Hammocks are a great way to enjoy a night in nature, under the stars. Not only are they an easier and more affordable option than more traditional camping gear such as tents or RVs, they provide a great night’s sleep and can bring you closer to the great outdoors.
Hammocks are proven to give you a more ergonomic and sound sleep, because you are suspended in air and aren’t subjected to the hard ground and rocks below you. This is just one of the many benefits camping with a hammock tent can bring.
Being the epitome of relaxation and comfort, a hammock is the perfect option for your next camping trip. The best hammock tent is one that is sturdy, comfortable and affordable. This guide will give you all the tips you need to buy your next hammock, and find the best hammock tent that best fits your needs.
Why You Should Be Camping in a Hammock
Hammock tent camping is a new phenomenon in North America. Hammocks have been around for centuries and are thought to have originated from the indigenous people of Central and South America. A lot of people living in tribes in Central America still use hammocks as their primary form of shelter. These traditional hammocks were woven with various materials, including bark and palm fronds.
Today, modern hammocks are made of more durable and affordable material including rope, cotton and synthetic fabric. While people have traditionally camped in more familiar shelters such as tents and campers, hammock tents provide a great alternative to these overly praised camping techniques.
Not only do avid hammock enthusiasts claim that they have gotten the best sleep of their night in a hammock, but hammock camping provides other benefits.
- Versatile: Hammocks can be used to sleep in, as a seat during the day, and as a place to keep your belongings dry.
- Lightweight: Most hammocks can fold up to the size of a water bottle, and can be easily carried in a backpack. They are great for long treks and backpacking trips.
- More fun! Hammock tent camping brings out the kid in everyone. There’s just something so fun about tying a hammock to two trees and swinging on it freely feet above the ground. Your next camping trip will be twice as much fun when you camp in a hammock tent.
- Same Comfort as a Tent: Many die-hard tent campers fear the lack of features and comfort that hammocks have. But fear no more tent-ers, hammock tents can now give you everything that a tent can, and more! With additions like rain flys, bug nets, insulation features and more, hammock tents are just as equipped to keep you safe and comfortable as their less superior counterparts.
What to look for in a quality hammock
While a good hammock should not cost you a fortune, a quality hammock tent is something that you want to invest in. A higher costing hammock may be so for a reason, like it being made out of higher quality material and therefore will last you a lot longer than a cheaper, more poorly made hammock.
Keep in mind that a hammock tent system including all the accessories and suspension system like the ones we have listed in this guide, are going to cost more you more upfront, but save you money down the road when you realize you don’t have to buy any additional accessories for camping.
Type of Hammock
Parachute hammock tents are made out of durable nylon, and are well suited for sleeping in for longer periods of time. Most parachute hammocks are meant for single sleepers, and are made so that they give a little and stretch with your body throughout the night.
Because of this, parachute hammock tents are well known as some of the most comfortable hammocks around, and are favored by serious hikers and backpackers on long trips.
Everything you need to know about these kinds of hammocks says it in their name. Lightweight hammocks are indeed constructed with weight in mind. They often come in ultralight models, and are easy to roll up and take on a quick camping trip, a lazy afternoon in the park, or to stow away somewhere where space is tight such as a carry-on.
While these types of hammocks aren’t known for their comfort or durability, and may not be suited for long trips, they’re compact and can sleep one average to small sized camper comfortably. These are the best hammocks for you if you’re concerned about conserving space, and keeping light on the weight you’re carrying.
These hammocks are for the serious backpackers and hikers. The ones that disappear for months into the mountains and never return. If you’re going to on an adventure that intense, you’re definitely going to need something fit for the job. That’s what expedition hammock tents are for. They are made of high-end nylon, the same material they make expedition tents out of.
This provides optimum protection and warmth to those brave expeditioners. They also come with extra features like guy-lines that provide more space inside your hammock to store things, and bug nets to keep those pesky mosquitos out of your sleeping space. If you’re planning a big hike or backpacking trip, this hammock tent has got you covered.
Generally, North American hammocks are made out of two materials cotton and nylon. Both have their pros and cons that are worth considering when searching for the perfect hammock tent for you.
Cotton hammocks are usually made more for lounging and relaxing, rather than doing any overnight camping in the forest. Although these hammocks are generally weaved in bright colors and aesthetically pleasing designs, they tend to be heavier and bulkier than nylon hammocks.
This can lead to problems when camping for long periods of time, such as less room in your backpack and a non-waterproof form of shelter. Cotton hammocks are great for afternoons in the park, or for use as chairs and lounging areas when camping.
