People who love the outdoors and go on adventures understand the necessity of packing light. It means that you would only bring the basics, including your sleeping material. It is a good thing that camping enthusiasts now have other options aside from using tents. It is no longer unusual to go tent-less as long as you have hammock.
These hammocks have been around for several years and continue to gain popularity due to many campers’ desire for comfort and safety while enjoying their favorite outdoor activity.
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Hammock Camping is a fun idea. It’s a form of camping wherein you’ll sleep in a hammock in place of a tent. Instead of looking for space where a tent would fit, you’d look for a place where there are a couple of trees sturdy enough to carry your weight. They come in a variety of styles and sizes. Unlike the traditional netted structure, it’s provide back relief and thorough comfort while you sleep.
History of Hammocks
One of the first people who ever used hammocks was the Mayan civilization in Central America more than 1000 years ago. The term, which means fish net, came from Arawakan, a culture of the Taino people from the Bahamas. The original hammocks were created for protection rather than leisure. The suspension protected people from insects and dangerous animals.
They were introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus, who brought them with him after witnessing how they were widely used in the Bahamas. Canvas and cotton were brought to America in the era of the Spaniard’s colonization, which paved the way for the sturdier design of the material similar to what’s being used up to this day.
By the middle of the 16th century, the English and Spanish navies utilized lightweight hammock and the likes as their on-deck sleeping options. They also used as portable beds onboard ships lasted for centuries, from the First and Second World War, Civil War, and the Vietnam War.
They were also used as a substitute for ordinary cots at British prisons by the late 19th century. Aside from being cheaper, they are also a space saver and easier to maintain. In the United States, it was first used by wealthy families for leisure and as temporary sleeping solutions for farmers.
Hammocks continue its popularity these days due to their comfort and ease of use. They are now being installed in homes and offices to provide a creative space to work or nap.
Hammocks or Tents?
If you love the outdoors, it is recommended that you invest in a tent and a packable hammock. If you’d be going on an outdoor adventure along with your family, it is better to bring a big tent where you’d all fit.
On the other hand, you can grab an ultralight hammock if it’s just going to be you, or you’d be tagging along with other solo campers. You can also look for the best double hammock if you often go on your outdoor trips with your partner so that you’d both be comfortable while feeling secured since you’d spend the nights in the same hammock.
If you still bring a tent on your adventures even though you often go alone or with one companion, you may want to check the following reasons why it is high time to consider the best backpacking hammock:
- It can be converted and used as an upright chair when you only want to lounge, relax, or have a comfortable place to sit.
- Gives off a different vibe. If you love the outdoors but can’t help being conscious of what’s crawling on the floor, it is the best option to help you get quality sleep while camping out. It will give you a different vibe when you are suspended, and the wind is lightly rocking you to sleep.
- Compact and lighter load. They are easy to carry and install. They don’t require stakes, pegs, and poles, so your load will be lighter. This will make it easier for you to move, set up your sleeping material, and disassemble and pack them when it’s time to move or go.
- More options. There are many types you can use, including the hammock tent that gives you similar features as a regular tent, only in this case, it is suspended in the air.
How to Choose the Hammock
Before buying a backpacking hammock, you have to consider your options with regards to the following factors:
Sizes and Specs
The options in sizes of a backpacking hammock are limited when compared to the varieties available in tents. For safety purposes, they come in sizes either for a single or double person use. If buying for individual use, get the kind of hammock a foot or two feet taller than your height. The typical width is about 4 to 6 feet. If you want more space, you can buy one intended for double person use. The downside to this choice is that you’d be carrying heavier luggage.
Comfort and Durability
It’s important that you get quality sleep when you are in the outdoors and have planned on doing adventures that require strength and a sound mind.
Buy the Right Gears and Accessories
While camping out with the best hiking hammock as your sleeping nook may sound perfect, you have to be ready for anything. You have to think about whatever could happen once you are out there and far from the comforts of your home. Bring all the accessories and gear you’ll need to ensure safety throughout your trip.
One of the most useful features is waterproof pockets. This feature will keep your valuables dry when the rain pours while you are out there. A tarp will also come in handy to get some sleep while it rains.
