Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Highly durable and fully weatherproof
Cons: Heaviest model reviewed, bulky
Best Uses: Camping in poor weather where durability and protection from the elements are needed
Manufacturer: Hennessy Hammock
Of all 11 hammocks reviewed, the Henessey Expedition Asym is the only model that comes with not only an integrated bug net but a rain fly as well. It is an incredibly versatile camping hammock, but is heavier than our Editors' Choice award winner, the Warbonnet Blackbird, and a bit lighter in features. The 41oz hammock is the heaviest model we reviewed, and the 210D nylon is the burliest fabric. Overall we feel that this is a great runner up for serious camping and users heading into a wet climate who are looking for an extremely durable hammock with a rain fly included.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Of the two expedition hammocks reviewed, the Henessey is the only to come with a rain tarp. While the Blackbird from Warbonnet won our Editors' Choice for best camping hammock because of a few unique features, many users may prefer the durable material and extra storm-proof build of the Henessey.
The Henessey Expedition Asym is one of the most comfortable hammocks reviewed due to its asymmetrical design. It lacks the foot box of the Warbonnet Blackbird, but does have guy lines that provide extra shoulder space. Finding a comfortable hang was never an issue in this hammock, and the unique zippered bug net pulls completely away from the field of view for when you want to look at the stars.
Like other hammocks with a ridge line and bug net, we found that this was not an ideal hammock for sitting up perpendicularly, though it is possible. The ridge line also comes with a mesh organizer, a great upgrade that some users found very helpful for storing a headlamp, book, or other small items that can be difficult to stash otherwise. The stiff, heavy fabric is less comfortable than thinner materials like parachute nylon, a problem that goes away once the user crawls into a sleeping bag.
Great features and incredible durability come at a cost, and the Henessey Expendition Asym is no exception. The massive hammock, at 41oz, has weight comparable to a lightweight backpacking tent, though it does include a 10oz fly that can be ditched when the weather will be clear. Despite its weight, it is an ideal hammock for cold and miserable conditions, and before picking this hammock it would be a good idea to think about the conditions it will be used in. If rain or cold are in the plans, this is the hammock to get, even with the extra weight – you'll want the fly and thick fabric in a storm.
This hammock excels at protecting during stormy weather. Ultralight backpackers may not desire the bulky fabric of the Henessey Expedition Asym, and car campers might want something easier to sit up and lounge in. But for any camping where weight is not as much of a premium as protection, this hammock is a great option. For a more versatile hammock that can be shared with children or a friend consider our Top Pick double hammock, the Grand Trunk Double.
There are a variety of upgrade options for all Henessey hammocks and we choose the Zip rather than the floor entry. We felt that this made for a more versatile hammock that can be opened up in good weather or clear nights for star gazing as well as allows easier entry with sleeping gear.
While any hammock can be upgraded with a fly, only the Henessey comes with a system to suspend it on the ridge line. The small clip and friction knot are surprisingly strong and make micro adjustments fast and simple. When needing more or less tension on the fly, the user need only slide the knot further up the poly cord closer to the tree or anchor.
Like the Blackbird Warbonnet, this hammock comes with elastic guy lines that open up space inside the hammock without static tension. This is a great feature so long as care is taken to avoid tripping over the small clips and cord, which are fairly weak.
The Hennessy Asym is designed with the heaviest and burliest fabric tested, a 210 denier nylon with double stitched seams. This hammock will be around for many years and can be relied on for extended trips when trust in gear is paramount.
Ease of Set-up
While feature heavy, the Henessey Expedition Asym is one of the more difficult to pitch. Unlike the Blackbird, there is nothing built in to allow tension while it is hanging, and stakes (which were not included) are needed for the elastic guy lines. The fly does deploy quickly and easily, however, making it a great hammock in surprise rainstorms.
Campers looking to head into adventurous environments during all four seasons will appreciate the burly fabric and light weight rain fly, provided there is space in the pack for a large and heavy hammock.
The Expedition Asym Zip runs at $169.95, and considering the inclusion of a rain fly and integrated bug net, this is a great value. Campers looking to purchase and upgrade to a parachute nylon hammock like the Grand Trunk Double will find themselves spending about the same amount after picking up a fly and bug net, neither of which will work as well as they do on the Expedition Asym system.
There are lighter hammocks on the market, but few as durable and weatherproof as the Henessey Expedition Asym, and while we prefer the comfort and features of the Warbonnet Blackbird, this hammock camps extremely well and is our go-to hammock for camping in bad weather.
Other Versions and Accessories
Henessey makes a variety of hammocks with slight variations, including the
Hennessy Scout, $100, the Hennessy Explorer Deluxe Asym Classic, $220, and the Hennessy Safari Deluxe Asym Zip, $250.
Hennessy Rainfly for Asym Explorer Deluxe or Expedition, $80.
— Greg Davis
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: August 25, 2014
Credit: Hennessy Hammock
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