Hammocks targeted at camping and backpacking have recently become some of the most popular outdoor accessories. It’s easy to understand why; hammocks are blissfully relaxing. We’ve spent hundreds of nights under the stars hanging in the best of them to bring you the essential camping hammocks for your next trip.

In recent years, lighter, more packable, diagonal-laying hammock styles have supplanted the heavy, old-school canvas or rope hammocks that used to hang in almost every suburban backyard. Now you can choose from hardcore hammock shelters that can fully replace your regular tent or ultralight wisps of nylon that pack up smaller than a can of beer.

We’ve tested and reviewed lots of options and have chosen the camping hammocks that we think are the best choices in 2024. Our testers aren’t just hammock casuals, either — we set off on multi-day backpacking trips in our rigs and tested each on their comfort, suspension systems, weather protection, and more. There’s bound to be one (or three) that will fit your backcountry and backyard needs.

In choosing a hammock, you’ll need to ask yourself whether you’re looking for a casual hang, or something that’ll find use in your backcountry shelter lineup. Dig into our buyer’s guide, where we’ve gone down to brass tacks in order to explain all things hammock, check out our distilled-down comparison chart, or consult our frequently asked questions section to get straight to the point. 

Editor’s Note: We updated our Camping Hammocks guide on March 11, 2024, to add the Warbonnet Ridgerunner, one heckuva good bridge hammock, and our new Best Overall award-winner. Also added were the budget-minded Onewind Aerie and the uber-classic Hennessy Expedition Zip.

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


Best Overall Camping Hammock

  • Total weight
    2 lbs., 4.6 oz.
  • Max capacity
    200 lb. comfort cap for single-layered, 250 lbs. for double
  • Dimensions
    10.1′ long, 3′ wide
  • Materials
    Single or double-layered 30 or 40D Dream-Tex fabric
  • Best for
    Hammock camping, extended canoe trips, or anyone who values comfort over all else

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Incredible spacious storage

  • Best-in-class comfort

  • Moderate weight

  • Flexible customization options


  • May not be comfortable for heavier/broad shouldered individuals

  • Fewer underquilt options

  • Netting can be tricky to set up without a ridgeline

Best Budget Hammock

  • Total weight
    2 lbs., 9.6 oz.
  • Max capacity
    500 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    11 ft long, 68 in. wide
  • Materials
    70-denier nylon Hexagon Ripstop
  • Best for
    Budget beginners looking for room, and modularity, to expand

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Price

  • Relatively light and plenty durable

  • One-stop-shopping modularity

  • Includes suspension, ridgeline, bug net, and organization


  • Bottom-entry bug net can make entry and exit difficult

  • Difficult to loosen if overtightened

  • Heavy suspension

Best Hammock for Everyday Use

  • Total weight
    1 lb., 3 oz.
  • Max capacity
    400 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    9.5′ long, 76″ wide
  • Materials
    FreeWave 70-denier nylon taffeta
  • Best for
    Casual hanging at the beach or park, or going anywhere, really

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Ease of setup

  • Large ecosystem of ENO accessories

  • Many color and print options


  • No included suspension system

  • The extra fabric can be a bit much when used solo

Best Backpacking Hammock

  • Total weight
    2 lbs., 15.1 oz.
  • Max capacity
    250 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    10′ long, 59″ wide
  • Materials
    70D nylon
  • Best for
    Campers and backpackers who want versatility and modularity

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Reliably flat and comfortable lay

  • Tons of modular accessories

  • Streamlined design


  • Suspension setup is more involved

  • The included tarp is small, with low clearance

  • Additional shelter accessories come with involved setup

Most User-Friendly Modular Tent Hammock

  • Total weight
    From 1 lb., 5.75 oz. (single-layer version without straps)
  • Max capacity
    350 lbs. configured as single-layer, 400 lbs. as heavyweight double
  • Dimensions
    11 ft. long, 62 in. wide. 112 in. ridgeline
  • Materials
    40-denier Dream-Tex ripstop nylon
  • Best for
    Tent campers who want a lot of options

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Easy to build to your specs

  • Can be set up on the ground

  • Comes standard with zip-in mosquito netting


  • Maybe too many options for most people

  • Ordering from a smaller hammock company can mean out-of-stock options

Best Four-Season Hammock

  • Total weight
    5 lbs., 3 oz. (including straps)
  • Max capacity
    250 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    10 ft. long, 59 in. wide
  • Materials
    One layer of 70-denier nylon, and one layer of 40-denier
  • Best for
    Those who like to camp in a hammock all year long

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Can easily adjust to battle a wide range of temperatures

