Updated on: April 16, 2017
Going from a tent to a hammock is not an easy choice as you don’t know how much comfort it will bring. It’s definitely going to be a lighter option, but how to choose one? How to install it? Can you install it pretty much everywhere or you need something in particular?
From a distance, the tent gives more stability and reliability than a hammock which seems like the perfect option when chilling in the backyard on a Sunday afternoon…The hammock is not only lighter, but it’s also less expensive and…gives the amazing 360-degree view of the surroundings. Of course, you can take a hammock when hiking only in the mild weather and a sleeping pad for insulation, a rain tarp, a bug net…and you’re all set for a 3-season hammock.
There are several types of hammocks, going from the type you hang from a stand with a spreader bar, to the ones that are stronger with a single gather point at each end.
From all of these types though, there are two categories that do stand out, especially from a hiker’s point of view.
The parachute nylon single is a long lasting model hammock that is very comfortable for a long time. This is a great option if you want to camp by yourself, for several nights.
A wider and larger version of the single hammock is the parachute nylon double that are designed for two sleepers. This type of hammock gives extra width for more warmth in colder weather and…less of a risk of having exposed feet or shoulders. The parachute nylon double brings more comfort to larger camper, but the sleeping of two isn’t the most luxurious one.
The ultralight hammock models are made of lightweight materials and have a compact size, which is great for taking them when fast and light backpacking. The downside is that they are not as comfortable nor long lasting like the parachute nylon full-size hammocks, but are a good option for the small-to-average sized campers. If the weight of your backpacking is the number 1 thing you care about, this type of hammock is the one to get.
If none of these models fits your needs, maybe you can settle for an expedition/backcountry hammock. This is a hammock made of high-denier nylon and comes with many features in order to create more space inside and bug nets.
How to choose?
First thing to consider when you buy your hammock is to give a good thought on where you’re going to use it most of the time. For a camping trip, a bigger and more featured hammock is the one you want. This type of hammock comes also with a mosquito net and it’s typically wider so that it fits a sleeping bag also. if you go at a campsite, you don’t need a bugging net and a smaller hammock is enough as it easily fits in a small day pack.
Your height and weight are also important when you choose your hammock. A heavier camper needs a wider, more durable hammock whereas a smaller camper can do with a lightweight hammock.
As it figures, it you go hiking/camping for several days you need to check the weather forecast and keep in mind the rain/the mosquitos/the temperature. It’s always good to get a hammock with a rain tarp and bug net, but you can always upgrade the one you want with the accessories you need.
How to use it?
Most of us that never used a hammock before, would say that sleeping lengthwise is the best choice. This works for a little while, but it puts the body at a weird angle and gets uncomfortable after a while. If you go through the outdoor hammock reviews, you get to find out that the best way to sleep is to angle the body at a slight diagonal, with the feet slightly higher than the head. You need to keep your body as flat as possible so the exact angle might lean. Some outdoor hammocks are actually built asymmetrically to give a better sleep to the camper. Due to the diagonal angle, the right width is important to keep feet from falling out of the bottom. And this is another reason for which roomier hammocks are cozier.
If you consider getting a sleeping pad, you need to know most of them out there bring the risk of sliding off of the hammock. Some sleeping pads come with a double layer that seals the pad in place and you need to really stuff them inside your sleeping bag to minimize the movement.
Stay away from the widow makers (dead branches) and make sure every anchor point is thick and bomber (at least 8” diameter). Check the strength of the tree you plan to use as anchor by strapping it around and giving it a good tug.
If you are camping/hiking with your friends, you need to find more than a couple of trees that are close to each other…and this is quite a challenge. Sleeping besides your friends, hammocks side by side is a one-of-a-kind experience, for sure!
And…if it’s all clear, keep in mind to always give a 30-degrees angle to your hammock for the best comfort overnight!
Top 5 best outdoor hammock
When you’re looking for an affordable, yet reliable hammock for your camping/hiking trips, the Legit Camping – Double Hammock is a great choice.
The double camping hammock is wide and comfortable and it’s rather easy to install. Everything you might need for its installation comes in its bag. The hammock comes with steel carabineers, rope and tree friendly straps.
The hammock is very lightweight and has a spacious design with 400-pound capacity. It packs very well so it’s very portable just as well. The hammock pack so small that is very easy to take along when camping/hiking.
The hammock is wide enough to fit comfortably two sleepers.
