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Eagles Nest Outfitters Guardian Bug Net Review

Good for buggy conditions, this upgrade adds a bit of bulk.
Eagles Nest Outfitters Guardian Bugnet
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Price:  $60 List | $59.94 at Amazon
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Pros:  A great upgrade necessary for buggy weather
Cons:  Bulky and heavy with a lot of unnecessary extra netting
Manufacturer:   Eagles Nest Outfitters
By Greg Davis ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 14, 2014
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The Skinny

The ENO Guardian Bug Net is an upgrade that can be added to any hammock that needs bug protection. Only two hammocks in our review came already equipped with a bug net, and those are the Editors' Choice Warbonnet Blackbird and the Hennessy Expedition Asym. Every other hammock needs an accessory of this type to remain comfortable in buggy conditions. The ENO bug net weighs 16 oz, and is about the same size as the Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest. The included ridge line is useful aside from holding up the net, since important items like a headlamp or water bottle can be clipped to it. The zippered entry is very easy to use and our testers had no issue with the net draping too close to the face. We feel that the addition of the net does not negatively affect the performance of any of the hammocks, but instead is a welcome addition. This bug net pairs well with any of our open hammocks.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Campers in bug territory would be wise to pick up the Guardian Bug Net from ENO. It fits easily on even the largest double hammocks, and allows plenty of space for a comfortable night's sleep.

Performance Evaluation



The small net does not affect the sleeper although it does obscure vision.
The small net does not affect the sleeper although it does obscure vision.

Comfort


An important feature of an additional accessory is that it should not detract from the comfort of the original hammock, and in this case the ENO net does well. While sitting in a hammock, it is difficult to tell with closed eyes that there is a net. However, the tight netting obscures vision and can make starry nights seem a bit more dull.

The ENO Guardian Bug Net is plenty spacious for any hammock  though perhaps too spacious as the material hangs lower than necessary.
The ENO Guardian Bug Net is plenty spacious for any hammock, though perhaps too spacious as the material hangs lower than necessary.

Weight


At 16 ounces, the Guardian is a bit heavy, all things considered, and making the decision to bring it along may double the weight of your hammock set-up. While we recommend having a bug net in almost any environment, it may not be appropriate on light and fast trips in bug free climates, such as in the desert, the Sierra in fall, or in colder conditions.

Versatility


The Guardian is useful on any of the hammocks we tested, and can fit even the most gargantuan doubles like our Top Pick winner, the Grand Trunk Double. While its weight and bulk may not lend itself to very lightweight camping, the prospect of getting mauled by mosquitoes is less enticing than carrying an extra half pound!

Protection/Durability


We found that nothing could sneak by into our hammock with the tight design at the gather points  compatible with any hammock. This net is paired with a durable entry zipper.
We found that nothing could sneak by into our hammock with the tight design at the gather points, compatible with any hammock. This net is paired with a durable entry zipper.

The Guardian Bug Net does its job well, keeping small bugs away and allowing decent vision inside. It is important to remember to keep it zipped up when inside, and finding the zipper can be a bit tricky in the dark.

Ease of Set-up


The long ridge line is useful for pulling the hammock up off the face.
The long ridge line is useful for pulling the hammock up off the face.

ENO does a wonderful job with all of their products by making them easy to set up and take down, and this is no exception. The light clips easily snap into place and the long cord that is included as a ridge line can be added to just about any suspension system with ease via friction knots.

The friction knot used to attach the bug net to a set-up hammock.
The friction knot used to attach the bug net to a set-up hammock.

Best Applications


Campers in nasty bug territory will do well to bring the Guardian Bug Net on the next trip when camping with an open hammock.

Value


At $60, the net is an expensive upgrade (and in fact can double the price of your hammock set-up). While cheaper bug nets or bulk netting can be purchased inexpensively, we enjoy the extra features that help this net go up quickly — a useful tool when the mosquitoes start to bloom!

Conclusion


Bugs should never stop a hammock camping trip, and sometimes are an inevitable part of camping. This net can be insurance against a sleepless night spent swatting pesky insects.


Greg Davis