The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

How We Tested Hammocks

By Elizabeth Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor
Friday August 2, 2019

Where We Tested


We have spent several hundred hours and many seasons "hanging around" backcountry campsites, campgrounds, canyons, and city parks, to evaluate how all the best hammock models perform in a multitude of environments. We rated each product on the same criteria: comfort, weight, ease of setup, protection/durability, and versatility. As new and impressive products become available, we test, test, and retest!

How much space do I have?
How much space do I have?

We evaluated comfort for sitting, lounging, and sleeping each time we slung a 'mock between two trees. Our reviewers tested multiple positions to find the ones that were the most comfortable for each model. Sometimes the difference between a sore neck and a dreamy good time was scooting down an inch, adjusting the tension, raising the feet or laying more diagonally. We experimented a lot and had fun doing it.

Testing isn't always easy  but we hope our struggles and fails help you make the choice that makes sense for you!
Testing isn't always easy, but we hope our struggles and fails help you make the choice that makes sense for you!

We include details about each model's material and construction. We also tell you how they feel and perform in the real world. Throughout the review, we note which materials feel robust enough for your dog to join you and which ones make us sit lightly due to their delicate feel, which buckles are easy to slide and which ones take fiddling and force.

Testing Protocol


We weighed each model with all the bells and whistles and just the essentials. We loaded each one into a backpack and a shoulder bag to compare sizes to see which are the best to carry into the backcountry and which are clutch for a BBQ hang out or car camping site. We set up every sling so many times in a bunch of different environmental settings to dig into how easy (or not) they were to use. We overnighted in cold temperatures to see which models were easiest to use with a sleeping pad inside. We invited friends and family on board to see how they performed with multiple occupants.


We made spreadsheets of every detail and measurement to discern minute differences between even the most similar models.

So many choices... We can help you decide!
So many choices... We can help you decide!

We tested accessories, used every pocket, fumbled with sleeping pads and underquilts, and generally moved around inside the 'mocks a whole bunch to get a well-rounded sense of their versatility. We hope our adventures and experiments inform your decisions on what gear to buy and inspire you to get outside and create amazing memories.

The Pro Double makes an excellent spot to get out of the sand  lie back  and enjoy springtime in the canyon.
The Pro Double makes an excellent spot to get out of the sand, lie back, and enjoy springtime in the canyon.