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  1. #281

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Valpo, IN
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    Towns-End Luxury Bridge
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    1,683
    Quote Originally Posted by Slugger View Post
    It will be hard to part with something I've grown to love using. But never say never!
    It's always a tough call even when starting from scratch as you hover around the 250 border... Around 225 is where I say the debate gets tricky.
    I usually say that if you prefer a soft mattress to go Luxury.
    If you prefer a firm one- go with the Big Guy.

    In your area... these bridges seem to be migrating to the Carolinas with some frequency so you might run into a Luxury, but I probably sell 5 Big Guys for every Luxury so hard to say.

    Sleep position changes things too. I have some hip issues to begin with, so on my side (at 235ish) I have a hard time using the Big Guy, it's just too firm. On my back or belly... bit of a coinflip.

    When I'm not testing though- I sleep in a Luxury and though I built this bridge with tossing and turning in mind... I'm often surprised how frequently I drift off on my back and wake up in the same spot. Most happy hangers on this site will not find that shocking... but I never found that magical experience in a gathered end. My general understanding of customer feedback is that most tend to settle into their own similar sweet spot. I don't actually personally own a Big Guy, everytime I get a little backed up I end up selling any demos or personal ones I set aside. So I guess that ultimately tells you where my preference is.

    One of my great joys in life is when I'm finishing a Big Guy and do final testing... the instant back pain relief in the Big Guy is quite a nice way to wrap up a few hours stuck sitting at the sewing machine. That is more apparent in the Big Guy vs the Luxury, even 'hot off the presses'. The Mountain 1.7 fabric doesn't wear in quite the same as other fabrics over time, but it does relax a hair as it breaks in. So for those with back pain on the fence, I tend to suggest the Big Guy so that they get the same experience even a year or two down the line as they did the first night.

    It's a hard call, especially given all the different aches, pains, wear, tear, and sleep positions that find their way into these bridges.

    But if it ain't broke...
    Unless you find yourself with some hip pain (similar to that felt when ground sleeping on a decent pad) then I'd stick with the Big Guy.

    As you get into the sub 225lb range... the only real compelling reason to jump ship would be to drop the weight for backpacking.
    At 225lbs- you can upgrade to a Carbon Fiber pole set (7.25 vs 12 ish) even without jumping to the Luxury.
    But going from a full Big Guy with AL poles down to the Luxury UL (with CF poles) you shave a full 15 ounces and some pack space.

    One final thought though- if you haven't tried it... spin around in the bridge and sleep with your head in the foot end.
    The foot end of the Big Guy is the same width as the Happy Medium. (basically) So if that is doable (and you can stand the loss of the space) then that is the compelling reason to go Happy Medium over Luxury.
    You not only get down to a roughly 17 ounce bridge... but you drop down to a 10' ridgeline and get the cascade savings of the shorter tarp and bugnet(when carried). Pack volume drops, pack size shrinks, pack weight drops, miles hiked per day goes up, food carried between resupply decreases... and that sweet spiral of UL upgrades begins to drive down the waistline, pack weight and empty your wallet.

  2. #282
    Slugger's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
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    Lancaster, SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    It's always a tough call even when starting from scratch as you hover around the 250 border... Around 225 is where I say the debate gets tricky.
    I usually say that if you prefer a soft mattress to go Luxury.
    If you prefer a firm one- go with the Big Guy.
    I have a foam gel mattress right now that I love & it's just soft enough to feel comfortable but firm enough for a person my size. My thoughts would be to just stick with the BGBH.


