The Best Hammocks for Camping and Backpacking
POG Thunderhead Hammock
|Fabric||100% Diamond Ripstop Nylon|
|Carabiners||Included Aluminum, Wire Gate|
|Stuff Sack||Attached with Compression Strap|
|Straps||Two 9-ft Tree Friendly Straps with 15 adjustable Loops|
|Colors:||Black, Blue, Skye Blue, Green|
|Packed Dimensions:||(L x W) 5″ x 5″|
|Unfolded Dimensions:||10-feet long and 6.5-feet wide – (78″W x 125″L)|
|Weight:||12 ounces – 1 pound!|
According to reviewers, Premier Outdoor Gear’s exclusive Thunderhead Backpacking Hammock includes all you need to begin enjoying your hammock immediately. POG’s Thunderhead Lightweight Hammock is made of our exclusive high strength ripstop nylon fabric and packed with features that you will only find in others exceeding the price of ours by up to $100. Most others require the purchase of straps for $25 to $45 more – POG includes them FREE! When your plans call for a relaxing afternoon in the backyard or a rugged backpack overnight, POG Thunderhead Lightweight will be there for you. Thunderhead, reviewers best choice, buyers best choice.
POG Rocky Top Hammock
|Fabric||100% Diamond Ripstop Nylon|
|Carabiners||Included Aluminum, Wire Gate|
|Stuff Sack||Attached with Compression Strap|
|Rope||Two 9-ft Ropes|
|Colors:||Black, Blue, Skye Blue, Green|
|Packed Dimensions:||(L x W) 5″ x 5″|
|Unfolded Dimensions:||10-feet long and 6.5-feet wide – (78″W x 125″L)|
|Weight:||12 ounces – 1 pound!|
According to reviewers, Premier Outdoor Gear’s exclusive Rocky Top Camp Hammock includes all you need to begin enjoying your hammock immediately. POG’s Rocky Top is made of our exclusive high strength ripstop nylon fabric and is packed with other features that you will only find in others exceeding the price of ours by $60 or more. When your plans call for a relaxing afternoon in the backyard or a rugged backpack overnight, POG Rocky Top Lightweight Hammock will be there for you. Reviewers best choice, buyers best choice.
Watch Our Backpacking Hammock Video
Discover our Best, Lightest, Strongest Camp Hammock
THUNDERHEAD Outdoor Hammock Set
The Thunderhead Model includes a lightweight breathable ripstop nylon, 9-ft tree friendly straps with adjustable loops, and hard anodized aircraft aluminum carabiners.
Our reviewers give our ripstop nylon two thumbs up over the scratchy and less breathable standard material, so called “parachute” polyester/nylon blends, that most other makers use. Our Amazon reviews agree that ripstop is the best.
ROCKY TOP Backpack Hammock Set
See what customers have to say about our products!
POG Lightweight Hammock Reviews
Why Do Reviewers Consistently Rate POG Ultralight Hammocks in the !0 Best?
How to Set-up Your POG Lightweight Backpacking Hammock
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is it OK to sleep in a lightweight hammock?
Yes, you can sleep comfortably in a camp hammock! Our reviewers sleep several consecutive nights on extended backpacking and camping trips and have raved about how refreshed and good they feel. You will consistently get a great night of sleeping. Particularly if you sleep on your side because backpack hammocks conform to your body while you sleep, alleviating shoulder and back aches that could come from sleeping on the ground.
Are camp hammocks comfortable?
Yes they are! Most of our reviewers reported greater comfort than sleeping on the ground in a tent or on a hard pallet in a trail shelter. The only negative report reviewers had was getting cold when they had not planned on cold temperatures. According to them, they were colder than they would have been in a tent. This is understandable, and can be prevented by packing for the weather forecast.
I already own the best tent for sleeping, do I need an outdoor hammock?
You don’t NEED anything. I would say that if you tried a lightweight hammock, you will WANT one for sleeping. Reviewers agree spending the night comfortably up off the ground rather than on the ground will change the outdoor adventure game. According to our reviewers, they wake up refreshed rather than stiff and tired from a night on the ground. You will most likely find that using a backpacking hammock reduces your pack weight, reduces camp set up time and gives you a much more restful and comfortable night of sleeping.
