The Best Backpacking & Camping Hammocks of 2018

Jenna Ammerman maximizes the comfort of a hammock by adding the Editors' Choice winning NEMO Fillo to the mix.
Are you new to the glorious world of hammocking? Or has it been a while since your last 'mock purchase? This market is more diverse than ever, and it's to end up in a very deep rabbit hole. We're here to help! After sifting through countless options and researching the top models, our experts spent hundreds of hours hanging, lounging, napping, and overnighting in these 'mocks in weather ranging from chilly alpine nights to hot summer days. Comfort is a priority, but we also assess how easy they are to hang and examine their durability and versatility. Single versus double no longer means what it used to, weight capacity isn't as telling, and there are specific designs for diverse uses. We recommend checking out our Buying Advice article to help you figure out what kind of hammock is right for you before diving into our individual reviews. For ultralight thru-hikers and local park loungers alike, we identify the best models for specific uses as well as all-around performers and budget options.

Read the full review below >

Test Results and Ratings

Displaying 6 - 10 of 16

Analysis and Award Winners


Review by:
Penney Garrett & Maggie Brandenburg

Last Updated:
Thursday
May 10, 2018

Share:
Updated May 2018
We're always on the hunt for the best products available, and the ever-shifting 'mock market has us on our toes! We've added several new models to help you choose the best system for your needs. From the complete set up of the REI Co-op Flash Air (a new Best Buy awardee) to the versatility of the Bear Butt Double and a brand new Editor's Choice, the Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter, we're determined to keep you up-to-date. Whether this is your first 'mock purchase or you're a lounge addict, read our updated review to continue your search with confidence.

Best Overall


Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro


Editors' Choice Award

$68.37
at Amazon
See It

Size: 10.5 x 5 ft | Includes: Bug net, rope suspension, carabiners

Integrated bug net
Easy to set up and use
Spacious and comfortable
Less expensive than comparable models
Must buy trunk straps separately
Can't remove bug net
Narrowly beating out the previous champion, the Warbonnet Blackbird, the Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro is our new favorite backcountry hammock! We loved how comfortable and easy it is to use. Both the sling and bug net are made of strong and soft material, making this super wide option a comfortable choice for camping in mosquito country. With a simple carabiner to clip to your suspension system, it's shockingly easy to set up and doesn't require the stakes and tie-out lines of the Blackbird. This simplicity cuts out what can be a time-consuming adjustment process, allowing you to escape the hungry attention of flying bloodsuckers quickly. Since it's so much broader than the Blackbird and more balanced than the Warbonnet Ridgerunner, we had no problems finding many comfortable positions for spending a night in the backcountry tucked away from biting insects inside the Skeeter Beeter. And if performance alone isn't enough for you, also consider that the Skeeter Beeter is about half the cost of the Warbonnet offerings!

Though it isn't the lightest option we reviewed, we feel that the added width (and the comfort and ease it provides) along with the integrated bug net make its weight more than reasonable. As much as we appreciated the bug net to keep those mosquitos at bay, it isn't able to come off or even fold back completely out of the way, so it's always there. We also weren't stoked on Grand Trunk's heavy carabiners and damaging rope suspension system and would upgrade to lighter carabiners and trunk straps before taking this on a backpacking trip. If you're looking to tree camp without sacrificing comfort, we strongly recommend the Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro.

Read review: Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro

Best Buy on a Budget


Bear Butt Double


Best Buy Award

$29.97
at Amazon
See It

Size: 10 x 6 ft | Includes: Carabiners, rope suspension

Comfortable and large
Easy to use
Versatile
Surprisingly low cost
Trunk straps cost extra
Comes with tree-harming rope slings
As more and more options make it to the market, it's easier to find affordable versions. But how do you find an affordable option that doesn't sacrifice comfort, versatility, and longevity? Enter the Bear Butt Double! This straightforward parachute version is made of some of the thickest nylon of all the models we tested, has triple stitched seams, and boasts one of the highest weight capacities available. It's also among the largest in overall size, meaning finding comfort is a cinch no matter if you're 4'2" and reading a book or 6'5" and snoozing in a sleeping bag. It comes with lightweight carabiners and a quippy sticker.

