Hammocks look cool but how do you know which is the right one for you? And what is a hammock tent?! In this buyer’s guide, we explain all you need to know about hammocks.
Whether you’re thinking of getting a double hammock for chilling in the yard, a freestanding hammock with its own stand, or looking for the best camping hammock tent to use as an alternative shelter to a tent for multi-day backpacking trips and traveling.
To learn more about how to find the best option for your needs (especially if you’re looking at those ultra-lightweight hammocks to take backpacking), click here to jump down and read our buyer’s guide, otherwise keep reading to head straight to our list of the best camping hammocks.
The Best Camping Hammocks
- Lightweight Hammock Tents for Backpacking and Camping ↓
- Customizable Sleeping Hammock Setups ↓
- The Lightest, Smallest Parachute Hammock ↓
- More Camping Hammock Options ↓
- Two Person Hammocks ↓
- Tree Straps and Slings ↓
- Hammock Stands ↓
- Hammock Underquilts ↓
- HOW TO CHOOSE: Buyer’s Guide ↓
Lightweight Hammock Tents for Backpacking and Camping
These all-in-one camping hammock packages include the hammock, tarp, bug mesh and straps, so once you have any other elements such as a sleeping pad or quilt (if needed), then you’re good to go!
1. Kammok Mantis Ultralight Hammock Tent
- Best for: Ultralight backpacking, travel and minimalist camping
- Packaged weight: 2 lb 3 oz
- Cost: $260
- Packed size: 8 x 6 x 6 inches
- Weight capacity: 250lb
- Accessories included: No-see-um mesh canopy, tarp, no-knot straps
This all-in-one option features built-in pockets and a structural ridgeline to keep what you need close at hand, and comes with Kammok’s lifetime warranty.
This is the lightest camping hammock tent package on this list, at a packaged weight of 2lb 3oz (which you can get to under 2lb on the trail), and it packs down small, making it easy to store in your backpack on multi-day hiking trips.
2. ENO SubLink Hammock Shelter System
- Best for: Backpacking, thru-hiking and camping, with an easy set-up and take-down
- Packaged weight: 2lb 7oz
- Cost: $250
- Packed size: 10 x 9 x 4.5 inches
- Weight capacity: 300lb
- Accessories included: Whoopie sling straps, 360 full coverage bug mesh, tarp rainfly
ENO hammocks are known for their quality and ease of set-up, and for $250 and a weight of only 2lb 7oz this is a great option as an all-in-one lightweight backpacking sleeping system.
The rain tarp on this ENO sleeping hammock is streamlined and ultralight, great for weathering sudden downpours, and as it’s easy to set up and take down quickly, it’s well-suited to multi-day backpacking adventures and traveling.
2 new from $244.95
3. Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Zip Hammock
- Best for: Great value lightweight hammock for backpacking and camping, with side-entry, double zips and a large rainfly for protection
- Packaged weight: 2lb 13oz
- Cost: $160
- Packed size: 7 x 10 inches
- Weight capacity: 250lb
- Accessories included: Tarp / rainfly, no-see-um mesh, rope straps
This asymmetric zip-up Hennessy hammock from Hennessy has an integral ridgeline which helps maintain the same shape and keep your back straight when lying diagonally, and comes with the bug mesh attached.
It also folds into a hammock chair or can be used on the ground as a tent when paired with your hiking poles, which gives you options on multi-day trips where you can’t hang always hang the hammock between trees.
Customizable Sleeping Hammock Setups
These companies offer high-end hammocks and associated accessories, so you can customize what parts you need to make the best shelter for your needs, including simply just using the hammock (possibly with the bug mesh) for chilling in, rather than overnight sleeping. These are great if you want to choose whether or not to include a bug mesh or tarp for example, and have the option of just taking the simple, lightweight hammock with you on your camping trips and travels.
4. Hummingbird Hammocks
- Best for: Ultralight backpacking and camping when you want the lightest possible sleeping system, made in the USA from thin but very strong parachute material
- Packaged weight: 5.2oz
- Cost: $65 (hammock only)
- Packed size: 4 x 4 x 2 inches
- Weight capacity: 300lb
Hummingbird’s single hammock is the lightest weight, smallest packing hammock on the market. It’s made from nylon parachute material, weighs less than a lemon and packs smaller than a coffee cup, holds up to 300 pounds, and is designed by an FAA Certified Parachute Rigger.
If you want extras like straps, 360 degree no-see-um bug mesh and an ultralight tarp, you can buy them all from Hummingbird and every item they sell is designed to be super compact, light and highly functional.
If this is the hammock for you, make sure you use our exclusive code TRAILKALE5 for 5% off when you order on their website.
5. Warbonnet Blackbird
- Best for: Ultralight backpacking and camping, with a range of choice when it comes to fabric type, strapping and size options when you order
- Packaged weight: hammock weight is 15.75 oz without straps
- Cost: from $155 depending on options
- Packed size: n/a
- Weight capacity: 350lb max, 275lb max comfort range
Warbonnet Outdoors is another popular American hammock brand, and their USA-made Blackbird is the hammock model that built their company and following. It features an integrated bug mesh and is available in single or heavier-duty double layer fabric in a range of colors and deniers (fabric weight), with a selection of straps and whoopie slings to choose from.