With all the sizes available, which one is right for me??
Personal preference enters into this, and here is my advice. Usually a double lightweight hammock is going to be everyone’s preference as it is best and offers great value. According to our testers, the double cradles you and gives room to change position during the night easily without fear of falling out. Our Thunderhead and Rocky Top both are double size and offer the durability from diamond ripstop fabric with a 500 pound weight capacity. If ultra lightweight is the most important thing to you, then you may want to save 4 ounces and go with a single backpacking hammock. According to Amazon purchases, the double is the best.
Is the POG Lightweight Camp Hammock difficult to set up?
Our reiviewers insure that POG products are designed to be very easy to set up, even children find it easy. Most campers will take under two minutes to set up, a bit longer if you are also setting up a rainfly or mosquito net. We have reviewers who have reported setting up in under a minute using the straps included with the Thunderhead model. The most time consuming item in set up for our reviewers at first was finding two suitable trees the right distance apart. With experience, you can spot a good sleeping site immediately with just a look.
Your backpack hammocks are lightweight, are they durable?
Premier Outdoor Gear uses extremely strong and durable diamond ripstop nylon fabric on all of our gear. Diamond ripstop has been voted the ten best fabrics by reviewers and is tear and abrasion resistant and will stand up to long term use. We also use climbing grade webbing for the gathers and strong, lightweight aircraft grade aluminum carabiners for attaching to ropes or straps. Ripstop nylon is much stronger pound for pound than the polyester or rayon used by most other manufacturers on Amazon and allows for a stronger, lighter and more durable product.
What’s the best way to stay warm while sleeping in my lightweight hammock?
According to our reviewers, camping in temperatures below 60 degrees requires some insulation above and below. Our experts recommend a sleeping pad below and a sleeping bag or blanket above depending on the temperature. Some campers have a problem keeping a sleeping pad under them, especially an inflatable one. If you use an inflatable sleeping pad like I do, I recommend under inflating it, this will allow it to conform its shape and hold in place better. There are specially made under-quilts available on Amazon and at REI, these may suit you better.
How do you sleep in a camping hammock?
Preparation is the key according to our reviewers. Bringing the correct sleeping gear is critical. Below is a list to help you pack prepared:
- Bring a mosquito net if in buggy areas.
- Bring an inflatable sleeping pad, mummy shaped ones work best.
- Bring a sleeping bag in cooler weather and a quilt in warmer weather.
- Plan to wear warmer clothes to sleep in.
- It it may rain, bring a tarp.
- Consider buying straps since they allow the quickest adjustment of sleeping position.
Do you need a pilow in a Lightweight Hammocks?
Not necessarily. Pillows are not essential, but they can increase comfort. According to reviewers, bringing your extra clothing in a stuff sack that can double as a pillow when sleeping gives you a pillow if needed without the extra weight. If you prefer, there are dedicated lightweight and comfortable camping pillows on Amazon for a great value.
How much weight can POG Lightweight Hammocks hold?
POG designs products to last, be durable and have great value. Both the Thunderhead and the Rocky Top are rated for 500 pounds which most hammocks in the 10 best offer. This means you can have up to 500 pounds in our best lightweight models without worry of structural failure. According to reviewers testing the camp hammocks, they handled considerably more weight, which makes us very comfortable with the published 500 pound limit. You can easily relax with your sleeping gear and ten essentials in our lightweight hammock.
Sleeping on the ground makes my back sore, will this help?
Most of our reviewers report they have less back stiffness and pain after a night in the backpacking hammock versus a night on the ground. Off the ground, you can adjust the sway by tightening the straps to flatten it or loosen it to get more sag in the middle. Most folks can find their sweet spot and get a great night’s sleep.
There are doctors that state that camp hammocks actually help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. Most of our customers tell us they do their best sleeping with our product. You may find you sleep better with less moving looking for a comfortable position than on the ground. We recommend you give it a try, please let us know what you think!
All of that said, there is no guarantee of a better night’s sleep or less back pain than other alternatives. If you have a back condition that gives you concern about sleeping in an outdoor hammock, then please consult a doctor before sleeping in one.
I have kids and pets, are hammocks right for them??