In fact, the only thing it didn't have that we wished it did was a set of trunk straps instead of harmful rope slings. But fear not, you can order your Bear Butt with trunk straps too! They do cost more though. While other inexpensive models like the Grand Trunk Ultralight Starter may leave you disappointed with their size or durability, the Bear Butt Double is an excellent all-around tree sling that won't empty your pocketbook.

Read review: Bear Butt Double

Top Pick for Side Sleeping


Warbonnet Ridgerunner


Warbonnet Ridgerunner Double Layer
Top Pick Award

$205 List
List Price
See It

Size: 10.1 x 3 ft | Includes: Bug net, spreader bars

Designed for a flatter sleeping surface
Bug net and double-layered bottom
Pockets all around to keep you organized
Carabiners and suspension system sold separately
Not for the lightweight crowd
Vulnerable to tipping
Hammocks are fantastic for back sleepers and can be decent for side sleepers, but, for the most part, you can forget about sleeping on your stomach. Until now anyway! Enter the Warbonnet Ridgerunner, our Top Pick for Side Sleeping. It has spreader bars that help create the flattest lay possible, so flat we were able to get comfortable on both sides and even on our stomachs. It's like laying in a floating cot made out of top-of-the-line materials. The Ridgerunner also has an integrated bug net with its own cord attachment system, so it's good to go right out of the bag.

On the downside, the suspension system is sold separately, upping the price point overall. It's also on the heavy side, making it a tough option to pick for backcountry adventures. It's also disconcertingly easy to tip over. This tipsiness makes for excellent physical comedy but cuts down on the relaxation factor. If you've been dying to try suspended camping, but can't get comfortable sleeping on your back, give the Ridgerunner a try!

Read review: Warbonnet Ridgerunner

Top Pick for Ultralight Versatility


ENO SubLink Shelter System


Size: 8.75 x 3.9 ft | Includes: Suspension, bug net, rain fly, stakes

Super lightweight
Stuff sack functions as a pillow
Suspension, net, and fly included
Narrow
Thin material
You will be light on your feet and ready for any scenario with the ENO SubLink Shelter System with the Sub7 hammock in your pack. The Sub7 by itself was the second lightest model we tested, weighing in at just 6.4 ounces. That is downright impressive and we had to reward it. We tested the SubLink Shelter System upgrade. It contains suspension, a bug net, and a rain fly. Altogether, it's not a featherweight system, but each component individually is the lightest ENO offers, from the 4.1-ounce Helios Suspension System to the 16-ounce ProFly Sil Rain Tarp (the most substantial component). You can pick and choose what you need and leave the rest at home with this setup. Going out for just one summer night and trying to keep your weight down? Bring only the sling and suspension. Going into inclement weather? Bring it all. This setup will allow you to customize your adventure, staying lightweight at the same time.

On the downside, the sling itself is narrow, making it one of the least comfortable models we tested. The material is also very thin, giving us concerns about how durable it will be. Also, with so many pieces to put take on your adventure or leave at home, be sure you're grabbing the parts you need, and don't forget anything important! Altogether though, this system's lightweight versatility makes it a solid choice for backcountry adventures.

Read review: ENO SubLink Shelter System

Best Buy for a Complete System


REI Co-op Flash Air


Best Buy Award

$199.95
at REI
See It

Size: 9.5 x 3.5 ft | Includes: Suspension, bug net, rain fly, spreader, stakes

All-in-one easy system
Great protection
Easy to use
Excellent value
Low capacity of just 250lbs
Trunk straps short - only suitable for small to medium trees
REI has made hammock sleeping protected and straightforward with this complete set-up for an incredible price. It's hard to go wrong with the bug net, rain fly, suspension system, and stakes all included in one bag that only weighs 44.8 oz! We found this system simple to set up, following the instructions printed helpfully inside the bag, and easy to keep organized in its stuff sack. While many manufacturers like ENO, Hennessey and Grand Trunk offer systems and accessories you can piece together to make a complete system, this one from REI comes with everything you need all in one bag. No more reading through specs and opening your new package to find that carabiners, trunk straps, or stakes aren't included and will cost you extra.