The Blackbird is also available in a larger size (the Blackbird XLC) for those taller than 6ft, and comes with an integrated internal storage shelf for the essentials you want close to hand at night.
6. Sea to Summit Hammocks
- Best for: Backpacking, camping and travel
- Packaged weight: Pro weighs 19.7oz (including straps, no mesh or tarp)
- Cost: $80
- Packed size: 4 x 5 inches (hammock only)
- Weight capacity: 400lb
Choose between Sea to Summit’s Pro Hammock or the even lighter Jungle Hammock, then decide if you want to pair it with a tarp and tree protectors for the straps for your complete hammock tent setup – the total size and trail weight will vary depending on your choice of straps and tarp.
Sea to Summit also sells a great selection of ultra-lightweight sleeping pads including options you can use for added insulation and comfort in your hammock.
1 new from $89.99
7. Eagles Nest Outfitters SkyLite Hammock
- Best for: Camping or backpacking
- Packaged weight: 2lb
- Cost: $170
- Packed size: 4.5 x 15 inches
- Weight capacity: 250lb
Another ENO tree hammock, the SkyLite comes with an integrated mesh and weighs 2lb, so could be an option for backpacking and travel as well as camping if you’re looking for a flat sleeping position.
Make sure to also pick up some straps, and a tarp if you need a waterproof overhead shelter.
2 new from $169.95
More Camping Hammock Options
The hammocks in this section are great for car camping or when you don’t need to carry your hammock very far in a backpack. They’re heavier but offer more structure, which could be a good choice for you, if you want more space to sleep in, or a more tent-like flat-laying position.
8. Crua Hybrid Hammock Tent
- Best for: Camping
- Packaged weight: 5lb (trail weight: includes tent, rainfly and poles only)
- Cost: $300
- Packed size:
- Weight capacity: 260lb
This Crua hammock tent is an all-in-one sleeping system for one person. You can pitch it on the ground or hang it between two trees as a hammock, where it allows you to lie pretty much flat even when suspended, so it gives you options in case you get to your campsite and decide you’d prefer to sleep on the ground.
Plus, if you have a travel companion you can zip two together to sleep side-by-side to make one cosy two-person sleeping pod. At 5lb, it’s ideal for car camping or bike-packing.
9. Mock One Freestanding Hammock
- Best for: Camping, backyard, festivals
- Packaged weight: around 14.5lb
- Cost: $150
- Packed size: 11 x 6 x 33 inches
- Weight capacity: 250lb
If you’re car camping or want a hammock for chilling in your hard and weight is not an issue then the Republic of Durable Goods’ Mock One hammock is a great choice when it comes to freestanding hammocks.
This portable hammock comes with its own stand and a sunshade and easily folds down so you can quickly sling in the back of your car or truck to take camping. Read our full review here.
10. Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock
- Best for: Camping
- Packaged weight: 4lb 13oz (including strap).
- Cost: $200
- Packed size: 22 x 6 inches
- Weight capacity: 275lb
This Lawson camping hammock’s structure includes spreader bars at either end to give it a flatter, less bunched shape when hung up, so that it offers a flat laying sleeping position rather than the more traditional banana-shaped hammock.
With a built-in mesh net and optional tarp included, it’s bug and waterproof and weighs less than 5lb including the straps.
Two Person Hammocks
These double hammocks are all great choices when it comes to being able to hold two people when sitting or lying down:
- The Hummingbird Double Hammock incredibly lightweight, like their single hammock mentioned above
- ENO’s Doublenest is one of the most popular 2 person hammocks out there and available in a great range of colors
- The Sea to Summit Pro Hammock is available in double as well as single options
Hammock Tree Straps and Slings
Depending on your weight preference and how you plan to attach your hammock between trees, these are great choices when it comes to tree straps
- Hummingbird Ultralight tree straps
- ENO Atlas straps
- Sea to Summit tree protectors
- Kammok Python 10 hammock straps
To store your gear off the ground you may want to get another little hammock for it! These gear slings are specifically designed for this purpose:
Both of these hammock stands are ideal for car camping or setting up your hammock in your backyard without using trees.
Most hammock manufacturers also offer underquilts that are compatible with their hammocks and provide insulation for sleeping in cooler climates or when the temperature drops low at night. If you’re curious about hammock underquilts and think you will need one to help keep the cold out when sleeping in your hammock then here are a couple of examples:
- ENO Ember Hammock Underquilt
- Kammock Firebelly Trail Quilt (you can also wear this one as a puffy poncho!)
You can also engineer your own underquilt using paracord and a sleeping bag or puffy blanket, if you have spares and want to try it out before going out and buying a specific hammock underquilt.
If an underquilt seems like it may be too warm or bulkier than you may need for your camping destination, then also consider a lightweight sleeping pad instead.
