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Reviews > Shelters > Hammocks > Hennessy Hammock Hyperlight > Test Report by Rick Dreher

Hennessy Hyperlite A-Sym Hammock
Test Series by Rick Dreher
LONG-TERM REPORT
September 27, 2008

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Rick Dreher
EMAIL: redbike64(at)hotmail(dot)com
AGE: 54
LOCATION: Northern California
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 0" (2.10 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)
TORSO LENGTH 20 inches (50 cm)
YEARS HIKING 41

I enjoy going high and light and most often take shorter "fast- packing" trips; my longest trips are about a week. I've lightened my pack load because I enjoy hiking more when toting less, I can go farther and on tougher terrain, and I have cranky ankles. I use trekking poles and generally hike solo or tandem. I've backpacked all over the west and now primarily hike California's Sierra Nevada. My favorite trips are alpine and include off-trail travel and sleeping in high places. When winter arrives, I head back for snowshoe outings in the white stuff.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

IMAGE 1



Manufacturer: Hennessy Hammock
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: Hennessy Website www.hennessyhammock.com
MSRP: US$ 230.00
Listed total weight: 24 oz (700 g)
Measured weight: (sans snakeskins) 24.6 oz (697 g)
Listed hammock body weight: 13.9 oz (394 g)
Measured hammock body weight: 15.6 oz (442 g)
Listed rainfly weight: 8.3 oz (236 g)
Measured rainfly weight: 7 oz (198 g)
Measured tree-hugger strap, stuffsack, snakeskin weight: 3 oz (85 g)
Listed packed dimensions: 66 x 91 in (168 x 231 cm)
Measured packed dimensions: 5 x 11 in (13 x 28 cm)
Opening length: 54 in (137 cm)
Stated rainfly dimensions: 92 x 65 in (230 x 165 cm), ridgeline length of 122 in (305 cm)
Measure rainfly dimensions: 92.5 x 67 in (235 x 170 cm), rainfly length of 121 in (307 cm)
Measured hammock body ridgeline length (91 in (231 cm)
Listed Hugger strap length: 42 in (105 cm)
Measured Hugger strap length: 25.5 in (65 cm)
Other listed details: Main line test strength--1,450 lb (659 kg); hammock fabric--30D high tenacity, high thread count nylon taffeta with heavy duty ripstop; fly (canopy) fabric--1.1 ounce 30 D silicone nylon; setup time--2 minutes.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

IMAGE 2
Complete works, unbagged, with "Snakeskins."



The complete hammock comprises a modestly sized package that's smaller than any earthbound one-man enclosed shelter I've seen. Inside the stuffsack are the hammock body, the fly (canopy) and the tree hugger straps. Everything was bundled tightly and neatly, making me wonder whether I'll ever get it all into the stuffsack again? After untwirling the lines, the hammock unfolds into a surprisingly roomy…envelope(?) It's not easy to describe laid flat on the floor, but the hammock's basic parallogram shape comes through. The fly is a bit of a handful, being made of crinkly, slippery silnylon. It too, is a parallogram, mimicking the hammock's shape. The tree-hugger straps are simple lengths of 1-inch (2.5 cm) nylon webbing with loops sewn into each end. They're quite shorter than those that came with my Hennessy Ultralight Backpacker, and won't go very far around larger trees.

Fabrics, lines, hardware, stitching, etc.

As noted, the hammock body fabrics are ripstop taffeta and netting for the body, and silnylon for the fly. The fly fabric is thin and crinkly, the body fabric soft and limp. The netting is black, which maximizes vision through it. It's not apparent how the anchor lines are attached to the hammock ends, as the assembly is sheathed in fabric. Braille investigation leads me to believe that the connection is stout and designed to minimize stress to the thin hammock fabrics. Fabric edges are bias-taped. Stitching appears straight and without gaps. A few stray threads were present inside the hammock body, but I noted no cutting or assembly problems.

Preparation

No user-preparation is required. The fly is from one piece of fabric, so there are no seams to be sealed. I will need to rig the Snakeskins, which should take all of a minute, and I'll add two stakes to the stuffsack for the fly side lines, and will probably supplement the Hugger straps with longer alternatives for large trees.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Hennessy prints the directions on the stuffsack itself--a clever idea that makes it unlikely I'll lose them. They also encourage review of additional instructions available on the HennessyHammock.com Website, and with good reason, as there are videos, photographs and testimonials that significantly demystify hammock setup and use, as well as give tips for less conventional use, such as a chair. The video demonstrating the hammock knot is a must-see, in my experience, to demystify this process, and the Snakeskin video is also quite handy. The printed sack directions seem complete, with perhaps an omission of recommended maximum and minimum distance between anchor trees.