We did notice a few shortcomings in the system, however. The trunk staps are only long enough for smaller trees. That's not the best when California's burly conifers surround your campsites. So you might find yourself having to upgrade the strap. The overall size also comes up a bit short at just 9.5 feet by 3.5 feet, which may feel constraining for larger folks. In general, though, we felt the REI Flash Air takes camping to the next level of comfort and ease with this total set up — and for less than the competition!

Read review: REI Co-op Flash Air

Notable for Ultralight


Sea to Summit Ultralight



$85.85
at Amazon
See It

Size: 8 x 4 ft | Includes: S hooks

Ridiculously lightweight
Compression stuff sack
Patch kit included
Breathable
Very thin material
Small dimensions
The material isn't the softest
Suspension system not included
Are you one of those backpackers or thru-hikers that weighs every item that goes in your pack? Are you traveling for an extended period and space in your bag is highly limited? If you answered yes to any of that, then the Sea to Summit Ultralight might be your golden ticket. This impressively tiny option weighs a mere 5.8 ounces, including its integrated compression stuff sack and a shocking 4.8 ounces without it. Even better? It packs down to about the size of a can of pop. It doesn't include suspension, but Sea to Summit offers an ultralight option for that too, weighing less than 3 ounces and small enough to also fit into the stuff sack.

Keep in mind that this contender is so thin that it's see-through. The dimensions are small and will be tight for anyone taller than about 5'10" or for broad-shouldered folk. You also can't get a comfortable diagonal lay, so if sleeping on your side is a necessity, you'll want to go for a roomier hang that weighs more. But for the right-sized individual who wants to be as light as humanly possible, this model is a solid winner.

Read review: Sea to Summit Ultralight

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Our Take
78
$90
Editors' Choice Award
This hammock from Grand Trunk is large and comfortable with an integrated bug net, at a fraction of the cost of models with similar features.
77
$35
Best Buy Award
For comfort and versatility at a low cost, check out this cleverly named Bear Butt hammock!
77
$200
Best Buy Award
Get a total protective set up for a low price with this comfortable and easy-to-use model from REI.
76
$250
Top Pick Award
Impressive customization for camping with a hammock in a variety of conditions.
76
$155
If you need a camping/backpacking 'mock, this is simply the best, but overkill if you just want a backyard hang.
73
$205
Top Pick Award
A creative design makes this model a super choice for folks who struggle to sleep in traditional models.
71
$250
An investment, this model allows serious backpackers to ditch the tent but not the protection.
70
$95
It weighs more than most, but it has a double layer of fabric and a sleeve for your pad. Think warm, cozy nights.
69
$160
With thick and durable fabric, this model is a solid four-season option with bug net and tarp included.
68
$120
Awesome for two-person lounging as well as camping or backpacking in the warmer months.
66
$100
Comfortable and easy to use, you don't have to be a seasoned hammock-camper to enjoy this model.
65
$30
Break into the world of hammock camping and lounging without breaking the bank or the scale.
65
$70
This popular design has been a great choice for an all-around hammock experience for years.
63
$90
Perfect for the ultralight thru-hiker due to its low weight and packability, this specialized hammock is not ideal for casual use.
58
$60
Perhaps not a go-to hammock for serious campers, the Trek Light Single is still an easy option for backyard 'mockers.
57
$70
The ultralight crowd will enjoy this uber-lightweight, simple, and portable model.

Analysis and Test Results


Hammocks are staples of relaxation, but these creative hanging systems are not just lazy afternoons enablers. They can replace your tent and rainfly, making impromptu car-camping trips convenient, supporting your ultralight backpacking endeavors, and allowing you to sleep on sloped terrain that would be a nightmare for a tent.

