It’s hard to find something more thrilling than a mysterious package on your doorstep. It’s the promise of some new gear to explore, some new adventure to take. In this case, a new hammock that I backed on Kickstarter many months ago. I had nearly forgotten about it since the production time on this particular hammock was taking so long.
The stand-out features on this hammock actually start with the stuff sack. It’s a double-sided Bishop bag, which sounds a bit over engineered—reminds me of the original stuff sack on the Kammok Roo (remember that?). The cinched ends of the sack open up to reveal another closure. On one side, the closer is sealed with just a plastic slit (Bishop bag) for the end of the hammock. The opposite end is just another cinch opening. Why? Well, I immediately thought of using that “extra” space to store the straps, and after watching the Sierra Madre set-up videos, that’s exactly what they’re designed for. I’ll give them credit: it’s an ingenious idea that keeps everything together, yet apart (keeps dirty/sappy straps away from your hammock!).
There are quilt hooks and clips that are designed to match the Sierra Madre quilt selection, but will work for any under quilt you may have.
The no-see-um bug netting can be completely removed / unzipped for an open hammock style. Tie-outs on the bug net are located on four corners, thus avoiding Patent Trolls from other hammock designs. The Ninox includes elastic pull-outs that are color coordinated to match the clip points on the hammock and are designed to mate with the tarp, but can be clipped to the ground.
The hammock also includes a small ridgeline organizer that has metal clips that lock it into place. The ridgeline is flat webbing and is adjustable! At least for a few inches.
SMR also offers a tarp that matches the Ninox, but I didn’t include that when I backed the project. There was nothing terribly unique in the design and I already have lots of tarps.
Now to test! Here are my main questions:
- What is behind the “flat lay” claim? Is there anything special in the way this hammock is designed?
- Does the adjustable ridgeline pose any risks to the bug netting?
- Is it awesome enough to replace my current go-to hammock?
Disclosure of material connection: I was not given this gear for review purposes. I backed the Kickstarter campaign and purchased this gear. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the gear.
You will find the fabric very comfortable against the skin but also very stretchy. Between the deep cut of the fabric and the stretch you will find yourself well out of reach of the ridgeline or organizer. If you have the double layer the stretch is reportedly much less severe and reaching the organizer much easier. Because of the deep lay and stretch you have to hang this thing very high. Very high. You will find getting out of the hammock hurts your legs where the zipper digs in. The ridgeline was okay. I prefer a metal buckle. A few have broken but without witnessing the setup it’s hard to say if it was a setup error or faulty equipment. And the talon straps are faulty. Kudos to SMR though, they came up with a practical fix.
It’s not a horrible hammock….. Some seem to adore it. It didn’t work for me.
Great insights Daniel. I agree about the high ridgeline. Even without the stretch, the sag in that hammock is extreme. I made a video that shows the Ninox next to a few other hammocks and the Ninox is the deepest so far I’ve seen. SMR just sent me a prototype of the fix for their suspension, but I’m still not convinced they’ve got it right yet. The carabiner is difficult to use (small) and I’m just not a fan of cinch buckles. I think a tai-glide would have been better, but then you’re looking at copying the Elephant Trunk design.