January 23, 2022

Hammock Camping Infographic Part 5

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Tired of the same old camping routine? Or maybe you’ve started to see some flaws in your regular camping set up that might be solved by changing things up a little bit? Sounds like you might need to give hammock camping a go.

CHAPTER SEVEN

LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING HAMMOCKS

A comparison review of 10 of the best with details of what to look for when choosing

Viewing a backpacking hammock with untrained eyes, we could be forgiven for thinking there’s not much to them…just a few bits of string with some cloth in the middle, right? Wrong! There are many surprising complex and numerous ins and outs of backpacking hammocks and so much more to them than you could ever imagine.

Below, we’re going to take you through what goes into the making of a good hammock so you know what to look for when choosing the best one for your hammock camping adventures. Once we’ve dealt with the details, then we’ll get down to a review of the best backpacking hammocks out there.

What to look for in a backpacking hammock

01Weight

When backpacking, weight is one of our foremost considerations. If you’re ditching your lightweight tent in favour of an even lighter, suspended setup then your pack needs to feel noticeably less heavy. Don’t forget that you’ll probably also need a tarp and/or a bug net, depending on where and when you are camping. And the combined weight of these shouldn’t end up being heavier than your tent.

Having said that, some backpacking hammocks, like the Sea to Summit Ultralight, are so inconceivably light that you can afford to stick one in your pack as well as your tent – the best of both worlds!

02Use

Certain hammocks excel in specific circumstances and environments. Some are workhorse, trail-ready, bug-proof, hovering homes – leave your tent behind and you’ll certainly not miss it. While others, bless them, are more suited to a day at the seaside, in the garden or very light, occasional use on the trail. What’s best for you will depend on where you’re headed and what you plan to use your hammock for.

03Standout Features

Many hammocks come with special add-ons, features or hammocking ‘bling’ that makes them stand out from the rest and may just sway your decision when buying. Among these features are rip-stop fabrics, superior maximum load, foot boxes, extra support or balancing lines, solid construction, insulation, double-zips on the bug mesh, storage pockets and extra length or width.

04Comfort

The raison d’etre for any hammock is the ability to increase the user’s comfort. Comfort-value is added or subtracted by a number of factors: fabric, length and width, breathability, layering, sleeping position (diagonal or straight, flat or raised-foot/curved) and the general feel of the hammock once you are in and airborne.

05Dimensions

Because you’d ideally like your feet to be in there too, the dimensions of your hammock are a key contributor to its overall comfort. For taller users, some models just don’t measure up and other products, particularly the ultralight variety, can skimp on width in order to minimise weight.

06Strength

While all hammocks come with a recommended user weight, it’s best to go for a material that you know to be durable, strong and able to withstand the elements, providing a few pounds of buffer for clothing or storage. While sleeping or lounging in a hammock is about as cool as you can get while out on the trail, all coolness would go out the window should your hammock decide to collapse while your trekking partners watch on.

THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING HAMMOCKS

Now you know what to look for, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty with our pick of the best hammocks for backpacking and lightweight camping.

Warbonnet hammock

Warbonnet Blackbird

At only 624grams, measuring a generous 10ft x 5.25ft, and holding up to 250lbs, theWarbonnet Blackbird is a reasonably lightweight, spacious and sturdy hammock suitable for those measuring around six feet and under. Boasting a handy storage shelf, footbox, zippered bug net (hung from ridge-line), ribbon ties and a flat-lay feel, this is a solid, user-friendly, feature-rich workhorse and true contender for the most comfortable and easy-to-use backpacking hammock.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and adjust
  • Comes in larger and double-layered model
  • Oh-so-comfortable
  • Flat-lay feeling provided by spacious footbox

Cons

  • Carabiners and tarp not included
  • Pricey

If you are looking for something even more robust, and better suited to year round hammock camping, then take a look at the double layered Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7. A little heavier but able to deal with loads of up to 400lbs. The double layer also enables you to insert a sleeping pad for extra insulation.

For more information on the Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 Hammock read our:
Full Review

Grand Trunk Hammock

Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock

At only 340g and measuring 9.5 x 4.5 feet, the Grand Trunk Ultralight is a single-person hammock low on features and frills but pleasingly inexpensive. Made of durable, mildew resistant and machine washable polyester taffeta, this is very much a middle-of-the-road, entry-level option best suited to smaller users (max. user weight is 200lbs). The Ultralight doesn’t quite keep up with its other single-person competitors such at the Hennessey Expedition or Warbonnet Blackbird, but it is an excellent option for those on a tight budget.

