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While the 1-person tent still rules among many campers and backpacking enthusiasts, there is a growing number of individuals who are becoming fans of what the new line of camping hammocks have to offer, and it’s not hard to see why!
A great hammock is comfortable, relaxing, and can offer an outstanding night’s sleep out in the wild while a simple tent over the top can protect from rain if that becomes an issue.
The huge surge in interest in backpacking has led to more people looking for solo options when it comes to hiking their favorite trails, and for backpacking enthusiasts who know every single ounce of weight counts when hauling a pack, the ability to trade in a tent that is often 4-5 lbs for a hammock that is 2 or less is not only better on the pack, but many of us find getting off the ground is better on the back, as well!
When it comes to long term hiking better sleep means better recovery and a better overall experience. There are hammocks even made to hold the weight of two people, so even big guys like me have options.
Note: There are many extraordinary camping hammocks out in the market right now – so having 3-4 pictures with “Top Rated” on them isn’t a misprint. We’ve done our best to list the best, but the top ones in many situations are very interchangeable. Sometimes that means mediocrity but in this case it means there are several companies that are just that damned good.
Read on to learn more about hammock camping, our picks for the top 5 camping hammocks out in the market right now, and why this outdoor craze is spreading so rapidly!
UPDATE 2018: Well this originally started out as a top five list, but we are well past that point now! There are so many truly outstanding companies out there and honestly, #11 on this list would give you a rock solid hammock camping experience, and most of the top five have near perfect reviews even after many hundreds or thousands of reviews. So enjoy the new comparison chart and our full list of the best camping hammocks out on the market.
Legit Camping – Double Hammock
One of the most popular choices out there, this hammock comes in nine different color combinations and more importantly has an average of 4.9/5.0 stars from over a thousand user reviews. It’s rare to find any piece of camping equipment (well maybe outside of Solo Stove) that consistently puts up positive numbers like that.
The Legit Camping double hammock weighs a mere 1.85 lbs yet holds up to 400 lbs. While in theory it could be used for two, this is a much better setup for one person, as most heavy duty hammocks are.
Backed by a lifetime warranty, this hammock measures 10 feet long and six and a half feet wide, offering plenty of space not only for small and skinny but even us big folks who are built like brick walls but love our long distance hiking and backpacking.
Legit Camping’s top hammock comes with pre-knotted ropes and carabiners to make it extremely easy to set up wherever you decide to camp, and that little extra something doesn’t surprise fans of this particular camping hammock that has maintained its place as one of the absolute best options out there.
Wise Owl Outfitters Ultimate Camping Hammock
Wise Owl Outfitters’ ultimate hammock for camping is another extremely highly regarded brand. The “Ultimate Hammock” comes in both a single and a double size with the single 9.5 feet x 4.5 feet and the double comes in at 10 ft x 6.5 ft.
These hammocks can hold up to 400 lbs of weight and can be used with ropes or straps, although there is definitely a movement towards the straps since they are less harmful to trees and generally allowed in any park, whereas some have already begun banning ropes.
Wise Owl hammocks for camping come in 15 different color combinations, which is a pretty high number of choices. This is a nice touch, and these strong nylon hammocks are quickly gaining a popular reputation for being study, extremely comfortable, and Wise Owl hammocks tend to be very affordable compared to some of the top names in the field.
Getting quality and saving money while improving my nightly sleep on a backpacking adventure? That’s a winning combination all the way around as far as I’m concerned.
Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) DoubleNest Hammock
One of the biggest names and a pioneer in creating outstanding nylon hammocks for campers and backpacking enthusiasts, ENO has developed a reputation that includes thousands of 5 star ratings across about every online sports & camping store imaginable. The DoubleNest hammock doesn’t disappoint, holding up the absolute best of ENO’s reputation!
Featuring industry leading 70D nylon taffeta, combined with specialized triple interlocking stitching techniques, this creates a strong and comfortable hammock to camp in while also making it breathable (read even more comfortable). This really is an outstanding design made from incredible materials put together to further accentuate the overall quality of their products.
While the SingleNest is also popular, most backpacking enthusiasts choose to go for a little bit more space with the DoubleNest option. Specially made aluminum wiregate carabiners are included along with line that is high nautical grade line, means setting up your hammock and being able to rest easy (even if you’re pushing the high end towards that 400 pound mark) knowing you have the top notch equipment to keep you resting happily.
Bear Butt just sounds like the perfect name for a big and comfortable hammock, and they don’t disappoint as their double wide parachute camping hammock is an outstanding piece of equipment that has left it’s mark as a truly outstanding choice that competes with the Big Boys at ENO, WOO, and Legit Camping.