Nylon is what most of your newer hammock tents are made out of. This is because the nylon make the hammocks lighter, waterproof, and overall a better form of protection for long term camping and sleeping.
Nylon repels water, and is extremely durable meaning that your nylon hammock tent will last you several years if cared for properly.
When talking about hammocks, size matters. The size and weight capacity are things that should be taken into serious consideration when searching for your perfect hammock tent.
Single & Double Hammocks
Hammock shelters come in all different kinds of widths and lengths. If you are a particularly tall or short person, this is something that you should think about when choosing a hammock tent. If a hammock is too small or short, you simply won’t fit. And if a hammock is too wide or long, it can wrap around you too tightly.
If you want to sleep with somebody else in the same hammock, you should get a double hammock that is made for holding two people at once.
You should always read the recommended weight capacity limit for the hammock tent you buy. You should never sleep two people to a one-person hammock, or load a hammock with more weight than it can handle. Not only can this be dangerous and possibly result in injury, it can also reduce the quality and longevity of your hammock tent.
Most hammock tents come equipped with certain accessories that make the hammock tent suitable for camping. You’re going to want to do some research and make sure that the hammock tent you buy has the necessary accessories you think you’ll need for your camping needs. Below are some common hammock tent accessories and their uses.
If you’re camping in tropical climates, or anywhere where mosquitos and other insects are a threat to a comfortable night’s sleep and in some cases, even your health, a mosquito net is going to come in handy.
Not only do mosquito nets protect you from insects, they also put a barrier between you and other creature of the forest like lizards, spiders, and snakes.
Due to most hammocks’ nylon and lightweight material, hammock tents are great for keeping you cool and breezy during the summer. But if you’re thinking of going hammock camping in the fall or winter months, it’s a good idea to make sure your hammock tent comes with an insulation accessory. These can include sleeping pads, underquilts or topquilts that all provide an extra layer of warmth between you and the cold.
Rainflys are an essential accessory to have for your hammock tent. These are essentially specially designed tarps that cover your hammock and give you the protection of a tent when it’s raining or even just damp outside. They even make models that not only tie to trees, but can also be attached to the ground to give you optimum coverage.
Comfort & Design
When considering buying a hammock tent, it’s important to think about your standards of comfort. What kind of sleeper are you? Back? Stomach? Side? Do you prefer more space in the hammock, or to be wrapped up like a cocoon?
All of these things should be taken into consideration because every hammock tent is designed slightly different. Some are longer, wider, and have more give then others. You want to make sure that the hammock tent you get is one that is comfortable for you to sleep in, so that you can enjoy your camping trips.
The Best Hammocks Out There
After we learned everything we need to know about hammocks and what features to consider before buying, let’s see out top choices out there.
Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro
Dimensions: 4.3 x 8.6 x 10.7 inches
Features: No-See-Um mosquito net
Best use: Entry-level hammock camping, budget-friendly hammock shelter
The Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro is known for doing exactly what its title would suggest, keeping out even the tiniest insect from crawling into your sleeping space at night. This hammock tent is budget friendly, and gives you good quality for the amount you’re paying.
The hammock shape is more traditional, meaning it’s harder to lay flat. But some people don’t mind doing the banana bend during the night, and find it quite comfortable. It’s a long hammock, meaning that it can fit even the burliest of campers.
If you’re just beginning to explore hammock camping and aren’t looking to make a huge investment, the Skeeter Beeter Pro is the hammock for you.
Hennessy Hammock Explorer
Dimensions: 120 x 59 inches
Features: Lightweight and durable
Best use: Minimalistic hammock camping, backpacking, hiking
Hennessy is known for making minimalistic and lightweight hammocks. But don’t be fooled by Hennessy’s lightweight nature, because these are one of the most comfortable hammocks around. When going on long backpacking or hiking trips, being mindful of the weight you bring is important which is why the Hennessy Hammock Explorer is the perfect hammock for those longer trips.
This hammock will thousands of miles on the trails. It’s not recommended that extra tall campers use the Hennessy, people over 6 ft tall have found comfort an obstacle.
Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock
Dimensions: 42 X 42 X 90 inches
Features: Can be used as a hammock or a tent
Best use: Tent hammock hybrid, backpacking, camping
For those campers who can’t decide if they prefer camping in a hammock or a tent better, the Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock has found the perfect middle ground for you. Not only has it been rated #1 by Backpacker, Outside and American Survival Guide, but it’s also the winner of the Gear of the Year Award. And it’s easy to see why.