Pros

  • The price – by far the cheapest hammock on review
  • The weight (340g)
  • Quick-drying polyester taffeta fabric
  • Carabiners included

Cons

  • No tarp or bug net
  • Lack of features
  • The weight – while light, 340g is much heavier than other ‘ultralight’ one-person models

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

Hammock in forest

Hummingbird Ultralite Single Hammock

Weighing in at an incredibly feathery 147g and supporting up to 300lbs, the Hummingbird Ultralight Single might well be the best lightweight backpacking hammock on the market. Built to FAA parachute rigging standards and boasting rip-stop lock stitching, this hammock doesn’t scrimp on security and safety in favour of reduced weight. Not the roomiest or most comfortable hammock on the market, but ideal for those particularly keen to cut down on poundage and pack size. Only the toss of a coin can separate this and the Sea to Summit Ultralight (below) for the title of ‘Best Ultralight Hammock’!

Pros

  • Ultra-ultralight!
  • Packs down to tiny size
  • Solid webbing and rigging
  • Well-made
  • Carabiners included

Cons

  • A tad on the short and narrow side (8.6ft x 4ft)
  • Not the most comfortable
  • No tarp or tree straps

Find the latest price on:
Amazon

ENO Doublenest

Weighing in at a mere 600g, measuring 9ft x 6.2ft and supporting up to 400lbs, the ENO Doublenest could be classified as a very roomy one-person hammock or a suitable hammock for two relatively small people. Short on features but also low on weight, the Doublenest offers a decent lightweight alternative to the DD XL Frontline, Kammock Roo and Sequoia XL but ultimately falls short as a true two-person tent owing to its lack of length and low recommended user weight.

Pros

  • Super-spacious for one person
  • Easy to set up
  • Carabiners included
  • Breathable Nylon taffeta fabric
  • Tiny pack size

Cons

  • Suspension straps and tarp sold separately
  • A tad cramped for two people
  • No bug net

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI | Backcountry

DD Frontline hammock

DD XL Frontline Hammock

While the DD XL Frontline is the heaviest and bulkiest of our items under review, it makes up for its pack size and 1250g weight (1700g with poles and webbing) with several desirable features and a general roominess that potential buyers may consider worth the hassle of carrying an extra few hundred grams. Boasting a zip either side of the mosquito net for easy access, a curved pole design to keep the net well away from the user, and a super-comfy, insulating double-layered bottom, this is very much the deluxe option for solo backpackers who place comfort above carry weight.

Pros

  • Rugged
  • Feature rich
  • Very comfortable
  • Double-layered bottom
  • Double zip on bug mesh for easy entry
  • Roomy

Cons

  • A little on the heavy side
  • No tarp

Find the latest price on:
Amazon

Sea to summit Ultralight hammock

Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock

At a mere 140g, the Sea to Summit Ultralight is the lightest option in our review. Holding up to 298lbs and with similar dimensions (9ft x 4.5 ft), this highly minimalistic option is a fraction lighter than the Hummingbird, less than half the weight of the Grand Trunk Ultralight and 60g lighter than the Nano 7. Given its weight, the question we need to ask is not ‘why?’ but ‘why not?’ A dead-heat competitor to the Hummingbird for the ultra-lightweight title and ever-so slightly roomier.

Pros

  • Lightest backpacking hammock on the market
  • Strong – can hold up to 298lbs
  • Breathable, rip-stop nylon
  • Tiny pack size
  • Easy to adjust

Cons

  • Suspension straps and bug net not included
  • Pricey
  • A tad cramped for taller users – at 4.5ft wide and 9 long, this is similar in dimensions to the Hummingbird and, as such, a little bit on the short and narrow side

For more information on the Sea to Summmit Ultralight Hammock read our:
Full Review

Kammock Roo

Kammok Roo

Holding up to a whopping 500lbs, measuring 10ft long by 5ft 7inches wide and weighing in at just 800g, the Kammok Roo is a spacious, tough, well-made product posing serious competition to the Serac Sequioa XL and DD XL Frontline for best two-person or ‘oversize’ backpacking hammock. Very high on comfort and second only to the ENO Doublenest (600g) in terms of weight for a two-person hammock, the Kammok Roo also bests the Sequoia and challenges the DD XL in terms of comfort, making it a great option for those looking to strike a balance between comfort and weight.

