By Robert Allen
After almost two years of testing the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC hammock, we have come to the conclusion that this is the best hammock system on the market for the money. I personally bought one of these a couple of years ago and have tested it in almost every kind of weather imaginable. This hammock is just about as bomb-proof as you can get for a lightweight piece of sleep gear. Various SIGMA 3 instructors have also purchased it and used it all over the country, they have all come back with the same conclusion. Amazing!
We are proud to announce that we are the first company to ever offer their products outside of the direct manufacturer. Warbonnet is American Veteran owned and each product is hand made, so you can be assured that they are quality and not foreign junk. I was so impressed with the product after buying it at full retail price and testing for two years, that I contacted the owner and told him we had to sell them. He finally agreed to let us sell his Warbonnet Blackbird XLC to SIGMA 3 customers. As many of you know our store only sells products that our instructors own, have tested, and wholeheartedly believe in. I have to admit that I didn’t like the idea of hammocks at first because I’m a stomach and side sleeper, so I was hesitant to spend money on something I wasn’t sure I would be comfortable in. After years of using them though, I’m a total convert from tarp and tent camping. I almost never use any of my other shelter equipment anymore after using this system.
The Best Hammock
The Blackbird XLC is a larger up-graded version of the Blackbird. It has all the same standard features as the Blackbird such as choice of suspension, built-in bug netting, shelf/footbox, but in addition the XLC is about 12″ longer having a hammock body roughly 132″x 63″ with an overall length(ridgeline length) of 111″ which gives you about 11 inches of tarp overlap at each end of the hammock if using an eleven foot tarp. The XLC is rated for a user up to 7’0″. The netting is fully removable, you have the option to purchase an optional winter Topcover that can be used in place of the netting in winter time, the Topcover is a breathable fabric matching the hammock body, it will trap about 15 deg of heat compared to the outside air temps, so it is particularly useful for those that do lots of cold weather camping. Like the hammock fabric itself, the Topcover made of breathable fabric that has a DWR water “resistant” treatment, it will shed light moisture, but is not waterproof and is not a replacement for a tarp. The thing we probably best about this hammock is the convenient built in shelf you can put gear in out of your way. Watch the video for more details.
Color: Olive green
Weight capacity: 400 LBS
Item weight (webbing/buckles): 2 lb. 7oz.
Item weight (whoopies): 2 lb 4oz.
Fabric: 1.7oz/70D Nylon (x2)
The Best Hammock Tarp
I have probably owned 30 different tarps over the years as a survival instructor and I can honestly say that the warbonnet superfly tarp is my favorite. It weighs only 1 lb 3 oz and packs up to the size of a pop can. Even if you don’t like hammocks you’ll love this tarp if you like camping on the ground.The reason I like it so much is because it has doors that fold down on both sides and it makes it a 4 season tarp. It blocks out the wind, rain, and snow no matter what kind of weather conditions you find yourself in. When weather is nice I like to fold up one side to enjoy the views and when the weather is bad I batten down the hatches and close in all the sides. For the weight and pack-ability it can’t be beat. It is just like having a floor-less tent and still all the advantages of a tarp. There are certainly cheaper options available, but we guarantee that after you try a tarp with the doors you won’t want the smaller versions available. Warbonnet offers a tarp that is the same size and price as the ENO profly, but it doesn’t have the doors. In comparison with other tarp makers, they are about the same price as the rest. In fact, ENO offers a Housefly tarp that is the same as the superfly, but after testing we found it wasn’t near the same quality. You can see that in our video below when we tested them both in the snow. The ProFly tarp collapsed under snow weight and the superfly held up because of extra tie outs.
Item weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.
Ridgeline Length: 11’0”
Fabric: 1.1oz/30D 2000mm NeverMist™ Silnylon
There are numerous other brands and options available out there and we have tried almost all of them. I’ve personally owned the ENO hammocks, Hennessy, Grand Trunk, and Snugpak hammock. The blackbird xlc is by far and away a much better hammock system than all of them. Clark hammocks is also an option but they are substantially more expensive for a system that has a smaller tarp, no shelf, and doesn’t lay quite as flat.
BUY ONCE CRY ONCE!
You could certainly find cheaper hammocks, as there are numerous systems out there available but our philosophy is to buy the best and only spend the money once. We guarantee that if you like hammock camping, you will upgrade your system in the future and end up spending way more money in the long run. One of our main jobs as survival instructors is to test gear and we test a lot of it. We never put our name behind something that we don’t absolutely love and our reputation is the most important thing to us. You know that we are biased in this review because we are selling the hammock, but I can assure that this hammock is amazing and I give you my word you will love it. After years of testing, I can assure you I have never had a better nights sleep in the woods. Thank you for supporting SIGMA 3 Survival School and I hope that one day you get to try out this amazing piece of gear and like it as much as I do!