ENO Skyloft Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Very comfortable flat position, easy to set up, durable material and construction, attachable pillow
Cons: Bulky, heavy, narrow for sharing, suspension straps sold separately
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The ENO Skyloft is a supremely comfortable day use hammock with an easy setup and durable fabric. Our testers found the comfort of the Skyloft almost on par with the Top Pick for Comfort, the Warbonnet Ridgerunner but in a stripped-down version for day use. Seeing how comfort is the most important metric in a hammock, and the Skyloft is as easy to set up as the competition, it's clear why this product won our Editors' Choice for Day Use award.
We still love our classic end-gathered 'mocks like for their small packed size. But, when you have a little extra room in your pack or want a cozy spot in the backyard and comfort is a priority, the Skyloft is a great choice. If you really need your day hammock to be in a tiny, ultralight bundle, check out the tiniest models in our review.
We love a good, simple end-gathered hammock as much as anyone, but we learned during testing that a spreader bar and a dropped foot box give the flattest lay and therefore the most comfortable long-term position possible in a hammock. The Skyloft, new Skylite and Ridgerunner are the only models we tested with these features, and they lead the pack in our comfort ratings.
On the ground, you have to deal with lumpy spots and sloping ground that can cause you to slide off your pad. In a hammock, you fight the banana. This is the discomfort that comes when the curve of a hammock obstinately refuses to let your knees bend comfortably. Different hammocks try different strategies to overcome this issue. Some employ asymmetric designs and others use spreader bars.
Along with the spreader bars, ENO drops the foot and head boxes in the Skyloft, meaning that the fabric drapes down at both ends. That's the key element that keeps your legs from bending the wrong way. Hanging in this 'mock feels like being rocked in a suspended cot. Due to its construction style, it's narrow (3 ft wide), but it's long enough for folks up to 6'6" to easily get comfy.
A cool feature that ENO added is a whoopie sling style adjustment that lets you raise your head up a bit when you're not napping. When sleeping, you want your head at the same level as your body, but if you want to see out to the side, chat with friends, or read a book, a reclining position is nice. With a little practice, we learned how to work the tensioner without ever leaving the comfort of our bed.
The only thing we didn't like about the Skyloft was how tipsy it feels when sitting up length-wise. Sideways sitting is comfortable and stable. But, when we sat up in the other direction, the hammock wobbles back and forth, making us feel immediately dizzy.
One bonus feature that just shows you how much attention to detail matters to ENO, is that the stuff sack converts into a pillow. Just stuff in a jacket and you have a comfy headrest! The stuff sack also has snaps that allow you to attach it to sewn-in webbing in the hammock to keep your pillow in place. We also appreciate the small pockets on either side of the hammock, which are perfect for a phone or sunglasses. Just another little touch to make kicking back in the Skyloft that much more convenient.
The Skyloft is not your throw it in the pack, I might use it option. It tips the scales at 42 oz, for only the hammock. It's the heaviest one in our test and is the same weight as some of the shelter systems we tested with their bug nets and tarps included.
But don't let that sway you if your intended use is in the backyard or at a BBQ. Is adding an 18.5" x 4.5" x 4.5" package to your 20L daypack going to make a difference? Um, yeah, that's almost half your capacity. But will it keep you from loading it into the trunk of your car for a picnic or adding it to the arsenal of backyard accessories in your garage? Nope!
Durability and Protection
While it may not shine in the lightweight department, the Skyloft's fabric durability is impressive. This gives it a leg up for users who want a hammock that they don't have to worry about splitting if they bring their dog in to join them. The Skyloft is still made of lightweight nylon to keep it packable, but ENO uses a heavier denier than most camping hammocks.
The only problem with the durability that we can see is the low weight limit of 250 lbs. The force put on the spreader bars limits the load capacity in this model rather than the fabrics. It's, unfortunately, pretty easy to exceed 250 lbs if you want to sit in it with a friend. So hanging in the Skyloft is a solo activity or one for a couple of very light people (like the kiddos).
You could pair this 'mock with a tarp and make a night of it at basecamp, but it's not intended to be backcountry shelter.
We tried out the ENO Vulcan underquilt and found that the rectangular shape matches up perfectly with the shape of the Skyloft. There isn't a clear way to attach it though. We ended up wrapping the underquilt's shock cord around the corners of the Skyloft's bars. ENO's website shows underquilt attached to end-gathered models with carabiners. When we tried this on the Skyloft, the setup pulled the quilt into a narrow shape that wouldn't insulate as well as the wide rectangle we wanted.
We scored this model a little higher than other day use hammocks in this metric because of its superior fabric durability, but not much higher because of its low weight limit.
Ease of Set Up
The simplicity of the Skyloft is best suited to slinging up at the park when hanging out with friends. We love it because it is, simply put, comfy and easy.
The aluminum spreader bar is permanently attached to the hammock, and it sets up and breaks down using a threaded shock cord, just like a tent pole. There are no adjustments to make on the hammock itself, just unfurl, pop your poles together, and clip the carabiners to whatever suspension straps you choose. The lightweight aluminum wire gate carabiners included with the Skyloft are the highest quality biners that came with any model we tested.
We wish that suspension straps were included in the package but also can appreciate the flexibility this affords you to choose your favorite style. We like the ENO Atlas XL straps, which give you more range than the standard strap.
The only reason we dock the Skyloft a few points on ease of set up is that it doesn't come with suspension included, and it requires the extra step of setting up the poles. Honestly, the pole set up is incredibly minimal, but we had to make some distinction between it and those that don't include that step.
You can love a product for one particular use, even when it doesn't have a lot of versatility, and that's exactly how we feel about the Skyloft. As we've mentioned so far — it shines with excellent comfort, a quick and fool-proof set-up, and durable fabric that's ready for a rough lifestyle, but it's weight and bulk keep it close to home, and its low weight capacity makes it hard to hang with all but your tiniest friends.
The Skyloft is an excellent and innovative day hammock but, if you want a versatile model that can take you from the BBQ to the backcountry, take a look at its sibling, the ENO Skylite that offers a lower weight in the same basic design.
This model is by far the priciest of the day-use hammocks we tested. Even so, we feel that its value is strong because its comfort is noticeably higher than all of the other day hammocks.
This hammock should be your go-to napping spot this summer due to the amazing comfort that a flatter position can offer. Just set it up in your backyard every afternoon and get ready for a good snooze. Add an underquilt and a blanket, and extend your al fresco napping into the fall.
— Elizabeth Paashaus