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Exped Ergo Combi all-in-one hammock camping solution

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May 9, 2012

Exped says that it developed its horizontal suspension system for more than half a decade

Exped says that it developed its horizontal suspension system for more than half a decade

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The Exped Ergo Combi aims to give you the protection of a tent within the comfortable, 'zero gravity' confines of a roomy hammock. It looks like it could offer one of the best nights of sleep you've ever had outdoors.

You can buy various forms of sheltered hammocks from manufacturers like Clark, Hennessy Hammock and Grand Trunk. Some are completely open, leaving you to sleep under the stars. Some have mosquito netting to protect you from pests. Some have waterproof protection for use in foul weather. Some have added insulation on the underside to keep you warm in winter or cooler spring weather.

The Exped Ergo Combi has it all. It packs every type of protection that you could possibly want in the outdoors - save maybe for carnivore repellant - into a package in which you'll never have to worry about hard, cold dirt or poking sticks and rocks.

As you can see in the picture, the Ergo Combi begins with a horizontal sleeping system. Most hammocks have the ropes at the tips, but the Ergo puts them on the sides and uses a diagonal suspension system to support the hammock body. We don't know for sure without actually lying in it, but that picture makes it look about as snug and free of pressure points as a womb. Exped says that it developed the horizontal orientation over the course of six years.

With proper sleeping quarters taken care of, Exped throws an array of accompanying features and equipment into the Ergo. It has a waterproof tarp to protect you from rain and provide shade from the sun. The tarp is even oversized so that you can use it as a sun and weather shade for cooking, eating and lounging around camp. Since the tarp isn't attached to the hammock fabric, a separate mesh fly is used to keep bugs from devouring your flesh. An integrated sleeping-pad sleeve fits most of Exped's pads (and we'd assume similarly sized pads from other manufacturers), giving you some extra insulation from the cold air underneath. Exped says that the pad system gives the Ergo winter-camping capabilities, though that would certainly depend on the pad you're using.

The tarp is oversized, so it can serve as a quick escape from rain and sun

The hammock with suspension kit weighs 34 oz (963 g) and the tarp adds another 23 oz (652 g). Depending upon your usage, 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) may be a little heavy (you could get a number of two-person tents under that weight). However, because it includes separate pieces, it gives you some versatility. You can use just the hammock or just the tarp depending on your comfort level and the weather. It's still not necessarily ultralight, but it does look to provide a solid combination of low weight and sleeping comfort.

The Ergo Combi debuted this year. We don't see a suggested retail price on Exped's site, but the hammock is listed for US$340 at REI and $240 at Backcountry.com. The video below is part one of a three part series that gives you a tour of the design and set-up of the Ergo Combi. Be forewarned: it's not a quick, glamorous promo, but a slow-going instructional video.

Source: Exped

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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5 Comments

I'd rather have a Hennesy: http://hennessyhammock.com/catalog/#hammock

Does everything this article purports this one to do and is much lighter.

Jon Smith
10th May, 2012 @ 08:00 am PDT

Always loved a hammock. Side ropes seem to be a great change from end ropes that cause neck pain and uneven support. Good idea, just drop the price a bit.

James Farmer
10th May, 2012 @ 01:04 pm PDT

This is nothing new, I used one like this for several years in the military. The price is around $50 dollars, way better than $240!

http://www.securityprousa.com/hammocks.html

DonFG
11th May, 2012 @ 07:46 am PDT

The "Che" Guevara invented this design in 1957 and called it "carmaca" (tent or tent and hammock), publishing the picture in the book "Guerrilla Warfare" that many guerrillas used in their struggles. Never claimed money for his invention.

oscar fernandez
13th May, 2012 @ 10:46 am PDT

This looks fabulous. I had a Hennessy for about, oh, 72 hours. It was comfy as hell to lay down in, the kids loved messing around and napping in it, but then I tried to sleep.

I'm a side sleeper with my arms out and my top knee bent...so I get in the Hennessy and lay down. Good. Roll on my side. Bad; I'm cocooned. Stick out an arm, not happening. Try to bring a knee up? Done. Hennessy, you fail. I even tried to re-hang where it could be looser, as all those problems could be caused by too tight a hang. No dice. To top it all off my foot continuously pushed open that stupid bottom flap (I know there's a side-entry one now, but too little too late).

Now all the purists out there will say "a gajillion south americans have used this is a bed since the big bang" or something to that effect, which is fine and all, but they've been doing that since birth...whereas I'm 35 and used to a flat bed. It's kinda like barefoot runners...yes, your feet WERE built for it, but generations of evolution have moved your feet in the OTHER direction. Get over it...some of us just can't do it.

Something like this however looks like it could be the best of all worlds. I'd say it's worth the extra cost.

Jeremy Maritz
14th May, 2012 @ 08:56 am PDT
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