The Best Hammock Review

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Credit: Greg Davis
With so many hammocks on the market, how can you know which is the best model to fit your needs? We took 12 of the most popular models and brought them camping in a variety of environments, from the high desert in winter to wet mountains in spring, to see how they compared. We evaluated each product for comfort, weight, versatility, ease of set-up, and durability. Each model was high quality, but a few hung above the competition. What we found was that any camper, from ultralight backpackers to budget car campers, will find the perfect product in our review.

For other alternative ways of camping in the wilderness that perhaps offer more protection than a hammock, reference our Bivy Sack Review.

Read the full review below >

Review by: ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab

Top Ranked Hammocks Displaying 1 - 5 of 12 << Previous | View All | Next >>
Our Ranking #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Product Name
Warbonnet Blackbird
Warbonnet Blackbird
Read the Review
Grand Trunk Double
Grand Trunk Double
Read the Review
Hennessy Expedition Asym
Hennessy Expedition Asym
Read the Review
Hammock Bliss Double
Hammock Bliss Double
Read the Review
Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest
Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest
Read the Review
Editors' Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award       
Street Price $185Varies $59 - $70
Compare at 4 sellers
Varies $144 - $170
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Varies $55 - $65
Compare at 2 sellers
Varies $59 - $70
Compare at 8 sellers
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100% recommend it (2/2)
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100% recommend it (3/3)
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Pros Incredible features and killer comfortDurable, comfortable, easy to useHighly durable and fully weatherproofDurable, simple, quick to set upCompact and light for the space
Cons Heavier construction and time consuming to set up, fly is not removableHeavy carabiners, bulky, need upgrades for weather or bugsHeaviest model reviewed, bulkyless color options, no carabiners, need upgrades for weather or bugsLacks suspension, shorter than other doubles
Best Uses Backcountry camping in a variety of conditions where comfort and space are desiredOvernight Camping as a single person, lounging with one or two peopleCamping in poor weather where durability and protection from the elements are neededOvernight Camping as a single person, lounging with one or two peopleSpacious, comfortable with low weight that won't take up space in your pack
Date Reviewed Apr 09, 2014Apr 09, 2014Apr 09, 2014Apr 09, 2014Apr 09, 2014
Weighted Scores Warbonnet Blackbird Grand Trunk Double Hennessy Expedition Asym Hammock Bliss Double Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest
Comfort - 30%
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Weight - 20%
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Ease Of Set Up - 10%
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Protection Durability - 20%
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Versatility - 20%
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Product Specs Warbonnet Blackbird Grand Trunk Double Hennessy Expedition Asym Hammock Bliss Double Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest
Weight 31oz 20 oz 41 oz 22oz 20 oz
Size Compact 7.5" diameter x 12" length 5" diameter x 8" length 7" diameter x 9" length 5" diameter x 7.5" length 4" diameter x 5" length
Size 10.5' Long x 5.25' Wide 10.5' Long x 6.5' Wide 100" x 52" (diagonal) 9'10" long x 6'8" wide 9'4" long x 6'2" wide
Connectors Whoopie Slings Nautical grade steel carabiner, 5mm cord 10' polyester rope with polyester straps 6mm climbing rope (100" per side) Aluminum wiregate carabiners
Capacity 400 lbs 400 lbs 250lb 350 lbs 400 lbs
Material 70D nylon (x2) high strength, mildew resistant nylon 210D oxford Nylon Breathable Quick Drying Nylon Breathable Quick Drying Nylon
Construction ridgeline with zipper side entry, double layer floor and built in rain fly, double stitched seams Triple stitched seams double stitched seams, zippered bug net and ridgeline High Strength Nylon Heavy Duty Triple Stitched Seams
Sizes / Colors 1 color (olive) 20 color variations 1 color and size (green) 2 2-color patterns 24 Color Variations
Return Policy 60-day return policy plus Lifetime warranty on defects in materials and craftsmanship 10 day, 2 year for manufacturer defects One year limited warrenty Only replace items that arrived defective. Limited. Excellent return policy for manufacturer defects
Accessories (compatible, not included) Superfly Tarp (sold separately) Hanging Straps (included) Hanging Straps, BugNet, Rain Fly sold separately Tree straps sold seperately Tree straps, all-purpose shelter, mosquito-net Hanging Straps, BugNet, Rain Fly sold separately

