best hammock camping near a lake

Best Hammocks for Camping and Backpacking (2021 Reviews and Buying Guide)

Last Update: 15 February 2020
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The Best Hammocks for Camping and Backpacking In 2021

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Camping tents are still the standard for outdoor sleeping.

But if you’re as adventurous as we are and you’d love to try out a different sleeping option, nothing should stop you from trying out a camping hammock for a night out in the wild.

To say the least, camping hammocks are comfortable, lightweight and easy to bring with you to any camping and backpacking trip. In fact, they’re at the top of the list of alternatives to camping tents because they offer an excellent camping experience without breaking the bank.

Besides, isn’t it fun when you sleep above the ground, right in the mid-air, securely suspended between two trees far away from home? It’s as thrilling as you can imagine, a moment for you to enjoy a breezy outdoors, gaze at the stars, and connect with nature.

But what exactly is the ideal hammock to choose for backpacking and camping?

We spent over 600 hours testing and evaluating over 38 of the top-rated hammocks for performance and durability. Out of all the options that we took to the wild, only 12 made it to our list of recommendations. And we’re confident that they are the best camping hammocks that you can use for solo camping or share with a friend.

These are the best camping hammocks of 2021:

1. Bear Butt Single Camping Hammock

bear butt double hammock - lime green
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Performance Chart

80% Overall Score
Comfort 7 Portability 9 Ease of Setup 9 Packability 9 Weight Capacity 6

Comfortable like your home couch and coming with everything you need for a perfect day and night in the wild, Bear Butt Single Hammock is an ideal option to use for some alone time in a campsite. Like the 2-Person model, this one is sturdy and tough yet soft and lightweight.

After analyzing the design of both hammocks, we didn’t find any big differences between them except for a few tweaks.

To begin with, Bear Butt uses the same 75D nylon taffeta fabric to design this hammock, thus setting a high standard in quality construction, comfort, and durability.

They’ve tweaked the weight of this version, which, to us, is really a good thing. At 0.46 pounds, this is the most lightweight hammock that we’ve ever tested. Then for a one-person use, the 8.5 by 4 feet dimensions are up to the standard.

You will love just how compact and portable this hammock is. It packs down to the size of a tumbler, and once you fit it in your backpack, you won’t even notice it’s there until you unpack in a campsite.

Bear Butt also cuts down the load capacity and given that it’s a one-person hammock, the downgrade doesn’t compromise the quality of the material and it’s not a deal breaker either.

Legally speaking, this hammock can hold a maximum weight of 300 lbs. None of our testers weighed beyond this mark, so we can’t speak much about an attempt to stretch the load beyond what Bear Butt has specified.

For comfort in cold weather, Bear Butt adds a liner to this one, a bonus feature that provides warmth during cold nights. But then again, it can’t stand extremely cold weather. And in our opinion, we think it’s best if you use it only for summer camping.

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2. Gold Armour Double Camping Hammock

gold armour double parachute hammock
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Performance Chart

74% Overall Score
Comfort 7 Portability 7 Ease of Setup 6 Packability 7 Weight Capacity 10

Do you want to go hammock camping with a partner? Then size matters. And even if you just want to spend some time alone in the wild and would prefer to use a bigger hammock, Gold Amour can make a good fit for you. It isn’t the heaviest on this list and it isn’t the most lightweight either.

Coming in 33 unique color schemes, you have the option of personalizing your purchase, particularly if appearance matters to you.

Plus, it’s damn cheap!

To be clear, this hammock isn’t the “you get what you pay for kind”. Rather, it’s an inexpensive yet well-built pick for camping, backpacking, and everything in between. Trust us on this one, because we’ve tested it and we know.

Gold Amour uses a new 210T nylon parachute fabric to design this hammock. Given the strength and stability of the material, it can support a maximum weight of 500 pounds.

Rated as rip stop, the material won’t snug and rip on you. Given that the seams have a triple stitching, you can use this hammock with confidence, not ever having to worry about tearing.

You do get additional accessories for the price, which is a good thing because it saves you a lot of money. The accessories include two 10-foot straps, each with 16 loops. Combined, the straps have a breaking point of 1,000 pounds. You also get 2 steel carabiners for easy setup.

