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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
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
  • 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, though you can flip the hammock over for net-free lounging when the bugs aren't biting.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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. 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.

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.

Value


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.

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. 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.

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.

Elizabeth Paashaus