Camping Hammock Buying Advice – What to Consider
So, you’ve decided to go camping and picked a hammock instead of a tent? That’s a prudent idea. Compared to tents, hammocks certainly can’t be bitten when it comes to providing cozy night’s sleep out where nature predominates. Camping hammocks provide various range of benefits to campers. Besides being reasonably priced, they are light thus makes portability quite easy.
Hammocks have lodged some distance off the ground supported by upright trees. This will make sleeping and resting comfortably as you won’t have to battle with insects and bugs. Currently, a significant number of campers prefer hammocks to sleeping bags as they are more comfortable to sleep on. Besides, some models come with a mesh material that shields the use from mosquitoes and numerous flying pests.
Hammocks are available in various sizes and come with varying features. This is why you should consider some buying advice when searching for one. Some of the factors to consider include:
Camping Hammock Types
This is the first consideration to look into before purchasing one. There are four common types of hammocks. Select one based on your situation.
- Parachute nylon singles – they are ultra-durable and provide some stretch which makes sleeping and overall rest comfortable for the camper. As the name suggests, it fits a single user sufficiently well.
- Parachute nylon doubles – these types of hammocks are bigger and wider compared to the single hammocks. They can accommodate two campers. Despite this, only one user can sleep or rest comfortably. They are a good choice if you plan to hike in cold or wetter climates. This is because they offer a slim chance of exposing the user’s feet or shoulders. They are also comfortable for big folks who want ample sleeping space.
- Ultra-lightweight hammocks – similarly, as the name suggests, they are made of lightweight materials. This highlights their convenient and compact form. Such hammocks are ideal for quick and light hiking escapades or backpacking excursions. They can easily be carried around. However, you may find them not as much comfortable as the parachute nylon types. Campers of slim and average built will find this type perfect.
- Backcountry and expedition hammocks – meant for backcountry and expedition, they are made of quality and high-denier durable nylon. They have additional features such as guides to create supplementary space and how to make bug nets.
Camping Hammock Designs
Types and camping hammock designs are two different aspects. There are two common designs including:
- Gathered-end asymmetrical hammock – they are the most common type available. They are lightweight, roomier and a have a less constrictive feeling. These hammocks have two distinctive features:
- They have an asymmetrical shape allowing the camper to lay diagonally to the center line.
- The ends are gathered together forming a single bunch.
- Bridge hammock – unlike the first design, bridge hammocks have non-gathered ends. They are instead reinforced with a gather bar. The shape of bridge hammocks is flat and trough-like. In this hammock, the camper sleeps in a flat position. It provides for less body adjustments. The drawbacks of this hammock include:
- Spreader bars used to support it add weight.
- Its tubular shape can be quite constrictive.
Based on your height and body physique, you should find a hammock that suits you. An oversized or undersized hammock may not be such comfortable. This is why you should look at the length and width of the hammock. Hammock widths often vary ranging from 48 inches to 84 inches. This depends on the type, either single or double user.
When looking at the height, bear in mind that wide hammocks wrap further around you providing that claustrophobic feeling. When it comes to the length, hammock lengths are less than widths. Tall campers ought to find longer models. This is a personal choice and preference.
Hammock Suspension System
Suspension systems and a pair of carabiners are vital elements of any hammock. Some manufacturers sell the hammocks with these items. Others could offer as accessories. Regardless of the situation, ensure that you have a suspension system in your hammock.
Options for these systems include webbing straps which are wider than 0.75 inches to reduce damage to trees when weighted, nylon ropes and synthetic tree slings. To minimize cost, it is prudent finding a hammock with suspension systems and a lot of attachment points. This will allow for more setup adjustability and flexibility regarding the types of trees used.
Hammock Weight Capacity
Different hammocks have weight limits which vary based on the material used to make them. The limits range from 150 pounds to 500 pounds. Depending on your weight, make the right choice. Besides, if you want a double option, consider including the weights of both campers as a guide. Jumping around the hammock translates to shorter lifespan and performance.
Hammocks weigh up to 7 pounds and as low as few pounds. You definitely chose hammocks because of portability. Getting a heavy one wouldn’t, therefore, add up. Carefully select the best hammock including its suspension system. Avoid generalizing that lighter hammocks are small or poor quality. Many companies create ultra-light versions to ease portability.
Hammocks are made of lightweight and breathable nylon which keeps you cool through summer seasons. They are much cooler than tents. When searching for them, therefore, distinguish cotton hammocks, which are made for casual home, from nylon models. Camping in windy and chilly conditions will require that you get a little bit creative. For instance, warming up with various optional accessories such as topquits, sleeping pads or underquits.
Nylon hammocks are perhaps the strongest hammocks available. This material protects wind and light rain from reaching you. Those made of thin polyester materials tends to be poor in shielding from such conditions.
Other factors you might want to look into when searching for the best hammocks include:
Ability to offer protection
Ease of setup
Accessories accompanying the hammock