Gold Amour makes a very bold claim that this is an extra-large hammock. Looking at the dimensions which are 10.4 feet long and 6.58 feet wide, we acknowledge the statement.

This hammock is comfortable enough to sleep in at night, big enough to share with a friend or loved one, or with a pet if you’re going for solo camping.

We really love how breathable the parachute fiber is. It can keep your body cool in hot conditions. Unfortunately, it can also let in cold at night, especially if you’re camping in a chilly campsite. So you want to consider adding a thermal pad as it just won’t keep you warm at night.

This camping hammock weighs 1.5 pounds. It really isn’t heavy. But it’s not lightweight either. If you don’t mind throwing it into its carryon and bringing it with you to a camping site, then it makes a good fit. However, if you’re more interested in something lightweight, you may want to consider the double version of the Bear Butt hammock which weighs only 1.13 pounds.

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3. HONEST OUTFITTERS Double Camping Hammock

honest outfitters double camping hammock
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Performance Chart

70% Overall Score
Comfort 7 Portability 7 Ease of Setup 6 Packability 7 Weight Capacity 8

Honest Outfitters double camping hammock is compact, packing down to a size small enough to fit in the carrying pouch. And you can even squeeze it in your backpack if you have some space left. Beyond camping, this is a great hammock for day and nighttime travel, picnicking, and backpacking.

Unexpectedly cheap and readily available, it’s easy to think that this hammock is of subpar quality, subject to wear and tear in just a short time. But we, and thousands of other outdoor maniacs, have purchased and hand tested this product. And we’re more than willing to admit that it’s the best single and double camping hammock that money can buy.

In addition to the included strap which makes hanging the hammock easy, you also get an instruction manual written to help you tie the rope and set things up properly. This book is definitely handy for beginners to hammock camping.

Just remember that when setting it up, the minimum distance between two trees should be at least 12 feet for a better fit.

The maximum weight for each hammock is 500 pounds. And if you’re sharing a single model with a friend, and the both of you have smaller frames, you could even bring your pet along.

Honest Outfitters hammocks may not be waterproof, but they dry out fast. Plus, they are easy to clean. Just wipe them with a clean piece of cloth once you’re back home from your camping trip.

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4. Serac Single Camping Hammock

Serac single hammock for camping
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Performance Chart

76% Overall Score
Comfort 7 Portability 8 Ease of Setup 8 Packability 8 Weight Capacity 7

Simple yet iconic in design, with up to 9 color schemes to choose from, Serac is one of the best lightweight camping hammocks that we’ve ever tested. Only we wish it were an actual double hammock, because it’s so comfortable you’d probably be tempted to share it with a friend.

Serac doesn’t just bring out an admirable aesthetic with its variation of color schemes. They literally go from sleek appearance to solid design, using a high quality parachute nylon to give this hammock a solid build.

We’ll forgive you if you think that lightweight means unstable, because the nylon fabric is so strong that it can’t easily break.

Further, Serac adds triple-stitched seams for even more strength. So, sleeping in this 0.9-pound hammock, raised above the ground between two trees, should be complete fun – not a mix of thrill and unseen woes.

Unfolded and laid flat on the ground during setup, Serac Hammock measures 9 feet long and 4.5 feet wide. That’s quite some space, a decent area to relax and watch the beautiful world around you.

To us, there’s never really a better way to enjoy the beauty of nature in campsites than with a lightweight hammock. And Serac has been a perfect fit in a number of occasions.

Serac built this as a one-person hammock, giving its audience the impression that it’s not sharable. This is true in a way, except from the face value.

Built to accommodate a load of 400 pounds, Serac is the kind of a hammock that two people can use comfortably, provided they don’t exceed this weight limit.

We were even curious to know if this would hold up beyond the 400 lbs point. And from our testing, it sure did by 50 pounds. Beyond this point, though, we really aren’t sure if it would hold up. And to be clear, we don’t even recommend going beyond the capacity specified by the manufacturer.

Overall, we do appreciate the “1-Person” tag, plus what it generally means. If you look keenly, you’ll notice that the sleeping area isn’t big enough to easily accommodate two people, especially if they’re big-bodied. But if you’re bringing a camping friend along and the two of you don’t mind a close touch, this should be sufficient.

