View Full Version : Speer Hammock Testdrive

01-09-2004, 12:47
I just tried out my new Speer Hammock last weekend. Because I was out for only 1 night in mild weather I am not putting this in the Gear Review section. I own other hammocks. I sleep cold even in the summer and have been experimenting with different options so I ordered a Speer. The seperate 8x10 rainfly comes with lightweight tieouts already attached. This means you can throw it up in a hurry-tie it between 2 trees or treking poles and stake out the 4 corners. I call it the "instant carport" feature. There is plenty of room to cook, chill out or whatever. I got caught in the rain on saturday so I put the fly up and tied the hammock part low to the ground so I could sit in it and cook at the same time. The hammock part has thick straps attached-it is very easy to tie up. Because the bug mesh is attached by velcro it can be removed and this allows you to sit sideways in the hammock and use it like a chair. My friends decided to chill out under the carport to. To keep warm when sleeping I used a thermarest pad because it is warmer than a foam pad and it does not buckle up like a foam pad when placed in the hammock. I would carry a thermarest anyway in case I had to sleep on the ground. On Sunday the weather was beautiful. I tied the hammock up on the side of Blood Mtn and watched to clouds roll by for awhile. I call this the "lounge chair" feature. I really LOVE this hammock. It works with the way I backpack and camp. My hammock weighs 2lbs 4oz-including 4 DAC tent stakes I added. The quality is excellent. The customer service is excellent. I have 30 years of backpacking experience. I have led backpacking trips for years and I teach backpacking clinics. I highly reccommend this product if you are thinking about buying a hammock.

shades of blue
01-09-2004, 14:07
Did you get his "pea pod" and his quilt? I am thinking seriously of the Speer also. I'm just not sure if when I hike (mainly summer) if I would need both the quilt and the pea pod. Glad you liked the hammock so much.

01-09-2004, 14:55
Yes I did get the pea pod. I did not use it on this trip but I like it alot. I intend to section hike on the AT in april and I believe the Hammock, the Pea Pod, a thermarest pad and a lightweight ground sheet would allow me to sleep on the ground if it were very cold or in the trees if we have the normal spring weather. My peapod with stuff sac weighs 2lbs 2oz and is rated to 45 degrees. My thermarest guidelite weighs 18oz. I use plastic for a ground sheet but would switch to tyvek if I could find some. This means my shelter/sleeping system weighs under 7 lbs. Since I sleep cold I may have to add something else in there BUT I am waiting for the new lightweight thermarests to hit the market. They should hit the stores any day now and there is also alot of talk at the outfitters about some new very lightweight synthetic sleeping bags that are about to come out. So I am going to wait and check out the new stuff before I go out again...

01-09-2004, 15:02
Yes, I recommend the Speer hammocks too, though mine is homemade. You can save over 50% of the cost by making your own, but at least buy Speer's book with the sewing directions. He deserves at least that for sharing his experience and patterns.

01-11-2004, 10:00
How is it compared to the Hennessy Hammock or any of the others out there?

I wish I could afford all tents & Hammocks & such out there so I could test them all together for a real comparison. Backpacker does a fair job of it, but they still have to answer to the sponsers, the ones making the gear being tested :datz

Thanks for the input! My son wants a hammock so all hints & comments apreciated :dance


01-11-2004, 10:18
How is it compared to the Hennessy Hammock or any of the others out there?



I don't use a hammock currently myself (I have in the past), but often hike with folks who do. Here's a few things that I have learned about the difference between Speer Hammocks & Hennessy Hammocks.

*Speer Hammocks are 100% made and assembled in the USA

*Ed Speer (Not To Worry) is a member of the Thru-hiking community, and an avid hiker. He hosts hammock camping gatherings here in the Southeast.

*Ed has written the definitive book on Hammock Camping

*Hennessy Hammocks are "gotten into" from underneath. That makes arranging your insulation padding (which goes beneath you) difficult. Especially if your a 200+ pounder like me.

*Speer Hammocks offers kits to "make your own" hammock.

*Speer hammocks do not have the bug net sewn into them. This allows for greater flexibility in a variety of conditions.

Here's a link to the Speer Hammocks website - http://www.speerhammocks.com/

01-11-2004, 15:13

Most major hammocks have good return policies. Try it out, if you don't like it send it back.

Another plus about Speer Hammocks is Ed Speers himself, just a damn nice guy.

If you have any creativity, why not build yourself a speer hammock. His book gives all the details. Email DebW if you want to know how easy or difficult it is. She made hers and it turned out nice.

As for myself, I have the Clark and a Hennessey and I prefer the Clark.

01-11-2004, 19:13
I did have a chance to get into a Hennessey a few months ago. You lay flatter in a Hennessey than a Speer. But I like the Speer because the bug netting is removable and the top entry is easier with a full pad under you. These 2 things are probably more important for us northerners than you southerners. If you need bug netting most of the year and never need a full-length pad, Hennessey might be a better bet.

01-11-2004, 19:37
I own one of the early model Hennessey Hammocks. It weighs only 30 oz and has the smaller rainfly. It does sleep alot flatter which is a good thing because I get claustrophic. It is a little harder for me to tie up because it has strings not straps but that is a personel preference. the bug mesh is excellent. I have used it for years. I like both of them...I would reccommend both of them..but the Speer works better for the way I hike and camp now.

01-14-2004, 18:24
I have a total of 5 hammocks, including open top, two home made on bayer with bug net (note Bayer now makes this model for $39.95 see CAMPMOR cat), a lightened m1965 jungle hammock and a Hennessy. The hennessy is the best. Lays flatter. goes up faster. can be a chair or a lounge. The Asym tarp works. the bottom entry is a dream...you can't fallout. Once you learn to get rid of the sleeping bag and use a quilt with a foot sack getting in and out is a 2 second drill. Although, i have used a variety of pads to sleep down into the 20s including a night of 5 inch snowfall, i now have a down under-quilt.
Slept the other day wearing fleece long handles, homemade fleece balaclava, barefoot with my 22 oz down quilt(2.5" thick) and nothing else in the hammock at 28 degrees. Get an under quilt....no more wrestling around to stay on a pad etc. With a pproximately 100 nights in hammocks these last two years, i can say that hammocks can be used year round in temperate , forested areas and they will provide the best nights sleep. Going out this weekend to "hang" on a windy cliff above the James river, expect 20-30 degree weather. Happy New Year !