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The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024

No matter how you like to get your swing on, there’s bound to be a hammock made for you. Here we review a variety of styles to satisfy a wide range of budgets and needs.

A Female Hiker Hangs in the ENO DoubleNest Camping Hammock in Washington State(Photo/Nick Belcaster)
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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.

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 we think are the best choices in 2024. 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. 

The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024


Best Overall Camping Hammock

Kammok Mantis

Specs

  • 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
Product Badge The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024Photo/Kammok

Pros

  • Light
  • Sturdy with well-thought-out details
  • All-integrated system

Cons

  • Fixed-length ridgeline doesn’t work for everyone
  • Daisy chain straps aren’t the most packable for hammock camping
Best Budget Hammock

Klymit Traverse

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Price
  • Light and durable
  • Includes suspension straps and carabiners

Cons

  • Minimal features
  • 9 foot length won't fit everyone
Best Hammock for Everyday Use

Eagle Nest Outfitters DoubleNest

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Ease of setup
  • Large ecosystem of ENO accessories
  • Many color and print options

Cons

  • No included suspension system
  • The extra fabric can be a bit much when used solo
Best Four-Season Hammock

Hennessy 4Season Expedition Zip

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Can easily adjust to battle a wide range of temperatures
  • Asymmetric design allows for a comfortable sleeping position 

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Can be a bit complicated to set up
Best Ultralight Hammock

Hummingbird Hammocks Single Hammock

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Ultralight weight
  • Created up to military parachute specifications

Cons

  • Small overall size might not fit everyone
  • Doesn’t include a suspension system
Best Modular Tent Hammock

Warbonnet Blackbird XLC

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Easy to build to your specs
  • Can be set up on the ground
  • Comes standard with zip-in mosquito netting

Cons

  • Maybe too many options for most people
  • Ordering from a smaller hammock company can mean out-of-stock options
Most Versatile Hammock

Dutchware Chameleon

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Available in many different fabric weights and prints
  • Different bug nets and top covers increase adaptability

Cons

  • Will require a little work to fine-tune
  • Zipper on the edge can catch on things
Best of the Rest

REI Co-op Outward Hammock

Specs

  • Total weight 6 lbs., 15 oz.
  • Max capacity 600 lbs.
  • Dimensions 7' long, 56" wide
  • Materials Polyester
  • Best for Sitting in couch style to enjoy the view
The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024

Pros

  • Ease of setup
  • Durable fabric
  • Pockets at either side

Cons

  • Not comfortable to sleep in
  • Heavy

Grand Trunk TrunkTech

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Very lightweight and strong for the money
  • Full 11 ft. long hammock

Cons

  • Suspension system not included

Eagle Nest Outfitters Sub6

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Ultralight weight
  • Very compact stuff sack

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a suspension system

Nakie Recycled Hammock

Specs

  • Total weight 2 lbs., 17 oz.
  • Max capacity 500 lbs.
  • Dimensions 9.8 ft. long, 70 in. wide 
  • Materials 100% recycled nylon
  • Best for Taking with you everywhere in the outdoors
The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024

Pros

  • Made from 100% recycled material
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Few features
  • Short daisy chain straps

Lawson Blue Ridge Camping

Specs

  • 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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Fairly bulky and heavy
  • Complicated design

BE Outfitter Campo

Specs

  • Total weight 1 lb., 0.8 oz. (no straps or carabiners)
  • Max capacity Suggested one adult
  • Dimensions 7.5 ft. long, 55 in. wide
  • Materials 70-denier ripstop nylon, waterproofed with DWR
  • Best for Those who like versatility in their camp hammock
The Best Camping Hammocks of 2024

Pros

  • Turns into a poncho!

Cons

  • You can’t wear it while lounging in it
  • Doesn’t come with suspension straps

ENO Eagle Nest Outfitters SkyLite

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Lay-flat comfort in a small, portable package

Cons

  • Can’t remove the bug net
  • Lower max capacity

Tentsile Trillium 3-Person

Specs

  • 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

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Can sleep three adults comfortably

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Takes some time to set up and take down

Camping Hammock Comparison Chart

Camping HammockTotal WeightMax CapacityDimensionsMaterialsPrice
Kammok Mantis2 lbs., 14.5 oz.500 lbs.10 ft. long x 56 in. wide. 115-inch ridgeline40-denier diamond ripstop nylon hammock body$250
Klymit Traverse1 lb., 12.8 oz.400 lbs.9.1 ft. long, 55 in. wide75-denier polyester hammock body$65
Eagle Nest Outfitters
DoubleNest
1 lb., 3 oz.400 lbs.9.5 ft long, 76 in. wideFreeWave 70-denier Nylon taffeta$75
Hennessy 4Season
Expedition Zip
5 lbs., 3 oz.250 lbs.10 ft. long, 59 in. wideOne layer of 70-denier nylon, and one layer of 40-denier$290
Hummingbird Hammocks
Single 
5.2 oz.300 lbs.8.6 ft. long, 47 in. wide1.1 oz. calendered ripstop nylon, certified reserve parachute material$70
Warbonnet Outdoors
Blackbird XLC
From 1 lb., 5.75 oz.350-400 lbs.11 ft. long, 62 in. wide. 112 in. ridgeline40-denier Dream-Tex ripstop nylon$200
Dutchware Chameleon1 lb., 3 oz. in Hexon 1.6 fabric200-350 lbs. 11 ft. long, 57 in. width. 100 in. ridgeline lengthAvailable in Hexon 1.0, 1.2, 1.6, and Cloud 1.4 fabrics$135
REI Co-op Outward 6 lbs., 15 oz.600 lbs.7 ft. long, 56 inc. widePolyester$199
Grand Trunk TrunkTech11.7 oz. 500 lbs.11 ft. long, 58 in. wideTRUNKTECH 40-denier 1.1 oz. diamond ripstop nylon$70
Eagle Nest
Outfitters Sub6
5.8 oz.300 lbs.9 ft. long, 48 in. wide30-denier ripstop nylon$70
Nakie Recycled
Hammock
2 lbs., 17 oz.500 lbs.9.8 ft. long, 70 in. wide100% recycled nylon$122
Lawson Blue
Ridge Camping
4 lbs., 15 oz.275 lbs.7.5 ft. long, 90 in. wideRipstop nylon and poly mix$229
BE Outfitter Campo1 lb., 0.8 oz.Suggested one adult7.5 ft. long, 55 in. wide70-denier ripstop nylon, waterproofed with DWR$84
Eagle Nest
Outfitters SkyLite
2 lbs.250 lbs.7 ft. long, 36 in. wide40-denier NewWave nylon$170
Tentsile Trillium
3-Person
17 lbs., 1 oz.880 lbs.13.5 ft. x 13.5 ft. x 13.5 ft.240-denier nylon/polyester composite, PU-coated$419
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)