You don’t have to worry about the strength of the hammock as it’s made with military-grade 210T nylon fabric. The hammock is tough and reliable at the same time. The seams are durable and the rope and fabric can take the heavy weight.
You don’t really need to worry about the rainy days, as the hammock keeps water away just fine. Additionally, it’s khaki color blends you into surroundings, so it’s good to take even when hunting.
Let’s sum it all up and highlight the main pros:
- The hammock is easy to install and comes with everything you need for its installation
- The hammock is cozy enough for two sleepers
- The hammock packs small and its very portable
- The hammock keeps you dry and gives you a good hide
On the other hand, there are few points that count as cons:
- The hammock gives greater comfort if installed diagonally
- The ties need to be of better quality
- The straps are a bit short
All in all, for a very good price, you get a tough, highly portable and comfortable outdoor hammock for two.
Spacious and comfortable, the Eagles Nest Outfitters Double Deluxe Hammock makes a great choice for any hiker/camper. The hammock is made of 100% Nylon and supports up to 400lbs. it features 70D high tenacity breathable nylon taffeta and is made with triple interlocking stitching.
There are many features that count on the Eagles Nest Double Deluxe Hammock, but one of the main one is its portability. The hammock is lightweight and packs up and compresses in its own sewn on attached pocket. This makes the hammock easy to carry it when backpacking.
The hammock is easy to setup and comes with aluminum wire gate carabineers and nautical grade line with stain-less steel snap links. You can set it up safe and secure to poles, boat masts, trees and even on the wall.
The Eagles Nest Outfitters Double Deluxe is versatile and long lasting and has a compact shape which makes it great for hiking, camping, boating, travelling and so one.
You feel comfortable and snug in the hammock that also gives enough space for your significant “other”.
And, on top of everything, Eagles Nest Outfitters tries to minimize potential waste so the hammock is made with every bit of fabric available in production so this explains the color combinations that differ from the pictures.
Let’s list the main pros:
- The hammock supports up to 400lbs.
- The hammock is easy to setup and take down
- The hammock is highly portable and packs small in its own carry bag
- You feel cozy and secure in the hammock
There’s also a short list of cons:
- The hammock is a bit thin
- The breathability of the hammock may be improved
- You get no suspension straps with the hammock so you need to buy extra
All in all, as it’s comfortable, durable and extremely portable, the hammock is a great choice when backpacking into the wild.
For a luxurious feeling when camping, you can give it a try with the ENO Double Deluxe Hammock OneLink Tent System. The hammock is large enough to give a cozy feeling to two sleepers when camping.
The hammock is easy to install and features the Atlas straps. These straps are strong as they are agile and enduring. The Atlas strap weighs 11 oz. and boosts to 30 combined adjustment points. The straps are made of Poly-Filament webbing with overlapping attachment loops.
The Pro Fly Rain Tarp is efficient and it protects you against noise, bad weather. The Profly’s six guy points give a streamlined shape which is perfect for rainy days.
The hammock comes with 6 tarp stakes that are made of aluminum. The stakes are lightweight, triangular and give a strong structure, though lightweight.
You don’t need to worry about bugs as the hammock comes with a Guardian Bug Net that keeps mosquito away all the time.
Let’s pinpoint the main pros:
- The hammock comes with the highly efficient, great for suspension Atlas Straps
- The hammock protects against bad weather conditions, rainy days and cold temperatures
- The Bug Net keeps insects away
- The hammock is easy to install
On the other hand, some things could use some improvement, so here are the cons:
- The hammock loses some heat through its bottom
- You need some time to get used to sleeping in it, but this applies to all hammocks
In the end, the hammock is lightweight, portable, cozy enough and easy to install. It protects you from the elements and altogether is a good buy for your camping!
For the hiker/camper that wants to try something new and different, the Hennessy Hammock – Deep Jungle Zip XL is a nice surprise. As it’s one of the best outdoor hammocks brands out there, the Hennessy hammock has an asymmetrical side zip entry and a double bottom.
The hammock is wide enough to give comfort to two sleepers. It has a height limit of 7’ tall and it can take up to 300lbs. weight.
The hammock comes with everything you need to assemble it: tough suspending ropes (two of 10’ length) and Spectra ropes with polyester cover, webbing straps and a rainfly. The hammock is easy to install also.
The rainfly is made of 30D high tenacity 66 Sinylon rip stop which translates into a durable, water-resistant hammock.
The hammock is a great option for 3-season. It comes with a 100% hammock-proof double bottom with two layers of tightly woven 30D high tenacity water resistant nylon.
