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Hennessy Hammock Jungle Explorer Zip Reviewed

Hennessy Hammock Jungle Explorer Zip

Marketing from Hennessy Hammock

Like the Deep Jungle models, the Jungle Explorer is also designed for the buggiest jungles on the planet like Borneo, the Amazon, the Congo or just down by the river, but at a more affordable price. The Jungle Explorer Zip also has a 100% mosquito-proof double bottom hammock with two layers of tightly woven 40D nylon. Designed to be used with the new Radiant Heat Reflecting Double-bubble Pad XL which attaches to “o” rings between the two fabric layers to hold the pad on the correct diagonal, eliminating any movement of the pad One of the nicest things about these Jungle models is that when you put your sleeping bag into the hammock you don’t see the insulation and you don’t have to deal with the pad shifting around. The Explorer models were developed for people who like bigger hammocks. This hammock is for one person whose weight does not exceed 300 lbs/ 136 kg.


Manufacturer: Hennessy Hammock,
Model: Jungle Explorer Zip

Hammock Fabric: Double Layer of 40D Nylon
Hammock Dimensions: 108″ long x 56″ diag. wide
Hammock Dimensions (packed): 5″ x 6″ x 11″
Mesh: 30D No-See-Um Mesh Shield
Weight: 3.5 lbs (1564 g)

Height Limit: 7′ tall (213 cm)
Weight Limit: 300 lbs (136 kg)
Persons: 1

Padding Material: XL 3-season Radiant Heat Reflecting Double-bubble Pad
Padding Dimensions: 72″ long, 35″ wide shoulders, 18″ wide at the foot
Padding Dimensions (packed): 4″ x 10″ x 12″
Padding Weight: 13.9 oz (390 g)

Suspension Ropes: Two 10′ long, 1800 lb. test low-stretch polyester ropes
Webbing Straps: 2″ wide x 42″ long polyester
Webbing Strap Weight: 3.9 oz (115 g)

Rainfly Fabric: 70D Polyurethane coated Rip-stop Polyester Fabric
Rainfly Dimensions: A parallelogram short side 70″, long side 120″, short diagonal 128″, long diagonal 140″
Rainfly Weight: 13.9 oz (390 g)

Colors: Hammock : Gray with ripstop pattern, Fly : Bark (Greyish, Brownish Green)

Stuff Sack: 1 oz (28 g), Instructions printed on ripstop polyester bag

MPN: M38
MSRP: $279.95


The Review

The popularity of hammock camping has really grown rapidly over the years. Especially with the advancements in durable lightweight materials. You just need some sizable trees capable of supporting the weight of a hammock and you’re good to go. Today, I’ll be going over the Jungle Explorer Zip from Hennessy Hammocks. They were designed with some of the buggiest jungles on the planet in mind, so let’s have a closer look…

Hennessy Hammock Jungle Explorer ZipHennessy Hammocks’ Jungle Explorer is a complete sleep system that includes a lightweight hammock with bug shield, insulation pad, detachable Rip-stop polyester rainfly tarp, 42-inch Tree Hugger nylon web straps, SnakeSkins and a stuff sack with the setup instructions printed on the back. Currently, the Jungle Explorer is only available in gray with a bark-colored rain fly, though they do have other models available in multicam, woodland and universal camo patterns.

The Jungle Explorers are constructed with an asymmetrical pattern from two rugged layers of tightly woven high-tenacity 40D nylon fabric for its extreme durability and mosquito-proof properties. The Explorer models were designed for those who prefer larger hammocks so the Jungle Explorer Zip can easily accommodate a single person up to 300 lbs and 7′ tall. It is 108″ long, 56″ on a diagonal and 48″ across at its widest point fully deployed, 11″ long and 6″ in diameter packed.

The hammock is covered by a lightweight 30D No-See-Um nylon mesh shield that prevents insects from entering the sleep system when it is properly sealed. The insect shield provides 18-24 inches of headspace inside the hammock with its integrated ridgeline for ample ventilation and wind deflection. Attached to the ridgeline, there are two clips and a hanging pocket for holding small items like a flashlight, keys or phone.