Kids love sleeping in them! Make sure they are already sleeping comfortably on their own before setting them up in their own hammock in camp. If they are younger, consider having them sleep with you. According to reviewers, POG gear is plenty big for an adult and their child. You can have your pets sleep with you as well. I prefer my dog sleep under me, but have had him sleeping with me when it is cold.
How far apart should my trees be? What about no trees?
Reviewers agree you want to find two sturdy, live trees that are about 12 to 20 feet apart ideally. No trees? No problem, trailer hitches, poles and car roof racks that can support your weight will work. The 10 best ways to set up for sleeping are easy to find. The length of the straps and your preferred sway for sleeping will dictate the distance you want to use. I use my hammock on the dock all the time, I just set it up between two poles.
Will a sleeping pad fit in my camp hammock?
Sleeping pads work great in our backpacking hammocks for insulating your body against cold. Some reviewers have reported they have a hard time keeping the sleeping pad centered under them. I rarely experience this problem, and it is a nuisance when it occurs, but is easily remedied by changing position. According to reviewers the pads are not really required for sleeping since the hammock serves as its own “pad” for comfort. If you use an air mattress, consider not fully inflating it, this will help it stay under you better. Reviewers agree that combination air/foam sleeping pads work best.
Ten Best Tips for Using a Camping Hammock
These 10 best tips will help you get the most out of your camping, whether you are out for a week on the trail, a night in the woods or relaxing in your backyard.
- Sometimes nature calls in the middle of the night. According to reviewers, attaching a glow stick to your site will make it easy to find your way back after a break. No one likes a flashlight shining all over the campsite, so make it easy on you and everyone else with this little trick.
- It may go without saying, but here goes: Hang your hammock in a safe spot. Avoid areas near cliffs, over sharp rocks, over cacti, badger dens and above all lava vents. Reviewers agree that the rule is; if they would not want to fall on it, do not try sleeping over it.
- Remove your boots or shoes before sleeping. Boots especially will cause premature wear on your the ripstop nylon. When dirt gets into nylon it can cause it to wear prematurely as the tiny dirt particles make microscopic cuts in the fibers. I usually sit in first, then throw one leg over so it is like I am sitting on a bicycle, then remove one boot at a time and leave them on the ground under me.
- Remove sharp objects from your pockets, this will protect your gear and your femoral arteries. Even the best multi-tools or knives can open and damage the gear… and you. Even keys can jam into the joint at your hip if you are not careful.
- Rough tree bark tends to hide more insects than smooth bark found on younger trees. Use smooth barked trees for suspending your hammock and reduce the chance of creepy crawlers sleeping with you in the night. The smooth bark is also easier on your straps and the most important thing is: trees with smooth bark are less easily damaged by straps. Be gentle on the trees, please.
- Not all hazards are under your hammock. According t reviewers, when setting up , look up. Look up for things that may fall and interrupt your sleeping. Pine cones, loose branches, nuts, apples and even raccoons can create a hazard for you.
- Before sleeping, insure all the gear you may need during the night is reachable.
- Reviewers all agree that taking food with you when sleeping can attract pests and other unwanted critters.
- Insure your fellow campers know where you are sleeping. This will reduce that chance of them bumping into you in the dark.
- According to reviewers, keeping up with changing weather while backpacking can be a challenge. Make sure before sleeping, you are equipped for the weather that night.
These 10 best tips will help you enjoy sleeping in camp on your next great adventure.
Camping Hammock Buyer Guide
1) Which is Better? Camp Hammock vs Tent
Camping Hammocks are also known as tent, overnight, backpacking hammocks and hanging tents. We will examine all these styles in detail in this guide. Though you can relax and enjoy a quiet afternoon in the backyard in one of these even though they are specifically built for camping. Our reviewers took a look at gear available in 2020 and according to the experts, the best values are available readily on the web.
I am sure you can think of a number of situations where you would rather be sleeping above the ground rather than on it. According to reviewers, this is their major advantage over a tent. They offer the ability to set up anywhere there are trees or posts suitably spaced. You can camp on rough and uneven ground that would make tent camping miserable. They allow you to adjust the way you sleep much easier than lying on flat ground. Most people swear by them for this reason alone. According to our reviewers, none have never woken to a stiff back after sleeping in a hammock but have plenty of times in a tent from Amazon.
