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Reviews > Shelters > Hammocks > Grand Trunk Nano 7 Hammock > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Grand Trunk
NANO-7 Hammock

Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan


Page Contents:

Initial Report:

August 25, 2009

Tester Information

Name:
Gail Staisil
Age: 57
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 145 lb (66 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 19 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

Manufacturer
Grand Trunk
Website http://www.grandtrunkgoods.com
Model NANO-7
Color
Charcoal Gray
Fabric
Rip-stop nylon
Capacity
Up to 300 lb (136 kg)
Size
Single Person
Manufacturer Dimensions 
9 ft long x 4 ft wide (2.74 m x 1.22 m)
Manufacturer  Weight 6.7 oz (190 g) with carabiners
Tested Weight 
6.8 oz (193 g) with carabiners
Model Year 2009
MSRP $69.99 US

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

Storage sack for NANO-7 Hammock
The Grand Trunk NANO-7 Hammock arrived in great condition without any defects. It was enclosed in a small rip-stop nylon sack (7.5 in X 5.25 in) with a tiny red carabiner near the drawcord closure. When I took the hammock out of the sack I found that the bag is actually attached to the hammock. This likely is for convenience so that the storage sack is always available. I'm not sure what the red carabiner is for but it is likely for attaching the hammock sack to another object such as a backpack.
Storage sack is attached to side of hammock
The NANO-7 is touted to be the "lightest hammock on the market" by the manufacturer. It weighs in at 6.7 oz (190 g) with the carabiners and is rated for a capacity of 300 lb (136 kg) by a single person. I only weigh about half that amount so I anticipated that it should hold me fine.

The hammock is charcoal gray in color. It appears to be made with a very simple rectangular design (9 ft/2.74 m long and 4 ft/1.22 m wide/tested measurements were very close) that are cinched on each end. The ends have multiple rows (three) of stitching that form approximately a 2 in (5 cm) casing. Blue-colored carabiners are threaded through the casing on each end. Each carabiner is about 3 in (7.6 cm) long and has a "D" asymmetrical shape. They have straight gates and are of the non-locking variety. The carabiners have printing on both sides, one side says "Grand Trunk" and the other side is worded "Not for climbing purposes".

The hammock did not arrive with any instructions nor a rope hanging kit but the latter is available for purchase. There are both visual and written basic instructions on the website for hanging with rope. Instructions from the web

Since the available (for purchase) hanging kit uses two 10 ft (3.05 m) sections of pre-knotted 4.5 mm (0.18 in) cordage it can also easily be made by the consumer. That is what I did. I purchased rope from a local sports shop (they only had 5 mm/0.20 in though) and I knotted it with overhand knots much like the illustration on the website.

The rope illustration or guide shows to double each section of rope in half and tie overhand knots approximately equally spaced apart with the double section of rope. The next step would be to wrap the rope around a sturdy object such as a tree. Then the end of the rope is inserted into the loop created by the doubled rope. It should be pulled snug and then the carabiner should be hooked between two of the knots in the length of the rope.

On the web instructions the manufacturer does warn to make sure that a person enters and exits the hammock with both feet on the ground. They also warn to use at your own risk. There are further notes on the website for using the hammock. Basically it warns to make sure the hammock is mounted securely, check that the hammock is hung level, then sit in the hammock and hold the front side, pivot on your backend and swing the legs in and then lay back and relax.

I am mostly familiar with hammock procedures as I own and use a sleeping hammock on some of my trips in warm weather. However, the latter is quite different and has more features.

 

Trying it Out

Grand Trunk NANO-7 Hammock
I have two huge Red Pine trees in my backyard so I headed outdoors to set up the hammock. I had previously prepared the rope sections so I placed a knotted length of rope around the first tree and discovered that the rope was slightly too short to both fit around this massive tree and to be able to hook the carabiner through the last loop.

I needed to improvise so I checked my limited rope inventory and found rope that was similar in size and strength. I just threaded a new piece between the last knotted loop and made a new knot in the new section. I then pulled the loose ends through the looped end of the rope and pulled it snug. I hooked the carabiner through the newly improvised loop.