  • Asymmetric design allows for a comfortable sleeping position 


  • Heavy

  • Can be a bit complicated to set up

Most Versatile Hammock

  • Total weight
    1 lb., 3 oz. in Hexon 1.6 fabric
  • Max capacity
    200 – 350 lbs. depending on fabric choice
  • Dimensions
    11 ft. long, 57 in. width. 100 in. ridgeline length
  • Materials
    Available in Hexon 1.0, 1.2, 1.6, and Cloud 1.4 fabrics
  • Best for
    When conditions are unknown, and adaptability is king

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Available in many different fabric weights and prints

  • Different bug nets and top covers increase adaptability


  • Will require a little work to fine-tune

  • Zipper on the edge can catch on things

Best of the Rest

  • Total weight
    2 lbs., 14.5 oz.
  • Max capacity
    500 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    10 ft. long x 56 in. wide. 115-inch ridgeline
  • Materials
    40-denier diamond ripstop nylon hammock body
  • Best for
    All-around camping, long backpacking trips

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024Photo/Kammok


  • Light

  • Sturdy with well-thought-out details

  • All-integrated system


  • Fixed-length ridgeline doesn’t work for everyone

  • Daisy chain straps aren’t the most packable for hammock camping

  • Total weight
    5.2 oz.
  • Max capacity
    300 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    8.6 ft. long, 47 in. wide
  • Materials
    1.1 oz. calendered ripstop nylon, certified reserve parachute material
  • Best for
    Long treks where a luxury item like a hammock is desired

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Ultralight weight

  • Created up to military parachute specifications


  • Small overall size might not fit everyone

  • Doesn’t include a suspension system

  • Total weight
    11.7 oz. (without straps)
  • Max capacity
    500 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    11 ft. long, 58 in. wide
  • Materials
    TRUNKTECH 40-denier 1.1 oz. diamond ripstop nylon
  • Best for
    Those looking for a single hammock with an edge over the ENO DoubleNest or Kammock Roo

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Very lightweight and strong for the money

  • Full 11 ft. long hammock


  • Suspension system not included

  • Total weight
    5.8 oz.
  • Max capacity
    300 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    9 ft. long, 48 in. wide
  • Materials
    30-denier ripstop nylon
  • Best for
    Those wanting an ultralight hammock, but a smidge more space than the Hummingbird option

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Ultralight weight

  • Very compact stuff sack


  • Doesn’t come with a suspension system

  • Total weight
    4 lbs., 15 oz. (including straps)
  • Max capacity
    275 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    7.5 ft. long, 90 in. wide
  • Materials
    Ripstop nylon and poly mix
  • Best for
    Shorter backpacking excursions or trips where weight and size aren’t as much of a concern

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Comfortable

  • Lots of room and can be set up on the ground


  • Fairly bulky and heavy

  • Complicated design

  • Total weight
    2 lbs.
  • Max capacity
    250 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    7 ft. long, 36 in. wide
  • Materials
    40-denier NewWave nylon
  • Best for
    Campers who want a lay-flat hammock

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Lay-flat comfort in a small, portable package


  • Can’t remove the bug net

  • Lower max capacity

  • Total weight
    17 lbs., 1 oz.
  • Max capacity
    880 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    13.5 ft. x 13.5 ft. x 13.5 ft.
  • Materials
    240-denier nylon/polyester composite, PU-coated
  • Best for
    Setting up for extended car camping or overlanding stays

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Spacious

  • Can sleep three adults comfortably


  • Very heavy

  • Takes some time to set up and take down

  • Total weight
    1 lb., 12.8 oz.
  • Max capacity
    400 lbs.
  • Dimensions
    9.1 ft. long, 55 in. wide
  • Materials
    75-denier polyester hammock body
  • Best for
    Those who need a solid, no-frills camp hammock

