Hands-on Gear Review

Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip Review

Expedition Asym Zip
Price:  $160 List | $150.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Highly durable, integrated bug net, tarp included
Cons:  Heavy, bulky, more complicated set up
Bottom line:  The Expedition is a burly and durable hammock that will serve you well in varied terrain and inclement weather.
Editors' Rating:   
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Capacity (weight):  250lb
Hanging Straps Included ?:  Yes, 3' 6"
Hammock Size:  10' x 4.92'
Manufacturer:   Hennessy Hammock

Our Verdict

This innovative expedition hammock comes fully equipped with an integrated bug net, suspension, and a rain fly. If you're looking for impressive versatility in a camping setup, the Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip will allow you to get comfortable in all kinds of terrain and weather. It's a rather burly set up - actually the heaviest we tested, even among the expedition models! Overall, we feel that this is a decent option for serious camping and variable weather. Campers who don't mind the bit of extra weight and that are heading into a wet climate will undoubtedly be happy to have the included tarp.

The Hennessy Expedition weighs 33oz not including the tarp, and just over 3 pounds with the tarp; this is the heaviest model we reviewed, and the 70D oxford nylon is the burliest fabric. Overall, we feel that this is a great runner up to the Blackbird for serious camping and variable weather. Campers who don't mind the bit of extra weight and that are heading into a wet climate will undoubtedly be happy to have the included tarp.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Penney Garrett

Last Updated:
Friday
March 24, 2017

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Of the expedition models we reviewed, the Hennessy models and the REI Co-op Flash Air are the only ones to come standard with a rain fly. While this hammock system didn't win any awards, many users may prefer the durable material and extra storm-proof build of the Hennessey Expedition.

Performance Comparison


The Hennessy Expedition is burly and highly versatile - a great companion for the backcountry.
The Hennessy Expedition is burly and highly versatile - a great companion for the backcountry.

Comfort


The Hennessey Expedition Asym has extreme comfort potential, due to its asymmetrical design. It lacks the foot box of the Warbonnet Blackbird but does have guylines to stake the sides of the hammock out, which helps provide extra shoulder space. Finding a comfortable hang took a bit of experimentation, but we got there. The unique zippered bug net also pulls completely away from the field of view for when you want to look at the stars, though there is no way to secure it like there is with the Warbonnet Ridgerunner or REI Flash Air, so it just kind of sits bunched up next to you.

Like other hammocks with a ridgeline and bug net, we found that this was not an ideal hammock for sitting up perpendicularly, though it is possible, and you can watch helpful videos online to learn more about this. The ridgeline also comes with a mesh organizer, a great upgrade that some users found very helpful for storing a headlamp, book, or other small items that can be difficult to stash otherwise. The stiff, heavy fabric is less comfortable than thinner materials, like the parachute nylon of models like the Bear Butt Double, but this is a problem that goes away once you crawl into a sleeping bag.

The Hennessy Expedition has a bit of a learning curve in regards to learning the proper way to lay in the asymmetrical design  but as you learn the right position for both the hammock and your body it will get progressively easier and more comfortable.
The Hennessy Expedition has a bit of a learning curve in regards to learning the proper way to lay in the asymmetrical design, but as you learn the right position for both the hammock and your body it will get progressively easier and more comfortable.

Weight


Great features and incredible durability tend to come at a cost, and the Hennessey Expedition Asym is no exception. The massive hammock, at 33 ounces by itself and 49.3 ounces with the rain fly and stuff sack, has a weight comparable to a lightweight backpacking tent, though the heavy rain fly can be ditched when the weather is clear. Despite its weight, this is a pretty ideal hammock for cold and miserable conditions, especially if you add an underquilt to the package.

Before committing to the weight of this model, it's a good idea to think about the conditions it will be used in. If rain or cold are potentials, this is a great purchase to make, even with the extra weight. You'll be glad to have the fly and thick fabric in a storm. If you like everything about this hammock but absolutely need to cut weight, look into the Hennessy Ultralite Backpacker Asym Zip, which is practically identical to the Expedition but a full pound lighter for the whole package and 9 ounces lighter for the hammock alone.

The Expedition is definitely a larger  heavier setup than other models we tested  but it's burly and comes equipped with a rain fly  so you're ready for almost anything.
The Expedition is definitely a larger, heavier setup than other models we tested, but it's burly and comes equipped with a rain fly, so you're ready for almost anything.

Ease of Set Up


The Hennessey Expedition and the Hennessy Backpacker were the most difficult models to pitch of all we tested. Unlike the Blackbird or Flash Air, there is nothing built in to allow easy tension adjustments while the hammock is hanging and stakes are needed for the elastic guy lines on the sides but are not included. The fly also has an asymmetrical shape that needs to match the shape of the hammock, but there are no markings or color-coding to tell you what corner lines up with what. It can be puzzled through with time in the daylight but is a pain when it's dark outside, so we recommend marking the tarp in some way. Additionally, just like the Flash Air, the suspension straps that come with the hammock are small, so if you're surrounded by large trees, you may have a problem. However, unlike the Flash Air with its integrated system, the Expedition Asym straps can be upgraded to longer versions or you can bring extra webbing of your own and easily attach it to this hammock.

The Hennessy hammocks require learning a special tie-off for suspension. While it's easy once you've learned it  there is a bit of a learning curve to getting it right and it's not as quickly adjustable as many suspension systems.
The Hennessy hammocks require learning a special tie-off for suspension. While it's easy once you've learned it, there is a bit of a learning curve to getting it right and it's not as quickly adjustable as many suspension systems.

