The first of my hammock camping purchases have arrived.
This is the Dutchware chameleon hammock. It’s a lightweight (15oz without the straps), 11′, fixed ridgeline hammock in Woodland Camo.
I spent a lot of hours researching hammocks before deciding on the Chameleon. I had already bought some bits and pieces from DutchWare and been impressed by the quality and customer service.
I bought the suspension straps also shown in the picture, and the ridgeline for my tarp a while back when I first decided to try out hammock camping. In addition to the hammock, I bought the bug net (a tad over 4 oz), and a pair of titanium Beetle Buckles to replace the cinch buckles I was using with our old ‘lounging’ hammock. The Beetle Buckles are small, light and an ingenious design.
Here’s what influenced my decision to buy the Chameleon:
- Optional zip-on bug net, shoulder season, and winter top covers.
- A wide diagonal sleeping position.
- Adjustable tie-outs to help keep you sleeping diagonally.
- D-rings and fixing points for an underquilt and gear bags.
- Overwhelming praise for the build quality and comfort in the reviews.
I’m not going to say much about it until I’ve spent a few nights out on the trail, but my first inspection and impressions confirm what I’d read in the reviews. It’s very well made and the Hexon 1.6 material (350lb rating) feels really nice. The double-ended stuff sack was also a nice touch, and I’ll have to find out what material it’s made out of as it’s super smooth. I can say that the hammock compresses down to around the size of a grapefruit, which is excellent.
The tarp and underquilt won’t be with me for a few weeks, as it’s made to order. I’m not sure I’ll be able to wait for them to arrive before heading out and trying out the hammock. There are a few cold nights coming up, but I think I can foresee a quick trip out with my Neoair pad and 0° bag in my immediate future.
Still to come from Hammock Gear:
- The Quest 12′ tarp
- Incubator Econ 40 underquilt
The great thing about buying made to order gear is that you can ask for changes. So for $20, I’ve opted to have an extra two tie-outs installed on the tarp, which will allow me to use my hiking pole to raise the center, something I really liked with my current cheap tarp, and it will give me more tie-down options if the wind starts to blow.
I must admit that I’m very impressed with the customer service I have received from Hammock Gear thus far. The only problem I have is waiting for the gear to be made!
I did take a careful look at making my own under quilt, but I decided that the suggested six hour build time would be better spent finding some additional consultancy work so I could cover the cost of buying one from one of the cottage industry providers.
December 2018. I’ve really been enjoying the hammock and hammock camping. So much so that I’ve bought a 10° Under quilt so I can still get out in the colder weather. Being able to camp on the side of a hill means I’ve considered places I’d never have camped near in a tent.
Out in the wilderness.
Do you plan to upgrade to tarp?
I have a custom (6 tie-downs vs the usual 4) 12′ Quest on order from Hammock Gear.
Sounds like a good choice in gear, I’ve been reading on those also. Let us know how they work out. Won’t be doin the kilt though. LOL
Will do. I want to cram in as much backpacking as I can between work and work-trips. The lead-time on the underquilt is several weeks right now, so I may not be able to give it a low-temperature trial until the fall. That said the way this season is going, it may still be chilly in June!
I’m planning on taking a one-night trip with the hammock and my Harbor Freight tarp, Neo Air Pad, and winter bag next week.
As for the Kilt, never say never. Once tried you’ll be a convert! 🙂
Hi! What color is the underquilt? it looks great
In the pictures, it’s a 40°F Incubator Econ in Dark Olive From Hammock Gear I also have the 10°F version, in the same color – Dark Olive outside and black on the inside.
Such a nice setup. I have the same chameleon and am looking for an underquilt so i can get out in the cooler weather this winter in Ontario.
I’ve been very impressed with the Hammock Gear underquilts, and the way they do business. So much so, that I also bought a 10° top quilt from them. However, There are lots of other small vendors producing quilts and underquilts. If you’ve not already done so, a visit to the hammock forum would be a good place to start your search. https://www.hammockforums.net Lots of great hammock resources there.
One thing I have found. If you have a Sidecar fitted to your hammock it tends to interfere with the fit of the underquilt. I suspect this applies to any underquilt. So, I’ve ditched the sidecar, got a bit more organized with how I keep my gear so that I don’t need it, and have bought one of the new peak shelves for the Chameleon from Dutchware. I’ve yet to try it out in the wild. Happy Hanging!