Pros

  • Carabiners included
  • Very comfortable
  • Strong and durable
  • Tear-resistant

Cons

  • Insect net, straps and weather shelter/tarp sold separately
  • Expensive with the additional outlay required for the above accessories

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI | Backcountry

Hennessy Hammock

Hennessy Hammock Expedition Series

Boasting a generously-sized rainfly, an asymmetrical side zipper, inner mesh storage pocket and a roomy feel, the Hennessy Expedition is perhaps the most complete of all hammocks under review. Although weighing in at a fairly hefty 1160g, this weight includes (unlike other models on review) straps and rainfly/tarp. Designed, as the name suggests, for expedition use, this is the ideal hammock for anyone wishing to take things up a notch and spend a lot of time ‘hanging out’. As a potential tent-replacement hammock, the extra weight compared to other one-person models could actually turn out to be a saving if you opt to leave the tent at home. Ousts the Warbonnet Blackbird as competition for the best one-person expedition hammock on account of its lower price and weight (with separate tarp included) and overall functionality.

Pros

  • Straps and tarp included
  • Very robust, secure feel
  • Could easily substitute a tent
  • Very well-made

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not as easy to set up as other models

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

Grand Trunk Nano Hammock

Grand Trunk Nano 7

The Nano 7 is an (absolutely) no frills, inexpensive, bare bones hammock that is as cheap as it is light. The world of backpacking hammocks, however, is no different from that of any other outdoor gear item and, as such, you get what you pay for. The Nano is a decent, throw-it-in-the-sack option for those unlikely to be spending too much time in their hammock but not comfortable enough for naps or sustained use. Compared to the Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock and the Hummingbird (below), this hammock lacks in comfort, features and robustness while weighing around 50% more. A decent, compromise option for those on a serious budget or just wanting to give hammocking a try.

Pros

  • Only 200g
  • Cheap
  • Carabiners included

Cons

  • Tarp not included
  • Less comfortable than other single-person and ultralight models
  • Low weight rating
  • No bug mesh
  • Small (9ft x 4ft)

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

Serac hammock

Serac Sequoia XL Double Hammock

Measuring 10ft x 5ft 7inches and weighing only 500g, the Serac Sequoia XL is lighter and roomier than most two-person hammocks currently on the market. While let down slightly by its unconvincing carabiners and lack of bug mesh, these failings are partially made up for by the 6 gear loops (that can double as anchor points for guylines or hanging accessories), its ease-of-use, and the whopping 10 anchor points which allow the user to adjust the height and slack to their own requirements. Despite the lack of bug mesh, the Sequioa is a competitor to the DD XL Frontline and Kammok Roo for best two-person hammock and is considerably lighter than both.

Pros

  • Only 500g
  • 5 year unlimited warranty
  • Super spacious
  • Easy to set up and adjust
  • 10 anchor points
  • Diamondweave ripstop nylon fabric
  • Straps and carabiners included

Cons

  • No tarp/rain fly or bug mesh
  • Weak carabiners

Find the latest price on:
Amazon

Suspended hammock tent at sunset

CHAPTER EIGHT

SUSPENDED TENTS AND HAMMOCK TENTS

What they are and why you need them, plus 8 of the best reviewed and compared

We’re going one step further now into the world of airborne accommodation. This time we will be venturing into the even more intricate, intriguing and downright game-changing niche of overnight options with an evaluation and review of the 8 best suspended tents and hammock tents out there in 2017.

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. At some point in the not-too-distant past, some unhappy camper, squished in maybe a wet tent on a rocky patch of ground with a squadron of ants or other unwelcome intruders encroaching on his or her personal space, thought it necessary to take things up a notch in terms of camping comfort and convenience. He or she took this quest very literally, with the result being the first of what have evolved to be the veritable high-fliers of the camping equipment catalogue.

What are suspended tents and hammock tents?

Answering the above question can be done in two ways: the long way and the short way.

Short: Airborne sleeping facilities which fulfil all the same functions as a traditional tent (and more), only in the air.

