Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Testing hammocks is one of the few times when lying down on the job is encouraged! We certainly did a lot of lying down while pitting these hammocks side by side to see how they compared. The Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro stacks up in the comfort metric but is just too heavy, lacks versatility, and isn't quite as simple to pitch as others we tested.
The Skeeter Beeter Pro scores on par with the other large day-use models in comfort. Made of 70D parachute nylon, this hammock felt soft against our skin. Even the bug net is soft — a nice touch, as you're likely to hit your head against a hammock's bug net frequently while getting in, getting out, midnight fumbles, and shuffling to find your perfect spot.
The Skeeter Beeter is a traditional end-gathered shape. It's larger than most backcountry shelter hammocks and even beats out the next largest day hammock by a good 6" in length. This design lets you find all kinds of comfortable sleeping/lounging/reading positions — and even allows room for a friend to take shelter with you! It's possible to achieve a flat lay by using the diagonal-lay trick. We also found this hammock comfortable if hung loosely or tightly.
The Skeeter Beeter weighs 30 ounces without suspension straps making it one of the heaviest models tested. Because it comes with tree damaging ropes, you'll need to add some more weight to your system to kindly hang this model.
We tested many other models that offer the same amount or more comfort plus bug netting but kept the weight significantly lower.
Durability and Protection
We appreciate this hammock's durable construction and its 400-pound capacity. Enjoy it with a friend! The 70 denier nylon is triple stitched along all seams — from the joined colors to the sides to the gathered ends of the hammock. It is solidly constructed, with hefty zippers to aid in its longevity. And, with the integrated bug net, it offers more protection than hammocks without a bug net.
The bug netting obscures your views when sitting inside the hammock. Instead of the dark netting used on most hammocks and tents, Grand Trunk uses an off-white color that is hard to see through.
Even though the hammock itself is high-quality, the rope suspension system, which you should never use on a living tree, and bug net bungees aren't. The ends fray and both the rope and bungee cord don't feel like they will stand the test of time. They beg to be replaced.
And, of course, a hammock without a rain fly will be as protective as a hammock with a rain fly, but considering the features it has, the Skeeter Beeter is pretty durable and provides a decent amount of protection from the elements and creepy crawlies.
Ease of Set Up
The Skeeter Beeter is simple to set up, and the level of challenge depends more on the suspension system you choose than anything. And you'll need to choose one since you can't use the included rope slings on a tree.
It's the same style set up as many end-gathered hammock models; clip a carabiner from the end of the hammock to the suspension. But the Skeeter Beeter does add the extra step of suspending the bug netting shock cord ridgeline separately.
In this category, we scored the Skeeter Beeter lower. There are many ways to hang and adjust this hammock and all kinds of ways to find comfort in its parachute cloud. The bug net zips open to about a foot from the end, meaning there's no way to easily unzip the net and leave it open to chat with friends. However, it is large enough for two people to sit in (though sleeping is a different story), so perhaps you can simply invite your buddy in for a chat and a beverage.
The Skeeter Beeter also lacks the versatility to be a backcountry shelter. Sure you can easily buy a tarp to go with it, but your system is going to be unreasonably heavy considering the other, lighter, yet still very comfortable options on the market.
The Skeeter Beeter is certainly less expensive than many of the other hammocks with bug nets we tested. So if what you need is a hammock with bug protection, this will be your best price. But the l heavyweight made us think twice. We'd be willing to spend a bit more to get a hammock that can either serve more purposes or be light enough that we would carry it into the backcountry.
If you've been teetering on the edge of a bug net/hammock for your yard or car camping ventures, we think you'll love the cloud-like feel and fortress-like protection of the Skeeter Beeter. But if you want a backcountry shelter or a minuscule 'mock you can throw in a fanny pack, you will want to check out some of the other models we tested.
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