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Reviews > Camp Chairs and Seating > Other > WindPouch GO Inflatable Hammock > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence
WINDPOUCH GO - INFLATABLE HAMMOCK
I have more than 20 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.
Image taken from manufacturer's website
DESCRIPTION & FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The WindPouch Go is an inflatable hammock that does not require a pump. The outer shell is made of Hex-RS 70D ripstop nylon with a DWR coating. There are two inner plastic bags which make up either side of the hammock as seen in the photo above. There isn't anything special about the plastic. I would compare it to a similar strength of plastic that a bed mattress might be wrapped in. It is removable and replaceable. The manufacturer suggests switching it out every 3 to 6 months of active use. They sell replacements on-line for $12.99 USD. The plastic bag is tucked into the shell around a hard plastic band. This band is part of the WindLock Technology and is the magic that helps seal in air for 6 to 8 hours, so the manufacturer claims. The hammock is ultimately sealed by rolling this end 3 to 6 times and then linking the ends together with a high tensile strength webbing and plastic locking buckle. This is the same mechanism as sealing a dry bag. The buckle has a safety feature that requires a piece in the middle of the buckle to be pushed in order to free it, so there is no way it can unlock itself unintentionally. Other features include an integrated head rest and a mesh pocket. The hammock can support up to 249 kg (550 lbs). Therefore, it should be able to handle a two person load. I will definitely be testing this feature. Also included is a carrying sack and an anodized aluminum stake and carabiner. I didn't receive a carabiner, but the stake comes with cordelette, which I was able to girth hitch to the buckle closure, so I don't really have a need for the carabiner. I gather the stake is to be used as an anchor, so that an unattended inflatable hammock doesn't fly away on its own volition. Good idea!
TRYING IT OUT
Concise instructions with pictograms were displayed on the outer packaging that came with the WindPouch and I found a video on the manufacturer's website that reinforced the inflation technique. After a few tries I had it figured out. In a zero-wind situation it took me repeating the scooping step three times to get it 75% inflated, which is what was recommended as there needs to be room left to roll the end. I was pretty happy with how easy it was to set up. Following this set up, I promptly dived into it and the big smile on my face said it all. I can't wait to bring it out into the backcountry with me where I plan to use it the most. My partner climbed in next to me and low and behold it was still inflated.
I see no defects in craftsmanship off the bat, everything looks in working order. All that was missing was a carabiner, but like I said before, the stake line, girth hitched to the buckle secures the hammock just as well if not better than a carabiner. I look at it as one less thing to carry into the backcountry. This may account for the discrepancy in the listed and measured weights that I encountered.
SUMMARYSo far I'm impressed with how little effort it took to fill the WindPouch Go with air. This is really an instant inflatable hammock. It is much more effort to inflate my air mattress, that is for certain. I have no concerns at this point. But of course over the next couple of months I will be testing all the claims such as, will it hold the air for 6 to 8 hours? Will I be able to sleep comfortably through the night on this hammock or is it best used for shorter recreational lengths of time. The results of my first test phase will be posted in approximately two months.
I brought the WindPouch Go on the following trips:
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I brought this seating arrangement on a 7-day mountaineering trip and I believe the manufacturer got its pay back in free advertising. Picture a group of rugged mountaineers pulling up a seat at the end of the day to put their feet up and have some R&R. Some oohs and ahhs as swanky foldable chairs and even some lawn chairs are pulled out all of which were considered luxury items in the setting. And then … there’s me … I pull out what looks like a giant wind sock and in a few minutes have a comfortable sofa. I was the envy and conversation piece for the rest of the week. Feet up and enjoying a little R&R as you can see in the photos.
Now on to the technical stuff. I was pleased to be able to inflate the WindPouch without too much difficulty. I have long arms, which might have been an advantage to employing the technique of holding one compartment of the pouch open, the other closed and swooshing the air in several times for each side. After that rolling up the end until fully inflated like a dry bag was easy. The clasp is easy and has a safety feature for unlocking so that it doesn’t accidently unlatch. This safety feature is pushing a latch with one hand while pinching the clasp so that it becomes a two-handed operation. I found it easier to fill the bag up when it was windy, on the glacier I would just hang out my arms with one compartment open in a static position until it was filled with air, then do the same for the other compartment.
I was happy to have the stake, but didn’t trust it with the wind, so I always had another means of securing it, such as weighting it with a backpack. I didn't want to take a chance as where we were camped at the toe of the glacier, there was a cliff on one side and a glacier on the other, so if the wind were to pick it up, I probably would never see it again. I didn't receive the carabiner that the stake was supposed to attach to and when I contacted the manufacturer they said they no longer market the WindPouch Go with a carabiner as it was not necessary, which I agree with. They did offer to send me one though.