Long: A fairly variegated and complex array of tent-like, dome-like, cocoon-like and/or spaceship-like structures composed of various materials. Boasting various features, occasional flaws, multiple set-ups and best uses but all sharing the common denominator of providing a sleeping system that lifts the user up off of the ground into the (beginnings, granted) of the stratosphere. Whether elevated versions of traditional tents or tarp-and-mesh cocoons enclosing a more standard backpacking hammock, each of these products offers something a bit different in terms of reliability, convenience, comfort and ideal mode of usage. The tech-specs and jargon can be a touch bewildering, as can the array of choice but, as always, Cool of the Wild is here for you to help you get to know and navigate the ins and outs.

What to look for in your suspended tent or hammock tent

1Comfort

Comfort in a suspended or hammock tent derives from a number of variables. These include:

  • Insulation
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Fabrics
  • Ease-of-access
  • Storage

And, last but not least, the peace of mind begotten of knowing your tent or hammock is well-made, safe and unlikely to plop you back down to earth hastily during the night.

2Weight

Ultra-lightweight or luxurious, ‘bomb-proof’ palace in the sky? How heavy you choose to go will depend, alas, on how much you’re willing to or are able to carry. For thru-hikers and other campers spending the night far from where they leave the car, the ultra-lightweight models are likely to be your best option. For those not straying too far from home and who value comfort over convenience, the heavier, more ‘deluxe’ and spacious options are more appealing and feasible.

3Use and ease of use

Some systems are blissfully user-friendly whereas others require PhDs – well, at least a great deal of practice and faffing around with instruction manuals, straps, cords and slings. What’s best for you will depend largely on your patience levels and where you plan on using your hammock/tent. If you’re out on the Pacific Crest Trail, the Annapurna Circuit or going from John O’Groats to Lands end on foot, we’d recommend the easy options. If you’re driving down to the local campsite and parking up a short stroll from your intended ‘hangout’ with time to kill, the PhD options might just get your vote for the added comfort and convenience they offer. Ease of use depends on a large number of factors and with each item we’ll attempt to highlight those contributing to or detracting from this desirable attribute.

*It’s also important to note that some models can be used on the ground, others not. If you are headed to any area with sparse tree coverage or want a true replacement system for the traditional tent, opt for a ‘hybrid’ model that can be used on the ground when required.

4Standout Features

Certain tents/hammocks comprise one or more of a variety of possible special features that make them go the extra proverbial mile in terms of comfort, convenience, and/or general functionality. Among these we can include layered flooring, extra insulation, inner and outer storage pockets, multiple doors, weather-resistance and overall square-footage.

5Dimensions

Suspended tents and hammock tents are not cheap. Before you make an investment, it’s best to know that you are going to fit in there comfortably. For smaller users size should not be a problem, but for those over 6ft a few of the one-person options might make things a bit tight (or require foetal-position sleeping) if you intend on taking any gear into your tent/hammock with you.

6Strength

All hammocks/tents come with a recommended maximum user weight. Be sure to allow a few pounds of ‘buffer’ for clothes, sleeping bag, midnight munchie supplies, teddy bears and anything else you might take to bed with you.

Got that? Great! Let’s get down to our reviews…

THE BEST SUSPENDED TENTS AND HAMMOCK TENTS

Ready to take camping adventures to even greater heights? These are your options, and some of the best suspended tents and hammock tents that you could possibly choose to hang out in.

Tentsile Connect Tree tent

Tentsile Connect Tree Tent

With four inner stash-pockets, 53sqft of floor space, a maximum load of 880lbs and user height of 6’6”, the Tensile Connect is a very spacious, accommodating arboreal abode which is suitable for two or more people and all of their gear. Though the extra space and weight capacity might seem overload for just two people, together they allow those two people to stretch out, bring their gear inside or even hang it under the tent to keep it dry in rainy weather. If that still leaves you a fair whack of legroom, you can always invite the dog in too. Though a tad on the heavy side for taking on the trail, even when split between two or three people, the Tensile Connect is very user-friendly and maybe the most sociable tent out there – if you know fellow-Tensile users the tents can be connected to form a small village of floating domiciles! A contender for best multi-person suspended tent.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and adjust
  • Reasonably priced
  • Very spacious
  • Can be connected to other tents to form a small community in the canopy!
  • 4 doors
  • Removable fly-sheet
  • Comes in 5 colours

