Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Unboxing: The DD Frontline Hammock Review

900g and fairly small although it can easily be modified to be smaller and lighter

I first slept in a hammock about 25 years ago [so no one could accuse me of rushing into this] and everyone I've ever known who has one rates them over a tent any time. As usual I started researching the options online and realised that by getting a hammock and tarp, I was basically getting a rig I could use as an ultralight tent too, with just the addition of a pair of hiking poles. I've already got a tent I really like (cheers BoB) but while it's not the lightest by today's standards it's too good to chop in. While sleeping under a tarp is fine most of the time, when you want a built in mosquito net you REALLY want a mosquito net. So after a scout around I settled on the DD, I chose the Frontline model. Here's for why:
1.Cheapness: at £50 they are really good value, quite a bit cheaper than the alternatives and DD were kind enough to do me a deal on a group buy which made it a no-brainer
2. Lightness: They also make a waterproofed version that's a little heavier, but as an old fart when I sleep on the ground I sleep on a mat so I wasn't that fussed and went for the slightly lighter 'frontline' version.
3. Delivery time: I thought I needed it in double quick time (sadly plans for winter camping got kiboshed) FYI-I've read a few reviews from US buyers who got their's shipped within a week and if you're ordering a whole set up they send them Fed-Ex which is only 2 days.
4. Pablo's recommendation: you can see his video here, he's had one for ages, has tried most of the other brands, and swears by it. Good fella that Pablo and a serious kit-tart
5. Nick and Penny are well travelled outdoors people, they sell a product that does what is says on the tin at  a price they can only do by being online only. They might not be your, or my, neighbours in a geographical sense but they are in every other way.

DD supply the hammock in the simplest possible configuration, if you want to get all gadget-tastic and pimp it to your spec you can, or you can just take it out of the bag, tie it to a pair of trees and you're good to go.

Straight out of the bag it's obviously very well made, all the stitching is strong and the built in mosquito netting feels like it's going to last. The webbing that you tie around the trees to hold it up seems easily adequate to tow a small car with, and the zips are reassuringly robust. It's going to stay up all night and last and last. [That's what she said]

You and I might have imagined a hammock to be a simple device, you know, an old sheet of cloth and some string, right? No. Oh no. Its just not that simple, or rather it is, but only making/buying cool little gizmos that we can we reveal it's true simplicity. Sounding a lot like a kit-tarts dream come true, no? If you want to know more about the myriad ways the design can be tweaked
have a look on to be truly astounded at the gadgeteers and their inventiveness.

There is usually a group buy on BCUK so you too can save a few quid.

So that's the unboxing over, I'm still tinkering with my set up - and choosing accessories, so you'll have to wait for the field test.

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