Post Hike Gear Talk: BIAS Weight Weenie Micro Hammock

P1050255Last weekend I decided to take the kids with me on an overnight hike on the AT. To be clear, this hike wasn’t really about miles, or even gear really, it was about getting the kids outdoors, and spending some time with them. However, I had recently received a Butt in a Sling Weight Weenie Micro Hammock, and I figured this would be as good a time as any to give it a try… So, for this post hike gear talk, I decided to focus on some of my thoughts after using this hammock… and I had a few!

In the trip report video, I made mention that it was a long night… and it was. Likely, one of the longest nights I had experienced… But, to be fair, I have to chalk that experience up to lack of experience with this piece of gear, bad execution of using said gear, and maybe a little bad luck to boot. As well, I didn’t really use all necessary components to making a hammock set-up a success…

First off, I decided to hang the hammock inside the shelter, which resulted in a shorter distance than what is required to properly hang the hammock. As well, while I am not exactly sure, I feel like hanging from the rafters created more of a banana effect than stringing the hammock up between 2 trees would have produced. What I’m getting at is, I didn’t hang the hammock the way it should have been hung.

The second issue is that, even though I was inside a shelter, I wasn’t really blocked from the wind. Instead, the wind blew right through the shelter, and into me, ALL NIGHT LONG. When I said I didn’t use all the necessary components, what I meant by that was I didn’t succeed in blocking the wind… and as anyone that has used a hammock knows, blocking the wind is very important for a warm and cozy night…

Both of these issues were clearly my fault, and I believe that had I hung the hammock outside the shelter, between 2 trees, at least some of the issues would have been lessened to some degree. I could have gotten a better hang, as well as been able to throw the tarp I did have with me over the hammock, which would have blocked some of the wind.

One other issue that I experienced, and may actually be somewhat directed towards the hammock (but not sure yet) is the width. When lying in the hammock with no UQ, or TQ, or pad, I fit fine it seems. But, once I installed the UQ, then added a folded piece of 1/4″ XLPE CCF under my lower legs, and an Enlightened Equipment top quilt to the mix, I didn’t seem to fit quite as good. (But, if the hammock was hung correctly to begin with…)

Even with nothing else on/in the hammock, I don’t feel like I am lying on the diagonal as much as I do when using wider hammocks, but once I added in these other items, I am not sure I fit too well then. The problem was, my legs kept sliding off/out the end of the hammock. Now, other than the width, some other theories I had about this problem is that the sleeping pad in the foot box was lying over/on top of the edge of the hammock, and allowed my legs and feet to actually roll over the edge of the hammock. Another theory is that the shell material of my top quilt was slick and also helped my legs and feet to roll right out of the hammock… Either way, this really made my overall comfort a bit uncomfortable for most of the night.

Then, when I added in the constant wind pounding into me all night long, well, it just made things worse. On this note, the temps were just under 40 F when I laid down, and just over by the time I finally decided to crawl out of the hammock the next morning. As well, I was using an overstuffed 20 F Hammock Gear Phoenix UQ, my Goosefeet Gear down pants, and down socks, and my 35 F Enlightened Equipment Prodigy quilt. Despite the violent winds all night long, I remained warm enough to be comfortable most of the night, however, there were a few moments… As well, because my feet were sticking up like a sore thumb into the wind, my toes did stay cold much of the night…

So, while I didn’t experience a good night in the set-up, at this point, I can’t really say that it is the hammocks fault. I openly admit to creating a poor environment for the hammock to prove itself in, and for this reason, I have all intentions of getting it out again, and going about things a bit more correctly next time. But, at this point, I do question the width of the hammock, as well as using anything but a full length UQ in colder weather…

So, until I get it out to use it more… you can check out this video, which basically says most of the same things I have already typed above…

Thanks for stopping by!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: As I mentioned in my first post about this hammock, it was provided to me free of charge, however, I had no obligation to “review” this item. The statements in this post are of my own opinion, which I have formed after having used the hammock myself.

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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21 Responses to Post Hike Gear Talk: BIAS Weight Weenie Micro Hammock

  1. H2oBoy007 says:

    Stick,
    Do you have any problem with trapping condensation using the Cuben on the UQ? I’ve been thinking about asking HG to make me a Phoenix 20° with Cuben outer. My theory is that having the Cuben on the outside would allow it to act as an UQP and block the wind, and I wouldn’t have to add another piece of gear to the system.

