Like many things the answer is always X+1 with X being the number you currently own but a number that can change over time. Some people have too many hockey cards while others have too many Funko Pops. We probably have too many hammocks. But the formula is right there in the first line, so… yeah. NMBL and I each bought another hammock.
Of course we want to try them out before heading off on our next trip. It would be irresponsible if we didn’t. That meant us walking down to our local park to co-opt a few trees and get a feel for our new hanging beds. Overall we’re both happy with the new purchases. We’ve been a few years with some go-to hammocks so it is time to be in new beds as wear and tear take slowly their toll on the old ones. Still, the old ones are serviceable. Did we need to? Not necessarily. However we both had something in the back of our minds that help us justify the purchases. Bug nets.
I’ve been using the ENO Double Nest almost exclusively since day one of us hammocking. NMBL has used the ENO as well as the Dutchware Half-Wit (my dalliance outside of ENO). Both hammocks have been good. The ENO’s solution to bugs, however, is an unwieldy external bug net that you have to slip over your completed sleep system. It’s a pain in the neck to get in and out of, it limits your diagonal lay, and it interferes with my belly sling. All of these things make it a pain to deploy and use. This is not good when you’re in a heavy mosquito or black fly situation like we were on the tail end of our last trip.
NMBL had her issues with the Half-Wit at the same time. Yes, it has an integrated bug net but only for your top half. It was hot as heck camping beside Lillooet Lake so sleeping without a top-quilt was nice… except she was getting eaten alive from the waist down if she kicked off her covers. It made for a restless sleep for her. That’s never good when you have a day of riding ahead of you. So, what to do?
It was time for us to get into the world of integrated bug nets. NMBL was the first to pull the trigger with a purchase of the aptly named Hammock Gear Bug Net Hammock. It’s a well put together hammock with some nice finishing. For $130US you get an 11′ long symmetrical gathered-end hammock with an integrated bug net that can be unzipped and stored in one end when the bugs aren’t as buggy. It’s got under quilt hooks to keep you insulation in place, easy to grab zipper pulls, a simple stuff sack, integrated ridge line, and continuous loop ends with carabiners on each end. NMBL opted for some extra storage with mesh peak-pockets for either end. It’s 58″ wide, quadruple stitched, and uses a hexagonal ripstop nylon fabric. All in all it’s a solid hammock and during our test hang she was quite comfortable.
I waited a bit longer to dig around and figure out what I wanted. Turns out I’m a bit more minimalist. My choice was the Warbonnet Eldorado asymmetrical bug net integrated hammock with triangulated tie-outs on one side that keep the bug net off your face at night. It’s a simple approach to hammocking being a gathered end asym with nothing more than a stuff sack, integrated ridge line, and continuous loops at either end. I supplied my own ‘biners and at $125US it’s overall a great hammock at a good price. It’s fabric is a “traditional rip stop weave with a bias-directional diamond grid to create a fabric that has an incredibly comfortable cotton-like texture” according to the website. I’ll be darned if they aren’t right about that! The bug net is fully removable on the Eldorado giving you the option to better see the stars on bug-less nights. My only real niggle is the fact they don’t put in a nice zipper pull making zipping up the bug net a bit fiddly from the inside. I’ll add a couple myself but it just seems like an oversight. That aside, I’m happy with my 11′ long x 62″ wide Warbonnet. These guys are considered one of the big players in the hammock world and the Eldorado’s affordable elegance shows why.
We’re heading out to go camping near Tahsis on Vancouver Island very soon so we will both have a better idea of how we like the hammocks after a few nights sleep. With that in mind we’re both looking forward to trying them out! I’ll report back when we get home.