The mesh shield is attached directly to the hammock along one side so there are no openings to contend with. Along the other side, there is a tough #10 full-length zipper closure between the mesh and hammock fabric with two double sliders thoroughly sealing the hammock’s entrance. The two zippers have 4″ nylon cord pulls both inside and out and can easily be moved to open from center or either end of the hammock.

Hennessy Hammock Jungle Explorer ZipEach end of the hammock is suspended by a 10′ long heavy-duty 1800 lb. test low-stretch polyester core rope, 1/4-inch in diameter. The suspension rope is easily replaceable and connected to the hammock inside a protective nylon sleeve.

An extra-large 3-season Radiant Double Bubble Insulation Pad rated at 40 degrees is provided with each Jungle Explorer Zip sleep system. It fits between the two hammock fabric layers and easily attaches to the hammock set at the correct angle with two pad clips set so the pad will not move around while you are in the hammock. The insulation pad is 72″ long, 35″ wide at the shoulders, and 18″ wide at the foot of the pad. It is very lightweight at 13.9 ounces and packs down into mesh pouch 10″ wide, 12″ tall, and 4″ thick. If you need a 4-season insulation system, Hennessy Hammocks also has a 4-Season SuperShelter sleep system available for some of their hammock models.

The Jungle Explorer also comes with a lightweight bark-colored 70D Polyurethane coated Rip-stop polyester detachable rainfly tarp shaped like a parallelogram. The long side is 120″, short side is 70″, long diagonal is 140″, short diagonal is 128″, and it weighs only 13.9 ounces. If you order directly from Hennessy Hammocks website, you can swap out the standard rainfly tarps for one of the larger, heavier polyurethane coated polyester or silicone impregnated nylon rainfly tarps, at little to no additional cost using the green Customize button.

Each Jungle Explorer comes with a set of rugged standard-length “Tree Hugger” nylon web straps that are 2″ wide and 42″ long designed to protect the outer bark of the trees that they are tethered to rather than using rope or paracord that could dig into the tree bark and damage the tree. However, when purchasing directly from the Hennessy Hammock website, you can also customize the order to get 72″ or 96″ web straps instead for a small additional cost.

SnakeSkins consist of two narrow 1/2 ounce silicone impregnated nylon tubes tapered from one end to the other. They are basically an instant stuff sack system that encapsulate a Hennessy Hammock and a standard rainfly for rapid storage and deployment. Once the SnakeSkins are in place, it takes less than a minute to deploy and take down a hammock. And best of all, the shelter never needs to touch the ground in the process.

To deploy a hammock with SnakeSkins, simply tie up the two suspension ropes at either end of the hammock to the nylon web straps after wrapping them around trees. Then slide the two SnakeSkins outward, bunching them up at the ends allowing the hammock and rainfly to open up. Then you simply need to adjust the tension of the rainfly’s ridgeline and tether the two sides of the rainfly and hammock to stakes and you’re done.

To tear down the hammock, simply disconnect the tethers attached to the two sides of the hammock and rainfly, loosen the tension on the rainfly’s ridgeline and slide the two SnakeSkins over the hammock and rainfly. Once it is all wrapped inside the SnakeSkins, fold it all up and stuff it all in the stuff sack.

The stuff sack is basically a durable Rip-stop polyester bag with a drawstring, button lock and the setup instructions printed on the back.

All Hennessy Hammocks products are guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship for one year and they provide repairs for a reasonable fee.


Functional Testing

To test the ease of setting up the Jungle Explorer Zip, I decided to set it up and tear it down as many times as I could in 10 minutes. But first I needed to ready the hammock by attaching the SnakeSkins and rainfly to it.

Hennessy HammockAdditionally, I added a pair of climbing-grade carabiners and two rap rings on each to simplify adjusting the pitch and tension of the suspension rope before tying the hammock down once it is all set. These just clip onto the loops of the suspension straps followed by threading the hammock suspension rope all the way through both rap rings, wrap all the way around again, and threaded through only the first ring splitting the two rings. This will allow it to easily pull through in one direction, but synch down on itself when tension is applied in the other direction. Finally, just tie it off with a quick half-hitch to prevent any slippage.