Available in 8 different color combinations to meet a wide variety of tastes, this comfortable hanging design lets you enjoy the local scenery in comfort whether between two posts, two trees, or a couple of poles. You can sleep comfortably under the stars, put a rain fly over the top in case the weather turns, and enjoy the outdoors in true comfort.
Comfort is a big one, too. Just like the name would indicate, this is a camping hammie that really focuses on making you as comfortable as possible. The materials used are a very high thread count from nylon taffeta that is both strong and comfortable at the same time. Add in the fact the hammocks are very lightweight at a mere 1.5 lbs and it becomes really easy to see why so many campers, hikers, and backpackers absolutely love what Bear Butt hammock has to offer.
A relatively new company, founded in September 2015, they are a small company of professed obsessive hard-working Millennials & hustle stay at home moms that come together to create a really remarkable small company that delivers truly top notch camping hammocks that any serious outdoorsman will appreciate. These are rated for up to 500 lbs although many have consistently used these at heavier weights with no issue.
Coming in a stunning 27 different color combinations, MalloMe hammocks are another example of a company really stepping up to the plate and delivering 5-star quality with their products. This double camping hammock comes as a set that includes the very popular MalloMe hammock straps and hammocking carabiners packed into ta travel bag along with your high quality hammock.
This extra large double parachute hammock measures 118 inches in length and 79 inches in width, meaning even for larger people like me or a average sized couple, there’s still plenty of space. The hammock and attached straps are very strong, featuring a breaking point of 1,000 lbs, double the breaking point that many other outdoor hammocks advertise. For those interested in the nitty gritty details, these are made from premium high quality 210T nylon.
This is a hammock that is large, comfortable, has plenty of size and yet is made high quality and lightweight. That is a great combination and this setup gets unpacked and setup easily to give you the best of the hammock camping world right at your fingertips.
These camping hammocks are a fantastic addition to the list, and if you want a truly top notch hammock then you won’t be disappointed with what a MalloMe brings to the table.
Made from high quality nylon, Hennessy hammock has long been a name recognized by a large number of outdoor campers who like heavy duty quality and are willing to carry a little bit extra weight to ensure it. These are not going to be found among the ultralight groups a lot, but they are a useful heavy duty option that is very dependable, made from 210D Oxford nylon, and comes with an excellent rain fly to create a full shelter system that can take care of you in any weather.
This particular model of hammock is the most popular that the trusted Hennessy brand puts out, and includes a mesh pocket, webbing straps, and more. There’s a lot to love about what this package brings to the table. It’s a full sized single hammock rated up to 250 lbs and good for individuals up to 6 feet in height.
This all-purpose hammock has found a home with a large number of various outdoor enthusiasts whether involved in camping, kayaking, motorcycle camping, or even just a reliable hammock that you can use around the property over the long term. These are strong hammocks that are designed to be really comfortable in particular for individuals who absolutely love camping but who have sore backs, joints, or other potential issues.
This model is the perfection of over 40 years of consistent manufacturing and perfecting and includes 5 patents to bring together this outstanding camping option.
The G4Free camping hammock is available in camel, deep green, or green (sort of a lime green) colors and beyond these basic aesthetic choices you will find some serious quality construction with the G4Free portable hammock. Made from high quality nylon this hammock is quick drying, mold and mildew resistant, and designed to be quick drying.
Weighing a mere 28 ounces in weight, this extremely strong hammock holds up to 440 lb and comes with a solid mosquito net that will give you your little home in the wild so you can enjoy the stars and the surroundings without being absolutely swarmed by mosquitoes and other bugs. This is a good option for long term travel through areas where you will need shelter but setting up on the ground just might not be the ideal option.
Hennessy hasn’t been a mainstay of the ultralight crowd however they have long been a favorite of some of the more rough and tumble outdoor specialists – those who don’t mind a couple extra ounces to set up in less camper friendly areas. The G4 is 118 in length and 50 inches wide, and is incredibly comfortable while working at an ideal hanging distance of 11 feet (though with the right straps and carabiners a longer setup is still fine).
No one should be surprised with the idea that Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) managed to make the best hammock list with both their single parachute and double parachute models. In particular there are a lot of people who have been asking us questions about the camo ENO hammock and whether or not it holds up against other designs & styles that ENO puts out and if they have the same level of quality that this brand is known for.