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


  • Price

  • Light and durable

  • Includes suspension straps and carabiners


  • Minimal features

  • 9 foot length won’t fit everyone

Camping Hammock Comparison Chart

Camping Hammock Price Total Weight Max Capacity Dimensions Materials
Warbonnet Ridgerunner $130-175 2 lbs., 4.6 oz. 200-250 lbs. 10.1′ long, 3′ wide Single or double-layered 30 or 40D Dream-Tex fabric
Onewind Aeirie 11’ Double Camping Hammock $70 2 lbs., 9.6 oz. 500 lbs. 11 ft long, 68 in. wide 70-denier nylon hexagon ripstop
Eagle Nest Outfitters
DoubleNest
$75 1 lb., 3 oz. 400 lbs. 9.5 ft long, 76 in. wide FreeWave 70-denier nylon taffeta
Hennessy Expedition Zip $170 2 lbs., 15.1 oz. 250 lbs. 10′ long, 59″ wide 70-denier nylon
Warbonnet Blackbird XLC $200 From 1 lb., 5.75 oz. 350-400 lbs. 11 ft. long, 62 in. wide. 112 in. ridgeline 40-denier Dream-Tex ripstop nylon
Hennessy 4Season
Expedition Zip
$290 5 lbs., 3 oz. 250 lbs. 10 ft. long, 59 in. wide One layer of 70-denier nylon, and one layer of 40-denier
Dutchware Chameleon $135 1 lb., 3 oz. in Hexon 1.6 fabric 200-350 lbs. 11 ft. long, 57 in. width. 100 in. ridgeline length Available in Hexon 1.0, 1.2, 1.6, and Cloud 1.4 fabrics
Kammok Mantis $250 2 lbs., 14.5 oz. 500 lbs. 10 ft. long x 56 in. wide. 115-inch ridgeline 40-denier diamond ripstop nylon hammock body
Hummingbird Hammocks
Single 
$70 5.2 oz. 300 lbs. 8.6 ft. long, 47 in. wide 1.1 oz. calendered ripstop nylon, certified reserve parachute material
Grand Trunk TrunkTech $70 11.7 oz. 500 lbs. 11 ft. long, 58 in. wide TRUNKTECH 40-denier 1.1 oz. diamond ripstop nylon
Eagle Nest
Outfitters Sub6
$70 5.8 oz. 300 lbs. 9 ft. long, 48 in. wide 30-denier ripstop nylon
Lawson Blue
Ridge Camping
$229 4 lbs., 15 oz. 275 lbs. 7.5 ft. long, 90 in. wide Ripstop nylon and poly mix
Eagle Nest
Outfitters SkyLite
$170 2 lbs. 250 lbs. 7 ft. long, 36 in. wide 40-denier NewWave nylon
Tentsile Trillium
3-Person
$419 17 lbs., 1 oz. 880 lbs. 13.5 ft. x 13.5 ft. x 13.5 ft. 240-denier nylon/polyester composite, PU-coated
Klymit Traverse $65 1 lb., 12.8 oz. 400 lbs. 9.1 ft. long, 55 in. wide 75-denier polyester hammock body
Selection of Camping Hammocks
All shapes and sizes; there’s a camping hammock for just about any way you want to hang; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

How We Tested Camping Hammocks

The GearJunkie team is chock full of avid hammock campers. To compile this list, we put our heads together and shared our passionate opinions on hammock camping.

Contributor Ian Graber-Stiehl has been hammock camping through picturesque mountainsides, forests, and crystalline streams for four years. More importantly, he’s stubbornly stuck with hammocks even in ill-advised conditions: in the middle of the deserts, the midst of swamps, and through below-zero blizzards.

Obsessive about gear, Ian spends hours tinkering and optimizing hammock setups to save a few seconds and grams — that he spends on yet more gear. For our testing here, he carried and hung each hammock tested in a variety of different ways and weather conditions, and with different tarps and insulation, to see how they perform in a wide range of conditions.

For this particular list, we’ve included hammocks that can be used for car camping and casual hangouts as well as a few backpacking models. Testing hammocks is a lot of fun, but we still made sure to pay extra attention to the nitty gritty: How durable and comfortable the hammocks are. The amount of stretch they have, or adjustability they boast. How easy and flexible they are to set up — not only the first time, but also the twentieth.

Kammok Mantis
The Kammok Mantis is an ideal all-in-one hammock system; (photo/Adam Bible)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Camping Hammock

Camping hammocks are versatile pieces of gear that can reliably replace a tent and provide the joy of daytime lounging. In the past few decades, hammocks have become increasingly popular with outdoor recreationists rediscovering the beauty of tent-free camping.

To those experienced outdoor sleepers who swear by the tent, hammock camping may at first seem like a novelty activity reserved for backyard fun. However, thanks to innovative product design and the development of handy accessories, hammocks have become a completely legitimate and viable alternative to tents.

Before you buy a hammock, consider exactly how and where you’ll be using it. Will it be mostly for daytime use? Will you frequently use the hammock in cold or wet weather? Are the areas where you plan to use your hammock buzzing with mosquitos? Hone in on which features you can and can’t live without. Read on for more details regarding weight, value, ease of setup, accessories, durability, protection, and versatility.

Hammock Types: Gathered-End vs. Bridge

Gathered-end hammocks may be the prevailing style, but bridge hammocks offer a number of comfortable advantages; (photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

While the original hammocks were all of the gathered-end variety, other permutations have arisen that provide a different style of lay. Finding which style is right for you will come down to how you like to relax, and how and where you like to camp.

