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ENO SubLink Shelter System Review

For true hammock camping versatility take only a shockingly light hammock or all the pieces for a complete sleeping shelter.
Sublink Sleep System with Sub7
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Price:  $250 List | $187.39 at REI
Pros:  Lightweight, stuff sack doubles as a pillow, package includes suspension, bug net, and rain fly
Cons:  Hammock is narrow, made of very thin material
Manufacturer:   Eagles Nest Outfitters
By Elizabeth Paashaus and Penney Garrett  ⋅  May 7, 2019
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 18
  • Comfort - 40% 4
  • Weight - 20% 8
  • Durability and Protection - 20% 6
  • Ease of Set Up - 10% 9
  • Versatility - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The ENO SubLink Shelter System with the Sub6 is a runner up for our Top Pick Award for Ultralight Versatility. ENO offers sleep system upgrades for all of their hammocks. These include suspension, a bug net, and a rain fly, all packed together in a convenient stuff stack. If you opt for a full system, you can get the lightest option for each of these components that ENO has available, making for a very customizable, versatile, and lightweight camping setup. The Sub6 is impressive in its own right, weighing a mere 5.7 ounces. It's not the most comfortable hammock we tested, but we love the versatility of being able to bring or use only the components we need at any given time, specifically the bug net. Most bug nets are permanently attached to the hammock body and, while they can roll out of the way, for the ultralight-obsessed camper it sweetens the deal to be able to leave it behind altogether if you know you won't need it.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $187.39 at REI$155 List$210 List$64.93 at REI
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Pros Lightweight, stuff sack doubles as a pillow, package includes suspension, bug net, and rain flySpacious, comfortable, easy to set up and use, integrated bug net, customizableThe comfiest/flattest sleeping surface, optional integrated bug net and double layer bottom, large gear pocketsLightweight, spacious, easy set up, versatile for day use or backcountry shelterAsymmetric design for an easy diagonal lay, lightweight, includes suspension, tree straps, bug net, and rain fly
Cons Hammock is narrow, made of very thin materialSuspension sold separately, can't remove bug net completelySuspension sold separately, not for the lightweight crowd, vulnerable to tippingAll components sold separately, can only use branded suspension system, pricey for the full systemMore complicated to set up, bug net isn't removable, smaller tarp
Bottom Line For true hammock camping versatility take only a shockingly light hammock or all the pieces for a complete sleeping shelter.All the features and comfort in a lightweight package.The Ridgerunner is a luxurious and innovative hammock with spreader bars for a super flat lay, an integrated bug net, and lots of storage.Not willing to sacrifice on versatility in a comfortable, lightweight hammock shelter? The Pro Double is an excellent balance of all three!A fantastic combination of lightweight and backcountry features, the Ultralite Backpacker from Hennessy provides a unique and versatile hammock camping experience.
Rating Categories ENO SubLink Shelter System Warbonnet Original Blackbird Warbonnet Ridgerunner Sea to Summit Pro Double Hennessy Ultralite Backpacke...
Comfort (40%)
10
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4
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
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6
10
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7
Weight (20%)
10
0
8
10
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8
10
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5
10
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8
10
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9
Durability And Protection (20%)
10
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6
10
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9
10
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9
10