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Saggy rain fly
  • Not suitable for ground use in treeless terrain

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI | Backcountry

Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge

At only 1.8kg, supporting up to 275 lbs, and with ground use adaptability, the Lawson Blue Ridge could easily become any solo thru-trekker’s go-to option for backcountry accommodation. Having been rated #1 by Backpacker, Outside and American Survival Guide and Gear Of The Year Award in 2015, it has many fans and it’s easy to see why. Easy to set up and boasting a spreader bar and arch pole system which keeps the bed of the hammock much flatter than in other models, this tidy little tent scores high on user-friendliness, convenience and comfort and sets the bar high for one-person hammock tent competitors. It is a little heavier than the Clark NX-270, but when it comes to verstility the Blue Ridge offers more due to its ability to be used on the ground.

Pros

  • The price – cheap (though straps must be purchased separately)
  • The weight (not including straps) – 1800g
  • Supports 275lbs
  • Comes with detachable rain fly
  • Can be used on the ground too

Cons

  • Straps not included

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

Flying tent

Flying Tent

Weighing 2450g at its heaviest and packing down to just 3.5 inches thick, the Flying Tentmay not quite make it onto the best lightweight suspended tent list, but its versatility sure makes up for it. Not only does this cosy little number double as a bivvy tent that can be used on the floor, it triples (!) as a poncho. Yes, a poncho. With a built-in hammock bug net and rain-fly and supporting both tall users and those weighing up to 264lbs, this might just be the best all-in-one hammock tent solution out there. And to top it off, it can be stripped right down for use as a regular, no-frills hammock that weights just 1120g.

Pros

  • Wearable!
  • Includes rain fly
  • Can be used as a bivvy tent
  • Well-made
  • Max user height 6’7”

Cons

  • Doesn’t actually fly…(other than that, we’re still trying to find them!)

Find the latest price at:
Flying Tent

Clarks Hammock

Clark NX-270 Four-Season Camping Hammock

It’s hard to believe that anyone could make a genuine 4-season hammock tent while keeping the weight down, but with the NX-270 hammock specialists Clark have done just that. The Weathershield outer layer provides reliable protection from the elements and, in one of the niftiest features we’ve yet to see in a camping hammock, the pockets not only serve as storage space but provide extra insulation too! With a pack weight of only 1340g (1740g with the tarp), a max. user height of 6’9” and max. user weight of 300lbs, the NX-270 poses serious competition to the Flying Tent and Lawson Blue Ridge for best one-person hammock tent. Which will suit you best depends on the climate you’re camping in and how much you want those super-handy inside pockets! For winter hammock camping, this sturdy, rugged one-person option is hard to beat.

Pros

  • Very spacious
  • Justifiable four season rating
  • Storage – 6 pockets which can be accessed from inside
  • Light
  • Comfortable and convenient

Cons

  • Winter shield not detachable for summer use
  • Tarp a little on the narrow and short side

Find the latest price on:
Amazon

Sierr Madre Hammock

Sierra Madre Research Nubé

The Sierra Madre Nubé hammock shelter takes the rainfly to a whole new level. Although sold separately, combined with the Sierra Madre Xplor, Solo or Pares hammock, this generously-proportioned tarp (12ft long and 9ft wide) offers a great deal of versatility in addition to its eye-catching and highly functional design. Beneath the sleeping area, the Nubé contains an integrated gear hammock sewn into the bottom of the all-enclosing bug mesh that can hold up to 200lbs. If this isn’t enough, the Ripstop, waterproof tarp itself covers a wide and long enough space below the sleeping area to host a small to medium-sized family. A one-person suspended tent high on storage, weather-resistance and versatility.

Pros

  • 200lbs of storage
  • Versatility – can be used with different sizes of hammock
  • Double zip on bug mesh for easy entry
  • Roomy
  • Can be combined with the Nubé Winter barrier for 4-season protection or the Nube floor for tree-free camping locations
  • Very well-made and weather-resistant material
  • For each Nubé sold, Sierria Madre will provide clean water for one person in Honduras for a year

Cons

  • The hammock is sold separately to the Nube shelter (which can be a plus if you already have a hammock!)