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review


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  • Editors' Choice Winners
  • All Reviewed Products
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Warbonnet Blackbird
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Grand Trunk Ultralight
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Grand Trunk Double
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Grand Trunk Nano 7
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Hennessy Expedition Asym
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Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest
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Hammock Bliss Double
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Grand Trunk Single
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Hammock Bliss Ultralight
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Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest
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Eagles Nest Outfitters Pronest
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Byer Traveller Lite
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Selecting the Right Product
The decision to leave the tent at home and hike into the hills with a hammock is a tricky one. A camper heading into a winter storm has a completely different set of problems than a desert hiker posted up at a bug-infested watering hole. We go into specifics in our Buying Advice article, but the simple thing to keep in mind is that a heavy version has more features for weather and bugs while lighter ones weigh less on your pack.

So which one should you start with? First, consider in what settings will you use it. Do you need a rain fly or a bug net? Or is sleeping in an open model just fine? Second, determine if you will be using yours as a primary means of sleeping or mainly for lounging around camp. If you have never slept in a hammock, lounging in camp and taking mid-day naps are a great way to get used to get used to it. If you are just starting out, we suggest bringing an ultralight model on your next short backpacking trip along with a lightweight tent or shelter as back-up. For those looking to head out on longer trips, where weather can't be as easily predicted or changes in elevation can create colder nights, fully-rigged backcountry versions can be brought as a replacement for a tent altogether, helping reduce pack weight and adding comfort and versatility to your camp set-up.

Depending on what level of commitment you want, our tested models range from $20 to $185, and fluctuate between seven ounces and just under two pounds. This puts all models at a fraction of the cost and weight of a tent. Even the heaviest models are worth their weight, as hammock camping is a fun and substantially more comfortable way to enjoy the wilderness!

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Credit: Greg Davis

Different Types for Camping
In our review we examined 12 different models to find the best camping option. Our review focused on four distinct categories:

Parachute Nylon Singles
These are fairly inexpensive, lightweight, extremely durable, and fit a single camper. Our tested models include the Grand Trunk Single and the Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest.

Parachute Nylon Doubles
These are longer, wider versions of the singles that are excellent for a couple to sit and lounge in, though they only comfortably sleep one. They make excellent options for larger campers or people who want more space. The doubles we tested are the Grand Trunk Double, Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest, and the Hammock Bliss Double.

Ultralight Models
These are extreme weight cutting options for backpackers looking for the lightest option available to shave ounces from their pack. These options are usually less comfortable and less durable than a regular singe. In this category we evaluated the Grand Trunk Ultralight, Grand Trunk Nano 7, Eagles Nest Outfitters Pronest, and Byer Traveller Lite.

Expedition Models
These are burly models designed to withstand a variety of conditions and extended stays in a more comfortable asymmetrical design. They often come with features such as rain flys and bug nets, and will be heavier and more expensive than any open design. In this category we tried the Warbonnet Blackbird and the Hennessy Expedition Asym.

Check out our Buying Advice article for an in-depth look at how the features of different models translate into a camping experience and which style will work best for you.

Criteria for Evaluation

Comfort
Comfort is the most important quality we scored in our review because models that sleep uncomfortably are not ideal for camping. Roomier models tend to sleep a bit better while the lighter designs sacrifice comfort for gossamer materials and a compact size that feels great in the pack but can often affect the quality of sleep a user can get. Each model was tested with a sleeping pad and sleeping bag. See our Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review as well as our Sleeping Pad Review for high quality lightweight bags and pads that pair well with a camping hammock.

While comfort is extremely personal, extra space and features lending to comfort can always add to the experience. Ultralight models, like our Top Pick, the Grand Trunk Nano 7, sacrifice extra space for lighter weight and a smaller packed size. At the end of a long day, a tired camper can nap reasonably well in even the most minimalist designs available, while winter and car campers may prefer the added weight of a foot box and double layered floor for an insulation pad, like is found in the Blackbird by Warbonnet.

Most people will prefer the comfort of parachute nylon models, since they are slightly stretchy, feel great against the skin, are lightweight, and set-up easily. While no one had trouble sleeping in the comfortable expedition models like the Hennessey Asym Expedition or Blackbird, the polyester Byer Traveller Lite and Grand Trunk Ultralight were not preferable to camp in for more than one night.

