Hands-on Gear Review

Hammock Bliss Ultralight Review

Hammock Bliss - Image from Website
By: Brian Blum ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 17, 2013
Price:  $48 List  |  $24.95 at Amazon - 48% Off
Pros:  Portable, light, comfortable for sitting and lounging.
Cons:  Tight material, not ideal for sleeping, on the smaller side.
Manufacturer:   Hammock Bliss
70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 30% 6
  • Weight - 20% 9
  • Ease of Set Up - 10% 6
  • Protection/ Durability - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 20% 7
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  • 2
  • 3
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Our Verdict

The Hammock Bliss Ultralight is a high-quality hammock that is supportive, well made, lightweight and extremely portable. It comes with enough cordelette to hang without any additional material (although we would love a slightly thinner and lighter cord). For a small or medium person it provides enough material to lie comfortably on. However, for someone over 6' the ~8' length is a little shorter than desired. All in all this is a great alternative to a sleeping pad and tent, and while not as comfortable as the ENO DoubleNest, it is more portable and lightweight and a little more affordable.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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Performance Comparison


Lounging in the Hammock Bliss Ultralight.
Lounging in the Hammock Bliss Ultralight.

Sleeping Comfort


The Hammock Bliss Ultralight is in the moderate range of sleeping comfort. While the fabric spreads out well and the material doesn't tighten up in the center creating a taut ridgeline like some other brands, the shorter length does limit a taller person's ability to get into a comfortable diagonal position. The fabric itself is not as smooth and soft on the skin as the ENO brands, although for most sleeping in a blanket or sleeping bag this is really a moot point. Also, unlike the ENOs, the material doesn't offer the subtle stretch and deeper center which allows one to really settle in. In fact the tightness of the material in general makes it a bit difficult to find that sweet spot and be able to comfortably sleep through the night.

In the ENO DoubleNest the give in material allows one to sleep down the center, diagonal and even on your side. The tightness of the Hammock Bliss prevents this as you will feel the particular pressure points on your shoulder or whatever part of you is pressing most firmly into the hammock. Depending on how this hammock is set up (narrow versus wide connection points), it has the tendency to wrap you up (unless lying diagonal which we recommend), creating a bit of claustrophobia.

Lounging Comfort


With respect to lounging comfort the Hammock Bliss Ultralight is quite comfortable. When lying down for short periods of time we are able to settle nicely into a particular spot, and remain able to look over the edges and communicate with those around us. Also, when rigged with a very wide connection the hammock opens in a way that allows two or even three people to sit comfortably in it at any given time. The tightness of the material actually works to its advantage as it provides more of a seat with a firm foundation that supports your back. Additionally the edges are not sharp behind the knees and there is no firm ridgeline, even when pulled taut, making it comfortable for sitting and lying down.

Setup / Accessories


It's odd that for most of the parachute hammocks tested (with the exception of this one) the product does not provide enough physical material to actually hang the hammock. We understand that most back-country hikers and climbers have webbing or codelette, making this less of an issue, but it would be nice for companies to offer a total solution. We noticed many reviewers on the web who were frustrated when they purchased a hammock, headed out into the wilderness and opened it up to find out they needed to throw together a rigging solution using whatever they had around them.

It turns out that the Hammock Bliss is the only hammock tested that has a significant length of cordelette, allowing us to hang it as it comes out of the (attached stuff sack) bag. This is possible with the help of approximately 80" of cordelette on each side. For small trees that happen to be the perfect distance apart, we find we can tie a double fisherman's which is easy to undo. While the cordelette provided offers a working solution, we still recommend either swapping out the cord provided for a thinner, lighter solution (potentially using webbing) or using additional tree wraps with multiple loops (such as a daisy-chain) with a carabiner on each side. Being able to adjust the hanging length is key to finding a comfortable sleeping setup.

Daisy Chain made from webbing for adjustable hanging strap
Daisy Chain made from webbing for adjustable hanging strap


Portability


The Hammock Bliss earns the Top Pick award as it is an excellent lightweight solution for back-country enthusiasts that count every ounce of weight in their pack. At 13 oz. it is not the lightest (the Byer Traveller Lite Hammock weights only 10 oz.), but the fact that it does not require extra gear to hang and can pack into very tight spaces (4" x 5.5" stuffed and compressed) make it a great solution on the road.

Best Applications


We highly recommend the Hammock Bliss Ultralight as a portable sleeping solution to back-country hikers or climbers that want to make every ounce of weight and every square inch of space count.

Value


The Hammock Bliss is reasonably priced and offers a good portable parachute hammock for those on the go. It is made from quick-drying, rot- and mildew-resistant high strength nylon, and feels durable and long lasting. There are better car-camping solutions out there and if you are looking to save money we instead recommend the Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock, which is almost as portable, requires a little extra gear to set up, but is much cheaper and almost as comfortable.

Conclusion


For anyone whose predominant form of transportation is your feet, the Hammock Bliss Ultralight might be a great solution. It packs up small, is lightweight, offers reasonable comfort, and for shorter back-country/climbing trips where it is simply too much to bring a sleeping pad and tent, provides everything you need to have an amazing trip. If you are taller and bigger or a finicky sleeper you might prefer the ENO DoubleNest, and if you are on a tight budget the Grand Trunk Ultralight might be the preferred choice.

Brian Blum

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Most recent review: September 17, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
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3 star: 100%  (1)
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