To protect yourself from the cold weather, get accessories you can use to keep you comfortable and warm. The most useful ones include a pillow, a built-in sleeping bag, and an under-quilt. You can check hammock brands with these features and make sure that you get the heavy-duty type.
Insects and bugs
Make sure that you use one with a bug mesh to keep the insects away while you are asleep.
Strong support system
Check that your hammock comes with heavy-duty materials for support. They usually include spreading poles, carabiners, and tree straps. There are also certain users who prefer one with spreading bars, while others want to go poleless and tentless. While it’s a matter of preference, always go through user reviews before buying anything to get an idea about the pros and cons of the products you intend to get.
Aside from the material you’d bring as your shelter, you have to check the terrain in the place where you will be camping. This will give you a clearer idea of whether to bring a tent or a hammock. There are certain terrains where there are no trees, especially in an open desert, which will give you a big trouble in setting up.
Good hammock typically comes with an expensive price tag due to its features and durability. It is considered an investment for people who love outdoor activities, but it is not suited for everyone. You must first assess if this is for you, and you’d feel comfortable using them. Test the waters first and look for inexpensive alternatives before paying a good price.
There best hammocks come with useful features you can use outdoors. They may come in a variety of names, but they offer similar benefits. Among the most sought-after features include guylines, rainfly, and no-see-um mesh. Guylines refer to the cords attached to the rainfly to give stability and tension. It keeps the rainfly in place no matter how hard the wind blows so that you’ll stay dry while in the hammock no matter how bad the weather is.
A rainfly is the tarp that serves as a cover and provide waterproof protection. A no-see-um mesh is a tightly woven and lightweight bug net that stops the bugs and insects from attacking while you are trying to get a good night’s rest.
Best Camping Hammocks Unveiled
Here are some of the most recommended hammocks available these days. Your final choice will still depend on your preference and how you intend to use your purchase:
Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Zip Hammock
This 3-season hammock is intended for single person use. It is best used for backpacking. It has floor dimensions of 100×48 inches, with a minimum trail weight of 2 pounds 13 ounces and a weight capacity of 250 pounds. It comes with a ripstop polyester rainfly fabric and polyester no-see-um mesh.
The product is recommended for experienced hammock campers. It gives extra weight support than usual, so you have the option to stash more bedding in gear to make your stay comfortable. It also offers more space for your shoulders that make it suitable for bulky people.
You can tilt its waterproof polyester ripstop rainfly to different angles. The rainfly is big in size, so you’ll have sufficient protection. It can also be used separately, rolled up, or removed. The no-see-um-mesh is sturdy enough to deflect wind while giving you ample ventilation and insect protection.
This hammock comes with webbing straps made from polyester connected to the suspending ropes’ end. They give the ropes and extended span while protecting the tender bark of the trees. You can fold up this product and use it as a tent on the ground or set up as a chair or an open-air lounger.
This one-person camping hammock is recommended for beginners. The product’s total weight is 1 pound 11 ounces. It incorporates useful features of the more expensive brands and product lines. It is preferred by beginners who want simplicity and ease, and elite users who prefer style and comfort. It’s a welcome innovation from the brand since its first models tend to be light but restrictive or comfortable but heavy. This model’s width is a bit narrow than some of the more popular day-use models, but it comes in an average length of 10 feet.
Its interior space looks cozy with its integration of a spreader bar and ridgeline on the bug netting. It won’t feel too confining inside even when it rains. You can also use this without the ridgeline if you want the suspension to be lower.
Setting up the product is easy as long as you have the Helios strap. You have to get the suspension straps separately. There is a carabiner attached on its two ends where you will clip the suspension straps. Overall, the setup is user-friendly and convenient. The product has a stuff sack attachment for added storage. It’s easy to get in and out of the hammock with its full-length zipper. It also offers superb protection against insects and bugs with its integrated no-see-um mesh.
Kammok Roo Double
This 2-person hammock is durable and can be used in campings at various conditions. It has a weight capacity of 500 pounds. The brand offers a lifetime warranty, so make sure that you buy it from a reputable source. This way, you’d be more confident to take it with you in all your adventures, knowing that you can have it serviced if anything fails or goes wrong.
