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  1. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    cincinnati, ohio
    Hammock
    Darien, Chameleon
    Insulation
    LL TQ, Yeti UQ
    Suspension
    whoopie slings
    Posts
    73
    Wow!! THE Shug replied! I feel honored! I have watched so many of your videos and b/c of you I am actually thinking about doing the AT starting in Feb. of 2028. I really didn't want to start until May b/c I HATE HATE HATE to be cold, but you sure make it look toasty!
    I love your videos. Thank you so much for those. They are a great benefit to so many hammockers.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Albemarle, NC
    Posts
    547
    I transitioned from a Hennessy Explorer Deluxe to an XLC. I'm 5'9 and I enjoy the room in the XLC. The side shelf is great. It works well in late Summer/Late Spring that you can place your top quilt there and get it quickly as the night cools off. I have ordered a couple of Freebirds form Randy for my son. Both were well-made hammocks. I have no doubt the Darian will be great. I've thought about ordering one just to try, but just haven't got around to it.

  3. #13
    cougarmeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Hammock
    WBBB, WBRR, WL LiteOwl
    Tarp
    OES, WL BullFro
    Insulation
    HG UQ, TQ, WB UQ
    Suspension
    Python Straps
    Posts
    1,543
    At 5'5" I doubt you will need anything designated as "XL" I'm 5'6" and the standard Blackbird is plenty roomy. Note that it has a foot "shelf" but at your height (length) you may not even use it. The best thing I like about the BlackBird is it seems tolerate the closest trees. So it "fits" in more places than my other 11 or 10 ft hammocks. If you are not into winter camping, then I suggest a single layer (SL), a 20 degree underquilt - not full length. At your height, a ĺ length will be full length for you. And an underquilt protector. That will give you wide range of comfort.

    But if you want a wider range of color choices - and let's face it; it's fun - then you have the Darian (and others) to choose from.

    As an aside, the least useful BlackBird feature for me is the side pull outs. The front one seems to get in the way and as my UQ's seem to ride higher than the sides of the hammock, it interferes with the UQ fit. By shifting my diagonal position or using a small pillow, I can keep the net away from my face. As many hammocks as I have to choose from, the BlackBird has always been a reliable, steady, performer.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  4. #14
    ricktreks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Panama
    Hammock
    Too many to list here.
    Tarp
    UGQ Hex Hanger 12
    Insulation
    HG and AHE UQ/TQs
    Suspension
    DIY short whoopies
    Posts
    165
    Dream Hammock is located in Fredericksburg, OH. I don't know how far from them you are, but perhaps you can pay them a visit and see the hammocks for yourself.

    I own a Blackbird and several Darien hammocks. For a smaller person I would say the BB is overkill. It's got that footbox that's nice if you're a 6' or taller, but makes little difference if your under 5'8". The shelf on the BB is a mixed blessing i find, you can put loads of things in there, but you have to make sure to stake it out if you don't want that weight sagging down and against you. I guess for me that's a big deal since I camp in very warm areas, so anything that prevents ventilation for me is a problem.

    As mentioned above by other members, the Darien is a simple yet very comfortable hammock. The only thing I would do if I had to order another one is add more storage options. A peak shelf is a great feature that doesn't usually come with the Darien, but I would add it. Also the removable gear sling is great, and I think the bear minimum should be the ridgeline organizer to put the small little things in there.

    R
    Backpacking trips in the tropical jungles of Latin America... Exploring our living planet from within...
    http://www.jungletreks.com

  5. #15
    HandyRandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Louisiana
    Hammock
    Warbonnet Eldorado (Dream-Tex)
    Tarp
    ThunderFly
    Insulation
    Wooki, Diamondback
    Suspension
    DW June Bug Buckle
    Posts
    1,379
    Donít forget about the Warbonnet Eldorado. Same as XLC, but no shelf. A simpler and lighter option. Warbonnet hammocks feel a little different than most other hammocks because they have a slightly longer ridgeline, which means they will have less sag. Which shifts the sweet spot to less of a diagonal. It also brings the ridgeline closer, making things that you hang from it easier to reach. It also makes it easier to hang it higher off the ground because it has less vertical height. Which is good for staying dry in rain.

    I donít have any calf ridge issues at all with my Eldorado. But solving calf ridge is mostly a matter of experience really. It takes a good, but not necessarily perfect hang; and an understanding of how to find the sweet spot that you learn over time. Moving around just a bit in any way will change how much of a ridge you create for yourself.

    The pullouts and shape of the net on Warbonnet hammocks does an excellent job of keeping the net way off your face. Much more so than with just a simple attachment point placed at the zipper line and standard 2D shaped net.

    The Darien is a fantastic ultralight hammock that still keeps all the features that make sense for an ultralight hammock though. So it is still a very functional hammock.

