Relax and Enjoy the Outdoors

POG's Best Camping Hammock Yet!

Our Very Best Backpacking Hammocks (Camping Hammocks) are Engineered to Provide the Ultimate Balance between Strength, Durability and Ultra-Light Weight.

POG Thunderhead Hammock

POG Thunderhead Best Double Camping Hammock Set with straps, carrying bag and aluminum wire gate carabiners
Fabric100% Diamond Ripstop Nylon
Capacity400lb
CarabinersIncluded Aluminum, Wire Gate
Stuff SackAttached with Compression Strap
StrapsTwo 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!
Features:
  • FREE pair of 9ft Tree Straps – $24.99 Value
  • FREE pair of Aluminum Wiregate Carabiners
  • Built-in stuff sack

Premier Outdoor Gear’s exclusive Thunderhead Camping Hammock includes all you need to begin enjoying your hammock immediately. POG’s Thunderhead Lightweight Camping Hammock is made of our exclusive high strength ripstop nylon fabric and packed with features that you will only find in hammocks exceeding the price of our camping hammock by up to $100. Most hammocks 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 Camping Hammock will be there for you.

POG Rocky Top Hammock

Rocky Top Best Double Camping Hammock Set with carrying bag, ropes and aluminum wire gate carabiners
Fabric100% Diamond Ripstop Nylon
Capacity400lb
CarabinersIncluded Aluminum, Wire Gate
Stuff SackAttached with Compression Strap
RopeTwo 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!
Features:
  • FREE pair of 9ft Ropes for Hanging
  • FREE pair of Aluminum Wiregate Carabiners
  • Built-in stuff sack

Premier Outdoor Gear’s exclusive Rocky Top Camping Hammock includes all you need to begin enjoying your hammock immediately. POG’s Rocky Top Camping Hammock is made of our exclusive high strength ripstop nylon fabric and is packed with other features that you will only find in hammocks exceeding the price of our camping hammock by $60 or more. When your plans call for a relaxing afternoon in the backyard or a rugged backpack overnight, POG Rocky Top Lightweight Camping Hammock will be there for you.

POG Portable Hammock

Watch Our Video

Learn more about what makes the POG Hammock the best in the industry. In the video you will see all the features and accessories we have packed in, so there will be no surprise in how our hammock performs.
Relax and Enjoy the Day or the Night

Discover our Lightest, Strongest Hammock

POG has worked with experts to engineer the lightest, strongest, and portable camping hammock on the market.  Our expedition ready portable hammocks ensure you can take off for a two week backpack trip or enjoy a quiet afternoon in the backyard. Regardless of your need, POG Hammocks will deliver.
Relax, rock, and enjoy your quiet corner of the outdoors.

THUNDERHEAD Hammock Set

POG has brought the most sought after camping hammock features together into one line of hammocks that replaces bulky cots and pads with a durable and easy to carry sleeping solution.

The Thunderhead Model includes a lightweight breathable ripstop nylon hammock, 9-ft  tree friendly straps with adjustable loops, and hard anodized aircraft aluminum carabiners.

Our customers 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.

