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Hennessy Hammock (+++++)

The Hennessy Hammock has been my best investment in bicycle touring gear yet.

What are the complaints of camping, of sleeping in the woods, of sleeping in a tent on the ground? Well, it can be uncomfortable – so you need an air mattress. If you are ok sleeping without an air mattress, it can get cold as the ground sucks your body heat away throughout the night. If you have some kind of insulation, the ground is still hard, even on grass. There are still ants to worry about, sand or dirt gets tracked in that has to be shook out… and all the other complaints we’ve either made or heard.

Try a Hennessy Hammock.

Hennessy Hammock between palm trees

Strung up between two trees, the Hennessy Hammock tent will cradle you through the night in outdoor sleeping bliss. You will never have slept better in the outdoors than you will in this tent.

The model I am using is the Deluxe Explorer Asym. This is the larger one for taller and heavier people. It comfortably holds my 6’4″ 240# frame. This model is 9 feet long, and supports up to 300 pounds. There are smaller models, which are not only lighter and easier to carry, but are cheaper.

The Asym is for asymmetrical which means that you don’t sleep in a crescent, with your feet and head high and bowing down in the middle. You sleep slightly angled with your head and feet on opposite sides of the center. It is designed this way so you sleep flatter and don’t slide down into the middle all bunched up.

To give you an idea of portability, mine measures up to a packed size (including tent, fly, and straps) of 9″ x 12″ x 6″, and is advertised at 3 lbs, 4 oz. With most tents measuring at packed lengths of 18″ to 24+”, the Hennessy redefines portability for the bicycle touring and backpacking groups.

Prices range from $79.95(US) to $219.95(US), depending on the model. I paid $189.95(US) for mine. Including shipping (to Hawaii) my total bill was $204.95(US). As mentioned at the start of this review, besides the requisite bike, the Hennessy Hammock has been my best investment in bicycle touring gear.

The Hennessy Hammock site also has an impressive selection of accessories to upgrade different aspects of your tent. Though I am perfectly happy with mine in ‘stock’ condition, if I could do it again, I would substitute the hex fly for the asym fly. The larger coverage would be beneficial in rainy areas where you need to set up your bike and gear under your hammock tent, possibly even preparing your morning coffee out of the rain.

Website: http://www.hennessyhammock.com/
Model Tested: Deluxe Explorer Asym
Specs: http://www.hennessyhammock.com/specs-explorerDL.html
Price Paid: $189

Ease of Use: Setup +++++, Packup +++++, Portability +++++
Comfort: +++++
Design: +++++
Features: +++++
Accessories: not tested
Value: +++++

Best Feature: Sleeping out of the mosquitos, ants, and roaches
Worst Feature: Only complaint is that you must have a sleep pad

Overall rating: +++++



1. Cameron - May 26, 2007

What do you do if you can’t find two trees with the right spacing?

2. bloodhound - May 26, 2007

Excellent question, but one I didn’t have to address in my review – because I didn’t have that problem here in Hawaii. While biking along, looking at possible ‘stealth’ camping spots, there were always trees of some kind that would easily support the weight.

Oh, and the lines to tie up the tent are 7 feet in length on each end (useable length after the rainfly tie-offs), and the tree straps are 46 inches each. So, you put the tree strap around the tree, and have up to 14 feet of distance difference (minus line for the knot). Specifically, including the rain fly tie-offs and enough line to make a knot (based on the 9 foot model tested), you need two trees between 12 feet and 24 feet apart.

I have read other reviews that discuss setting it up on the ground with walking poles and such, but I see that as a last resort option. Not sure how comfortable or stable it would be.

So far, my experience has been that I can always find two somethings to tie it up between.

3. Vik - May 26, 2007

I own a henessy hammock and it is a nice product, but I also own a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2. Great tent weighs the same as your hammock with way more room [sleeps 2 full size people] and doesn’t require trees. Since hammocks and tents both requires some insulation under your sleeping bag I don’t see any reason to use the hammock if I am not headed some place where flat dry ground isn’t available.

4. Becnal - May 27, 2007

Sleeping in the HH is joy, isn’t it. I love finishing a long day of touring and getting into my Hennessy for a nap, and then going back to it for a long, comfy night’s rest.

5. Bill - June 12, 2007

Great product: SO comfortable compared to lying on the ground, and particularly useful in hot humid climates where the heat loss out the bottom is a benefit.

6. HH in2008 - January 25, 2008

Go HH Go!!!

7. Don - June 24, 2008

This tent looks really cool. I’ve been thinking about camping here on Oahu while schools out this summer and this seems like it would work perfectly.

One question though. Where do you keep your stuff? Isn’t it dangerous to keep the panniers on the bike?

8. Chief - July 4, 2008

Dangerous when compared to what? 🙂

I keep most of my stuff on my bike. I ‘almost’ never leave my bike unattended. Once in a while, I’ll take the bags off and stuff them up in the hammock if I need to leave everything for a bit.

As for when I’m sleeping, the stuff stays on the bike and the bike stays next to the tent. One night I rigged up bungee cords between the bags and the tent to (hopefully) wake me if any of the homeless in the park decided to help themselves to my stuff.

Mostly, I haven’t found it to be a problem.

9. kato - October 3, 2008

ill be living on a farm most likely in Maui. Why would you need a cushion? I think Hawaii dosent have mosquito’s. Other then the Centipedes I cant see how a sleeping pad will affect your sleep. I heard you only need those so the bugs cant bite you through the hammock. I could be wrong though.

10. THOR - October 2, 2009

Has it been tested on the icy banks of a half-freezing river in the fall where the wild fish swim?

11. Becky - April 9, 2013

The Hennessy is amazing! The sleeping pad of some sort is so that you don’t lose all the heat from your body…. I’ve been looking at the one that HH sells, its wider at the shoulders and narrow at the feet, and its a material much like those silver windshield sun blockers for your car. It works surprisingly well in many conditions, I hiked with it in the Jasper National Park, Canada and it holds up in some very chilly summer nights (and summer doesn’t always mean warm nights in Jasper).
Anyways, I just wanted to say hi, cause I always get excited when I see someone else using a HH 😀

12. cosmicstraggler - July 31, 2016

good story, i am also on a bike and can agree 100%, best piece of equipment .. the rain-fly can cover the bike altough additional space during rain would be usefull, i am looking into a 300 * 300 tarp, maybe even a small/light groundfloor to put under the tent … if you want i could keep you updated ..


13. cosmicstraggler - July 31, 2016

8 year old topic even so actual 🙂

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