Sunday, June 23, 2013

Appalachian Hammock Original and Big-Sil UL Tarp Review

Hammocks are my favorite sheltering system for most environments. They are extremely comfortable and lightweight. They usually require less gear than conventional tent camping. No sleeping pads, poles, pillows and so on. You do however need trees.
Over the past few weeks we tested the Appalachian Hammock Original along with the Big-Sil UL Tarp. Appalachian Hammock's are handcrafted by two brothers in Greenville, NC. All materials are also sourced from here in the U.S. Basically that means when you purchase an Appalachian Hammock you are supporting our economy two-fold.
Appalachian Hammock Original (Orange Stuff Sack) and Big-Sil UL Tarp (Grey Stuff Sack)

Unlike most end-gathered hammocks on the market- the Appalachian Hammock Original comes with suspension straps. These typically have to be purchased separately with makers such as ENO and Grand Trunk. Which will usually tack on another $20 before you can get out there and start hanging. These straps are 1" military grade tubular nylon straps measuring 9ft in length. Making it an even better buy is that it comes with premium carabiners; Black Diamond Neutrino aluminum carabiners to be exact.
As I mentioned above the Original is an end-gathered hammock- constructed from 1.9oz single layer breathable rip-stop nylon with a water resistant finish. It's a very spacious hammock and even though its not labeled as a two-person hammock; its very capable of being one. Rated at 400 lbs so as long as the combined weight doesn't exceed the limit you should be fine. Speaking of spacious it has to be the largest hammock (single or double) that I've used. It measures a whopping 11' x 60".

During use the Appalachian Hammock Original has been extremely comfortable. Being that its larger it allows the user to lay in an asymmetrical fashion to give a flatter lay. So you don't sleep like a banana basically.

The weather isn't always fair so tarps are a must if your a serious hammock-er. The Big-Sil Ultralight tarp is constructed of 1.1 oz sil-nylon (hence the name). Sil-nylon is the best material in regards to durability and weight. The Big-Sil measures 144" along the ridgeline and 120: in width. Giving you a great amount of protection from the elements. Not only for you but also for you gear, there's enough room in there for it also. It offers a tight pitch and has optimum coverage with its "cat-cut" design. Perfect for water shedding or shielding you from wind. It's triple stitched with reinforced tie-out points that has triangle rings to use with whatever is your preferred cordage and stakes. I used some bankline and some commercial ultra-light aluminum stakes. However you can fashion some in the field with your knife to save on weight.

The Appalachian Original Hammock comes in at $69.95 and is a bargain considering what your getting- A handcrafted hammock that can accommodate two people. Premium hanging hardware and military grade suspension straps. The Big-Sil UL tarp retails for $150 and is a standard price for tarps of this style and quality. If your interested in any of these products visit www.appalachainhammock.com. 

Check out our video review of these products below

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