Warbonnet Ridgerunner Bridge Hammock Review

warbonnet-ridgerunner-promo

Warbonnet Ridgerunner Bridge Hammock Review Video

Overview

The Warbonnet Ridgerunner is a bridge-style hammock designed to have a flat, head-to-foot lay similar to all bridge hammocks. Unlike traditional gathered-end hammocks, a bridge hammock is designed more like a cot with the bed fabric spread apart with the use of bars on the head and foot ends.

The Ridgerunner includes an integrated, zippered bug net that can unzip and stow in a pocket on the foot end. When deployed, the bug net is pulled off the occupant with some shock cord on both head and foot ends. Large storage pockets, called “saddlebags,” are located on each long side of the hammock, near the head end.

The double layer hammock, which I tested, adds 50 lbs (23 kg) of breaking strength compared to the single layer model, but also forms a sleeve where a pad can be inserted for insulation beneath.

warbonnet-ridgerunner-padsleeve

The hammock comes with appropriate rigging to hang the hammock. My hammock came with 12 ft (366 cm) long webbing straps and cinch-style triangle buckles.

Product Information

MANUFACTURER Warbonnet Outdoors
YEAR OF MANUFACTURE 2013, made in USA
MANUFACTURER’S WEBSITE http://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com/ridgerunner-hammock/
MSRP
  • $195 USD (double layer hammock + integrated bug net)
LISTED FEATURES
  • Bridge style hammock
  • Double layer body for inserting a sleeping pad
  • Two general-purpose storage bags on each side of hammock
  • Integrated zippered bug netting (can be zipped down and stowed in a pocket on the foot end)
MANUFACTURER RECOMMENDATIONS Weight limit 250 lbs and length 6’6″ or 115 kg and 198 cm.
MEASUREMENTS
  WHAT THEY SAY WHAT I SAY
Weight
  • Hammock + Suspension:
    27 oz (765 g) for hammock + suspension
  • Spreader Bars: 9.9 oz (280 g)
  • Hammock: 25 oz (708 g)
  • Spreader Bars: 10 oz (284 g)
  • Suspension + Hardware: 8.8 oz (252 g)
Total 37 oz (1,045 g) 44 oz (1,244 g)
Dimen Not listed
  • Ridgeline: 120 in (307 cm)
  • Pole width (head): 36.5 in (93 cm)
  • Pole width (foot): 29.625 in (75.25 cm)
  • Center width: 29 in (74 cm)
  • Shoulder width: 35.125 in (89.22 cm)
  • Length: 121 in (307 cm)
MATERIAL
  • Hammock: breathable water-resistent ripstop nylon fabric; metal hardware
  • Spreader bars: aluminum
  • Bug net: no-see-um netting

Field Experience

I’ve had the Ridgerunner for several months now, and have used it on a few backpacking trips and several car camping trips during that time (including a few backyard hangs). It has really been a pleasure to sleep in, although I will admit that bridge hammocks have their own unique lay and may not work for everyone.

The Ridgerunner bridge hammock is sleek and refined and gives the impression of a high-performance sports car. The stitching and build are straight and solid. I did find a few loose strands of nylon on the hammock body, but otherwise it has a very clean appearance.

Setting Up

Like all bridge hammocks, the set-up process is different than a gathered-end hammock. First off, your hang point will be about a foot (30 cm) shorter, and when the hammock sags down it will nearly touch the ground. Once the spreader bars are in place, the hammock will raise to the right position.

warbonnet-ridgerunner-hangpoint

The span on this set up is close to 18 ft, yet my hang point is about 4 ft off the ground.

Because the Ridgerunner doesn’t use a ridge line, it is important NOT to pull the hammock too tight, otherwise the hammock can bow backward. Keep at least a 30-degree angle coming down from the suspension lines.

warbonnet-ridgerunner-poles

All the poles are very close in size, but there are two longer poles and two shorter poles plus a very short connector pole. The two longer poles match with the connector pole to make the head spreader bar. The two shorter poles connect to make the foot spreader bar. I wish the poles were more visibly marked to aid in assembly, or if they had shock cord inside to keep them together. One of my biggest worries has been to lose the small connector tube on a hike. Unfortunately, the Ridgerunner doesn’t come with a storage bag for the poles, so keeping them contained and ready for assembly is up to me. I currently keep a few thick rubber bands around the poles and store them inside my backpack.

warbonnet-ridgerunner-straps

The bug net has shock cord with plastic mitten hooks attached on the ends. I clip these hooks to the apex of the bridge ridge point. I found I could go without clipping the foot end and I didn’t really have any sagging problems, although clipping both ends does give the netting a nice shape and maximizes the interior space.

warbonnet-ridgerunner-bugdetail

In terms of tarp coverage, a rectangular or hex-style tarp are the best option, especially something with wide panels to fully cover the hammock. Any regular hammock tarp with a 12 ft (3.6 m) ridgeline should work just fine, although longer tarps would be better, especially if you plan on adding doors to enclose the head and foot areas. Otherwise, expect that the rigging will be exposed somewhat. I don’t have any fears of water seepage along the suspension lines as there are plenty of drip off points before any fabric is touched.