You have almost complete flexibility in how you set up camp. You can bring a number of accessories and mimic the best a 3 season tent can offer, or go ultralight with the lightweight hammock alone. Adding a rainfly, sleeping pad and mosquito net will keep the rain, cold and bugs away. The nice thing our reviewers found is, at any point in your day, you are only minutes from relaxing in total comfort. A tent from Amazon or REI is not a casual quick set up and can be much heavier. Another advantage is the ability to use it as a two seat “sofa’ by sitting across it rather than lying in it. Imagine relaxing looking at your favorite vista while your mates struggle to set up their tent in a small rough campground. In summary, here are the 5 best advantages of a backpack hammock:
- No stiff back from sleeping on rocks, stumps, etc.
- See the stars rather than the tent roof (you can still pitch a rainfly and mosquito net if needed)
- Travel light and fast. No poles, ground tarp, etc.
- Set up in minutes almost anywhere. No clearing pinecones, rocks, etc.
- Low impact and planet friendly – no flattened grass and flattened undergrowth, no dug up rocks and stumps.
They offer a great alternative to tents in hot weather. Our reviewers found in Summer, tents become ovens, trapping stifling heat and holding in stale humidity. A hammock offers the opportunity to be in the open air where every cool breeze can be enjoyed. It is great in warm weather to travel light and fast – this is not so easy with a bulky tent, ground cloth, poles and rainfly. Even the most expensive, ultra lightweight tents do not offer the lightness and ease of a backpacking hammock. Either fresh air and stars or stale air and nylon, which would you prefer?
They a great deal of flexibility with regard to where you can camp. Modern gear available for review in 2020 confirmed that ease of set up and easy site selection are major advantages. Two trees, posts or poles and you have what you need. With a tent, you require a good size piece of flat ground free from rocks and stumps. Then you also often need to drive stakes into the ground. This makes the number of suitable campsites for a tent few. Hammocks, particularly the best light weight ones, generally pack up smaller and lighter versus a tent. We wager that for Summer hikers that want to travel fast and light, the tent from Amazon is no real alternative.
2) Types of Backpack Hammocks
Backpacking and Camping Hammocks vary greatly in form and function. Most these days come in single or double sizes. We will discuss the best sizes for camping and backpacking briefly here. Singles are usually about 48 inches in width, while a double is 72 inches wide. Our reviewers recommend a double for sleeping for any but the smallest of people. A double will allow you to wrap the camp hammock over you and will accommodate a sleeping pad and sleeping bag easily. Backpacking Hammocks also vary dramatically in quality, accessories, cost and weight. Let’s explore the different types and accessories to see which suits you best and which one will give you the best value. They come in great variety, but easily fit in the following categories:
1) Lightweight Camping
Lightweight hammocks for camping and backpacking are simple, compact and vary greatly in cost, durability and included accessories. According to reviewers, they can adapt well to most any activity, trekking, hiking, camping, the beach paddling, kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, and even just relaxing in your backyard. The utility of a lightweight one is only limited by your imagination. According to reviewers, lightweight ones take up very little room and usually come with everything you need in a compact package so you can head into the outdoors right away and enjoy it.
The cheapest and lowest quality ones are made of a polyester/rayon blend usually referred to as parachute nylon. It is a misconception to call it parachute nylon, as they are never made with parachute quality fabric. All parachutes these days are made with ripstop nylon that contains no polyester nor rayon. Polyester and rayon are inferior to nylon as they are not as strong, prone to stretching and once a tear starts, it will continue to rip until it hits a seam. Beware when someone uses the term “parachute nylon”, if it is not ripstop nylon, then it is not used in parachutes.
There are a few that use ripstop nylon in their construction. While they cost a bit more than the polyester and rayon blend, ripstop nylon hammocks, they provide three key advantages: 1) They are lighter 2) they are more durable 3) they are more comfortable. While one would expect a ripstop nylon to be lighter and more durable than a so-called “parachute nylon” hammock, increased comfort is not as intuitive. Ripstop nylon is more breathable, does not stretch like “parachute nylon” and is smoother making it less “scratchy” to the skin. Take the time to compare the feel of the fabrics and you will quickly discover why most anyone would prefer ripstop nylon over other fabrics and would be willing to invest a few more dollars to have the superior material.
