Eagle’s Nest Outfitters (ENO) is making hammock use more accessible than ever with quality gear. I own a DoubleNest hammock, and want to graduate to hammock from tent when I go camping. In the summer that’d be fine, but in the winter, it would be frigid and I’d get a serious case of CBT (“cold butt syndrome” – thanks, Derek Hansen). ENO’s remedy to CBT is an underquilt is called the Ember. There are few reviews to be found on the Ember, and they vary. It is kind of expensive at $175, but with my Therm-A-Rest lent out for this fall’s trip and a $100 merch credit at REI, I decided to give the Ember a shot.
Let me say before going any further, I am a hammock novice, and have not attempted any DIY hammock gear.
After buying the Ember, I weighed it on a kitchen scale. With the stuff sack, it weighs in at exactly 2lbs (32oz). It does not come with any instructions, however the Ember Setup Guide is available on ENO’s website. The specs on the tag list out:
8’6″ – 35ozp
30d ripstop sil nylon shell
30d ripstop nylon inner
Hi-loft synthetic insulation
Sil Nylon compression stuff sack
There have been some improvements in the Ember from video reviews I’ve seen on YouTube. Gone are the ENO emblazoned edges along the top of the quilt. Gone are the bungee cord closure system. New (unless I missed them in the reviews) are a shock cord attachment system. FixedByDoc stated a weight of 2lbs5oz (per ENO), which has been cut.
Anticipating today would be a slow day at the shop, I took my ENO gear to work with me to give it a try. I hung it up between the lifts! The setup was easy and I had it attached to my DoubleNest hammock in no time. (I use SlapStrapPros as well, if anyone is wondering.) The shock cord attachment has a cord lock on it. Loop the hammock carabiner through the shock cord, keeping the cord lock on top. Once attached, slide the cord lock all the way up to meet the Ember. Once you get into the hammock, the cord locks slide out as a self-adjustment to keep just the right amount of tension on the underquilt.
Without the bungee straps to keep the top closed, this seems to have definitely moved away from the peapod concept that I’ve read some people lay on it. It was easy enough to get a diagonal lay across the hammock, and I never felt any tension on my back as I lay in it. Without the top being closed, there will be much more need for a top quilt or sleeping bag.
So, overall my initial observations are positive. I like how it looks, and the quality is there. These hot South Carolina days are still in full effect, so I won’t be able to test the temperature until this fall. My first trial run will be in about a month when I take it to Linville Gorge. Consequently, this will also be my first time sleeping in the DoubleNest Hammock as well. Once I can test it at low temps, I’ll post a complete review. For the preliminary, it’s looking good.