  • Amazingly fast setup, Just 1, 2 3…. 1) Find two trees, loop your 9 foot tree friendly straps around two trees 2) Attach your strong lightweight aluminum wire gate carabiners to one of the 15 loops on the straps. 3) Climb in and relax. Takedown is that simple, too. No searching for the stuff sack! It has served as a portable backwoods “nightstand” holding your flashlight, glasses or other essentials.
  • ROOM ENOUGH FOR TWO: At 10 feet long and 6 feet wide, you will not run out of room in our hammock. Both the Thunderhead and Rocky Top are double width and the longest on the market for your comfort.
  • ULTRA SOFT & DURABLE RIPSTOP NYLON – Both POG Lightweight RipStop Camping Hammocks are constructed with Diamond RipStop nylon that is strong (Rated at 400 lbs but tested to over 1000 lbs), durable, and dries quickly and its breathable property keeps you cool on warmer days and nights. Our RipStop nylon is easily superior to all the nylon/polyester blends other budget hammocks use. POG brings you simply the best camp hammock on the market.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE COMPACT SIZE - The POG Thunderhead Hammock, Carabiners & Tree Straps all fit conveniently into one integrated stuff sack making it portable (Packed Dimension 8"tall x5"diameter) and easy to pack for travel, hiking, backpacking, the beach, or any outdoor adventure. The lightweight, compact design leaves room for essential supplies in your pack while still enjoying comfortable sleep.
  • PREMIUM ALUMINUM WIREGATE CARABINERS – Most budget hammocks give you cheap, heavy steel hooks with sharp edges. POG brings you ultra lightweight 7075 hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum wire gate carabiners. They are lightweight, durable, and have no sharp edges that will snag your hammock or straps. Best of all POG carabiners are strong and durable and you can count on many years of trouble free service from them.
  • TREE STRAPS INCLUDED – POG Thunderhead gives you straps free with your hammock purchase. These are high quality 9 foot straps with 15 sizing loops so you can get the perfect sway in your hammock every time.
  • ALL IN ONE KIT – Everything you need on your next hiking adventure in one easy to carry and compact bag. Includes hammock, tree straps, carabiners and compression sack.
Relax, rock, and enjoy your quiet corner of the outdoors.

ROCKY TOP Hammock Set

The Rocky Top model includes;  lightweight and durable ripstop nylon, 9 ft ropes and lightweight hard anodized aircraft aluminum carabiners.  Best of all, the POG Rocky Top Lightweight Hammock with ropes weighs in at just about two pounds, so it’s easy to carry no matter your level of backpacking experience.
  • Amazingly fast setup, Just 1, 2 3…. 1) Find two trees, loop your 9 foot tree friendly straps around two trees. 2) Attach your strong lightweight aluminum wire gate carabiners to one of the 15 loops on the straps. 3) Climb in and relax. Takedown is that simple, too. No searching for the stuff sack! It has served as a portable backwoods “nightstand” holding your flashlight, glasses or other essentials.
  • ROOM ENOUGH FOR TWO – At 10 feet long and 6 feet wide, you will not run out of room in our hammock. Both the Thunderhead and Rocky Top are double width and the longest on the market for your comfort.
  • ULTRA SOFT & DURABLE RIPSTOP NYLON – Both POG Lightweight RipStop Camping Hammocks are constructed with Diamond RipStop nylon that is strong (Rated at 400 lbs but tested to over 1000 lbs), durable, and dries quickly and its breathable property keeps you cool on warmer days and nights. Our RipStop nylon is easily superior to all the nylon/polyester blends other budget hammocks use. POG brings you simply the best camp hammock on the market.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE COMPACT SIZE – The POG Thunderhead Hammock, Carabiners & Tree Straps all fit conveniently into one integrated stuff sack making it portable (Packed Dimension 8"tall x5"diameter) and easy to pack for travel, hiking, backpacking, the beach, or any outdoor adventure. The lightweight, compact design leaves room for essential supplies in your pack while still enjoying comfortable sleep.
  • PREMIUM ALUMINUM WIREGATE CARABINERS – Most budget hammocks give you cheap, heavy steel hooks with sharp edges. POG brings you ultra lightweight 7075 hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum wire gate carabiners. They are lightweight, durable, and have no sharp edges that will snag your hammock or straps. Best of all POG carabiners are strong and durable and you can count on many years of trouble free service from them.
  • TREE STRAPS INCLUDED – POG Thunderhead gives you straps free with your hammock purchase. These are high quality 9 foot straps with 15 sizing loops so you can get the perfect sway in your hammock every time.
  • ALL IN ONE KIT – Everything you need on your next hiking adventure in one easy to carry and compact bag. Includes hammock, ropes, carabiners and compression sack.
See what customers have to say about our products!

POG Hammocks Reviews

There are a lot of camping hammocks to choose from. Here is why people choose POG.
Why Choose POG Poles
Here At POG, Quality Is Our Number One Goal!

Why Choose a POG Hammock?

