I gather this doesnít get much love, but I am possibly the target audience for this hammock

I normally sleep in a tent or bivy bag, but at one point on a recent trip I would have given anything for a hammock just to get a couple of hours sleep in the middle of the day in a forest. I found a place for my tent eventually but it wasnít easy. It also made me like the idea of carrying a hammock to increase my options for overnighters.

Iím also ďone of thoseĒ gram-counters who is horribly overweight. But it makes sense to gram-count: I am doing a lot of hiking at the weekends in an effort to lose weight amongst other things, but I canít enjoy long walks with the combination of the weight on the front plus the weight on the back. Getting the weight down on the back is something I can do right now, and that will help me get the weight down on the front, if you see what I mean

I knew I would never bother to carry a hammock unless I could find a light one with a small pack size and minimum set-up fuss. This led me to the STS Ultralight Hammock, and to some negative opinions on this forum regarding the size / weight / price.

Re the size, I bought the XL version. Not sure if that was available at the time of the negative comments I'd read.

Re the price, I guess it depends on where you are in the world. Iím in the UK and to get a respected hammock from the likes of Warbonnet imported, it would cost twice as much as my entire STS system (hammock, suspension and adjustable SRL). Then again, the STS costs twice as much as a budget hammock in the UK. But such hammocks are bulky and heavy. So the price seems right to me: An ultralight hammock and ultralight suspension for £80. To that I added a pre-made adjustable SRL for £10.

I had my first experience with it last night. I thought it was great.

Iím 6ft with wide shoulders and weigh 115kg. I therefore am possibly a good person to test this hammockís limits. It is rated to 130kg and sure enough it didnít break. I felt no unpleasant squeeze on my shoulders, and I could get a decent diagonal lay. I may have got lucky - I'd set the ASRL to 250cm and it didn't take any load when I was in the hammock. I didn't bother adjusting it - if I had I think it would have been a few cm less than the recommended 83%. That may have explained how I managed to get comfortable in spite of it being a short hammock?

Anyway, I liked it. While my experience with the hammock is limited, I canít think of anything wrong with it.

Except perhaps for the fact that the weight limit reduces greatly Ė in fact you are advised not to use it at all Ė when it is wet. And itís often hard to keep things dry where I walk. It will likely get wet from mist even if I protect it from rain. So there is a big question mark there.

Oh and also the fact Iíd prefer a dark green for added ďstealthĒ. In this photo at dawn, my rucksack is almost invisible, but the hammock is not:



Note that Iím not an experienced hammocker, and that this thing, for me, is for the occasional overnighter if Iím in a forest and canít find space for a tent. If I intended to spend weeks hammock camping and lounging around, I imagine Iíd appreciate a bigger hammock and all the accessories.

I donít use the compression bag that the hammock came with, or the bag that the suspension came with. They took up a large percentage of the overall weight. When the hammock, suspension and SRL are in my own bag, the total weighs 280g, or just under 10oz. It's a small bag, but the hammock fabric is very compressible so everything needed fits in, and there is room for more stuff if needed:



It was 10 degrees C, or 50F, last night. I used a CCF mat, 100cm X 200cm, 3mm thick. I always carry a foam mat, using it to make the frame of a frameless rucksack, so this was not extra weight that the hammock required, just a different shape and thickness to the one I normally carry, and more versatile Ė it would work fine under a tent, too.

I put it inside the hammock and clipped it in two places at a diagonal, in the hope of keeping it in place. The clips eventually came undone, and in spite of the generous size of the mat, it was just enough to keep all parts of my body insulated. I used a quilt on top. I think it was important that the quilt could be buttoned up at the foot end, as otherwise it would be hard to keep it in place. I guess thatís the way with any hammock? I had brought a brimmed hat and a head-net in case of insects but didnít need them in the end.

Here is a picture in the morning:



Having the foam mat inside meant that the soil / dirt / grit from when I first clumsily got in with boots didnít come into contact with the hammock material. This is what had collected in the centre of the mat by the morning. If there was any sharp grit in that, I donít like the thought it getting scraped against the extremely thin hammock fabric as I moved around in the night:



Later on, on the walk back, I was at a cliff top with a nice view, and there was a large arched tree there, so I couldnít resist setting up the hammock as a seat to enjoy the view.



It was very uncomfortable hung vertically like that, lesson learned But it did illustrate the added advantage of a small and light hammock: you can always carry one, just in case you find a nice place to stop. The whole setup could squeeze into my trouser pocket. Not that that would be a good idea: I brushed past plenty of thorns last night, and I suspect this hammock needs to be protected from sharp objects more than most.

I think Iím going to like this, and Iím certainly going to carry it.

Iíve posted this in the reviews section, but as a hammock newbie Iím also interested in peopleís thoughts on this sort of hammock. Perhaps in particular regarding my concern about how weak it is when wet. STS say donít use it when ďsaturatedĒ, but Iím not sure what that means. Clearly I need to avoid it getting rained on or falling into water, but what about condensation / dew / heavy mist? I often regard my tent as ďsaturatedĒ in the morning dew, so presumably this can happen to a hammock?