Using a clever asymmetrical design, the Deep Jungle Asym Zip from Hennessy provides a nearly flat sleeping surface by pulling the base of the hammock out at two adjacent points along the walls of the shelter. This provides tent like internal volume and posture while still being elevated off of the ground for a new level of backcountry comfort. Is this new design gimmick or inspiration? This is my review.
The Deep Jungle Asym zip XL is designed to be used in bug filled environments, or by those who simply resent the thought of snuggling up with a nice jumping spider while they camp. A full coverage 20D polyester No-See-Um bug net is sewn into the hammock for full coverage protection and can be unzipped down the length of the right side of the hammock. Two provided zippers allow the shelter to be open or closed from the very top and the bottom of the net for easier entry and exit. The suspension system is comprised of two 10′ long Spectra reinforced ropes with a polyester cover for protection. Two bungee ropes are connected to the double layer 30D nylon hammock body; One is attached at the left shoulder of the sleeper while the other connects near the right leg. This allows the hammock to stake out to the ground or a tree and pulls the hammock out wide for a flat sleeping surface and less sway. The double layer body of the tent allows for a Radiant Double Bubble insulating pad to be slipped in, preventing bug bites and heat loss when it’s cold. Included are two suspension ropes and wide 1.5″ webbing straps to protect the trees so courteous as to provide support for wearing campers. Also included, a 30D silnylon ripstop rainfly matches the unique shape of the hammock to maximize coverage and minimize weight. This attaches by lightweight rope that must be tied to a tree, knot tying skills not included. The Packed weight of the XL model reviewed rings in at 2 lbs 10 oz and packs down to about 5″ x 8″ x 10″ , retailing for $199.95.
What I liked
The asymmetrical design is far more than a simple modification of the shape of a traditional hammock. It completely changes how the sleeper lays in the hammock. No more slumping into a puddle of pain in the bowels of the hammock; The Deep Jungle provides a near flat sleeping surface, rivaling the internal volume of many single person shelters. The shape naturally and intuitively guides the sleeper into the correct resting position with no bending of the spine or sliding into the middle. This also eliminates the creation of tight fabric ridges that typically end up just under the feet or calves of the sleeper, caused by fabric tension as the sleeper rotates into an angle sleeping position of traditional hammocks. Instead, it creates a soft bed like surface with plenty of room inside to move about, and even sit up with crossed legs without feeling wobbly. Having the bungees connected to the ground also reduces sway, which only enhances the experience as the hammock doesn’t rock back and forth all night. This results in the most comfortable hammocking experience I’ve ever tried, by a large degree. At times, I actually forgot that I was sleeping in a hammock at all.Without the constant struggle of slumping to the center or trying to avoid pressure points, I was free to relax and enjoy myself while I was inside.
Weather protection has been good. With the ability to pitch the shelter any way that I like, I was able to bring the hammock in very close to the shelter during times of rain, but also able to raise it away from the shelter for added ventilation when needed. As a compromise, I found that I could use branches to prop the tips of the rain fly away from the ground while keeping the ridge line close to the shelter, providing extra air without letting in rain. This is also possible by tying it off to a tree if they’re positioned correctly. I’m yet to test it in a life altering monsoon with sideways rain, but I have a feeling a larger hex or monsoon rainfalls would be a better option if you’re going in with disregard for the weather. However, for general purposes of 3 season use, the included rainfly has performed just fine.
Getting in and out of the hammock is quite simple thanks to the full length double zippers and stabilizing tie out points on the body. Unzip the bug net all the way (this avoids putting pressure on them), slide inside the hammock in a sitting position and bring the zippers closer to your head before rotating into a sleeping position and finishing up the closure. This makes for a relatively reach free approach to getting inside without dealing with a wobbling, unstable hammock floor. I very much appreciated the burliness of the zippers, as they consistently slid smoothly and without resistance when I needed them to, yet never once slipped or opened up so that bugs could crawl in. They’re exceptionally made and perform admirably.
Setup is pretty simple, assuming you know a couple of basic hitches (tautline hitch, prusik hitch and the simple overhand with an optional quick release). Simply take the webbing straps around a tree, tie the hammock onto it with a series of figure 8 loops and finish it up with a quick release overhand and stake out the two corners of the body. The rainfly is easily attached by clipping it to two sliding clips onto the hammock itself, allowing you to center it up before tying it to a tree with two adjustable tautline hitches. The lower corners of the rain fly can be tied to a tree (again with the tautline) or staked out onto the ground. The use of knots allows for a lot of flexibility, raising the fly for more ventilation or lowering it for more weather protection. Adjusting the fly tension is as simple as sliding the tautline hitches. The use of the figure 8 loops for the hammock attachment to the tree itself provides a slip free connection point that provides a much tauter pitch than clip systems.
