Another day another hammock. If you have been following my posts you might have detected a bit of a theme developing, namely, I am becoming a huge fan of the hammock over then tent. The biggest advantage I see is just setup and tear down time. A tent, one that I know well takes about five minutes to set up and due to the stuff sack size a bit longer to pack up. My hammocks take a reaction of that time and the best but, no bending and no kneeling on the ground.
Now, on to the Blackbird XLC. As with all the Warbonnet products, the quality and design is impressive. The strap system is so easy (just add a carabiner) and all you have to do is to wrap the strap around a tree and use the built in buckles to adjust the length.
This hammock has a built in bug net, which is removable (XLC sanding for Extra Large Convertible) and not just a roll away, the net can be completely removed. There is also a foot box and a shelf. The foot box is designed to minimize the “calf ridge” effect that gathered end hammock suffer from (basically a ridge is formed in the fabric which presses into the calf of you lower leg.) and does so quite well. The other feature that makes this hammock unique is the shelf, basically an area when small items can be stored. This actually works very well and provides a place to put the cell phone, book, light etc.
The one possible downside is to do with the foot box. Compared with the Hennessy Hammock the Warbonnet sort of forces you to lay only on one side (if your a back sleeper disregard this section) so, if like me you sorta switch from one side to the other before falling asleep this my present a problem. Having slept in this hammock for a while I got used to this and by the second night I fell asleep very quickly.
As with the other hammocks designed by Warbonnet you will need to purchase a fly sheet to keep you dry as one is not included with this package. I use a Superfly which works well with this hammock.
These hammocks come in different configurations, single or double layer and 1.1 or 1.7 fabric. I got a double layer 1.7 which is rated for 400lbs and is 11 foot long. This configuration is, for me, incredibly comfortable.
One thing regarding insulation. If you have the Hennessy Supershelter, the under pad works well with this hammock. I used this during the summer where my under quilt was just to warm and found that the pad stayed where I placed it (due to being slid between the two layers of fabric) and kept me warm all night.
A sleeping pad could also be used just as easily.
So, in summary, I love this hammock. For comfort I would put this equal to the Hennessy, but is lighter and the suspension design is defiantly superior.
One comment about getting a good hang, this hammock should not be strung up tight. You should aim for a nice sag where once laying in the hammock you should be able to put you hand on the ridge line and then twist you hand by 90 degrees. Once you have the hang set place your body at about 10 degrees off center thus ending up laying at a slight angle. This will flatten out the lay and open up the hammock.
If you want to get really technical that take a look at
for all you exact dimensions.
Built to accommodate us bigger guys.
Quality materials, design and construction.
Removable bug net.
Great suspension system.
Foot box forces you to sleep on just one side, if your a side sleeper.
Compared to the Hennessy its a little more expensive ($210) where with the Hennessy you also get the fly sheet for about the same price. With the Blackbird XLC you will need to buy a fly, some ground stakes and two carabiners, all available form Warbonnet at the time of purchase.