This was a temporary measure as I had to make sure the other side of the hammock was fastened in an equal manner. I placed the other section of rope around the other tree and found that it was big enough so I made sure it was snug and then attached the carabiner. I visually checked that the hammock was somewhat even. My yard is very sloped so I checked it out as best as I could and was successful.
Leg room at total width
I doubt that I will utilize trees as big as the ones in my yard for hanging the hammock while out in the wilderness. I will most likely purchase a longer length of rope for my own trees in my yard. I should have taken into account the diameter of the trees before I bought the rope. I could of took out some of the knots in the rope to add more length but I figured I would just have to put them back in again for use with smaller trees.

The NANO-7 is a much smaller hammock in width than I am used to but it seemed perfect for a little rest or a place to read. I was comfortable for the few minutes I was in it but I can see why it isn't made for sleeping as there is little room to move about or turn over. 

The rope I used added 5.6 oz (159 g) to the weight of the hammock to make it a total of 12.4 oz (352 g), not bad for extra weight in my pack.


Care

Fastened
There is a warning on the website to not wear shoes, or use sharp objects or flammable items inside or near the hammock. A folded ribbon tag inside the stuff sack also has printed warnings to use the hammock with caution and that there is a risk of falling and the maximum weight capacity is 300 lb (136 kg).

Printed symbols on the ribbon also reiterate th
e warnings from the website. The ribbon tag also suggests basic washing instructions. They are simply to hand wash and hang to dry. The hammock is under warranty for 10 years by the manufacturer.
 
So far, the NANO-7 looks to be a handy place to relax. I will pack it along with my regular gear for the next four months of backpacking in addition to using it in my backyard. It should be fun!




 
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Field Report:

November 10, 2009

USA Locations and Conditions

During the field test period, I have used the NANO-7 Hammock during six backpacking excursions for a total of 21 trail days. In addition, I have set it up and used it in my backyard a few times. Locations ranged from and included boreal and deciduous forest communities, backcountry lakes, islands and more. Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to approximately 1400 ft (427 m).

Trip 1 - Late-August Backpacking Trip:

Location: Isle Royale National Park - an island in Lake Superior, Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 40.6 mi (65 km)
Length of Trip: 6 days/5 nights
Pack Weight: 32 lb (14.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Heavy rain, clouds, sunny
Precipitation: 2.14 in (5.44 cm)A quick rest on a cold day!
Temperature Range: 39 F (4 C) to 73 F (23 C)


Trip 2 - Early-September Solo Backpacking Trip:

Location: Grand Island National Recreation Area - Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 13.3 mi (21.4 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night
Pack Weight: 26.5 lb (12 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny!
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 54 F (12 C) to 81 F (27 C)


Trip 3 - Mid-September Solo Backpacking Trip:

Location: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 42.4 mi (68 km)
Length of Trip: 4 days/3 nights
Pack Weight: 31 lb (14 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, sunny 
Precipitation: None 
Temperature Range: 36 F (2 C) to 75 F (24 C)


Trip 4 - Late-September Solo Backpacking Trip:

Location: Grand Island National Recreation Area - Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail/Bushwhack
Distance: 18 mi (29 km)
Length of Trip: 3 days/2 nights
Pack Weight: 27.5 lb (12.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, sunny 
Precipitation: None 
Temperature Range: 44 F (7 C) to 73 F (23 C)

 
Trip 5 - Early-October Backpacking Trip:

Location: North Country Trail, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 30.3 mi (49 km)
Length of Trip: 3 days/3 nights
Pack Weight: 29 lb (13 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, rain
Precipitation: 0.58 in (1.47 cm) rain
Temperature Range: 32 F (0 C) to 47 F (8 C)


Trip 6 - Mid-October Backpacking Trip:

Location: Craig Lake Wilderness and McCormick Wilderness, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 14 mi (22.5 km)
Length of Trip: 3 days/2 nights
Pack Weight: 27 lb (12 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, windy
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 27 F (-3 C) to 52 F (11 C)

Performance in the Field


Hanging in the Backcountry
Reading during the evening light at Isle Royale
Since I was leaving for a backpack trip a few days after the hammock arrived, I decided to purchase a longer length of rope to make hanging the hammock more functional. I purchased 50 ft (15.24 m) of 5 mm (0.20 in) accessory cordage and cut it into two pieces with my knife. I then folded each section in half and knotted the cordage to fashion loops.