The entrance zipper is tough and has two double sliders. The hammock is compatible with the Double Bubble Insulation Pad and you can buy it separately. The hammock is lightweight and easy to carry around.
The Hennessey Hammock Jungle Zip comes with rainfly, bug net, ropes, webbing sacks and stuff sack with directions.
Here are the main pros:
- The hammock is great for the jungle
- It comes with everything you need to assemble it
- The hammock comes with bug net, rainfly
- It’s wide enough for two sleepers and it’s very comfortable
As for the parts we don’t like that much, here they are:
- The hammock doesn’t come with a snake skin
- It’s a bit challenging to use the sleeve for mat
As it’s comfortable, lightweight and protective, the hammock makes a great choice for the 3-season hikes in the big jungle.
When you plan not only to spend few hours in the woods, but also several days, you need a hammock that gives protection all the way. The Clark NX-270 Four-Season Camping Hammock sustains up to 300lbs. (136kg) and is best for people under 6’9”. It’s made in our USA from American fabrics and goes for all year long.
The hammock is not only versatile but it also comes with many useful features and qualities.
The hammock has a breathable Weather Shield layer that zips over the No-See-Um mosquito net. This way the hammock transforms into an enclosed tent, keeping you warm and protected by wind, rain or snow.
The insulating pocket system keeps warmth inside so that you don’t need insulating pads or warmer camps. The access for the pockets is easy from the inside through the zippers. The insulating pockets give also storage space for your boots or other gear. The hammock gives more options for storage though as it has two more pockets inside, great for a flashlight or a pistol.
The hammock’s ropes are made of water-repellant polypropylene and the spring poles are made of fiberglass. The poles are flexible for a roomy interior.
When we talk about the extra features, we also have to mention the rain fly that comes along. The rain fly is very large and is made of high quality sil-nylon.
The hammock is easy to install, even though it’s a different way from the typical hammock. The straps are long and they never stretch either. The hammock is strong and may be also placed on the ground thanks to its tough fiberglass poles.
Here are the main pros:
- The hammock comes with a water-repellant Weather Shield
- The hammock transforms into a well-sealed tent
- There are 6 pockets that give storage space but also provide comfort and warmth
- The hammock is easy to install
As for the cons, there are only some minor issues:
- The Weather Shield is not fully detachable
- You need a tarp for the hammock
All in all, you get a hammock that gives you great protection, while remaining breathable and lightweight, for all year long hiking /camping experiences.
Best outdoor camping hammock
When you go camping last thing you want to carry about is the hammock that either is difficult to setup, either is too heavy or either doesn’t protect you from mosquitos…The Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock is by far the most popular choice for any camper and is actually the Winner of the well-known Gear of the Year Award.
The hammock comes with one-of-a-kind arch pole/spreader system so that you can suspend the hammock between two objects/trees. This system allows you to use the hammock also as a tent on the ground. Additionally, the system also creates a flatter bed on the hammock and more taut.
The Lawson Blue Ridge comes with a detachable, waterproof rainfly and an attached no-see-em bug netting. These accessories are directly attached to the hammock so you don’t need to spend more money.
The hammock is lightweight, considering the many things that come along. Its design is very well thought out and the “banana”/” cocoon” effect of other hammocks is totally eliminated. The hammock is spacious and soothing. The capacity of the hammock is 275 lbs. The setup of the hammocks is easy and the comfort is amazing even for two sleepers.
You can store your important items in the inside pocket of the hammock as it’s quite large.
The hammock has a solid build and is quite stable. It comes also with shock cord poles and spreader bars.
Let’s highlight the main pros:
- The hammock is a hybrid between a hammock and a tent and may be use as both
- The hammock is very easy to setup
- It comes with rain fly, bug net, shock cord poles and spreader bars
- The hammock is comfortable and spacious
On the other hand, there are some parts we rather dislike, so here they are:
- The hammock doesn’t come with tree straps
- The hammock comes along with many accessories (useful, nevertheless…) and is not that light weight anymore
- There are some sliding issues when in it
All in all, whenever you go camping and sit on a fence on how you’re going to sleep…get the Lawson Hammock Camping as you get both a hammock and a tent!
Best outdoor double hammock
When you and your significant “other” go camping or hiking, you want a hammock that keep you both snug and comfortable, at the same time. The Eagles Nest Outfitters OneLink Hammock Sleep System – DoubleNest is not only a popular choice, but also a reliable and versatile option when camping/hiking.
