posted my Crazy Creek IR on 22 June (Msg 20596) and haven t heard anything back yet. I think Fuzzy had the same issue...just wanted to post a friendly
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 2, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi,

        I posted my Crazy Creek IR on 22 June (Msg 20596) and haven't heard
        anything back yet. I think Fuzzy had the same issue...just wanted
        to post a friendly reminder.

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/backpackgeartesters/message/20596

        Jeff

        --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff" <jwj32542@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > For your editing pleasure...
        >
        > I tried to get the Yahoo-isms, but it's also in the test folder at
        > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/Crazy%20Creek%
        > 20IR%20-%20Jeff%20Jackson/
        >
        > Jeff
        >
        > ===================
        >
        > Crazy Creek
        > Crib LEX Lightweight with UltraLite Tarp
        > Initial Report - 20 June 2006
        >
        > [picture]
        > Crazy Creek - Crib LEX Lightweight w/ UltraLite Tarp
        >
        > BIOGRAPHY
        >
        > Name: Jeff Jackson
        > Age: 30
        > Gender: Male
        > Height: 5' 10" (178 cm)
        > Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
        > Website: http://www.tothewoods.net/
        > Email: jwj32542 at yahoo dot com
        > Location: Monterey, CA, USA
        >
        > Backpacking Background:
        >
        > I have been backpacking for about eleven years. Three years ago I
        > switched to lightweight hiking and I always keep my packweight
        below
        > 30 lb (14 kg) for seven days or less. I generally hike in mild
        > weather (50-85 F/10-30 C) with some winter (~20 F/-7 C) and warmer
        > (85-100 F/30-38 C) trips. I take a hammock on every trip, with
        many
        > nights in my Hennessy Hammock and my homemade hammocks based on Ed
        > Speer's design. I often sleep in my hammock at home, and I have
        > hammocked in temps as low as -10 F (-23 C).
        >
        > PRODUCT INFO
        >
        > Manufacturer: Crazy Creek (http://www.crazycreek.com/)
        > Product: Crib LEX Lightweight w/ UltraLite Tarp (2006)
        > Color: Forest/Royal (Hammock/Tarp)
        > Listed Weight: 54 oz (1531 g)
        > Measured Weight: 58-3/4 oz (1664 g) (8.7% over listed)
        > MSRP: $199 US
        >
        >
        > Website Description:
        >
        > Crazy Cribs are complete personal shelters that are great for
        > backpacking, car camping, sea kayaking, trekking, beaches,
        > backyards, rafting... wherever you want exceptionally comfortable
        > off-the-ground sleeping
        >
        > The Ideal Portable Hammocks
        >
        > - Convenient Top Entry
        > - Simple To Set-Up
        > - Resists Unsteady Rolling
        > - Provides Off-Ground Gear Storage During The Day
        > - 1" Wide Suspension Webbing For Excellent Weight Distribution
        > - Double-Stitched Seams And Reinforced Corners For Durability
        > - Can Be Used As A Ground Bivy
        > - Fits Into A Small Stuff Sack
        > - 300 lb. Weight Capacity
        >
        > Here's our "carb-free" Crib!... features a fully zippered no-see-
        um
        > bug netting canopy with 70D coated ripstop nylon bottom, along
        with
        > Easton 7075-T9 aluminum poles and an internal sleeve that accepts
        a
        > sleeping pad for added comfort. Also inside are two accessory
        > pockets. Nylon jersey-mesh pole sleeves are positioned on the
        > exterior for convenient set-up and easy zipper use. Crazy
        UltraLite
        > Tarp is made of 30D silicone impregnated Cordura ripstop. Includes
        > guy lines, stakes and stuff sack.
        >
        > First Impressions
        >
        > I'm a guy, so my first test was to set it up without reading the
        > directions...very easy. Except for the tarp, each component was
        > simple to operate and seems to perform its function well.
        >
        > - Hammock and Bugnet - 24-3/4 oz (700 g) measured weight - The
        > hammock is simply a rectangle of silnylon, measuring 45.5 x 104.5
        in
        > (115.6 x 265.4 cm) with a matching bugnet mesh sewn on top.