I knew I was heading for a place that had many shallow-rooted trees due to the earth being made out of solid rock in many places (Isle Royale National Park). This would limit my choice for places to hang the hammock. I quickly found that the additional length of rope worked to my advantage on the island. 

I quickly fell in love with how easy this hammock is to hang. After sizing up potential trees I can hang the hammock with a lot of flexibility in how far apart the trees have to be. The simple knots in the doubled rope give me many options.

During that first trip with the hammock, I have to say my favorite spot for hanging the hammock was very close to the shore of Lake Superior. It was very calming to hear the lake while I lay there reading and journaling.

Camp at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
During my second, third and fourth backcountry trips I trekked very close to Lake Superior as well (two trips to Grand Island and one to Pictured Rocks). As soon as I set up camp I would hang the hammock and lie down for more than a few uninterrupted minutes.

The hammock felt so wonderful against my back and took all of the trail ache from my body. I kept thinking "This is the life!" as a way to relax after tough miles on the trail.

After a little rest I would leave the hammock and continue with my chores and then get back in the hammock for an hour or more while reading and journaling. It also was neat to check out the sky overhead and the activity around me (normally watching birds and small critters).

The empty Nano-7 billowing in the windDuring my sixth trip the weather was very cool and windy. I still put the hammock up each day but lined the hammock with a Z-Rest pad to make it more comfortable. During the second day of this trip the winds were rather strong as we camped on a small peninsula. I limited my stay in the hammock to short sessions. I took the pad out when I wasn't in the hammock as I didn't want it to blow away.The hammock billowed in the wind in between as shown at right.


Easy to Pack, Carry, and Use

First and foremost, the weight of the hammock and the quick set-up makes it practical to take along on any trip. I especially enjoy the set-up aspect because when I want to set it up there is no fiddling with knots and such and I can be in the hammock as quick as I want. The hammock easily deploys from the stuff sack and vice versa. Since I always move my camp site each day I always take the hammock down the evening prior to departure. That keeps the hammock and cordage dry and away from possible overnight condensation.

I carry the hammock in the bottom section of my backpack with my sleeping bag, first aid, ground cloth and rope for the hammock. This has been so convenient. If I want to use my hammock during lunch break it is right there ready to go! It is often the first piece of gear that gets put in place at each camp site if it's not raining.

I have used a variety of types of trees from which to suspend the hammock. Although I was concerned at first that the ropes might damage the trees, I found that it wasn't really an issue for most types of trees. The bark on pine trees (especially red pines) are some times more susceptible to a little bark flaking off but this is true with the use of tree hugger straps as well
(I have extensively used a sleeping-type hammock with such straps) or just brushing against them period. The best thing is to avoid those type of trees if possible. With that said I do have red pines in my backyard and I have hung the hammock there at least a half dozen times without noticeable effect. Other types of trees I have hung the hammock from have included cedar, poplar, birch, maple and oak.

So far, there have been no issues with durability either with the fabric, stitching or carabiners. Even though I was careful to remove my shoes before entering it during the first several trips, the weather on the last few trips was downright cold and I continued to wear my boots without issue. I also had on several layers of clothing including insulated layers to keep me warm.
 
Although I wish the hammock was a bit wider I haven't fallen out of it nor have I had trouble relaxing. I do feel that I have to lay in it very centered though as there isn't much room for flexibility. I have also used the hammock as a chair by sitting in it sideways. This works for short periods but since the hammock isn't overly wide the material only wraps part way up my back. I also have to be careful not to lean too far backwards. I realize that the hammock wasn't intended or suggested by the manufacturer to be used that way but it does work!

