Developed by Tom Hennessy throughout the 1990s, Hennessy hammocks first hit the market in 1999. His hammocks are designed to provide everything you want in a tent without the need to sleep on the ground. This means you can expect each model to be lightweight, versatile, weather-proof and bug-proof. This piece about Hennessy hammocks reviews several of the most popular models, along with their different features and benefits.
You can read each of the product reviews below, but if you’re looking for an opinion of Hennessy hammocks in general, then here’s my brief take:
They are basically the Rolls-Royce of hammocks. The are extremely comfortable because, unlike a lot of hammocks, they are designed asymmetrically so instead of your body being slung in an arched position, you lie virtually flat on a diagonal.
Another excellent feature is the integrated ridgeline. This is one of the things that really sets Hennessy hammocks apart from parachute style hammocks. The ridgeline provides incredible stability and further adds to the comfort while lying in it.
Furthermore, each product is designed for specific environments. The waterproofing is as good as any tent (better, in fact, because you don’t get any condensation). They are exceptional in the heat and, when you add a quilt or insulation, darned good in the cold too.
They are hands down some of the best hammocks on the market.
These hammocks are the original Hennessy designs that kick-started the brand. They are medium sized hammocks, specced for people up to 6’ tall and up to 250lb. There are two main versions; “Classic” and “Zip”. There is also a third variation called “Jungle” which is slightly different.
Each variation comes with a detachable rain fly, integrated bug net, ropes, webbing and a stuff sack..
Hennessy Expedition Zip/Classic Review
The hammock itself is made from 70D high density nylon. The integrated mosquito net is made of 30D mesh and the rainfly is 70D ripstop polyester.
If that doesn’t make sense to you it basically means the following: you’re getting an extremely durable setup that’s going to last a very long time (assuming you care for it properly). It also means that the rig is heavier than you might think, weighing in at 2lb 12oz.
So if you are an ultralight junkie, you may want to skip down to one of the ultralight reviews.
But aside from that, it’s an incredibly comfortable hammock to sleep in. You can even sleep on your side or on your stomach. A rare thing in a hammock!
Classic vs Zip
If you’re wondering what the difference is, wonder no more. The classic version means you enter from the bottom through a velcro entrance. The zip version is...well...a zip and it’s on the side.
As you might expect, there are pros and cons to each!
Most people I’ve asked seem to prefer the zip version. They say it’s easier to lay out your bedding and that’s especially important in colder weather. They also like the fact that you can open the whole rig up when the weather is nice. And it’s easier to convert into a sitting hammock too.
There are two scenarios when bottom entry (no sniggering please) really comes into its own. Firstly, if the bugs are out in force you will escape them better going in from below than opening up your zip from the side. And secondly, when the weather is truly terrible for much the same reason as #1; you bring less of the weather in with you. It’s also a go-to design for anyone with mobility issues who enjoys hammock camping.
You may want to buy a larger rain fly than the one supplied if you’re expecting very heavy rain. The hammock tarp that’s including is fine but it does have limitations in terms of coverage.
You may also consider picking up some different hammock straps. Again, the ones supplied are certainly fit for purpose. But you may find you need more versatility in which case check out Bear Butt hammock straps which are longer and have more adjustable loops (though they are also heavier).
Hennessy Jungle Expedition (Zip) Review
The Jungle version is pretty much exactly the same as its siblings with one major tweak. Instead of being made of a single layer of 70D nylon, the Jungle Expedition is made with two layers of 40D nylon.
Why, you ask? Well it’s mostly to protect against the sort of vicious 6-legged beasts you expect to encounter in the jungle. It also means you can slip extra insulation between the layers (and HH have designed their “Radiant Double Bubble Pad” for just such an occasion).