Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock Review (Pic Heavy)

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SBreen

Member
Nov 23, 2009
48
0
Prague - CZ
Manufacturers blurb:
The most significant redesign of hammocks since sailors plied the seven seas sleeping in remnants of sail cloth gathered at the ends and suspended from the belly beams of wooden sailing ships hundreds of years ago.
Description: The Jacks ‘R’ Better Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock is a true lay flat, sleep straight hammock. It achieves these notable results by departing from the common “gather end” design to utilize a suspension bridge technique. The hammock takes its name from the suspension bridge over the Hudson River that carries the Appalachian Trail. When the Bear Mountain Bridge was completed in 1924 it was the largest suspension bridge in the world. This is the lowest point of the entire Appalachian Trail at 127 feet above sea level.

The JRB Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock is constructed of 70D rip stop nylon material and high strength polypropylene webbing. It will comfortably accommodate individuals up to 6 foot 3 inches tall and up to 275 pounds (19.6 St or 124.7kg).

The primary suspension lines are 1 inch polypropylene webbing and include
the unique JRB Tri-Glide for quick, easy, knot free, no hassle hanging.

The hammock comes complete with an attached bug net made of no-see-um netting that is zippered on three sides with a double pull zipper. It can be unzipped and tied back if desired when there is no bug threat.

There are two personal gear pockets, one on each end wall of the hammock.

Finally, for bottom insulation, use the loops on each corner to attach any of the standard (78"x48") JRB quilts as an under quilt ( attachment instructions); or the hammock is designed with a 26 inch wide pad pocket that will accommodate most camping pads.

And for added comfort we've included a re-usable, 14" x 10", 0.6 ounce, inflatable pillow.

The hammock with spreader bars and suspension lines weighs 37 ounces total (a knats proverbial over a kilo).

Review:

The idea behind bridge hammocks: In a gathered end hammock the entire of the hammock takes more or less an equal amount of the pressure a bridge hammock on the other hand works more like this (sorry for the rubbish drawing):
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The buying experience: One word “Great”, clear communications and they even put their last 2 on hold whilst I shuffled some cash around to pay for them.

What's in the bag:
Pictured next to my DD Frontline for size comparison
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Hammock and spreader bars
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Triglides
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joint from suspension to spreader bars
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Attachment points for spreader bars
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Triglide attached to suspension lines
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Gear Pocket
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Out on the balcony to test for First impressions:
I didn’t get any photo’s of this as my balcony is a mite too short to do a real test, I did however try it with my ground mat which is a pacific outdoor traditional wide and measures 25”x75”x3” (63x190x7.6cm) it was a bit of a pain to get in but I presume that was more to do with the lack of space on my balcony rather than anything else.
Very impressed with the build quality, there are a couple of things however. Length of the 1” straps for attachment could be longer, I intend to put some whoopie slings on it so it’s not really a problem for me. I have a few reservations about the insect netting; the fact that it only opens on one side could turn out to be a bit of a pain as you have to check the hammock prior to stringing it up so to make sure it opens in the right direction. The included Tri glides I love the idea of but from a practical point this would lessen the suspension length of the whole system.

Down the woods to have a play:
I chose two trees roughly six paces apart, this was right on the edge of what I think is feasible with the factory attached lines.

All set up
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(I set it up the wrong way round the first time, I knew that 3 sided zip for the mozzie net was going to bother me)

Some close ups
Suspension to spreader bars
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Suspension to spreader junction
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Spreader bar attachment: nice touch powder coating the ends
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Triglide in action
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Attachment point for underquilt
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Endview
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Time to stick on the whoopie slings and see if that makes a difference.

Whoopies attached
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Usual suspension system
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Attaching the underquilt
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If you're not going to be using an UQ then you have the option of sliding a mat in the bottom. I think this is a great bit of design I had my mat in it when it was up on the balcony. What I failed to mention at the time is that this gives the hammock a lot more shape when not being used. I'll giver it a real test with the ground mat in later and then think about adding a bit about it.

Nice size velcro closer for the sleeping mat
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Underquilt attached
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Someone having a kip
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Final impressions:
Very high quality work and great attention to some details.
Not impressed with the bug net - if you set the hammock up a little too tight you can't close the zips as they are under too much tension - I think I'd rather have the bug net set up from my DD hammock (personal preference).
Suspension straps not long enough - I'll be cutting them off as I've added my whoopie slings.
Triglides - love the idea, pants in practice as I rarely use trees that are 6paces or less apart.
Gear pockets that are made from no see um netting, well I'll let you know when they fall apart.