The hammock comes in a comprehensive shelter system: a double nest hammock, a Profly rain tarp, a guardian Bug net and several other tools you need for the setup. The set includes 2 steel carabineers, Atlas Suspension Straps and a set of Easton Tarp stakes.
The hammock is easy to setup and once is assembled is reliable and cozy. The hammock is spacious and can support up to 400lbs. The hammock features 70D high tenacity breathable nylon taffeta and triple interlocking stitching. This means more durability and strength for your hammock.
You don’t need to worry about falling out of the hammock as the Atlas Hammock Suspension straps allow you to install the hammock around large trees and posts. There are 30 combined adjustment points for you in order to get the perfect fit.
The hammock packs quite small and easy in its stuff sack so you can carry it around wherever you need it.
Here are the most important pros:
- The hammock comes with rain fly, Atlas straps, guardian bug net, tent stakes
- The hammock is easy to setup
- The hammock packs in its sack and is highly portable
- The hammock can take up to 400lbs., in a comfortable way
We also need to talk about the cons, no matter how few they might be:
- The rain fly is not long enough
- The hammock doesn’t keep you very warm so you need some padding for the colder weather
- There is no sleeve to store some small items
Despite the small issues, the hammock still makes a nice, cozy and reliable hammock for two when travelling in two.
Best outdoor tree hammock
For some, there’s no fun in going camping/hiking if not using a tree hammock. The Hennessy Hammock Safari Deluxe Series has a height limit of 7’ tall and can take up to 350lbs.
The hammock is not only easy to setup, but also rather easy to take down and to store away.
You don’t have to worry about any bugs as the hammock as it comes with bug proof mosquito net. Especially when going in a Safari, the bug proof mosquito protects you against malaria-carrying mosquitoes and some sand flies. As for the rainfly, the hammock comes with a very large, detachable one just as well.
The hammock is spacious and comfortable and features a classic bottom entry with Velcro closure. The hammock comes with a double wide hex shaped fly.
The asymmetric layout of the hammock is important not only for the comfort, but also for your stability.
The hammock comes with attached mosquito netting, rain fly, support ropes. The stuff sack is efficient for easier carrying of the hammock that also packs quite small. And, don’t worry on the setup/take down as the instructions are written on the back of the sack.
The Hennessy Hammock comes also with a standard 42 feet long “tree Hugger”- webbing straps that protect the bark of trees.
Let’s list the most important pros:
- The hammock is for 7’ height and takes a weight of 350lbs.
- The hammock is easy to setup/take down/ pack
- The hammock comes with attached mosquito netting, detachable rain fly, support ropes, pack
- You can use the “Tree Hugger” webbing straps for protecting trees when installing your hammock
As for the list of cons, it’s quite short:
- The hammock doesn’t come with a snake skin
- The screen is a bit noisy
- There is no zipper for the bug net…
But, next time you go hunting/camping/hiking or…wherever you like to go, the Hennessy Hammock is great for a comfortable night up in the trees.
Best outdoor hammock brand
There are many outdoor hammocks brands out there that create and give reliable, comfortable hammocks, but one stands out with its durable, easy to setup hammocks. The Hennessy Hammocks are great for the real outdoor experiences and they all have one thing in common: are reliable when hiking/camping/hunting…
One of the most popular choices and affordable options is the Hennessy Hammock Expedition Series that features an asymmetrical side zipper closure and all the patented features of the Hennessy Hammock. The model has mesh pocket on ridgeline, webbing straps to protect the bark of trees and a tough rainfly. The rain fly is made with 70D catenary cut to minimize weight and wrinkles at the same time.
The fabric of the Hennessy Hammock Expedition Series is the strong 210D Oxford nylon. The hammock comes with suspending ropes and webbing straps that create rather easy a steady, reliable and cozy shelter.
If you are willing to upgrade a bit, you can try the Hennessy Hammock EXPLORER DELUXE ASYM Velcro + Snake Skins Hammock Tent. The model is not only easy to setup/take down, but it’s also easy to pack-up.
The hammock comes with tree hugger straps that protect trees from rope burns. The hammock becomes a tent without actually leaving a footprint on the ground. You don’t need to level or trench with this one. The hammock can take up to 300lbs. or up to 7’ tall. As all hammocks of Hennessy hammocks, it also comes with mosquito netting, detachable rain fly, support ropes, tree huggers and stuff sack with instructions on the back.