Gathered-End Hammocks

Traditional gathered-end hammocks bring the fabric together at two points on opposite ends of the hammock, creating a pea-pod or banana shape that allows you to lay sideways within the fabric. You’ll always have a bit of a sag lying in this position, which works well for some, but may not for others.

Gathered-end hammocks win over other styles when it comes to packability, as they are about as simple as you can get with a single piece of fabric stretched between two loops of cordage. They also tend to be cheaper than other styles for the same reason. Our lineup is dominated by this style of hammock, with excellent examples being the Kammok Mantis, Eagle Nest Outfitters DoubleNest, and Hummingbird Hammocks Single.

ENO DoubleNest Hammock Cozy
Gathered-end hammocks will swaddle you, and by finding a good sideways position where you can sleep comfortably; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Bridge or Spreader Bar Hammocks

While gathered-end hammocks taper towards bunched ends where the fabric is cinched together, bridge hammocks are closer to the picturesque beach hammocks most people picture, leveraging some sort of spreader bar. This flattens out hammocks for a side sleeper-approved lay, at the expense of weight and a tippier feel. However, modern camping hammocks have come a long way toward can overcoming these disadvantages. 

Relatively short aluminum and carbon fiber spreader bars are not only lightweight themselves. They don’t require the length and width of gathered-end hammocks to achieve a flat lay. Especially with double-layered hammocks and underquilts, their more compact designs can go a long way towards offsetting both extra ounces and the tippy feel. However, bridge hammocks can involve more pieces, have lower weight ratings, are often less customizable, and their bars can minimize clearance beneath a tarp. 

Bridge hammocks take a bit more fussing, but the extra space can be well worth it; (photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

Fabrics

Fabric is often denoted by its denier rating, which is a measure of the thickness of the fibers used to make it. A higher denier will mean a more durable fabric, while a lower one will be more fragile, but also more lightweight. 

In our testing, we found that the most common denier for a hammock was around 75-denier, with the range spanning from the ultralight 30-denier ripstop of the Eagles Nest Outfitters Sub6, to the burly 240-denier of the Tentsile Trillium 3-Person hammock. 

Fabrics also will be referred to by their weights, often given as ounces per yard squared. In terms of hammocks, something like a 1.9-ounce ripstop nylon will be on the heavier end of fabrics, while a 1.0-ounce is on the ultralight side of the scale.

Klymit Traverse Hammock
The 75-denier polyester of the Klymit Traverse hammock is about the middle of the road when it comes to hammock fabrics; (photo/Erika Courtney)

Nylon

Nylon is by far the most popular fabric for camping hammock construction, harkening back to the Vietnam-era Jungle hammock produced for the U.S. Army. Today, many hammocks will be made with something similar to 1.1-ounce nylon.

The term ripstop refers to the calendared weave that can be sewn into a fabric as it is produced. This raised pattern resists allowing a tear to continue throughout a fabric once it’s begun. Some fabrics use a different denier yarn for the ripstop grid versus the base fabric, creating a strong but still lightweight fabric.

Proprietary 

Many manufacturers will work with textile mills to produce their own nylon fabrics to their specifications, allowing them to fine-tune the weight, strength, and feel of the fabric. Notable in this category are efforts like TrunkTech used in the Grand Trunk TrunkTech hammock, which is an ultra-strong fabric that manages to maintain its low weight and bulk.

Grand Trunk Hammock Fabric
Proprietary weaves allow hammock manufacturers to dial in specifications and create super-strong but lightweight fabrics; (photo/Mary Murphy)

Weight

Weight is an especially important factor for those who plan to carry a hammock from campsite to campsite. Though backpacking hammocks aren’t the focus of this list, we included both lightweight hammocks and heavier options.

First, it’s important to consider that the total weight of a hammock alone isn’t all that telling. To set up a hammock to sleep in, you’ll also need at least a suspension system.

This means ropes or straps that attach to the anchor points of your hammock, wrap around trees or other fixed objects, and keep the entire rig suspended.

A lightweight hammock and a heavy suspension system can easily cancel each other out. This same principle applies to rainflies and other accessories you may need.

Remember that lightweight materials are often thinner and more fragile than other options. Still, for those looking to shave grams off their total weight, it’s possible to put together a hammocking setup that’s significantly lighter than almost any one-person tent.

ENO Sub6 Ultralight Hammock
At 5.8 ounces and made from a 30-denier nylon, the ENO Sub6 is certainly on the ultralight side of the spectrum; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Hammock Suspension Systems

Setting up a hammock is a simple process that basically entails attaching your suspension system between two trees or other fixed points and hanging both ends of your hammock from the system.

