Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock

Review: Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 Hammock

A highly durable, double layered yet lightweight backpacking hammock with a built-in mosquito net for bug free hammock camping all year round.

If you’re looking for a camping hammock that provides versatility, usability and comfort in equal measure then you need to take a snooze in the Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7. With a built-in bug net, double layered bottom, foot box and storage shelf, this excellently well made hammock is ideal for chilling in the winter wilderness, hanging out in the tropics and everything in between. And to top it off, this highly durable hanging home (along with all Warbonnet gear), is manufactured in the USA.

Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 Hammock: The stats

Weight (including suspension straps):964g (2.12lb)
Length:3m (10ft)
Width:1.6m (5.25ft)
Pack size:35 x 13 x 13cm (14 x 5 x 5in)
Material:2 layers of 70D Nylon
Supports loads of up to:181kg (400lbs)

Design features of the Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock

Suspension system

Suspension straps of hammockThe Blackbird comes with a simple suspension system of webbed tree straps and triangle ring buckles. One end of the webbing has a loop to thread the other end through once wrapped around the tree. Alternatively you can use carabiners (sold separately) to connect the loop to the rest of the strap to make things easier and quicker. The straps simply thread through the buckles and can be easily adjusted to the correct length for your hammock hang.

Built-in bug net

Zip of bug netThe hammock is enclosed with a bug net that is built-in to the rest of the hammock. The whole length of one side unzips and can be tied back if you don’t need/want to keep out the bugs. Even if there aren’t many bugs about, I like having the net zipped up to prevent anything from dropping onto me in the night from the trees above. Once you’re tucked up in the hammock you can see right through the net so star-gazing is still on the cards!

Double layer

Double layer of hammockThe hammock is made with two layers of 70D nylon. Not only does this mean the hammock can hold extra weight than a single layer, but it also provides a sleeve to put your sleeping pad into. This is really important to stop the pad from moving around in the hammock, and having insulation from underneath (via your pad) is essential for a cosy, warm sleep.

Footbox

Footbox of hammockTo make sleeping on the diagonal (instead of straight down the middle) much more of a natural position in the hammock, the Blackbird has a footbox at one end. This is essentially an extra bit of hammock that extends out to the side for your feet to snuggle into. This really helps me get into a super comfortable and flat position in the hammock. The double layer extends right into the footbox, so when your pad is in, your tootsies are insulated from beneath too. This really makes a difference to the warmth of your feet and it’s worth taking the time to get the pad right into the footbox.

Storage shelf

Storage shelf of hammockOn one side of the head end of the hammock is a really useful storage shelf that provides around 2sq feet of space to stash your stuff. It’s much like the footbox, but is deeper and added on to the side of the hammock (rather than part of the main hammock material). It’s really easy to reach into it to grab whatever you’ve put there without really altering your position in the hammock. A really nice feature of the Blackbird.

Stuff sack

Stuff sack of hammockThe lightweight stuff sack has an opening at each end and both ends are closable with a simple drawstring. This system means that the hammock can be set up and taken down without touching the floor at all. Essential when camping over wet ground or over prickly undergrowth etc.

Guylines

Hammock guylineOn either side of the hammock at the head end, there is a guyline that can be secured to the ground with stakes or to nearby trees. This provides a bit of internal structure to the hammock by drawing the bug net out and opening it up slightly so that it doesn’t sag onto your face whilst you sleep. The ends of the guylines are elasticated and adjustable so that they can connect them to whatever is available.

Ridgeline

Ridgeline of hammockThis is a cord that runs the length of the hammock and provides a ridge for the bug net to rest over. It also provides a good place to hang your clothes or gear from, and helps when setting up the hammock to make sure you get the right amount of sag.

 


Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock review

The Blackbird it so easy to put up. It takes me around 30 seconds to put it up and adjust it ready for sleeping in. And taking it down is about the same. Warbonnet recommend setting it up with the foot end around 16 inches higher than the head end. I played around with this a little bit to start with and found that having the feet slightly higher definitely gave me the flattest position to lie in across the hammock. With this setup, once I’ve gotten my position just right I don’t end up slipping to one end of the hammock, or indeed back to middle.

I use a sleeping pad inside the double layer to help with insulation. And although it can take a bit of adjusting (and lots of wriggling around) to get the pad in the right place, once it’s in, it’s in!

I have a bad back and neck, and find that although sleeping on my sleeping pad in a tent is OK for my back, I often wake up with a really stiff and sore neck. Sleeping in the Blackbird eliminates the morning neck pain almost completely: whatever position I sleep in (back or side), the hammock is always closer to my head to provide more support than when I am lying flat on the floor, or battling with a pillow. So my head is never at an uncomfortable angle – a big plus for me.

As well as housing a sleeping pad, the double layer also provides a base that feels really strong. I like how confident I feel when I’m shifting my weight around; pushing my knees, hands, feet and elbows into it at random angles and with lots of weight behind them. The whole setup is solid and feels like it will last forever.

What I love the most about the Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock

I’m a huge fan of the storage shelf. One of the downsides to hammock camping for me is the lack of storage and feeling of disorganisation. But the shelf gives me a spot to store an extra layer, my headlamp, a book and even a bottle of water for easy access in the middle of the night. Having those items rolling around somewhere in the main part of the hammock would drive me mad so I really like this feature, and it enables me to keep things organised – just the way I like i!

I also really like that the bug net can be tied back out of way. It makes is much easier to just hop in and out of the hammock for chill time during the day. And it also means that if you’d rather sleep without a net then you don’t need to. Change your mind once you’re tucked up into bed and it’s easy enough to untie and zip yourself in without leaving the comfort of your cocoon!

Man sleeping in hammock

What I don’t love so much about the Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock

At 964g (2.12lb) the Blackbird 1.7 isn’t the lightest hammock out there. And once I’ve added my tarp to the setup it ends up not being much lighter than my backpacking tent (which, admittedly, is exceptionally light!) However, if you are looking for something more lightweight, Warbonnet also offer a single layered Blackbird that is only 708g (1.56lb). This doesn’t have the load capacity of the double layered Blackbird, and obviously is without the pocket to put your sleeping pad into, but it can still hold up to 113kg (250lb) with no problem at all and is an excellent choice for warmer conditions where low weight is important.

For all the extras that the double layered Blackbird 1.7 offers, you will struggle to get anything much lighter without compromising on quality, durability and versatility.

Verdict

The Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 hammock is just about light enough for backpackers who want to keep their setup as simple and easy as possible: the lightweight suspension system certainly helps keep the appeal high. But it’s the superb ‘extras’ offered by the Blackbird that make this an excellent choice for hammock camping in all sorts of scenarios. It is highly versatile for camping in the cold and rain, as well as hot and tropical areas, and with Warbonnet’s usual high quality, the Blackbird 1.7 will see through many years of hanging out in the wild.

hammock gear guide

You may also like

Open Menu