View Full Version : Hennessey Winter Solution aka SuperShelter Recieved

08-20-2004, 02:08
Posted in the Gear Gallery are the initial pics of the Hennessey Super Shelter.
The package recieved including the SuperShelter proper and an open cell pad weighed 13.5oz. The stuff sack has two openings, one for the pad and the other for the SuperShelter proper. On the outside of the stuff sack are directions for setup of the bottom part of the SuperShelter and the installation of the open cell foam pad; also are directions for us of the OverCover which is not supplied for the Basic SuperShelter.
Setup directives tell you to setup of the HH as usual and then take off each line and redirect it through an appropriate hole in the bottom of the SuperShelter,,,if you match it's opening/entry slit with that of the HH's then it is simple and obvious how/where to direct the hammock support lines and the side pullouts.
Installation of the foam pad is just as simple with the foam pad having elastic corded loops that match up with the side pullouts of the HH and the holes in the bottom SuperShelter.
Once the open cell pad is removed (and removal is suggested after use), the HH can be SnakeSkinned along with the SuperShelter.

The SuperShelter is VERY much like the GArlington Taco, a little more attention has been made on the ends of the Super Shelter in that the support lines of the HH go through holes at the ends of the SuperShelter and then to the tree/post/whatever, and equally with the attention to the holes that the side pullout lines go through.

The open cell foam pad is an interesting choice. It is very compressible and does have an R-value but only time will tell how much, read how many degress F, it can cover at 1/4 inch. With my experience in hammocking in cold weather (and I beg other cold weather hammock masters to chime in) I think that the instructions on the supplied stuff sack will/must be heeded--to add additional insulation.

Cost: the internet price of $129, and note again that this does not include the additional $30 to get the OverCover, which (also noted on the stuff sack) is intended for cold BUT dry conditions--do we get these conditions on the AT? Well yes we do, by the laws of humidity, when it drops below 15-20F then the air will be dry--- but I assure you that the 1/4 inch foam pad will not suffice at these temps and an additional layer (or two or three) will be needed. What will the 1/4inch suffice for? I direct you toward the Speer chapter in his book where he delineates how many inches for how many degrees F.

How close is this to the tacos I and others have made? DArned close and it will be up to you to decide whether you can make one for the same money.
The sily-nyl offered by OWF and Seatle Fabrics for a 9'x5' piece is anywhere from $40-50 and the square shape, as has been addressed by Jacks-r-Better and others, can easily approximate the shape of the HH when occupied by drawstrings running the length and at the foot and head ends. The question is can you sew or find someone to do it for you (really the question is can you find someone who can take a piece of rectuangular sil-nyl and sew a channel up each side and at each ends, I know you can take a paper pin and thread the line through).

Use of the base SuperShelter as shipped: my guess is temps down to 55-60F with no breeze...why this guess, well around 50+ nights in a hammock in temps ranging from 17F to 82F...throw in a breeze and you have a different ballgame alltogether.

Temps below 55-60F???? Well here is the beauty of the taco, uhmmmm, the SuperShelter...you can add any insulation you might find on you, in your pack, or in/on the forsest--anything to create a dead air space under you. I've talked about placing a down jacket there, others have filled garbag bags with air, a close cell foam pad........or BETTER yet the Jacks-r-Better Underquilt will work perfectly in this application.
By using their Nest, the SuperShelter will have yet two more closed air spaces, wind will be further blocked as well as an splatter rain. In my experience splatter rain has not been a problem, direct horizontal rain behind the Mt.Albert Shelter was and in that rare case my underquilt (a homemade model at the time) did get slightly wet WITH the OEM HH tarp.
After you have a down or Primaloft underquilt then add the SuperShelter.

OK you've only got $200.00 to spend to stay warm below the HH....get the Jacks-r-Better Underquilt aka The Nest first, in my experience
The open cell pad is very reminiscent to the pad originally sent by Golite with their Fuz and Fur and open cell foam pad in this thickness is affordable.

Cost and the ommision of the OverShelter: for $129 I think it should have been part of the package but Hennessey did the math on his return on investment and cost outlay for materials/labor, he also determined that the OverShelter would be a condensation hell in some climates (the AT climate for most of the hiking year).

Summation: the SuperShelter as shipped will be tested alone, with The Nest, and compared with the Speer PeadPod, and both of them compared with my own preference for extreme cold weather- the CrazyCreekCrib/ Western Mountaineering Ponderosa Combo.....here are my predictions:

1. any HH will be more comfortable than any Speer or CrazyCreek crib setup or combo, I think I can say now after playing with all systems/combos that the HH is dominant for overall comfort BUT

2. the Speer hammock and PeaPod will be vastly warmer that any HH setup with underquilt, this by the nature of the design of the Speer/PeaPod also includes the CCC/Pondersoa combo

3. that for temps below 20F you need the Speer or CCC/Ponderosa setup or something very similar.....BUT the reality of most AT hikers are not year around hiking like we are, the majority hike in temps that see lows in the mid 20s (occasionally when thru-hikers begin), and more commonly in the 30s, I think it is rare that the average AT hiker will see highs in the 20s or teens.

Just predictions...as the Fall approaches and Winter develps I will give more first hand experiences with all these setups.