|www.mosquitohammock.com owner Tom, (also a bush pilot of some renown) claims "This hammock is used by the Foreign Legion in French Guiana, the Italian Marines and the British Special Forces. This is our best hammock and should last 5 years of hard use." ... "Designed by explorers who have used them in deserts, jungles, and mountains around the world - Best hammocks - Best prices - Mosquito proof - We will refund your money if you are not 100% satisfied - Thank you - firstname.lastname@example.org"|
Everything I can see about this design confirms that this is probably true. The beast is idiot-proof, or nearly so. I find this hammock to be a good value for the money ($120 USD as of 9/1/2005). It's a better design than the Speer or the Clark Jungle Hammock, with quality construction, and no glaring weaknesses. Serious hammockers will certainly appreciate the quality workmanship and clean design of this hammock.
Everything needed to pitch the hammock with rainfly is included, even 2 ground stakes and cordage. Tom likely realized the choice of tent stakes and cordage varies among individuals and therefore included just rudimentary (cheap) tent stakes to make pitching the rain fly possible. (You are free to substiture some 9-cent 8" gutter nails from the local hardware store for ground stakes, just be sure to grind the points off on a wheel or a flat rock first.)
SETUP: The hammock includes two 12' long, 1/2" wide soft nylon web straps which each pass through a heavily reinforced channel at the ends. These straps are removable and can be replaced by a longer rope if desired. The suggested basic method of securing the hammock works fine, but instead I tied loops into the straps and will use seperate tree-huggers straps and carabiners to anchor to the trees.
INSULATION: The interior of the hammock bed has a full length nylon sleeve to accomodate an insulation pad. I tested two Thermarest pads, a RidgeRest classic lightweight closed-cell pad (20" x 72" x 3/8" ) and an Ultralight self-inflating (shorter) pad. Both went in easy, and stayed where I put them. Tucking the extra material of the oversize sleeve under the pad made for a neater appearance and kept it out of the way of the zipper path.
Open the insulation flap, insert pad, close the flap. Just like this:
RAINFLY: The diamond-shaped rain fly provides the maximum rain shelter with the minimum amount of material. Made of camouflage nylon taffeta (210T) with just 4 reinforced attach points, this durable and large rain fly measures a generous 400cm long x 300cm wide & 250cm along each side (13' long x 10' wide). Extends 50 cm. beyond each end of the hammock. Rain will not be a problem when using this rain fly. Note: This rain fly is not made from the exotic lightweight silicone impregnated nylon we have come to expect, but when have you seen a camo rainfly in silnylon?
BUG-NETTING: The black, fine-mesh mosquito netting is permanently stitched to one side of the hammock bed. The other other side has two double zippers for closing this bug-netting. Since both ends are identical, the zippered entrance side can be switched by simply reversing the ends of the hammock. This one-side-only zipper design saves weight and bulk, and reduces complexity, both in manufacture and storage. The bug net is kept away from the occupant's skin by a cord looped through four (4) tie-outs on each end of the bug net. Note that the bug-netting will square up, if you prefer, by inserting a stick at the end.
INSIDE: Though the inside is not cramped, it is cut rather narrower (33" wide) than a HH. This was not a problem. I did not feel I was laying in a bucket with high sides as I did in a Speer. Large guys, such as me, will find this hammock nearly effortless to enter and exit.
CONCLUSION: Highly recommended. I will likely order another soon, because they are cheap and fit my basic purposes. The vendor, Tom, was engaged in King's Cup Elephant Polo finals in Hua Hin, Thailand at the time, yet he still found time to respond to my email. The products appear to be continually updated, unlike hammocks from some other manufacturers I could name.