Klymit Hammock V
Specs: 27 oz / Inflated Size: 47" x 78" x 2.5" / Pack Size: 4" x 8" / R-Value: 1.6
Sleeping pads are essential for keeping warm while resting in a hammock, but it's notoriously difficult to keep them anchored in place. Klymit recognized this issue and developed the Hammock V, which as they put it: "Is the first air pad designed specifically for all hammocks." Intrigued, I put the Hammock V through its paces to see if it might have a place in your camping gear quiver.
Design & Function
When I first pulled the Hammock V from its stuff sack I marveled at how wide the pad was. It isn't quite wide enough to accommodate two sleepers, but it's cut much more generously than ultralight pads like the Thermarest NeoAir XLite. Despite the large surface area of the pad, it took only 17 breaths to inflate, which is comparable to most pads on the market. You'll also quickly notice four panels extending from the main pad body, and if you didn't know this was a sleeping pad you might mistake it for a squirrel suit. The side panels provide additional cushioning if you slide off the main body; they also give structure to the hammock by holding it open. The Hammock V comes with a repair kit consisting of glue and two fabric patches kept in a small pouch incorporated into the stuff sack, which is a nice feature to have.
The side panels of the Hammock V accomplish their purpose of giving form to the hammock and providing extra insulated real estate area for the arms and legs. I found the arm panels to be most helpful since my elbows naturally gravitated towards the edge of the pad, and the side panels supported them well. Klymit also incorporated a slightly adhesive coating into two areas on the bottom of the pad and one on the top. These non-slip zones are designed to prevent the pad from sliding around in the hammock, and the area on top is intended to secure the sleeping bag. The coating certainly provides significant friction, although I wonder if coating the whole bottom surface of the pad would anchor it in place better. The non-slip zone on the top of the pad is around the shoulder region, so you won't have to worry about the sticky coating against your hair or face, but if you use a pillow it will slide around a bit.
While the Hammock V isn't the lightest pad out there at 27 oz., its size and weight are manageable for both backcountry and frontcountry use. Durability is always a concern with inflatable sleeping pads, but the Hammock V construction is on par with conventional pads and hammock-only usage will mean that the risk of punctures or abrasion to the fabric is significantly reduced. Finally, with an R-value of 1.6 the Hammock V will provide adequate three-season insulation, but it isn't suitable for the coldest winter adventures. Klymit mentioned they may be releasing a more insulated version come springtime.
For those who regularly take their hammocks into the wilderness, or enjoy lounging around the park, the Hammock V provides a little extra warmth and comfort for the experience. It's a great option for anyone who has felt constricted by a narrow sleeping pad in a hammock, and the solid construction should give years of use.
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