Request for Edit: IR - Crazy Creek LEX - Jeff Jackson
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, "Jeff" <jwj32542@...>
> For your editing pleasure...
> I tried to get the Yahoo-isms, but it's also in the test folder at
> Crazy Creek
> Crib LEX Lightweight with UltraLite Tarp
> Initial Report - 20 June 2006
> 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 mildmany
> 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 Edum
> 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-
> bug netting canopy with 70D coated ripstop nylon bottom, alongwith
> Easton 7075-T9 aluminum poles and an internal sleeve that acceptsa
> sleeping pad for added comfort. Also inside are two accessoryUltraLite
> 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. Includesin
> 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.[Listed
> specs 44 x 98 in (110 x 245 cm)] A zipper runs down the center ofinto
> 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.than
> 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.the
> 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.my
> Support Channel Showing Reinforcements
> 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 minorthey
> adjustments may be necessary to get the desired comfort level,"
> mention nothing about the important role that sag plays in hanginga
> Second, the pad pocket is parallel to the centerline of the
> so it does not provide insulation if laying diagonally.(Apparently
> this hammock breaks with convention and was not designed to lay onmy
> 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 theUsing
> 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 veryfeet
> 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.
> 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 closingthe
> bugnet at that end a minor hassle; I had to grab the edges of theThis
> hammock to pull myself to the end so I could reach the zipper.
> situation is repeated in reverse for exiting the hammock. Also,when
> laying in the hammock I sometimes wanted to open the bugnet to thesmall
> breeze, but the bugnet does not easily remain open. Putting a
> velcro loop near the grommets that could wrap around the pole tonights
> hold the bugnet open would resolve this issue with little added
> weight or complexity.
> 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 toseems
> test this under varied conditions, though. Also, this material
> to be heavier than necessary, which adds to the weight but mayalso
> allow it to perform better as a bivy.period),
> - 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.(2.5
> The straps also include a small circle of silnylon with a 1 in
> cm) slit in the middle. These drip guards are designed to preventa
> water from traveling down the straps and onto the hammock.
> Support Buckles
> 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.though.
> Pole Grommet
> 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, theand
> 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 slidein.
> Adding a bit more shockcord to the end, so the knot could be movedremoved
> about 1 in (2.5 cm) further into the pole, would alleviate this
> I also tried to use the hammock without the poles. First, I
> the poles and flipped the hammock upside down, with the bugnet onthis
> the bottom, and laid down. The hammock was very comfortable in
> mode. Without the poles, I could easily lay diagonally and getvery
> flat. Also in this mode, I tried some cold weather insulation (theto
> JacksRBetter No Sniveler and the Speer PeaPod) and both appeared
> function correctly. Although I cannot remove the bugnet to saveof
> weight, this gives me confidence in the cold weather performance
> the Crazy Creek.of
> 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.with
> - Tarp - 12-5/8 oz (356 g) - The tarp is basically a rectangle
> beaks at the ends. If the beaks were removed, the resultingrecangle
> would measure 98 x 39 in (249 x 99 cm). The 16 in (40.6 cm) beak77
> 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.lifter
> 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 andaccessory
> corners must be staked for proper performance.
> Crazy UltraLite Tarp
> Closeup of Beak
> Tarp Tie-Out
> Tarp Lifter
> The directions state that "All Crazy Creek tarps come with
> cord, tent stakes, cord tensioners and Seamgrip. Tarp seams areservice
> 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 aand
> reply a few hours later saying that "The directions for the LEX
> LEX Lightweight are the same--the taped seams & seam sealer comefor
> 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 exactopposite.
> I replied saying that I had already tested the ridgeline seam byanswer
> pouring water on it and watching it drip into a bowl, so this
> seemed suspicious to me. Later that day, I got another emailsaying
> that "I want to talk to our product folks on this. We'll get backas
> 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 quickhad
> 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 bea
> wet camper. In some cases, this mistake could be dangerous.I
> - 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 hammockwhich
> 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-out
> points that provide 15% more coverage than this tarp. This wouldIn
> 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 muchoptions.
> simpler to construct and provide more versatility in setup
> Perhaps this opinion will change with further testing.single
> - Guylines - 3-1/2 oz (100 g) total - This hammock includes a
> 82 ft (25 m) length of black guyline. No technical specificationscord.
> are included, but it appears to be standard braided synthetic
> The directions call for cutting to length and attaching the linesto
> the tarp prior to use. Interestingly, though, the directions(1.8-
> 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 theI
> 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.tensioners
> - Line Tensioners - 1/4 oz (6 g) total - Six common line
> are included. I simply slid the tensioner up the line to tightenthe
> tarp. They worked well for the quick setup with no wind.1.3
> - 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. TheseCrazy
> 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 hammockdrawstring
> when packed.
> "Y" Stake
> 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.cm)
> Measures about 16 inches tall by 6 inches in diameter (40.6 x 15
> when stuffed.very
> - 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 noperson
> 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 bea
> stretch. Without getting into the semantics of drawing linesbetween
> lightweight, ultralight, etc., I do not consider this anultralight
> shelter by common standards in the lightweight backpackingthat
> community. I do, however, consider it a very interesting design
> I plan to explore more completely.possibly
> Test Plan
> I will use the Crazy Crib in rainy, sunny, foggy, windy and
> snowy conditions. I will test it while lounging in the backyardand
> on several 1-3 day hiking trips to Los Padres National Forest andNational
> 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 tothe
> Wonderland Trail in Washington State. I will test the hammock infrom
> temperatures ranging from 30-80 F (-1-27 C), and at elevations
> sea level to ~10,000 ft (3,000 m).the
> I will evaluate the Crib on the basis of comfort, durability, and
> - How comfortable is the hammock? Can I lay flat? Can I sleep on
> diagonal? Can I sleep on my side?show
> - 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?
> - Does the hammock body show any wear over time? Does the body
> any abrasions over time, especially after using it as a bivy? Doany
> threads fray?friction
> - Do any holes or tears appear in the bugnet?
> - Do the straps stretch, become disfigured, or lose enough
> to slip through the buckles?connect
> - Does the tarp remain waterproof throughout the test period?
> - 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, paviliononto
> 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
> - Are there any areas where water drips down the support ropes
> the hammock?replace
> - 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