Overall, smaller campers will find that more models fit them and larger campers will prefer roomier designs. There were no double models that slept a pair comfortably, though larger doubles fit two loungers better than a single, and sleep one very comfortably.

Weight
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The Grand Trunk Nano 7 (left) and ENO Pronest (right) are both high performing ultralight models.
Credit: Lloyd Petrungaro

Comfort is often one of the main reasons to switch from a tent, but the weight savings is also a huge benefit. Many are made from lightweight parachute nylon, a durable and smooth fabric comfortable to the touch. The lightest models are not as durable as the burlier heavy denier nylon expedition models, like the Hennessey Asym Expedition or the Warbonnet Blackbird.

When weighing, it is also important to consider the suspension system. Grand Trunk has included 5 mm cord with every parachute nylon version, and while ENO models do not come with any included cord. Many campers prefer to use their own personal suspension system, and the lightweight ENO carabiners that come included were our favorite of all tested.

In addition to suspension and materials, size has a drastic effect on the weight. Those looking to stay ultralight will appreciate the Eagles Nest Outfitters Pronest and the Grand Trunk Nano 7, which is the lightest model we tested. Both of these models feature slim profiles and durable materials. The Warbonnet Blackbird is available with several options, and with the lightest selections it can weigh in at just under a pound.

Protection/Durability
A camper in the backcountry relies heavily on gear. A backpack or pair of boots failing far from the trailhead can be a major problem, and camping hammocks are no different. We ran each test model through a tough test of different terrain to see which ones hold up the best and which ones should not be trusted beyond fair weather car camping.

The strongest products were those made of nylon, like the Grand Trunk Double and Grand Trunk Single as well as theEagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest, DoubleNest, and Pronest. Materials can also provide a bit of protection from wind or light rain, and thinner polyester material tends to be a flimsy shield against the elements. We prefer nylon for windier conditions.

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The small net does not affect the sleeper although it does obscure vision.
Credit: Greg Davis

The most protection from the elements can be found in the Hennessy Expedition Asym, an extremely weatherproof design with a tarp and bug net integrated. The Blackbird has a deep floor to cut the wind from flowing into it as well as a zipper-removable bug net.

Versatility
A good model should be versatile enough to fit the needs of the user. In our tests, we found that often one used for camping is also used for lounging, reading, and sitting around camp when waiting for dinner to cook. For these users, and of the doubles are great, as being able to sit up in it, pitch it in poor weather, and let the kids pile into it are great features and make for a very versatile product. Specialty models, like ultralight models made from weak fabric or expedition types with bulky infrastructures, are great for backpacking but can be difficult to share or sit up in due to bug nets and asymmetrical designs. If looking for one to use in a variety of situations, consider which product has the versatility that is best for the intended use.

We found that the features that made the Hennessey and Warbonnet models comfortable and bug-proof made them fairly complex to set up and almost impossible to share with a friend. Tiny ultralight versions did not lounge very well, but single parachute models are a good blend for those looking for a versatile, lightweight option for camping and lounging.

Ease of Set-Up
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A variety of suspension systems, ranging from thinner cord (left) to webbing (center) and the ENO Slap Strap Pro (right).
Credit: Greg DAvis

Setting up a hammock in a perfect spot can often be difficult, especially if it is lacking straps or cord to wrap around available anchors. Some come fully equipped with steel carabiners and extra cord, while ENO products include only light wire gate carabiners and no cord. Larger models have to be between trees that are further away, like the ENO Double. Longer versions have more stretch, which can make finding that perfect 30 degree angle a bit tricky, since once it is weighted, the sag is affected by stretch in the system. Those looking for an all-inclusive camping model will prefer the Blackbird, Hennessey Expedition or Grand Trunk Single/Double. The Byer Traveller lite, Grand Trunk Ultralight, Hammock Bliss Double and all ENO products require additional suspension, but are all quite simple to set-up. Staking out guy lines on the Expedition Asym and the Blackbird could limit the available spots for set-up, yet we found good locations with anchors for guy lines fairly easily.

