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Reviews > Shelters > Hammocks > Hennessy Hammock Deep Jungle Hammock > Test Report by Thomas Vickers

Hennessy Hammock Deep Jungle Hammock

Initial Report - November 1, 2009
Field Report - January 12, 2009

Long Term Report - March 25, 2010

Thomas Vickers

41 years old
Male
5 ft 11 in tall (1.8 m)
175 lb (79 kg)
redroach@pobox.com
Southeast Texas, Houston Area


Tester Background:
I grew up in the piney woods of southeast Texas. Camping was a quick trip into the mosquito-infested woods behind the house. My style has evolved and over the last 4 or 5 years, I have begun to take a lighter weight approach to hiking gear (I still use sleeping bags and tents, just lighter versions). While I have flirted with lightweight hiking, I feel that I am more of a mid-weight hiker now. My philosophy is one of comfort, while carrying the lightest load possible.


Initial Report
November 1, 2009

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Manufacturer Information:

Manufacturer: Hennessy Hammocks

Website: http://hennessyhammock.com/

Year Manufactured: 2009

MSRP: $ 269.00 US

Weight: 2 lb 8 oz (1,120 g)

Height Limit: up to 6 ft / up to 182.9cm

Weight limit: 250 lbs / 115kg

SNAKE SKINS 4:
84" long
8 1/2" circumference at wide end
2 1/2" circumference at narrow end

Information From Tester:
(all measurements approximate)


Weight:
Hammock: 1 lb 13.65 oz (841 g)
Fly: 10.45 oz (295 g)
Snake Skins 4 (x2): 1 oz (29 g)
Tree huggers (x2): 0.85 oz (24 g)
Stuff sack: 0.95 oz (33 g)
Reflective pad: 10.55 oz (299 g)

Measurements:
Hammock: 85  x 47 in (216 x 119 cm)

Suspension cords (x2): 97 in (246 cm)

Fly: 65 x 90 in (165 x 229 cm)

Snake Skin 4: 4 in (10 cm)  [tapering to 2 in/4 cm] x 82 in (208 cm)

Tree huggers: 1 x 46 in (2.5 x 117 cm)

Reflective pad: 29.5 in (75 cm)  [tapering to 16 in/41 cm] x 66 in (168 cm)

Stuff sack: 10 x 13 in (25 x 33 cm)

Initial tester expectations:
I always enjoy the Hennessy website because I can stare at hammocks for hours wondering if I need another one.  The site is easy to navigate and I really do like the hammock comparison page that lets me see how the models differ at a glance. I had a slight issue with my visit to find out about the Deep Jungle hammock was that the description (see below) was a bit vague and caused me to dig around the site to find information on the Hyperlight hammock as well.  I was also wondering if there were more pictures of the Deep Jungle (thumbnail was a bit fuzzy), but when I clicked on the picture to make it larger I was sent to the Expedition Asym Hammock page. Confusing to be sure, but at least I knew a little bit about what I was supposed to be getting.

Manufacturer's description:
"A hyperlight hammock with a side zipper and a breathable double-layered body.   Can be used with radiant reflecting bubble pad which attaches on the diagonal between the layers to convert the hammock into a mosquito-proof 3-season shelter."

Tester's Description:
The one thing I have always enjoyed about getting a new Hennessy Hammock in the mail or at the store is the nice, neat, and compact way everything comes packaged.

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This time around was no different. Once I got everything out and organized I found that I had received a Deep Jungle Hammock, rain fly, set of tree huggers, a set of snake skins, and a reflective bubble pad.  The first thing I did was unpack everything, hang the hammock, then start poking around. The hammock itself appears to be a basic asymmetrical hammock. The body is made of a striped fabric that looks like Dyneema to me, but feels way softer and more pliable.  It was very hard to uncover, but the fabric on the bottom of this hammock is doubled so that there is an empty space between the layers. The openings for this double bottom were hard to find, but I finally found them.  They are there to allow the insertion of the bubble pad into the void between the layers.

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The first opening I found was on the right hand side (lying in the hammock) of the Deep Jungle next too the tie out point on the foot of the hammock.   This was the larger of the two openings and it took a detailed inspection (and some guessing) on my part to locate it.

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The second and smaller opening was located along the left hand side (lying in the hammock) next to the tie out point on the head of the hammock.  After some playing and fiddling I discovered that the bubble pad goes in through the larger opening, unrolls and has tie out cords that extend out of both openings in the hammocks and attach to the asym tie out points on the exterior of the hammock body.

