Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review
Cons: Heavy, bulky, difficult to achieve a flat position
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Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock
|Price||$199.00 at Amazon||$155 List||$159.95 at REI||Check Price at Backcountry|
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|$21.99 at Amazon|
|Pros||Durable, can be used as a bivy||Spacious, comfortable, easy to set up and use, integrated bug net, customizable||Comfortable asymmetric design, budget friendly, package includes full shelter system||Very comfortable flat position, easy to set up, durable material and construction, attachable pillow||Comfortable, large, easy to use, versatile, surprisingly low cost|
|Cons||Heavy, bulky, difficult to achieve a flat position||Suspension sold separately, can't remove bug net completely||More complicated set up, small rain fly, bug net is not removable||Bulky, heavy, narrow for sharing, suspension straps sold separately||Not the lightest, sticky carabiner|
|Bottom Line||This model lacks the comfort needed to make up for its bulk and weight||Superior comfort with a dedicated footbox, spacious fabric, and all the features needed for many nights of cozy sleep||The trimmed-down design of the Expedition offers a comfortable asymmetric shape and keeps both the weight and the price low||Ready for kicking back with a cold one or napping alike, the Skyloft is a durable and comfortable hammock for relaxing at the park or crag||A great way to save money but still find all the comfort, simplicity, and webbing suspension straps that you expect from top hammock brands|
|Rating Categories||Blue Ridge Camping||Warbonnet Original...||Hennessy Expedition...||ENO Skyloft||Kootek Portable|
|Durability And Protection (20%)|
|Ease Of Set Up (10%)|
|Specs||Blue Ridge Camping||Warbonnet Original...||Hennessy Expedition...||ENO Skyloft||Kootek Portable|
|Measured Weight - Package (ounces)||93.8 oz||27 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension||42 oz||44 oz||23 oz|
|Measured Weight - Hammock Only (ounces)||66.8 oz (hammock, poles)||26 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension||30 oz (hammock, bug net, suspension)||42 oz||23 oz|
|Measured Weight - Hammock and Suspension (ounces)||76.9 oz (hammock, poles, straps)||26 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension||30 oz (hammock, bug net, suspension)||54 oz with atlas straps||37 oz|
|Measured Weight - Shelter System (no stakes)||93.8 oz||42 oz with Mini Fly tarp||42 oz (hammock, bug net, tarp, suspension)||N/A||N/A|
|Capacity (weight)||275 lbs||350-400 lbs depending on options selected||250 lbs||250 lbs||500 lbs|
|Hanging Straps Included?||No||no, can add onto purchase for extra $||Yes||No||Yes, 10' straps|
|Hammock Size||7'6" x 4'3"||10' x 5.25'||10' x 4.92'||7' x 3'||9'10" x 6'6"|
|Size Compact||25" x 6" x 6"||10" x 4"||9" x 7" x 4"||18.5” x 4.5” x 4.5”||9.8" x 7.4"|
|Connectors||Nylon cord||Whoopies/straps or buckle/webbing (sold separately)||Polyester rope||Aluminum carabiners||Steel carabiners|
|Material||Ripstop Nylon||40D or 70D Nylon (depending on options selected)||70D Oxford Nylon||NewWave nylon||210D nylon|
|Construction||Bridge style hammock, 10-point aluminum spreader bars, bug netting||End gathered, asymmetric hammock, single or double layer fabric, zipper along 1 side, integrated bug netting. Storage shelf and foot box||Single panel double-stitched seam connection to zipper and 30D polyester No-See-Um netting. 3mm integrated ridgeline. 5mm cord connected to hammock anchor point to tie around tree strap. Dual stretch cord attachments to pull hammock body away at sides.||Durable ripstop nylon with aluminum spreader bars||Triple interlocking stitching|
|Sizes / Colors||1 size, 1 color||27 colors, 3 fabric layering configurations||Multiple other sizes/configurations available under other Hennessy product names||1 size, 4 colors||1 size, 5 colors|
|Capacity (height)||Not stated||6'||6'||Not stated||Not stated|
|Accessories (compatible, not included)||Suspension straps, wiregate carabiners, underquilt||Rain flies, bug net, carabiners, fish hooks, under quilts, top quilts, suspension systems||Tree straps, larger rain flys, insulation, "snakeskin" stuff sacks||Suspension straps, rain fly, bug net, top quilts, under quilts, insulation pads, permanent anchors||None|
