Review: Chill Gorilla Silverback Hammock with Straps

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2 Responses

  1. James Palermo says:

    Derek: not too much of a review here. From past reading I’d have expected more attention to just how comfortable/user friendly the product was. Didn’t see that here, so this review is of “very” limited use to me, especially as I’m in the market for a hammock right now.

    • Derek says:

      Thank you for the feedback.

      If you’ll permit me, I’ll try to be as candid as possible about how I do product reviews. Although I do get the gear free to test, I’m otherwise not paid and I avoid any product sponsorship or kickbacks to try and keep review bias limited. I regularly give away the gear after I’ve finished testing to youth groups, or sell it at discount prices to friends. I try to avoid absolutes or hyperbole like “this is the best” or “this is the worst”, but my sentiment does come out in my writing. I must admit that several of the hammocks I’ve reviewed recently haven’t been very inspiring. In other words, there is a lot of sameness and not much to talk about. No real difference in fabric, manufacturing, feel, and fit. There are so many look-alike hammocks now on the market (Amazon is an absolutely crowded space) that the only real differences in my mind would be the overall dimensions and price. Sometimes I am surprised, and that usually comes out in the tone of the review. The Chill Gorilla had very little to offer that excited me, although I will say it has as much utility as ENO, Grand Trunk, or any number of open hammocks on the market. I try hard not to sound like a commercial, so if the review sounds dull, I was probably struggling with what to say because the product, in all fairness, was dull.

      To your point about comfort, I try to steer clear of subjective claims. I’ve been sleeping in hammocks full time for many years and I find I am as comfy as a clam in a number of hammocks that some people would find claustrophobic and uncomfortable. My new reviews now include as much subjective data as I can, such as weight, capacity, construction, etc. If the hammock is short, for example, I try to let folks know who I would recommend use it. For example, a short hammock is more likely to fit (and be comfortable) for youth. And while that may sounds obvious, I say it with some caution because I have tall friends who prefer to sleep curled up in a fetal position and find small hammocks very cozy.

      There are so many criteria of what folks are looking for (e.g., light weight, high capacity, fast suspension) that if I wrote my reviews only from my preference point (FYI: I prefer light, jungle hammocks outdoors; long, open hammocks indoors), I would quickly alienate my readers. I hope you can see how challenging it can be. Yes, I have my biases, but I try to structure my reviews to eliminate, as much as possible, those biases to provide some clarity for users, like you, who are shopping around an want to know if the hammock lives up to the hype. This is also why I take more time to do my reviews, preferring to test it for a few weeks, before I write anything.

      If your main criteria are “comfort” and “ease of use” I think you’ll find the Chill Gorilla just as good as a hundred other mass market hammocks on the market. It’s a basic, open style hammock that is very modular and has a lot of utility. As I said before, the only difference between them is dimensions and price. From my testing, I would conclude that most of these hammocks are made from the same three factories in China, with only slight variations.

      I’m more than happy to help you narrow down your choices. If you send me an email, I’ll respond quickly. Just let me know your criteria and

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