After a weekend of sewing and measuring and testing and sewing some more, the Taco Wrap is complete. I wasn’t sure going into this how successful it would be, and even when I was finishing it up last night I wondered if I had just wasted several hours and a bunch of fabric.
But I hung it up in the yard a few minutes ago and I have to say I’m pleased with my efforts.
The Taco Wrap is dual colored. Green on top, blue on the bottom. This was more for ease of assembly than for aesthetics. Above you see the suspension and the ridge line exiting the end of the hammock, with a little triangle thing on the end to help make it easier to sew on the top. The tie-dye came out nicely, I think.
Another view on the outside on the opposite end, before I got everything tightened up a bit.
Here you can see a bit of the detail where the tie-out point is. The blue bottoms fabric I did in a snake-belly pattern and the top I did a classic spiral shape, although a lot of it got cut off. When I attached top to bottom I decided to make it easier on myself and only put a zipper on one side. This helped lighten the hammock just a bit, and made assembly a lot easier. In hindsight I think I should have put a little zippered opening on the opposite side, just in case I need to reach out and adjust my underquilt. With three rows of stitches in there now, it would be hard to change. The zipper is on the left side (when you’re laying in the hammock), the same side as most of the vent/window. The makes it pretty easy to identify the head end in night, and also which way to orient any underquilt, since some of them have more stuffing on the upper torso and head part.
A view inside, laying in the hammock, looking down towards the feet. The black solid lines above outline the window, which is about 18 inches wide, 24 inches long, and roughly horseshoe shaped. It is not completely removable, but when unzipped it rolls up and tucks away on the ridge line.
Another view, down towards the foot end. The hammock is surprisingly comfortable and roomy, despite what it looks like sitting on the floor. I’m thinking of adding a pocket on the left side past the zipper. I’m always looking for places to store stuff in my hammock. Somewhere to stash a headlamp or socks or gloves. This is after all, a cold weather winter hammock. Being completely enclosed in the summer would be tough, even with the vent open.
Looking above with the vent/window partially open. Working with double-ended zippers and bug netting was a new thing for me. With the green dyed fabric and the bug netting on the table, at one point it looked like a camo wedding dress. I can zip/unzip the window from either end or in the middle, so I just have an opening above me, or just on the side, or completely open it up. On the outside is a non-opening bug net, protecting me not only from last-minute late season bugs, but adding a little protection against drafts, even with the window open.
The is a view up and towards the foot end with the window completely open. The bug net does a pretty good job of keeping the drafts down, and the window is wide enough I get a good view out the left side. Not so much on the right side, but the left is pretty decent.
Above my head and to the right is one pocket I went ahead and added while sewing the hammock together. Its large enough to hold a phone and small charger, as well as eye drops, ear buds, and a few other little odds and ends. I’m thinking about putting one big enough for my hammock pillow (14×9) way up in the back. No matter how I try, by the time I get my sleeping bag arranged, the pillow is way up under me. It would be nice to have a place to store it while getting ready or going for a midnight pee break.
Final look down the hammock, with feet spread so I could show off the dye pattern. I really couldn’t get a good ceiling picture because of the angle.
So how did the Taco Wrap come out? I’m pleased overall. It took a lot of sewing and swearing, but it was a fun project. I don’t think I would want to try another one any time soon, it was really in depth and required a lot of thinking and rethinking about what to sew when, how to sew this or that, and how to not stitch the whole thing together by accident.
The window – If I had put the window more centralized I would have had a better view out the right side. As is, my view to the right is severely limited. But – I was really aiming for a condensation vent and window at my head, which meant more of a window on the left side because of the shape given the hammock by the tie-outs.
Weight – I was really happy with this. I used 1.6 ounce hyper-D nylon for the top and bottom. I could have gone with 1 ounce on the top, but I already had placed my order from RipStopByTheRoll. The whole hammock was built with their stuff. (4 yards green, 4 yards blue, 1 yard bug netting, 1 section amsteel for suspension, 2 mini triangle tie out rings). For comparison, my Hammeck Netty (made from 1.6 ounce fabric and bug netting) weighs in at 1 pound, 1.1 ounces. The Taco Wrap weighs in at 1 pound, 2.2 ounces. Why so close, I wonder? The hammeck has zippers on both sides, with double pulls on both zippers. That probably made up the weight difference, but I’m not sure. Either way, I was really happy how light the whole thing turned out compared to the Netty.
Construction – I felt my construction was as solid as any of my other hammocks. It feels good, although some of the stitching could be a lot better. The Hyper-D fabric is bad about stretching when pulled in certain directions. The makes it really hard to sew decent seams across different pieces of fabric when joining them. You wind up with pieces that don’t line up at the end. It can make rolling hems difficult too, as they stretch downstream. But, I’m not selling the thing, so if I have a few wonky-looking sections it will still work fine. From 10 feet away it looks pretty darn good. I just have to find somewhere really cold to go now.