TRYING IT OUT

IMAGE 3
Hammock and fly.



The Hyperlite comprises a hammock body, rainfly, "tree hugger" webbing straps and a stuffsack. Hennessy also provided a set of "Snakeskins"--protective nylon sleeves that cover and protect the assembled hammock and fly for storage in lieu of or in addition to the stuffsack. Snakeskins are normally an extra accessory.

I set up the Hyperlite in my backyard, stringing it from gazebo corner poles. This supported the unoccupied hammock but wasn't strong enough to get inside. I lack the proper urban trees.

The hammock is a one-piece enclosed shelter of lightweight nylon taffeta and bug netting--taffeta forming the floor and sides and netting forming the top. Suspension lines for attaching to trees are attached to each end, and an internal ridgeline connects the ends. The anchor lines are strong and stiff polyester-sheathed Spectra. Each hammock side has an elastic anchor line for spreading the hammock body and attaching to the ground with stakes or to nearby branches. A silnylon rainfly completely covers the hammock. It clips to the suspension lines fore and aft, and the sides are anchored by two lines that would generally attach to the same stakes or branches as the hammock's side lines.

Also included are two "tree-hugger" webbing straps that the anchor lines loop through. The straps keep the thin lines from cutting into tree bark. This set is well shorter than spec, at 25.5 inches (65 cm) each, meaning they will only encircle a relatively scrawny 8-inch (20 cm) tree.

Hammock entry is from below, through an in-line slit at the foot end. The 54-inch (137 cm) slit is intended to close automatically when the sleeper climbs inside, and is also held closed by hook-and-loop strips. The Hyperlite's shape viewed from above is roughly a parallogram, denoting the Hennessy's "asymmetrical" description. Once inside, the sleeper turns at an angle to the ridgeline, which flattens out the sleeping surface and takes advantage of the extra room available off-axis. The ridgeline, which is under tension when the hammock is strung, is accessorized with two plastic sliding gear hooks and a sliding pocket, which is made of netting and divided into small and large segments, and makes a great home for glasses, a flashlight, a watch, etc.

As noted, Hennessy also provided a set of Snakeskins, nylon sleeves that are housed on the anchor lines and left there. When it's time to take down the hammock, these sleeves slide over the works--hammock and fly--keeping them dry and dirt-free between uses. If the fly is wet, the hammock goes into the Snakeskins while the fly dries separately. Without them, the fly and body are furled, folded and packed separately in the stuffsack.

The entire works is described as "coyote brown" and would probably disappear if held next to a UPS truck. This is definitely a rig for stealth camping, unless camped in the Dayglo Forest.

My informal backyard pitch took less than five minutes, so Hennessy's two-minute claim might be attainable. The hammock body goes up easily, with a bit of fiddling to achieve a level, taut pitch. Elastic side corner lines pull out the hammock sides, giving it shape and damping rocking motion. The fly anchors to the main hammock lines via plastic hoops that clip to plastic hooks that are attached to the lines with Prusik knots. The fly also has a pair of clip anchors that attach to the main line. The fly is centered and tensioned by sliding the Prusik knots. Side corner lines anchor to the ground using stakes (not supplied) or other handy tieoffs. The fly is large enough to cover the hammock with a good deal of overhang for weather protection.

IMAGE 4
Fly attachment to main lines.



Furling and stowing takes less time than pitching, especially if I'm not concerned about packing it neatly. I've not tried out the Snakeskins, which should make this process even faster.

TESTING STRATEGY

I'll be testing the Hyperlite on half a dozen backpacking trips in California's Sierra Nevada through summer. Most trips will be one or two-night hikes in the Sierra's Tahoe subregion, with at least one longer trip slated for late summer in the central Sierra (a four-nighter has been penciled in). I expect varied conditions and settings. Some trips will be solo, others with a hiking partner (I can lend a spare hammock to maximize our campsite flexibility).

Stringing

I'll be testing my ability to find non-traditional campsites that capitalize on this innovative shelter. Finding a place to string the hammock is always step one, and locating a proper pair of trees can prove a challenge, particularly at higher elevations where trees are often on very uneven ground or surrounded by brush. They're frequently quite large oddly shaped, or grow at curious angles. As a result, stringing the hammock level and tight in a spot it's readily accessible can be a challenge.