We've tested the best contenders and rated their comfort, versatility, durability, protection, weight, and ease of use. We've tested these models over hundreds of hours from chilly alpine nights to hot summer afternoons. We also keep our eyes on the market and test new contenders as they appear, ensuring that you always have the most up-to-date 'mock info at your fingertips.

Not every test goes smoothly  but that doesn't stop us from testing!
Not every test goes smoothly, but that doesn't stop us from testing!

Value


Hammocks are all the rage these days, and people love them from backyard hangouts to backcountry living. But you always want to consider your wallet. The systems we tested range in price from as little as $30 to as much as $250 — that's a big difference! A high price tag doesn't guarantee a better experience either — some of our favorites were some of the least expensive models and systems we tried! The chart below gives you an idea of the value of each model tested, comparing the price of each 'mock we tested (Y-axis) to their overall score in our tests (X-axis). Models closer to the bottom right of the chart represent a better value overall.


Comfort


Comfort is the most important quality we scored because if you're not comfortable, what's the point? We considered fabric feel, headspace, and overall size and roominess. We sat in them, laid in them, put sleeping bags and pads in them and even tested their capacity for adding a friend. Roomier models tend to sleep a bit better, while many of the lighter designs sacrificed comfort for less durable materials and a compact size that feel great in the pack but can impact your comfort quality of sleep. No matter what you're using your 'mock for, comfort is king!


While comfort is personal, extra space and features that lend themselves to being able to get cozy are rarely ever a bad thing. Ultralight models, like our Top Pick the ENO Sub7 and the featherweight Sea to Summit Ultralight sacrifice extra space for lighter weight and smaller packed size, which is why these models didn't score as high in this metric. At the end of a long day, a tired summer camper or thru-hiker can nap reasonably well in even the most minimalist design. However, if weight is less of an issue for you, the added comfort of some of the larger models may be worth it. From a simple design like our Editor's Choice Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter to a more intricate system like the REI Co-op Flash Air, adding a little weight can add a lot of comfort.

The Blackbird offered a really comfortable lay with a lot of great features. Here you can see how the bug net conveniently ties out of the way and also the superior insulation provided with the addition of the Yeti underquilt.
The Blackbird offered a really comfortable lay with a lot of great features. Here you can see how the bug net conveniently ties out of the way and also the superior insulation provided with the addition of the Yeti underquilt.

An additional component of comfort that is often overlooked or difficult to decide on when internet shopping is fabric type. The models with the softest, most supple fabric were the Bear Butt Double, the ENO Reactor, and the Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter. The Trek Light Single and Sea to Summit Ultralight lost some love here due to the slight scratchiness of the thin nylon. If you plan to be wrapped up in a sleeping bag, this isn't a big deal, but it's something to keep in mind if you will be napping in your short shorts.

Expedition models need to offer a good night's sleep for many nights in a row, regardless of the weather or terrain. All of the Hennessy and Warbonnet models tested as well as the REI Flash Air do this well. Conversely, some of the smaller, lightweight models, like the Grand Trunk Nano 7 or Ultralight Starter or the ENO Sub7, may not be the most preferable to camp in for more than a night or two. However, if you're taking on an adventure where weight matters, like thru-hiking the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trail, this might be a worthwhile tradeoff.

Laying in a hammock is easy  but sometimes balancing your sleeping gear in a hammock is more challenging - we fell out of the Grand Trunk Ultralight Starter more than once trying to use an air-filled sleeping pad with this narrow hammock!
Laying in a hammock is easy, but sometimes balancing your sleeping gear in a hammock is more challenging - we fell out of the Grand Trunk Ultralight Starter more than once trying to use an air-filled sleeping pad with this narrow hammock!

Overall, smaller campers have more options since, larger campers will prefer roomier designs. We felt that there were no double models that slept a pair comfortably, though larger doubles fit two loungers better than a single, and slept one very comfortably. All of that considered, we still had to pick some winners and losers from the perspective of our astute testers. The hangs that we found the most comfortable were the Bear Butt Double, Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter, Warbonnet Ridgerunner, REI Co-op Flash Air, and the ENO Reactor, though all for different reasons.

