Strong materials and an intuitive design combine in the Kammok Mantis, an all-in-one hammock system that recently launched on Kickstarter. We got our hands on an early sample for this first look review.
Kammok returns to hammock basics with a simple system that pairs thoughtful details and sturdy but lightweight construction. The hammock brand based in Austin, Texas, found its niche with ultralight, durable camping hammocks.
Launching today, the Mantis system aims to provide campers an all-in-one system that takes care of the elements. With the Mantis, you get something to protect you from rain, wind, and bugs.
It comes with a bug net, rainfly, and part of the Kickstarter’s four-season package — a Firebelly underquilt to keep you warm. And Kammok designed each component to integrate into one another for easy hammock camping.
I tested an early sample over the weekend and found the Mantis to be a packable, pleasurable option for hammock camping.
Kammok Mantis Hammock Review
Kammok began its business mining premium materials from other outdoor segments — like climbing and backpacking gear — for its hammocks.
The brand’s latest offerings, the Mantis and ultralight Mantis UL, go live on Kickstarter today. Early-bird discounts start at $189 ($219 for the UL). Retail will be $229 for the regular and $259 for the ultralight version.
A few years ago, Kammok developed another all-in-one concept, the Sunda. An overly engineered tent that converted into a hammock, the Sunda turned out to be a bit too fiddly and cumbersome for some users (though Kammok will update it for fall 2019).
The Mantis, however, positions itself as a simpler, lighter system that is comfortable. Made from Kammok’s strong and light Gravitas 40-denier nylon fabric and flyweight Dragonet mesh, the whole Mantis system comes in at a trail weight of 2 pounds 8 ounces (2 pounds 12 ounces packed).
Meanwhile, the UL, made from even lighter Levitas 20-denier ripstop nylon, has a trail weight of 1 pound 15.5 ounces (2 pounds 3 ounces packed). The fly for both options is the same Patagium 15-denier nylon (about 8 ounces) with a polyurethane and DWR coating.
Kammok Mantis: Setup
The Mantis comes in a roll-top bag with three slots on the back to hold six aluminum stakes. And, like ENO’s TechNest, the stuff sack is permanently attached to one end of the hammock, making it almost impossible to lose.
When the hammock is stowed, one of the carabiners sits conveniently on the outside of the bag, handy for attaching to anything. The Mantis comes with Python straps for securing to trees.
Another bonus: When gathering up the hammock after use, simply leave one end attached to the tree strap while you stuff to prevent the hammock from touching the ground.
Setup is straightforward; I figured it out in about two minutes with no directions. The bug net was the only puzzling part. It has “wings” that you need to stake out to lift the net off your body.
The net has a cord-and-bungee combo for staking out. But you can still swing in the hammock when the net is staked down.
And when you’re lying down, the Mantis and bug net have plenty of shoulder room and a mesh pocket for storage. The issue with the net is you can’t easily adjust tension while lying down in the Mantis.
Sleeping in the Mantis
Once set up, climbing into the Mantis is simple. There’s a choice of two zippers along either side, with one located just below the side wings to easily situate your upper body. The other, longer zipper runs the rest of the way down the hammock, so swinging your legs up and in is an easy task.
The cord on top of the bug net becomes taught once you clip into both tree straps. This eliminates any need to fuss with adjusting it.
The fly deploys easily as well. Anodized aluminum clips hook onto the cord after wrapping around the tree. These tighten with cord cams. Meanwhile, plastic grommets on each corner of the fly look sturdy and offer six points for staking. And two points near the head of the fly are designed to attach to the stakes already in the ground for spreading the wings out.
Finally, a special mesh panel fitted into the top section of the bug net offers a darker contrast, ideal for night sky gazing.
Kammok Mantis Hammock: Final Thoughts
With few options for all-in-one hammock camping systems, the Kammok Mantis is a welcome treat for hammock-lovers. The Mantis is simple to set up, comfortable to use, and even easier to stow away. Plus, its low weight and packability make it a top choice for campers dedicated to swinging from the trees.