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8
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7
Ease Of Set Up (10%)
10
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9
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7
10
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6
10
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7
10
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5
Versatility (10%)
10
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8
10
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7
10
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6
10
0
9
10
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5
Specs ENO SubLink... Warbonnet Original... Warbonnet... Sea to Summit Pro... Hennessy Ultralite...
Capacity (weight) 300 lbs 350-400 lbs depending on options selected 200-250 lbs depending on options selected 400 lbs 200 lbs
Hanging Straps Included ? Yes, 8'2 no, can add onto purchase for extra $ No, can add onto purchase for extra $ No yes
Hammock Size 8'9" x 3'11" 10' x 5.25' 10'1" x 3' 10' x 6'2" 9'10"x4'11"
Size Compact 12" x 6" x 3" 10" x 4" 15" x 7" 4" x 6" 4"x6"x9"
Connectors Wiregate carabiners on dyneema loops Whoopies/straps or buckle/webbing (sold separately) Whoopies/straps or buckle/webbing (sold separately) Buckles Webbing straps and spectra ropes
Material 70D Nylon Taffeta Ripstop 40D or 70D Nylon (depending on options selected) 1.1oz/30D Nylon Double Layer 70D nylon ripstop 70d Nylon Taffeta
Construction Single panel, interlocking triple-stitched end loops with dyneema connection to carabiner connectors. End gathered, asymmetric hammock, single or double layer fabric, zipper along 1 side, integrated bug netting. Storage shelf and foot box Bridge style hammock made with one or two layers of 30D Nylon, bug net optional. Ripstop nylon, double interlocking stitching End gathered, asymmetric hammock, integrated bug netting and suspension system
Sizes / Colors 3 hammock color variations, 2 rain tarp color variations, 4 Guardian SL bug net color variations 27 colors, 3 fabric layering configurations 12 colors, 2 fabric layering options 2 sizes, 4 colors 1 color
Measured Weight - Package (ounces) 42 oz (hammock, suspension, bug net, tarp) 27 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension 36 oz hammock, whoopie sling suspension, bug net 16 oz 24 oz (hammock, bug net, suspension, stuff sack)
Measured Weight - Hammock Only (ounces) 5.7 oz 26 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension 35 oz hammock, whoopie sling suspension, bug net 16 oz 22 oz (hammock, bug net, suspension)
Measured Weight - Hammock and Suspension (ounces) 9.8 oz 26 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension 35 oz hammock, whoopie sling suspension, bug net 19 oz 22 oz (hammock, bug net, suspension)
Measured Weight - Shelter System (no stakes) 42 oz (hammock, suspension, bug net, tarp) 42 oz with Mini Fly tarp 52 oz with Mini Fly tarp 42 oz (hammock suspension, bug net, tarp) 32 oz with included tarp
Capacity (height) Not stated 6' Up to 6' 4" Not stated Up to 6'
Accessories (compatible, not included) top quilts, under quilts, insulation pads, permanent anchors, hammock stands Rain flies, bug net, carabiners, fish hooks, under quilts, top quilts, suspension systems Rain flies, bug net, carabiners, fish hooks, under quilts, top quilts, suspension systems Suspension straps, Rain fly, bug net, gear sling, wider tree protection straps, Longer webbing straps (free upgrade), Larger Rainly, hammock pad, insulation system, hanging pockets, snakeskins
Accessories (included with hammock) Helios suspension system, Guardian SL bug net, ProFly Sil rain tarp, stakes Guylines, bugnetting, storage shelf, continuous loops (for attaching suspension system to), stuff sack Stuff sack, continuous loops (for attaching suspension system to) Continuous loops Tree hugger tree protection straps, suspension cord, rainfly, bugnet (integrated), stuff sack, rainfly guy lines, hanging storage pocket, rain collectors
Extra Accessories Tested none Mini Fly tarp, webbing with buckles suspension, Mini Fly tarp, bug net, double layer fabric, whoopie slings, tree straps Rain fly, ultralight suspension straps, bug net Snakeskins