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5. Hennessy Expedition Camping Hammock

hennessy expedition hammock - classic
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Performance Chart

54% Overall Score
Comfort 8 Portability 5 Ease of Setup 4 Packability 6 Weight Capacity 4

If you need a camping hammock that you can take anywhere with you, an option you can use in any weather condition and in any environment, the Hennessy Expedition is a good fit. It features a bug net, rainfly and a tarp, so you get the kind of comfort that many hammocks won’t provide in harsh weather conditions.

And while it might score poorly on our various scales, you may want to take the scores with a pinch of salt.

Its weight of 2.75 pounds, for instance, encompass a total weight of various accessories that the hammock comes with. And since we use weight to determine how portable a given bundle of gear is, it makes sense that its portability would be poor.

With various hammock accessories including the rainfly and the bug net, you will also expect that Hennessy’s ability to pack down will be compromised. But this is something you can easily overlook in favor of the added comfort and protection.

Hennessy features an asymmetrical design pattern, which allows you to lie freely, stretch out easily, and fall asleep faster. This asymmetrical design however makes it a little bit cumbersome to set up especially with its tarp which has many attachment points.

The entire build is pure 70D oxford nylon, which gives the hammock its comfort, strength and durability. Take note that it has a height limit of 6 feet and a maximum weight capacity of just 250 pounds hence limiting its use to only those with smaller body frames. You cannot possibly share this hammock with your buddy unless the buddy in question is your pooch.

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6. Bear Butt Double Camping Hammock

bear butt ultralight single hammock
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Performance Chart

76% Overall Score
Comfort 8 Portability 7 Ease of Setup 7 Packability 8 Weight Capacity 8

Strong enough to handle big people and packable enough to fit even in a crowded backpack, Bear Butt Double Hammock is a good choice for everything outdoors, including backpacking, camping, road trips, and picnicking.

What’s more? The price is surprisingly low for such a well-made product. And for someone who’s seriously on a budget, this is a steal.

Like its single brother, the double Bear Butt uses 210T 75D nylon taffeta, a comfortable and strong fabric, in the design of this hammock. Soft on skin and sufficiently breathable with lightweight and sturdy carabiners that stay in place, Bear Butt double beats net or mesh hammocks down to dust on the fly.

And as for size, what you get for the price is 10 feet long and 6 feet wide relaxing and sleeping area, which is truly sufficient.

Unlike REI Fresh Air, Bear Butt is quite easy to set up. The steel D-shaped carabiners come already attached to the polyester end strap. All you have left to do is find strong trees, tie your trunk strap around, and clip this thing on a suspension system.

Weighing 1.13 pounds, this hammock is 0.87 pounds lighter than Legit Camping Double Hammock. While we really wouldn’t consider it lightweight per se, it’s not heavy either. It’s just the right size – big enough to justify how much it weighs in the first place. And when it’s not in use and you want to store it away, it easily packs down to a size as small as 7 x 4.5 inches.

We love just how strong and comfortable the Bear Butt Double Hammock is. The triple stitching on the panel provides addition strength and durability, further enhancing its ability to support a maximum capacity of 500 pounds.

If you want more comfort, just add a sleeping pad to the mix. You don’t stop at nothing because you’ll still maintain the balance anyway.

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7. THN Outdoors Premium Camping Hammock

tnh outdoors (rakaia designs) backpacking hammock
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Performance Chart

60% Overall Score
Comfort 6 Portability 6 Ease of Setup 6 Packability 7 Weight Capacity 5

There’s nothing better about hammock camping than chilling out, alone or with a friend, raised above the ground and sandwiched between two trees without apprehension of unforeseen toppling. And the THN Outdoors Premium is another hammock that can really make the cut.

It takes only a few minutes to suspend this in midair and you’re ready to have a great day out, far away from bugs, fully raised above dirt.

To say that it’s just a good piece to buy would definitely be an understatement. This is a premium build, well optimized for performance. In fact, its functionality speaks for itself.

In an effort to pay attention to details and give you a hammock so durable, soft on touch, yet tough to break, the brand uses improved nylon taffeta, a material stronger than ordinary fabric. Upon examining the design, we noticed that it has a better stitching, which is sufficient to hold up the recommended weight.

