What better feeling than taking the weight off your weary feet after a long day’s hike?
Imagine that, but in your very own portable slice of heaven. Introducing the camping hammock, a place to hang more than just your hat.
And that’s what our goal is for this guide – for you to find your one and only – your best camping hammock – your reliable companion.
Camping hammocks can be a great alternative to tents. Smaller, lighter and often cheaper, they come in all shapes and sizes to suit most travel needs and are particularly suited to a fast-moving excursion somewhere warm.
|Independent Wolf Hammock with tree straps|
|Hennessy Hammock Expedition Series|
|Grand Trunk Hammock|
Apart from being easier to carry, there are distinct advantages to spending the night in one: it’s arguably more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, can be set up in places tents can’t and being suspended above the ground means that you can avoid some of the creepy crawlies that might otherwise find their way into your bed.
- Know your hammocks
- What to consider
- Best Camping Hammock Reviews 2017
Know your hammocks
Most available camping hammocks can be divided into three main types but there are also others that don’t fit neatly into these categories, including a tent-hammock hybrid.
Each of these have their good and bad points, so it’s worth having your travel scenario in mind when deciding which would be the best portable hammock.
Ultralight backpacking hammocks
Smaller, lighter (of course) and more compact. These take up very little space so are perfect for a quick trip, or for hanging out in during the day. They are also pretty basic.
It’s worth weighing up how important comfort vs. weight is to you.
Parachute nylon backpacking hammocks
Durable with a little bit of extra give, these are the most common type on the market. Plus it is not unusual for the best parachute hammocks to be sold out quickly by the most adventurous backpackers.
Being made of nylon means they are less absorbent than cotton hammocks and dry quicker if they do get wet. They can be big enough for one person or two, but make sure you double check the dimensions and weight limits as they can vary a huge amount depending on the manufacturer.
Again, there aren’t a lot of integrated extras with these so you may need to shell out a bit more to make your camping hammock fit for the terrain.
For the Bear Grylls out there. Tough, sturdy and engineered to withstand the elements, these hammocks are made of top-quality materials to keep you protected and comfortable in the roughest terrains and this is reflected in the price tag. Truly the best hammocks for camping.
They often come with built-in extras like mosquito netting, rainfly and guy-lines which gives the hammock a bit more room. Most won’t come with any padding or insulation though so if you are travelling through cooler climates.
What to consider
There are two main considerations to bear in mind when choosing the best outdoor hammock for you:
This will largely dictate which of the three types are more suited for your trip. You can afford to go smaller and lighter if your trip is a short one somewhere warm.
Cooler, rainier climates will need a sturdier hammock. Likewise, if you’re going somewhere bug-infested, make sure you have mosquito netting.
Make sure you check the dimensions of any hammock you are thinking of buying. If you are on the larger side, buy a more spacious one to give you ample room to manoeuvre.
Also check how much weight the hammock is designed to bear. Overloading the hammock could damage it, and puts you at more risk of falling out. Trying to skimp on strength and size for the sake of saving some weight may result in a poor night’s sleep at best, and a miserable trip at worst.
Best Camping Hammock Reviews 2017
Here, we’ll review the best backpacking hammocks in for every budget and camping situation. Soon you’ll be ready to set up your own hanging home under the stars.
Hennessy Hammock Expedition Series
- Hammock size: 118 x 59 in
- Weight: 2lbs 12oz
- Holds up to: 250lbs
A firm favorite with hikers and backpackers, this durable expedition hammock is pricier than the others but worth it. It comes with almost everything you need: integrated mosquito netting, rain fly, support rope and a stuff sack, and, with practice, can be set up in five minutes or less.
The straps are even thoughtfully designed with webbing so as not to damage the trees that you hang the hammock from.
The Hennessy Hammock Expedition Series is available with two closures – zipper or slightly cheaper velcro. Both work well and keep the hammock shut if you toss and turn in the night.
The asymmetrical design allows you to lie flat in the hammock, avoiding the problem with morning ‘banana back’. Sturdy and made with high-quality material, this hammock could last you for years to come.
Although consistently highly reviewed, it is worth noting this hammock does not do well in cooler climates without extra insulation.
Tall campers might also find it a little bit of a squeeze and the bottom-entry system can make it a bit of a pain to get in and out of repeatedly in the night (for those who might need to frequently answer the call of nature).
If you know you’ll be using it regularly, you can’t go too wrong with the Hennessy. Rated one of the best camping hammocks out there, this one outperforms many others on the market but the hefty price tag means this is a real investment.
Independent Wolf Hammock
- Hammock size: 108” x 55”
- Weight: 1lbs 14oz (including hardware and straps)
- Holds up to: 440lbs
This is a camping hammock designed with a single camper in mind. It’s made of a lightweight, breathable parachute grade nylon that will keep you cool on hot nights and dry quickly in wet weather.
The 440 pound weight limit and 6’ 2” height limit make this an ideal hammock for the majority of travelers.
It comes with tree straps and carabiners, so you won’t need to purchase anything extra in order to set up the hammock. It packs away into a drawstring carrying bag made of the same breathable material, so it won’t get damp or musty inside. Even with the straps, the hammock is practically weightless in your camping bag.
This hammock will hold up well whether you want to camp at the same location for a few nights or constantly keep on the move during a long trip. It only takes a few minutes to set up and take down, simplifying the process when you decide to switch campsites.
