Saturday, December 20, 2014
Review: Hummingbird - Mega hammock
I've covered hammocks before, with the Eagles Nest single hiking hammock, but I found an excellent Kickstarter for a mega hammock, to suit my burgeoning family needs. The good folks at Hummingbird Hammocks pitched a "Mega Hammock" and successfully funded.
The mega hammock is designed to hold three to five people, and is rated to carry 450kg (1000lbs). I like to sling it in my back yard, and have taken it camping (although we didn't find a good place to set it up, so haven't had the pleasure of sleeping in it, in the wild). It measures 5.5m x 2.4m (18' x 8) and spreads out nicely.
Three distinct panels are sewn together to form the body of the hammock, and Hummingbird are proud to say that they use construction techniques borrowed from the Parachute Industry Association, and materials that are likewise parachute grade.
Their mega hammock is made out of 1.9oz polyurethane coated ripstop nylon, which is incredibly strong (rated at about 100lbs per square inch.) The edges of the hammock have type 17 nylon webbing sewn in and used for the attachment points to the four corners. This webbing is rated for 1100kg (2500lbs), will not stretch, and is low bulk. The fabric has a lot of give, and the edge seams and the three panel seams are sewn such that you get uniform "give" throughout.
All the stitching is done on an industrial sewing machine using size 69 bonded nylon thread, which along with everything else used to make the hammocks is very strong and is the very same thread used on parachutes.
They offer several different colours, but I jumped at the coyote-brown option, whcih also goes some way to cover up any goopy-hands stains that my minions may present.
In additiontothe webbing loops in the corners, Hummingbird supply soft link attachments instead of traditional carabiners. These are apparently used widely in skydiving today as a means of connecting the parachute lines to the jumper. They contain no hard parts, are stronger than a carabiner of similar size, weigh next to nothing, and are impossible to cross load.
A simple length of high strength cord, with a loop at either end, one end having a tab of webbing sewn in. You loop it through itself twice, and you have a light, secure and bomb-proof anchor connector. I have lengths of 2" webbing that I use as my attachment to the steel beams, concrete pillars and roofing beams that I sling mine off. I figure the 5500lbs breaking load the webbing means I don't have to worry where I sling this. Perfect for the rafters of an abandoned warehouse, or between Ewok trees.
The hammock comes with its own stuff-sack, and packs down into a small-pillow or sleeping bag sized bundle. It was quite an investment, but thus far, if nothing but the joy of my littles ones is a measure, it's been fully worth it. Having a portable, hardy betting option is nothing to be sniffed at either, and there are many situations where I would want to bunk-down well off ground level.
Especially if I need to watch out for stobor.
The Hummingbird Mega hammock certainly is big, and quite comfortable with a number of people in it. Be sure to sling it high enough to be off the ground when loaded up, but not so high as to be impossible to get in or out comfortably.