During the long term period it will likely be more of a challenge (due to very cold weather) to use the hammock for longer lengths of time but it will be fine for short periods. Prepare for pictures of the hammock pitched above snow on my next report!!

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Long Term Report:

January 5, 2010

USA Locations and Conditions

During the field test period, I have used the NANO-7 Hammock during two backcountry excursions for six more trail days. Locations ranged from and included boreal and deciduous forest communities, lakeshore and more. Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to approximately 1400 ft (427 m).


Trip 1 - Early December Solo Backpacking Trip:

Location: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 11 mi (17.7 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night
Pack Weight: 27 lb (12.25 kg) 
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, light snow 
Precipitation: 0.14 in (0.36 cm)
Temperature Range: 17 F (-9 C) to 25 F (-4 C) 


Trip 2 - Late December/Early January Hike-in Rustic Cabin Trip:

Location: Hiawatha National Forest - Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 16.6 mi (27 km)
Length of Trip: 4 days/3 nights
Sledge Weight: Estimated 60 lb (27 kg) including fresh (heavy) consumables
Sky and Air Conditions: Snow, snow and snow
Precipitation: actual new snow measured was more than 16 in (40.64 cm)
Temperature Range: 11 F (-12 C) to 22 F (-6 C)
 

Performance in the Field


Winter Usage in the Backcountry
Hang site in the hemlocks
During my early December backpacking trip the weather was much colder with the high of 25 F (-4 C). I set the hammock up on my camp site but only used it for short intervals between trips to the lakeshore to get water or otherwise. I love how my back feels while using it and even during these short periods it makes me feel quite happy :)

To celebrate the arrival of the new year, I took a four-day trip to a walk-in rustic cabin. I tried hanging the hammock in the cabin from existing structure. It was impeded in part but I still could use it when I felt like lying down for a bit to read. I also hung it outside under the hemlock trees. It came in handy for a quick seat while having a snack during intervals of backcountry skiing.

I have been happy with my present system for hanging the hammock. Although I'm sure I could come up with a lighter-weight option the convenience of the knotted-rope system has not made me investigate further for now. The length of the ropes has allowed me to be pretty carefree in sizing up whether I will have enough rope to hang the hammock as I've never had to move on to another set of trees out in the field.

The NANO-7 Hammock is one piece of gear that I probably will never want to live without! I love it more than I can express. It is so comfortable and it just makes me content to be in it. That says it all! Acquaintances look upon it with envy until I give them the opportunity to lay in it for awhile. I have a feeling it will be on their wish lists until they obtain one.

With the weather being rather cold and snow-laden at the present I haven't used it for lengthy periods of time such as I did in the field test period but of course this will again change with the advent of the warmer seasons.
Stitching became undone for a couple of inches
As far as durability, the hammock itself and carabiners are in great shape but the sewn-in pocket has a partially-ripped seam. This occurred during the early December trip and I'm not sure why as it happened when I pulled the hammock out of the sack. I will stitch it back fully when I get the opportunity and this shouldn't affect its performance.

I have continued to carry the hammock in my backpack or sledge in a handy place so that I can retrieve it at will. It barely takes up much space and I can stuff it almost anywhere.

Although I do wish the hammock was a tad bit wider by approximately 6 to 8 in (15 to 20 cm) I still haven't fallen out of it although I am extra careful. I think the additional width would give me a bit more space to feel secure.


Summary

In conclusion, I am still very excited about the NANO-7 Hammock.  It is so easy to set up and take down and it is the first thing I want to set up when I arrive at camp. It is both very comfortable and easy to stow. Thanks to Grand Trunk for designing this neat addition to my backpacking gear.


Pros 

  • Easy to set up
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Self storage sack is so convenient

Cons 
  • Wish the hammock was a bit wider in width

Tester Remarks

Thanks to Grand Trunk and BackpackGearTest for this fun opportunity to test the NANO-7 Hammock. This concludes my Long Term Report and the test series. 

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