WARBONNET TRAVELER SINGLE LAYER HAMMOCK
BY STEVEN M KIDD
December 09, 2012
Steven M Kidd
5' 9" (1.75 m)
182 lb (82.60 kg)
Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 25 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lbs (23+ kg). In the last several years I have become a hammock camping enthusiast. I generally go on one or two night outings that cover between 5 to 20 mi (8 - 32 km) distances. I try to keep the all-inclusive weight of my pack under 20 lb (9 kg) even in the winter.
Manufacturer: Warbonnet Outdoors
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com
Product: Traveler Single Layer 1.7 oz
Also Available: Single Layer 1.1 oz, Double Layer 1.1 oz & Double Layer 1.7 oz
Colors: 1.1 oz material is Slate Grey; 1.7 oz material is Olive Green
MSRP: US $60
Listed Weight: 20.5 oz (581 g)
Measured Weight: 14.4 oz (408 g)*
Listed & Actual Dimensions: 65 in W x 120 in L (165 cm W x 305 cm L)
*Measured Weight is based on post purchase modifications; see my explanation in the Field Use portion of the review.
Per the Warbonnet Outdoors website, the Traveler is a 'simple, no frills, end-gathered designed' hammock. It is 10 ft (3 m) long and 5.5 ft (1.7 m) wide and is designed to allow the occupant to lie diagonally or in an asymmetric angle inside the product. Doing so allows the body to remain flat rather than in a banana shaped curve, which is what would happen if I were to lie vertically in the material.
The Traveler features a 98 in (249 cm) long structural ridgeline. The ridgeline is designed to minimize the guesswork when attempting to get the correct sag in the hammock. A hammock without a ridgeline could easily be hung too taut or with too much sag (droop). The manufacturer states that all material is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish, and suggests it would be comfortable for anyone up to 6 ft 8 in (2 m). At 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) I sleep very comfortably in mine.
The Traveler comes in four versions, mine is the Single Layer 1.7 oz Olive Green hammock. The name 1.7 oz represents the weight of the nylon material. Each square yard weighs 1.7 oz. Their Double Layer Hammocks are often used for placing close foam cell pads between the layers for insulation and they generally allow for a 'flatter' lay than the Single Layer versions. A Single Layer hammock weighs less than the Double Layer version, but doesn't always lie as 'flat' since the one layer of material has more stretch with the body weight of the occupant. Warbonnet gives the Traveler SL 1.7 a weight limit of 250 lb (113 kg).
|Traveler with an Under Quilt|
I'd first like to address the above-mentioned specified weights of my hammock. Warbonnet offers their hammocks with two differing suspensions. The version I own is the Adjustable Webbing Suspension and is listed on the website at 20.5 oz (581 g). This includes a set of two 13 ft (4 m) webbing straps that attach to the hammock at each end via two cinch buckles on loop of Amsteel. The combined straps are 6.2 oz (176 g) and the buckle sets weigh 1.4 oz (40 g). The hammock itself weighs 11.2 oz (318 g). I therefore estimate the set was closer to18.8 oz (533 g) when it arrived. In order to minimize weight I do not use the Adjustable Webbing Suspension on my Traveler. Instead, I use lighter 6 ft (1.8 m) webbing straps and some homemade whoopie slings made from Dynaglide (a braided Dyneema material). That combined suspension comes in at a little under half the weight of the stock suspension giving my hammock and suspension a total weight of 14.4 oz (408 g) as mentioned in the specifications above.
The Warbonnet Traveler has been my exclusive winter hammock for nearly a year. During buggy months I happen to also use a Warbonnet Outdoors netted hammock, the Blackbird. I've easily logged a dozen nights in this hammock with temperatures typically below 45 F (7 C), but as low as 25 F (-4 C). I've hammocked in meadows and mountains, once even on a beach at Jost Van Dyke for an hour or so in gorgeous sunny weather. However, I've also endured downpours safely underneath a tarp while slumbering in my Traveler.
I find the Traveler to be an extremely comfortable hammock. I own over a dozen camping hammocks from various vendors and the Warbonnet Traveler is by far one of my favorites. In fact, save a homemade Do-It-Yourself (DIY) hammock, I would easily say it is my go-to hammock. I find it simple, light weight and most importantly comfortable.
|My wife apprehending my Traveler on a Fall Family Outing|
Before getting the Traveler I was generally using a hammock that is a foot (0.3 m) narrower than this one. I really enjoyed that hammock until I found out how comfortable the extra width was for me. As previously mentioned, to achieve a flat lie in the hammock I sleep diagonally across the material. That extra width really helps me do so without my feet or the ends of my top quilt coming out of the hammock. The image of my wife shows an example of how this is achieved. In fact she was side sleeping in the fetal position that afternoon.
To stay warm during cooler temperatures I use an under quilt attached beneath the hammock to keep my underside warm. A top quilt, which is similar to a zipper-less sleeping bag keeps the rest of me toasty.
For protection from the elements above I use a tarp designed specifically for hammocks, although they could easily be adapted to protect a ground dweller. I have used several varying tarps in combination with this hammock; a silnylon one, one made from Spinn UL and finally one in cuben fiber. Each tarp has differing features that appeal to me. The spinnaker tarp is large and light weight, but the cuben fiber tarp shaved even more ounces and allowed me to add doors to the ends for a 360-degree enclosure from wind and rain.
In the end I can stay dry and warm while sleeping in a comfortable lightweight sleeping environment. I've slept comfortably in temperatures a few degrees below freezing in this hammock, but with the right quilt setup I could easily take it to colder temperatures.
The design of this hammock can't get much simpler. It's a rectangular piece of nylon material with the ends gathered and whipped, as simple as that. The addition of the ridgeline allows me to easily hang the hammock to a comfortably desired sag without much thought or concern. If the ridgeline is too taut or slack I simply adjust the aforementioned whoopie slings. These are adjustable loops made from Dyneema material historically used in nautical environments and recently adopted by hammock campers. The same can be done with the stock adjustable webbing suspension, but I find whoopie slings to be lighter and much less bulky.
To summarize my field use, I've always had dry, warm and comfortable night's sleep in my Traveler.
|Traveler with a cuben fiber tarp (doors rolled)|
|Traveler with a Spinn UL tarp|
I'm extremely impressed with the Warbonnet Traveler hammock. Like Brandon at Warbonnet Outdoors claims, I find it to be a simple, no frills design. It's lightweight and very comfortable. The material has a smooth hand and it stretches just enough with my weight for a comfortable resting experience. I really have no thorns to mention when reviewing this product. At one time it may have been to offer a lighter weight suspension option, but in recent months this smaller Colorado cottage industry vendor has done just that by offering its own whoopie sling suspension option. As Siskel and Ebert would've said in the day...I give the Traveler 'two thumbs up"!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
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