    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    One final thought though- if you haven't tried it... spin around in the bridge and sleep with your head in the foot end.
    The foot end of the Big Guy is the same width as the Happy Medium. (basically) So if that is doable (and you can stand the loss of the space) then that is the compelling reason to go Happy Medium over Luxury.
    You not only get down to a roughly 17 ounce bridge... but you drop down to a 10' ridgeline and get the cascade savings of the shorter tarp and bugnet(when carried). Pack volume drops, pack size shrinks, pack weight drops, miles hiked per day goes up, food carried between resupply decreases... and that sweet spiral of UL upgrades begins to drive down the waistline, pack weight and empty your wallet.
    I hadn't even thought of trying that. Now I'm intrigued...but some more weight to lose before testing that theory.
    Retired US Navy, 7-year colon cancer survivor



  3. #283
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    North Chelmsford, MA
    Hammock
    Big Guy Bridge
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    CRO Winter Haven
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    Beetle Buckle 15'
    Posts
    559
    Bill sent my BGB last week and it's wonderful. I spent a night in it and wondered what will happen to my gathered end hammocks.

    I weigh about 230 now and have gone up to 240 in the winter. I didn't want to push the limits of the hammock and figured the sturdier one would last longer. I'll be using it in the field this weekend.

    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk
    "God never sends us anything we can't handle. Sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much." - Mother Teresa.

  4. #284

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Valpo, IN
    Hammock
    Towns-End Luxury Bridge
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    1,683
    Quote Originally Posted by Slugger View Post
    I have a foam gel mattress right now that I love & it's just soft enough to feel comfortable but firm enough for a person my size. My thoughts would be to just stick with the BGBH.




    I hadn't even thought of trying that. Now I'm intrigued...but some more weight to lose before testing that theory.
    You're likely light enough now to try spinning around. The only thing I ask the Big Guy's not to do is slide all the way to the head end (curled up in fetal under the head bar).
    But sleeping backwards in the Big Guy is fine structurally speaking.

    For you (and others) who have a Big Guy or Luxury-

    The Big Guy is based upon the Happy Medium's proportions, roughly the head end is 120% bigger with a few tweaks along the way to balance it out better.
    It's not exactly apples to apples when you turn around, but sleeping with your head in the foot end will give you a pretty good idea of how the Happy Medium would feel like regarding the shoulder squeeze/space you'd have.
    The actual difference is in the spreader bars... the Happy Medium uses a 36" spreader, while the Big Guy uses a 34" spreader at the foot end. So when spun around you'll actually get slightly more shoulder squeeze but slightly more depth for your head.

    The other reason I suggest or encourage trying it is for side sleepers who curl up. A big complaint in other bridges is 'knee bite'. As in when you sleep on your side your knee may end up on the edge of the bridge, which causes the suspensioin along that hard edge to 'bite you'. This is similar to the elbow bite for back sleepers that the Big Guy helps with. On your back- the wider head end solves the shoulder squeeze and the elbow bite problems. But on your side, you can use the widest portion of the bridge to allow you to really curl up into a full or half fetal positon... or just to maximize leg room for those who thrash around.

    One other thing you are likely 'eligible' for now (close to the lower end of the bridge rating basically):
    Try switching the spreaders. If it looks too funky or makes you nervous don't bother, but at least try it visually.
    But by putting the spreaders 'backwards' you create a totally different bridge. It's similar to what the RR does in that you create a flatter 'popped up' head end with a very deep foot end... a wedge shaped rather than a flat lay bed. While this does put a bit more strain on the bridge, it is very good for those with sleep apnea who find improvement with a sleep wedge (elevated head/incline bed).

    In this mode you will not use the space beyond the spreader at the head end (though it's a good spot to store a pack). You'll sleep in it like an end bar bridge on the head end, but a recessed bar on the foot end. This is actually the same principal the original Micro bridge was designed around, but you can replicate a version of it with the Big Guy.

    The Happy Medium is a symmetrical design, but the Big Guy/Luxury is not... so it has a few of these 'bonus features' if you feel comfortable playing with them.

  5. #285
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Ponte Vedra, Florida
    Hammock
    Amok Draumr XL
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    You're likely light enough now to try spinning around. The only thing I ask the Big Guy's not to do is slide all the way to the head end (curled up in fetal under the head bar).
    But sleeping backwards in the Big Guy is fine structurally speaking.