Last, but not least, for the experienced survivalist, a great choice from Hennessy is the Hennessy Hammock – Survivor Woodland Camo Zip.
The hammock takes up to 300lbs. and is a patented complete camping shelter system that includes several patents. You get the patented asymmetric hammock be, the silnylon rain fly, the integral mosquito net, the webbing straps to protect the bark of trees and the tough ropes. The ropes are engineered to be 6 times tougher than the weight limit of the hammock.
The mosquito protection is fine woven and is made with lightweight 20D polyester. The no-see-um mesh is efficient and the spectra reinforced, double-layered hammock bottom fabric is long lasting.
And, the final touch comes from the Camo pattern on the fabric which gives the perfect hide into surroundings.
A short list of pros for the Hennessy Hammocks looks like this:
- The hammocks are easy to setup/take down/pack up
- The hammocks come with bug net, rain fly, ropes and tree huggers
- The hammocks can take some heavy weight
- The hammocks protect you against the elements
As for the cons, the list is even shorter:
- The hammocks are in the mid-range price area
- The hammocks are mostly tree hammocks
All in all, next time you go shopping for hammocks, if your eyes fall on a Hennessy Hammock, wait no more and get it!
Best outdoor hammock with stand
When you decide that looking for the perfect trees to setup your outdoor hammock is not your thing, then the hammock with stand is the natural choice. The Jumbo Caribbean Hammock in Mocha and Metal Tribeam Stand Combo is easy to setup and comfortable all the way.
The luxurious Caribbean style hammock is very comfortable and is made of high quality materials. It’s 15 ft. high and offers a 600lbs. capacity.
The hammock is portable and is very easy and fast to assemble. The materials are durable and they are designed to last for many years of use.
The stand is made of 20 gauge cold rolled steel which means durability and strength on the stand. The stand is also powder coated in a nice mocha color to protect it from dust and corrosion. The easy spring pin toll less assembly lets you put it together in less than 5 minutes. The hammock comes with hardware and chains that are high quality zinc platted.
The hammock is sturdy and large enough to fit two adults in a cozy way. The fabric of the hammock is hand woven from soft-spun polyester in e very strong, tight micro-weave to give support and comfort altogether. The materials are also weather durable and can take years of outdoor use.
When it comes to the details, we also need to say a word on the hardwood spreader bar that is 55 inches wide and has multiple coats of glossy marine varnish. This way, the hammock still looks great and the wood is protected from the elements.
We also have to talk about the breathability of the hammock which is a nice quality.
Here are the most important pros:
- The hammock is easy to setup and is highly portable
- The hammock is made with high quality materials
- The hammock is comfortable and breathable
- The hammock is sturdy and gives a 600lbs. capacity
When it comes to the cons, we only need to mention that some encountered some challenges when setting up the hammock. It was too low and they need it to double the chains over themselves for the right tightness.
Regardless the minor issue, the Jumbo Caribbean Hammock is a great outdoor hammock with stand to have around a house for many years.
If you don’t feel like finding the trees for the best installation for your hammock and would rather take a steel stand instead, the Vivere Double Hammock with Space Saving Steel Stand is a comfortable, to say the least, option.
The double hammock comes with a space-saving steel stand and its own carrying case. The hammock has an overall length of 130-inches and is comfortable enough to fit two adult sleepers. The maximum capacity of the hammock is 450-pound.
The 9-foot stand is made of heavy duty steel and gives a strong, reliable base for your hammock. The main upside of the stand is that you install it in minutes, with no need of any tools.
The hammock per say is made of 100% cotton, but you can also choose the polyester fabric or the Sumbrella fabric. The hammock is thick and comes in various patterns for the fabrics so that you can have multiple choices.
The hammock uses also plastic caps on the ends of the steel tubing to make a smooth finish. The hammock packs very small and comes with easy to understand instructions.
The package includes the wheel kit, the double hook set, tree straps and a drain hanging set. Keep in mind that the hammock is also adjustable and comes with a 12-month warranty on all materials and workmanship.
Let’s highlight the most important pros:
- The hammock comes with metal stand
- The hammock has a thick, durable fabric that comes in various color combinations
- The hammock comes with multiple tools you need
- The hammock and the stand pack small, in the carrying case that comes along
As it figures, there are also some minor issues we need to pinpoint:
- The hammock doesn’t swing that much as it has the metal stand
- There is a specific smell for the fabric at first, but it fades out in time
All in all, for less than $100 you get a reliable, cozy enough for two, hammock with metal stand.