        [Listed
        > specs 44 x 98 in (110 x 245 cm)] A zipper runs down the center of
        > the bugnet for the length of the hammock. A hem along both short
        > ends provides a channel for the support straps; each corner is
        > reinforced with leather patches. A pad pocket measuring 24 x 82 in
        > (61 x 208 cm) is centered on the hammock body. Showing as blue in
        > the pictures, it is sewn with a straight stitch around three sides
        > with an opening at one end to insert the pad. When laying in the
        > hammock, a mesh pocket measuring 8 x 6 in (20 x 15 cm) is sewn
        into
        > the bugnet-hammock seam at my right shoulder and left knee.
        >
        > To set it up, I simply wrapped the strap around the tree, threaded
        > it through the buckle, and pulled tight. Very simple - quicker
        than
        > other methods I've used, and no knots or lashings to learn.
        >
        > After setting it up, I found the Crazy Creek easier to enter than
        > any other camping hammock I have used. I simply unzipped the
        > bugnet's two-way zipper, pulled the bugnet down, sat down in the
        > middle of the hammock, and laid back. There were no tight sides or
        > bottom entry slit to put pressure on my legs. The poles make the
        > Crazy Creek feel very open inside, with plenty of space between
        the
        > bugnet and my face.
        >
        > [picture]
        > Support Channel Showing Reinforcements
        >
        > [picture]
        > Nice and Roomy Inside
        >
        > At this point, I found two issues that concern me. First, the
        > directions say to "fully tighten straps," which eliminates any sag
        > in the hammock. However, this makes laying on the diagonal very
        > difficult, and laying on the centerline causes my body to be bowed
        > like a banana. After a short time, this led to knee pain because
        my
        > knees were locked. Although the directions say that "A few minor
        > adjustments may be necessary to get the desired comfort level,"
        they
        > mention nothing about the important role that sag plays in hanging
        a
        > hammock.
        >
        > Second, the pad pocket is parallel to the centerline of the
        hammock,
        > so it does not provide insulation if laying diagonally.
        (Apparently
        > this hammock breaks with convention and was not designed to lay on
        > the diagonal, although this is not addressed in the directions.)
        > Coupled with the sag issue, this did not make the hammock very
        > comfortable. Additionally, when I hung the hammock, the gathered
        > ends caused the ends of the pad pocket to shrink to ~6 in (15 cm),
        > which caused my 1/4 in (.6 cm) thick pad to buckle and allowed the
        > hammock's side to compress my sleeping bag's insulation, causing
        my
        > shoulders to get cold. Using a 1/2 in (1.3 cm) pad reduced the
        > buckling somewhat, but this will add a lot of bulk to my pack.
        Using
        > the 2.8 in (7.8 cm) inflatable pad made the hammock very
        > comfortable. Actually, using this pad (Exped Downmat 7) made this
        > the flattest hammock I have ever slept in; I actually slept on my
        > stomach for almost an hour.
        >
        > [picture]
        > Pad Pocket Doesn't Protect My Shoulders
        >
        > I also found two minor issues regarding the bugnet. To enter the
        > hammock, I needed to unzip the bugnet almost completely to avoid
        > putting too much stress on the zipper. After entering, however, I
        > had to do a complete situp and reach about 2 ft (61 cm) past my
        feet
        > to grab the zipper head. This was a bit tricky and made closing
        the
        > bugnet at that end a minor hassle; I had to grab the edges of the
        > hammock to pull myself to the end so I could reach the zipper.
        This
        > situation is repeated in reverse for exiting the hammock. Also,
        when
        > laying in the hammock I sometimes wanted to open the bugnet to the
        > breeze, but the bugnet does not easily remain open. Putting a
        small
        > velcro loop near the grommets that could wrap around the pole to
        > hold the bugnet open would resolve this issue with little added
        > weight or complexity.