IMAGE 5
Main line anchor is sheathed.



I'm expecting to need longer options as backup to the scant Hugger straps, as alpine and subalpine trees are often very thick. Backup might be longer webbing or lengths of static rope.

Entry/Exit/Sleeping

Once strung, my next hammock concern becomes the pad-bag combination. In my experience, hammocks place special needs on the sleeping system-bag and pad, and in the past I've settled on a wide closed-cell foam pad inside the hammock combined with a fairly roomy bag that has a long zipper. Keeping warm on cool to cold nights requires a pad that wraps up the sides anywhere I press against the hammock shell. The pad must also stay in place while allowing entry and exit through the bottom slit. My closed-cell foam pads are stiff and don't mold readily to the hammocks shape, which makes them sometimes a hassle. Getting in and out of a sleeping bag can also be difficult in the hammock. My primary bag will be a Western Mountaineering Ultralite, which is snug but at least has a full-length zipper for ease of entry/exit. If warm (e.g., over 50F/10C) nighttime temps are predicted, I may take my two-season Mountainsmith down bag instead.

Camp Shelter

In foul weather it's nice to huddle under a tarp for cooking and other campsite chores. If I have foul weather I'll see how well the Hennessy shelters my campsite. Can I stow gear under it, cook under it? How's the Hyperlite as a camp chair?

IMAGE 6
Parallogram shape is evident from above.



Finally, there's the possibility I might be camped where there are no trees. In that instance, can I rig the fly and sleep in the body as though it's a bivy?

Expected Conditions

Typical Sierran weather means nighttime temperatures ranging from mild (50s F/12 C) to near freezing. Late spring and early summer will potentially bring afternoon-evening showers, testing the fly's coverage and rain-shedding capabilities. Late spring through mid-summer means fending off bugs while remaining comfortably cool, so the vast netting ceiling will be in focus.

Critical Test Questions:

* Pack it. How much pack space does the Hyperlite take? How small a pack can I reasonably fit it in along with an overnight load? Is there any benefit to packing fly and hammock separately?
* Site it. How creative can I be in finding fun sites to string the Hyperlite? Will tenters and tarpers be jealous? Will they even see me, tucked away in the woods?
* String it. What's the stringing process? (I'll approach it in detail for the review, regardless of my hammock experience.) How large and small a tree can I use? What about odd trunk shapes and angles, and are some tree varieties easier than others to use (e.g., lodgepole pine vs. mountain hemlock vs. juniper vs. sequoia)? How easy is it to secure the lines and how much retightening is required after stretching them? How high off the ground does it need to be? How level does it need to be? Are anchoring stakes required for the side lines? What are my fly-stringing options? How long does the process take, from unpacking to moving in?
* Live in it. How's the Hyperlite to live in-not just sleeping, but relaxing or sheltering during foul weather? How much stuff can I reasonably have inside? How are the views with and without the fly? How easy are entry and exit? Is the ridgeline ditty pocket adequate; what can I place there? Can I hang clothing and a light from the ridgeline? Can I keep water handy but out of the way? With its brown color, Is the Hyperlite bright and cheery inside?
* Sleep in it. How's the night's sleep? Unlike sleeping on the ground, the hammock experience is one of swaying in the breeze or in response to my own movements. Proper stringing and anchoring are critical to keeping the hammock controlled and not lowering itself to the ground during the night. The pad needs to stay in place to avoid sleep-stealing cold spots. Does the fly rustle in the wind?
* Monitor it. As possible, track how comfort in the Hyperlite with varying temperature, wind, humidity, ground moisture and precipitation. Does condensation ever form inside? What effect does the fly have on comfort? Can rain penetrate the fly? What effect does wind have? Are the tie-outs adequate to keep it stable?
* Dry it. After rain, how long does it take to dry the Hyperlite?
* Strike it. How much time and effort are required to strike and pack away the Hyperlite?
* Maintain it. As dirt and wear and tear accumulate, how easy will the Hyperlite be to keep up? Is it ever necessary to reapply a DWR finish to the fly? How well do the fabric, lines and hardware hold up? Will the printed instructions rub off?

SUMMARY

IMAGE 7
Now, how do I get into this thing?



The Hyperlite presents Hennessy's best effort to date for maximizing size while minimizing weight for adult-size sleepers. I already know hammocking can be blissfully comfortable when I can find the right trees and keep warm on cool nights. How well with this new Hyperlite fill the bill while not filling my pack?

