When it comes to backpacking, having a comfortable place to sleep is essential. While tents have long been the go-to option for shelter, many hikers and backpackers are now opting for hammocks instead. Not only are they lighter and easier to pack, but they also provide a unique and comfortable sleeping experience. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best backpacking hammocks on the market and help you choose the right one for your next adventure.
What is a Backpacking Hammock?
A backpacking hammock is a lightweight and portable alternative to traditional camping tents. It is designed to be strung up between two trees or other anchor points, providing a comfortable and secure place to sleep while out on the trail. Backpacking hammocks are typically made from lightweight and durable materials like nylon or polyester, and many come with additional features like bug nets and rain flys.
Why Choose a Backpacking Hammock?
There are several advantages to choosing a backpacking hammock over a traditional tent. Firstly, they are much lighter and more compact, making them easier to pack and carry. Additionally, they can be set up in a wider range of locations, as long as there are two sturdy anchor points available. Finally, many people find that hammocks provide a more comfortable and natural sleeping experience, as they are suspended off the ground and conform to the body’s shape.
What to Look for in a Backpacking Hammock
When choosing a backpacking hammock, there are several key factors to consider:
Size and Weight Capacity
Backpacking hammocks come in a variety of sizes and weight capacities, so it’s important to choose one that is suitable for your needs. Consider your height and weight, as well as the amount of gear you’ll be carrying, when selecting a hammock.
Most backpacking hammocks are made from either nylon or polyester. Nylon hammocks are generally lighter and more compact, while polyester hammocks tend to be more durable and comfortable. Some hammocks also come with specialized coatings to improve weather resistance.
Bug Nets and Rain Flys
Many backpacking hammocks come with bug nets and rain flys to provide additional protection and comfort. If you’ll be camping in an area with lots of bugs or in rainy weather, look for a hammock that includes these features.
The suspension system is what holds the hammock up between two anchor points. Look for a system that is easy to set up and adjust, and that can support the weight of the hammock and its occupants.
Backpacking hammocks can range in price from under $50 to over $300. While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, investing in a higher-quality hammock will pay off in terms of comfort and durability.
Top Backpacking Hammocks on the Market
With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start when choosing a backpacking hammock. Here are some of our top picks:
ENO SingleNest Hammock
The ENO SingleNest Hammock is a classic and popular choice among backpackers. It is made from durable nylon and can support up to 400 pounds. The hammock comes with aluminum wiregate carabiners and nautical grade line for easy set-up.
Hammock Gear Ultralight
The Hammock Gear Ultralight hammock is a great option for backpackers who want to keep their pack weight to a minimum. It is made from lightweight but strong materials, and can support up to 350 pounds. The hammock comes with a ridgeline and tree straps for easy set-up.
Kammok Roo Double
The Kammok Roo Double is a spacious and comfortable hammock that can support up to 500 pounds. It is made from durable and weather-resistant nylon and comes with a lifetime warranty. The hammock also includes a bug net and rain fly for added protection.
Grand Trunk Ultralight
The Grand Trunk Ultralight hammock is a budget-friendly option that still provides comfort and durability. It is made from lightweight and breathable nylon and can support up to 200 pounds. The hammock comes with aluminum wiregate carabiners and nautical grade line for easy set-up.
Tips for Using a Backpacking Hammock
Once you’ve chosen your backpacking hammock, there are a few tips to keep in mind for the best experience:
Choose your anchor points carefully. Look for sturdy trees or other solid objects that can support your weight.
Consider investing in an underquilt or sleeping pad for added insulation and comfort.
Practice setting up your hammock before you head out on the trail to ensure a smooth and easy process.
Use a tarp or rain fly to protect yourself from rain and wind.
A backpacking hammock can be a comfortable and convenient option for sleeping on the trail. When choosing a hammock, consider factors like size, weight capacity, material, and additional features like bug nets and rain flys. Our top picks include the ENO SingleNest Hammock, Hammock Gear Ultralight, Kammok Roo Double, and Grand Trunk Ultralight. With these tips and recommendations in mind, you’ll be ready for a great night’s sleep on your next backpacking trip.
Are backpacking hammocks comfortable?
Yes, many people find backpacking hammocks to be more comfortable than traditional tents.
How do you set up a backpacking hammock?
Most backpacking hammocks come with a suspension system that attaches to two anchor points like trees. It’s important to choose sturdy anchor points and practice setting up your hammock before you head out on the trail.
Can backpacking hammocks be used in cold weather?
Yes, but you may need to add additional insulation like an underquilt or sleeping pad to stay warm.
What is the weight capacity of a typical backpacking hammock?
Backpacking hammocks can vary in weight capacity, but most can support between 200 and 500 pounds.
How much should I expect to spend on a backpacking hammock?
Backpacking hammocks can range in price from under $50 to over $300. It’s important to invest in a high-quality hammock that will provide comfort and durability over time.