The 10 Best Camping Hammocks
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in July of 2015. Rather than roughing it on the hard floor of a tent when you go camping, swing yourself to a peaceful sleep in no time in one of these comfortable hammocks. They’re durable, portable, water-resistant, and can be attached securely to trees, poles, or boat masts. Many are equipped with nautical-grade lines, sturdy carabiners, protective mosquito nets, and tarps that help to block rain and wind. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 22, 2021:
We're excited to share that a majority of our selections remain at the top of their field in terms of performance and cost-effectiveness. The few small changes we made include upgrading the Grand Trunk Ultralight to the Grand Trunk Nano7 and replacing the Oak Creek Outdoor Lost Valley with the similar but more affordable YCD Double. You might notice that the YCD is among those marketed as "two-person" camping hammocks, but there's a caveat to that. We've tried sleeping two people in one hammock, and it's just not very comfortable. You almost certainly would want your own hammock to yourself for an extended camping trip. With that in mind, a double option like the YCD is especially comfortable for one person, largely because of the increased space.
The other new addition is the Eagle's Nest Outfitters Sub6, which isn't entirely different from the ultralight Grand Trunk option, but is about one whole gram lighter. No everyone will care about this, but the most dedicated through-hikers are among those who might, and at its price point, the performance is impossible to ignore.
Finally, while it's not a new selection, we've bumped the Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro to the new #1 spot. It's not designed for ultralight backpacking and you'll need to buy your own rain cover, but its construction quality and bug protection are both about as good as can be.
February 16, 2020:
Sleeping in a hammock when camping is often much more comfortable than sleeping in a tent on the ground, since you won’t have to worry about bumpy surfaces or pooling water. A hammock’s gentle rocking can lull you into a comfortable sleep, and since you can choose to elevate your feet above your body, this can reduce any swelling your legs and feet are experiencing after a long day of hiking.
Today we added in the Eagle's Nest Outfitters Camo, which blends in nicely with nature, thanks to its multicolored pattern of red, green, blue, and purple. The included nautical grade line and aluminum carabiners ensure it attaches securely to trees, while the breathable nylon taffeta keeps you comfortable throughout the night. It’s built with a 400-pound weight capacity and stuffs easily into the included compression sack. When folded up, it’s around the size of a grapefruit, which won’t compete for much space in your backpack. It’s made by a company based in Asheville, North Carolina that started off selling hammocks out of a minivan at music festivals and community gatherings. Each sale results in a donation to nonprofit organizations that focus on the environment.
Also coming on board is the Wise Owl Outfitters Portable, which is available in both single and double sizes, and its generous 9-foot tree straps give you more setup options than many. Its breathable 210 thread count parachute nylon is both comfortable and dries quickly, and it features sturdy, triple interlocking stitching. It’s available in a multitude of colors, and helpful setup videos can be found online. It comes at a budget-friendly price and is also backed by a satisfaction guarantee.
We removed the IsYoung Parachute model, which is rather difficult to fit into the included bag once it’s folded up. Also making its departure is the GoRoam Pro, which is unavailable at this time.
Since many hammocks do not come with the components you need to hang them, be sure you find a durable set by checking out our list of best hammock straps.
Blackbird Hammock A traditional ripstop weave combined with a diamond grid gives this hammock a comfortable cotton-like texture. Its built-in, zippered net keeps out mosquitoes and no-see-ums, and can be folded over the side when it’s not needed. It features multiple suspension options, and can also be set up on the ground as a bug bivy when you place proper padding underneath to protect the hammock’s fabric. Unlike many others, this one comes with two square feet of storage space in the form of a shelf that’s adjacent to the hammock’s body. A foot-box gives you plenty of legroom. It’s made in the United States and is available is more than two dozen colors. warbonnetoutdoors.com
James River Bridge Ultralight Using two different sizes of spreader bars, this hammock gives you extra shoulder room toward the top and less space toward the bottom to reduce hyperextension of the knees. It can support up to 250 pounds and truly allows you to lie flat for a comfortable night’s rest. Including the handy storage bag, it weighs just a tad over a pound. It measures 81 inches in length and 36 inches in width, and its dark olive color blends right in with nature. jacksrbetter.com
Ditch The Tent
Perhaps you imagine sitting on your porch in the middle of the afternoon in a rocking chair and drinking ice-cold lemonade.