The Bear Butt Double and Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter are both made of soft, durable nylon and are quite wide, allowing a wide range of comfortable sleeping positions. The Warbonnet Ridgerunner comes with head and foot spreader bars, which our side and stomach-sleepers loved above all else. The REI Flash Air also has a single spreader bar holding up the integrated bug net up and away from your face. Our smaller reviewers loved this sleep system, and our taller reviewers thought it was pretty good, but felt a bit confined inside. The Reactor is an open design with soft fabric and cozy double-thickness floor, which creates a sleeve for your sleeping pad. Depending on the environment you are planning to camp in, all of these models are roomy and comfortable for spending the night outside.

The unique addition of spreader bars on the Ridgerunner creates a wider  flatter sleeping surface that allows for more a more comfortable side lay.
The unique addition of spreader bars on the Ridgerunner creates a wider, flatter sleeping surface that allows for more a more comfortable side lay.

Weight


There was a wide variation in weight between the heaviest and lightest setups we tested. Our score for the weight metric takes into account the hammocks themselves and anything attached to them (such as carabiners), and a stuff sack (if included). Suspension systems, such as tree straps, were not included in the measured package weight unless the manufacturer specifically included them in the same stuff sack. Many of the models we tested did not come with a suspension system, and the weight of your final setup is therefore contingent on the system you choose to implement.


The heaviest option was the Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip, weighing just over two pounds (32.9 ounces) without any detachable accessories. This is definitely on the hefty side, but also consider that this includes an attached bug net and suspension system. Because this model includes these features, we didn't dock its score too severely. In comparison, the ENO Reactor weighs a smidge under 27 ounces, and it's only the sling — no suspension, no bug net — so we scored it lower. It's cozy and insulated with a double layer of fabric to create a sleeve for your sleeping pad, but if you end up needing a tarp or bug net, be prepared to carry as much or more weight as a backpacking tent.

This ultralight hammock was surprisingly strong and comfortable for its weight and size  though getting comfortable enough to sleep was much more challenging.
This ultralight hammock was surprisingly strong and comfortable for its weight and size, though getting comfortable enough to sleep was much more challenging.

The lightest setup we tested was the Sea to Summit Ultralight, clocking in at a featherweight 5.8 ounces — and that included the integrated compression stuff sack! If you remove that feature, the hammock itself only weighs 4.8 ounces. This weight doesn't include suspension, but Sea to Summit offers a compatible ultralight suspension that will add less than 3 ounces to your setup.

The next lightest model was the Sub7, weighing in at just 6.4 ounces. We tested this one as part of the ENO SubLink Shelter System and awarded the impressive package our Top Pick for Ultralight Versatility. Granted, the entire shelter system (a package upgrade that ENO offers for all of its slings) weighed in at the high end of the pack at 44.3 ounces. But the beauty of getting the Sub7 as part of the SubLink Shelter System is that you can take what you need and leave the rest. Going out in the middle of the summer for just one night? Grab the Sub7 and the 4.1-ounce Helios Suspension System that comes with the system, and you're good to go. Heading to a buggy area? Bring the 13 ounce Guardian SL Bug Net and ditch the tarp (the heaviest component, at 16 ounces). You get the idea. The light and customizable nature of the SubLink Shelter System with the Sub7 earned it our Top Pick for Ultralight Versatility.

The Sub7 was among the lightest hammocks in our review and offered noticeably thicker fabric than our lightest model  the Sea to Summit Ultralight. It was also surprisingly comfortable for the small dimensions.
The Sub7 was among the lightest hammocks in our review and offered noticeably thicker fabric than our lightest model, the Sea to Summit Ultralight. It was also surprisingly comfortable for the small dimensions.

