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Thread: Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock Review (Pic Heavy)

  1. #1
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    Default Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock Review (Pic Heavy)

    I posted this on BCUK, I thought that some people on here might be interested too...

    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):


    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


    Hammock and spreader bars


    Triglides


    joint from suspension to spreader bars


    Attachment points for spreader bars


    Triglide attached to suspension lines


    Gear Pocket


    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


    (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


    Suspension to spreader junction


    Spreader bar attachment: nice touch powder coating the ends


    Triglide in action



    Attachment point for underquilt


    Endview



    Time to stick on the whoopie slings and see if that makes a difference.


    Whoopies attached


    Usual suspension system







    Attaching the underquilt


    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


    Underquilt attached


    Someone having a kip


    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

    Gumotex Baraka

  2. #2
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    Excellent review, many thanks.

    To be honest though I'm a bit confused. Their blurb describes it as " a true lay flat, sleep straight hammock", but as far as I can see it still curves in the middle like any other hammock - or am I missing something?

    I was quite intrigued when I read the blurb, as I love the idea of sleeping in a hammock but I'm one of those unfortunate people that simply cannot sleep in a curved position - gives me terrible back ache.

    Can you clarify if it really is a "lay flat, sleep straight hammock" please - your pics would suggest it isn't that at all.

  3. #3

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    I can't comment on this specific one, but generally with bridge hammocks, the tension and spreader bar location is key to being flat; if you have them adjusted a bit wrong, then it still gets a slight banana to it (but much less than a normal hammock). You should be able to to adjust it to get it near as damn it flat, but obviously you are always going to get some bumps and curves where you lie.

    The American Hammock Forums have a great tutorial on how to build one with lots of associated info. I'm not sure if the idea was "invented" on that forum or not, but certainly there is a lot of R&D work there! http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=1676

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredster View Post
    Excellent review, many thanks.

    To be honest though I'm a bit confused. Their blurb describes it as " a true lay flat, sleep straight hammock", but as far as I can see it still curves in the middle like any other hammock - or am I missing something?

    I was quite intrigued when I read the blurb, as I love the idea of sleeping in a hammock but I'm one of those unfortunate people that simply cannot sleep in a curved position - gives me terrible back ache.

    Can you clarify if it really is a "lay flat, sleep straight hammock" please - your pics would suggest it isn't that at all.
    Hi Fredster, I've only had it up in fun at the moment not had a chance to sleep out in it yet. From what I've seen I don't think it's possible to get a completely flat position in any hammock. However having said that I think this is the closest I've ever been (due to the way the hammock is designed). TBH I think your impression might be down to my lack of skill with a camera rather than the hammock. Certainly when I was in it it felt flat, I'll see if I can get some more photo's with my sleeping mat in the pocket loaded and unloaded in the next day or so as this should give a much better idea.
    Cheers Simon

    Gumotex Baraka

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    Thanks for those replies - might have to try one of these. Love the idea of sleeping open air and off the ground, but have always been hammock-phobic due to back issues. Nowt wrong with your pics Simon, but if you could get some of the bed 'platform' that would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredster View Post
    Thanks for those replies - might have to try one of these. Love the idea of sleeping open air and off the ground, but have always been hammock-phobic due to back issues. Nowt wrong with your pics Simon, but if you could get some of the bed 'platform' that would be great.
    I'll get some for you Fredster (another excuse to get it out and have a play). On the back pain thing, I have a couple of friends that said the same (I'm aware that there's all different causes and types of back pain) but they both manage great with gathered end hammocks (something to do with the amount of support that the hammock gives).
    Cheers Simon

    Gumotex Baraka

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    Some more photo's

    With no-one in but with the sleeping mat inserted



    with a spare body I found wondering about



    With a bit or tinkering I think I could get this in to just about the flat position in the shot above the head end is down a little.
    Cheers Simon

    Gumotex Baraka

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    That is excellent! Reckon my back would tolerate that sort of minor curve. Many thanks for the extra pics, really helpful.

    Now, where's that credit card...

  9. #9
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    @SBreen
    I have the DDhammock with the mozzie net but the net loops failed miserably within days- any practical ideas on how to fix it without affecting the net itself- what i mean is - every loop has left the net some are merely held on by a thread

    ..and for the record - sleep like a baby comes to mind in a hammock-ps i NEED the net as i live in Sweden now and well !!!- bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mediumsizefraser View Post
    @SBreen
    I have the DDhammock with the mozzie net but the net loops failed miserably within days- any practical ideas on how to fix it without affecting the net itself- what i mean is - every loop has left the net some are merely held on by a thread

    ..and for the record - sleep like a baby comes to mind in a hammock-ps i NEED the net as i live in Sweden now and well !!!- bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    If you're talking about the loops for holding the netting out of your face then you should be able to sew them right back into place (I needed to do this with a couple of mine). You could even go as far as using shock cord instead of the webbing. That would alleviate some of the strain on the mozzie netting.
    Cheers Simon

    Gumotex Baraka

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    Quote Originally Posted by SBreen View Post
    If you're talking about the loops for holding the netting out of your face then you should be able to sew them right back into place (I needed to do this with a couple of mine). You could even go as far as using shock cord instead of the webbing. That would alleviate some of the strain on the mozzie netting.
    Thank you for a fast reply....only thing with shock cord is the ends fray open with the elastic- any ideas....??
    The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mediumsizefraser View Post
    Thank you for a fast reply....only thing with shock cord is the ends fray open with the elastic- any ideas....??
    Melt the end slightly with a flame and roll em in your fingers, but please be careful because hot plastic has a habit of burning and sticking...
    Cheers Simon

    Gumotex Baraka

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    What a great review. I have just come back from acanoe and Hammock camp on an island and although i have Hammocked many times this time my feet got synched.
    I have got DD Hammocks Kit - Hammock, Mosi net, Underblanket, Tarp and sleep bag.
    I love the concept and closer to outdoors. Did a 5 day stint in 2015 on River wye hammocking.
    Anyway i was looking for spreader bars for the DD - they dont do them, but after searching i came across the Bear Ridge Mountain one and a Warbonnett one. The concept of a spreader at the end appeals.
    I wonder if i could order a spreader and use it on DD kit?
    But your write up is good and the tarp loops very sturdy. Even in the DD my back doesnt arch that much.
    6'2" and 231Lbs

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