Durability and Protection


While any hammock can be upgraded to have a fly, the Hennessey models and REI Flash Air were the only ones we tested that came with a system to suspend it on the ridgeline. The small clip and friction knot of the Hennessey models are surprisingly strong and make micro-adjustments fast and simple. When needing more or less tension on the rain fly, the user needs only to slide the knot further up the polycord, closer to the tree or anchor.

The Hennessy fly is easily deployed thanks to a simple set of friction knots and plastic clips.
The Hennessy fly is easily deployed thanks to a simple set of friction knots and plastic clips.

Like the Blackbird, the Hennessy Expedition comes with elastic guylines that open up space inside the hammock without static tension. This is a great feature so long as care is taken to avoid tripping over the small clips and cord, which are fairly weak.

The Expedition had fairly durable fabric: 70D oxford nylon with double stitched seams. If taken proper care of, this hammock will be around for many years and can be relied on for extended trips when trust in gear is paramount.

With thick 70D nylon  an integrated bug net  and a tarp  the Expedition is a burly and insulated fortress.
With thick 70D nylon, an integrated bug net, and a tarp, the Expedition is a burly and insulated fortress.

Versatility


This hammock excels at protecting during stormy weather, though the rain fly is a little on the small side. Ultralight backpackers may not desire the bulky fabric of the Expedition, and car campers might want something easier to sit up and lounge in. But for any camping where weight is not as much of an issue as protection, this is a great option. For a more versatile hammock that can be shared with children or a friend, consider something fun and easy, like our pick for Best Buy, the Bear Butt Double, or our Top Pick for Ultralight Versatility, the ENO SubLink Shelter System.

There are a variety of upgrade options for all Hennessey hammocks, and we chose the zip rather than the classic floor entry. We felt that this made for a more versatile hammock that can be opened up in good weather or clear nights for stargazing as well as allowing easier entry with sleeping gear.

Whether in a desert or a dense forest  the Henessey Expedition Asym is a comfortable and burly hammock to take into the backcountry.
Whether in a desert or a dense forest, the Henessey Expedition Asym is a comfortable and burly hammock to take into the backcountry.

Best Applications


Campers looking to head into adventurous environments during all four seasons will appreciate the sturdy fabric and included rain fly of the Hennessy Expedition, provided there is space in your pack for the large and relatively heavy package.

Value


The Expedition Asym Zip runs $170 and, considering the inclusion of a rain fly and integrated bug net, we think this is a great value. It does have a bit of a learning curve to set up, adjust, and use though. If you're in the market for a complete system that's much simpler to use and still comes with everything the Expedition Asym does but weighs a bit less, you might consider checking out our choice for Best Buy for a Complete System, the REI Co-op Flash Air.

Conclusion


There are lighter hammocks on the market but few are as weatherproof right out of the bag as the Hennessey Expedition. While we prefer the comfort and features of the REI Flash Air or Warbonnet Blackbird, this hammock camps extremely well and is a good choice for tough terrain or bad weather.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Jungle series hammocks from Hennessy all come equipped with a double layer bottom to create a sleeve for a sleeping pad so you can be better insulated on cold nights and at altitude.

The Scout hammock is meant for those 5'8" and under, comes with a rain fly, and is only $100! Great for kiddos that want to hammock camp along with you.

The Leaf is Hennessy's first open model hammock for those that don't want or need a bug net. It's only $70 and can also be used as a sling under your expedition model to collect condensation, hold gear, or create a bed for your dog!

Hennessy also offers many options for larger tarps and straps, top and bottom insulation, and SnakeSkins to help you set up and tear down without ever touching the ground.
Penney Garrett

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 20, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Mar 20, 2018 - 10:01am
deezelbowz · Hiker · Mt Juliet, TN
Let me start of by saying that I bought the bottom entry about 2 years ago and didn't use it until my first winter camping trip recently.

I love this hammock.

My pros:
* Includes a guyline;
* Includes a bugnet;
* Includes a rain tarp;
* Includes tree straps;
* Includes tension system;
* EASY TO SETUP (how did all the reviewers @ ODGL find it hard to setup the Hennessy Hammocks??).

My cons:
* Gotta get used to the bottom entry ON MY MODEL--the Zip, obviously, doesn't have this issue;
* Using it as a seat requires you to disconnect at least one tension line from the ground;
* Using it in conjunction with snakeskins (explanation later) makes it harder* to use as a seat/lounger;
* Easy setup moves you away from the Hennessy cord wrapping and requires you to carry 4 rap rings and 2 'biners. Not much added weight, but for gram-monsters it could be too much…

I feel like the biggest knock on this Hammock in this review is on how easy it is to setup and break down. Listen, this hammock is used by scouts in conjunction with snakeskins because of how quickly, easily, and efficiently it can be raised and razed. Snakeskins are a must for folks that want to get to that point: They are long, silnylon 'socks' that go on each end of the hammock, you slide them over the length of your hammock, and voila--you have a packed hammock that you throw in your pack. Combine that with a rappel ring setup on each end should lead you to being able setup in less than a minute, and tear down in the same time.

Now, the above is still true if you're also using your rain tarp, as it would go along the ridge and be adjusted at the ends through its own hooks. Yet, that also means that your rain tarp is ever-present in your setup until you remove it from the snakeskins, etc. This also prevents you from easily using your hammock is a lounger/seat, because you'll need to have the tarp 'rolled up'.

Even in an UL setup, I feel this is a great solution for all season (single) campers. While there are folks that could be out there with tarp setups, or some nice ZPack Duplex/whatnot…this is comfortable, easy to setup, and bomber for all weather.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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