Gear Review: Warbonnet® Blackbird XLC Hammock
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What can you do for a quick-setup sleep system, if you are on the go more than you are at home? Is there a modular and flexible system that travelers and adventurers can add to their kits to make sleeping a little more comfortable? If your answer is to utilize a hammock sleep system as your preferred sleeping arrangement, then the Warbonnet® XLC Hammock is the sleeping solution to meet your needs. Comfortable, durable, flexible, modular, and compact describe this excellent hammock by Warbonnet®. This hammock system meets the sleeping needs for military, backpacking, camping, or motorcycle touring applications.
The Warbonnet® XLC Hammock comes in optional single or double layer construction. The hammock comes in a convenient stuff sack for easy storage. When it is set up, its length is 11 feet and its width is 62 inches (5’2”). This allows the hammock to accommodate most body styles and compositions with some room for additional items that can be placed inside the hammock, such as iPods, iPads, books, or flashlights. When it is stored in its stuff sack, the hammock compresses to a manageable 10.5 inches by 4.5 inches. The overall weight of the hammock averages between 1-2 pounds depending upon the options offered by the manufacturer. The hammock is made from 70 denier nylon making it both durable and light weight. What are the features of the kit?
The Carrying Sack:
The pouch that contains the hammock is a simple stuff sack. It’s dimensions are 10.5 inches tall and 4.5 inches in width. It is constructed from a nylon fabric that is durable, light weight, and offers great stowage for this system. The draw string cord is of a single nylon construction with a oval barrel cord stop. The cord stop is made of durable plastic with a stainless steel spring actuator. The sack can be easily washed by hand and air dried in the field if it gets soiled.
The Mosquito Net:
The Warbonnet® XLC hammock comes with a mosquito net option. The mosquito net is constructed of 40 dennier nylon and 0.9 ounce noseeum netting. It also comes with two micro-carabiners and two elastic side tie-outs. The overall weight of the net is 8.7 ounces. The net comes in its own stuff sack. The dimensions of the net stuff sack is 13.5 inches by 4.25 inches. The cinch cord on the stuff sack are the same as the stuff sack for the hammock. A single nylon string with a spring operated plastic oval barrel cord stop.
Other Features and Options:
Warbonnet Outdoors offers several options and additional features for this line of hammocks. The various hammock options for the XLC line are as follows:
Blackbird XLC (Single Layer 1.7):
* Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
* Item weight (webbing/buckles): 1 lb. 12.5oz.
* Item weight (whoopies): 1 lb. 10oz.
* Item Weight (continuous loops): 1lb 6oz
* Fabric: 70D Nylon
Heavyweight Double Blackbird XLC:
* Weight capacity: 400 LBS
* Item weight (webbing/buckles): 2 lb. 8oz.
* Item weight (whoopies): 2 lbs. 6oz.
* Item Weight (continuous loops): 2lb 2oz
* Fabric: 70D Nylon (x2)
Lightweight Double Blackbird XLC:
* Weight capacity: 275 lbs.
* Item weight (webbing/buckles): 2 lb. 3oz
* Item weight (whoopies): 2 lb. 1oz.
* Item Weight (continuous loops): 1lb 12oz
* Fabric: 40D Nylon Outer, 20d Nylon Inner
The additional features offered by the manufacturer the XLC line of hammocks are as follows:
* The Winter Hammock Top Cover: attaches via zipper to the mosquito net.
* The XLC Under Quilt Protector: attaches via zipper to the top cover.
* Wookie® Under Quilt
* Yeti Under Quilt
The Warbonnet Outdoors Blackbird XLC hammock is a wonderful addition to those looking for a hammock option to add to their sleep systems. It is compact, light weight, durable, and easy to set up. The stuff sack allows for easy stowage in a vehicle emergency kit, backpack, or motorcycle side saddle compartment. Moreover, it is has its own unique modularity with the easy zipper capability for the various additional features. When taken out of the box, the hammock is large. It does not seem like it will be able to fit in the stuff sack. However, Warbonnet’s design with well thought through and thus, looks are deceiving in a positive way. Everything comes with the hammock for easy set and break down. This hammock truly answers the call for quality, durability, modularity, and practicality for the average consumer. How does the Blackbird XLC hammock perform in the field?
This hammock system performs well within a variety of circumstances and scenarios. The system packs well in most backpacks. I stored it in several of my backpacks over several weeks and it did not disappoint. It worked well in my Wenger/Swiss Army Synergy backpack, my U.S. Army MOLLE Medium Rucksack, and my Kelty Redwing 50 backpack. The light weight nature of the system made it virtually unnoticeable in my backpacks. Moreover, it stored well in my vehicle emergency kit container.
This system is easily set up and taken down in the field environment. The only limitation for this system is that it functions best in a wooded environment where trees can be utilized to anchor the suspension system. It does not work well in prairie or desert environments except, potentially, as a hasty shade cover in an emergency in the absence of a tarp. The suspension system straps at each end of the hammock are easily adjustable and tightened. This makes maintaining the system over an extended period of time easy with minimal effort.
It must be remembered that this system is made of nylon. Thus, it is subject to stretching in the body and as well as UV light deterioration over an extended period of time, such as hanging for several months exposed to the elements. In the summer time when temperatures can reach 90 degrees fahrenheit or more, the heat will allow the nylon fibers to become soft and pliable, thus, resulting in stretching. The amount of stretching is determined by the weight of the individual using the hammock. The stretchable nature of nylon is why the old large ALICE Rucksack was hard to pack, at first, but after a week in a field training exercise during the summer or in the maneuver box at the National Training Center it could be packed with no issues. The nylon stretched over time due to exposure to the heat, sunlight, and constant use.
The best uses for the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC hammock system is in wooded or jungle terrain. It does not function well when one is in prarie or desert terrain. Another use for this hammock is for backyard lounging if suspended between two pillars of a pergola or two trees in one’s backyard. This hammock system should be considered for Bug Out Bags, INCH bags, Emergency Evacuation Bags, general hiking or backpacking, military rucksacks, camping, multi-day hunting or fishing activities in wooded environments, and vehicle emergency kits.
The Warbonnet Blackbird XLC hammock system is a wonderful, light weight, durable, and compact sleep system that should be considered by outdoorsman, bushcrafters, hikers and backpackers, alike. It is a versatile and modular system with options and features that will cover most outdoor needs for sleeping arrangements. Warbonnet had done an excellent job of product engineering that answers most of the concerns of hammock use in the field. Easy set up, take down, and stowage make this hammock system a viable option for those looking for this kind of sleep system to round out their survival, prepping, or outdoor adventure needs.