When you think of the lazy dog days of summer, what comes to mind? Perhaps you imagine sitting on your porch in the middle of the afternoon in a rocking chair and drinking ice-cold lemonade. Or perhaps you think of spending time with family indoors and away from the oppressive heat. It's a safe bet that at some point during the summer, you've made use of a hammock or you know someone who benefits from one to catch a nap outdoors during the day. Take this idea a step further with you on a camping trip and you've got a unique sleeping solution that's easy to set up without having to depend on lugging around heavy tent equipment during your travels.
So, aside from the obvious benefit of having less to carry and transport to the wilderness, how else does a camping hammock benefit you? The major appeal to hammock camping is that it provides a more comfortable sleeping situation above the dirt as opposed to being stuck sleeping on a pad inside a tent that's sitting on topsoil. Depending on the preferred style and location of your camping destination, it can be easier to leverage two trees in close proximity for rigging a hammock than it would be to fuss with a tent on the ground and to lay a sleeping pad down.
As the majority of camping hammocks attach to trees and other objects through the use of removable webbing straps and a variety of suspension systems, this minimizes negative impact on the surrounding environment. The majority of a camping hammock's weight is supported by some type of polyethylene material and is typically lightweight and strong. Another common part of the hammock's construction is a dedicated tarpaulin (or tarp), which comes in a variety of styles and shapes to suit a user's needs. Due to the heavy-duty nature of tarp material, this comes in handy when setting up within an area with the potential for a lot of rain.
Sleeping above the ground also keeps the insects away and prevents rainwater runoff from accumulating at the hammock's base, which would happen on a tent pad following a storm. Many camping hammocks are also equipped with extra insulation to keep you warm when the chill sets in and they also come with built-in mosquito nets to keep you from being bitten in the night.
In contrast to a camping hammock, a tent typically leaves an indentation in the ground or on the grass where your campsite was. The variety of straps and suspension systems used for hammock camping also allows travelers to set up shop in places that would otherwise prove inhospitable when dealing with traditional tent equipment. With a camping hammock, the world can practically become your oyster by creating opportunities to use the hammock on rocky paths, hills, and slopes.
A Brief History Of The Camping Hammock
Although there's no exact date for the invention of the first hammock, it is believed that the hammock has a known history at least several hundred years long dating back to pre-Columbian Latin America and the Native Americans, noted by colonists in the West Indies during the Spanish conquest.
Such hammocks also provided a natural sense of motion and balance on a moving vessel.
The earliest hammocks were woven out of tree bark, followed by sisal fibers due to their abundance. As one can imagine, the driving factor of the decision to create the hammock in both Central and South America was that it protected people from both disease transmission and insect stings. Being suspended in the air provided additional safety from poisonous animals on the ground, so a person wouldn't have to take their life into their hands when trying to take a nap.
Christopher Columbus was primarily responsible for introducing the hammock to Europe when he brought several of them back with him to Spain from the Bahamas. By the end of the fourteenth century, hammocks were used by sailors on naval ships for sleeping on gun decks when the lack of space did not afford them bunks of their own. Traditional naval hammocks also wrapped around a sailor like a cocoon, preventing falls and injuries. Such hammocks also provided a natural sense of motion and balance on a moving vessel. Naval use of hammocks continued well into the twentieth century.
In modern times, hammocks have also been applied to space travel and, of course, for camping and lounging purposes.
What To Look For In A Camping Hammock
Keeping one's self dry, warm, comfortable, and protected from insects are some of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a hammock for camping purposes. For this reason, finding a hammock made from lightweight, breathable, and durable materials will be key. Since you may be hiking quite a distance with your hammock, it should also be easy to store in a backpack.
For this reason, finding a hammock made from lightweight, breathable, and durable materials will be key.
As it's more likely than not that your campsite will have mosquitoes and other insects flying around, a good camping hammock will have a sturdy mosquito net and double zippers to ensure that you'll be fully enclosed and protected as you sleep through the night.
There are many available types of strapping and suspension systems from which to choose and this can all depend on the intended environment. Additional anchor points in the strapping system can also make tension adjustments easier to accomplish, which improves your level of comfort.
Some camping hammocks are also large enough to support two people, which can make for a romantic getaway with a loved one.