While THN Outdoors doesn’t make a bold claim about size, this premium hammock is downright large. At 10 feet length and 6.6 width, the hammock is big enough to accommodate two budding campers. Essentially, you get more space, a soft feel, and a comfortable surface to sleep on without breaking the bank.

We do think that THN Outdoors standardizes performance quite well, although it does fail here and there. To begin with, it has a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs, which is 100 pounds less what you get from Gold Amour double hammock. We don’t think that the discrepancy in weight limit is a deal breaker, particularly because most campers and backpackers out there don’t weigh half of this limit.

THN Outdoors fails to optimize the weight of this hammock. At 2.3 pounds, this one is the bulkiest of them all, in our list at least. This, however, doesn’t mean that it isn’t suitable for backpacking. It just might not be a preference for campers and backpackers who prefer lightweight hammocks.

So what’s the bottom line?

If weight is anything to worry about, then you should go for Bear Butt double or Serac hammock if you want a single.

While we’ve seen a couple of bloggers recommend this for all year around use, we can’t quite figure out how to use it in rainy weather. Just remember it’s not a tent hammock, and you really don’t want to use it during such times.

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8. Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest Lightweight Camping Hammock

Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest Hammock
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Performance Chart

74% Overall Score
Comfort 7 Portability 7 Ease of Setup 8 Packability 8 Weight Capacity 7

Say “adios” to lumpy grass and hard rocks by switching from tent to hammock camping with ENO Outfitters SingleNest. And if you just want to be off the ground, suspended between two strong trees for a while so you could gaze at the beautiful stars in the night, this still makes a decent choice to consider.

No more assault from rugged ground when sleeping on thin sleeping pads. No more sleepless nights of turning and tossing in a tent in an attempt to find a comfortable spot. No more wishing you can fall asleep faster.

With SingleNest, the only moments you get are times of comfort from the nylon build. And it comes in a variety of color schemes so you can choose your preference.

Eagles Nest Outfitter uses a soft stretch nylon to design this hammock. It’s not just a durable material. It’s also so strong that it can handle a maximum weight of 400 pounds. The aluminum carabiners on the edges provide extra strength at connectivity points, keeping you in place throughout use once you wrap it around trees.

Unexpected surprises are simply nonexistent, thanks to the triple stitching. When set up, it measures 9 feet 4 inches long and 4 feet 7 inches wide. And when folded, it becomes as small as the size of a tumbler.

When it comes to weight, what you’re buying is one of the reasonably and easily portable camping hammocks for the money.

For some outdoor maniacs, a pound isn’t lot of weight. For others, however, it may not be as lightweight as we think. But for the good quality it is, at such a pocket friendly price, the weight is not a deal breaker.

We didn’t need a sleeping pad or an underquilt to get the most out of this thing, but it can add a layer of comfort for sure.

Note that, it’s small and somewhat narrow on the side, which means that it’ll not cut it for you if you are tall or need extra space for sleeping.

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9. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock

doublowl-hammock-by-wise-owl-outfitters
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Performance Chart

62% Overall Score
Comfort 7 Portability 6 Ease of Setup 6 Packability 7 Weight Capacity 5

Wise Owl Outfitters Hammocks take away the need for camping tents and sleeping pads. And they allow your and your camping fellows to view, envy, and enjoy the beauty of nature and your surrounding while hanging between two trees, away from the threats of bear attacks.

When it comes to hammock design, superior construction is something to consider. Which is why Wise Owl Outfitters uses the 210T parachute nylon to design both its hammocks. It’s really a strong material, the exact kind used to design parachutes for professional skydivers.

Of course, the solid build supersedes appearance. But if you’re really the kind that’s also into aesthetic, the brand spoils for choice, bringing the hammock to you in 16 unique color schemes so you can choose your match.

The single model is 9 feet long and 4.5 feet wide and the double version is 10 feet long and 6.5 feet wide. As you can see, the difference in size isn’t that big, but then it matters a lot when it comes to the number of people using the hammock, with the smaller model being suitable mostly for a solo camper.

And if you closely examine the weight of both models, you’ll quickly notice that none of the options is lightweight per se. At 1.4 pounds for the single model and 1.7 pounds for the double option, you do have quite some weight to handle compared to Serac single hammock.

Yet given the quality, the weight isn’t something we’d honestly advocate worrying about. After all, each model packs to a small size, 4 by 5 inches for the single and 5 by 6.5 inches for the double, which makes them both easily potable.