Though the basic process is simple, some hammocks are quicker and easier to set up than others. In general, we recommend that you practice setting up your hammock at a park or in your backyard a few times before going hammock camping.

While many hammocks are set up according to a standard hammock design with two symmetrical anchor points and a cocoon-like shape, other hammocks on the market have slightly different designs that can add some tricky subtlety to the setup process.

Asymmetrical hammocks require the user to lay somewhat diagonally inside the hammock to create a flatter sleeping surface.

Depending on your accessories, setup can become convoluted and somewhat arduous. If you need a bug net, we recommend purchasing one that’s built into the hammock’s construction. This will save you a step and shorten your overall setup time.

Hammock Suspension Options
A variety of daisy chain and whoopie sling suspension options; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Daisy Chain Straps

Often accompanying entry-level or casual hammocks, daisy chain straps borrow from the world of climbing and are about as easy as it gets when you want to sling up for a quick snooze. Often made from nylon webbing, these straps sport multiple sewn pockets that are used to shift the distance between the hammock and tree. They don’t allow as much fine-tuning of the tension as other systems, but when we’re hammocking for fun or don’t mind the extra weight and bulk, daisy chain straps are what we reach for first.

Kammock Python Tree Straps
The Kammock Python 10 Tree Straps widen at the tree end to better distribute the load, then taper for weight savings; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Many hammock users will be familiar with the ENO Atlas straps ($30), which we find to be easy to use, and appreciate the reflective accent stitching to limit awkward nighttime stumbles. An easy upgrade (at no extra cost, even) is to go with the Kammock Python 10 straps, which add an extra 12 inches to each strap, and are a smidge lighter.

ENO Atlas Hammock Straps
Something we appreciated about the ENO Atlas straps was the extra material in each sewn pocket, meaning your hammock doesn’t hang directly on the bar tacks; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Whoopie Slings

Using the same tech as the paper finger traps we all played with as kids, whoopie slings are adjustable and lightweight suspension systems that are often made from a polyethylene rope called Amsteel. Highly packable, these are the strap style of choice for serious hammock campers.

Whoopie slings will need to connect to a thick tree strap in order to protect the trees you’re hanging from if they aren’t integrated into them. The Whoopie Hook Complete Suspension ($36) from Dutchware is the whole shebang and our favorite of the bunch. 

Hummingbird Single Whoopie Slings
About as simple as simple gets — the whoopie sling adjusts with a simple slide, but holds strong once weighted; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Buckle Suspension

Similar to whoopie slings, buckle suspensions are popular among hammock campers for their adjustability and packability. These straps wrap the tree like a daisy chain, but utilize a cinch buckle on the hammock ends to hold tension.

The Titanium Cinch Buckle Complete Suspension from Dutchware ($35) is the crème de la crème, utilizing space-age materials, but we also like the Complete Polyester Webbing/Buckles Suspension from Warbonnet Outdoors ($23).

Structural Ridgelines

Since hammocks are only suspended at two ends, that leaves plenty of room for things to get out of whack when you’re hanging. In order to get an optimal hanging angle — which is roughly 30 degrees from your hammock strap to the ground — many will use a piece of cordage to connect the ends of the hammock.

Since many hammocks are between 10 to 11 feet long, corresponding ridgelines are available to give you the perfect hang, every time. These will often be between 100 to 110 inches long. The price of the Hammock Gear Structural Ridgeline ($8) is hard to beat, but if you want to play around with your angles, adjustable ridgelines are available from companies like Dutchware.

Ridgelines are also an excellent place to hang things you might need during the night, such as a lantern, or you can use a ridgeline organizer for added versatility.

Kammock Mantis Hammock Shelf
We are big fans of hammocks that have integrated shelves; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Shelter Systems

Outside of the fairest weather, and in areas without mosquitos, hammocks are not an entire campsite unto themselves. They need overhead protection from the rain, underside insulation from the cold, and potentially even more to weatherize your sleep system. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up a simple shortlist of recommended gear to extend the range and forecast of your camping experience.

Hammock Tarps

Hammock tarps are waterproof nylon covers that protect your hammock from the elements — most notably, rain and snow. They function exactly like the rainflies that are found on tents and are made from the same DWR-treated nylon.

A rainfly should cover your entire hammock. We recommend purchasing one designed specifically for the make and model of your hammock, to ensure proper coverage. Some hammock systems, like the Kammok Mantis or Hennessy 4Season Expedition Zip, come with a tarp included in the bundle.

Tarps are typically measured by the length of their intended setup. Adding a few feet of length over the overall length of your hammock is a good way to ensure proper coverage. While there are a number of options for fabrics, the big three are silnylon, silpoly, and Dyneema.