        >
        > [picture]
        > A Loop Would Help to Keep the Bugnet Wide Open
        >
        > Lastly, I am concerned about condensation when sleeping with non-
        > breathable material wrapping half of my body, but after three
        nights
        > in the Crazy Creek this has proven to be a minor issue. I hope to
        > test this under varied conditions, though. Also, this material
        seems
        > to be heavier than necessary, which adds to the weight but may
        also
        > allow it to perform better as a bivy.
        >
        > - Strap and Buckle - 3-7/8 oz (110 g) each - The hammock supports
        > are simple straps measuring 11 ft 9 in (3.6 m x 2.5 cm) with a
        > buckle on one end. The straps pass through the channel at the ends
        > of the hammock, wrap around the tree, and connect to the buckle.
        > This is the easiest hanging system I have used, and at less than 4
        > oz (113 g) each, the weight compares favorably with most other
        > hammock support systems. I would be concerned about using the
        > buckles in freezing rain or winter conditions (though I will
        > probably not have a chance to test this during the testing
        period),
        > but overall I really like the straps and buckle setup.
        > The straps also include a small circle of silnylon with a 1 in
        (2.5
        > cm) slit in the middle. These drip guards are designed to prevent
        > water from traveling down the straps and onto the hammock.
        >
        > [picture]
        > Support Buckles
        >
        > [picture]
        > Silnylon Drip Guard
        >
        > - Poles - 3 oz (84 g) each - The four section, shock-corded poles
        > snap together very easily and feel very sturdy. They slide easily
        > into the jersey mesh pole sleeves, and contoured ends hold them
        > securely in the grommets on the hammock. When assembled, they form
        a
        > semi-circle to hold the hammock open wide and support the bugnet.
        >
        > [picture]
        > Pole Grommet
        >
        > [picture]
        > Jersey Mesh Pole Sleeve
        >
        > One minor change could improve the performance of the poles,
        though.
        > A few times when I removed the poles from the grommets, the
        > contoured end piece pulled out of the pole segment. Rather than
        > sliding back in, however, the shockcord knot pulled out with it
        and
        > I had to stuff the knot back in before the end piece would slide
        in.
        > Adding a bit more shockcord to the end, so the knot could be moved
        > about 1 in (2.5 cm) further into the pole, would alleviate this
        > problem.
        >
        > I also tried to use the hammock without the poles. First, I
        removed
        > the poles and flipped the hammock upside down, with the bugnet on
        > the bottom, and laid down. The hammock was very comfortable in
        this
        > mode. Without the poles, I could easily lay diagonally and get
        very
        > flat. Also in this mode, I tried some cold weather insulation (the
        > JacksRBetter No Sniveler and the Speer PeaPod) and both appeared
        to
        > function correctly. Although I cannot remove the bugnet to save
        > weight, this gives me confidence in the cold weather performance
        of
        > the Crazy Creek.
        >
        > I also tried the hammock by only installing one pole at the head
        > end. This was comfortable and would allow me to save 3 oz (84 g)
        of
        > pack weight by leaving a pole at home.
        >
        > - Tarp - 12-5/8 oz (356 g) - The tarp is basically a rectangle
        with
        > beaks at the ends. If the beaks were removed, the resulting
        recangle
        > would measure 98 x 39 in (249 x 99 cm). The 16 in (40.6 cm) beak
        > extends the length and contracts the width by varying amounts
        > depending on how the tarp is setup, so the listed measurements of
        77
        > x 104 in (193 x 260 cm) sound reasonable.
        > The tarp has one tie-out on each end of the ridgeline, one on each
        > end of the beak, three tie-outs down each long side, and two
        lifter
        > tie-outs on each broadside. At a minimum, the ridgeline, beaks and
        > corners must be staked for proper performance.