The value for money with an Independent Wolf hammock is excellent. You’re getting a complete kit with all of the hardware for less than what most other hammock companies charge for the hammock alone. It’s perfect for someone who is travelling independently and wants to keep their load light.
Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) DoubleNest
- Hammock size: 112 x 74in
- Weight: 1lbs 3oz
- Holds up to: 400lbs
One of the leading hammocks on the market, this lightweight nylon parachute has the benefit of being big enough for two if required, but makes for a luxurious night’s sleep when accommodating one.
The spaciousness belies how well it folds down for transport: the ENO DoubleNest can be packed down to the size of a grapefruit. It is simply constructed with very little extras, which, although you may need to buy a few accessories also means it can be a versatile piece of kit.
Easy to get in and out of, it’s great for day lounging as well as night sleeping. The ENO DoubleNest is available in a rainbow of colour combinations, useful if you happen to be camping where there are lots of other hammocks around.
At the lowest price point some of the necessities, like hammock tree straps, are not included, but it does come with carabiners. As with most nylon parachutes, this hammock is a fair weather friend and will not protect you from the elements.
There is no mosquito netting or rain fly and the thin material means it will not insulate you from the cold. The light materials also mean it can be fairly delicate and prone to tear if not carefully used. Be gentle with this giant.
This is a good-looking, versatile hammock for when you need options. Great for lounging and camping, it’s small when folded but big enough for two when set up. Although the price is on the higher end, you may still need to shell out for extras such as tree straps.
Grand Trunk Ultralight
- Hammock size: 114 x 54in
- Weight: 12oz
- Holds up to: 200lbs
Cheap and cheerful, consider this your starter-pack camping hammock. It’s incredibly light, at only 12 ounces, and easy to transport if you already have a backpack heaving with kit.
It is a great budget buy if you want to try out backpacking with a hammock but aren’t sure if it is something you want to invest in. Even if you decide not to sleep in it, the Grand Trunk Ultralight still makes for a great place to put your feet up during the day.
It comes with S-hooks rather than carabiners, which makes for a simpler albeit less secure setup. It also doesn’t come with any straps so even though it’s very affordable, you may need to spend a little extra on these.
The low price does mean a compromise on material. The Grand Trunk Ultralight is small and will not put up with a lot of stress and strain. No harsh terrains or extreme campsites for this hammock and it’s definitely not one for the heavy camper.
Still, this is a good option for those wanting to give camping hammocks a try. It’s small, very affordable and a great place to start when experimenting with camping hammocks.
- Hammock size: 120 x 67in
- Weight: 1lbs 7oz
- Holds up to: 500lbs
Once you’ve tried camping hammocks and decided that it is definitely the only way to travel, the Kammok Roo is an upgrade from Economy class to First.
Arguably one of the softest, most comfortable yet sturdiest nylon parachutes out there, you will certainly feel the difference with this solidly-constructed hammock. Good quality stitching and ripstop fabric make this hammock tougher than most.
It is large and comfortably sleeps one but will stretch to two and will hold a weight of up to 500 lbs. Once you’ve purchased the straps to go with it, this hammock is a breeze to setup and easy to transport. It is so well-made that it even comes with a lifetime warranty.
All this luxury comes at a price. Compared to other double parachutes, the Kammok Roo is far from cheap and you will need to splash even more cash on straps, mosquito netting and a rainfly.
As well as being expensive, it is also heavier than other double hammocks so if your bursting backpack is already weighing you down, you’ll need to think hard about whether a comfortable night’s sleep is something you’re willing to sacrifice.
If a good night’s sleep is top of your list and you don’t mind paying extra to get it, the Kammok Roo is for you. This soft but strong camping hammock is not only built to last but made to love.
Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge
- Hammock size: 90 x 42in
- Weight: 4lbs 4oz
- Holds up to: 275lbs
So you’ve read through this entire article and still can’t decide if camping hammocks are for you.
Sure, they seem nifty and there are some interesting points but the thought of spending the night suspended a few feet off the ground doesn’t sound like the most appealing or comfortable idea.
Enter the Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge.
This cross between a camping hammock and a tent could be the answer. With pole arches that create a roof out of built-in mosquito netting, the Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge can be suspended like a hammock when needed but also happily sits on the ground like a tent giving you the best of both.
The arch poles are detachable and turns the Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge into an ordinary open-air camping hammock but use them and the spreader bars attached to make the hammock flat and taut.
No more suffering from ‘banana back’ in the morning. The arch poles also make the hammock feel roomier than others that come with built-in mosquito netting.
But here’s the catch: it’s heavy. And expensive. And, compared to traditional camping hammocks, fussy to set up with all the poles and bars.
It can be a bit unstable and prone to flipping over relatively easily because of its flat construction. Unless you secure the corners, sleeping in it can be challenge if you toss and turn a lot in the night. Again, you will need to buy add-ons like straps and, as with most hammocks, you will need extra insulation if you are taking it somewhere cold.
That being said, the Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge could be the gateway to camping hammocks if you aren’t sure about leaving behind the security of a tent. It is not a cheap experiment, but then again not many other products out there will do the job of both.
While it is on the heavy side for a hammock, it is still fairly light for a tent.
We hope we’ve helped and delivered truly the best backpacking hammock reviews.