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The basics are also in place on the Deep Jungle Hammock.   The bug net, ridge line, mesh interior pocket (hangs from ridgeline), asym tie out cords, and hanging cords are all there like I expected.  The big surpass is that instead of a bottom loading hammock, the Deep Jungle has a zipper that runs the entire length of the left hand side (lying in the hammock). This allows (see above) the bug netting to be folded back out of the way and makes the Deep Jungle a side loading hammock.   The attention to detail on the construction really caught me by surprise. Not only does the bug net unzip and fold out of the way, but there is a small hook and loop closure that allows the netting to be secure out of the way  so that it will not flop over into the hammock.

After my first and second inspections of the Deep Jungle Hammock I came away fairly impressed. The double bottom construction was not only interesting, but it was also well hidden and hard to distinguish without some effort. The overall construction of the hammock was very sound and professional. No loose threads, rough seams, or other defects were visible. Most noticeable to me though, was the fact that while this is a full featured hammock, it seems to be constructed to a very minimalist model. It appears to do everything it is supposed to, but is built to be light weight and without any excess materials adding weight or bulk.  

The extras:
While the tree huggers that came with the Deep Jungle Hammock are not extras because every Hennessy Hammock comes with a set, I am going to lump them with the 'other stuff' that came with the hammock.  The stock tree huggers are a bit short for me and I will probably be using my longer set to hang this hammock. I do enjoy the fact that I own several sets of tree huggers and they all tend to be very well constructed and rugged. The new set that arrived with the Deep Jungle do not appear to be any different. Now I have a hard time believing that it is possible to mess up webbing straps with stitched loops on the ends (construction wise), but I the new set is of the same quality I have come to expect from Hennessy Hammocks.

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A set of Snake Skins 4 (refers to size I think) was also included with the Deep Jungle.   The snake skins are basically tapered tubes of silnylon that are hung on the suspension cords of the Deep Jungle. When I need to take the Deep Jungle down, I simply slide the snake skins down the length of the still hanging hammock and stuff everything inside of them as I extend them. When done, I have two long 'snakes' full of hammock that are very easy to take down and stuff in a pack.  I was not really convinced about the utility of snake skins until I finally tried them. They really do make putting up and taking down a hammock a quick and easy exercise.

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Last, but not least, there was a large bubble mat included with the Deep Jungle. This is a tapered length of bubble pad (like bubble wrap) that is sandwiched between two layers of reflective foil. The pad is obviously cut to fit in the double bottom of the hammock and includes to cords that extend out of the hammock bottom and attach to the asym tie outs on the hammock body.

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The bubble mat is well constructed. The tie out cords are attached to metal grommets and the edges are taped and sewn. There is nothing 'rough' about this pad and I was surprised at the quality put into constructing it. Part of me had expected something that was more 'thrown' together, but it was not. Again the attention to detail in Hennessy's construction methods is nice and gives me a bit more confidence in the survivability of these items on the trail. 

Final thoughts:
I cannot wait to get out and see how well it feels to hang in this hammock. I do have some concerns, but only climbing in and seeing how it fits will answer my questions. The Deep Jungle is designed for people my size (height and weight), but from my initial hanging of it, it looks small. I was not able to climb into it yet, so this may be a seriously unfounded fear, but it is a first impression I need to check out.  Other than that I am excited about this test.  This hammock obviously uses a material that I have not experienced in a Hennessy Hammock, but it does look and feel rather nice. It does not seem to have the 'crinkly' feel or sound of nylon and I am hoping that this means it will be more quiet to hand and sleep on.

I have already inserted the bubble mat into the hammock to see just how difficult it is to do.  It was not the easiest task to get the wide end of the mat into the large opening, but once I got it inserted all I had to do to position it correctly was to push the mat toward the head of the hammock, reach through the smaller opening and full the wide end toward the head, pull the smaller end to the foot end of the hammock, then attach the cords to hammock body. The first try was successful and while it is not a time consuming process, it was not as easy as I had liked. The bubble mat tries to roll up on the narrow end and I know that putting a body and feet in the hammock will hold the pad in place, it is a bit frustrating to keep unrolling it time after time when installing it.  