    For you (and others) who have a Big Guy or Luxury-

    The Big Guy is based upon the Happy Medium's proportions, roughly the head end is 120% bigger with a few tweaks along the way to balance it out better.
    It's not exactly apples to apples when you turn around, but sleeping with your head in the foot end will give you a pretty good idea of how the Happy Medium would feel like regarding the shoulder squeeze/space you'd have.
    The actual difference is in the spreader bars... the Happy Medium uses a 36" spreader, while the Big Guy uses a 34" spreader at the foot end. So when spun around you'll actually get slightly more shoulder squeeze but slightly more depth for your head.

    The other reason I suggest or encourage trying it is for side sleepers who curl up. A big complaint in other bridges is 'knee bite'. As in when you sleep on your side your knee may end up on the edge of the bridge, which causes the suspensioin along that hard edge to 'bite you'. This is similar to the elbow bite for back sleepers that the Big Guy helps with. On your back- the wider head end solves the shoulder squeeze and the elbow bite problems. But on your side, you can use the widest portion of the bridge to allow you to really curl up into a full or half fetal positon... or just to maximize leg room for those who thrash around.

    One other thing you are likely 'eligible' for now (close to the lower end of the bridge rating basically):
    Try switching the spreaders. If it looks too funky or makes you nervous don't bother, but at least try it visually.
    But by putting the spreaders 'backwards' you create a totally different bridge. It's similar to what the RR does in that you create a flatter 'popped up' head end with a very deep foot end... a wedge shaped rather than a flat lay bed. While this does put a bit more strain on the bridge, it is very good for those with sleep apnea who find improvement with a sleep wedge (elevated head/incline bed).

    In this mode you will not use the space beyond the spreader at the head end (though it's a good spot to store a pack). You'll sleep in it like an end bar bridge on the head end, but a recessed bar on the foot end. This is actually the same principal the original Micro bridge was designed around, but you can replicate a version of it with the Big Guy.

    The Happy Medium is a symmetrical design, but the Big Guy/Luxury is not... so it has a few of these 'bonus features' if you feel comfortable playing with them.
    Are there differences in side sleeping comfort between the happy medium and the luxury or big guy bridges? Im 160 and 510 so not too wide but do get close to the fetal position as I cry myself to sleep...just kidding about the crying part. I figure I am side sleeping half the night so I want something comfortable.

  6. #286
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    North Chelmsford, MA
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    Beetle Buckle 15'
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    I posted a while ago in this thread when my BGB was made. I've since used it many times and have slept comfortably. I'm now up to three fractured vertebrae and have pretty much constant back pain. While all my hammocks help, the BGB is the only one that has me waking up pain free.

    Between Bill and the Tensa crew we figured out how to use it with a Tensa 4 stand. So there are no limits.

    Thanks Bill.
    "God never sends us anything we can't handle. Sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much." - Mother Teresa.

  7. #287
    Slugger's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
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    Another successful 4-day stay in the woods using my BGBH...very comfortable every night!

    IMG_1903.jpg
    Retired US Navy, 7-year colon cancer survivor



  8. #288
    Senior Member goalie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
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    Town's End Bridge or WBRR
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    100 degrees, humid, but with some wind.

    I was the most comfortable in my BGBH.

    IMG_20210605_173201144.jpg
    "It turns out that what you have is less important than what you do with it"

  9. #289

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Saratoga NY
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    Thought Id resurrect this thread to ask a Townsend specific question. Has anyone tried an underquilt protector on one or any bridge for that matter? Will a standard uqp typically rig up just fine on most bridge hammocks with a little ingenuity?
    thanks
    kris

  10. #290

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    Saratoga NY
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    Since I’m a big fan of bills bridges. Just thought I’d point out that spiguyver backpacking just put out a review video of his luxury bridge.
    Let’s just say he’s pretty happy with it.
    Just thought bill was deserving of the mention.
    kris

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