Really good news on all fronts when it comes to answering these questions. Featuring really heavy duty seams that are triple stitched to offer the additional support that larger campers will definitely appreciate. Nothing like an extra layer of security to feel comfortable and confident when out and enjoying the great outdoors. Add in the fact that this is made from a high quality, quick drying nylon and up to the standards & quality that campers expect from ENO brand and it’s not hard to see why they get two entries on this list.
This young company (founded in 1999 so less than 20 years old as of this writing) has quickly become a mainstay when it comes to truly outstanding hammocks. This particular hammock receives high marks for being comfortable and fitting even the big and tall, making this an outstanding option for those of us built like NBA shooting guards or NFL linebackers.
Another outstanding option that we’re proud to have on our top rated list.
Winner Outfitters Lightweight Nylon Hammock for Campers
This is a budget option to many of the big name brands, and interestingly enough claims to be able to hold more weight at 500 lbs as opposed to the more common 400 lbs that most other nylon backpacking tents are geared for.
That being said, it’s generally best not to test the upper limits of those numbers, but it is an interesting selling point for this tent that is filling up the niche of being a quality budget option compared to many of the more established brands out there.
The new models come out with tree friendly straps, and with a shipping weight of 1.5 lbs this hammock is extremely light weight, making it popular with ultralight backpackers who know that every single ounce counts when it comes to putting together the pack.
These hammocks are made out of 210T parachute nylon – a solid material that is strong enough to hold a person up as they sleep but might not be quite as breathable as some of the other higher end hammocks (meaning hot and humid nights might be a little more uncomfortable, but in most climates this won’t be an issue in the evenings when things cool down).
Although it might not be the top of the line model, it is still high quality and our favorite choices among the budget designs.
Fox Outfitters Neolite Trekking Hammock
This is the “small” lightweight tent that is offered by Fox Outfitters, but don’t let that label fool you. The Neolite Hammock offers more than enough space for your average backpacker or camper to sleep comfortably, or spend a long lazy afternoon by one of their favorite spots.
By small Fox Outfitters means their ultralight version of the Neolite parachute nylon camping hammock measures 9 ft 7 in. in length by 4 feet 7 in. in width and weighs less than one pound – coming in at 13 ounces. Made of strong material, despite its small stature this outdoor hammock can still hold up to 400 lbs of weight making it more than up to the task of providing a comfortable sleeping experience in the great outdoors.
Fox Outfitters did a great job with this one, providing an excellent hammock that is strong, comfortable, and doesn’t skimp on quality in a gimmicky attempt to take off those extra few ounces. This is a solid choice and is going to continue to be a 5 star favorite among many outdoor enthusiasts.
Apriller Ultralight Hammock for Backpackers
Apriller hammocks for backpackers and hikers focus on being comfortable while providing heavy duty support while out in the wild. Designed to be capable of holding two people (you can decide whether or not it’s ever really comfortable having two people in the same parachute style hammock or not) this hammock states it can hold up to 600 lbs, far more than your average camping hammock (though the 400 lb average is nothing to sluff at).
Weighing 1.1 lbs and made of parachute nylon, it comes with binding straps and rope to allow for easy and quick setup when you find an appropriate site. This is a larger tent dimension wise, which makes sense considering it’s made for two, and measures out at 275cm x 145cm. Side pouches allow for the holding of keys, sun glasses, anything you need to carry with you pocket wise but don’t want stabbing into you while you’re sleeping.
This is a very highly rated model and one of your best bets if you need to find an extra large camping hammock or one that truly works for two people.
Top Brands Versus Up-And-Comers
There are a couple brands that really stick out as being among the best of the best when it comes to camping hammocks, and it is really hard to argue with either one. Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) and Wise Owl Outfitters (WOO) are two names that virtually everyone into hammocking know of, and for good reason.
They are the Coke and Pepsi of this branch of outdoor gear and for very good reason. They both have a reputation of being founded by people who were into hammock camping and already passionate about it, who know hammocks inside and out, and then choose to use only the finest in materials and designs to create their hammocks.
In fact, they stick out so much that we have written articles reviewing both of these brands on their own pages, and it will come as no surprise that you see one of each on the above list as well as appearing on other hammock articles throughout our blog.
You can find the blog posts on these companies here:
While you can certainly stop here and have no problem finding exceptional hammocks, it never hurts to see who else is doing what. Just because there are two big names in the field, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of outstanding options out there. This is a very active field and the good news with that means you have many awesome options out there to choose from!