        >
        > [picture]
        > Crazy UltraLite Tarp
        >
        > [picture]
        > Closeup of Beak
        >
        > [picture]
        > Tarp Tie-Out
        >
        > [picture]
        > Tarp Lifter
        >
        > The directions state that "All Crazy Creek tarps come with
        accessory
        > cord, tent stakes, cord tensioners and Seamgrip. Tarp seams are
        > factory taped; use Seamgrip for additional protection or field
        > repairs." This tarp does not have taped seams and no Seamgrip was
        > included in the packaging. I used the easy-to-find customer
        service
        > address on the Crazy Creek website to ask about this, and got a
        > reply a few hours later saying that "The directions for the LEX
        and
        > LEX Lightweight are the same--the taped seams & seam sealer come
        > with the LEX. The LEX Lightweight has a sil-nylon (30D silicone
        > impregnated Cordura ripstop) Tarp, so no taped seams and no seam
        > sealer needed." I have never heard that no seamsealer is needed
        for
        > silnylon tarps; in fact, my experience has been the exact
        opposite.
        > I replied saying that I had already tested the ridgeline seam by
        > pouring water on it and watching it drip into a bowl, so this
        answer
        > seemed suspicious to me. Later that day, I got another email
        saying
        > that "I want to talk to our product folks on this. We'll get back
        > with you tomorrow, OK?"
        >
        > - The Good - Two emails from customer service on the same day
        as
        > my request. Promise of researching the right answer and a quick
        > response. Very impressive.
        > - The Bad - It looks like the information was incorrect. If I
        had
        > accepted this answer and taken the tarp into the field, I might be
        a
        > wet camper. In some cases, this mistake could be dangerous.
        > - I will update this situation as it develops, but I will not
        > rely on this tarp until the issue is resolved.
        >
        > First impression - I do not like this tarp. After the first setup,
        I
        > found it much more complicated and time-consuming than a hammock
        > tarp needs to be. First of all, it has 14 tie-out points, 8 of
        which
        > are necessary for proper coverage. I have used tarps with 4 tie-
        out
        > points that provide 15% more coverage than this tarp. This would
        > also eliminate some stakes and guylines, further reducing weight.
        In
        > my opinion, a simple 8 x 10 ft (2.4 x 3.0 m) tarp would be much
        > simpler to construct and provide more versatility in setup
        options.
        > Perhaps this opinion will change with further testing.
        >
        > - Guylines - 3-1/2 oz (100 g) total - This hammock includes a
        single
        > 82 ft (25 m) length of black guyline. No technical specifications
        > are included, but it appears to be standard braided synthetic
        cord.
        > The directions call for cutting to length and attaching the lines
        to
        > the tarp prior to use. Interestingly, though, the directions
        > recommend "6'-10' on ridgeline and 4'-6' on all other pullouts"
        (1.8-
        > 3.0 m and 1.2-1.8 m, respectively). If I had started cutting the
        > maximum recommended lengths for all tie-outs, I would have come up
        > 10' (1.8 m) short! Luckily, I didn't plan on using the lifters and
        I
        > used different lengths so I have 10' (1.8 m) left over.
        >
        > - Line Tensioners - 1/4 oz (6 g) total - Six common line
        tensioners
        > are included. I simply slid the tensioner up the line to tighten
        the
        > tarp. They worked well for the quick setup with no wind.
        >
        > - Stakes - 5/16 oz (12 g) each - Six 3-sided, 7 x .5 in ( 17.8 x
        1.3
        > cm), "Y" shaped stakes with notches to hold the guylines. These
        > stakes look great so far, but could benefit from a hole in the top
        > with a loop to make removing them easier. I was surprised that
        Crazy
        > Creek did not include a stakebag to protect the tarp and hammock
        > when packed.
        >
        > [picture]
        > "Y" Stake
        >
        > [picture]
        > Stake with Guyline
        >
        > - Stuff Sack - 1-3/8 oz (38 g) - Simple stuff sack with a
        drawstring
        > and cordlock at the top, and a Crazy Creek logo on the bottom.
        > Measures about 16 inches tall by 6 inches in diameter (40.6 x 15
        cm)
        > when stuffed.
        >
        > - Extra Bugnet. Square of bugnet to be used for repairs.
