Why do soldiers like our hammocks so much?
We have listened carefully to the needs of both individual soldiers and military procurement officers and we're happy to be able make soldiers more comfortable and safe out there. Some of our biggest fans tell us about how our hammock has made deployment better in letters below.
While any of our hammocks have their place in your kit, some are made just for the needs of the military, like our Survivor hammock.
Military model: SURVIVOR
2 hammocks tied between 2 humvees in Iraqi desert - rainflies not shown
Origins of the Hennessy Hammock
This is a label from an old World War II army model jungle hammock just like my first jungle hammock purchased in a military surplus store in 1955. It very quickly became my favorite piece of camping gear and I couldn't go into the woods without it after I discovered that you don't have to sleep on the ground to go camping. After my "friend" borrowed and failed to return it, I decided to make one from memory. All the improvements of the Hennessy Hammock would never have existed if I hadn't found that army hammock in the surplus store...It's amazing to me that the Hennessy Hammock is now becoming the new standard for military jungle hammocks. Mothers and wives are finding out about them and sending them to their sons and husbands serving in all corners of the world...Tom Hennessy
Letters from Soldiers
I bought this hammock from you folks last year, to give to my daughter, Madalynn Jacobs, who is in the US Army. She is currently a 13 Bravo, Cannon Crewmember, assigned to the 3RD ACR, out of Ft. Hood, TX . She loves it! She has not had time to contact you guys, herself, but did send this pic just today. They are currently at the NTC, At Ft. Irwin for 30 days, to get ready for an upcoming deployment. Thought i would pass on her, as well our, thanks. It makes what little sleep she gets, good. Normally she would be on the ground, or in the back of the truck that tows their M777 gun.
Thanks again for a great and affordable product. Todd & Karen Hills, Quartzsite, AZ
Mark has a job clearing IED's, no wonder he has an aversion to sleeping on the ground.
"I was just looking around the website for any new product updates and saw the global pictures section. I figured I'd send in my photo of my Hennessy Hammock that I used during my time in Iraq. We spent most of out time on the roads clearing IEDs and often slept on our vehicles throughout the country. The hammock allowed me to have a comfortable night sleep no matter where I was.
Great product and thanks, Mark"
Ernest Engman aka SGT Rock
"Tom: Thanks for the hammock! I have spent the last two nights in it getting the best sleep I have had in the last 6 months. I have moved out of my HQ building here in Baghdad and set up a semi-permanent hammock campsite nearby so I can enjoy the better night sleep that the hammock provides over the cot I have been using for the last 4 months."
By now you probably have hundreds of thank you letters, I'd like to add another one to the growing list. Last year one of our troop's 2004 Eagle Scouts joined the US Marines. Last February he was sent to Iraq for a tour of duty. Prior to leaving the troop purchased him an Expedition model hammock in desert camo. Our marine returned home safe and sound this past November. He stopped by on his visit home to see how we were doing and during his visit I asked him if he used the hammock. He said the hammock caused him a lot of grief - it seemed every time he left it unattended upon his return another marine from his squad was sleeping in it. He said it was one of the most used pieces of equipment in the entire platoon.
Thanks for a great product.
Hi, I'm a British soldier currently serving in Afghanistan and I'm the envy of most every time the Expedition A-sym comes out of my bag!!!!!!
F.C. A very satisfied customer.
You and Kate sold me an Ultralite Backpacker A- Sym for my posting to Sierra Leone. It has proved to be invaluable. It has been the rainy season here in Sierra Leone for the last few months so having an integral rain sheet has made life so much easier. Similarly as the rain ends and the temperature rises the cooling effect of being in a hammock makes sleeping much more comfortable.
Although the exceptionally fine mesh has proved most effective against small mosquitoes and the like, I most appreciate the way the hammock lifts me away from rather large and evil looking bugs that come out at night!
The 'treehuggers' webbing straps provided have also been most useful, although not perhaps for the reasons originally intended. With much of the infrastructure of the country destroyed I sometimes find myself staying in damaged buildings and the straps help stop the ropes slipping down the poles that used to support a porch or something. They also minimise the wear on the paintwork when I sling the hammock between a couple of landrovers for the night.
Hey - I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your brilliant design and awesome hammock! I am a 9 year veteran of the Canadian armed forces (Infantry 2 RCR) and I have slept in your hammock for the past 6 weeks straight.A buddy of mine and I saw the hammock in my MEC catalogue and decided to risk the trouble we would be creating by using something so unorthodox for the field.
Luckily nobody really seemed to mind because of the task we were doing so we have spent the last six weeks "hangin' out." Let me tell you that it was worth every last penny. We have since convinced another guy in the platoon to buy one and he is as impressed as we are. I find that line extremely useful for hanging things up like socks and even books and magazines while lounging about or getting a little sleep during lulls in the battle.
Recently I bought myself an Expedition 2.5 in a local adventure store. From the beginning, like everyone else, I totally fell in love with your hammock! It truly is a genius' invention.
Two weeks after purchase, I was able to test it in the field: I am a crew member of the Dutch 42nd Tank batallion. My platoonmates were sceptical at first, but once they got inside they loved it. I have some pictures as an attachment you might like. It shows the hammock hung between two tanks in the German countryside. Another brilliant thing; it can be used virtually everywhere.