Find the latest price at:
Sierra Madre Research

Kammock sunda hammock

Kammok Sunda

Ideal for those who anticipate spending time in a variety of terrains, the Sunda might just be the answer to your prayers. Both a two-person tent with a generous 35sqft of floor space and a comfortable, two-door, two-window suspended tent that can be stripped down to a basic hammock for day-use. The Sunda will have all your hammocking/tenting needs covered whatever scenario you find yourself in. Where the Sunda excels over other two-person competitors such as the Tensile Connect, the Tensile Stingray and the Nubé is in storage capacity, of which it has tons, all of it easily-accessible. Boasting two 6.5sqft exterior vestibules for storing backpacks, boots and anything else you fancy, and also 6 internal mesh pockets and 9 gear-hanging loops, the Sunda is as much a sleeping quarters as it is a walk-in, sleep-in cupboard!

Pros

  • Storage galore!
  • Light
  • Doors on both sides for ease-of-access
  • Two windows in rainfly and tent body
  • Incredibly well-made
  • Reflects heat, enhances light

Cons

  • 400lb weight limit

Find the latest price at:
Kammok

Tenstile stingray

Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent

Weighing in at 8620g, the Stingray is one of the heaviest suspended tents on the market and, as such, one you’re unlikely to be taking out very far into the backcountry. That said, with a whopping 75sqft of floor space, when up in this airborne giant you’re likely to feel like you’re in a world of your own in any case! With four internal pockets to store gear and a user weight limit of 880lbs, barring calls of nature, you could take everything you need for a week or so up there and not bother coming down. While it leaves multi-person tent competitors like the Nube and the Tensile Connect far, far behind in terms of floor space and storage space, the Stingray is definitely an option with which you’re unlikely to venture far from the car park without the aid of a Sherpa or two.

Pros

  • Access – easy to get in and out of thanks to floor-hatch and large front door
  • 880lb weight limit
  • Well-made
  • Spacious, even for three people
  • Fly sheet can be pegged out to create 160sqft of sheltered porch area

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Can’t be used on the ground in tree-free environments
  • Heavy (8620g)

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

Crua Hybrid hammock tent

Crua Hybrid

With an all-in-one set up of tent, hammock, insulated air-mattress and sleeping bag, theCrua Hybrid is perhaps the most user-friendly option on review. Although short on features and storages pockets, this uncomplicated, comfy tent-hammock combo is a reliable, well-built, stress-free option for solo campers looking for a bit of versatility with regard to sleeping arrangements (it can be used on the ground or suspended between trees). The only downsides are the single-entrance and the 3150g weight, which place it marginally behind the competition as a one-person trail-tent and hammock solution. For simplicity, however, the Crua can’t be beaten, and the weight saved in the integrated sleeping bag must be factored into any comparisons to other one-person options such as the Flying Tent, Clark NX-270 and Lawson Blue Ridge.

Pros

  • All-in-one camping/suspended tent solution – can be used on the ground or in the air
  • Built-in air mattress and tailored sleeping bag
  • Good ventilation

Cons

  • Only one entrance door
  • A bit heavy
  • Short on storage pockets

Find the latest price on:
Kickstarter

Hammock camping with tarp

CHAPTER NINE

HAMMOCK CAMPING ACCESSORIES

Make hammock camping possible with these essential (and non-essential) extras

Now that you’ve chosen your hammock, and are ready to leap, feet first, into your suspended wilderness home, you’re gonna need a few extras to make hammock camping feasible. As with regular camping, there is a ton of hammock camping gear that you can comfortably live without, and other gear that you’ll definitely need.

Essential hammock camping gear

Here’s a list of the essential hammock camping gear that you can’t live without:

Suspension systems

To be able to hang your hammock safely you will need a means to attach it to the anchor points. When you buy a hammock it may or may not come with it’s own suspension system. Many companies offer suspension systems at an extra cost which can often end up being the best option due to their compatibility with the hammock. However, there are a number of hammock suspension system options available that may be more appropriate to your hammocking needs and wants. Really, your hammock suspension can be as complicated or as simple as you’d like it to be!

  • Hammock tree straps

    Tree straps

    Tree straps should be made of wide (1-2 in) polyester webbing that protect the tree as well as providing a very strong system to attach your hammock to. Many have eye loops at one or both ends that are used with a climbing carabiner or similar to create a really simple setup.

