The 10 Best Camping Hammocks
10. Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro
- generous ten-foot length
- keeps out no-see-ums too
- included carabiners have sharp edges
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
9. Lawson Blue Ridge
- opaque and detachable rainfly
- feels very stable
- weight capacity of 275 pounds
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
8. Tiny Big Adventure Eclypse II
- provides entire-body support
- ultra-light for easy carrying
- triple stitching at strategic points
|Brand||Tiny Big Adventure|
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
7. Eagles Nest Outfitters Portable
- hardwearing carabiners
- lots of colors to choose from
- straps must be bought separately
|Brand||Eagles Nest Outfitters|
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
6. Serac Classic
- high sides for extra protection
- 5-year warranty included
- not good for very tall users
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. IsYoung Parachute
- nearly unbreakable nylon ropes
- simple to fold up
- difficult to get into and out of
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
4. GoRoam Pro
- mosquito net doesn't droop
- tree straps won't stretch
- comes with carabiner clips
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
3. Hennessy Expedition
- bottom entry for easy access
- made of strong nylon fabric
- includes mosquito netting
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
2. Grand Trunk Ultralight
- high level of mildew resistance
- can be machine washed
- perfect gift for avid backpackers
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
1. Clark NX-270 Four-Season
- six storage pouches
- well-insulated interior
- includes waterproof ropes
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
Ditch The Tent
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 in 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.
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.
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.