Premier Outdoor Gear researches and develops products to meet your needs. We then engineer them to deliver strength, durability, ease of use and lastly aesthetic appeal so you will have a product you will use and love for years. POG also incorporates features into our camping hammocks that you will only find on hammocks costing over $100. Try one of our camping hammocks and see why experienced outdoor adventurers say that there is no better value available in a camping hammock.
  • We offer competitive price while delivering the best camping hammocks.
  • 100% Satisfaction guarantee.
  • Our satisfied customers are our best advertisement.
  • We have both hammocks in stock and ready to ship.
  • Secure ordering with flexible payment options.
  • We partner with national fulfillment centers to deliver your order.
  • Our support staff Is understanding, efficient and knowledgeable.
Tips to help you hang your hammock like a pro.

How to Set-up Your POG Lightweight Backpacking Hammock

We often get asked how to set up our camping hammocks. We love this question, because creativity is the only limit on how and where you can set up your camping hammock.  You will find with time and experience that you will quickly set up your backpacking hammock like a pro.  That said, the basic steps remain almost the same no matter where you set up your Camping Hammock:
  • Find two sturdy objects, such as trees, posts, poles, racks, or rails that are 12 to 15 feet apart. Make sure that the chosen items can support the weight you plan to put in the camping hammock.
  • Wrap your POG Hammock Strap around the objects, pulling the running end of the strap through the loop on one end. You can go ahead and pull the Hammock Hanging Strap tight around the object so it does not slide down.
  • You may wish to wrap the Hammock Strap around the object one, two or three wraps. Just make sure you snug the hammock strap to the object so it does not slip. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other side.
  • Attach one carabiner to the hammock and to one of the loops in the straps.
  • Attach the other carabiner to the other end of the hammock and then attach it to one of the loops in the strap, making sure you get your desired “sway*” in the hammock. I usually string the hammock rather tight at first as once you lay in it, it will pull slack and will "sway" lower.
  • Keep your safety in mind, hang your hammock no more than 18 inches off the ground. Also do not set up your hammock over dangerous objects like rocks, stumps, broken glass or sleeping porcupines.
  • Climb in, relax and enjoy your hammock! With practice, your camping hammock set up should take no more than a couple of minutes.
Sway: The natural droop at the middle of the hammock. Sometimes you may want a little other times alot. Over time you will learn to set it where you are most comfortable.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You have questions about camping hammocks, we have the answers.

I already own a tent, do I need a camping hammock?

You don’t NEED a hammock. I would say that if you tried hammock camping, you will WANT one. Spending the night in a hammock rather than on the ground will change the outdoor adventure game. For me, I wake up refreshed rather than stiff and tired from a night on the ground.  You will most likely find that using a hammock reduces your pack weight, reduces camp set up time and gives you a much more restful and comfortable night’s sleep.

With all the Camping Hammock sizes, which one is right for me??

Personal preference enters into this, and here is my advice. With camping hammocks, usually a double hammock is going to be everyone’s preference. The double hammock cradles you and gives room to change position during the night easily without fear of falling out. Our Thunderhead and Rocky Top Lightweight Camping Hammocks offer double size and durability from diamond ripstop fabric with a 400 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 hammock.

Is the POG Lightweight Camping Hammock difficult to set up?

Our camping hammocks are very easy to set up, children even find it easy.  Most campers will take under two minutes to have the hammock set up, a bit longer if you are also setting up a rainfly or mosquito net.  We have customers who have reported setting up in under a minute using the straps included with the Thunderhead Camping Hammock.  The most time consuming item in set up for people at first is finding two suitable trees the right distance apart.  With experience, you can spot a good site immediately with just a look.

Your hammocks are lightweight, are they durable?

Premier Outdoor Gear uses extremely strong diamond ripstop nylon fabric on all of our Lightweight Camping Hammocks. Diamond ripstop 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 hammock manufacturers and allows for a stronger, lighter camping hammock.

What’s the best way to stay warm in my hammock?

Camping in your hammock in temperatures below 60 degrees requires some insulation above and below. We recommend a sleeping pad below and a sleeping bag or blanket above depending on the temperature. Some people have a problem keeping a sleeping pad under them, especially an inflatable one.  If you use an inflatable sleeping pad in your hammock like I do, I reccomend underinflating it, this will allow it to conform its shape to the shape of the hammock and hold in place better.  There are specially made underquilts available, this may suit you better.