The above points are more about my personal preference rather than any real issues, let's put it this way I won't be sending it back.

Thanks for sticking with me on this, hope it's of help for someone.

Cheers

Simon
 

Shewie

Mod
Mod
Dec 15, 2005
24,259
21
46
Yorkshire
He he, they'll all want one now :)

Had a night in it yet Simon ? I took mine out last Sunday morning for a wander round Goit Stock and Cottingley woods, a couple of my pals wanted to see it and I think they've both ordered one this week :)
 

SBreen

Member
Nov 23, 2009
48
0
Prague - CZ
He he, they'll all want one now :)

Had a night in it yet Simon ? I took mine out last Sunday morning for a wander round Goit Stock and Cottingley woods, a couple of my pals wanted to see it and I think they've both ordered one this week :)
Bah I was over there last weekend if I'd have known you were going down that way I'd have joined you for an hour or two, No unfortunately not had the time yet we've just got a new addition to the family do it's all a bit mental at the moment

Simon
 

Shewie

Mod
Mod
Dec 15, 2005
24,259
21
46
Yorkshire
Bah I was over there last weekend if I'd have known you were going down that way I'd have joined you for an hour or two, No unfortunately not had the time yet we've just got a new addition to the family do it's all a bit mental at the moment

Simon

Lol, congrats anyway mate

I did notice the pram lurking in some shots but I thought you'd just used it to carry your gear in :)
 

SBreen

Member
Nov 23, 2009
48
0
Prague - CZ
Looks good - but a bit pricey? Wondering if you could Mod a DD frontline or travel given a pair of those spreader bars and some dyneema/amsteel...

In an word no.. If you look at the first drawing, a normal gathered end hammock is without the bathtub shape (hammock bed).

Cheers

Simon
 

SBreen

Member
Nov 23, 2009
48
0
Prague - CZ
Lol, congrats anyway mate

I did notice the pram lurking in some shots but I thought you'd just used it to carry your gear in :)

There's two prams in the background, both are ours and both were occupied - not quite lazy enough to push my gear about in a pram...
 

mountainm

Bushcrafter through and through
Jan 12, 2011
9,990
11
Selby
www.mikemountain.co.uk
In an word no.. If you look at the first drawing, a normal gathered end hammock is without the bathtub shape (hammock bed).

Cheers

Simon


But can't a DD be "Ungathered" - then you'd suspend the corners from fixed points on the spreader bars? effectively letting the spreader bars support the mosi net?
 

Highbinder

Full Member
Jul 11, 2010
1,257
2
Under a tree
Looks good. Hows the weight of the thing? I wouldn't mind trying out a bridge hammock to see what all the fuss is about but tbh I'll stick to my small packing (1 litre vol) pertex hammock :)
 

Gill

Full Member
Jun 29, 2004
3,416
4
54
SCOTLAND
He he, they'll all want one now :)

Had a night in it yet Simon ? I took mine out last Sunday morning for a wander round Goit Stock and Cottingley woods, a couple of my pals wanted to see it and I think they've both ordered one this week :)
congats on the new hammock Rich , nice one buddy ! Ahem is that a Blackbird up for sale/ trade now :D
 

Gill

Full Member
Jun 29, 2004
3,416
4
54
SCOTLAND
You are just going a bit OCD Rich , you would,nt catch me having so many of the one item !!!!!!!:yikes:
 

PDA1

Settler
Feb 3, 2011
646
5
Framingham, MA USA
Be careful trying to convert a GE hammock to a BH. In a GE the hanging load is spread over the whole of the cloth width. In a BH, ALL of the stress is along the edge. The edges should be catenary cut and reinforced with polyester or polyprop tape. See hammockforums.net for loads of info about this and other BH details.
 

Col_M

Full Member
Jun 17, 2010
212
0
Prague CZ, but hail from Devon
Be careful trying to convert a GE hammock to a BH. In a GE the hanging load is spread over the whole of the cloth width. In a BH, ALL of the stress is along the edge. The edges should be catenary cut and reinforced with polyester or polyprop tape. See hammockforums.net for loads of info about this and other BH details.
Good advice but for the non Hammock Forum members here...
GE = Gathered End
BH = Bridge Hammock

Luckily the DD Hammocks have taped sides so you're golden. On the Catenary cuts for the sides, they sure help getting in and giving a flat lay but if you just want to try the concept out on a DD then go ahead, just be aware that the lay won't be as good as a true bridge hammock.
 

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