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.
Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro Review
Cons: Trunk straps cost extra, bug net can’t fold back, heavy and bulky
Manufacturer: Grand Trunk
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Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro
|Price||$54.00 at Amazon||$155 List||$160 List||$195 List||$59.93 at REI|
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|Pros||Large and comfortable, bug netting included||Spacious, comfortable, easy to set up and use, integrated bug net, customizable||Versatile, ultra customizable, comfortable||Versatile, extremely customizable, comfortable||Lightweight, spacious, easy set up, versatile for day use or backcountry shelter|
|Cons||Trunk straps cost extra, bug net can’t fold back, heavy and bulky||Suspension sold separately, can't remove bug net completely||Can get pricey depending on options, ridge-line not removable||Fixed ridgeline, can get expensive depending on options, long wait for customization||All components sold separately, can only use branded suspension system, pricey for the full system|
|Bottom Line||Love hammocking but hate the bugs? Don’t have a fortune to spend on a hammock? Check this one out!||All the features and comfort in a lightweight package.||This extremely customizable hammock is the perfect fit for even the pickiest hammock camper.||If you’re looking to support a small cottage industry business and aren’t willing to sacrifice on comfort and versatility, the Dream Hammock Sparrow is an excellent option.||Not willing to sacrifice on versatility in a comfortable, lightweight hammock shelter? The Pro Double is an excellent balance of all three!|
|Rating Categories||Skeeter Beeter Pro||Warbonnet Original Blackbird||Dutchware Chameleon||Dream Sparrow||Sea to Summit Pro Double|
|Durability And Protection (20%)|
|Ease Of Set Up (10%)|
|Specs||Skeeter Beeter Pro||Warbonnet Original...||Dutchware Chameleon||Dream Sparrow||Sea to Summit Pro...|
|Capacity (weight)||400 lbs||350-400 lbs depending on options selected||350 lbs||275 lbs||400 lbs|
|Hanging Straps Included ?||Yes, 10' 0.2"||no, can add onto purchase for extra $||No||No||No|
|Hammock Size||10.5' x 5'||10' x 5.25'||10' 8" x 4'10"||10' 7" x 4' 10"||10' x 6'2"|
|Size Compact||10.5" x 5"||10" x 4"||12" x 6"||15" x 6"||4" x 6"|
|Connectors||Nautical grade carabiners||Whoopies/straps or buckle/webbing (sold separately)||Beetle Buckle with webbing straps or whoopie slings with tree huggers (sold separately)||webbing tree straps||Buckles|
|Material||70D Parachute nylon||40D or 70D Nylon (depending on options selected)||Hexon 1.0, 1.6 or 2.4||HyperD Diamond Nylon Ripstop||70D nylon ripstop|
|Construction||Triple stitched parachute nylon and doubled sided zippers, integrated bug netting, mildew resistant||End gathered, asymmetric hammock, single or double layer fabric, zipper along 1 side, integrated bug netting. Storage shelf and foot box||1.6 oz Hexon, end gathered, continuous loops||1.6oz HyperD Diamond Ripstop, end gathered, continuous loops||Ripstop nylon, double interlocking stitching|
|Sizes / Colors||1 size, 2 color options||27 colors, 3 fabric layering configurations||2 sizes/9 colors/3 fabrics, 31 printed patterns||1 size /5 colors, customizable options available||2 sizes, 4 colors|
|Measured Weight - Package (ounces)||33 oz||27 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension||37 oz (double layer hammock, bug net, suspension)||26 oz||16 oz|
|Measured Weight - Hammock Only (ounces)||30 oz||26 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension||25 oz (dbl layer)||15 oz||16 oz|
|Measured Weight - Hammock and Suspension (ounces)||33 oz||26 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension||25 oz (dbl layer, webbing and beetle buckle suspension attached))||20 oz (hammock, tree straps)||19 oz|
|Measured Weight - Shelter System (no stakes)||N/A||42 oz with Mini Fly tarp||N/A||N/A||42 oz (hammock suspension, bug net, tarp)|
|Capacity (height)||Not stated||6'||not stated||not stated||Not stated|
|Accessories (compatible, not included)||Trunk strap, aluminum carabiners, stand||Rain flies, bug net, carabiners, fish hooks, under quilts, top quilts, suspension systems||Suspension straps, rain fly, bug net, top cover, side car pockets, ridgeline pockets||Suspension straps, rain fly, top cover, side car pockets, ridgeline pockets, tree straps, underquilts, top quilts||Suspension straps, Rain fly, bug net, gear sling, wider tree protection straps,|
|Accessories (included with hammock)||Stuff sack, storage pockets, carabiners, rope starter kit, bug net suspension line||Guylines, bugnetting, storage shelf, continuous loops (for attaching suspension system to), stuff sack||continuous loops, ridgeline||continuous loops, ridgeline, bug net||Continuous loops|
|Extra Accessories Tested||none||Mini Fly tarp, webbing with buckles suspension,||Body layer 2, Beetle Buckle suspension, asym bug net||10 ft. Tree straps||Rain fly, ultralight suspension straps, bug net|
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, 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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