Camping Equipment

Best Hammocks for Camping

There are many forms of camping – wild camping, campsite camping, and glamping for example. But what about camping with a hammock? Using a hammock offers a very different experience compared to normal camping trips. It provides a more “hands-on” experience and offers a quicker way to set up camp and create shelter. If this sounds interesting, we have created a guide on camping hammocks below including their benefits, and some examples of high-quality hammocks.

Camping Hammocks – The Essentials

We have all seen the idyllic image of a netted hammock strung between two palm trees. This is NOT what camping hammocks are like although the basic premise is the same. 

A camping hammock is a large sheet of material that you suspend between two trees. Camping hammocks are used to offer a place for rest and shelter. Firstly, a hammock can easily be set up if you want to make a small camp and take a break during a camping trip or hiking adventure, for example. You can sit in it and rest your legs or even have a short nap.

Secondly, camping hammocks can be used as an alternative to a tent. This type of open-air camping is exhilarating and offers a whole different experience. Imagine laying in your hammock in a beautiful forest and watching the stars as you fall asleep. 

Using a hammock for a bed is quick, simple, and offers a lot less fuss than erecting a tent. The downside, however, is that a hammock is open to the element and you may not be as warm as inside a tent.

Typical features of a camping hammock include:

  • A suspension system to attach the hammock between trees
  • A large material body with durable stitching
  • Optional stuff sacks to store accessories and useful items
  • An internal pouch where you can insert a camping mat
  • Optional mosquito net or top covering

Compared to a tent, hammocks often take up much less space. Also, they can provide greater versatility when choosing your campsite (you obviously need at least two trees though!).

Why use a Hammock When Camping?

Camping using a hammock is quite different from using a tent. You still have to set up and create a campsite, but the experience could not be more different when using the hammock. So why would you choose this instead of a traditional tent? We have listed some of the benefits below:

  • Less equipment needed
  • Lighter and easier to carry than a tent
  • Quicker to set up
  • Can be used for a place to quickly rest too
  • Offers a more immersive camping experience

We won’t lie – sleeping in a hammock can be cold, and the best experiences are during warmer weather. However, a camping hammock offers a range of benefits, and it can provide an exhilarating camping experience quite different from sleeping in a tent.

What to Look for When Buying a Hammock for Camping?

Hammocks are brilliant items for camping, but choosing a suitable product can be difficult. To help, we have broken down the aspects of a camping hammock below, so you can understand what to look for if you choose to buy one:

Suspension System

Generally, there are three hammock suspension systems – rope, webbing, and stands. Stands are the least practical and are only really useful for fixed hammocks in your garden, for example. Rope and webbing are preferable and both are great for camping trips where you need to pack lightweight.

When looking at the suspension system, also look if it involves items like carabiners, or you need to have knowledge of tying knots.

Pro-Tip – Webbing is considered the least damaging suspension system as it does not leave scars on the trees like traditional rope

Weight (Max Load & Carrying)

There are two weight considerations to look at. Firstly, the weight capacity of the hammock. Each camping hammock will have a maximum weight capacity. If you exceed this, you can risk breaking the material or damaging the suspension system. 

Secondly, consider the carrying weight of the hammock and suspension system. If you are wild camping, you don’t want to carry a huge hammock pack and complicated suspension system. It should ideally be lightweight, portable, and easy to carry.

Size

The size of the hammock depends on your personal circumstance. Also, you should consider if you need a double-nest hammock for two people as these are available. As a minimum, you should be comfortable and fit easily in the hammock without body parts sticking out.

Strength

The strength of a camping hammock is also important. Ideally, the material and suspension system should be strong enough so that you are lifted comfortably from the ground. Some weaker hammocks have too much slack and dip too much in the middle – this can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

Pro-Tip – The ideal ground clearance for a hammock is 18-inches as this gives a comfortable sitting position whilst still lifting you firmly from the ground.

Comfort and Warmth

Lastly, comfort and warmth are vital. Obviously, a hammock cannot offer the same warmth and protection as a tent. However, there are aspects of hammocks that can improve your comfort. Firstly, the type of material is important. Ideally, it should be breathable, but still tough and insulated if possible. 

Secondly, some hammocks have double layers which you can slide an insulated mat in for padding and warmth. Thirdly, some hammocks may have an attachable top cover so you can enclose yourself in the hammock and keep some warmth inside.

Pro-Tip – Take note of the hammock dimensions beforehand so you can buy a camping mat that fits properly inside.

Our Tops Picks for the Best Hammock for Camping

So we have looked at the benefits of using a hammock. Let’s finish with a quick look at some of the best camping hammocks available. We have picked five suitable hammocks including both single and double-nest options.

1. ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters Doublenest Camping Hammock

Features

  • Weighs just 19lbs
  • Made from durable 70D nylon taffeta
  • Quick setup with wiregate carabiners and snap links

Why we Like this Hammock?

ENO produce reliable and durable camping hammocks and this model is a solid option. It weighs only 19lbs which makes it easy to transport, but it is still strong and resilient. The material is 70D high tenacity nylon taffeta which can support up to 400lbs. The suspension system is also high quality and includes nautical-grade lines and stainless steel snap links.

2. ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters Singlenest Hammock

Features

  • Has a high load capacity of 400lbs
  • Made from soft and breathable material
  • Durable triple stitched seams

Why we Like this Hammock?

This Eagles Nest Outfitters hammock is the single-person version. It comes with aluminium wiregate carabiners and the material is breathable and dries quickly. For extra durability when suspended, this hammock has triple-stitched seams. Also, for convenience, it has a stuff sack on one side to keep your equipment and essentials. 

3. DD Camping Hammock

Features

  • Double-zipped design to allow a camping mat to be inserted
  • Has 10m of strong suspension webbing
  • Lightweight at just 1.94lbs

Why we Like this Hammock?

If you get cold easily, this double-layer hammock is a good choice as you can easily insert a camping mat in-between. Also, it has double-zips which make the layers easy to open. It has a maximum load capacity of 125kg, but the only issue is that it is not waterproof. However, it is a good choice and convenient to use. 

4. Snugpak Jungle Hammock

Features

  • Has a built-in mosquito net
  • Also has a simple attachment system
  • Includes steel carabiners for the suspension system

Why we Like this Hammock?

The Snugpak Jungle Hammock is a great choice for more extreme conditions in forests or even overseas in jungles. It has a built-in mosquito net to provide additional protection from those pesky bugs. It is also made from lightweight material making it easy to carry, without compromising the overall strength of the hammock. For suspension, it uses a knotted cord system that is quite easy to erect.  

5. Forbidden Road Hammock

Features

  • Made from strong 210 T Nylon material
  • Extremely quick setup
  • Relatively portable and easy to fold up

Why we Like this Hammock?

Finally, we have the Forbidden Road Hammock. We like that this hammock is available in a variety of colours but is also highly durable. Its made from 210T nylon and can hold up to 181kg. It also comes with everything you need to set up including carabiners. For extra accessibility, there is also a small drawstring bag attached to one side of the hammock.  

Try a Different Type of Camping With a Hammock

If you want to try something more adventurous, camping with a hammock is a brilliant experience. It presents a different set of challenges compared to using a tent. Also, it can be incredibly rewarding and fun. Sleeping out under the stars and immersed in nature (providing you are warm enough!) is like nothing else.

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