This hammock is made from abrasion and water-resistant fabric. It comes with a water-resistant roll-top stuff sack as an attachment for added storage. It has eight gear loops integrated that make it easy to attach gears and carabiners.
The product is lightweight at 18 ounces, so you are assured that it won’t weigh you down even during long trails. It also looks good with its fade-resistant fabric treated using a UV inhibitor. The fabric is fast-drying and breathable. It means that it won’t gather condensation when it’s cold, and the hammock will stay cool during warm weather.
The fabric of this hammock is both durable and soft. You’ll enjoy its silky feels, which will make you feel comfortable even when you’re sharing it with another person. The suspension system is strong that you won’t lose sleep during the night, worrying whether the straps would snap.
Kammok Roo Single
This lightweight hammock that weighs only 10 ounces is packable and always ready to be brought on adventures. It is preferred by backpackers who love traveling light. It comes with a lifetime warranty that assures you it will outlast all your planned backpacking adventures.
The product has a water-resistant roll-top stuff sack that provides built-in storage. It is equipped with slings and carabiners that offer security and strength throughout your sleep. It is made of premium-grade fabric that resists moisture. The color won’t also fade easily since it has undergone through a UV inhibitor treatment.
The sides of the hammock have six reinforced gear loops where you can place the carabiners, which you can buy separately. They also serve as the gear where you can hang your headlamp, water bottle, and other things.
The hammock is made from a breathable fabric that dries quickly. It doesn’t form condensation during the cold weather and allows the hammock to stay cool when the weather is warm. The weaving style of the fabric reduces stretch, so you are assured of comfort whenever you use it. This is recommended for backpackers who are always on the go but can only afford low-cost hammocks. This may be priced lower, but the quality is superb and it was made to last.
Wise Owl Outfitters SingleOwl Hammock
This durable hammock is made from 210T parachute nylon, a heavy-duty material that feels soft and comfortable. The product comes with a drawstring stuff sack for easy storage. It is lightweight at 16 ounces, making it easy to bring anywhere you go.
Setting it up is a breeze with its carabiners and tree straps. You can easily adjust the height of its suspension with five separate loops included in the package.
It was made to last with its triple interlocking stitching that boosts its durability and strength. It’s reasonably priced with quality at par with the more expensive brands.
This is best suited for camping in the outdoors, but you can also set it up at home for leisure. It comes with a bug net that will protect you from insects and a rain tarp to keep you dry in case of rains and light showers.
Kootek Camping Double Hammock
Its size is 118×78 feet and can hold weight up to 500 pounds. It comes in many color combinations to cater to different people’s preferences. It’s a multipurpose hammock you can bring on your hiking trips, or set up in your backyard to rest or lounge in.
The package includes the hammock, straps, and two steel carabiners. The 10-feet long straps are tree-friendly with loops where you can easily interlock the carabineers. You won’t need to tie any knots so no trees won’t be hurt as you spend a restful night.
The material of this hammock is easy to maintain. They quickly dry after getting cleaned. It is portable and can be packed in the small attached sack to fit in your luggage or backpack.
You won’t sweat a lot in setting it up and disassembling the nook when it’s time to go. It’s best that you buy a rain fly when you buy this product so you’ll have protection from showers or rains.
Many of those who have tried using this product testify that it lasts for years. Only its color will fade through time, but it will remain durable and comfortable to use.
In a study published in 2011, Neuroscientists found out that users experience quality sleep in the hammock. This sleeping method boosts the brain’s activity and the length of non-Rem sleep, which is important to get a good night’s rest. The increased brain activity is due to the rocking or swaying of the hammock. This is beneficial to your overall health, and it can also help individuals recover faster from brain disorders and stroke. It is important that it is suspended at the right angle using the proper devices in order to gain the most benefits from the experience.
You have to know your preferences, budget, and travel styles to pick the most suitable for you. Ask around and if you know other people who own one, you may want to try and experience it first before buying your own.
Consider all the important factors in weighing your options and settle for the brands that offer the finest quality with products that can withstand a long time filled with outdoor adventures. Always get this kind of product from a reputable source so you can enjoy the warranty and product support that will come in handy in case of any mishap while on use. A hammock is a good companion in the outdoors as it gives you comfort and style rolled into one.