DD Travel Hammock
Travel Hammock price: £52.00 (at time of purchase)
DD Travel Hammock rating: 5/5
Honestly, I don’t know where to start with these other than proudly admitting that my hammock is my second home.
I absolutely love everything about my hammock, the size, the weight, materials, functions, everything. When I received my hammock and took it out of the stuff sack that is included, it was all perfectly folded and fitted wonderfully. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that trying to put these perfectly folded parcels back into the bags is an absolute bloody nightmare and bordering the most stressful and frustrating thing in the world. Well fear not! With no disrespect to the boys and girls at DD Hammocks who are incredibly helpful, it is very easy to do an even better job at packing your hammock away and making the whole thing so much smaller, saving that all important precious space in your pack. In fairness it doesn’t look as good, but every little helps.
Once packed away, the hammock weighs about 860g which isn’t super super light but is far from cumbersome and heavy and once you have your rucksack or day pack filled, you hardly notice it.
So, details, this isn’t instructional so just bare with me and use your imagination where I haven’t got specific things in photographs. The DD Travel has a built in mosquito net which is absolutely fantastic, with zips on both sides so you’re not restricted with getting in and out of the hammock from one side only. I would, however, say that, from my own laziness and lack of flexibility, the zips can be a bugger to do up when you’re laying down and a bit far and fiddly to reach when you leave them by your feet! So I just attached a little bit of paracord to each one so I can pull them up when they are down at my feet. Again, no criticism whatsoever to the hammock, just me being lazy. A fantastic feature inside the hammock is, at both ends, there are built in pockets. This may sound basic but you have no idea how helpful they are, especially in the middle of the night when you need to find a torch or your phone and they have vanished into the middle of the hammock somewhere. Very very useful! The mosquito net is held right up and away from your face with two poles (included) that slide into two compartments at each end and then tie up on the tree as well. What I tend to do though, to save a bit of space, is find a nice narrow stick from the ground and use that instead of the poles, works just as well, and you aren’t going to be short of sticks in the woods are you?
Hammocks may seem to be something you’d use just in the summer when it’s nice and warm at night still as they seem fairly open to the elements and are typically seen hanging on a beach or between palm trees somewhere. Well, no. I have camped in all weathers and seasons in my hammock now and I haven’t suffered whatsoever with the cold. This is due to a few very simple but helpful features. Firstly, as soon as you lay in your hammock, the ‘walls’ come up above your whole body, immediately protecting you from the wind coming in contact with you directly. Then there is the double layer feature. The hammock is kind of like two slices of bread, but sewn together down one edge and fixed with Velcro on the other, allowing you to slide your sleeping mat or blankets, spare clothes and insulation inside. Not only does this help protect you getting cold underneath, it also makes it even more comfortable. Along with that, I have a second extremely basic hammock that I hang underneath my DD Travel, just to keep all of my kit and extras off the wet ground, but this almost acts as a thermal protection as well if I hang it at the right height below the DD. Although not quite as good as the DD Underblanket that I’m saving for to add to my kit in the future. So that’s the DD Travel Hammock in a basic nutshell really, just an absolutely fantastic piece of kit, that I make sure I carry with me even on an afternoon stroll with my dog through the woods, giving me the option to throw it up quickly and get a brew on.
The DD Tarp
Size: 3m x 3m
DD Tarp price: £49.00 (at time of purchase
DD 3m x 3m Tarp rating: 5/5
Another wonderful bit of kit in my rucksack. Clearly a bit more basic than the Travel Hammock but nonetheless vital and brilliant.
The tarp is extremely tough and versatile with endless ways to set up thanks to the 16 loops that line the edges and across the middle. I have even seen this tarp used as a raft on a river, boat sails and a tent with nothing but tent pegs (included) and walking poles (not included obviously), but of course, with all these hundreds of different uses, I generally go for the same set up every time, as pictured above. A basic open faced shelter for my hammock.
As mentioned, it comes with the pegs and also guy lines included in the stuff sack, and much like the hammock, can also be packed down far smaller than you originally get it. I found the pegs to be a little bit rubbish however and at this moment I am fairly certain all of them have bent, broken and been replaced, but this is no enormous problem because, after all, they are only tent pegs. Plus you can make your own from sticks too, saving space again. The guy lines are a great length, brilliant quality and haven’t disappointed me at all. I did also discover recently, through my own stupidity and nothing to do with DD at all, that neither the hammock or tarp are fire/ember proof, as I have found a few holes where sparks have come off my campfire and landed on them. But that’s just inevitable really if you’re silly enough to have your set up so close to the fire.
I have one of those rucksacks that have a separate lower compartment to it that you can zip off from the rest, and what is great is that, when I have the hammock and tarp folded away into their individual stuff bags, they both fit perfectly into the lower compartment, allowing easy access to them without routing through the bag and dropping everything all over the floor. Little things like that please me.
So to summarise, if you want a great camping hammock and a tarp to go with it, go to DD Hammocks. You will not be disappointed. Even my friends went and bought themselves their own DD Hammocks and Tarps after seeing mine. The quality of goods, the fantastic service and incredibly quick delivery times are all just bonuses and cherries on the top of the big hammock cake.
You will not be disappointed!