December 6, 2016

The Best Camping Hammocks

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Learn how to choose the right camping hammock for cost, sleeping, backpacking and couples.

Best Camping Hammocks
Best Camping Hammocks © CreditDonkey

Nothing says a well-stocked camping trip like bringing your own hammock into the wilderness. Especially after a long day of hiking, there are few things better than collapsing into supportive mesh dangling between a couple trees and staring up at the sky. You’ll be the star of any group camping adventure and know that you’ll rest and relax the right way.

Hammocks serve a lot of purposes on any camping trip you might want to take. For starters, they offer unparalleled relaxation when you’re out in the woods. Even the softest camping chairs pale in comparison to swaying on soft nylon between a couple of sturdy trees. Then there’s the element of recharging after a big hike. Especially if you’re feeling a little sore, you’ll want to have your lower body elevated and there’s no better way to do that than in the comfort of a hammock.

Factors in Purchasing a Camping Hammock

Camping hammocks come in all sorts of different features, sizes, costs and comfort. They are some of the most versatile accessories when it comes to outdoor trips. The number of options on the market can be overwhelming, but one of the best things to keep in mind is how you plan on integrating a hammock into all your gear.

We broke down the best camping hammocks on the market by the various ways you can put them to work. Do you want a lightweight hammock that you can stuff in your pack for multi-day backpacking trips? Or do you want a big, two-person hammock for relaxing under the stars? Weather is a big factor when it comes to warmth, mosquito nets and shade. Size, cost, features and durability are also important considerations when finding the right hammock.

Purpose

Some people just want to lie outside during a group camping trip with a good book or take a long nap in the shade. Other people spend their first night sleeping in hammock and they never go back to a tent again. One of the best places to start when picking a hammock is knowing its primary use.

Consider whether it’ll be how you sleep during every trip, in which case you might want a lightweight fabric you can stuff in your bag. Or if you want it in the backyard just as much as the back woods. Maybe there’s a region where you do most of your camping, in which case the climate is going to sway your decision based on warmth and bugs.

Best Hammock for Sleeping

Eagle’s Nest Outfitters (ENO) has released one of their best, most versatile, durable and comfortable camping hammocks on the market with the ENO Reactor Hammock. It offers all the features of some of the best hammocks on the market: lightweight (less than two pounds), strong nylon material, and packs down to only 7” x 5”. What makes this great for sleeping is the second layer of fabric that allows you hold a sleeping pad in place. This adds additional comfort for any cold-weather hammock sleeping, but also prevents the pad from shifting around while you rest.

For a flatter night of sleep and a mosquito net to keep out any bugs as well, check out the Warbonnet Blackbird. Also available with a second layer to keep a sleeping pad in place, the Blackbird is made out of breathable nylon and topped with a water repellent finish. It features a storage shelf to store any items while you sleep and a footbox for increased comfort. The Blackbird works well with a rain tarp accessory or can also be placed on the ground. The only downside is it can be a little cramped for sleepers larger than six feet tall. It currently runs for $170-$195 on Warbonnet’s website.

Best Hammock for Lightweight Backpacking

Hennessy’s high-end hammock does everything (and it’s extremely lightweight at a little over two pounds). Constructed from comfortable polyester and including a ripstop nylon rainfly, the Hennessy Explorer Ultralite Asym Zip fits backpackers up to seven feet tall and holds up to 250 pounds. The Hennessy also offers customizable options that let you mix and match accessories with their hammocks. You can get a larger rain fly, insulation pads and longer tree straps depending on where your adventures might take you. This is one of the most expensive hammocks on the market.

For a versatile and ultra-portable hammock, take a look at the Hummingbird Single+ Hammock. Running at $79.95, it holds up to 350 pounds and packs down to the size of a soda can. Constructed from military-grade nylon, it might not have all the high-end features of the competition, but it’s great for a straightforward backpacking hammock that gets the job done at a good price.

Best Hammock with a Mosquito Net

Coming in under a hundred bucks, the ENO JungleNest Hammock combines the best features of ENO’s hammocks with an included bug net to keep critters out while you sleep or relax. It holds up to 400 pounds, features a small organizer pocket and full-length side zipper for easy access. The 950 square inch, no-see-um mosquito netting makes this one of the best bug hammocks for the price.

An excellent way to foray into car camping is Grand Trunk’s Skeeter Beeter. A little larger and heavier, this offering has a mosquito net to keep out any bugs while you sleep and a double-sided zipper for easy access if you’re sharing your hammock. Constructed of 100% parachute nylon, it holds up to 400 pounds and is an excellent addition to a car camping collection.

Best Hammock for Car Camping

Billing itself as the world’s best camping hammock, the Austin, TX-based designer’s top product is the Kammok Roo Hammock. Spacious, portable, comfortable and running less than $100, the ripstop, breathable fabric is large enough for two people and packs down with the included stuff sack. It can hold up to 500 pounds, runs ten feet long and comes with a lifetime warranty. It comes in six different colors and promises to be the accessory that you’ll bring along for any car camping adventure.

