Hangin‘ Out in the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC

I love hammocks, and was thrilled to try out the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC. I’d been used to just lounging around outside and soaking up mother nature, then a friend of mine posted about a cold weather camping trip that he did with his son, and I got the fever to try hammock camping, which is exactly what the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC is made for.

The Blackbird XLC is an end gathered nylon material hammock. Its build quality is excellent, and it’s equipped with a totally removable mosquito net. A solid winter cover is available and adds a few degrees of warmth in the coldest weather. I used the winter cover on a night when the temps dipped down below 20. I don‘t know exactly how much warmer it was in the hammock, but I did feel colder air enter when I unzipped the cover.

There a few other nifty design features built into the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC. First, this hammock has a designated head and foot end. Extra material is added to the right side near the foot end, making a “foot box”, because the best way to lie in an end-gathered hammock is diagonally (not in line with the hanging points). In the past I tried this in other hammocks. The sides of the hammock applied tension to my head and feet which more or less forced me to lay straight with the hammock. While this isn‘t totally uncomfortable, I felt like a human banana with a cloth wrapper. The Blackbird XLC does not present this problem. Stick your feet in the foot box to the right and keep your head to the left and you will lay more or less flat. I’m 6‘ 1” and weight about 215, and was able to lay any way that I liked in complete comfort. During a couple of the test sessions, I accidentally fell asleep for a couple hours at a time, so I‘d say this hammock is very comfortable.

Warbonnet Blackbird XLC

Another feature of Blackbird XLC is the “shelf”. Near the head end of the hammock, extra material is again added to the right side. This material droops outside the hammock, making a handy area for storing items that may be needed during the night. There is plenty of room for a water bottle, extra clothes, a flashlight, or whatever gear you need close by. I found the shelf to be super handy.

The Blackbird XLC is available in single and double layer models and in a variety of weights and colors. Mine uses the 1.1oz/30D Nylon. One purpose of the double layer construction is to aid in the use of camp pads in the hammock. Just like the camp pad provides insulation from the ground while you sleep, it will insulate underneath you in the hammock. The camp pad stayed in place well inside the Blackbird and I slept cozy. If a camp pad is not used, you should get an under quilt to insulate yourself from the cold.

My hammock uses the adjustable webbing suspension. I found setup of the hammock to be a snap, requiring only that you loop the webbing at each of the hammock around a suitable tree, properly tighten the straps, and stake out some guy lines to keep the bug net off of you and to hold out the shelf.

Warbonnet Outdoors provides excellent videos detailing setup of the Blackbird XLC and the rest of the product line. Informational videos are also available and are an excellent resource. Their Warbonnet Blackbird XLC sells for $200 dollars base price. Adding the winter is an extra $65. Check out all of the quality made in the USA products at   http://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com

– Mark

*This article is part of my hammock camping series. Related articles include my intro, and review of the Exped Synmat 7.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC for free from Warbonnet Outdoors, in consideration for review publication

Warbonnet Blackbird XLC with winter cover
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