Sierra Madre Research Pares and xPlor Hammock Review
Sierra Madre Research Pares and xPlor Hammocks
|What they say||What I say|
|Dimensions||106 × 54 in (269 × 137 cm) — xPlor
129.5 × 78 in (329 × 198 cm) — Pares
|106 × 54 in (269 × 137 cm) — xPlor
128 × 78 in (325 × 198 cm) — Pares
|Weight Capacity||300 lbs (136 kg)||—|
|Weight||11.6 oz (329 g) — xPlor
22.5 oz (638 g) — Pares
|11 oz (314 g) — xPlor
0.6 oz (17 g) — xPlor stuff sack
21 oz (583 g) — Pares
2.4 oz (69 g) — Pares stuff sack
1.7 oz (49 g) — carabiner pair
|MSRP||Pares — US$85
xPlor — US$60
Sierra Madre Research, or SMr, sent me both the xPlor and the Pares hammocks that complete their lineup of hammocks. These hammocks are designed as a matched pair, to be integrated into the SMr shelter, the Nubé. Of course, the hammocks can be purchased separately and can be used like regular recreation hammocks, which adds to their modularity. When stacked, the xPlor above the Pares, they create bunk bed hammocks, or “Hambunks” as SMr likes to say.
Pares (pronounced “Paris”) and xPlor hammocks use high thread count, plain weave nylon fabric with DWR treatment that has a nice silky hand. The fabric has a stretch to it that is more noticeable to me in the xPlor, due to its smaller size. The xPlor hammock is shorter than many common hammocks at just under 9 ft (106 in/295 cm), and I found the fabric stretched enough to barrel me into a position where my shoulders squeezed too much to be comfortable. It was very difficult to lay diagonally for me. My young son was just about the right size for this hammock, however, and slept comfortably during our trek together. The xPlor is designed for smaller frames, up to 5 ft 6 inches (168 cm) or shorter.
The hammocks are gathered at the ends with a loop of Amsteel that has been threaded twice through the channel. The workmanship is very high-quality, with even and straight stitching throughout, and excellent assembly.
The Pares is perfectly sized (big, actually) and I got a good lay when sleeping diagonally. The Pares hammock has grab handles located on the edges that allows the occupant to reach and pull into a better position. I never found them very useful as I am more in the habit of grabbing the sides of the hammock rather than reaching over my head to reposition myself. The Pares also includes clips that match to the Nubé shelter that holds the hammock open, and can also be used (with a carabiner) to clip the hammock closed like a cocoon or to clip items to the hammock.
The strap system (EZSlings) were designed to accommodate two hammocks by using stronger 1/8 in (3.175 mm) Amsteel. This allows the two hammocks to easily stack on the same suspension system. I often stack hammocks with my kids, but on separate suspension lines. With my son above me in the xPlor, the sag wasn’t extreme, but when I added an under quilt to his hammock and my top quilt/sleeping bag on me, there wasn’t much breathing room between the two hammocks. It was just a little tight. If you use the same suspension system, such as the SMr EZSlings, you can move the xPlor (or other hammock) higher up the suspension to adjust for varying levels of sag and distance.
Like the all of SMr’s products, each feature is tagged with a label that includes a scannable QR code that takes you to video set-up instructions. I’m a big fan of QR codes and this is one place where they are very helpful, especially for new hangers or if you aren’t sure how all the components fit together.
The xPlor hammock comes in a petite, simple stuff sack that easily packs down about the size of a 1L Nalgene and can squish a little smaller. It makes a nice small package, and makes a great option to throw in a day pack, purse, or gym bag to pull out to make a makeshift lounger. For its size, the xPlor isn’t as light as you might expect. It’s about 4 oz (113 g) heavier than the lightest hammocks on the market, even though they share very similar dimensions.
The Pares has a much more elaborate stuff sack that gives ENO and KAMMOK some competition. The pouch is located off-center, which is uncommon for gathered-end hammocks. It’s a little out of the way in terms of using it in hammock mode to store personal items, but isn’t completely inaccessible, depending on how you lay in the hammock. The Pares stuff sack is actually a little easier to connect and compress than either ENO or KAMMOK brands.
If you are planning to purchase the Nubé shelter, getting the Pares is a nice option because of how the two work well together. The hammocks do have a nice-feeling fabric that reminds me somewhat of the new Argon, HyperD, and PolyD fabrics, but it stretches a little more than I anticipated. The prices are in line with the quality materials and construction used and are a good comparison to the KAMMOK Roo.
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. I was under no obligation to publish a review of this item.