Hey all you hammock campers! Would love to start a discussion around the pros and cons of “traditional” (gathered-end) hammocks vs. bridge hammocks.
What do you use? Why did you settle on it? What advice do you have to give?
My experience is varied. I own a few traditional parachute-style hammocks (eg. ENO), an asymmetrical Hennessy Hammock, and most recently, an REI bridge. (Quarterdome Air?)
What I’ve found is that most hammocks just aren’t great for tall campers. I’m a 6’3”, 220lb side-sleeper and I just cannot sleep comfortably in a gathered end hammock. I find that the general hammock sizes just aren’t designed for us taller folks. Try as I may, I just can’t get comfortable, even in my Hennessy (but the Hennessy is definitely better than a gathered-end). Honestly, I had just about given up on hammock camping and reserved the hammock to an afternoon-nap solution when I finally bought a bridge. I’m hooked!
For me, the bridge hammock presents a much flatter lay which allows me to sleep on my side with comfort and ease! I’m so glad to be back in the “hangin’ crowd!”
I must say though that a bridge hammock is a bit more of an inverstment than say, an ENO, because there’s just a lot more to it. Bridges take more time to setup and usually require more distance between trees, and they definitely require more space in a pack. But all in all, they are my new choice and I would definitely recommend a bridge hammock to any tall campers and/or anyone who wants a really flat lay or prefers side-sleeping.
So what are your thoughts? What style of hammock do you use and why would you choose one style over the other?