Review: Backpacking Hammock


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Ready to exchange your tent for a backpacking hammock? It might be the best trade in you’ve ever done.

Hammocks are more comfortable, typically lighter, and safer than tents as well. They let you dispense with lots of superfluous gear—think pillow, sleeping pad, even sleeping bag in summer—and still have the potential to give you a better night’s sleep than you’d have even if you’d lugged all that stuff around.

So here are 5 benefits of using a backpackinh hammock:

  1. Being off the ground keeps you warmer in cold weather. This happens because it’s much easier to transfer your body heat to a cold solid surface – the ground – than to the air, making you feel colder.
  2. Being off the ground keeps you off sticks, stones, rocks, and whatever else might be in your terrain. And sometimes it isn’t easy to find a spot leveled enough or large enough to lay down to sleep.
  3. No more worries about the damp, boggy ground: you’re well above it. It seems that the humidity can always find its way inside and make you feel cold.
  4. Stay out of the way of small four-footers, as well as many creepy crawlies. Always a good thing not to wake up with a new friend on your face.
  5. Carry a lighter backpack. This is probably the best reason for using a backpacking hammock, as all of the problems mentioned above can be more or less solved with extra equipment, and, as a result, more weight.

So which hammock is the best? Opinions differ, but here we’ll look at three high-quality hammocks that are particularly well suited for backpacking adventures,

The Ready to Use

The Grand Trunk Double Parachute Nylon Print Hammock is a roomy, lightweight hammock that makes sleeping on the trail super comfortable. It is made of 100% nylon silk, the kind used for parachutes, which means that although it is thin and light, it is also very durable. It is rated for 400 pounds; so you can even get in with a friend.

At 10’6″ by 6’6″, it gives you plenty of sleeping space and lots of extra fabric that you can even use to close yourself in if you like sleeping that way. At the same time it stuffs small in a little stuff sack, and weighs 28 ounces.  This hammock comes ready to use, with attached ropes and carabineers, so you can go straight outdoors, hang it up, and have a nice peaceful nap. 

The Tiny (When Packed)

The Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock is another very good option.  This one also weighs 19 ounces and is rated up to 400 pounds. When you put it in its stuff stack, however, it compresses down to grapefruit size.

It is also a little smaller than the previous hammock, with 9′ by 6’6″. The nylon silk it is made of is advertised as breathable and quick-drying.  It comes with metal carabineers; no straps, so you’ll have to buy them separately. 

The Cheap

The Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock Camping Double & Single with Tree Straps is the cheapest of the lot, but still very much reliable. If you’re not sure if hammocks are your thing, this is the perfect starter, and you will probably become a fan.

It comes in single or double mode, and is made of heavy duty 210T parachute nylon. It isn’t the most lightweight hammock there is, as the single weighs 19 ounces and the double 30, but their sizes are really nice, with 9′ long by 4′ 6″ wide for the single model, packing to the size of a grapefruit, and 10′ long by 6′ 6″ for the double, packing to the size of an eggplant

The straps are included, and there is no need for any knots, so setting it up will also be an easy job.

The All Weather

The Hennessy Hammock – Expedition Series is a little more expensive and a little heavier than the others, and come in three different models: the Expedition Classic, the Expedition Zip and the Jungle Expedition Zip. The main differences between the three are the entry type, where classic has velcro and the other two a zip closing, and the layers of bug protection, as having “Jungle” in the name indicates. The Expedition Zip is the one we recommend, if you’re not planning on going into any jungle nearby.

The 44 ounces in weight are a little on the heavy side, but as a trade-off it gives you some very good all-weather protection: you can sleep in this hammock no matter what it’s like outside. It may also be more durable, though it’s only rated to 250 pounds. It’s pretty much a tent and a hammock mixed into one—a hanging tent, one could say. Wind, rain, mosquitos, and all that comes with those—that built in tarp and no-see-um netting should keep you dry and comfortable. If the weather is really bad, you may want to use a light sleeping pad to help insulate your underside and keep you warmer. 

Summary

Have fun backpacking, and let tossing and turning on rocks and stones be history! Compare these four hammocks and choose the one to take with you on your next trip.

 Grand Trunk DoubleEagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNestWise Owl Outfitters DoubleHenessy Expedition Zip
Cost$$$$$$$$
Weight28 oz19 oz21 oz44 oz
Rated Weight400 lbs400 lbs500 lbs250 lbs
Dimensions10'6" x 6'6"9' x 6'6"10' x 6'6"10' x 5'
Packed Dimensions5.5" x 4"8" x 5"4" x 7" x 9"
Material210T 70D parachute nylon70D high tenacity nylon taffeta
Heavy duty triple stitched seams
210T parachute nylon
Triple interlocking stitching
70d high density nylon taffeta
Heavy duty black double slider #10 YKK zipper
30d polyester No-See-Um netting
Package includes2x nautical-grade carabiners
Starter rope kit
Stuff sac
Aluminium wiregate carabiners
Attached compression sack
Long tree straps
Carabiners
Drawstring stuff sack
Attanched mosquito netting
Detachable rain fly
Support ropes
Stuff sack
Complimentary "Tree Hugger" webbing straps

Are you a tent or a hammock kind of person? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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