Quality matters! This is something that is important for all campers to remember so don’t give up on hammock camping after buying a cheap used model or trying to make a backyard design work while out on a long hike. If you want a more detailed list of the best models out there check out this great article at Trekwarrior to learn more and see what other really top notch options are out there for hammock campers of all experience levels.
Check it out, find out more about these frankly amazing companies, and use that knowledge to make a smart purchase so you can enjoy the best that the wild has to offer!
Why Go With A Camping Hammock?
There are many good reasons to look at making the switch from even a good solo one-person tent to try out the hammock method, instead. While some people like sleeping on the ground and have no problem at all with that aspect of enjoying the great outdoors, there is an increasing movement of outdoor enthusiasts who love going with the hammock lifestyle.
There are many good reasons for trying out hammock camping including:
- Better sleep
- Easier on the back and body than the ground
- Much lighter to carry while backpacking or hiking
- A more immersive experience in nature
- Makes it easier to leave no trace versus tent camping
There are potential drawbacks: and the lack of trees or places to put up a hammock means in certain environments this simply might not be a viable choice but in the far majority of situations this is going to be an option and it’s definitely one that is worth taking a look at for most outdoor fans.
How to Hang Your Camping Hammock
Hanging your camping hammock isn’t all that difficult, and most of these hammocks come with step by step instructions that will help walk you through the process, complete with illustrations. As helpful as these are to get you set up and enjoying your favorite (or new favorite) spot in nature, they are still not going to compare to being able to watch a step by step video of the process.
Visual cues are great, and with that in mind here is an outstanding set of video instructions for hanging your first camping hammock.
Hammock Camping FAQ
Q: What camping hammock should I buy?
A: There are a wide variety of great options. The truth is that even the “worst” hammocks on this list consistently are rated 4.5 or higher on sites like Amazon and offer durability, comfort, and quality to whoever uses them. There are multiple names that come up when looking at the “best” or “top rated” hammocks, including most of the ones at the top of our list.
You should consider things like whether you need a single parachute or a bigger double parachute, where you’ll be camping, if you need a rain fly/mosquito net, and other similar factors. Get yourself a short checklist, narrow it down, and you’ll be amazed how many different outstanding brands will still suit your needs!
Q: Is hammock camping allowed in Yosemite?
A: Yes. You will need to have straps as opposed to ropes, because no one wants the ropes digging into and damaging the trees (I know this is basic etiquette for virtually all hammockers out there but still important enough to go over), but there are plenty of individuals who have pointed out that finding the perfect place to set up a hammock can be much more difficult than setting up a tent, depending on where exactly in the park you are.
This can be a very legitimate concern considering some of the more popular spots are in areas where obvious hammock setups are few and far between.
Q: Why should I use hammock straps instead of ropes?
A: Simple: you don’t want to hurt the trees and you always want to leave a campsite as well off (or even better) than you found it. Straps are designed to hang you securely without biting into the bark of the tree the way a rope tied in a knot can.
Q: Why is hammock camping so popular?
A: For many of us sleeping in a hammock is far more comfortable on the back and joints than sleeping on the ground like you must with a tent (although a great sleeping pad can help alleviate that, at least). Add in the fact you can set up over spectacular views, carry these instead of a tent to save weight, and occasionally find better spots where a tent won’t due and it becomes easier and easier to see why hammocking has become so popular with so many people.
Q: How can you hammock camp in the desert?
A: If you know the area really well and are camping by some creek flats you might be able to find a couple of trees but otherwise in most desert settings you will need to have your own sets of poles or portable structure to hang a hammock. Most of the time in a really bare desert a hammock just might not be the best option.
Q: How do I get started with hammock camping as a beginner?
A: This is as simple as purchasing a high quality hammock that is designed specifically for camping, doing a little bit of research to see if there are any local clubs or hammockers who really enjoy connecting and then getting out there and giving it a go!
Q: Can you use a hammock as a long-distance ultralight thru hiker?
A: Absolutely – but with the one caveat of making sure you know the territory. There are long stretches of the PCT and CDT where you see a lot of desert – and not much for trees. You’ll want to plan carefully or there will be some nights you’re wrapped up on the ground in a poor man’s version of cowboy camping.
There are many options out there when it comes to camping solo and if you talk to many serious backpacking enthusiasts, especially those who love thru hiking for weeks or even months at a time, you will find a wide array of opinions when it comes to the best bedding when taking solo hikes and adventures. The truth is there are several options but ultralight camping hammocks are popular for a reason and they are going to continue to grow in popularity. We hope you enjoyed this article, and whether you rough it with a tarp or enjoy hanging in between the trees, we’ll be glad to see you out on the trail!