Corporal Daniel Ypma
Hello from Belize
"On a recent ... mission in Belize I had the opportunity to truly validate my Hennessy Hammock. Having worked extensively in the jungles of Central and South America I understand the value of a quality reliable shelter. If you've never spent the night on the jungle floor, or any similar less desirable location, you have some appreciation for this. We had been helicopter inserted into a remote jungle location to destroy a significant marijuana cultivation operation. During the mission the weather turned severe and the helicopters were unable to return and extract us. The team settle down for the evening setting up their various hootches, tents, and tarps. I set up my Hennessy Hammock with full confidence that I would be both sheltered from the elements and insects, and I would arise the next day well rested. The torrential showers that night were some of the most drenching I have ever experienced and when it wasn't pouring down on us the mosquitoes were dense enough to see large swarms of them. I spent the night comfortably tucked away in my Hennessy while the other members of the patrol spent the night either swimming in their tents or fending off critters and insects. Most were soaked to the core while others were literally swollen from the extensive bites they sustained. When they saw me emerge dry, safe and well-rested, the only thing I could say was "Hennessy". When the helicopters extracted us a few hours later, they were stunned to see the condition of the patrol. When we returned to our operating base I had so many inquiries from the unit that I had to set up my Hammock for all to see. A few weeks later one of the patrol members was hospitalized for malaria, having been exposed to the mosquito swarms the entire evening. We made it an SOP that every member of the patrol would carry a Hennessy from that day forward and we haven't had a bad night since. I don't ever go on any mission without my Hennessy Hammock.
MAJ Wally - US Army Special Forces
A TEST OF THE HENNESSY HAMMOCK IN AN EXTREME COLD WEATHER ENVIRONMENT
PROBABLY THE ONLY HAMMOCK NORTH OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE
a Review by Ben Reynolds of the Royal Marines Commandos (abridged: read full version here)
It’s indisputable. Hennessy Hammocks could well be the best in the world. Light, durable, comfortable and excellently engineered… perfect for warmer areas of the world, right? Well, you will have seen from the website that ever evolving design solutions are attempting to expand the boundaries of the hammock inhabitable world, from calm low lying areas and comfortable lowerlatitudes, to where the silent killer reigns supreme…. cold. So, it was with Hennessy Hammock’s Explorer Ultralite Asym, along with elements of the insulated Superstructure that I found myself in Northern Norway in order to test whether the cold can be defeated by this intruder from the tropics.
THE TEST CONDITIONS. The system was tested in the area of 68º 33’ 37.12’’N by 16º 58’.54’’E, east of Harstad, Norway. Initially mild temperatures prevailed, fluctuating around freezing, which resulted in freezing rain, sleet and snow. Though this is not the extreme cold that was later encountered, it was far more testing due to the freeze-thaw effect and moisture content of the air which accentuated the cold. Minimum temperature encountered was - 18ºC (0ºF) still air and estimated at -30ºC (-54ºF) with wind chill. Maximum precipitation encountered was 7.5cm (3 inches) of snow in 6 hrs.
...CONCLUSION. The Hennessy Hammock insulation system is capable of supporting a lone traveller in extreme cold weather environments down to -12ºC (10ºF) in the format tested. This was dependent on the sleeping bag used and a bag with a lower comfort zone than that used in the test will similarly reduce the -12ºC figure. This figure will also be reduced by: (1) adding insulation to the Under Cover e.g. spare clothing/suitable vegetation, (2) use of the Over Cover, and (3) a solution to cooking which would also heat the living space...However, for those comfortable operating in extreme cold the system works in all respects other than the method in which one can cook, but there must be solutions out there.
Thanks to Ben for his detailed and informative review!
"ROUGHING IT IN COMFORT"
The idea of a hammock conjures up images of a sandy beach, palm trees, exotic birds and drinks with little umbrellas, but for the International Special Forces crowd it traditionally meant a somewhat-more-secure- than-on-the-ground, relatively comfortable sleep with one's spine curved at an unnatural angle. One solution to these problems is from Hennessy Hammocks, who has been providing the US Navy Seals with its Explorer Ultralight hammock with such positive feedback the Ultralite is the only jungle hammock used by the Seals today. Entrance is through the bottom of the unit - one opens the velcro, sits into the hammock and leans back, by virtue of which the entryway closes automatically with one's body weight - and the base provides a flat, natural sleeping area. The Asym part of the name refers to the unit's asymmetrical design, in that the company has added extra room at the shoulder and knee areas which, at 2.75 metres in length, the hammock provides ample room for habitation (like a tent) instead of simply being a sleeping quarter - older military hammocks are 76-cm in width compared to the Ultralite's 152 cm. The company claims that the Ultralite Asym has a special ridge cord that, once set up correctly, will ensure one's bed is exactly the same as the night before no matter where the hammock is erected next. The Ultralite (a jungle hammock) was recently tested and highly approved by a British Royal Marine commando at 68* north, just east of Harstad, Norway, where the minimum temperature was -18*C with a wind-chill factor of 54* C.
"Armada International" Issue 6, 2006