Sitting and lying in the WindPouch Go hammock was comfortable and enjoyable. The headrest is key and I liked that my feet were actually elevated after a long hike. When temperatures cooled as one would expect the air would condense resulting in the WindPouch feeling like it was losing air. Not a big deal, just had to add more air. I had some really warm temperatures with the sun beating down and at the elevation we were camped not a tree of shade was near to hide from the sun. The UV was intense and at that moment I found I was sweating everywhere that I was in contact with the WindPouch. My entire backside, head to toe, was wet with perspiration. So, I learned that this was a non-breathable seating arrangement. A bit picky I know, but worth mentioning.
I did backpack the WindPouch and its 1.3 kg (3 lbs) of weight in to the backcountry. The above shows one option for attaching the WindPouch to my backpack, which involved slinging the top of my pack with the pouch's shoulder strap, the other option was to secure it in the bottom straps of the backpack. Both of these worked well. Even though it packs fairly small for what it is it takes up too much volume inside my pack.I did try it with a two-person load, which it holds. But, I don’t find this arrangement comfortable for very long as we’re propped up against each other in the middle and it was more awkward than not. Sitting on it like a sofa was okay. I just found that I couldn’t fully lean back and relax as there wasn't enough of a back rest. The pocket attached on the side came in handy to put my camera and the pouch sack, among other odds and ends.
I did have one mishap with the WindPouch. On my rock climbing outing I thought it would be a great idea to set up to belay my partner in a relaxing pose. However, I mistook the environment as being inflatable friendly. I seemed to overlook the fact that I was surrounded by super sharp rocks and as I was gathering air into my WindPouch I took one swipe and heard a rip in the nylon and instant deflation. There was a gaping hole in the outer nylon and of course the inner plastic. I forgot the patches it came with so, I was done for that trip and never did get to belay from it. I fixed it at home with one of the patches it came with (see photos). Then I put Tenacious Tape repair tape on the nylon. This was not included with the patch kit, but I think it would be a good addition for the manufacturer to consider. The instructions were to make sure the site was clean and then wait 10 minutes before inflating. I inflated it much later that day and it was good to go again. I haven’t had any issues since. At this point I would say it is very durable as it was my fault that I draped it across a razor sharp rock.
In short I have enjoyed the WindPouch Go hammock. It has been a great companion in the backcountry where people are least expecting to see it. It was fantastic for lounging in and putting my feet up after a long day of hiking. While I was concerned when I punctured it on a sharp rock, I was pleased how easy it was to fix. For the next test phase I have a trip to Jamaica planned where I will be using it for beach life and after that comes winter, where my options for use may be diminished. Check out my long-term observations in another couple months.Likes
- Easy to set
- Not breathable in direct sunlight (very sweaty!)
LONG TERM FIELD CONDITIONS
I didn't have a chance to use the WindPouch Go locally as weather had since been consistently below freezing and snowing. However, I got some great use out of it in Jamaica on a two week vacation. Temperatures were happily around 28 C (82 F) and weather was sunny as expected.
During the field report I had encountered some very hot temperatures that were noticeably sweaty on the back from the unbreathable air bag. Of course not unexpected. So, to mitigate this in Jamaica, I draped my towel over it first before reclining on it. This was a tremendous improvement and as a result I did not notice a sweaty back at all. It was a fantastic companion on the beach. A great conversation piece again with other beach patrons wondering where they could get one. I was told I looked like I was really comfortable and indeed I was. Nearly every time, shortly after reclining and attempting to read my book on the beach, I would fall asleep as it was just so comfortable.
Other notable findings were that it packed up well for travel abroad and 'trekking' out onto the beach. The stake in the stand effectively held the WindPouch from blowing away. The side pocket was a brilliant idea for holding my odds and ends from getting sandy on the beach. Filling it with air was as reported before: no issues. No new mishaps occurred and my previous patch-work was evidently effective.
I give this product two thumbs up. Lounging and relaxing in the backcountry and traveling abroad are all things I would do again with the WindPouch Go. It's fairly light for what it is and doesn't take up a lot of space. It is easy to repair and had I not draped it across a razor sharp rock I probably wouldn't even have needed to repair it yet. While it wouldn't replace my camp chair for things such as eating, it most definitely was well worth the extra weight for the luxury lounging afterwards.
I'd like to thank WindPouch, LLC and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to take part in this test series.
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Reviews > Camp Chairs and Seating > Other > WindPouch GO Inflatable Hammock > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence
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