Other Thoughts

Of all the bridge hammocks I’ve tested, the Ridgerunner has the widest and shallowest bridge design of all, particularly on the head end. This is the side where most people have complained about shoulder squeeze, which is a common  experience in bridge hammocks to some extent. I have never felt any squeeze or pressure points on my shoulders or body laying in the Ridgerunner. It really feels like laying in a cot, although I will admit that in the foot end my feet do slide together. This isn’t much of a bother to me.

All bridge hammocks are slightly “tippy” and the Ridgerunner is no exception. You can remove the small connector bar on the head end to deepen the hammock bed and stabilize it more, but it does affect the squeeze in the shoulders.

warbonnet-ridgerunner-footend

Bridge hammocks, including the Ridgerunner, are less “snuggly” than gathered-end hammocks, but their flattened shape makes it easier to insulate, in my experience. The double layer, for example, makes it easy to slip in a traditional sleeping pad, but it’s more than that—the rectangular shape of the hammock means the pad doesn’t curl, crinkle, or bend inside the hammock. Wide pads (>20 in/51 cm) are best to get shoulder coverage.

The one thing that surprised me the most with the Ridgerunner was the weight. Of all the bridge hammock’s I’ve tested, I was expecting it to be the lightest, based on the light fabric, thinner webbing, and use of 7/64″ Amsteel for the suspension. However, because the Ridgerunner deploys a much wider spreader bar on the shoulders, the need for a larger triangle to create the suspension is required. Adding up the extra poll length, extra suspension material, and you then account for the extra weight. Bridge advocates, and hammock users generally agree that a few extra ounces is worth it for a comfortable night’s sleep.

Brandon has done a great job at crafting this hammock and I can find nothing on the hammock that is superfluous that could be removed to save weight—everything has been meticulously engineered to serve a necessary function. The saddlebags, for example, are not just a handy storage area, they help gusset the space between the taut hammock body and the bug netting, preventing any stress tears. It’s an ingenious design.

Besides the pole situation, the overall length of the Ridgerunner is probably its biggest shortcoming. From the tip of the triangle on the head end to the foot end, the ridgeline measures approximately 13 ft (4 m), depending on how tight you hang. This results in the longest minimum hang requirements of any backpacking hammock I’ve tested, at about 15 ft (4.5 m). This can pose a problem in finding an ideal location some areas. I’ve found that a location with 18 ft (5.5 m) or even 20 ft (6 m) between anchor points is ideal.

Summary

The Ridgerunner has a winning design in terms of sleeping comfort. The addition of the included bug net make this a real competitor in the hammock camping market. The only thing missing is a matching tarp1.

I do not recommend using anything but the supplied poles as spreader bars due to the risk factors involved.

UPDATE: Brandon sells hiking pole adapter tips that will allow you to use trekking poles as spreader bars. My concern here is that you assume some additional risks with collapsable poles, including sections slipping and pole ends not connecting adequately. Always test first!

The Ridgerunner isn’t the lightest of the bridge hammocks, but it isn’t oppressive either. Depending on the trip, I would consider packing it because of the great lay it provides. I’ll definitely bring it to base camp trips, but I don’t consider this a loaner hammock; this is a keeper.

 


Disclosure of material connection: The author (Derek Hansen) was provided with a free sample from the manufacturer for testing and evaluation purposes. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the gear.

  1. To clarify, I mean that the hammock doesn’t come with a tarp. Nearly any hammock tarp will work with the Ridgerunner, including the Cloudburst that Brandon sells, but they are sold separately

  17 comments for “Warbonnet Ridgerunner Bridge Hammock Review

  1. gasham
    October 22, 2013 at 10:44 am

    “The only thing missing is a matching tarp.” …perhaps if the ‘Cloudburst’ was 12” longer? otherwise, it was built to match the Ridgerunner.

    • Derek
      October 22, 2013 at 10:48 am

      There are a lot of tarps that will cover the main hammock body, and yes, the Cloudburst will work :) But even these tarps will not completely cover the triangle suspension on the hammock. It’s not a huge deal because Brandon has designed the Ridgerunner with multiple drip-off points.

  2. October 22, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Good review Derek.

    Your video seems to be set to Private.

    There is a great aftermarket pole bag made specifically for the RidgeRunner poles available at Arrowhead along with several other accessories.

    I am curious why you say not to use anything else for spreader poles than those included…Warbonnet offers accessories specifically so you can use some hiking poles as spreader bars and for over a year I have only used the supplied poles 2 or 3 times….and never on a hiking trip. I purchased some new hiking poles specifically for the use as spreader bars on the RR. O and there is a tarp made as a matching tarp to the RR…the Cloudburst by WB was designed just for the RR.