How much weight can POG Lightweight Camping Hammocks hold?

We design our hammocks to last. Both the Thunderhead and the Rocky Top are rated for 400 pounds. This means you can have up to 400 pounds in our lightweight hammock without worry of structural failure.  I can tell you during testing the hammocks handled considerably more weight, which makes us very comfortable with the published 400 pound limit.  You can easily relax with your sleeping gear and essentials in our camping hammocks.

Can hammocks cause sore backs?

Most of our customers report they have less back stiffness and pain after a night in the hammock versus a night on the ground. With a hammock, 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 hammocks actually help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. Most of our customers tell us they get their best night’s sleep in our hammocks. 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 a camping hammock, then please consult a doctor before using a hammock.

I have kids and pets, are hammocks right for them??

Kids love our hammocks! 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 stay in your hammock with you. Our hammocks are plenty big for an adult and their child. You can have your pets sleep in the hammock with you as well. I prefer my dog sleep under my hammock, but have him in the hammock with me when it is cold.

How far apart should my trees be? What about no trees?

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 length of the straps and your preferred sway in the hammock will dictate the distance you want for your camping hammock.  I use my hammock on the dock all the time, I just set it up between two poles.

I have a sleeping pad, will it fit in my hammock?

Sleeping pads work great in our camping hammocks for insulating your body against cold. Some people have reported they have a hard time keeping the sleeping pad centered under them in the hammock.  I rarely experience this problem, and it is a nuisance when it occurs, but isi easily remedied by changing position.  The pads are not really required as a 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. We find that combination air/foam sleeping pads work best in our hammocks.

TOP RATED CAMPING, HIKING & BACKPACKING HAMMOCK

Buy the Best Camping Hammock

Both of POG’s top rated Lightweight Camp Hammocks, the Thunderhead and Rocky Top, offer the greatest combination of comfort, ultralight weight and durability. The high quality materials and careful attention to detail during manufacture insures they your POG Camping Hammock will serve you well year after year. If your activities require low weight, portability and ease of use, the POGs Lightweight Camp Hammock is the Hammock for you.
Hammock Buyer’s Guide

Tips for Using a Camping Hammock

These tips will help you get the most out of your camping hammock, 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. Attaching a glow stick to your outdoor hammock 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.  My rule is if would not want to fall on it, do not set my camping hammock over it.
  • Remove your boots or shoes before climbing in. Boots especially will cause premature wear on your hammock. 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 the hammock, 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 my hammock.
  • Remove sharp objects from your pockets, this will protect your hammock and your femoral arteries. Multi-tools or knives that open can damage the hammock… 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 snuggling with you in the night.  The smooth bark is also easier on your hammock straps and the most important thing is:  trees with smooth bark are less easily damaged by hammock straps.  Be gentle on the trees, please.
  • Not all hazards are under your hammock. When setting up your hammock, look up. Look up for things that may fall and interrupt your sleep.  Pine cones, loose branches, nuts, apples and even raccoons can create a hazard for you.
How to Choose the Best Camping Hammock

Camping Hammock Buyer’s Guide

To find the best hammock, there are a number of things to consider. We have compiled a large amount of information to help you find the best camping hammock for you.  Here are a few pointers on the technical aspects of camping/backpacking hammock selection.
Buyers Guide to The Best Hammock Tents

Which is Better? Hammock vs Tent

Camping Hammocks are also known as backpacking hammocks, tent hammocks, overnight hammocks and hanging tents. We will examine these style hammocks in detail in this guide. Though you can relax and enjoy a quiet afternoon in the backyard in one of these hammocks, they are specifically built for camping.

I am sure you can think of a number of situations where you would rather be sleeping above the ground rather than on it. This is a major advantage of a camping hammock. 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. The camping hammock allows you to adjust the way you sleep much easier than lying on flat ground. Most people swear by hammocks for this reason alone. I know personally I have never woken to a stiff back after sleeping in a hammock.