The conclusion for so-called “parachute nylon” versus ripstop nylon is that if lowest cost your only goal, a polyester/rayon blend hammock will cost the least, but you may need to replace it every couple of years. If you are more interested in quality, durability and comfort, then it may be worth a little more money to go with a ripstop nylon.
The last advantage of a lightweight camp hammock versus a jungle or an expedition type is that the lightweight one can have accessories added to adapt it to your specific conditions and needs. Reviewers agree there are accessories designed specifically for hammocks that will increase their utility dramatically for the average camper and hiker. You can add lightweight mosquito nets to keep flying insects away. You can also add lightweight tarps or rainflys designed specifically to meet your needs for particular camping trips. This flexibility and adaptation of your to specific environments and conditions offers versatility at a modest cost versus most other hammock alternatives.
10 Best Backpack Hammock Accessories:
- Hanging Straps
- Wire Gated Aluminum Carabiners
- Rain Tarp
- Mosquito Net
- Sleeping Pad
- Under Quilt
- Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Blanket
- Gear Nest
- Bungee Guidelines
The ability to decide which camping hammock accessories to take with you for a given trip is a definite plus. You can travel light and fast in warm, dry weather in area without mosquitoes with just a hammock. When weather and bugs become a problem, you can add a rainfly and an insect net when needed. As the weather turns colder, you can add a sleeping pad and sleeping bag to the package. I have found that even a rainfly, mosquito net and campign hammock together weigh less than a suitable and affordable one person tent. I must admit, I did find a number of tents lighter than my setup, they started at $299 and went up $695!!! I do not know about you, but my budget is not such that saving 1.2 pounds is worth $300.
Jungle Variety as their name implies were designed by the military to keep troops in jungle climates off the wet ground and protected from malaria carrying mosquitoes. They do an excellent job of this and generally have a mosquito net and rain-fly integrated into it. According to reviewers, this adds great utility to the hammock and makes it suitable for almost any camping condition you may find yourself at the end of a hike. The only drawbacks are that they are time consuming to set up and can be heavy and bulky. A modern lightweight item may save a bit of weight and bulk when you consider that you are carrying a mosquito net and rain fly with you. There problem lies in you do not have the flexibility to leave unneeded gear behind.
Many jungle hammocks are military surplus and are durable and will stand up to years of use. These military surplus are on the other hand heavy and bulky and do not pack well. Jungle types also usually have sleeves to add large sticks as spreaders and stretchers. Spreaders work to spread it open and stretchers work along the sides of to make it lie flat. All of these features add weight. Ultra light weight backpackers may consider a hammock other than one of these, even if they plan to travel to damp mosquito laden areas.
Expedition hammocks are also known as camp hammock tents. They are ideal when weight is not an issue and you plan to stay in one spot for a number of days. Think of an expedition tent as a suspended platform with a tent on it. Oftentimes they can be pitched like a normal tent on the ground when suspending them is not practical. They include bug netting and a rainfly, but are of a more modern design and usually accommodate more than one person. There are some designs that are quite elaborate and use ratcheted winches to suspend it tightly so it can support a great deal of weight.
Expedition varieties are usually fairly expensive, costing 5 to 8 times more than a lightweight camping hammock. The expedition ones often includes many straps, slings, nets and covers that will not be included in your basic lightweight setup. They also are fairly heavy and bulky and may not be suitable for backpacking. However, they are roomy and comfortable and great for an extended stay.
There are many options for camping hammocks on the market. Deciding on the right one should be a little easier now. Whether you are a backpacker, casual day hiker, whitewater paddling enthusiast or a car camper, you can see there is a solution for you.
3) Lightweight Hammock Fabrics & Materials
Camping hammocks come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and materials. Lets focus on the materials used to make camping hammocks. While on the surface, this topic may seem unimportant, it is very important if you are interested in durability, lightweight and comfort. There are many confusing names used to refer to lightweight camping and backpacking hammock materials and we will clear that confusion up for you.
