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Request for Edit: IR - Crazy Creek LEX - Jeff Jackson

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Jul 2, 2006
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      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.



      --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff" <jwj32542@...>
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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).
      > 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-
      > bug netting canopy with 70D coated ripstop nylon bottom, along
      > Easton 7075-T9 aluminum poles and an internal sleeve that accepts
      > 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
      > 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
      > (115.6 x 265.4 cm) with a matching bugnet mesh sewn on top.
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > knees were locked. Although the directions say that "A few minor
      > adjustments may be necessary to get the desired comfort level,"
      > mention nothing about the important role that sag plays in hanging
      > hammock.
      > Second, the pad pocket is parallel to the centerline of the
      > so it does not provide insulation if laying diagonally.
      > 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
      > 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.
      > 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
      > to grab the zipper head. This was a bit tricky and made closing
      > 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.
      > situation is repeated in reverse for exiting the hammock. Also,
      > laying in the hammock I sometimes wanted to open the bugnet to the
      > breeze, but the bugnet does not easily remain open. Putting a
      > 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
      > in the Crazy Creek this has proven to be a minor issue. I hope to
      > test this under varied conditions, though. Also, this material
      > to be heavier than necessary, which adds to the weight but may
      > 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
      > but overall I really like the straps and buckle setup.
      > The straps also include a small circle of silnylon with a 1 in
      > 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
      > 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,
      > 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
      > I had to stuff the knot back in before the end piece would slide
      > 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
      > the poles and flipped the hammock upside down, with the bugnet on
      > the bottom, and laid down. The hammock was very comfortable in
      > mode. Without the poles, I could easily lay diagonally and get
      > flat. Also in this mode, I tried some cold weather insulation (the
      > JacksRBetter No Sniveler and the Speer PeaPod) and both appeared
      > function correctly. Although I cannot remove the bugnet to save
      > weight, this gives me confidence in the cold weather performance
      > 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)
      > pack weight by leaving a pole at home.
      > - Tarp - 12-5/8 oz (356 g) - The tarp is basically a rectangle
      > beaks at the ends. If the beaks were removed, the resulting
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > silnylon tarps; in fact, my experience has been the exact
      > 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
      > seemed suspicious to me. Later that day, I got another email
      > 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
      > 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
      > accepted this answer and taken the tarp into the field, I might be
      > 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,
      > 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
      > are necessary for proper coverage. I have used tarps with 4 tie-
      > points that provide 15% more coverage than this tarp. This would
      > also eliminate some stakes and guylines, further reducing weight.
      > 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
      > Perhaps this opinion will change with further testing.
      > - Guylines - 3-1/2 oz (100 g) total - This hammock includes a
      > 82 ft (25 m) length of black guyline. No technical specifications
      > are included, but it appears to be standard braided synthetic
      > The directions call for cutting to length and attaching the lines
      > the tarp prior to use. Interestingly, though, the directions
      > recommend "6'-10' on ridgeline and 4'-6' on all other pullouts"
      > 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
      > used different lengths so I have 10' (1.8 m) left over.
      > - Line Tensioners - 1/4 oz (6 g) total - Six common line
      > are included. I simply slid the tensioner up the line to tighten
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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-
      > setup as "the perfect ultra-lightweight camp hammock" seems to be
      > stretch. Without getting into the semantics of drawing lines
      > lightweight, ultralight, etc., I do not consider this an
      > shelter by common standards in the lightweight backpacking
      > community. I do, however, consider it a very interesting design
      > I plan to explore more completely.
      > Test Plan
      > I will use the Crazy Crib in rainy, sunny, foggy, windy and
      > snowy conditions. I will test it while lounging in the backyard
      > 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
      > Park. If all goes well, I would like to take a weeklong trip to
      > Wonderland Trail in Washington State. I will test the hammock in
      > temperatures ranging from 30-80 F (-1-27 C), and at elevations
      > 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
      > 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
      > any abrasions over time, especially after using it as a bivy? Do
      > threads fray?
      > - Do any holes or tears appear in the bugnet?
      > - Do the straps stretch, become disfigured, or lose enough
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
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