Hammocks offer a great degree of 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 hammock alone. Adding a rainfly, sleeping pad and insect net will keep the rain, cold and bugs away. Nice thing is, at any point in your day, you are only minutes from relaxing in your hammock. A tent is not a casual quick set up and can be more burdensome than your lightweight hammock. Another advantage of the hammock 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 some advantages of a hammock:

  1. No stiff back from sleeping on rocks, stumps, etc.
  2. See the stars rather than the tent roof (you can still pitch a rainfly if needed)
  3. Travel light and fast. No poles, ground tarp, etc.
  4. Set up in minutes almost anywhere. No clearing pinecones, rocks, etc.
  5. Low impact and planet friendly – no flattened grass and flattened undergrowth, no dug up rocks and stumps.

Hammocks offer a great alternative to tents in hot weather. 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 easy with a hammock, not so much 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 lightweight camping hammock. Either fresh air and stars or stale air and nylon, which would you prefer?

Hammocks offer a great deal of flexibility with regard to where you can camp. 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, while there are many suitable campsites for hammocks. Hammocks, particularly lightweight ones, generally pack up smaller and lighter versus a tent. We wager that for Summer hikers that want to travel fast and light, the decision is: which hammock suits you, not hammock or tent.

Camping Hammock Primer

Types of hammocks

Camping Hammocks vary greatly in form and function. Most hammocks these days come in single or double sizes. We will discuss those sizes of camping hammock briefly here. Single hammocks are usually about 48 inches in width, while a double camping hammock is 72 inches wide. We recommend a double camping hammock for any but the smallest of people. A double hammock will allow you to wrap the hammock over you and will accommodate a sleeping pad and sleeping bag easily. Camping Hammocks also vary dramatically in quality, accessories, cost and weight. Let’s explore the different types of camping hammocks and accessories to see which suits you best and which hammock will give you the best value. Camping hammocks come in great variety, but easily fit in the following categories:

1) Lightweight Camping Hammocks
2) Jungle Hammocks
3) Expedition Hammocks

Lightweight camping hammocks are simple, compact and vary greatly in cost, durability and included accessories. 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 camping hammock is only limited by your imagination. Lightweight camping hammocks 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 camping hammocks 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 it is 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 Lightweight Camping Hammocks that use ripstop nylon in their construction. While they cost a bit more than the polyester and rayon blend, so called “parachute nylon” camping 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 camping hammock 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 a camping hammock of ripstop nylon 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 serve you just fine. 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 camping hammock.

The last advantage of a lightweight camping hammock versus a jungle hammock and an expedition hammock is that the lightweight camping hammock can have accessories added to adapt it to your specific conditions and needs. There are accessories designed specifically for lightweight camping hammocks that will increase their utility dramatically for the average camper and hiker. You can add lightweight mosquito or insect netting to keep flying insects away. You can also add lightweight tarps or rainflys designed specifically for lightweight camping hammocks to meet your needs for particular camping trips.  This flexibility and adaptation of your camping hammock to specific environments and conditions offers versatility at a modest cost versus most other hammock alternatives.

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 hammock 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 Hammocks 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 the camping hammock. 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 jungle hammock may save a bit of weight and bulk when you consider that you are carrying a mosquito net and rain fly with your hammock.  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 jungle hammocks are on the other hand heavy and bulky and do not pack well. Jungle hammocks also usually have sleeves to add large sticks as spreaders and stretchers.  Spreaders work to spread the jungle hammock open and stretchers work along the sides of the jungle hammock to make it lie flat.  All of these features add weight to the jungle hammock.  Ultra light weight backpackers may consider a hammock other than a jungle hammock, even if they plan to travel to damp mosquito laden areas.

Expedition hammocks are also known as 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 hammock 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 as a jungle hammock, but are of a more modern design and can often accommodate more than one person.  There are some designs that are quite elaborate and use ratcheted winches to suspend the expedition hammock tightly so it can support a great deal of weight.

