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Hands-on Gear Review
Cons: Lacks suspension, not very comfortable
When looking to try out hammock camping or purchase a hammock on a budget, the Byer Traveller Lite is a great option to consider, but it lacks the features of the Best Buy winning and similarly priced Grand Trunk Ultralight. The polyester fabric is not as durable as the nylon fabrics used by other manufacturers and it does not include suspension straps, however it comes in five bright colors and is the second lightest hammock in our review at only 10oz.
RELATED: Our complete review of hammocks
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Byer Traveller Lite is an inexpensive, lightweight hammock. We do not prefer the sleeping experience in this model and find the polyester material to be weaker than nylon, but in a pinch this product can sleep a few nights and give a user a feel for hammock camping.
The most important feature of a hammock is often comfort, and the Byer Traveller Lite is small so average-sized or larger campers may have difficulty fitting properly with a sleeping pad. The Traveller Lite is made of inexpensive polyester which is less comfortable than a slightly stretchy parachute nylon like what is found in the Grand Trunk Double and Grand Trunk Single. This thin fabric binds tightly across the shoulders. A light sleeper may want a larger hammock.
We tried a variety of hanging lengths as well as different setups to try and get comfortable, but when too loose the material falls to the side of the center ridgeline, leaving a firm line up your back and preventing you from lying diagonally. When strung tight the ridgeline is still there, although less prominent, and the material has a tendency to wrap around your body and limit your range of motion and ability to settle into a comfortable spot.
The second lightest hammock in this review, at 10 oz, this hammock doesn't add much pack weight, but without including the weight of a hanging system, this number can be a little deceiving. The Traveller Lite can pack fairly small, but it is bulky in comparison to other budget options.
A lightweight hammock can be taken anywhere, making this a fairly versatile option. However it is not a great hammock for camping in cold climates and due to its lack of comfort and durability, may be best as a back up or lounging hammock on a backpacking trip rather than a camping hammock.
Lighter weight products are often less durable, and this is true with the Byer Traveller Lite. At a maximum capacity of 250 lbs, it is the weakest hammock in our review, and larger campers or those sleeping with gear may come close or pass that weight. The stitching started to fray in several places and small runs were developing in the fabric after a handful of uses.
Ease of Set-up
Getting the best hang in this hammock takes a bit more effort than with parachute nylon hammocks like the Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest due to the stretchy polyester and narrow width. A suspension system is not included, and the thin cords found at either gather point are only 8" long. The hammock is a bit shorter, at 9 feet long, and finding trees far enough away can be easier than with longer hammocks. Like all hammocks tested, the Byer Lite does come with an attached stuff sack that the hammock conveniently packs into.
Backpackers looking to try out hammock camping without investing in an expensive model may prefer the bright colors and incredibly light weight of the Byer Traveller Lite, though for a similar price, we much prefer the Grand Trunk Ultralight.
The hammock was the second least expensive, at $22.95. So for a few bucks less, the more comfortable Grand Trunk Ultralight makes a better deal.
This is a fun hammock to try out hammock camping for the first time, however comfort is sacrificed for its low weight and inexpensive price point.
Other Versions and Accessories
Also reviewed was the Eagles Nest Outfitters Guardian Bug Net, a great accessory to add to this hammock to make it more protective in buggy conditions, but this accessory costs about three times as much as this hammock.
— Greg Davis and Brian Blum
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: May 24, 2014
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