What’s more?

The design features a triple interlocking system, which adds more strength and stability to both hammocks while enhancing their overall durability.

For the best performance, this package includes an additional 8 feet rope with carabiners attached to each end. This is quite a big bonus, particularly because many brands only offer ropes whose maximum length is just 2 feet.

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10. MalloMe Double Parachute Camping Hammock

mallome portable double tree hammock
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Performance Chart

80% Overall Score
Comfort 8 Portability 7 Ease of Setup 8 Packability 7 Weight Capacity 10

MalloMe calls its double hammock a luxurious piece. Maybe it’s because of the color combination. Or it could be because of the cheap price. But what we do know is that it’s luxurious for three reasons: it’s comfortable, strong, and lightweight.

This parachute hammock is the kind you can use for anything you like. From picnicking and camping to hiking and backpacking, there really isn’t a limit to where you can bring this. We’ve specifically used it on two camping trips and we must say it holds up really well.

MalloMe always goes by the book when it comes to design, always using high quality materials to build every outdoor gear in its product line. We see a keen approach to quality design with its hammock. Ideally, it’s made of premium, tear-resistant 210T nylon fabric, which inarguably makes it extremely tough and durable.

For the price, you also get straps and steel carabiners, which are essentials that you would have otherwise spent extra bucks to get.

Measuring 10.5 feet long by 6.5 feet wide, this double parachute hammock is quite large. The result is more room for one person or two people.

MalloMe fascinates us by breaking the load limit in the hammock product line. In fact, it’s the only one that claims to support a maximum capacity of 1,000 pounds, which is way too much than what we’re used to. We really haven’t tested it to this breaking point, but given its sturdiness, we strongly believe that it’s strong enough to handle too much weight.

We love how lightweight this hammock is. At just a pound, there really can’t be a better alternative to Bear Butt double and THN Outdoors premium hammocks than this particular one.

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11. Legit Camping Double Hammock

Legit Camping double hammock
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Performance Chart

62% Overall Score
Comfort 6 Portability 6 Ease of Setup 8 Packability 6 Weight Capacity 5

Going for a brief backpacking trip or planning to stay in the wild for a while? Need a grab-and-go camping hammock that doesn’t suck? Or maybe you’re interested in an alternative to camping tent for your regular outdoor adventures? Legit Camping Double Hammock is a good option to consider.

While it isn’t the most lightweight pick on our list, it’s spacious enough to accommodate two people and strong enough to handle weight as heavy as 400 pounds. And if appearance is even anything to go by, this one comes in 11 hues so you can choose what suits your taste best.

Like MalloMe, Legit Camping takes quality, comfort, and durability seriously. And it’s easy to see this given the thoughtful design of this hammock. It’s made of military grade 210T nylon fabric, which explains why it’s such a strong and durable pick on this list.

This hammock is quite big. At 10 by 6.6 feet, it’s so spacious that two people can comfortably sleep in it throughout the night. And then when it’s not in use, it generally packs down to a size as small as 6 by 9 inches, which means it’s also packable and portable.

Legit Camping Double Hammock comes with tree friendly straps, steel carabiners, and ropes. That’s all you need to set it up, and it should take you only a few minutes to suspend it between two trees once you find a suitable spot in a campsite.

Legit Camping double hammock doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance. It’s strong enough to handle windy days, water-resistant to not get wet when it rains, and so rugged that it can stand up to wear and tear and keep going for the longest time possible.

This one is a double, which can handle a maximum capacity of 400 pounds really well. And given that the sleeping area is big, you can even sleep diagonally if you want. Two people will fit well and it won’t even show signs of wear and tear after multiple nights of sharing.

And if you ever feel like you need a gentle rock, go right away and have it. We assure you that you won’t fall off this one, as the carabiners and straps are strong enough to hold you in position.

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12. Winner Outfitters Double Camping Hammock

winner outfitters double hammock
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Performance Chart

72% Overall Score
Comfort 6 Portability 7 Ease of Setup 8 Packability 7 Weight Capacity 8

Do you seriously want to try a completely different sleeping pattern that doesn’t involve a 2-Person camping tent? Or maybe you need an alternative to a sleeping pad that’s as comfortable as your bed at home? Then it’s time to go hammock camping with Winner Outfitters double camping hammock.