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    • Stick says:

      The few times I have used it, no, I have not noticed any condensation whatsoever. As well, I have thought about getting an UQ with the outer layer being cuben, and the inner being something like Argon… Or better yet, all cuben. Of course, if this were the case, it would need to be sewn at the baffles, or have a strip of some type of breathable material so that it could be stuffed into a pack, or a stuff sack if you use one. Any who… at this point, I just don’t know enough about them to judge if this would be a good idea though…

      ~Stick~

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  2. Gerry Brucia says:

    Chad,
    I just viewed your video and saw that you do have a 52″ hammock. It is way too narrow, even with the knotty mods. At 5′ 10″, you need a minimum of 60″. The 56″ you are considering would still be too narrow. The knotty mods would take care of your foot and gear issue if you have a wide enough hammock.
    I too have an EE TQ (30 deg Enigma) and a 20 deg HG Phoenix UQ and they both work fine for me. Before you buy a full length UQ, may I suggest you first try cutting your pad down to 18″ x 18″ or less and stick it INSIDE the foot end of your top quilt. It works great to keep your legs/feet warm.
    I just ordered a HG 11′ Winter Palace. I spoke with several folks and concluded that the 11′ tarp is a better fit for the BIAS hammocks that have a fixed 9′ / 108″ ridgeline. A foot on either end, especially with doors, is plenty of length, plus it allows you to set the tarp lower to the hammock than a 12′ would because of the positions of your whoopie slings.
    Since we are nearly the same size and have similar equipment, I would love to chat with you more via email or phone. If interested, drop me an email so we can talk some more.
    Gerry.

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    • Stick says:

      Gerry,

      In the past, I have used a 1/8″ pad inside the footbox and it did work better. I thought about doing this the other night briefly, but was afraid that the pad was too much, and I didn’t feel like dealing with it any more at the time. The next time I take it out, I am planning to try it like this…

      And that is a good point about the ridgeline on the tarp… I was thinking about going with a 12′ ridgeline, but I didn’t think about the shorter length being able to sit lower…

      Anyway, if I think of anything else, I will shoot you an email, and the same to you, feel free to email me anytime. I am really appreciating everyone’s input on this… it really has been helpful! I appreciate it!

      ~Stick~

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  3. Gerry Brucia says:

    Chad, I recently switched from a Warbonnet Traveler (65″ x 10′) to a BIAS Weight Weenie (62″ x 11′, 8 oz) with the knotty mods. Which width did you get in the Weight Weenie Micro? It comes in 52″ (6 oz), 56″ (6.5 oz), 60″ (7 oz) and 64″ (7.4 oz). If you got the 52″ or the 56″, it probably is too narrow for you, even if you had the proper suspension.

    I absolutely love my weight Weenie. It is the most comfortable hammock I have ever owned (the 6th). I am 6′, 160 lb. and the 11′ length in conjunction with the knotty mods really make a difference. The mods pull the side by my head up a few inches cutting some wind and keep my feet and top quilt from sticking off the other side.

    I am sold on the BIAS hammocks, particularly because of the length and knotty mods.
    Gerry Brucia

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    • Stick says:

      Gerry,

      Yeah, it is the 52″… and as you pointed out, I think it may be a tad too narrow, but I will give it a few more tries before going a different direction.

      ~Stick~

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  4. Although a tarp would be very useful, even as a wind block in the shelter, I make use of less wide hammocks by hanging the head end almost 6″-12″ lower than my feet.

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    • Stick says:

      Jeremy,

      My head end was probably around 12 inches lower than the foot end. But I am confused… are you saying that with a narrower hammock, by lowering the head even more, it will become wider?

      ~Stick~

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    • Not that it will become wider, but where your body rests in the hammock may be closer to the middle where the width is greatest. I also don’t sleep on a full 45% diagonal. Width and length have play a large role in user comfort. I’m 5’7″ and 160#. I used to sleep fine in a 4’x9′ hammock. I have slept the best in a 5’x10′ hammock. The “sweet spot” is larger. I found that if I don’t hit that spot just right in a smaller hammock, I can be rather uncomfortable. That’s why I practice so much on setting things up *just* right.