  6. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    cincinnati, ohio
    Hammock
    Darien, Chameleon
    Insulation
    LL TQ, Yeti UQ
    Suspension
    whoopie slings
    Posts
    73
    I did actually look at the Elderado and compared it to the Darien and felt they were so much alike, I ended up choosing the Darien b/c it costs less and I got to choose my features for what seems to be the same weight and from what I hear, the same comfort. In my gut, I think I'll end up getting both, lol, it's just a matter of which comes first. I love hammocks and sleeping in the outdoors. There's just no better way to live. So goodness knows I'll end up buying every hammock out there before I die!

  7. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    cincinnati, ohio
    Hammock
    Darien, Chameleon
    Insulation
    LL TQ, Yeti UQ
    Suspension
    whoopie slings
    Posts
    73
    Visiting the store is a great idea! Thanks!
    I'm trying to go as light as I can, but not quite ultralight b/c I AM new and comfort is my main concern, I know I don't want a shelf b/c of added weight and also I've slept in my hennessey all summer and never used the extra shelf space created by the extra fabric. Albeit, I do like the idea that someone else mentioned about throwing their topquilt on the shelf until you need it...hhhmmm. I do know I'll need a gear sling for my phone and keys and I heard about a nice one at Dutch so I think I'll get it there or even just use my stuff sack.

  8. #18
    Senior Member soul embrace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Bama
    Hammock
    DH : SLD
    Tarp
    HG : SLD : UGQ
    Insulation
    HG : SLD : LLG
    Suspension
    Turtle Ties
    Posts
    1,110
    Quote Originally Posted by ATGIRL2028 View Post
    Albeit, I do like the idea that someone else mentioned about throwing their topquilt on the shelf until you need it...hhhmmm. I do know I'll need a gear sling for my phone and keys and I heard about a nice one at Dutch so I think I'll get it there or even just use my stuff sack.

    you can get a peak self (https://www.dreamhammock.com/Darien_...rcescroll=true) on the Darien that will hold your topquilt
    There's magic in the woods,
    if you know where to look for it.
    -Pete's Dragon

  9. #19
    Senior Member FLTurtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Orlando FL
    Hammock
    DW Half-Zipped, WB Eldorado
    Tarp
    WB Thunder Fly
    Insulation
    HG Phx/Burrow
    Suspension
    DW Beetle Buckles
    Posts
    168
    Quote Originally Posted by HandyRandy View Post
    Donít forget about the Warbonnet Eldorado. Same as XLC, but no shelf. A simpler and lighter option. Warbonnet hammocks feel a little different than most other hammocks because they have a slightly longer ridgeline, which means they will have less sag. Which shifts the sweet spot to less of a diagonal. It also brings the ridgeline closer, making things that you hang from it easier to reach. It also makes it easier to hang it higher off the ground because it has less vertical height. Which is good for staying dry in rain.

    I donít have any calf ridge issues at all with my Eldorado. But solving calf ridge is mostly a matter of experience really. It takes a good, but not necessarily perfect hang; and an understanding of how to find the sweet spot that you learn over time. Moving around just a bit in any way will change how much of a ridge you create for yourself.

    The pullouts and shape of the net on Warbonnet hammocks does an excellent job of keeping the net way off your face. Much more so than with just a simple attachment point placed at the zipper line and standard 2D shaped net.

    The Darien is a fantastic ultralight hammock that still keeps all the features that make sense for an ultralight hammock though. So it is still a very functional hammock.
    Ok, this explains a lot. I finally got to use my Eldorado last week, and ran into calf ridge. Ngl, I had a few cold ones before I set up the hammock and didn't get a good hang. The ridgeline was super loose, so I moved the foot end straps higher and tightened up the suspension. The ridgeline was still kinda loose. Pretty sure that's the main reason for the calf ridge.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NW, U.S.A. & Pink Mountain, B.C.
    Hammock
    Ridgerunner
    Tarp
    Big Red Love Tarp
    Insulation
    Varies
    Suspension
    Depends
    Posts
    2,066
    My 2 cents.
    PERSONAL CHOICE!
    The reason so many of us have boughr several hammocks.

    I started with a $15.00 USD ENO. Loved hanging. Then a Hennessy hated the fabric, never used it nor opened it up. Next upgr as ded Hennessy. Then a few more brands. Discovered I am claustrophobic. Plus getting out of some hammocks is a P.I.T.A. for me. I am a bit over 5 ft. my shoulders dislocate so exiting is tricky with some hammocks.

    My Dream Hammock is great a work of art. I need help to exit. Now I know for me wide is not better.
    I do have a Blackbird and I learned I am a left lay person (head right).

    For me I use a RR and a Simply Light Design hammock.

    To Hang Your Own Hang you need to experiment, see what fits.

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