  • Whoopie sling

    Whoopie slings

    These are adjustable loops of strong yet lightweight Dyneema cord. They are more complex to use than simple webbing tree straps, and due to their thin, rope-like nature you’ll also need tree straps to protect the tree. If you like tinkering, or want to cut weight in your setup, then these are a great option.

  • Hammock carabiner

    Hammock carabiner

    There are lots of options for connecting a hammock to its suspension system. Some people use special hammock knots, or hardware such as Dutch Clips, Descender Rings or Cinch Buckles. But carabiners offer a super simple solution that can be used for other things too. A climbing carabiner will do fine, just be sure you check the force they can withstand before you go opting for a mini-carabiner designed for your keychain!


Hammock tarps

Unless you are almost certain that there won’t be rain, packing a hammock rain fly is a must when hammock camping. Yes, it adds extra weight to your setup, but there are some excellent options that are lighter than others:

  • Diamond tarp for hammock camping

    Diamond tarp

    These are usually the most lightweight and best suited to camping in fair weather. When pitched corner to corner the coverage will be enough to get protection from vertical rain. But when the wind starts blowing the rain sideways the hammocker will be less protected.

  • Hex tarp

    Hexagonal tarp

    Also known as ‘hex’ tarps, the 6-sides provide greater protection from the elements than diamond tarps and are also more versatile when it comes to set up options.

  • Rectangle tarp

    Rectangular tarp

    Rectangle tarps provide the most amount of coverage and protection from the wind and rain, and are also the most versatile of the tarp types. Opt for larger sizes for greater protection or for accommodating more than one hammock

  • Tarp cord

    Tarp ridgeline

    Most tarps will come with a ridgeline and a couple of stakes. But if not, you’ll need some cord to hang your tarp up on. Any kind of lightweight rope or paracord will do fine. Cord with reflective threads weaved in are a fun and practical option.


Optional hammock camping gear

Now to the not-so-essential hammock camping gear. Depending on the conditions you are camping in, your personal preferences, and how much you are prepared to carry, there are a few other bits of hammock camping gear that you may want to add to your packing list:

  • Hammock quilt

    Top quilt

    Many hammock campers ditch a traditional sleeping bag and opt for a quilt instead. When you lay in a hammock, much of the insulation is lost from the underside of your sleeping bag due to your weight compressing the down and all the air out of the bag. So take away the bottom altogether and you don’t have to carry so much!

  • Bug net for hammock

    Hammock bug net

    There are some scenarios in which camping without a bug net would be suicide. If you find yourself camping in climates where bugs and mosquitos are a real problem, then a hammock with a mosquito net built in is a good option. Or choose a bug net that totally encircles the whole hammock and zips open. This is a more versatile setup for those not needing bug protection each time they hammock camp.

  • Hammock underquilt

    Hammock underquilt

    If you end up hammock camping at cooler times of the year or at altitude, you may run the risk of CBS (Cold Butt Syndrome). As mentioned, insulation for your backside from a sleeping bag becomes too compressed to be effective. So, many hammockers opt for an underquilt which wraps around the underside of the hammock providing insulation whilst avoiding compression. Clever stuff eh?

  • Hammock sleeping pad

    Sleeping pad

    Another option for keeping CBS at bay is to add a hammock sleeping pad to your setup. Some hammocks have a double layer of fabric to insert a sleeping pad into. A closed cell foam pad will work just fine – lightweight, doesn’t add much comfort but provides the insulation needed. There are also hammock specific options on the market that are highly effective at providing insulation without adding much weight.

Hammock camping illustration

So there you have it. Everything you need to know to get your hammock camping escapades off the ground and in full swing. And just like regular camping, once you’ve got the basics figured out, you’ll never stop learning new tricks of the trade for the rest of your hammock camping days. All that’s left to do is to get out there and get hammocking!

See iNews Cayman story published September 25 2017 “Hammock Camping Infographic Part 4” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/hammock-camping-infographic-part-4/

NMBL from Motorcycle Hammock-camping

SOURCE: https://coolofthewild.com/camping/hammock-camping

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Comments

  1. hi,
    thanks for sharing cause this helps me a lot.A few days ago,I thought that I need to go to camping.Then I remember that hammock is best for camping.So what, I start searching and found this.I like the clark nx 270 four season hammock.It is one man army.So amazing hammock.I think I should buy that.Anyway,thank you again.

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