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Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro Review

Love hammocking but hate the bugs? Don’t have a fortune to spend on a hammock? Check this one out!
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Price:  $90 List | $49.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Large and comfortable, bug netting included
Cons:  Trunk straps cost extra, bug net can’t fold back, heavy and bulky
Manufacturer:   Grand Trunk
By Elizabeth Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 7, 2019
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 18
  • Comfort - 40% 6
  • Weight - 20% 5
  • Durability and Protection - 20% 5
  • Ease of Set Up - 10% 7
  • Versatility - 10% 6

Our Verdict

This model is large and spacious and made of comfortable nylon. The integrated bug net comes with a suspension system to hold it off of your face while keeping those pesky bugs at bay. We love how comfortable this hammock is, and found it easy to be comfortable in many different positions. We don't love the heavy carabiners and tree-damaging rope suspension system that come with it. We were also disappointed that the bug netting can't be removed or rolled back.


Compare to Similar Products

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.

Performance Comparison


Live life without bugs - even next to a wetland in springtime!
Live life without bugs - even next to a wetland in springtime!

Comfort


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, the Best Buy for Day use, the Kootek, 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 integrated bug net may impede a comfortable sitting position in this hammock from Grand Trunk.
The integrated bug net may impede a comfortable sitting position in this hammock from Grand Trunk.

Weight


The Skeeter Beeter weighs 30 ounces without suspension straps. Because it comes with tree damaging ropes, you'll need to add some more weight to your system to kindly hang this model. The only model we tested that is heavier without suspension added is the Editors' Choice for Day Use, the ENO Skyloft. The Skyloft doesn't include bug netting like the Skeeter Beeter, but it boasts a more abrasion resistant fabric and spreader bars for supreme comfort.

If you want weight savings in your day use hammock, but don't want to miss out on the benefits of the bug net, you might consider the winner for Ultralight Versatility, the Sea to Summit Pro. It can be combined as system of components that you can take or leave at home, depending on the protection you'll need at your destination. If you want to save weight, check out some of the ultralight models we tested, like the Sea to Summit Ultralight or Grand Trunk Nano 7, but these two are very narrow hammocks and won't have nearly the comfort of the Skeeter Beeter. The Skeeter Beeter Pro is too much to justify for backcountry use, but it would be entirely at home in the backyard or a park.

A double wide hammock with integrated bug netting makes this a bit more bulky than other day use hammocks and too heavy for backcountry use. Also  don't you dare use those ropes to hang from a living tree!
A double wide hammock with integrated bug netting makes this a bit more bulky than other day use hammocks and too heavy for backcountry use. Also, don't you dare use those ropes to hang from a living tree!

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. It's also wider and is more protective than a narrow hammock like the ENO Sub 6.

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, like the REI Co-op Flash Air or Hennessy Ultralite. 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.

The zipper for the bug net on the Skeeter Beeter doesn't quite reach the end of the hammock.
The zipper for the bug net on the Skeeter Beeter doesn't quite reach the end of the hammock.

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 hammock models like the Best Buy Kootek and the Wise Owl. With the right suspension straps, it's an easier system to set up than backcountry models like the Warbonnet Blackbird and Ridgerunner. But the Skeeter Beeter does add the extra step of suspending the bug netting shock cord ridgeline separately, so we ranked it on par with the Blackbird, because you get fewer features for only a little less work.

It isn't hard to hang the bug net suspension on the first go  but the second time reguires lots of untangling. Zipping one end of the shock cord into the hammock when stuffing it will help keep them from getting tangled as badly.
It isn't hard to hang the bug net suspension on the first go, but the second time reguires lots of untangling. Zipping one end of the shock cord into the hammock when stuffing it will help keep them from getting tangled as badly.

Versatility


In this category, we scored the Skeeter Beeter lower. While there are many ways to hang and adjust this hammock and all kinds of ways to find comfort in its parachute cloud, we couldn't use it in the backyard or at the city park with friends. 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.

If you're seeking a hammock with greater versatility, you might consider picking up a system like the ENO SubLink. It lets you choose which pieces (hammock, rain fly, bug net) to take or leave depending on where you go. You might also consider a hammock that has a bug net you can fold back, like the Warbonnet Blackbird or the REI Co-op Flash Air. Still not what you're after? You could also pick up a light yet very comfortable hammock like the Sea to Summit Pro and buy the bug net to slip over the top when you feel the need for a protective barrier from your six-legged friends.

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.

When the bugs start hatching  I'm sure we will appreciate the netting  but for now  it's blocking my springtime canyon views.
When the bugs start hatching, I'm sure we will appreciate the netting, but for now, it's blocking my springtime canyon views.

Best Applications


So why would you buy a hammock with an integrated bug net? Well, if you're asking that question, then you might not live in a place that has to deal with a lot of biting insects! Hammocks like the Skeeter Beeter Pro, with bug nets built in, are a great way to keep yourself itchless while hammocking in the backyard or car camping.

The integrated bug netting makes it simpler to set up than one with separate pieces. However, a built-in bug net can also reduce the overall versatility of a hammock, since you don't always need it, but you're stuck carrying it around anyway. This is even more true for the Skeeter Beeter whose design forces you to use the bug net, as there's no way to tie, fold, or roll it back out of the way. The best situation for the Skeeter Beeter is car camping out in a buggy area or napping in the neighborhood park.

Double wide  the inside of the Skeeter Beeter affords lots of space to find your comfortable position.
Double wide, the inside of the Skeeter Beeter affords lots of space to find your comfortable position.

Value


At $90, the Skeeter Beeter is certainly less expensive than any 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 lack of versatility and 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.

Conclusion


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 Pro. 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.

Mosquitos are voracious! Stay itch-free inside the Skeeter Beeter Pro.
Mosquitos are voracious! Stay itch-free inside the Skeeter Beeter Pro.

Other Versions and Accessories


Grand Trunk offers many versions of hammocks, including the Grand Trunk Ultralight Starter, Ultralight Nano, Single, Double, and even a Junior option! They also sell trunk straps (replace those rope slings already!), lightweight carabiners, and even a stand so you can enjoy the magic of a hammock without trees — even indoors! Not sure about the integrated bug net? Grab another Grand Trunk model and add the Mozzy Net later. Headed out in the rain? They even sell a rain fly! Grand Trunk is a one-stop-shop for all kinds of hammock gear.


Elizabeth Paashaus