Iconic in design, strong like a pole, comfortable like a camping cot, and big like your home bed, Winner Outfitters hammock is certainly good enough for a thrilling and unforgettable experience in the wild.

It’s made of 210T nylon parachute fabric, a pretty much standard hammock material that is strong and reliable, hence a decent score for its build. In fact, it’s so strong that you can move your body about as freely as you like. Toss and turn if you want. Or even sleep deeply without worrying about wear and tear.

And then there are triple locked stitches that, as we’ve seen in other hammocks, add to the overall strength of this model so it holds you safely in the midair.

As camping maniacs, we love to gaze at stars and at different shapes of the moon in the night when we get the chance to. Plus, we’ve enjoyed the fresh air outside camping tents with our eyes closed. And we can tell you that we couldn’t have done it without a double camping hammock like this one.

For us, setting up this inexpensive hammock was easy and straightforward. In fact, when it arrived, we quickly noticed that it included everything we needed to suspend it between two points. The accessories included two ropes each measuring 137 inches long, two steel carabiners for secure suspension, and two 52-inches long straps each measuring an inch wide.

At 9.8 feet long and 6.5 feet wide, this hammock is so big that you can share it with a friend and even bring your pet if you have one. The only problem is that the two of you will most likely get drawn to the center, but this shouldn’t be an issue if you don’t mind close contact.

Based on our testing, Winner Outfitters double camping hammock is both breathable and mildew resistant. This is important for two reasons. First, it enhances the lifespan of the hammock. And second, it ensures you don’t get drench in sweat in hot days.

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Comparison Table for the Top Camping Hammocks

Hammock Dimensions Weight Weight Capacity Capacity
Bear Butt Single Camping Hammock 8.5 x 4 ft 0.46 lbs 300 lbs 1-Person
Gold Amour Camping Hammock 10.4 x 6.54 ft 1.5 lbs 1000 lbs 2-Person
Honest Outfitters Double Camping Hammock 9.8 x 6.5 ft 1.5 lbs 500 lbs 2-Person
Serac Single Camping Hammock 9 x 4.5 ft 0.9 400 lbs 1-Person
Hennessy Expedition Camping Hammock 0.9 x 0.75 ft 2.75 lbs 250 lbs 1-Person
Bear Butt Double Camping Hammock 10 x 6 ft 1.13 lbs 500 lbs 2-Person
THN Outdoors Premium Camping Hammock 10 x 6.6 ft 2.3 lbs 400 lbs 2-Person
Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest Hammock 9 x 4 ft 1 lb 400 lbs 1-Person
Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock 10 x 6.5 ft 1.7 lbs 400 lbs 2-Person
MalloMe Double Parachute Camping Hammock 10.5 x 6.5 ft 1 lb 1000 lbs 2-Person
Legit Camping Double Hammock 10 x 6.6 ft 2 lbs 400 lbs 2-Person
Winner Outfitters Double Camping Hammock 9.8 x 6.5 ft 1.5 lbs 500 lbs 2-Person

Important Hammock Accessories

Eagles Nest Outfitters Hammock Tarp Accessory

To get the most out any of these hammocks, you need to make sure you have the right accessories in place. Some of these include tarps, rainfly, and bug screens.

Tarps

Tarps are important because they stretch over your hammock and provide protection from unfriendly weather. The result is a good camping experience despite the adverse effect of the weather in question. Just make sure that the tarp you go for has sufficient grommets for the suspension ropes. You may also want to check out our top recommendation here.

Rainfly

A rainfly is an important accessory that helps to protect you, your sleeping bag, and hammock from rain. When a hammock comes with this, we often consider it a versatile pick ready for a variety of weathers. Hennessy Expedition is an example of a hammock that comes with a rainfly.

Bug Screens

Bug screens are an important consideration because they protect you from biting bugs like mosquitoes, which can otherwise ruin your camping experience.

Underquilts and Top Quilts

An underquilt is placed under the hammock to offer extra protection against cold and chilly wind. Top quilts on the other hand, resemble sleeping bags but with a stretching slit that allows you to cover yourself while on the hammock while offering an easier escape route out of the hammock. These two accessories are crucial in enabling you have all-season camping adventures and while at it combat the elements appropriately.