As for complete expedition setups, the heaviest was, again, the Expedition Asym Zip at 49.2 ounces. Not much less were the REI Co-op Flash Air at 44.8 ounces and the ENO SubLink Shelter System at 44.6 ounces. Considering all three include rain flies and bug nets, we thought this trade-off in weight gains was fair. Several models include integrated bug nets but not rain flies and were quite competitively weighted, including the Warbonnet Ridgerunner weighing a hefty 38.4 ounces, the Editor's Choice Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro weighing 28.8 ounces, and the Warbonnet Blackbird weighing an impressive 19.2 ounces.

We placed a decent amount of importance on this metric because many people want to purchase a lightweight option for sleeping out while backpacking or traveling. However, if your motivation for owning a hammock is based more on wanting to relax in your backyard or take a nap a short distance from your car, then this metric probably is less important to you. If you aren't overly concerned with weight, then by all means, go for more fabric and a roomier design! With what you'll gain in comfort, we don't think you'll be sorry with that decision.

Grand Trunk includes this rope suspension system with their hammocks. Never use a rope suspension on any living thing. It will dig into the bark of trees and harm them. We set it up here to show you how it works only  and used 1" trunk straps to actually test this hammock.
Grand Trunk includes this rope suspension system with their hammocks. Never use a rope suspension on any living thing. It will dig into the bark of trees and harm them. We set it up here to show you how it works only, and used 1" trunk straps to actually test this hammock.

Ease of Set Up


For this metric, we evaluated the overall ease and efficiency of set up, both for the very first time and after we had a few tries under our belts. Some of the models required more of a learning curve than others.


First and foremost, hanging requires a suspension system, and many models don't come with this essential component. While many manufacturers sell compatible suspension systems, quite a number of options either don't have suspension systems factored into the cost or have poorly designed systems included, such as the rope slings that come with the Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter or Bear Butt Double. Many of the expedition models come with suspension systems, such as the Hennessy Ultralite Backpacker and Expedition, REI Co-op Flash Air and the ENO SubLink Shelter System (though the Sub7 does not if you buy it on its own). Both Warbonnet models had two optional suspension systems available for an additional cost, or you could choose to purchase just the hammock and attach it to another suspension system.

Many of the less-complicated models did not include suspension. While these models tended to be very easy to set up (merely clipping a carabiner or hooking an S hook onto your suspension system), their ease of setup depends on the suspension system you decide buy. The only exception to this was the Sea to Summit Ultralight which came with unique buckles that integrate perfectly with the manufacturers own system, but require more forethought if you're building your own or have suspension from another company. The buckles have a hole that is too narrow for a standard carabiner, so we had to get creative with climbing slings. In most cases, you can use any suspension system with any hammock without issue, but with Sea to Summit we recommend sticking to their compatible components for your whole setup.

The Hennessy lashing technique is a smart tie-off system that  once you've learned it  is quick and protects your rope. There is a bit of a learning curve up front to learn it though.
The Hennessy lashing technique is a smart tie-off system that, once you've learned it, is quick and protects your rope. There is a bit of a learning curve up front to learn it though.

Several of the expedition models had a bit of a learning curve to their set up to be able to get comfortable. The Warbonnet Blackbird and Ridgerunner fell into this category, but after practice, we were able to set them up with relative ease and confidence. Additionally, some slings don't come with all the components you need to set them up — beyond just a lack of suspension system. Both the Warbonnet Blackbird and both Hennessey models lack the stakes necessary for a complete set-up.

Overall, we found the Hennessy models to be the most complicated to set up, which is why we scored them some of the lowest ratings in this category. The suspension system requires a special Hennessy tie-off that, while easy to do once you've learned it, is a bit complicated at first. It's also tricky to get the right tensioning with these models, and you have to make sure that the asymmetrical tarp and the sling itself are correctly aligned. All of the instructions are printed right on the bag, but it reads a bit like a Dr. Bronner's label — wordy. You will want to practice setting these models up before going out into the backcountry.

The most protection you could ask for from a hammock comes as part of a complete set up  like this system from REI.
The most protection you could ask for from a hammock comes as part of a complete set up, like this system from REI.

