The Warbonnet Blackbird on paper is a backpacking gathered-end hammock, but in reality it is so much more. The Blackbird, according to Warbonnet’s website, measures 120"x63" and has an overall length of 101” from end-to-end of the ridgeline. Depending on your needs your hammock can be made from a variety of quality nylon fabric from 40D up to 70D. The Blackbird comes complete with a bug net, ridge line, extra storage shelf, foot box, and side tie outs. In this hammock, Warbonnet has found a way to combine simplicity, comfort, and convenience in one very small, easily packable, and lightweight package. The Blackbird comes in many different configurations to suit the buyers’ needs. Available in single or double layer, which allows you to slide in a sleeping pad for insulation while helping to keep the pad in place and secure all night long. Other options include detachable bug net, top cover, under quilts, top quilts, whoopie slings or nylon straps, and many more accessories that allow this hammock versatility in all weather conditions.
A traditional gathered-end hammock when set up produces a curved layout. What makes the Warbonnet Blackbird stand out is the uniquely designed foot box, which allows the user to stretch their legs flat, and position their body diagonally inside the hammock resulting in an almost perfect flat lay that back sleepers and side sleepers alike will find very comfortable to sleep in. While in the hammock you really get a great sense of the quality of construction. All of the sewn seams and attachment points seem to be of superior quality, and the bug net is extremely sturdy.
The attached bug net does more than just keep pests like mosquitoes, gnats, and flies out of your face and off your body. The bug net combines with the hammock body itself to provide you with that all important foot box as well as a convenient storage shelf. I, myself, have used the shelf for books, magazines, flashlights, knives, wallets, phones...you name it, and all without fear of doing any damage to the hammock! The included tie outs provide extra security and keeps whatever personal items stored from sagging against your body at night while you're sleeping. Moving to the entry side of the hammock, you will find two quality zippers that I have yet to have any issues with. There is another tie out to help secure the hammock and keep the bug net off your face, which also provides an extra mesh window that sits at perfect eye level for viewing the camp fire. On the reverse side of the opening of the hammock next to the shelf, you can see 2 nylon straps that allow you to unzip the bug net, roll it up, and strap it down. This allows you to use the Blackbird as a camp chair to lounge around camp, sit and talk, cook a meal, or whatever you like without the bug net interfering which is a unique feature not available on other hammocks that I really enjoy.
Setting up the Blackbird is incredibly Simple. The included stuff sack that contains the hammock itself has openings at each end with color coded drawstrings so the user knows which end is the foot and which end is the head. This makes the set up of this hammock easy the first time around instead of forcing the user to flip the hammock due to an incorrect set up. Per the manufacture, and I for one agree, the correct way to set this hammock up between 2 trees is to have the head end about 20ﾟ lower than the foot end. The result of this set up is a perfect lay-flat design and I don't experience any shifting during the night. The Blackbird can be purchased with a few different suspension systems - whoopie slings, nylon straps and webbing & buckles, or if you choose you can forgo these options for your own strap setup. The Blackbird will come to you with standing loops on each end of the hammock.
The take down of the Blackbird Is just as simple as the set up. The included stuff sack stays on the hammock while it is set up allowing for a very speedy take down by opening one end and stuffing the remainder of the hammock in the stuff sack, including any suspension system. I really enjoyed this hammock for the speed of set up and take down allowing me to quickly break camp and move on with my adventures in the outdoors. While in the stuff sack, the Blackbird can be compressed to a impressively small size to almost disappear into a pack not be noticed or take up very much room at all.
Warbonnet products are built to last. I myself know several people that have been hanging in the same Blackbird for many years and with all that Warbonnet has to offer with tarps, under quilts and all the other accessories, one could easily make a Blackbird their flagship sleeping system all year round. I myself have a lot of experience in a multitude of different hammocks and I have never experienced a more comfortable sleep then in a Warbonnet Blackbird. Due to the unique design of the Warbonnet Blackbird, it may be difficult for a traditional underquilt to be made to work, but Warbonnet has solved this with their Wookie Underquilt, which is designed to follow their specific diagonal lay in this particular hammock. Partnering this hammock with one of Warbonnet’s many different style of tarps, a nice sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad will make this system excellent for all 4 seasons. Packaging together Warbonnet’s Wookie Underquilt and Winter Top Cover is suggested for colder climates in order to add 10 to 20ﾟof warmth to your hammock. Also, the addition of a good top quilt, which Warbonnet makes as well, will provide you with a superior set up that is modular for all seasons of outdoor weather.When we’re in the great outdoors backpacking, hiking, hunting, or surviving, one of the most important things to consider other than our clothing is our sleep system. Getting one’s self a quality night's sleep is something that is highly underrated. Waking up after a good night's sleep could be the difference between you getting to the deer stand at 5:00 a.m. instead of noon, hitting the trail before sun up to catch that sunrise, or getting to that fishing spot just at the right time and feeling well rested and ready for what the day may throw at you. A Warbonnet Blackbird is what I will be choosing to pack from now on for all my outdoor adventures due to the quality of the construction and quality of sleep I get in the woods. If you choose to purchase one I doubt know you won’t be dissatisfied! And, you will get years of use out of this superior hammock system made by Warbonnet.