Kammock Mantis Hammock Tarp
Hammock tarps come in many different sizes, from the fair-weather tarp that comes with the Kammock Mantis, to circus-ready affairs with doors; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Silnylon is durable and abrasion-resistant, but stretches the most when wet. Silpoly stays taut in the rain, but is easier to poke a hole through. Dyneema offers the most tensile strength, stiffness, and water resistance, and is the easiest to patch, but costs far more. 

Tarp designs are also a spectrum. On the fast and lightweight end are asymmetric tarps like the Hennessy Rainfly ($50). They offer the least protection from driving rain, especially for ground-bound gear, but offer a simple setup and compact storage. Hexagonal tarps, such as Dutchware’s Bonded Xenon Tarp ($147) offer a step up in protection while still keeping extra fabric to a minimum. 

Rectangular tarps like Onewind’s 12’ Billow ($90) are the Light Heavyweights of the pack, offering maximal coverage and multi-configurability. Often, the ends of the tarps can cinched together, closing them like doors for better weatherproofing. One step up into true, all-weather capability would be tarps with rectangular bodies and dedicated door flaps like Warbonnet’s Superfly ($150).

Hammock tarps set up side-by-side can create a large covered area for hanging in; (photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

Sleeping Pads

Sleeping pads offer an insulation alternative. Given their lower weight-to-warmth ratio than underquilts and a tendency to slide around, they typically work best in double-layered hammocks. Sandwiched between two layers, they sit still, trap a pocket of warm air, and can even make for a flatter lay.  

We find that sleeping pads are better for extending the temperature range of a hammock setup, rather than being its insulation backbone. For nights in the low 60’s, we’ve found budget-friendly, lightweight foam pads line the NEMO Switchback ($55) to be insulative enough on their own. There are also a few dedicated hammock pads, such as Klymit’s Hammock V ($200), which features wings to widen a hammock.

Finally, there are a few dedicated hammock sleeping pad systems. The Hennessy 4Season Expedition Zip notably favors sandwiching a foam pad between your hammock and a water-resistant undercover. Combined with their heat-reflective pad, the system can hang warm and comfortably in 40-degree temps.

The heat-reflective pad offered with some Hennessy hammocks greatly bumps up the warmth without going full underquilt; (photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

Tarp Suspension

There are two main ways of hanging a tarp, and it comes down to the ridgeline used to suspend it. Most tarps come with a split ridgeline — a line attached to either end of the tarp. Split ridgelines keep extra cordage to a minimum and are easy to re-tension if a tarp stretches. However, split ridgelines are more difficult to center perfectly over a hammock, and can be slower to set up.

Continuous ridgelines, meanwhile, are longer, continuous lengths of cordage, typically 30-50 feet long. They offer an incredibly easy setup: Whether with a tensioning device or a know, string the line taut. Clip the tarp into prusik loops, and slide the loops to tension the tarp. 

Continuous ridgelines make setup and centering a breeze. They allow the backbone of a tarp to stay taut while putting less stress directly on the tarp. However, a continuous ridgeline means more rope to wind back up and more weight to carry. Hanging a tarp beneath a continuous ridgeline, especially with stretchy cordage and long spans, can also reduce the height and clearance of a tarp.

Fabric tubes known as snakeskins can make tarp deployment a breeze; (photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

Underquilts

Insulative underquilts keep you from losing body heat through your exposed underside while lying in a hammock. On warm summer nights, an underquilt may not be necessary, but when it’s frigid out, they’re a must-have.

Basically, an underquilt is a blanket that hangs under your hammock and conforms to the shape of your body. The underquilt prevents heat from seeping out through your underside. Some high-end cold-weather underquilts are rated all the way down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

They come in different lengths including full-body, half-length, or three-quarter length. Of course, a full-length underquilt will be the warmest option, but for those concerned with the weight of their kit, shorter quilts can be a great solution. Similarly, down stuffing offers the greatest warmth-to-weight ratio. This is reflected in cost. Synthetic filling offers a budget alternative, but with a weight penalty.

The bug net of the Onewind Aerie envelops the entire hammock, and requires you to enter from below; (photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

Bug Nets

If you’re heading to notoriously buggy regions like the Pacific Northwest or the Colorado alpine, a bug net is essential. In a tent, bugs aren’t too much of a concern because tents typically come with fully enclosed mesh bodies. However, without a net in an open hammock, you’ll likely become dinner for hordes of mosquitoes.

For hammocks without integrated nets, separate ones are sold that fully enclose the hammock and usually open and close with a zipper. These have been available for some time, and we’ve had great luck (no bites yet) with the ENO Guardian Bug Net ($65). Hammock camping together? The Birds Nest Bug Net ($115) from Dutchware is designed to hang over two adjacent hammocks.