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A few wire gate carabiner options: The Grand Trunk Nano 7 Mad Rock carabiner (left), a generic wire gate climbing carabiner (center) and the lightest of the three which ENO includes with each of its products (right).
Credit: Greg Davis

A great perch is often a difficult spot to find anchors for, and while most of our testing was in the deserts of the southwest, we always managed to find something whether a rock horn to sling or a pair of trees just the right distance apart to get the 'perfect hang.'

Accessories
Any of the models we tested easily pair with the Eagles Nest Outfitters Guardian Bug Net, a versatile product that can be slapped on any model to provide easy access into a bug-free sleep space.

Staying warm in a hammock can be an issue since the wind comes up from under you. One way to solve this is by using a standard sleeping pad inside the hammock. Some hammockers prefer to use an underquilt, such as the Blaze Underquilt from Eagles Nest Outfitters.

The Grand Trunk Hanging Kit are treeslings that allow you to hang up to a 400 pound load easily from a tree.

Editors' Choice Award: Warbonnet Blackbird
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The Warbonnet Blackbird won our Editors' Choice award because of it's incredible comfort and awesome features such as a footbox, included bug net, and a storage shelf.
Credit: Greg DAvis

For just about any conditions, we found that the best model for backcountry camping was the Warbonnet Blackbird. The combination of ultralight material, a multitude of features, and extreme comfort put it above the rest, and out of the 12 products tested, we chose this as our Editors' Choice award winner. While there are many models in the review that were lighter, the Blackbird can be purchased with two different fabric choices and an optional double floor to seat a sleeping pad. With only the bare bone essentials, the weight can be as low as 18 oz and is comparable to a double parachute nylon model, though we prefer the more durable 1.7oz/70D fabric and double floor, which brings the weight up to 31oz. Considering the integrated bug net, we feel that this weight is reasonable. Adding the easily adjusted whoopee sling suspension saves even more weight and makes getting the perfect angle of hang that much easier. The Blackbird is an excellent choice for those heading out on on multi-day backpacking trip and who need extra bug protection and want the luxury provided by this model. If you will be camping in wet weather, the Hennessy Expedition Asym was our runner up backcountry camping model, and it comes with an included rain fly as well as a bug net.

Best Buy Award: Grand Trunk Ultralight
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The Grand Trunk Ultralight is an incredible value and is a great way to break into hammock camping.
Credit: Greg DAvis

Camping on a budget has never been easier thanks to the affordable and lightweight Grand Trunk Ultralight. Weighing in at a scant 12 ounces, this product is not only a great value at $19.99, but a reasonable option for ultralight camping. We found other models to be more comfortable and some features that we prefer to have are are missing, such as durable and slightly stretchy parachute nylon fabric, but for a camper looking to try sleeping in a hammock without making a big investment, this is the best choice of the 12 we examined.

Top Pick Award for Double Model: Grand Trunk Double
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We awarded the spacious Grand Trunk Double the Top Pick award for a double model.
Credit: Greg DAvis

Labeling as a 'double' is a bit of a misnomer, as there just isn't any model we found that slept a couple comfortably. However a double is a great idea for camping since two can sit and enjoy the hang together while reading or drinking coffee in the morning. Also, the extra space adds comfort. We found that the Grand Trunk Double was the best of all the doubles we tested thanks to the low weight, extra length, and durable construction. Watching sunsets curled up in sleeping bags together in this model is a wonderful experience and there was no other design that fit two as well as this model.

Top Pick Award for Ultralight Backpacking: Grand Trunk Nano 7
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The Grand Trunk Nano 7 is an incredibly well designed ultralight model that can fit inside a pant pocket, and is the way to go for ultralight hikers.
Credit: Lloyd Petrungaro

Many of the lighter weight models hovered at just under a pound, with the exception of the Grand Trunk Nano 7, which weighs in .at a scant 7 ounces. It is made of durable nylon fabric, barely takes up any room in a backpack, and we prefer this model for ultralight backpacking, so we gave it our Top Pick award for best ultralight model. The next lightest model, the Byer Traveller Lite, weighs 3 ounces more, uses weaker polyester fabric, and lacks carabiners for set-up. When considering weight, it is important to also consider the weight of the suspension system, and with a light set of nylon straps the Nano 7 can stay well under a pound and is a great minimal product for those looking to reduce pack weight as much as possible.

Greg Davis
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