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you appreciate flexibility and love the idea of grabbing a featherweight hammock for a trail running break on a summer day or to fully protect yourself from wind, rain, and bugs, the SubLink Shelter System with the Sub6 might be your new best friend. This system was a close runner up for our Versatility award. We also recommend checking out the Top Pick for Ultralight Versatility Sea to Summit Pro shelter system.

Performance Comparison


If you find two trees by a creek  deep in a canyon  you'll be happy you brought your hammock!
If you find two trees by a creek, deep in a canyon, you'll be happy you brought your hammock!

Comfort


For a narrow ultralight hammock, the Sub6 is decently comfortable. Because of the constricted space, it's hard for any super-light model to be extremely cozy, but we feel the Sub6 is a bit more comfortable than the Grand Trunk Nano 7 and nearly the same as the Grand Trunk Ultralight Starter and Sea to Summit Ultralight. The ultralight model that we find the most comfortable is the Hennessy Ultralite Backpacker, the Best Buy for Backcountry Shelter. But it's also considerably wider, so this doesn't come as a big surprise. More fabric generally means more comfort.


Adding a pad for sleeping is a bit tough in a narrow hammock like the Sub6, but it can be done. We recommend a simple foam pad over an inflatable one. The foam conforms to the shape of the small hammock better, allowing you to keep it inside.

For our comfort favorites, check out our Editors' Choice, the Warbonnet Blackbird or the ultra-comfortable Warbonnet Ridgerunner.

For a tiny hammock weighing only 5.7 ounces  the Sub6 is really quite comfy for taking a break. Not roomy or plush like some of the other models we tested  but definitely comfortable enough to lounge in.
For a tiny hammock weighing only 5.7 ounces, the Sub6 is really quite comfy for taking a break. Not roomy or plush like some of the other models we tested, but definitely comfortable enough to lounge in.

Weight


The Sub6 is almost the lightest hammock in our review. At 5.7 ounces it is almost two full ounces less than the next lightest model, the Grand Trunk Nano 7. It's on par with the 5.8-ounce Sea to Summit Ultralight. Without its stuff sack, however, the Sea to Summit is only 4.8 ounces.


If you upgrade and purchase the SubLink Shelter System, as we did, you will still be below three pounds (42 ounces) including suspension, a bug net, and rain fly. This isn't the lightest expedition-style setup we tested, but, because you can leave everything behind save the ultralight hammock, we gave it a very high score in this category. The Hennessy Ultralite also includes suspension, fly, and bug net, and only weighs 32 ounces, but the bug net is not removable. The hammock alone with the bug net weighs 22.3 ounces — almost four times what the Sub6 weighs. Granted, that weight includes Hennessy's suspension system, but the Sub6 with its Helios Suspension System still only weighs 9.8 ounces because of the ability to ditch the bug net.

The Sea to Summit Pro with suspension, bug net, and tarp (all separate components like with the Sublink) stays just as light as the ENO at 42 ounces for the whole thing. Yet, it has a more spacious and comfortable hammock body. The only downside is that you will be out a whopping $335 to get this set up.

Deciding between the SubLink Shelter System and the Sea to Summit Pro is tricky and ultimately will come down to your style preferences and how important comfort versus cost is to you.


Durability and Protection


As with any high-quality ultralight setup, this system requires that you take proper care of it. The tarp is substantial, but the hammock and bug net could easily be ripped or snagged if you're not careful. With an entire hammock only weighing 5.7 ounces, you have to pay extra attention to keeping it off the ground, not using it with a sharp belt, etc. While this level of care is necessary to some degree for any camping gear, the Sub6 is more delicate.


The Sub6 by itself isn't very protective at all. And sometimes, like in the middle of summer in a location with no bugs, that might be perfect. But hammock camping doesn't have to be confined just to the summer months or non-buggy areas, and this shelter system allows you to push into more variable conditions.

There isn't a ton of space in the Sub6 hammock  but the ridgeline keeps the tarp up off your face for better livability.
There isn't a ton of space in the Sub6 hammock, but the ridgeline keeps the tarp up off your face for better livability.

Of the hammocks that come with stakes, the ENO ones are the least durable. We bent one easily during set-up. We would suggest replacing these with more durable stakes like the MSR Groundhog Mini.

The ProFly Sil Tarp is excellent — it has some of the best coverage of the tarps we tested and provides a very roomy and protective enclosure. The Guardian SL Bug Net does its job, but we aren't fans of sliding it on and off. The cinched ends are potential weak points. The gathered endpoints are also not as effective a barrier as a zipper. If you move around even a little, tiny entry points become exposed. Also, due to the narrowness and thinness of the Sub6 hammock, there are places that mosquitoes can potentially bite you through the fabric. The SubLink Shelter System isn't as protective as the Blackbird, Ridgerunner, or Hennessy Ultralite, but it's not far behind.

The ENO Profly SL has excellent coverage from sun  rain  and blowing wind. Pitch the tarp down for bad weather or angle it up to take in the views and a cooling breeze.
The ENO Profly SL has excellent coverage from sun, rain, and blowing wind. Pitch the tarp down for bad weather or angle it up to take in the views and a cooling breeze.