Many hammock manufacturers now are offering integrated bug net solutions as add-ons to their hammocks, using a zipper system for quick on-and-off deployment. The Warbonnet Blackbird XLC and Kammok Mantis are in this group.

Kammock Mantis Bug Net
The integrated bug netting of the Kammock Mantis was easy to manage since it incorporates four total zipper sliders; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Durability

Because most hammocks are made from thin nylon, the denier rating of the material will tell you a lot about the overall durability of the hammock. The denier rating describes the thickness of the fibers, and the higher the denier rating, the more abrasion-resistant the hammock. Ripstop nylon is also a trusty choice for hammock construction.

In general, treat your hammock like the fragile piece of gear it is. Because hammock material is thin, it’s vulnerable to ripping, melting, and fraying. If you handle your hammock with gentle care, it should last for many years — especially if it’s high-quality like the options on this list.

Weather Protection

Some hammocks are made from material that is treated with a DWR coating. While this can be helpful, ideally your hammock will never actually get wet.

Be sure to set up your hammock so that it is as protected from the elements as possible.  In cold, wet weather, top and under covers can provide extra protection for underquilts and trap more warmth around you. Gear-wise, a quality rainfly will go the longest way towards improving the weather range of your hang. However, smart positioning is paramount. Even a generous tarp can struggle in driving rain and cold winds, when hung at the wrong height, with a bad angle, at a site with no windbreaks.

As a source of shelter, a hammock really can be as effective as a tent in most scenarios. With proper setup and the right accessories, a night in a hammock should be warm, cozy, and dry — even when it’s pouring rain or dumping snow.

Hummingbird Single Ultralight Hammock
What the Hummingbird Single trades in versatility, it gives in overall ultralight weight and packability; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Accessories

These days, there are a whole lot of interesting and potentially useful accessories available on the hammock market, aside from just bug nets and underquilts.

A perennial favorite of ours are snakeskins, sleeves that protect hammocks and tarps, and streamline setups. Simply suspend your hammock and slide the sleeves back — or leave it wrapped and out of the way while doing camp chores.

Dutchware’s Cord Winder wrangles unruly ridgelines with ease; (photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

On the extreme end, Dutchware’s Anaconda ($95) can swallow a hammock, underquilt, and top quilt or sleeping bag, all into one package. Hennessy’s SnakeSkins ($18), which come free with their hammocks, are wide enough to pack both hammocks and rainflies together. For campers who want to keep their packs light, wallets full, and rainfly and hammock separate, Onewind’s 12’ Two-Piece Sleeves ($18) provide a cheap, ultralight option. 

We’ve found that accessories for rewrapping ridgelines and tie-out cordage like Dutchware’s Cord Winder ($0.75-2.50) and Onewind’s Mini Tarp Reel ($25) can also streamline tarp suspensions — keeping line untangled and more readily at hand. There are also numerous accessories for expanding the storage of a hammock setup. Favorites of ours for keeping gear dry and off the ground include Hammock Gear’s Ridgeline Organizer and Onewind’s Pack Cover/Gear Hammock Hybrid.

Versatility

The primary job of a camping hammock is to provide a comfortable and reliable shelter for sleeping or lounging outside. That said, a little bonus versatility is always a good thing.

Though we don’t generally recommend sharing a hammock overnight with another person for comfort’s sake, two-person hammocks tend to be more versatile than one-person hammocks. On our list, the ENO DoubleNest is over 6 feet wide, meaning it can easily be used as a two-person lounging zone, or as a nice couch to sit in sideways during restful days in camp.

While some users may shy away from extra material because it means extra weight, it really is a nice luxury to be able to use your hammock for more than just hunkering down at night.

ENO DoubleNest Seaside Hang
A simple sling, the ENO DoubleNest can be used for one, or two hangers; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Price

The price of a hammock is really twofold: The price of the hammock itself, and the cost including the rest of the gear you’d need to make it trail-ready. After testing so many hammocks, we’ve found most of them to fit into 4 categories. 

Budget-Minded Loungers and Trail Hammocks

On the low end of the price spectrum are entry-level, lounging hammocks, like the ENO DoubleNest ($75) and Grand Trunk TRUNKTECH ($75). Almost always gathered-end, the fabrics on these hammocks range, but their cuts typically skew short and wide — aiming for a flat lay by being a double hammock.

Budget trail hammocks and budget loungers are often only dollars apart, but trail hammocks will skew more toward backpacking use, and offer up more functionalities such as bug nets, ridgelines, and potentially some integrated storage options.

