Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Sierra Madre - Pares hammock

As first seen on BreachBangClear!

I covered the tent-component of the Sierra Madre Research system, the Nubé not long ago, and I wanted to also show off their very well thought out hammock component as well.

The Pares hammock system follows on from the design philosophy as on the Nubé, with its 100% nylon fabric body, lending it softness to the touch, stretch for comfortable shaping, resilience to UV degradation and both fast drying and breathable for comfort even on rainy days.

With a packed weight of 640g (1lb 6.5oz) the Pares stretches out to a massive 3.3m (10'9.5") long and a stretched width of 1.98cm (6'6"). This of course only gives you an indicator oh how much fabric is involved, not necessarily the usable space, but we'll get to that.

Packed into its own Pares Compression bag (SMr’s dry bag design), it bundles up into a 14cm (5.5") x 14cm (5.5") x 12cm (4.5") ball, with a long flap suitable to stowing both the accessory straps and the carabiners used to set it up.

Again as in the Nubé the compression bag features webbing that feeds from a single loop, so you have no dangling ends, and the loop itself is an attachment point. It's a very subtle addition and adds a lot of value. Simple a one handed pull on the loop tightened both sides.

 The Pares is recommended for a nominal user weight of 140kg (300lbs) but has a full tested strength of 450kg (1000lbs) so if you're either loaded down with gear when you hit the sack, or are just a big, solid kind of sentient being, you should be ok.

Nearly 50 percent wider than the ultra light xPlor model of the SMr range, this is a more spacious hammock than the others I've used any time recently, if you dont count the purpose built multi-person ones and provided me several comfortable nights sleep out at an event. I'm a tall critter, at 6'4" and my wingspan is almost 6'6", so to have a hammock that I can lay in sideways, couch style and still have room to go, sideways, was a big plus.

One of the things I really liked about the Pares was that those top layers, the light green, not only added padding when gound couch-style, but when laying down longways, curled over forming a cocoon, enveloping me and acting as an extra-bug screening layer. They also added some privacy when I was changing, and also when in bed, doing some reading by Orb-light.

The Pares includes a couple of really interesting features that set it aside from other hammocks I've used: Attached to that outer lip at two points, one at each end, on the right hand side if you're laying in it, are grab handles, which really help getting around within it, by letting you shift up or down in the otherwise silky nylon, as well as getting in and out easily. These are sewn into the well made top seam fairly securely, and I didn't have any concerns hauling myself up and around by it.

The other feature on the body of the hammock worth noting are the two attachment points at the mid-line.

These twin pieces of nylon hardware feature a loop-hole, as well as a webbing-wide hole, and can act as both a gear and accessory hanging points, but also fit the internal clips on the Nubé, inner liner, opening up the Pares from that cocoon effect.

At each end of the hammock is a heavy bundled knot, where all the fabric is drawn, and a loop of cord is exposed. These are where you affix your hammock to whatever you are suspending it from.

Those connection loops will let you fit any kind of attachment, but the Sierra Madre team have their own system. Their EZSlings allow you to easily hang your Pares hammock in less than a minute, or a little longer if you are fitting it with the Nubé as well. These consist of 315cm (10'4") of tubular webbing and high strength cordage with loops at one end, to feed through itself, and to the hammock at the other end. The cord is doubled and has a set of staggered knot to give you graduated attachment points The straps are rated to 450kg (1000lbs) as well, and the pair only weigh 185g (6.5oz).

To round off the package, they also protect the tree from scarring or any other damage that may be caused to a tree by small ropes used to hang your hammock. Looping it through itself makes a really secure hold to whatever you secure it to. I found that those graduated knots really made it difficult to get the hammock to just the right spot, I found. I adjusted it a few times, but had to do some fiddling to make it right, too much sag is too not good in a hammock. Not insurmountable, but annoying. I found myself touching the ground a couple of times until I adjusted it.I could have set it higher, but thats not the point. Still, it's just a matter of adjustment.

SMr also fit out their deluxe package with a couple of wire-gated carabiners to let you have clip on access to both the slings, and the attachment cords for easy, secure set-up and take-down. They themselves have a 22KN axial load rating and up to 2265kg (500lbs). No fear of falling on your ass from that angle, anyway.

One last cool thing with the SMr system, you can sling a second hammock under the first (if you have enough clearance) to create what SMr call Hambunks. This is a cool idea, and probably excellent with kids, but I don't think I'd want to have one of my buddies asses right in my face all night.  Not the way we eat in the field ...

This is a seriously comfortable hammock, and I really enjoy hanging out in it, camping 000

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