Why You Should Trust Us

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.

Senior Editor Nick Belcaster has been camping in hammocks for the better part of five years, and it’s fair to say that he’s got the hang of it by now. In order to test the hammocks in our line-up, he slung up between the cedars and hemlocks of the Pacific Northwest, the granite boulders of Joshua Tree, and just about everywhere in between, paying close mind to different materials, suspension systems, and the ever-important ‘fun factor.’

Over the years, the GJ team has tested all kinds of hammocks in just about every setting you can imagine. From roadside car camping to thousand-mile thru-hikes, our hammock testing cycle never ends.

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 durability, ease of setup, and overall comfort.

Kammok Mantis
The Kammok Mantis is the 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.

There’s a certain bliss that comes with being suspended in a hammock, rocking gently as the breeze reminds you of your weightlessness. 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.

We recommend all the hammocks on this list. They’re all potentially good choices, but we want to help you choose the best one for your specific camping needs.

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

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 laying 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
(Photo/Nick Belcaster)

Bridge or Spreader Bar Hammocks

Spreader bar or bridge hammocks are your old-school porch swings, and utilize a rigid bar at either end of the fabric to create a broad sling to lay in. These hammocks are much more like a floating cot or bed in practice, and can be very comfortable for those that struggle with getting the perfect lie in a gathered-end hammock.

This style can also provide a good bit more space on the interior of the hammock, and work much better for those who sleep on their stomachs. Setup can be a bit more involved, but once you have the technique down, the type of lay is much more replicable over gathered-end hammocks.

That said, these hammocks aren’t the best for true backpacking scenarios, where they take up much more space both in your backpack and in your campsite. In our testing, the REI Co-op Outward, Lawson Blue Ridge Camping, and Eagle Nest Outfitters SkyLite are all great examples of bridge-style hammocks.

REI Co-op Outward Hammock
Spreader-bar style hammocks open up the possibilities and allow for sitting perpendicular to the length of the hammock; (photo/Ryan Baker)

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 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)

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. 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).

Accessories

These days, there are a whole lot of interesting and potentially useful accessories available on the hammock market. Accessories can be essential in customizing your hammock to best suit your camping needs. Among some of the most useful and common accessories are hammock tarps, insulative underquilts, and bug nets.

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)

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. This will ensure proper coverage. Some hammock systems, like the Kammok Mantis or Hennessy 4Season Expedition Zip, come with a tarp included in the bundle.

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)

Many hammock owners like to use oversized rainflies that create an additional covered area outside the hammock that can be used for cooking during a rainstorm. Just remember: Extra material means extra weight. A tarp like the Kammok Kuhli ($170) is a luxuriously large space to find yourself hanging under.

Tarps are often measured as a ridgeline length, as well as a diagonal length, depending on how you like to deploy your hammock tarp. Adding a few feet of length over the overall length of your hammock is a good way to ensure proper coverage. We’ve had good success with the ENO ProFly tarp ($85), which is 10 feet, 6 inches across the ridgeline.

Even hammock tarps have a number of accessories to get them up and running. Namely, you’ll need some cordage to suspend and anchor them, as well as ground stakes to keep them there. Some will even utilize something known as a ‘snake skin’ stuff sack in order to quickly store the tarp when not in use.

Underquilts and Sleeping Pads

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 and are filled with either down or synthetic insulation.

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.

Ohio-based Hammock Gear has long been a leader in making fine underquilts, and their Economy Phoenix underquilt ($210) can be an excellent way to jump into a warm system for less dough. The Enlightened Equipment Revolt ($225) also gets high marks from our testers, and is available in many different temperature ratings. Want built-in overstuffing? The Jacks R Better Greylock 3 ($200) comes with 25% extra as standard!

For hammock campers that prefer not to use an underquilt, a good sleeping pad can be a reasonable alternative.

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 Outdoors 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. This usually means a good-quality rainfly, but the positioning of your hammock is also important. Avoid super-windy areas.

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)

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.

FAQ

Is hammock camping safe?

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.

Is a hammock better than a tent?

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.

Is a hammock warmer than a tent?

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.

Is a double hammock too big for one person?

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.

What size camping hammock do I need?

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.

How do you hang a hammock without damaging trees?

First, choose a tree that is healthy and can support your weight. These will typically be six 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).

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