Hammocks like Onewind’s Aerie ($70) and Northers ($102) or OneTigris’ Kompound ($80) are excellent examples of these easy-entry points into hammock camping.

At $70 all told, the Onewind Aerie hammock system is a steal for those looking to break into the scene; (photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

Mid-Ranged Movers: These are typically the Hennessys and Kammoks of the hammock world. Mid-ranged hammocks are typically a step up in both construction quality and price. These hammocks tend to find more options for different fabrics and versions of various hammocks. 

Hennessy, for example, offers numerous versions of its popular Explorer and Expedition hammocks, all of which utilize an asymmetric design for a flatter lay, with less fabric. Kammok’s Mantis ($270 with tarp), meanwhile, leverages Bluesign-approved materials, pullouts to keep bug netting further away from your face, and tie-outs galore to support a diagonal lay. 

The extras are often included and are well-engineered. Likewise, hammocks in this price range tend to be supported by a small array of well-designed accessories like tarp systems and shelter add-ons — to improve the hammocks’ capabilities.

(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

All-Purpose Premium: Customizability and comfort are king among high-end hammock brands like Warbonnet and Dutchware. Hammocks like the Blackbird XLC (starting at $200) and Chameleon (starting at $135) take the first point to the nth degree, with dozens of potential configurations, reversible asymmetry, and numerous modular accessories to ensure that, no matter the conditions, you have exactly the hammock you want.

Some smaller makers, such as Dream Hammocks, even offer completely custom versions of multiple models. High-end bridge hammocks like the Ridgerunner (starting at $130) and Banyan (starting at $175)  still offer a great deal of customizability. However, premium comfort is their stock in trade, offering, and offer, for our money, the most comfortable sleep in the woods this side of a cabin.

(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

FAQ

Yes. When set up properly for the given conditions, hammocks are a safe alternative to tents when camping. Make sure you know how to set up your hammock before you go, and don’t forget to check the weather.

Accessories like bug nets and rainflies help ensure that you’ll be prepared for sleeping outside in a hammock.

Tents and hammocks are different, but they both provide adequate and reliable shelter for sleeping outside. Personal preference will determine whether you decide to use a hammock or a tent.

That said, there’s nothing better than a hammock for that sweet sensation of being gently rocked to sleep.

The short answer is no. Generally, a hammock is colder than sleeping in a tent, as the ground offers a surprising amount of insulation. That said, a hammock that’s geared out with proper insulation and shelter can be comfortable and warm — even in subzero temperatures. Be sure to find the right sleeping pad or underquilt for maximum warmth.

For the most severe winter conditions, four-season tents are still the gold standard.

A double hammock is made to support two people and is usually rated to safely hold at least 400 pounds. Two people can share a double hammock, but it’s usually pretty uncomfortable to actually sleep together with another person in a hammock.

Many single users prefer double hammocks. The extra material offers additional space to spread out, and some sleepers like to wrap the hammock’s material around them like a cocoon. Double hammocks are generally heavier, but they offer some nice comfort that you may find is worth the weight.

Sizing a hammock will come down to two dimensions: width and length. Width has been fairly standardized into ‘single’ and ‘double’ occupant designations, with single hammocks being around 5 feet in width, and double hammocks being around 6. A single hammock will save some weight and bulk over a double hammock, while a double will be more useful for hanging out in camp.

The length of your hammock will play a bigger role for those who are looking to sleep in their hammocks, with the range falling between 7 and 11 feet. For most people, a 9-10-foot-long hammock will suit all of their needs. Closely related to the length of your hammock will be the ridgeline length, which is a structural cord that runs between the ends of your hammock, and suspends the fabric at the correct angle.

When it comes to tuning in your ridgeline length, the consensus is to go with around 5/6, or 83%, of your hammock length.

First, choose a tree that is healthy and can support your weight. These will typically be 6 inches in diameter or greater, and living. Then, use a suspension system that can spread out the forces across the bark. A wide daisy-chain strap will be sufficient, but for more delicate trees you may choose to use a set of tree savers, which are straps that better pad and distribute these forces.

For the DIY types: tree savers can be improvised with strips of cardboard, or by using small sticks in between the strap and the tree. For the rest of us, Sea to Summit offers the Hammock Tree Protectors ($20).

Camping for Beginners: Essential Guide for First-Timers

Whether you’re taking the kids out for a weekend in nature or looking for a solo escape from the city, we’ve got the complete guide to camping for beginners right here.

The Best Camping Tents of 2024

Make the most of your home away from home by choosing the best camping tent for your adventure. We found the top car camping and family camping tents for every budget and use.

About the author

teobrito.com

Leave a Comment