One small issue that I ran into early on had to do with the length of the suspension straps. At 42″, they were nowhere near long enough to wrap all the way around any of the trees that I was working with, and there weren’t any smaller trees around. Thankfully I had some longer suspension straps that I just happened to bring along just incase. The 72″ or 96″ straps would have been ideal had I had them instead. Just something to think about if you order one.

So after setting the hammock up and tearing it back down again, I was comfortable enough with it and finally ready for the test. Then I packed everything back into the stuff sack so I would be starting from scratch. I quickly dumped everything out, grabbed the two suspension straps and wrapped them around the trees clipping on the carabiners as I went. Then I picked up the SnakeSkin protected hammock and threaded the suspension ropes through the rap rings drawing the hammock to the desired height, and finally I slipped the SnakeSkin off exposing the hammock and rainfly.

The process took a little less than 3 minutes. However, I decided not to count tethering the hammock or the rainfly because that is not usually necessary with many of the hammocks out there, and setting up a ridgeline for the rainfly is typically a separate process as well.

Then I tore everything down, set it back up, and tore it down one more time within the 10 minute time period. It was all quite impressive really… I was able to setup and tear down the entire sleep system two full times in 10 minutes with a few seconds to spare.

Hennessy Hammock Jungle Explorer ZipNext, I set the hammock up one last time for the remaining tests. But this time I folded the rainfly over the ridgeline and folded the hammock in half so I could use it as a seat, which I must say is very comfortable. Especially after a long day.

The final, and likely the most important test of the Jungle Explorer was to try getting some sleep in it. This time I tethered the hammock and rainfly as recommended before climbing in. The hammock immediately cradles you in comfort, but it wraps around a little too tight for my taste until you get yourself aligned at a 45° angle and find the correct placement between the two ends allowing the hammock to flatten itself out.

Then I got out to add the insulation pad so I could demonstrate how it would affect the comfort and temperature inside the hammock. It was about 76° out so I didn’t bring a blanket in with me. I found the floor of the hammock was much flatter with the pad and seemed much more comfortable as a result…. And adding one of those closed-cell foam pads would likely improve it even more. As for the temperature, I could no longer feel the breeze that I had felt on my back before, plus I could feel some heat radiating up from the pad. But not so much that it was too warm.


Final Thoughts

The Jungle Explorer Zip is a compact hammock made from rugged lightweight materials. It features an integrated bug shield and rainfly that easily collapse down into the provided SnakeSkin stuff sack for added protection. The hammock also includes a reflective insulation pad, nylon web straps and a stuff sack making it one of the more complete suspended shelter systems available. Perfect for eco-friendly “No Trace” camping.

Once the Jungle Explorer has been set up with the rainfly and SnakeSkins, it also becomes one of the easiest hammock systems to setup and teardown. With a few short minutes and a couple trees somewhere around 20′ apart, you can have a complete shelter ready to hop in and relax without having to deal with setting up a ridgeline or bug shield.

Even with the two fabric layers, the bottom is still very breathable. But not near as much airflow as single-layer hammocks. However, adding the insulation pad in the pocket between the two layers not only firms and flattens the hammock out, it also makes it much less constricting and way more comfortable. If you can afford the extra space and weight, simply adding a 1/4″ yoga mat will take the comfort to another level.

Hammock camping is not for everyone… But if you find that works for you, the Hennessy Hammock Jungle Explorer Zip is easily one of the best and most complete around. Two thumbs way up!


<p class="disclosure">Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the product(s) mentioned above for free or at a discount in consideration for a complete, honest and impartial product review for publication on with no guarantee of the outcome whatsoever. Any opinion provided herein is based entirely on our personal experience with the product(s).</p>



About Hennessy Hammock

Hennessy HammockHennessy Hammocks combine the security of a tent with the comfort of a hammock, including a sewn-in mosquito net, hammock body with velcro or zip closure, rainfly and suspension system. Other lightweight camping options include insulation and accessories.

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