Lightweight hammocks are not like your father’s. Gone is the cotton duck fabric or cotton roping of old. According to reviewers, cotton hammocks are not suitable for camping due to their weight, susceptibility to rot and the fact if they get wet they quadruple in weight and take a long time to dry. Newer and lightweight materials dominate the market for camp hammocks today. What once needed ten pounds of material for a suitable one now takes less than two pounds and offers superior service life and comfort.
Modern lightweight types usually come in three materials that all vary in quality. Your choices are polyester, rayon polyester blend (often called parachute fabric) and ripstop nylon. Each has its distinct properties that brings a different experience to sleeping while camping or backpacking.
Least expensive, least durable and least comfortable is polyester. Reviewers agree that polyester is usually light, but not as durable as nylon and nylon blends. Polyester tends to stretch with use and can leave you to adjust your sleeping situation several times during a night as it sags due to an active sleeper. Polyester is also rough and not comfortable on the skin. Given a backpack hammock wraps itself around you, unless you have something between you and the scratchy fabric, polyester will be uncomfortable and scratchy. Polyester will also rip easily and the rip will continue until it hits a seam, leaving you a worthless lump of material.
The next step up the comfort and durability continuum in fabrics is polyester/rayon blends (confusingly called parachute fabric by many manufacturers). Many reviewers mistakenly call polyester and rayon blends parachute nylon, even though they have no nylon in them. Parachutes have never been made with polyester or polyester blends. Experts agree that since just after World War Two, parachutes have been made with one material, ripstop nylon. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s look at this polyester rayon blended fabric. This material has some of the strength and durability increased with the addition of rayon and will also not stretch as much as a pure polyester fabric. It is only a bit more expensive than pure polyester. According to reviewers, the drawback is it still has the scratchy, uncomfortable texture that the polyester brings and it rips like polyester.
The pinnacle of materials for lightweight hammocks is ripstop nylon. There are a number of types of ripstop nylon, with different weaves and ripstop patterns each having different properties and weights. Reviewers agree that there are a number of desirable features and benefits that ripstop nylon has over other cheaper and less durable fabrics. The first advantage is durability. Ripstop nylon is stronger, more resistant to abrasion, tears and wear than any product with rayon or polyester in it. Ripstop nylon has a property that is great for camping hammocks, that is the material does not rip easily, and the ripstop weave is designed to stop a rip once it starts. Ripstop nylon fabrics are 100% nylon and the ripstop weave prevents stretching, so your hammock will maintain its original shape, leading to a better situation for sleeping through the night.
Ripstop nylon used on camping hammocks is generally lighter than any polyester blend and stronger. Camping hammocks with ripstop nylon will have some “give” but will not stretch. The fabric will give longitudinally and latitudinally as you move your body, but it gives by taking from one or the other without stretching the fabric itself.
Active reviewers agree that lightweight hammock ripstop nylon is cool and comfortable to the touch. It is smooth and feels good next to your skin. Ripstop nylon also is more breathable than polyester or its blends. Lastly, ripstop nylon also makes a better looking hammock. We all want gear we can be proud of and with the variety of ripstop fabrics, you can have great colors with a pleasing texture for your camping hammock. Reviewers tell us their favorite ripstop fabrics are either diamond or hex patterned ripstop nylon in gray and khaki. Hopefully you will easily find your favorite combination when you decide on a lightweight ripstop nylon ultra lightweight fabric.
4) Camp Hammock Weight
Aside from comfort and sound sleeping while camping and backpacking, light weight is a major feature of camp hammocks. The weight of your backpack hammock system will depend on the conditions that you will encounter on your camping outing or backpacking adventure. According to reviewers, you will travel lightest in cool, dry weather, since you will only need a lightweight sleeping bag or down blanket. Reviewers found in their testing that as the weather gets cooler, damper or hotter, you will find more accessories will increase your comfort. That said, it is best to weigh each of your accessories separately and then you will be able to quickly calculate a weight.