    Otherwise great summery.

    Paul @ Arrowhead Equipment

    • Derek
      October 22, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Great insight Paul, thanks. I overlooked the accessories Brandon has available. There is a hiking pole adapter he sells in the accessory page.

      • October 22, 2013 at 11:06 am

        Thanks for the clarifications Derek. I will note to that there are a number of poles that will work without the pole adapters as well but you do need to be cautious of any rough edges they have as they could rub on your tarp or other gear. If using hiking poles one thing to look for in a pair is a set that has a lock feature for the shock…being able to remove the springiness that the shocks offer helps with how solid the poles will feel. The ones I use in particular feel way more solid than the stock poles that come with the RR….at least in my opinion.

        Paul @ Arrowhead Equipment

        • Derek
          October 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm

          Thanks Paul. This is great information. It does bring up a good point about tarp coverage. With the spreader bars, there are limits to how tight you can (or should) pitch a tarp over a bridge hammock, as far as being mindful of the metal hardware and abrasion.

  3. October 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you for the review!

    I own Blackbird hammock and think that maybe I should try Ridgerunner. I suppose that along with the new experience I will have lighter UQ and the ability to use my hiking poles as spreader bars, and without suspension (but including triangles) the difference in weight won’t be so big.

    But I doubt if I really need this new experience. How is Ridgerunner comparing to Blackbird in terms of comfort? I like the Blackbird and sleep well in it (usually I start on my side in fetal position (I’m 5’8″ / 132 lbs) and then sleep on my back), though I have now idea what is it to sleep in the bridge hammock.

    • Derek
      October 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Comparing a bridge hammock to a gathered-end is nearly as productive as comparing apples with oranges. Some folks who love bridges can’t stand gathered-end and vice-versa. Bridge hammocks offer a unique lay. For me, they compare a lot with cots, although there are less suspension points so the fabric conforms to your body better in a bridge hammock. I think bridge hammocks are very comfortable and are easier to find a “sweet spot” than a gathered-end, typically. I often recommend bridge hammocks to people who want to try hammocks but haven’t been able to get comfortable in a gathered-end. Bridge hammocks are also easier to insulate.

      I would try one before buying one. See if it is something that works for you.

      • October 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

        Thanks for the answer.

        I wish I could try, but nobody owns one where I’m living (Russia), and shipping price is not that cheap too. :-) So I have to buy and sell each time I want to try something new.. If I’ll sell my ultralight setup (http://instagram.com/p/cVdUQsDa_M/), then I try RR. :-)

  4. rob
    April 11, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Awesome hammocks, who needs a tent. @ Roman, do they not have Amazon in Russia, or something similar?

    • April 13, 2014 at 2:16 am

      No, we don’t, thanks to slow customs service, very slow and unreliable postage service and bureaucracy. :-(

  5. jeff w
    April 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Thank you for the review.*** Very interesting, all this hammock camping stuff. So interesting to see so many variations and innovations in backpacking. This ability to use a normal sleeping pad really piques my interest.

    BTW, a little epoxy from any big box store or your local hardware store should keep that short 4″ section of pole attached to the long section. No need to shock cord the pole.

    ***Oh yes, when you stopped talking and the musical soundtrack came on, the volume doubled. Ouch.

    • Derek
      April 22, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      Jeff, thanks for the tip on glueing the poles together — that might be a great option for some folks. And, sorry about the sound quality. This is something I’m working on, trying to slowly accumulate the right gear, etc.

  6. July 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Very nice review! I’m new to hammocks and this review really helped.

    A side view picture of the hammock hanging with a person in it and no tarp as well as a picture showing where your head is in relation to the top spacing would be ideal to add.

    I love your book, especially the inviting and informative pictures.
    Thanks!

  7. Vince Doss
    July 21, 2014 at 5:32 am

    “…the inviting and informative pictures.”
    Bob hit the nail on the head. Your illustrative skill is phenomenal! I see your drawings everywhere and know it’s yours right away.
    This review is very useful. I am still right at 250 lbs and reluctant to pull the trigger on the WBRR. I will probably end up getting a Warbonnect Blackbird XLC DL which your review of helped as well.

    Humble gratitude is offered to you for all the teaching and guidance you have provided to so many.

  8. John Armstrong
    October 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    You list the ridge line as 120 inches. Is that from cross bar to cross bar? What would the ridge line be from the top of the triangle to the top of the triangle?

    • Derek
      October 13, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      From the report:

      Besides the pole situation, the overall length of the Ridgerunner is probably its biggest shortcoming. From the tip of the triangle on the head end to the foot end, the ridgeline measures approximately 13 ft (4 m), depending on how tight you hang. This results in the longest minimum hang requirements of any backpacking hammock I’ve tested, at about 15 ft (4.5 m).

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