I’m well into my second season of backpacking with my Eno SingleNest hammock, and as long as there will be trees in the forest, I see no reason why I would ever sleep in a tent again (which is somewhat unfortunate, considering we have five tents on the gear shelves). The hammock provides the best night’s sleep I have ever had in the woods. My wife has grown so tired of her sore back and my well-rested perkiness, she went out and bought her own hammock, and since it is her nature to be contrary at times, she chose a Hennessey hammock. If you’re deciding between one or the other, I’ll take you through the things you’re probably thinking about and why they don’t really matter. And tell you the one thing that does.
Price. This is a push. The Eno SingleNest hammock will cost you around $55, but that’s just for the hammock. You’ll also need a way to attach it to the trees, so you probably want the slap straps, as well. If you want to sleep without slapping mosquitos all night long, the Guardian Bug Net is another $55. If you might encounter rain, the tarp is $80. You can buy the whole system, what Eno calls their One Link Sleep System, for around $180. The Hennessey Expedition Asymmetrical Zip hammock, on the other hand, is all-inclusive, for around $160. You’ll get the straps, the tarp, and the hammock with integrated bug net. If you shopped around enough I’m sure you could find them for about the same price. I don’t the cost as much of a factor.
Ease of setup. Both hammocks use pretty much the same system. Strap attaches to tree, hammock attaches to strap. The Eno hammock will come with carabiners already attached to make the connection to the strap, while the Hennessey won’t. This really isn’t a big deal, unless you’re deathly afraid of knots failing in the night. While it may take a bit longer to ensure the Hennessey is tied correctly, you won’t have to attach the bug net, since it’s integrated into the hammock. The Eno Bug Net adds another step to the process, extending the amount of setup you will have to do. I would give a slight edge to the Hennessey here, but only by a whisker.
Comfort. They’re both comfortable as hell. The Hennessey has a bit more room, but the material is noisier when you slide around during sleep. The Eno is more of a cocoon, but less noisy. This might come down to preference. I’m comfortable in both.
Packability. Both systems are roughly the same weight. If you’re concerned about ounces, the Hennessey system is lighter. Unless you don’t need the bug net. Then the Eno system is lighter since the Hennessey bug net can’t be removed.
The biggest factor in my mind that differentiates one significantly from the other is the Bug net. The Eno bug net drives me bonkers. If I want to use the hammock like a camp chair, I can’t have the net on, because the zipper is in the middle, and when I sit down, the net comes in around me. The net on the Hennessey, however, zips up the sides of the hammock and folds back nicely for a clear view of the camp. The ridgeline on the Hennessey is always taut and provides a nice place to hang things. The ridgeline on the Eno always needs adjusting, hangs outside the bug net, and I find myself wishing that weren’t the case. The bug net on the Eno also cinches at the ends, and I find that occasionally, when the hammock gives a little bit, these cinched openings can come open, and I have to get out of the hammock, just as I was getting comfortable, and readjust them. The constant tinkering with the bug net on the Eno, is enough to for me to say that my choice for camping during the buggy season, would be the Hennessey.
But any other time I would take the Eno. The price without the bug net is much cheaper. The Eno system is lighter, since I don’t need to pack the net. The hammock sets up more quickly, with the carabiners a faster connection than tying knots. And I like the feeling of being in a cocoon.
If I had to buy one, would I go for the Hennessey? You bet. But I’d also pick up the Eno SingleNest. I’m crazy like that.
I don’t judge a Mexican joint by its taco. If the margarita is good, everything else will be, as well. The opposite is also true.
The proper drink is as follows:
1 jigger of tequila
1/2 jigger of triple sec
1/2 jigger of Rose’s lime juice
Splash of OJ
Shake and pour into a salt rimmed rocks glass. That’s it.
I’m a big fan of Backcountry ’cause I’m a big fan of gear. So I was glad to hear they had ventured into the fly fishing gear business. Their selection is small right now, and toward the higher end, so it will be interesting to see how their selection grows. I must admit, however, I have my favorite gear stores like I have my favorite flies. We’ll see how it goes. Also, check out Backcountry’s blog, “The Goat.” Great blog.
You can read more about the story at troutunderground.com.
Our hike started well enough. We moved down the path at a pretty good clip. The leaves were still wet from the rain. The bark, a darker shade of brown. There was peace in the forest. Until my son dropped his backpack and said he would go no further.
What do you do with a ten year old boy who refuses to move when you’re halfway to the next campsite? I don’t know what you’d do, but I told him I was going to get to the next site before dark when the bears would come out.
That might not have won me Father-of -the-Year, but it got him off his butt.
He grumbled most of the way to a split in the path. We could either continue towards the next campsite, climbing and descending along the path, or take a service road that would be flatter and easier. That what was he should choose if he was tired and ready to quit.
I must have presented it wrong because he chose the service road. I wasn’t surprised, or disappointed, really. Even though I knew he could go further than he thought he could, he was still unsure.
We walked down the service road in silence. The sun had come out and the air was thick. We came to the intersection of the hiking path and took it west. Where I thought there should be a camp, there was nothing. When we turned around and went back towards the road, the grousing started anew.
We went east on the path and again, where I thought there should be a camp, there was not. When I said we would have to turn back, I had a mutiny on my hands.
We walked back to the road, took off our packs, yelled at each other for a couple minutes, shared a Moon Pie, drank the rest of the water, and pulled out the map and compass. I assured myself I knew where we were. But I had no idea where the campsite was. It didn’t make any sense, but I have that feeling a lot.
When I told the boy we would have to walk back down the road to the campsite we had come from, he started to cry. He refused to put on his pack. He said we should just camp there. We had no more water. That didn’t matter, because he wasn’t thirsty. What would we cook with? He wasn’t hungry either. I gave him a minute to come to terms with the idea there was no other choice. I won’t say it was pleasant five minutes, but he never tried to kill me.
At this point, our three mile hike had turned into four. And we were three miles from camp. And water. I gave the boy my hiking stick and we started walking. Somewhere along the way, he forgot how far we had gone, how far we had yet to go, and just walked. He put his head down and continued on.
When we were back at where we started, he said, “I never thought I could go that far. I’m proud of myself.”