This concludes my Initial Report. Watch for the Field Report in late July.

My hearty thanks to Hennessy Hammocks and Backpack GearTest for the opportunity to participate in the Hyperlite field test!


FIELD REPORT

Field Locations & Conditions

I've taken the Hyperlite on three trips: an overnighter and a two-nighter in Desolation Wilderness in the northern Sierra Nevada, and a two-nighter in Lassen Park in the southern Cascades.

IMAGE 8
Above the muck.



Trip conditions varied a good deal, with the Desolation trips treating me to soggy and cold on one extreme and very warm and dry on the other. The Lassen trip began with fair weather, stormed in the middle then ended fair. The Desolation solo trips were between 6,500 and 8,500 feet (2,000-2,800 m), with cold, wet weather on one (40 F/3 C overnight low) and warm (average 55 F/12 C overnight lows) on the other. The Lassen group trip was at 6,500 feet (2,000 m) and brought mild overnight temperatures (50-55 F/10-12 C lows), sunny days one and three and stormy day two, with wind, rain and hail. (This storm front would trigger two thousand fires across California, some of which still burn as this is written.)

Performance in the Field

Packing

The Hyperlite, exactly as described by Hennessy, is very compact and easily fits into any of my backpacks without taking up much room. In addition to the hammock I also take an extra length of webbing as a long tree strap and two stakes to anchor the fly and elastic hammock sidelines.

Even stowed in the Snakeskins, the hammock and fly still fit into the stuffsack, although it's a bit of a challenge getting it all inside. Stringing it with the Snakeskins doesn't seem much different than without, and packing it up does seem quicker. In the wet, I pack the fly separately as Hennessy advises, which gives the fly a chance to dry, packed outside the main pack compartment.

Of Trees and Straps and Knots

Seeking a hammocking campsite is almost the opposite of a traditional site. Instead of searching for that perfect, level, drained tent or tarp site, I need a pair of trees the right size, shape and distance apart. I've developed a trick of extending my arms while holding my trekking poles to gauge whether two potential host trees are a good distance apart. The best anchor trees are straight (or not leaning severely), a reasonable diameter, and without interfering branches or other obstructions. The higher the elevation, the less likely such straight, even trees will be found.

The piddling short hugger straps that ship with the Hyperlite are only adequate for very small trees; however, I was still able to use one on a couple of my trips. On other trips I had to combine the standard straps to gain enough reach. I've needed a second, long piece of webbing every time, since at least one of my anchor trees has been rather large. (Emails to Hennessy inquiring about the straps, and whether they're too short, remain unanswered.)

It's not simple to level the hammock by eye. Tilted trees and sloped ground give no ready reference to what's horizontal. I definitely prefer the hammock be level or if tilted, higher at the foot end. If the head end is higher, I find myself sliding toward the foot end during the night, which proves pretty uncomfortable. Sometimes, the trees' shape forces one end to be tied off higher than the other, and I make sure that's the foot end.

While it's best to hammock above level ground, I've also suspended it above bushes, rocks and roots. This makes getting in and out more challenging, and sometimes renders the hammock's sheltered ground area difficult to use.

I've had pretty good luck with my hammock knots, but still get some slippage that makes me retie it after sitting it to stretch it out. Luckily, it doesn't loosen much overnight. There's still room for improvement in my tying technique.

Varied Conditions

On the cold, wet Desolation trip I really appreciated being off the ground in the Hennessy. It was typical wet mountain springtime, with a lot of snow remaining on soggy ground, leaving nowhere dry to set up camp. Not only did the Hyperlite keep me off the ooze, it provided a small shelter for cooking and camp chores. Hennessy's suggestion to use the hammock as a camp seat gave me a dry place to sit, huddled beneath the rainfly. Much better than squatting on my haunches! The seamless fly sheds rain just fine, although water tends to run down the main lines from the anchor trees towards the hammock body, beneath the fly. Bits of string tied above the hammock body can help divert the extra water harmlessly to the ground.

IMAGE 9
This could get old.



The Lassen and second Desolation trips were clear, with the exception of scattered showers one night in Lassen (but violent thunderstorms with rain and hail during the day). At Lassen I used the fly only one night, and on the second Desolation trip I also left it off. Nighttime stargazing made the loss of warmth sans fly a worthwhile tradeoff.