Expedition hammocks are usually fairly expensive, costing 5 to 8 times more than a lightweight camping hammock. The expedition hammock often includes many straps, slings, nets and covers that will not be included in your basic lightweight camping hammock. 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 camping hammock solution for you.

Which Camping Hammock is Right for You?

Camping 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 hammock materials and we will clear that confusion up for you.

Camping hammocks are not your father’s hammock. Gone is the cotton duck fabric or cotton roping of old. 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 hammocks today.  What once needed ten pounds of material for a suitable hammock now takes less than two pounds and offers superior service life and comfort.

Modern lightweight camping hammocks usually come in three materials that all vary in quality. Your choices are polyester, rayon polyester blend (often called parachute nylon) and ripstop nylon. Each has its distinct properties that brings a different experience to the lightweight camping hammock.
Least expensive, least durable and least comfortable is polyester. Lightweight camping hammocks made of polyester are usually light, but not as durable as nylon and nylon blends. Polyester hammocks tend to stretch with use and can leave you to adjust your hammock several times during a night as it sags. Polyester is also rough and not comfortable on the skin. Given a camping hammock wraps itself around you, unless you have something between you and the hammock, polyester will be uncomfortable and scratchy.  Polyester will also rip easily and the rip will continue until it hits a seam, leaving your hammock unusable.

The next step up the comfort and durability continuum in camping hammock fabrics is polyester/rayon blends (confusingly called parachute nylon by many manufacturers). Many companies mistakenly call their polyester and rayon blend hammocks parachute nylon hammocks, even though they have no nylon in them. Parachutes have never been made with polyester or polyester blends. Since just after World War Two, they have been made with one material, ripstop nylon.  Now that we have that cleared up, let’s look at this polyester rayon blended camping hammock 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. 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 camping 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. There are a number of desirable features and benefits that ripstop nylon has over others for making camping hammocks. The first advantage is durability. Ripstop nylon is stronger, more resistant to abrasion, tears and wear than any product with 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.

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 give by taking from one or the other without stretching the fabric itself.

Lightweight camping 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. My favorite ripstop fabrics are either diamond or hex patterned ripstop nylon in light blue. Hopefully you will find your favorite combination when you decide on a lightweight camping hammock.

How to Choose a Hammock

Camping Hammock Weights

Calculating weights for camping hammocks is fairly simple. The weight of your hammock system will depend on the conditions that you will encounter on your camping outing or backpacking adventure. You will travel lightest in cool, dry weather, since you will only need the hammock and perhaps a lightweight sleeping bag or down blanket. As the weather gets cooler, damper or hotter, you will find more accessories will increase your comfort. That siad, it is best to weight each of your accessories separately and then you will be able to quickly calculate a weight.

The full complement of a complete lightweight camping hammock system includes: the hammock itself, straps or ropes to suspend it, a tarp or rainfly and lastly a mosquito or bug 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. Remember that comfort counts too, and make the weight decision that works best for you.

How to Choose a Hammock

Camping Hammock Sizes

The smaller the hammock, the lighter the hammock. Remember as well, the smaller the hammock, the less sleeping area and less comfort. Though a hammock that is too long can be uncomfortable as well. A 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 camping hammocks are about ten feet long. This insures your comfort up to 6 feet 8 inches tall. Most of the weight of a hammock system is in hardware and straps. An extra 2 or 3 square feet of material us only going to add 6 ounces to your pack weight. The extra length is useful for keeping essential gear in the hammock with you.

Th width of a lightweight camping hammock needs to be a minimum of 4 feet. This insures that you are cradled during sleep and do not feel you will fall out. Most lightweight camping hammocks are called double hammocks This double camping hammock name comes from it being wide enough for two people. Most double hammocks are six feet wide. The extra width provides a greater degree of comfort for most, allowing you to move around without falling out of the hammock and for you to wrap the camping hammock over the top of you in cooler weather.

How to Choose a Hammock

Camping Hammock Strength & Durability

Lightweight Camping Hammocks need to strong enough to support you and whatever gear you will bring into the hammock. You will also want to add a safety margin to this to insure that you get a lightweight camping hammock that can stand up to your use. If you weigh 190 pounds and bring 10 pounds of gear into the hammock with you on your backpacking trip, I would recommend a lightweight camping 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 moving in the hammock. You can find the maximum weight capacity for a lightweight camping hammock on the package labelling or the website for the product.