The full complement of a complete lightweight hammock sleeping system includes: the hammock itself, straps or ropes to suspend it, a tarp or rainfly and lastly a mosquito net. If you are an ultra light weight backpacker, you will want your complete system to weight less than three pounds in total. If your system weighs over three pounds, you may wish to consider a tent for your backpack, unless the added comfort of a hammock is worth the extra weight. Ultra Light Weight backpackers will tell you that ounces add up to pounds, and every ounce counts. Our reviewers state that comfort is a high priority, both on the trail and while sleeping, so make the weight decision that works best for you.
5) Lightweight Hammock Size
In backpacking, generally the smaller an item, the lighter the item. Remember as well, the smaller the backpack hammock, the less sleeping area and maybe less comfort. According to reviewers, the general rule for length of a hammock is start with eight and a half feet or 102 inches. If you are over 6 feet tall, add 2 inches of hammock length for every 1 inch of height. So if you are 6 feet 2 inches tall, you would need a minimum 106 inch long hammock to insure your comfort. Most lightweight hammocks for sale on Amazon are about ten feet long. This insures your comfort up to 6 feet 8 inches tall. Most of the weight of a camp hammock system is in hardware, straps and other accessories. An extra 2 or 3 square feet of material us only going to add 6 ounces to your pack weight which is less than a cup of water. The extra length is useful for keeping essential gear with you, dry and safe.
Reviewers agree that the width of a lightweight backpacking hammock needs to be a minimum of 4 feet. This insures that you are cradled while sleeping and do not feel you will fall out. Wider versions are called double camp hammocks, usually six feet wide, this comes from it being wide enough for sleeping two people. The extra width provides a greater degree of comfort for most while sleeping, allowing you to move around without falling out and for you to wrap the over the top of you when camping in cooler weather.
6) Backpack Hammock Strength & Durability
Lightweight Hammocks need to strong enough to support you and whatever gear you will bring into the hammock. According to reviewers, you will also want to add a safety margin to this to insure that it can stand up to the weight you plan to put in it. Reviewers agree if you weigh 190 pounds and bring 10 pounds of gear into the hammock with you on your backpacking trip, you should get a lightweight backpack hammock that can handle at least 230 pounds. A 15 percent margin will take into account any point loading that happens while climbing in and out of the hammock and any swinging or swaying that may occur when sleeping in the hammock. You can find the maximum weight capacity on the package labeling or the website for the product.
Camp hammocks should last for years and offer many nights of comfortable sleeping on backpacking and camping trips. Most hammocks made of ripstop nylon or parachute nylon available on Amazon come with warranties. These warranties usually cover manufacturing defects and are good usually for between one and five years. Some companies offer a lifetime limited warranty, you should be on the lookout for these as it is an indicator the company stands behind their product.
Ultra lightweight backpacking gear durability is usually a function of the materials used and the construction techniques. According to reviewers, you should look for lightweight ripstop nylon for the ultimate in durability and for climbing grade nylon webbing used in the straps and gathers. Lastly, the carabiners should be of high tensile aluminum. Generally the materials used in durable gear will not be the cheapest, but will likely represent the best value over time, since you will use this gear for years to come.
7) Camp Hammock Suspension Systems
Our reviewers agree there are several different options for suspending your lightweight hammock. Reviewers reported using all manner of systems for suspending their camping hammocks. Reviewers definitely have their favorites, and here we will discuss each and then highlight our reviewers best options. The simplest and lightest they used is doubled up 550 pound parachute cord. While 550 parachute cord is the lightest option you can go with, reviewers report it is the most difficult. The 550 cord tends to stretch at first and you will need to adjust your hammock several times before it is “just right’. Ultra light backpackers report they would just tie the 550 cord directly to the “gathers” at either end of the hammock. Reviewers recommend 550 parachute cord only for those where weight is all important.
The second system is the simple use of heavier nylon or polyester rope. Our reviewers frequently use rope with wire gate aluminum carabiners or metal hooks. While the rope is nearly as light as 550 cord, it still stretches some requiring readjusting and you need to know knot tying to get the best results. The use of carabiners and hooks with rope makes them easier to use, but if you use steel hooks, you will not save any weight. Reviewers found that wire gated aluminum carabiners were the best combination of light weight, convenience and durability.