Bag and Pad

On all trips I used a slim-cut, full-zip down mummy bag rated at 20 F (-8 C) and a 3/8-inch (10 mm) EVA foam pad, approximately 72 x 24 inches (18 3x 61 cm). The pad, light and bulky, is wide enough to insulate beneath me and wrap up my sides and shoulders, insulating them against the cold where the hammock presses against my bag. So long as the pad is aligned with me, this assures a warm sleep. If misaligned, cold spots form where I don't have pad coverage.

I was pretty cold during the wet Desolation trip. My clothing was damp, and although the bag was dry when I unpacked it I suspect it acquired moisture over time and became less efficient. I was okay, but not especially warm and cozy. Warmth on the other trips was fine. I've been able to adjust my temperature during the night by opening and closing the bag, and changing in and out of clothing.

IMAGE 10
Swinging room with a view.



Which brings up several general notes I have about hammock sleeping. First, unlike sleeping on the ground, hammocks are surrounded by air, elevating convection as a major source of heat loss (compared to the usual conduction loss). Second, the Hennessy design wraps the sleeper with fabric on the sides, pressing in on a sleeping bag, reducing effective insulation and creating cold spots. Third, a traditional ground pad isn't needed for comfort, only insulation. Fourth, once inside the hammock my movement's somewhat limited and it's really difficult to maneuver the pad and sleeping bag. Especially the pad. Luckily, the opening usually snaps closed on its own, as advertised. Trying to seal the hook-and-loop opening underneath the sleeping pad is an unamusing task.

Life Inside

As noted, the Hyperlite is snug inside, but there's still a lot of room for me and my stuff. The overhead storage options are brilliant, with two clips and a two-section netting pocket attached to the ridgeline. All sorts of odd bits can be hung and stowed in these, and things can be hung from the ridgeline itself. I keep a small water bottle, flashlight, glasses, watch and various other bits handy yet out of the way. A button cell light makes a great area and night light hung from the ridgeline.

IMAGE 11
Plenty of stuff handy for the night.



As to sleeping comfort, as long as I'm warm the hammock comfort has no parallel to sleeping on dirt; it's infinitely more comfortable. Any pains I might typically experience in my shoulder blades, hip bones, etc. simply don't occur. Angled correctly in the Hennessy and it flattens out enough to provide a fairly level platform. The sidelines control swinging, and the swaying that's left is nice, once I'm used to the sensation. It's a bit like sleeping on a boat.

There's also no arguing that midnight bathroom runs are more of a hassle compared to sleeping on terra firma.

Bugs

Only on my last Desolation trip did crawly (carpenter ants) and flying (mosquitoes and black flies) bugs drive me inside, and the Hennessy proved an effective barrier. I'll caution mosquitoes can bite through the fabric if the skin is pressed against it, so staying on a pad is in order. Let them bounce off the netting, I'm happy to keep my blood inside me, thanks.

Summary and Recommendations

The Hennessy Hyperlite is a great shelter. It's comfortable, versatile, lightweight and compact. It sets up easily and breaks down quickly, especially using the Snakeskins. Mine shows no wear and tear, other than dirt and sap on the lines and hugger straps.

My main challenge is ensuring the sleeping pad is aligned correctly and stays put during the night. I can definitely see the advantage to underquilts as an alternative, but they're quite expensive.

I recommend Hennessy revert to their spec length for the hugger straps, as these are too short for typical western U.S. trees. I also recommend they use reflective lines for the hammock and fly side anchors. It's very easy to stumble into them after dark.

IMAGE 12
Who doesn't like hammocks?

Testing Strategy

I'l continue using the Hyperlite the rest of the summer, and continue refining my knot-tying. I'm also looking for a different pad, hopefullly more compact and that stays underneath more readily.

Please come back in September for my long-term report!


LONG-TERM REPORT

Long-Term Test Locations & Conditions

Since the Field Report I've taken the Hyperlite on two trips: a two-nighter in Emigrant Wilderness and a two-nighter in Desolation Wilderness. Both trips featured warm and mild summer conditions. My observed overnight lows ranged from a high of 61 F (16 C) to a low of 41 F (7 C). Winds ranged from dead calm to moderately breezy and while storm clouds loomed on two evenings, they never delivered rain and later dissipated. Overnight conditions were clear, meaning no clouds to block convective heat loss.

My campsite elevations ranged from about 7,000 feet (2,130 m) to 8,500 feet (2,590 m).

My tree supports were varied in size, shape, condition and species. Typically, they were large and crooked.

IMAGE 13
Typical big-boy anchor trees.