Ease of Set Up


Setting this system up is quite easy compared to other expedition setups we tested, especially considering how many separate parts there are. The Sub6 hammock by itself is a cinch to get pitched, especially with the whoopie sling-style Helios Suspension System that comes with the SubLink Shelter System upgrade. Wrap it around your anchors and clip the carabiners into the anchor loops, and you're good to go. It's easy to adjust and re-tension at any point.


The Guardian SL Bug Net is a bit of a weird design that fits over the whole hammock like a sleeve and cinches at the ends. It includes its own ridgeline that clips onto the hammock carabiners. Getting in and out means lying in the hammock and pulling the bug net on like a sock. This may not be as simple as having an integrated bug net like with the Warbonnets or the Hennessy, but it also offers more versatility as far as removal.

The Helios straps are a shockingly light and simple set up.
The Helios straps are a shockingly light and simple set up.

The ProFly Sil Rain Tarp is simple to set up and doesn't require a separate ridgeline. It is instead tensioned by six guy points (two that go to your anchor and four to the ground), and stakes are included. As with any involved system, there is a tiny learning curve as you figure everything out. But, for how many components this system includes, we find it quite straightforward and user-friendly.

Integrated line tensioners and trekking pole holder let you quickly pitch the tarp. These are two reasons we loved the ENO tarp.
Integrated line tensioners and trekking pole holder let you quickly pitch the tarp. These are two reasons we loved the ENO tarp.

Versatility


We gave this system high marks for versatility. The Sub6 hammock by itself is not versatile at all, but upgrading to the shelter system provided us with a ton of great options.


The neat thing about the Guardian SL Bug Net is the way you can partially or completely slide it out of the way. It can even serve as a shade for just your head. It is a bit tricky, however, to cinch down completely from the inside. Moving and changing ridgeline tension can cause the ends to open up a bit, creating an access point for bugs. It's also a little bit of an ordeal to get out of when it's dark. You can trace the ridgeline back to the endpoint, but then you have to feel around for the strings to loosen it and wiggle the whole thing down to get out. We liked the design, but it's certainly not as easy to navigate as a zipper right down the middle.

Another fun feature of this shelter system is the fact that the stuff sack is lined with soft felt, so you can turn it inside out and re-stuff it to make a pillow. This gives you a place to store some of your clothes overnight and keep them warm.

The ProFly Sil Tarp that comes with this system is one of our favorites. It is easy to pitch and adjust, covers a nice large area, and even comes with stakes. (Stakes are only included when you purchase a shelter system, not when you buy a tarp a la carte.) All in all, we like this system and find it extraordinarily versatile, because we can bring only the components we need or want at any given time and leave the rest behind.

It might not be the most luxurious 'mock  but we would throw the Sub6 in any pack without a though due to its lightweight and easy hang.
It might not be the most luxurious 'mock, but we would throw the Sub6 in any pack without a though due to its lightweight and easy hang.

Best Applications


The ENO SubLink Shelter System with Sub6 hammock is best for people who want to be both lightweight and prepared for various conditions. Do you sometimes need to go ultralight and, at other times, need all the bug and rain protection? If so, this system is probably a great fit for you. Other lightweight expedition setups to check out are the Warbonnet Blackbird and the Hennessy Ultralite.

Value


The SubLink Shelter System will put you out $250, which is an investment but, for a hammock with suspension, bug net, and rain fly, is a pretty good deal. If versatility isn't as much of an issue for you and you still want a full backcountry shelter hammock, check out our Best Buy for Backcountry Shelter, the Hennessy Ultralite Backpacker or the bargain-priced REI Flash Air.

Conclusion


The Sub6 upgraded to the SubLink Shelter System is a versatile and bomber setup that will allow you to be lightweight and ready for all kinds of weather. All the components are easy to set up, well made, and completely independent of each other, so you take only what you really need and leave the rest behind. From a 5.7-ounce hammock to an entire backcountry setup under three pounds, this system has got you covered.


Elizabeth Paashaus and Penney Garrett