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  1. #1

    Question Advice for beginner WBBB XLC setup

    I have a some money to spend, and a birthday coming up, so I'm getting together my first backpacking setup put together and decided to go with a hammock for shelter. I'm almost positive I"ll get a Warbonnet Blackbird XLC, but wanted some advice first.

    I only plan on doing 3 season camping to start the first year or two, but the majority of trips will be in the summer or early fall (September). For temperature reference I live in NJ and plan on going out around here, NY, and PA to start out.

    Aside from the WBBB I'm going to need a tarp, and some sort of quilt. This is where i need help since I only have enough for the hammock, and maybe $200 more to spend. Some questions:

    1) Do I splurge on a Superfly tarp, and cheap out on an overquilt/sleeping bag? Or do I go mid-range on both?
    2) Do I even need an underquilt at this point if the lowest temp I'll probably see this year and next is 40-ish degrees? Will a cheap pad or reflector be good enough?

    Any other noob advice is welcome as I've never even tested out a hammock at this point. Am I rushing this? I figure if I'm going to go for it and have the dough I might as well get one of the best, right?

  2. #2
    The Tree Frog's Avatar
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    Besides buying used, you need at least $100 for a synthetic underquilt from Arrowhead Equipment...to mention one vendor. You can use a sleeping bag on top if you have one. By the way, yes you need an underquilt usually below 70.

    You could get a cheap tarp if you only need rain coverage and upgrade that later. Even a blue Walmart tarp will work for now.
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  3. #3
    gunner76's Avatar
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    Watch the For Sale section for some good deals.

    Ditto on a Jarbrige 3S UQ from Arrowhead...about $115 with shipping. If you are not in a hurry, they do go on sale a few times a year.

    The Superfly is a great tarp and you will not go wrong getting one.

    You will still need a TQ unless you have a really lite weight sleeping bag.

    Once you get your gear....test it under controlled conditions like your backyard so you know how well it works together.
    3rd Annual Frosty Butt Hang Feb 2019 ............

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  4. #4
    Senior Member T- Minus's Avatar
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    I started out this year a lot like you. Just enough for my WBBB xlc and figured I could save enough to pick up a tarp for the rainy season Now and get my quilts before its cold outside. I used a thermal blanket between the layers and was bearable not comfy down to around 55 degrees this early spring with a good fleece blanket. I recently got an under quilt and it has made a world of difference and sleep from dusk to dawn and personally the best investment so far. I think if I had to skimp it would be on the tarp. If you do get a tarp be sure to seam seal it if it has tie outs sewn in. If you decide to get a pad make sure it is a closed cell. Hope this helps. Also there is a lot of DIYers on here and If you can sew that skill can save you a ton of money on your gear, truly a great resource.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Ridge_Dog's Avatar
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    +1 on the underquilt. You can focus on the underquilt and then a decent tarp.
    As messed up as a soup sandwich

  6. #6
    Senior Member goobie's Avatar
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    Warbonnet's gonna hate me, but, I'd skip the premium hammock for now. Insulation and weather protection are your most important priorities right now. Get a good UQ and tarp. Get started with an inexpensive hammock. WB traveler, any of Dutch's offerings, Simply light designs are a few that come to mind.

    When I was getting started the WB Blackbird seemed to be THE hammock to have. I've been through quite a few, gone from attached bugnets to a Fronkey and only now, quite a few years later, am I convinced I may need a WBBB.

  7. #7
    Thanks all for the helpful replies and advice. I must say that spending $65 for a WB Traveler XL vs. $210 for the BB XLC is very tempting. I would be worried about mosquitos though, as they do have a strong presence in some areas in NJ during the summer months. Would I need a separate bug net to protect myself? Any recommendations?

    I will definitely focus on the underquilt and probably wait on getting the Superfly, as well, as I think I can get away with a cheap tarp for rain protection. This could help "spread the wealth" on some other gear, like a decent sleeping bag and pack.

  8. #8
    Senior Member punkisdead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikegryo View Post
    I would be worried about mosquitos though, as they do have a strong presence in some areas in NJ during the summer months. Would I need a separate bug net to protect myself? Any recommendations?
    Most people will recommend this. I bought one a few weeks ago and will be testing it out this weekend.
    https://www.dutchwaregear.com/fronkey-style-bugnet.html

  9. #9
    Senior Member mab0852's Avatar
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    Well, you can save some money on the tarp without any real sacrifice by emailing Mountain Wilderness Gear. He's having a sale that ends today, but you can get the equivalent of a 12' superfly out of 1.1 silpoly g2 for $85.

    Mountain Wilderness <[email protected]>

    That would get you a great tarp and allow you to put extra cash into bottom insulation where you'll really see some return on the extra investment. IMHO and HYOH

  10. #10
    Member mmorton's Avatar
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    My first hammock was a WBBB XLC - I did a ton of research, lurked here for months and read everything I could find, and was convinced that it was the way to go - I ponied up the cash, got the hammock, and I loved it - but I hadn't tried to sleep a whole night in it and truth be told, I didn't know what to look for or look out for with regards to that - I built a turtledog stand, set it up in my bedroom, and prepared to spend the night - I was in for a real suprise - as cool as the hammock was, and it was cool, I couldn't sleep through the night - there was a terrible calf ridge and my knees were hyper extended and hurt like hell after a couple of hours - I didn't know that it was called a calf ridge at the time but there it was - I fiddled and futzed with the suspension, wiggled around in the hammock but I just couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep for ore than an hour or so - I tried several nights with the same issue - I looked in the forums and found that some people had the same issue - Now don't get me wrong, I think the XLC is awesome - the quality was obvious, the customer service was fantastic, and I really liked the shelf - it just wouldn't fit me -

    My point is, just like some others have said, you will need some form of under and top quilt - you might want to experiment with some of the less expensive offerings out there until you are sure exactly what you want - I ended up with a used Hammeck Netty that I really really like and it fits me like a glove - it seems like a lot of folks go through a lot of rigs before they settle on the one that suits them -

    It also might be important to mention that the fabric has a lot to do with the fit as well - some of the fabrics stretch more than others and some are softer while some are prone to static electricity, especially if you live in one of the dryer climates -

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by mmorton; 06-21-2015 at 11:39. Reason: forgot to add something

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