Hammock Pillows

Designed with a minimal height without compromising on comfort, these pillows go well with the sagging nature of most tree hammocks. They can range from inflatable to compressible to hybrid types. Our review of the best camping pillows can help you pick one that’s most suitable for use with a hammock.

Camping Hammock Buying Guide

hammock camping in the woods

Unlike a backyard hammock with knotted ends and wooden spreaders, hammocks made for backpacking are portable and lightweight. They’re easy to setup, you just need ropes and straps, a camping spot between two strong trees and you’re good to go.

But with so many options shoved in your eyes by different manufactures, how exactly do you choose the best?

We need you to understand upfront that there’s no a one-size-fits-all rule to wrap your head around this. However, there are important factors to consider if you must get the biggest bangs for the bucks. They’re as follows:

1. Type of Hammock

The first step to choosing a camping hammock is to choose a type that’s right for you. There are at least 5 different kinds so far and the one you pick does come down to your personal preference. The following is a brief description of these types.

Portable Folding Hammocks

A portable folding hammock takes on a completely different design. But it retains the same comfort and functionality as regular hammocks. It’s lightweight, easy to put together, and takes only a few minutes to disassemble.

By definition, a portable folding hammock is a kind of a camping cot that collapses like a folding bed. It’s made of a metal frame that’s tough on rust and resistant to corrosion. And its fabric is easy to adjust to a desired angle.

This hammock doesn’t require ropes, straps, or carabiners, and definitely no trees for suspension. It comes fully assembled and ready to use. All you have to do is to pull the metal frame to make a complete structure.

To the best of our knowledge, a portable folding hammock delivers a more fine-tuned relaxation, fully immersing you in the best mood to while away time and get a comfortable sleep. Plus, you can take these hammocks almost anywhere including those parks and campgrounds which have restrictions in place about use of tree hammocks.

Gathered End Hammock

Also known as Brazilian, a Gathered End Hammock has its fabrics gathered at the end. It doesn’t have spreader bars to keep the sleeping surface open, but that’s something you can do with your body anyway.

In general, they are lightweight, easy to fold down, and comfortable to sleep in.

Parachute Nylon Hammock

We know them for being waterproof and mold resistant. And they’re the kind to consider if durability is something you aren’t willing to compromise. The problem with them is they aren’t as breathable and their level of stretch isn’t nearly as sufficient.

Expedition Hammocks

These ones can stand up to just about any condition in the wild. They are the best to bring with you if you expect it to rain, if your campsite has bugs, if it’s extremely cold out there, or if you’ll be camping away from home for a while.

They even have space that you can use as extra storage. So the lightweight camping items, like a hydration pack or camping pillow could use the extra area just fine.

As if bug nets and rain tarps aren’t even enough, some manufacturers go a step further to include insulation pads to their expedition hammocks.

90 Degrees Hammocks

This is a new kid on the block, with suspension securely attached to the side instead of the far ends. While they tend to be stable, they are a little bit hard to set up and require time to suspend between two trees.

As of this writing, very few manufacturers build this kind of structure. And we don’t know if they’ll even pick commercially, not to mention become popular in the hammocks market.

2. Size Matters, a Lot

Size primarily depends on the type of hammock that you’d like to use. And there are only two types as far as the scope is concerned.

Single Hammocks

When we talk about single hammocks, two things quickly come to mind: weight and price. But there’s more to it.

With a single hammock, you aren’t getting a wider surface area for sleep and comfort. But for one person, this should work just fine.

Built for solo campers, single hammocks have an average width between 4 and 5 feet and a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds, with the lightweight models supporting not more than 250 pounds.

Double Hammocks

If you want more space and comfort, double hammocks are the real deal. They are so spacious that two people can easily fit in. In general, they have an average width between 5 and 6 feet and an average capacity of 400 to 500 pounds.

It’s important to understand that single or double labels can be confusing sometimes. In a way, a double hammock from one brand could equally be a single from another.

So rather than depend on the label, try to get the exact dimensions of the hammock before making a purchase.

You can take this even a step further and compare your height with the length of the hammock to see if it will fit you perfectly, especially when sleeping, factoring in the sagging that the hammock may have.

