Home > Gear, ultralight bicycle touring > What Worked: Hennessy Hammock Thermo-Lite Bivvy Combo

What Worked: Hennessy Hammock Thermo-Lite Bivvy Combo

A few degrees colder and this combination would have been a miserable disaster.  As I’ve written before, the Hennessy Hammock is a wonderful Ultralight tent alternative in warm weather.  The temperature slipped into the high 30s on this last trip and I slept comfortably most nights.  I was chilly but never chilled to the point of discomfort.  I used a light weight Marmont sleeping bag liner unzipped to the toe box as a sleeping quilt and laid directly on top of the Thermo-Lite Bivvy.  I wore neoprene cycling tights and a long sleeved jersey and added gloves and a head cover in the early morning as the temperature dropped. 

The main drawback of this system is keeping the bivvy in place as I tossed about.  It may be worth adding Velcro tabs to the top and bottom of both the bivvy and the hammock if you’re thinking of doing this yourself.  Sleeping in a hammock takes some getting used to. I’ve never mastered the acrobatic feat of getting into a sleeping bag while in a hammock.  The Hennessy is unusual in that entry is through a slit in the middle of the hammock running from the toe to about the mid-point of the hips.  Velcro and good luck hold the slit shut and to exit, the hammocker needs to dig around with the heel to pry the Velcro apart.  This is a bit more difficult with the bivvy in place, but becomes much easier with practice.

Hanging and taking down the Hennessy is quicker and less of a hassle than pitching and breaking down most tents.  Be sure to never tie a knot in a hammock line.  Your body weight will cinch the knot so tight you may as well cut and mend the line (I’ve made this mistake).  Instead use several half-hitches around the webbing and line.  My model of Hennessy weighs in at 1.6 pounds and the Thermo-Lite 2.0 Bivvy is a tad under 7 ounces and both pack down to a quarter the size of the smallest tent.

Thanks for reading, Jack

  1. arlen
    September 23, 2010 at 7:36 am

    i also own a HH4SSS
    mine is several years old..
    mine also came with a insulated kit…
    which included a very thin foam sheet…
    and a lower hanging sleeve that hangs closely to my hammock body…
    with this set up and also an foil emergency blanket under me…
    i am very warm…
    didn`t your HH not come with this insulated kit?

  2. velohobo
    September 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    No, mine is the ultralight backpacker, now called a hyperlight. I see what you’re talking about on their website. Nice. I like the “deep jungle” model with a double bottom and insulation too. I think I would like a side entry model as well.

    It will be a few years before I upgrade, but I will always have a Hennessy hammock in my stash of gear.

    Thanks for the comment, Jack

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