Half-Wit Hammock with Knotty Mod
Back in 2010 I published instructions on how to make a hammock half bug net. It was a simple DIY project to satisfy some of my own ambitious goals for saving weight and bulk and making a jungle hammock behave more like a minimalist bivvy sack. While the idea had some merit, in execution it required some finesse to keep things sealed.
Fast forward to 2015. Dutchware Gear released their Half-Wit Hammock that incorporates a half bug net right into the hammock. It’s a great design that effortlessly simplifies the originally design into a working hammock bivvy.
The Half-Wit hammock is an ultralight jungle hammock with bug netting on only half of the hammock. This saves several ounces over a full-sized netting as you don’t need the extra fabric and zipper. The draped fabric allows for quick entry and exit without needed to fiddle around for a zipper, which is especially helpful for midnight bathroom runs.
Dutch has also included a Knotty Mod on the foot end of the hammock. The Knotty Mod is a short piece of shock cord that is fed into the hem of the long side of a hammock. It gathers up the fabric to reduce flapping or sagging and also creates a bit of a pocket (or foot box) that helps to hold in a pad or sleeping bag from falling out.
I really like the small details Dutch has included on this hammock. First, the end loop on the head end uses a bright color, which helps identify the head end when the hammock is packed. This makes it easier when setting up to ensure the hammock is oriented the way you want.
- Dutch added side pull-outs on both edges of the bug netting, which help pull out the netting, making it roomier inside.
- The included ridgeline allows the hammock to have a set sag and provides a place for the bug net to clip to.
- The double-sided stuff sack makes packing and setting up a breeze.
I’m already biased about the half bug net, but I also recognize that the design isn’t for everyone. For full bug protection, you need to use a top quilt or sleeping bag to protect your legs. The minimal netting also doesn’t provide much of a bug-free lounging space.
For ultralight backpackers, the Half-Wit is a great option. It’s designed for “hikers” more than “campers”, where going light and fast is paramount.
Recommendations and Review
The longer I’ve used this hammock, the more I daydream about minor changes to improve some elements:
- The current design doesn’t allow you to adjust the bug net from inside. You have to reach out to the ridgeline to pull the netting higher, or loosen it.
- I wish I could adjust the side pull outs from the inside of the netting as well. This could be accomplished if the shock cord was fed through a soft grommet.
- I think the design could be improved if one side was left unstitched and used a plastic snap or clip so the netting could be rolled up and away when not needed to further extend the modularity of the hammock as a chair and lounger. The single snap would seal the edge once you lay down.
- I wish the ridgeline was adjustable. I ended up disconnecting it and making some slight adjustments because I found the sag was too deep for my liking.
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥||I like end loops because they can be used with lots of different suspension options. Lots of versatility. Webbing straps not included.|
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥||The general hammock construction is solid, but I did notice some inconsistencies in the stitching on the bug netting and reinforced areas.|
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||While you can’t unzip or disconnect the bug netting, you can lay outside of it if you don’t need the netting. The netting does get in the way a little (if you’re not careful) when you just want to sit or lounge in the hammock.|
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||Color options allow for a lot of personalization.|
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||Great value for a jungle hammock for weight-conscious backpackers.|
- Manufacturer: Dutchware Gear, made in USA
- MSRP: US$89
- 1-person, gathered-end hammock with sewn-on half bug net
- Double-sided stuff sack
- Integrated “Knotty Mod”
- Fixed ridgeline
- Dyneema end loops (color-tagged head end)
- Dimensions: 126 × 58 in (320 × 147 cm)
- Fabric: Hexon 1.0 (available in a variety of options)
- Weight Capacity: 250 lbs (113 kg)
- Hammock: 10.8 oz (306 g) in stuff sack (weights vary with fabric choice)
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.