The last, and what our reviewers rated best, suspension system for your backpack hammock is the combination of aluminum carabiners and straps made of climbing nylon. Reviewers report that using hammock straps makes the setup of your hammock take seconds rather than minutes. It also makes adjustment simple. Straps do not slip on trees and do not require any kind of knot tying knowledge to use. They are also easily adjusted using the loops. For ultra lightweight, pair them with wire gated aluminum carabiners.
8) Lightweight Hammock Insulation
Our reviewers state that the best hammocks are great for keeping you cool in warm weather, but you will need to plan when cool weather is predicted. There are any number of products for keeping you warm in your hammock in cooler weather. In addition to specialized products, our reviewers provide the best tips on using equipment you may already have to keep you warm.
Some backpack hammocks come with insulation built into the gear. Our reviewers recommend these if you always camp in cool weather, however they have little use in warmer climates. They are also heavier and may not fit the bill for an ultra lightweight hiker.
You can also find camp hammocks that have built in pockets for sleeping pads. These keep the sleeping pad from sliding out from under you. The drawback is they almost double the weight of material and with that, weight goes up. According to reviewers, the pads can be difficult to get into these large pockets.
You can buy specialized under quilts that are specifically designed to insulate your body from underneath. These quilts use materials that do not compress easily and will keep you warm even when pressed between your body and the backpack hammock.
For most, simply bringing along your own sleeping pad will work great. Our reviewers find a combination air and foam sleeping pad works best. Their best tip for using any pad that you put air in is: do not inflate it all the way, leaving some air out will make it easier to get and keep the pad under you during the night. According to reviewers, leaving some air out allows the pad to conform to your shape and that holds it in place for more restful sleeping.
9) Camp Hammock Tarp or Rainfly
Camping in the rain can be fun, Getting soaked when you want to be dry is not. Our reviewers agree that keeping yourself and gear dry in the rain is essential to having a pleasant outdoor experience. You can go one of two routes to solve this problem. One is to use a simple multi purpose tarp or rainfly. A simple tarp or generic rainfly are usually inexpensive on Amazon and come with rope, stakes and fasteners you can use to rig it. Our reviewers recommend rigging in a diamond with the corners toward each tree. This setup works great for them. You can also set it up like a pup tent, but reviewers report that this usually requires six anchoring points instead of 4 for the diamond setup.
The best attribute of a camp hammock in the rain is that you are up off of the ground. You can be sleeping comfortably even if there is a veritable river flowing under you. Just remember to find a way to keep your gear up off the ground and dry.
You can also purchase a rainfly specifically made for backpack hammocks. There are many different brands and types. These rainflys have the advantage of being just right in terms of size and ease of setup. You need not worry about it being too big or too small. According to reviewers, the advantages are easy to see, the only drawback is they may cost a bit more, but in the long run, most backpackers find them well worth the extra cost. There are great techniques for setting up tarps and rainflys that will keep you and your gear dry. Make sure to take a look at these prior to camping or backpacking in the rain.
10) Backpack Hammock Mosquito Net
Insects can be a nuisance on camping trips. According to health professionals, they also can impose severe health risks. Malaria, Zika and Spotted Fever are all transmitted by insects that are common in the outdoors. According to our reviewers, adding a mosquito net to your gear can greatly reduce the risks that you will get a dangerous bite from an insect. Many stinging and biting insects also carry the risk of severe allergic or anaphylactic reactions with them. Make sure you minimize the risk on your next adventure by understanding what insects may be in your area and what can be done to prevent being bitten by them.
Almost all hikers, backpackers and campers would agree that they do not like sharing a campsite with bugs. Insects are mostly just annoying, but some carry transmittable disease and others have bites and stings that can cause allergic reactions. Reviewers agree that the best way to deal with insect problems is to use insect repellent and a mosquito net. Insect repellent is a temporary fix as it wears off over time and must be reapplied. A mosquito net however, keeps bugs away as long as it is in place. Once you leave the mosquito net, the bugs are back.
Reviewers state it is best to use a combination of the two. A small amount of insect repellent during the day and then a mosquito net at night. There are any number of mosquito net solutions for your lightweight hammock. You can find custom made mosquito nets, some integrated into a rainfly and others that are just square general purpose mosquito nets. The good news is that mosquito nets are very light weight and very effective. For a few ounces of weight, you can have a restful night sleeping in the great outdoors, bug free.