Lightweight camping hammocks should be able to last for years and offer many nights of comfortable sleep on backpacking and camping trips.  Most camping hammocks made of ripstop nylon or parachute nylon come with warranties.  These warranties usually cover manufacturing defects and are good usually for between one and five years.  Some hammock 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.

Lightweight Camping Hammock durability is usually a function of the materials used and the construction techniques. 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 a durable lightweight camping hammock will not be the cheapest, but will likely represent the best value over time, since you will use this type of lightweight camping hammock for years to come.

How to Choose a Hammock

Camping Hammock Suspension Systems

There are several different options for suspending your lightweight camping hammock. I have used all manner of systems for suspending my camping hammock. I definitely have my favorites, and I will tell you about each and then tell you why I like the ones I do. The simplest and lightest I have used is doubled up 550 pound parachute cord. While 550 cord is the lightest option you can go with, it is also the most difficult I have used. The 550 cord tends to stretch at first and you will need to adjust your hammock several times before it is “just right’. I would just tie the 550 cord directly to the “gathers” at either end of the hammock. I have to say, I cannot recommend this to anyone except for those where weight is all important.

The second system is the simple use of heavier nylon or polyester rope. People frequently use rope with 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. I would recommend wire gated aluminum carabiners for the best combination of light weight, convenience and durability.

The last, and in my mind best, suspension system for your lightweight camping hammock is the combination of aluminum carabiners and straps made of climbing nylon. 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 prowess to use. They are also easily adjusted using the loops. For lightest weight, pair them with wire gated aluminum carabiners.

Insulating Your Hammock

Camping Hammock Insulation

Lightweight Camping 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, I can provide tips on using equipment you may already have to keep you warm.

There are hammocks with insulation built into the hammock itself. These may be recommended if you always camp in cool weather, however they have little use in warmer climates. They are also heavier than a lightweight camping hammock and may not fit the bill for a lightweight hiker.

You can also find camping hammocks that have built in pockets for sleeping pads. These hammocks 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.

You can buy specialized camping hammock underquilts 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 hammock.

For most, simply bringing along your own sleeping pad will work great. I use a combination air and foam sleeping pad that works great. My best tip for you 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.

Keeping You and Your Hammock Dry

Hammock Tarp or Rainfly

Camping in the rain can be fun. Getting soaked when you want to be dry is not. Keeping your lightweight camping hammock 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. Tarps are usually inexpensive and come with rope, stakes and fasteners you can use to rig it above your hammock I usually rig mine in a diamond with the corners toward each tree. This setup works great for me. You can also set it up like a pup tent, but this requires six anchoring points instead of 4 for the diamond setup.

The best attribute of a hammock in the rain is that you are up off of the ground.  You can sleep comfortably even if there is a veritable river flowing under your camping hammock.  Just remember to find a way to keep your gear up off the ground and dry.

You can also purchase rainflys specifically made for lightweight camping 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. 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 camping hammock rainflys that will keep you and your hammock dry.  Make sure to take a look at these prior to camping or backpacking in the rain.

Keeping Your Hammock Bug Free

Hammock Bug Net

Insects can be a nuisance on camping trips.  They also can impose severe health risks.  Malaria, Zika and Spotted Fever are all transmitted by insects that are common in the outdoors.  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. There are really only two ways to deal with insect problems, use an insect repellent or use a mosquito net. Insect repellent is a temporary fix as it wears off over time and must be reapplied. A net however, keeps bugs away as long as it is in place. Once you leave the net, the bugs are back.

Most people will use a combination of the two. A small amount of insect repellant during the day and then a mosquito net at night. There are any number of mosquito net solutions for your lightweight camping hammock. You can find custom made nets, some integrated into a rainfly and others that are just square general purpose nets. The good news is that mosquito netting is very light weight and very effective. For a few ounces of weight, you can have a restful nights sleep in the great outdoors, bug free.