Things I like:
1. Hammock fabric is soft
2. Side zip opening
3. Does not seem to be 'over built'

Things I don't like:
1.Openings on double bottom are small and difficult to find
2.A little more effort is needed to install the bubble mat than I expected


Long Term Report
March 25, 2010

Locations: 
Sam Houston National Forest
Other Areas in Southeast Texas

Conditions:
Winds: 0 - 25 mph (0 - 40 kph)
Precipitation: light to heavy rain
Temperatures (night): 19 F - 45 F (-7 C to 1 C), 8 night's usage

More hanging:
I have spent a total of eight more nights in the Deep Jungle since my last report. In many ways I feel blessed that Texas has actually had a wet and cold winter, since this has allowed me to spend what I consider rather extreme nights in this hammock. I feel that my testing has actually taken place in far worse conditions than I have ever used a hammock in before.
Getting in and out of the Deep Jungle has been a blessing. I always enjoyed the original entry system on Hennessy Hammocks and was a bit skeptical about the side entry of the Deep Jungle.  After having to get in and out of it during so much rain, I really fell in love with the fact that I could slide out of the side of the hammock and still be covered by the fly at all times.  So as far as staying dry, the side entry system really has won me over during this test.

Another thing about the Deep Jungle that I have discussed earlier, but wanted to return to is what I consider the simplicity of its design. It seems to be constructed of less material (my view) than other Hennessy Hammocks, but it is just as durable. I just keep getting the feeling that the Deep Jungle is not less hammock, just a more economical use of the Hennessy design. I really wish I could explain this better, but there just does not seem to be any wasted space, materials, or features on this hammock. It has it all even though it looks rather spartan to my eyes.

Keeping warm:
Keeping warm in a hammock has always been the eternal quest for me. Over the years I have discovered that it can be done, but there is usually a price to be paid in the complexity if the system or the weigh of the system.  It is easy to stay warm and carry more and it is easy to keep warm enough and carry less, but the Deep Jungle and its under pad really seems to be a good compromise.
It combines light weight and functionality in a manner that creates more than acceptable warmth in this hammock during the coldest conditions I have ever wanted to encounter.  Best of all, there is no squirming around to try and find a warm spot or keep a pad in place underneath me. The under pad is damn easy to install and it stays put no matter how much I toss or turn. It does work way better when I sleep on my side, but even then, I do not think there is an easier way to keep warm in a hammock.

I do want to clarify what warm and comfortable mean to me. On the coldest nights with the under pad in place, I could sleep on my side without much trouble. I did not get cold from the bottom, but it was also not a toasty warm sauna.  I am a fairly cold sleeper so keeping warm and being warm in cold weather is always an issue for me. As a cold sleeper, I found the Deep Jungle and its under pad a perfectly acceptable way to keep my bottom side (against the hammock) warm enough to sleep at night.  So to make this long story short, I could have been warmer, but it probably would not have been worth the effort to pack everything I would have needed.

Wrapping it up:
I really wish I had more to say, but after 14 cold nights in the Deep Jungle I can say that I like this hammock. It is different, but in good ways and I am really pumped up about using it in warmer weather.   The under pad is a great compromise for keeping warm. It installs easily and stays in place without any effort.  I never did use one of my own sleeping pads in its place, but I find it hard to believe that a regular pad would work as easily as the under pad did.

I have really enjoyed testing this hammock. It took me out of my comfort zone (side entry, cold weather, under pad) and made my winter hiking/camping much more enjoyable without a ton of extra effort or gear.  I stayed warm and dry during the whole test period, despite the Texas winter trying to make all my trips anything but warm and dry. The Deep Jungle was also easy and fast to hang, which came in handy with the wet weather.  I could get it up and get inside before me or my gear was soaked and that made me far happier than anyone could ever imagine.

My last and loudest lament about the Deep Jungle are the guy-lines.  I really wish they were reflective in some way. No matter how many times I remind myself to watch out for them, I tripped over them at least three times a night, even when using a head lamp.  Just a tiny bit of reflective material would have made all the difference in the world.  It would have also kept me from doing late night campsite acrobatics every time I tripped over a guy line I knew was there.

And the end was here:
I am always excited to test gear that I am familiar with and enjoy using. I really get excited when a manufacturer like Hennessy Hammocks puts out a new piece of gear that is familiar, yet distinct enough to make me consider it as an improvement.  The Deep Jungle has proved to be durable and extremely easy to use.  Best of all, it was just the thing for winter camping and without a ton of fuss or extra gear to get it done.  The Deep Jungle is a well thought out and executed hammock system that really takes into account what hammock users want. It was almost as if Hennessy had read my mind and built this hammock to my specifications. 




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