This hammock tent is constructed with a unique arch pole and spreader system that makes it easy to hang in between trees as well as lie flat on the ground as a tent. It gets even better, because the Lawson comes with a detachable rainfly and a no-see-um bug net. This is the hammock tent for those campers whose priority it is to sleep in a flat position, and have the ability to sleep in a tent too if they want.
Clark Jungle Hammock NX-270
Dimensions: 50.25 x 108.5 inches
Features: Ultimate protection from the elements
Best use: High end hammock camping, hiking, backpacking
This hammock comes with a hefty price tag, and the best hammock tent protection you can find. This hammock is built to be camped in all four seasons of the year, even in six-foot-deep snow. If you’re a serious hiker or backpacker, looking to go on long expeditions, the Clark Jungle Hammock is an investment worth making.
This hammock has a breathable WeatherShield layer that zips over the full coverage no-see-um bug net, and a rainfly for the ultimate level of protection. These extra layers essentially transform your hammock into a swinging tent cocoon, covering you on all sides from the elements. It comes with a removable insulating pad and six large pockets underneath the hammock to store all your gear.
It even includes flexible poles that widen the hammock, making more room for you to move around. If you’re a serious camper looking to make an investment on a serious, heavy duty hammock tent, look no further than the Clark Jungle Hammock NX-270.
Hennessy Hammock Expedition Series
Dimensions: 120 x 59 inches
Best use: Hammock camping, hiking, backpacking
The Hennessy Hammock Expedition is a cousin to the previously mentioned Hennessy Hammock Explorer. The main difference between these two is the price. The Expedition series is cheaper, and also heavier. That being said, it’s a more budget friendly option of the Hennessy Hammock tent series that provides the same trusted Hennessy quality.
This particular hammock tent is extremely versatile, with an attachable mosquito net, a detachable rain fly, support ropes, and a place to store your stuff. It’s constructed with their patented “easy enter, easy exit” and “never tip” technology, meaning that even the clumsiest of campers can maneuver around this hammock tent without a problem.
Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent
Dimensions: 14 x14 inches floor size
Features: Can fit up to three people comfortably
Best use: Heavy duty hammock camping, long hikes, backpacking
The Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent isn’t your average hammock tent. This tent is designed to lay completely flat on the bottom, much like a traditional tent, while being suspended in the trees. It does this with the help of two aluminum, Featherlite poles that support the weight of up to three adults.
This nifty tent also comes with a removable rainfly and your choice six bright colors. This is a great option for those interested in hammock camping as a social activity. It’s perfect for your kids to have a sleep over with their friends, and cozy enough for the whole family to snuggle up in.
This hammock tent is heavy duty and durable, but also comes with a lot of weight to carry around. This isn’t necessary the best option for long hikes or backpacking trips, but works perfectly for casual campers looking for a great place to sleep in the trees.
Hennessy Hammock Safari Deluxe
Dimensions: 11 feet long
Features: A lot of space
Best use: Backpacking, camping, hiking
This Hennessy Hammock Safari Deluxe was built with room in mind. It’s the Hennessy series’ deepest and widest hammock, making it the perfect choice for larger campers and couples. It comes with an attached mosquito net, detachable rain fly, support ropes, and a sack to hide away your stuff.
The weight limit is 350 pounds, and like the other Hennessy hammocks it boasts an easy set up and durable quality. This hammock tent isn’t as lightweight as the Explorer or Expedition series, but for what you’re gaining in weight, you’re gaining in space and comfort.
G4Free Portable & Foldable Camping Hammock
Dimensions: 110 x 50 inches
Features: Compact and multi-functional
Best use: Budget camping, hiking, backpacking
Perhaps the most budget friendly hammock tent on this list, don’t let the hammock tent’s price fool you. G4Free Portable & Foldable Camping Hammock comes equipped with a no-see-um mosquito net, shock chord and carry pouch. It’s constructed out of highly durable and rain resistant parachute nylon, and boasts a large bed of 118 inches long.
Not only is it relatively light, it’s compact too folding into a neat carrying pouch that is easy to transport. This hammock tent can also be used for a variety of functions including a normal open hammock by putting the mosquito net on the bottom, a hammock tent with the mosquito net up, a lounging seat, and a sleeping bag when used for lying on the ground.
Hammock camping is a great way to reconnect with nature and be comfortable while doing it! This guide is meant to help you choose the best camping hammock tent for your needs. With all the different options available it can be hard to choose just one.
Keep in mind the price, materials, and accessories when thinking about buying a camping hammock. Whichever hammock tent you choose, your next camping trip is sure to be full of great memories and restful nights.
What’s your favorite hammock tent and why? Let us know in the comments below!