It’s also important to observe the four-foot rule when choosing a camping hammock based on size. It means making sure the hammock you choose is four feet longer than your height. This is very important and it’s something we don’t want you to ignore.

If you take a closer look at any double or single hammock, you’ll notice that the ends hang out at an angle making it impossible to use the full-length fabric. But if you have an extra four feet length, you’ll be able to lie flat and completely stretched out.

In other words, the longer the fabric, the better. It just makes every night in the wild as comfortable as possible, just like your bed at home.

3. Material and Design

hammock straps and carabiners stretched

Every camping enthusiast needs nothing short of a durable and cozy hammock. And here’s exactly where material and design come in.

Ideally, manufacturers use cotton, nylon, polyester sunbrella, and parachute nylon to design single and double camping hammocks.

The ones made of cotton and polyester fabrics are soft to touch and generally lightweight. But they aren’t durable, which means they will only last for a few backpacking and camping trips before demanding an upgrade.

Hammocks made of sunbrella and nylon fabrics are different. Not only are they lightweight, they are also tough and durable, able to last a couple of years before they wear and tear. Before buying one from this category, make sure the nylon is thick enough and if it features a rip stop reinforcement, go for it.

Besides durability, nylon hammocks are incredibly lightweight. Plus, they fold down to small sizes, fit in a backpack and are easy to move around. They don’t stretch out too much so they should provide enough comfort, especially during the night.

It’s also important to consider design pattern when choosing a hammock for backpacking and camping.

Some hammocks feature a rectangular shape, but the problem with this design is that it’s symmetric, which makes it hard for you to lay in freely. As such, getting yourself to fall asleep and actually sleep becomes difficult. We, therefore, don’t recommend this kind of a design pattern. Instead, we advise you to go for an asymmetrical design pattern because they are easy to sleep in.

Beyond material and design, just how strong is the hammock you intend to buy?

Whether you intend to use it regularly or for an occasional swapping with a camping tent, you need to make sure it’s as sturdy and as durable as possible. It means choosing what can support your weight, thick enough to handle the swinging motion of your body, and even include durable straps and carabiners to offer endless support.

After all, the last thing you want to worry about is your hammock breaking free in the middle of the night.

4. Weight of the Hammock

Weight is an important factor to consider when choosing a hammock. To determine what weight suits you best, you need to determine what you intend to use the hammock for in the first place.

Choose a lightweight option if you’re going for a backpacking trip. A good example would be the Bear Butt single hammock. Weighing just 0.46 pounds, it’s by far the most lightweight backpacking hammock that we’ve ever tested.

Also, make sure the hammock you choose can fold down, fit in its carrying pouch, and easily fit in your backpack. Fortunately, many of the options that we tested and added in this review pack down quite well, some to as small as the size of a tumbler. How cool is that?

5. Number of Users

Knowing how many people will be using the hammock can help you buy the right kind, mostly based on size. If you’ll be going for solo camping, a single hammock like Bear Butt or Serac should be more than enough. However, if you plan to go camping with a friend or your loved one, then you should consider a double camping hammock.

Also, check the maximum capacity a hammock can handle before buying. Remember, single sized hammocks have a weight limit between 250 and 400 pounds and the double hammocks can hold up to 500 pounds, some up to 1000 pounds.

Conclusion

Hammock camping has taken a completely new lead, gradually becoming more and more popular just like tent camping.

We love just how portable they are, a fact attributed to being lighter than even the smallest camping tent.

Without poles and rigid parts, except for the carabiners, they’re so compact that they can fit even in the smallest space in an extremely crowded backpack.

With portability comes versatility. Unlike tents, hammocks allow you to extent your trip beyond your campsite, especially in those moments when you feel like striking out on a hike far beyond where you’ve pitched your camping tent. And if you’re out late, you can use the hammock for sleep and get back to your campsite a day after.

Author-bio

ABOUT DANIEL MSANII

When he's not camping or adventuring the outdoors, you'll find him grinding hard on his keyboard to put up some super-awesome content on campingmaniacs.com. Starting off on camping escapades back in 2011, he has grown fond of the activity over the years. His exposure to a myriad of different camping terrains, gear and the outdoor atmosphere has hitherto changed his perception of the entire outdoor life. He enjoys sharing the experiences of his adventures and gear reviews with the awesome camping community on this platform. Read more about us.

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