I write often about the MLD Duomid tent that I have and use frequently. I can say that for me this is the best tent available (silnylon version) – Size, weight and cost, it’s hard to beat. With that said, there are times when I long for the loving embrace of a hammock again. Back a few years ago when the majority of my hiking was done in woods I had a Hennessy hyperlite asym deluxe. Large and light, easy to setup and extremely comfortable. I slept better in a hammock than I did and do at home. I traded in the Hennessy for the Warbonnet XLC, no real reason here, just read a few reviews that the Warbonnet was better. I can’t really say that I thought it was better to be honest, the overall package of the Hennessy in my mind, was a bit more for me than the Warbonnet in terms of simplicity and comfort. Though, no question the XLC is a great hammock and well built.
Now, I’m not going to go deep into the different details here in why one is better than the other so on and so forth.. that is really a “each his own” discussion, I just preferred the “simpleness” of the Hennessy and the bottom entry that I really liked. Now, what I didn’t care for was having to buy an under quilt, and all the extra mess which that entails. Also, with most hammocks if you can’t find two trees your screwed. On long rainy days, the Hennessy starts to become slightly claustrophobic as the standard tarp is rather small. You can buy a larger tarp, but then the benefits of ultralight hiking are lost. The Hennessy hyperlite total kit weight is around 990grams. Quite ok for the comfort. However, once you add on a larger tarp, and under quilt your easily up to 1800grams. Not so nice.
Anyway, for more flexibility I went strictly tent camping and gave up the hammock altogether. Now after 3 years of tent camping I have decided to incorporate hammock camping back for hiking in the woods. I just really miss the ease and comfort that hammocks can afford. But this time I wanted to make sure that my hammock kit would be able to handle most if not all occasions and still keep my weight down. Some of my demands are as follows:
- I want a hammock that is complete with everything that doesn’t weigh more than 1 kilo (2.2lbs)
- Tarp has to be a little bigger than the standard Hennessy tarp
- Have the option of taking off the net for warm, bug free evenings
- Easy to setup and tear down
- Big enough for me
- Can use a regular sleeping mat in
- Can setup on the ground if I need to and still be comfortable
I recently got my hands on the Exped scout combi UL which weighs roughly 1 kilo complete. It’s a nice hammock with decent features. So far I have slept in it just a couple of nights and my first impression is that it fits the bill in some aspects while falling short in others. It is however good enough for me to keep and continue to use for a while. I will write a full review of this item once I get some more hiking time with it.
My first nights sleep in the Exped Scout Combi UL. Not too bad. I certainly miss the hammock love when camping in the woods.