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    • Stick says:

      Gotcha Jeremy on the width thing! That makes sense…

      Anyway, I totally agree with you on practicing setting it up so much… I think had I went and used trees, I would have gotten a much better hang, however, in the shelter, I had to use what I had… I guess maybe I need to practice setting it up in less than ideal situations… 🙂

      ~Stick~

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  5. Josh camp says:

    I’ve had a OES macat ultra (silnylon) for about 5 years and I still love it. There is nothing better than using your hiking poles for “porch mode”. When I first got it, I wished that I had opted for doors but unless you are camping up north then you probably don’t need them. My only real regret is that it’s not cuben fiber.

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    • Stick says:

      Josh,

      My first tarp was from OES. It was an 8 x 10 flat tarp, and of course made from sil. The quality was great, however, I eventually sold it… Anyway, I agree, the doors would likely be overkill in my area at least half the year, however, considering one with doors only weighs in at 8.5 oz… or half of what the same tarp in sil would weigh, I would rather have the added protection. But to be completely honest, if hammocking went right for me, I know that I would end up buying another tarp without the doors to save that additional 2 oz!

      ~Stick~

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    • Josh camp says:

      My thoughts exactly on the tarp. By the way, I have a Hammock Gear 20 degree Incubator UQ ( full coverage). If you pay for the shipping, I’d let you borrow it to test it out.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Josh,

      I appreciate the offer… I will keep it in mind, but I should be pretty good. One of my other buddies is a huge hammock guy and has, or has had, at least one of pretty much everything! 🙂

      ~Stick~

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  6. Josh camp says:

    Good post. Sounds like a pretty memorable trip and I’m glad you decided to give a hammock a try again. Like you said, your biggest mistake was probably where/how you hung the hammock. You could equate it to picking a really poor (wet & windy) site for your hexamid. Oh well, sounds like you just found a really good excuse to get out again. If you ever want another “hanger” to go with you just give me holler.

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    • Stick says:

      Thanks Josh! Yeah, I think the biggest factor to this was of my own doing… which is why I wanted to do this post. A few folks had asked me what I thought about the hammock set-up, and I was hesitant to say anything since I didn’t want anyone to take things the wrong way… I had to explain it all… Anyway, I have done a few other nights in a hammock, and successful at that, so I want to try it all again. However, as I mentioned, I am wondering if maybe a wider hammock would be better for me, as well as going with a full length UQ and just getting rid of all the fiddle with using a pad in the footbox…

      ~Stick~

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  7. david richardson says:

    I have found that a underquilt protector is very useful in blocking wind from coming thru a underquilt and the bottom side of a hammock.

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    • Stick says:

      David,

      Yeah, I have even thought about a winter sock in colder weather… I don’t want to jump into a bunch of new gear all at once here though… I think going with a good tarp that gives me good coverage will be my next investment… However, what UQ protectors would you recommend?

      ~Stick~

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    • David richardson says:

      2QZQ breathable protector

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    • Stick says:

      David,

      That is the one that I looked at in the past. The only thing though, is that this would add another piece to deal with, and of course more weight. At this point, I think maybe going with a full length UQ, along with using a tarp to block wind, I may be around the same weight, or possibly less, and have less fiddle… I don’t know… I am keeping it all in mind though. Thanks for your suggestions!

      ~Stick~

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    • Pat Combee says:

      Stick, I am short and sometimes my feet slide off the sides and this is in a 60+ inch wide hammock. You do learn to adjust to it all without even having to think about it. Just put in some more time in your hammock. I do put my short foot pad inside the foot box of the top quilt. This makes for less shifting and chasing it around. I expect you are right about the hang angle. It really can affect the lie. My perfect trees are about 13 feet apart, but I sometimes hang on trees as close at 11 1/2 feet (I do use a short hammock of about 9 to 9 1/2 feet). Ditto the Underquilt protector. It has saved my butt (pun intended) several times. For your height, an 11 foot hammock is more comfy and would allow a narrower hammock (but for your height, I would stick with around 60 inches). I like my short UQ, but a full-length affects your light a lot less and does help considerably with your feet sliding off the edges. Head lower than feet, but not too much (experience with dictate how much is right for you). Feet too high can contribute to your feet getting cold as your blood does not flow to your feet as well that way. There is a learning curve, but keep taking your hammock out and get it dialed in. Oh, and you can go ultralight with a hammock: My UL setup with hammock, bugnet, suspension, cuben tarp and tarp suspension, stakes is 21 ounces. Of course, I am short, so your mileage may vary.

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