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  1. #1
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Test drive: SLD bottom entry bug net

    I received this about 2 months ago and finally got around to testing it today in my local woods. It's not often that new gear sits around quite that long before I test it, but we've finally got some gnats swarming and the mosquitoes are starting to pester us, which makes for a more realistic experience. I always test even the seemingly most simple stuff before taking it on the trail because I never know for sure what little hiccups or tricks I might learn when actually setting up. I love my integrated net hammocks, but I want to see how this works on the trail because sometimes I really enjoy sleeping netless, so it's nice to have the option.

    This one is made with the nano (0.7osy) material and is designed to fit my 10' Tree Runner (also SLD), a Hexon 1.6 hammock of which I've become very fond. The bug net weighs 152.6g in its perfectly sized stuff sack. As usual, Jared's workmanship is superb, and once again I was blown away by his warp speed turnaround time.

    I'm glad I tested because I had to figure out the sequence of deployment of the various bits. So after a bit of futzing around I learned that after attaching the head end of the hammock I had to thread the foot end CL through the bug net—big opening toward the head— before attaching the suspension webbing to the foot-end CL on the hammock. No biggie, but not something I want to find out for the first time under duress, say when it's raining and/or mosquitoes or black flies are feasting on my carcass.

    It was easy to attach the UQ before sliding the net over the hammock, and the larger (cinch-able) opening is big enough to fit over a pretty good sized UQ, and maybe even a UQ+TQ with 40deg rating or so. Heck, maybe even bigger quilts, but of course if there are flying pests around it usually means it's warmer and therefore lighter quilts will be in use. Getting in and out was easy enough, and it was easy to cinch and un-cinch the shock cord for the big bottom opening. When in the hammock, the net was not hanging on my face or otherwise flopping around.

    So I napped for about an hour and enjoyed watching the gnats' and mosquitoes' futile attacks.

    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  2. #2

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    See, THAT’S what I was going for... I like going netless - both times - but, you know...spiders. Here in the sticks, I only have around a month of good conditions. So I guess I decided that integrated was right for me.

    I liked the idea of bottom entry, especially for flying things, but I’ve seen firsthand - and recently - how crafty those creeping things can be....I hate being arachnophobic. I’m hanging my head in shame.

    But that’s awesome, seriously! I hate that I can’t easily adjust my UQ anymore.

  3. #3

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    And it IS really fun to watch them flying around and trying to get in!

  4. #4
    LowTech's Avatar
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    I got to use mine on this past trip to the SE. A place where bug netting is not optional.
    Used it w/ 40° quilts and removed it daily (slide to one side).
    At first I was a little bothered that when I had the bottom cinched up to the amount I liked it was off center. I do tend to cinch up the bottom to a comfortable size for me to get in and out of and then not change it.
    After using it for a bit I decided that I really liked the bottom opening being off center if I used it w/ the larger end opening to the foot of the hammock. That puts it off center towards foot end and made it really easy to get my feet into the bottom opening as they were down that way as well.

  5. #5
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmberG View Post
    See, THAT’S what I was going for... I like going netless - both times - but, you know...spiders. Here in the sticks, I only have around a month of good conditions. So I guess I decided that integrated was right for me.

    I liked the idea of bottom entry, especially for flying things, but I’ve seen firsthand - and recently - how crafty those creeping things can be....I hate being arachnophobic. I’m hanging my head in shame.

    But that’s awesome, seriously! I hate that I can’t easily adjust my UQ anymore.
    We'll see... I'm not all that arachnophobic—I adore those cute little jumping spiders—but I'd definitely freak out if I found a big, hairy spider in my hammock such as the one in the photo Obdewlax posted recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by LowTech View Post
    I got to use mine on this past trip to the SE. A place where bug netting is not optional.
    Used it w/ 40° quilts and removed it daily (slide to one side).
    At first I was a little bothered that when I had the bottom cinched up to the amount I liked it was off center. I do tend to cinch up the bottom to a comfortable size for me to get in and out of and then not change it.
    After using it for a bit I decided that I really liked the bottom opening being off center if I used it w/ the larger end opening to the foot of the hammock. That puts it off center towards foot end and made it really easy to get my feet into the bottom opening as they were down that way as well.
    Thanks for the observation... I'm going to use it on the next few trips and am sure I'll discover some little personal tweaks. I always do!
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  6. #6

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    That one was scary, for sure! I have no problems with snakes, slugs, anything else that doesn’t have 8 legs. I can’t explain it. I wonder how easy it would be for one to get into a bottom entry net like that...I might have to try it.

  7. #7
    LowTech's Avatar
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    Something that I saw Derek do was to put the UQ over the bottom entry net. I thought that was interesting as my partner is totally bug bait. The kind of person that you take to the swamp so that you don't have to wear repellent.
    So I tried it one night and found it not that much harder to get in and out of and it sure closed up the opening w/ out having to majorly cinch it up. Also made putting on the UQ a breeze, though it was odd adjusting it. I figured I could get used to that if I had phoebeas or was bug bait.

  8. #8

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    I never thought to do that. It DOES sound like it would be more difficult to get in and out of. I tried a Fronkey style net with a zipper and a tube style net. The tube was a PITA to get on and off when I got in, but I liked the zipper one, just not the weight. I might try one like Bob’s SLD though...maybe with a drawcord opening at the bottom so I could cinch it up real well. I like my integrated net, but it kind of makes that hammock a “camping only” hammock.

  9. #9
    LowTech's Avatar
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    Mine is from Jared (SLD) as well, we both got them about the same time.
    All the Fronkey style that I've had seen to want the bottom left w/ a opening that the quilt or hammock acts as a plug for.
    We did have one experience where she tightened the bottom so much that one of the ends opened do to the pressure on the netting when she was in it
    We didn't find that out until the inside was full of 'Skeeters.

  10. #10
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    I didn't cinch the bottom super snug, but I don't see how much could get through either the ends or the bottom once I'm in the hammock. It's nice to see the bottom drawcord placed appropriately toward the head end and easy to reach while leaning from inside the hammock. I assume that's standard for all Fronkey nets, though.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

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