Performance In the Field

Stringing. The Hyperlite performed well each night. I always had to double up the supplied Hugger straps for one end and use a second tree wrap, as my anchor trees were always too thick to use just one Hugger. I still get some knot slippage, which I infer as my not completely conquering the recommended hammock knot technique. The main Spectra lines are a bit slippery, and the tree anchor straps also stretch and slide a bit. Ultimately, I always get the hammock strung tightly enough for a comfortable night, and the knots are always easy to undo in the morning. Another common challenge is leveling the hammock, or having the foot end a bit higher. Between crooked trees and sloped, uneven, brushy ground it can be surprisingly difficult to determine level by eye. Generally, a bad slope makes itself known when I get in to test the knots, and I can adjust one end to correct it pretty easily (trees allowing).

Because of the fair long-term test weather I never had to sleep under the rainfly, although one threatening night I left it on, but folded half to the side to have a nighttime view. In that way, I not only have a windblock on one side, I can unfurl and anchor the fly in less than a minute should rain arrive. If there's any slack in the fly, the slightest breeze makes it crinkle audibly.

IMAGE 14
Fly strung, half-folded and ready if needed.



Staking. I carry two aluminum Y-stakes that I use to anchor the elastic side lines and/or the fly side lines. Sometimes they can share the same stake, but other times they need individual anchors (four total). In those instances I tie off on a handy branch or root, or fashion a deadman from a rock, stick, or combination of the two. I still get tangled in the elastic side lines at night and one evening, managed to launch one of my stakes into the brush a good distance from its anchor point by uprooting it with my foot. It took an hour to find it in the daylight, the next morning (more than ten feet away).

Bag and Pad. For the long-term test I swapped my 20-degree mummy bag for a lighter, roomier (wider) 30-degree F (0 C) mummy bag and kept the same foam pad I'd been using previously. This combination worked fine, and I slept warmly and appreciated the extra wriggle-room. The only challenge was maneuvering inside the bag using its half-zip. A full-zip bag is easier for me to get in and out of inside a hammock. I still have a nightly wrestling match with the pad, getting it centered beneath me. I'd happily swap it for an underquilt or pad. Even so, once I'm situated over the pad it keeps me quite warm, so it's doing the job.

Snakeskins. I continued using the Snakeskins, as they really do speed packing the hammock. I don't leave the fly attached, preferring to pack it separately given how few nights I actually use it. An additional benefit is with the body stowed in the Snakeskins, the hammock makes a good morning clothesline for airing things out.

Nighttime Comfort. I slept well every night of this long-term test period. Especially after a tough trail day, it's amazingly nice to not have any pressure spots beneath me. For that reason alone, hammocks are worth pursuing. I continued to use offbeat campsites, taking advantage of not having to find a flat tent site. This allows a bit of solitude even on a busy summer weekend in a well-used hiking area. With the items I want suspended from the hammock ridgeline inside, there's little need to leave my cocoon during the night (presuming nature doesn't call). In short, the Hennessy system is well thought out.

As a coda to this test, for my last hike of the summer I took a tarptent and insulated air mattress, since I was headed for alpine territory that lacked adequate trees for a hammock. While air mattresses are the most comfortable option I've found for sleeping on the ground, I REALLY missed my hammock on this trip. The comfort difference was remarkable (and/or the Hennessy has made me a wimp).

IMAGE 15
Enjoying the mountainside view.

Summary

End of Test Wear and Tear

The Hyperlite remains in good condition, with the hammock body and fly completely intact and some abrasion and stretching evident on the main lines and Hugger straps. The printed bag instructions are still completely legible (quite a bit of my original Hennessy hammock directions have come off). Loose threads continue to shed from inside the hammock from unsealed fabric edges, but I don't see foresee any impending failures from this. Even though I've only use the Hyperlite a single season, I don't see any reason why Hennessy's lightweight model won't last for many more.

Suggestions

My list is short:
*Double the Hugger strap length.
*Make hammock and fly side lines colored and reflective, instead of invisible black.
*Mark the head and foot ends of the hammock and fly.

Continued Use

I really like hammocking and this Hyperlite is now my favorite hammock, so I'll continue to use it on mild-season hikes. Its balance of roominess with low pack weight and bulk advances the state of hammock art. I may investigate under-pads or quilts to increase its ease of use and extend hammocking season on the hiking calendar; I wish they weren't so costly and bulky.

Acknowledgements

I thank Hennessy Hammocks and BackpackGeartest for the opportunity to test this great shelter!

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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