Protection and Durability


Having a safe and fun time out in the wilderness is dependent on the quality of your gear. A backpack or pair of boots failing far from the trailhead can be a significant problem, and your shelter system is no different. If you are planning to sleep in a hammock, the protection it provides and the durability of its construction are of extreme importance. A rip in the fabric can be as bad as having no tent poles and may leave you laying on the cold ground stringing your shelter up in some haphazard fashion or putting it over you like a blanket. Not fun.


As you can probably guess, the ultralight models offered the least protection and durability. While hanging in the Grand Trunk Nano 7 and the Sea to Summit Ultralight we could feel even the slightest breeze moving underneath us, hence the low ratings. The Grand Trunk Ultralight Starter was marginally better, but not by much. The Sub7 fits into this group as well, but we tested it as part of the SubLink Shelter System, which provided us with a tarp and bug net, so we scored it a bit higher. You would still need a sleeping pad or underquilt for cold nights, but at least we were protected from the day-to-day elements.

Some of the double models we tested, like the ENO DoubleNest and the Kammok Roo, which lack bug nets and have just single layer floors, have enough fabric to cocoon inside. This wrapping action provided a bit of protection from light rain or bugs, so we awarded those models a middle-of-the-road rating.

The Nano 7 was among the lightest models we tested. Here you can see by the sun shining through the fabric how thin it is.
The Nano 7 was among the lightest models we tested. Here you can see by the sun shining through the fabric how thin it is.

The best protection from the elements was offered by complete systems such as the REI Co-op Flash Air, Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip and Warbonnet Blackbird (with accessories), so they scored the highest. These designs provide integrated bug nets, and wind protection with a rain fly or extra fabric. Compared to some of the other models we tested though, these systems aren't cheap!

The beauty of ENO's Shelter System package lies in the ability to customize your hang experience. With all the components separate you can take only what you need and leave the rest behind.
The beauty of ENO's Shelter System package lies in the ability to customize your hang experience. With all the components separate you can take only what you need and leave the rest behind.

Versatility


Everyone has their reasons for purchasing and owning a hammock, and we don't pretend to know yours! However, during our testing, we found those that are better suited to specific situations as well as those that are very versatile. Many of these uses we have already discussed, such as lightweight models for folks eager to cut down on pack weight, like the Sea to Summit Ultralight, Grand Trunk Nano 7 and Grand Trunk Ultralight Starter. We found models with integrated bug nets to be less versatile than those without, as many bug nets don't come completely off, or restrict usage for anything other than laying down.


Some models though, we felt were quite adaptable to everything from backyard hangs to multinight backpacking trips. Two contenders that stood out in this category were the ENO SubLink Shelter System and the Bear Butt Double, though for different reasons. The ENO SubLink has many pieces of a whole system that can be added and removed as you desire, based on the conditions you anticipate. Awesome! The Bear Butt Double was a much more straightforward model, that we felt was useful for many different activities and easy to add additional components in the future if we so desired.

Accessories


Each manufacturer offers a plethora of fun and functional accessories depending on your needs and preferences. Once you've decided on your brand, it's worth it to take some time and peruse your options, keeping in mind that some accessories will be compatible across brands.

Accessories that may be essential for your setup are unique mattresses, which provide wings to keep your arms and shoulders warm, underquilts for even colder temperatures, top quilts for extra coziness, and different styles of bug nets and rain flies. Check out each review for more suggestions on accessories and alternate versions available from each manufacturer.

Conclusion


Hammocks are not for everyone, but they can provide the ultimate sleep and relaxation experience for many outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to the novelty of floating above the ground and not having to find a flat spot as you do with a tent, they are often the most compact and lightweight sleeping option and can negate the need for an expensive sleeping pad. We hope this review helped you narrow down the options and get closer to your perfect choice. For more information on making the right purchase, check out our Buying Advice article.

Between the double layer of really soft fabric and the generous width  we were cozy as cozy can be in the Reactor.
Between the double layer of really soft fabric and the generous width, we were cozy as cozy can be in the Reactor.
Penney Garrett & Maggie Brandenburg

  • Share this article:

Still not sure? Take a look at our buying advice article for more info.

You Might Also Like