|Accessories (included with hammock)||Rainfly, bug netting||Guylines, bugnetting, storage shelf, continuous loops (for attaching suspension system to), stuff sack||Tree straps, 70D polyurethane coated polyester ripstop rainfly, integrated bug net||Aluminum wiregate carabiners||Tree straps, steel carabiners|
|Extra Accessories Tested||Suspension straps, wiregate carabiners||Mini Fly tarp, webbing with buckles suspension,||None||Atlas straps||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lawson Blue Ridge is spacious and keeps you well-protected from the elements with its spreader bars and tent poles to keep the netting well above your face but, as the most important feature of a hammock is comfort, our testers can't say they would recommend it to a friend. You may find it useful on a car camping trip for lounging during the day, but the price tag will likely steer you to another model.
We were excited to try the Lawson Blue Ridge because of the high level of comfort offered by other camping hammocks with spreader bars but based on our testing, the overall comfort level was disappointing. The hammock is wide and spacious but the design limits your ability to lie down flat. The head and foot ends are not dropped and a diagonal lay is not possible in this design.
For those who plan to use their hammock car camping or in the backyard, the weight of the Blue Ridge may not be an issue but we do not recommend this model if you need to carry it anywhere. On our scales, as a full shelter, it weighs in at 93 ounces; that's 5.8 pounds, more than 2 pounds heavier than the next heaviest model in our review.
Durability and Protection
The durable materials and protection provided by this hammock are some of its best qualities. It uses thicker nylon than most camping hammocks which should stand up better to abrasion. The bug netting and integrated tarp will keep you well protected from bugs and rain. This tarp sits closer to the hammock body than many we tested which will provide added protection from blowing rain.
Ease of Set Up
The suspension straps are long and easy to adjust. We like the sliding buckles that allow fine-tuning in the tension of the hammock. The hammock then simply slips to the buckles to hang. Setting up the tarp is a little less self-explanatory as it's not immediately clear where all the clips and loops go. After reading the manufacturer's instructions you won't have any trouble but there are still a lot of pieces to individually attach. One nice feature is that the rain fly is self-contained with the hammock and you don't need to tie it separately to the trees or even stake it to the ground.
Because of its weight and the non-removable bug net, the Lawson Blue Ridge loses several points in the versatility rankings. You won't be backpacking with this model or sharing with a friend due to the 275-pound weight rating. We do like that you can flip it upside down and sit on the opposite side without the bug net when lounging at camp. Lawson also provides instructions for setting the hammock up on the ground like a small tent or bivy when trees are not available.
Based on our testing, the performance of the Blue Ridge in the comfort, weight, and versatility metrics do not justify its price. It ranks moderately in ease of set up and well in durability & protection but there are many options that will provide more comfort, less weight, more versatility that are just as easy to set up and that can offer plenty of durability and protection for less money. Read our other hammock reviews to find one that performs well in the metrics that are most important to you.
We had high hopes for this spreader bar hammock based on the performance of other similar models in our test but are unfortunately unable to recommend the Lawson Blue Ridge hammock. It lacks the dropped head and foot area that allows you to achieve a flat position in a spreader bar model. While it feels spacious on the inside, comfort is elusive. Other than the comfort, our testers found the weight and bulky limit its versatility. If you are shopping for a hammock to be your backpacking shelter and like the spreader bar style, there are other models that will give you more comfort that we highly recommend.
— Elizabeth Paashaus