Build quality all around is quite good with the entire system. The rope is exceptionally durable and grips very well once tied to a tree, and the rainfly is a lightweight, vigorously seam sealed ripstop nylon that holds tension well under wind and nasty weather. Stitching for the most part is on point with only a couple of loose threads showing up around the seams of the bug net. I’m yet to find a single point of concern, and even after erroneously pitching the rain fly so that the cords were sliding across a tree branch for the better part of a day as the wind blew (whoops!).. Even using boots and tools inside my hammock hasn’t been an issue, as I’m yet to find any signs of wear or tear. The double layered bottom also provides a bit of reinforcement and peace of mind.
Value is a real plus with this system. A complete sleeping system at under 3 lbs for a nickel under 200 bucks is an exceptional value, especially when considering the build quality and comfort it provides. At this price, it’s one of the better prices for a high end sleep system.
The optional Radiant double bubble pad (an additional $35 and 14 oz for the XL)does an excellent job of providing warmth, creating a nice toasty protective layer under the sleeper into the 40’s. It also provides great protection from demonic mosquitos who would otherwise jab through the bottom of the hammock to drain a hapless sleeper of their precious life force. The pad simply slides in between the double layers within the hammock floor and allows it to stay in place without shifting around. I found that I could muster up a bit of extra warmth by sleeping directly on the pad when lounging around without a sleeping bag. It’s lightweight, durable, and use is thought free. Just pop it in.
a nice overhead pocket allows for some organization as it’s separated into two compartments, one large and one small. It can be slid around inside the hammock to stay out of the way and additional gear can be hung from the inner wire that holds up the bug net.
What I didn’t like
Due to the nature of the design, some knot skills are required which makes it somewhat more sophisticated than other setups that are available. If you’re requiring only on the included instructions, text describing the setup, you may have some trouble without prior experience. This will require some practice before taking the shelter into the wild. Trust me, you do not want to learn how to set this shelter up in the rain or at night. Thankfully Hennessy has some nice how to videos on their website, and the end result in a more flexible, lighter weight sleeping system with a wider range of adjustment than simple hooks and clips can provide. It’s not a challenging task, but will require a little practice for those with limited trying skills.
For intense storms and horrid weather, a larger more generously covered fly might be a good idea. In my tests the hammock has provided good protection in milder conditions, but a true thundering storm could allow some rain or spin drift to work it’s way in around the head and foot of the hammock. As sold, it’s a reliable system that’s designed to minimize weight wherever possible, and the rain fly is an obvious choice.
There are no stakes included, meaning you’ll either need to tie off to a set trees or bushes to the side or get fancy with sticks (a tested and viable option for shedding weight) or provide your own tent stakes (my suggestion is to add 4 to your kit).
The asymmetrical design of the Deep Jungle is a significant improvement over traditional, laterally designed hammocks. Instead of forcing your body to lay across a taut sheet of fabric at an angle to lay somewhat flat, creating lines of tension and unevenness, the hammock itself is designed to accommodate this method of sleep. The simple act of staking out the body creates a wider, more open interior, and provide an actual living space for the user to sleep in. Gone are the cramped interiors and closing in walls. This design not only adds more room to move about, but also a more stable sleeping experience without the rocking that most hammocks have. Thanks to thoughtful design and the use of high quality materials like silnylon and coated polyester rope, the lightweight, yet durable design provides good stability and provides adequate protection from rain and most storms despite weighing in at under 3 lbs. It’s a design that works, and I’m not sure that I could go back. Aside from the need to brush up on some knot tying skills and the lack of included stakes, it’s an exceptional sleep system at a very fair asking price. In my opinion, you simply cannot find a better hammock.
The Highest of Recommendations
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For more information on Hennessy and their excellent line of gear, check out http://hennessyhammock.com/
I wanted to send a special thanks out to Hennesy for their support and for providing this excellent piece of equipment to review. We couldn’t do this without their help. Thank you so much! Our full disclosure can be found on the about me/contact page.