        >
        > - Instruction Sheet. The instructions are relatively clear and
        > include pictures. Unfortunately (as described above) the
        > instructions do not appear to match the actual product in some
        > cases. They also give no information for using the hammock as a
        > bivy, although this use is listed as a feature.
        >
        > Overall First Impression
        >
        > I was skeptical about this design at first, but now I'm intrigued.
        > This is the first hammock I have used with poles, and I find it
        very
        > comfortable in some configurations. It is very well made, with no
        > loose stitches or cosmetic blemishes. However, considering that a
        > competitor makes a full hammock shelter with tarp and bugnet that
        > weighs 15 oz (425 g), marketing this 58-3/4 oz (1664 g), one-
        person
        > setup as "the perfect ultra-lightweight camp hammock" seems to be
        a
        > stretch. Without getting into the semantics of drawing lines
        between
        > lightweight, ultralight, etc., I do not consider this an
        ultralight
        > shelter by common standards in the lightweight backpacking
        > community. I do, however, consider it a very interesting design
        that
        > I plan to explore more completely.
        >
        > Test Plan
        >
        > I will use the Crazy Crib in rainy, sunny, foggy, windy and
        possibly
        > snowy conditions. I will test it while lounging in the backyard
        and
        > on several 1-3 day hiking trips to Los Padres National Forest and
        > the Big Sur area, and at least one weekend trip to Yosemite
        National
        > Park. If all goes well, I would like to take a weeklong trip to
        the
        > Wonderland Trail in Washington State. I will test the hammock in
        > temperatures ranging from 30-80 F (-1-27 C), and at elevations
        from
        > sea level to ~10,000 ft (3,000 m).
        >
        > I will evaluate the Crib on the basis of comfort, durability, and
        > performance.
        >
        > Comfort.
        > - How comfortable is the hammock? Can I lay flat? Can I sleep on
        the
        > diagonal? Can I sleep on my side?
        > - Can I use the hammock as a lounger? Is it stable?
        > - How can I stay warm in the hammock? Does a pad in the Crazy
        > Creek's pocket cause condensation like the previous pads I have
        > used? Will the JRB underquilts fit the Crazy Creek?
        > - Do the Crazy Creek's comfort and ease of use justify the
        > additional weight over similar shelters? Do the extra luxury
        > features like the poles holding up the bugnet actually add to the
        > Crazy Creek's comfort?
        >
        > Durability.
        > - Does the hammock body show any wear over time? Does the body
        show
        > any abrasions over time, especially after using it as a bivy? Do
        any
        > threads fray?
        > - Do any holes or tears appear in the bugnet?
        > - Do the straps stretch, become disfigured, or lose enough
        friction
        > to slip through the buckles?
        > - Does the tarp remain waterproof throughout the test period?
        >
        > Performance.
        > - Do the supports leave marks or damage upon the trees?
        > - Will the Crazy Creek function on my hammock stand? Will it
        connect
        > to "non-traditional" supports like corner fence posts, pavilion
        > supports and rock-climbing cams?
        > - How easy is the Crazy Creek to set up as a bivy? How comfortable
        > is it?
        > - Can I set up the tarp separately in the rain?
        > - Does the tarp actually keep the hammock dry in the rain? Does it
        > function effectively in windblown rain?
        > - Does the tarp provide enough coverage to cook under during
        > rainstorms?
        > - Are there any areas where water drips down the support ropes
        onto
        > the hammock?
        > - How easy is the hammock to pack up when breaking camp?
        > - How easy is the packed hammock to store in my backpack?
        >
        > In sum, does the Crazy Creek's extra comfort convince me to
        replace
        > my current setup as my shelter of choice?
        >
        > What I Like (So Far)
        >
        > - Very easy to set up
        > - Comfortable (Very comfortable when used with an inflatable pad)
        > - Mesh pockets are convenient and actually usable
        >
        > What I Don't Like (So Far)
        >
        > - The tarp
        > - The weight
        > - I can't sleep on the diagonal
        >
        > I would like to thank Crazy Creek and BackpackGearTest.org for the
        > opportunity to hang in this Crib.
        >
        > Jeff Jackson
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.