Thursday, August 16, 2012

Warbonnet Outdoors: Blackbird 1.7 Hammock

We test a lot of gear out here at Black Scout Survival and sometimes we run across things that really get us excited. Today is one of those times. This is a mosquito hammock from a company called Warbonnet Outdoors. I was able to use this hammock on some trips over the past few weeks and had some really comfortable nights.

I had a chance to get some info from Brandon the owner of Warbonnet Outdoors and get his story. Brandon on his background "My background in hammock camping is mainly from rock climbing. I definately did some backpacking trips in my early teens that gave me a great love for the outdoors, later in college I got big into rock climbing, going just about every weekend. somewhere along the line I just decided sleeping in a hammock sounded like a good idea so I bought one to try and never went back to the ground again." Brandon also explained what got him into designing hammocks "I basically got into hammocks with the desire to make something better than what was available at the time, I was unhappy with what I had,  so I started tinkering and found I enjoyed designing gear so I decided to give it a shot. It was a tough start but here we are 6 years later with a small workshop here in Colorado and a handful of employees dedicated to making the best gear we can make." I will say Warbonnet Hammocks really have solved many issues I've had with many other hammocks. Great design and ingenuity. 

The model I tested was the Blackbird 1.7 Double and has a weight limit up to 400lbs and can comfortably fit an individual up to 6'8". I weigh 200lbs and 6'1" tall and had plenty of room. The Blackbird 1.7 Double is the heaviest (40oz with adjustable webbing system) and most and most expensive ($175) model of all the Warbonnet models. They do offer lighter models as well as models with a line/strap suspension. You can also find varying accessories from tarps, under quilts, top quilts, to name a few. So you can easily transform this hammock from 3 to a 4 season hammock. The model I have is an OD green color (a color I like because it blends in) but the 1.1 comes in a slate grey color. 

The Blackbird takes all of a minute or so to set up and is just as quick packing down. In our video review you can see just how simple it is. 

As stated above the hammock comes in at around 40 ounces with the adjustable webbing system. It packs tightly in a double end stuff sack or modified "bishop sack". I really like the concept; it makes packing down and set up very easy. It also keeps your hammock from dragging the ground during set up or pack down. The sack can be stored on the webbing system so that it's out of the way and doesn't get lost. The hammock packed down is somewhat larger than a standard Nalgene canteen. 

Adjustable Webbing System
One feature I really liked was the adjustable webbing system. I hate tying and retying knots to get my hammock in the right position. I've also used some sling systems that pretty much sucked. These webbing straps are super lightweight and with use of a carabiner it simply wraps around the tree and locks onto itself. Then all you have to do is adjust the webbing with the buckles to position your hammock the way you see fit. 
Shelf storage keeping the essential at hand

Shelf and Footbox
These are two things that really set the Blackbird apart from the rest. The Blackbird hammock comes equipped with a 2sq ft shelf. Unheard of right? This keeps from having a cluster in your hammock (as I've had numerous times in the past). It keeps your gear at hand- in the hammock but out of the way. It is also kept off your body by the tie outs. The footbox brings comfort to a whole new level in hammock-ing. The footbox gives the user an opportunity to lay in an asymmetrical position, providing a flat comfortable lay. I also used the footbox to store clothes.

Fully adjustable Tie-outs and Ridgeline
The adjustable tie outs is a not so in-your-face innovation but I really dig it. The tie outs are made of a white bungee cord with a cord lock. The white keeps the tie outs from becoming a trip hazard. The tie outs open up the hammock but are not necessary to use. The structural ridgeline keeps the mosquito net from lying on your face and can also be used to attach lights or other items. 


The mosquito net is a very high quality no-see-um netting which is very fine to keep out the smallest of insects. It can also be rolled back and placed out of the way when not in use or if you want to just use the hammock as a chair.  

I did add some bright cord lanyard's (w/ 3M reflective material) to the outside zipper's so I could find them easily in the dark or low light conditions.










If your in the market- I highly suggest Warbonnet Outdoors. The Blackbird may just be the hammock that all other mosquito/jungle hammocks should be judged by. The innovation and upgrades really make the Blackbird a breeze to set up and comfortable to relax in. The Blackbird has become my favorite hammock. I enjoyed the trips I made with the Blackbird over the past few weeks and can't wait to get at it again. 

Check out Warbonnet Outdoors for more information.

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