The top brand in sleeping pads offers a solid and straightforward camping hammock that holds up to 400 pounds and weighs just over a pound. It’s an easy addition to a trunk full of camping gear and also makes for a strong backpacking hammock. It includes an attached stuff sack that also can hold valuables or a book when it’s hanging. It comes in eight different colors, is made in the U.S., and is tough to beat for the price, currently running less than $50 on Amazon.

Weather

The kind of climate is going to affect the hammock you want. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll want something that will work well with a rainfly and tarp accessory. The southeast is going to call for bug protection and the southwest will be all about sun cover. You might want something for all four seasons if you live near the mountains and want to get year-round use out of your hammock.

Best Winter Hammock

Sold separately from ENO hammocks, the ENO Ember 2 Underquilt accessory is a polyester quilt that keeps you warm and insulated during any cold weather hammock use. What’s great about it is that you can bring it along when necessary and leave it at home during warmer weather adventures. It runs less than $100 and even when that’s combined with a hammock, it still costs less than a one-piece design that you’ll only want in the winter. It comes with an included stuff sack and weighs less than two pounds.

You’ll need to keep yourself bundled up in the Ridgerunner, but with netting that unzips on three sides, an optional second layer for an insulated sleeping pad (not included), and flatter design for a more comfortable night of sleep, the Ridgerunner fits people up to 6’6” tall. It can also be used on the ground, holds up to 250 pounds, weighs less than two pounds, and easily packs up for any adventure regardless of the season. It starts at $190 on Warbonnet’s site.

Best Hammock with Shade

For those of us who like to glamp in style, the Hennessy Deep Jungle Asym Zip can be adapted from its original, rugged use. It was constructed to survive jungles covered in bugs and mosquitos, but that doesn’t mean you can’t camp with a high-end hammock that will keep you covered for ultimate relaxing. Running close to $300, the high tenacity ripstop nylon will survive anything you throw at it and allows the rainfly to double as shade. Men’s Journal called this the hammock you can take anywhere and it lives up to the billing.

For an option you might want in your backyard just as much as a camping trip, Driftsun’s lawn furniture can be stowed in a car and taken on a short camping trip. It’s a little more on the lawn furniture side of the outdoors, but it holds up to 250 pounds, includes a shade, and can be folded into a backpack. It’s definitely worth a look.

Size

The next factor to consider is what will be the best fit for your body size and shape. If you and your significant other are going to be doing a lot of camping together, that will change what you’re looking for. If you are taller than six feet, you don’t want to get in the woods, hook a hammock to a couple of trees and then find it’s impossible to get cozy in a hammock that’s too small. You’ll want to look at XL offerings from the top brands.

Best Two-Person Hammock

Constructed from parachute nylon that skydivers trust to not rip, Grand Trunk Double Parachute Hammock weighs just over a pound and makes for a great addition to a car camping trips or hanging up near a lake on a summer weekend. It packs down within the included stuff sack and the nautical-grade carabiners hold up to 400 pounds. The other great feature is that it usually runs under $100.

ENO’s largest hammock weighs just 24 ounces, which still qualifies it as an excellent backpacking hammock. Constructed from the same high-tenacity nylon that keeps all of ENO’s hammocks durable, this offering features plenty of space for a couple of people to swing between a couple of trees. It packs down to only 5” x 6”, comes in eight colors, holds up to 400 pounds and retails for $84.95 at REI.

Best Big and Tall Hammock

Campers, hikers and hunters swear by the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC, which offers all the great features of the Warbonnet Blackbird in a larger size. It features a removable zippered bug net, storage shelf to hold valuables, and footbox for comfort. It fits people up to seven feet tall and weighs less than two pounds. It can also be customized with an optional top cover (not included), which adds extra warmth and protection for winter hammock use. Just like the Blackbird, you can get a second layer XLC to keep a sleeping pad in place. Starts at $195.

Eagle Nest’s larger offering is perfect if you love the Camo design and need additional space to relax in the woods. It holds up to 400 pounds and has a span of over nine feet, which makes it a perfect fit for larger campers. Quick-drying and lightweight, it also fits nicely with all of ENO’s accessories for whatever use you want out of the CamoNest. Runs $94.95 at REI.

Cost

If you want to get the best value out of a hammock, you want something at a reasonable price while still offering great durability. The greatest deal will take into account how much usage you get for the price you paid. There are plenty of excellent hammocks for less than three figures and even some solid offerings for under $50.

Best Hammock Under $100

Kammok Wallaby Hammock offers 10 oz. of portability for around $65. It’s the kind of hammock you can scrunch in the included stuff sack and bring anywhere you go. Especially perfect for day hikes and weekend adventures that are built around going to a trail and then relaxing when you get there, it’s a great accessory that you won’t notice until you put it into use.

The Skeeter Beeter is a great addition to toss in a hatchback or truck bed and bring anywhere you go. Whether it’s the woods, lake, backyard or anywhere with a couple trees you can use as posts, the parachute nylon is excellent for lounging.

Best Hammock Around $50 to $60

ENO SingleNest is a perfect, straightforward camping hammock that packs down in the included stuff sack so you can take it on the go. That sack also doubles as storage once it’s unfurled. This hammock is the perfect way to lounge around for a day in the shade with a book or to get one of the best naps of your life.

Where to Buy Camping Hammocks

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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