Hammock Buyer’s Guide
Our buyer’s guide breaks down everything you should know about camping hammocks before you decide whether or not to buy one for yourself or as a cool camping gift for someone else (they make for great gifts), and which style of hammock is best suited to your needs.
- Different types of hammock
- Why sleep in a hammock?
- Hammock buying considerations
- Gear you need to sleep in one
- The best hammock brands
Different types of hammock
Sleeping hammocks for camping and backpacking
A sleeping hammock tent is, essentially, an all-in-one suspended shelter system that you can sleep in when camping or backpacking – as an alternative to a one-person camping tent. Hammock tents are made up of several parts:
- The hammock itself
- A rainfly or tarp to cover you and protect you from rain and any light debris
- Tree straps and guy lines to suspend and stabilize the hammock
- Other extras such as bug nets which you may need for certain locations
When we talk about camping hammocks in general this can include hammocks that you can take car-camping and do not necessarily need to be as ultra-lightweight or portable (to fit in a backpack, for example). These camping hammocks are therefore generally more plush and luxurious than their more minimal brethren: ultralight hammocks designed for backpacking and fast-and-light overnight adventures.
When it comes to the best backpacking hammocks, including those that you may take to sleep in when traveling, we’re talking about lightweight hammock tents and shelter setups, that are designed to be neat and compact alternatives to lightweight backpacking tents. These could be great for thru-hiking or fastpacking, especially if you are traveling solo and don’t need to share a tent with someone else when you’re sleeping.
While you can make your own shelter by buying the parts separately, if you are new to hammock camping it may be easiest to buy a hammock tent package so you know the parts will work effectively together and they should be easier to set up – click here to jump up to see our recommendations for all-in-one setups.
‘Day use hammocks’
If you want a hammock to sit or lie in home or to take traveling or camping but don’t plan to sleep in it overnight, then there are a wide range of options when it comes to these ‘day use’ hammocks. These outdoor hammocks can be very minimal and pack down very small if you want one to take traveling, assuming you go for a tree hammock designed to be suspended between two trees or posts, using tree straps.
With that said, if you don’t need your hammock to be especially portable and you want one that is easy to set up in your yard or campsite without necessarily needing poles or trees to attach it to, then you can also get freestanding hammocks that come with their own frame to suspend them from, or buy a tree hammock and get a frame to use with it.
Another thing to consider is also whether you may prefer a reclining or rocking camp chair instead of a hammock – in which case, one of the chairs on this list may be worth looking at.
Double hammocks that are designed for two people to share are getting very popular. These 2 person hammocks are generally designed to relax and sit in rather than as something to sleep in overnight.
As hammocks are, basically, suspended slings that you lie in, you will find that when shared between two people, you roll towards the center (bottom) of the hammock, which is fine if you’re simply using the hammock as a chair, or are just snoozing or awake and can re-adjust, but not the most practical or comfortable if you were to try and sleep a night in it.
If you’re specifically looking for two-person camping hammocks, we’ve included a couple of the best in this list. If you’re looking for double hammocks to sleep in, you could look at getting two separate hammocks you can set up side-by-side, using a ‘spreader pole‘ to hold them steady next to each other – you’ll both be more comfortable this way, but still close to one another.
Why sleep in a hammock?
The main reasons people may prefer to sleep in a hammock are:
- more compact and lightweight for backpacking (compared to a tent)
- cooler and can be more comfortable to sleep in than a tent, especially if you’re sleeping in hot climates (although this means they can also therefore be much colder than tents in cooler climates)
- versatility when it comes to location
If you have a couple of sturdy trees suitable for attaching a hammock to, you can put it up pretty much anywhere, even if the ground is not suitable for pitching a tent on (for example, because it’s exceptionally rocky or uneven).
Assuming you are careful not to damage the trees, by picking healthy, sturdy trees a suitable distance apart (usually between 12-25ft) and using wide straps to avoid damaging the bark, you can have a lower impact on the ecosystem and local vegetation compared to pitching a tent footprint.
With that said, it’s worth considering where you may plan to take your hammock, because if you are going to be camping in desert regions or areas above the treeline (or with no suitable trees), then you may struggle to find anywhere appropriate to suspend it from.
Hammock buying considerations
When choosing which hammock is best for you, the following are all important considerations and will depend on how, when and where you intend to use your hammock:
Weight – if you need a lightweight backpacking hammock that will fit in your pack for hiking and traveling, then weight is a key consideration. Generally, the rule is the lighter the better, and it pays to buy the lightest you can afford when you’re aiming to have the lightest possible load on your backpacking trip.
Cost – similar to tents, the lighter, more technical and portable a hammock is, the more expensive it gets. The more luxurious camping hammocks also tend to cost more as they are typically made with more premium, durable fabrics. Assuming you plan to use your hammock many times over many years, it is worth getting the best you can afford that will last years of enjoyment.
Strength and durability – do yourself a favor and don’t buy a cheap hammock, unless you really don’t mind if it breaks or comes loose and drops you on the ground. All the hammocks in this list are from well-recognized specialist outdoor brands who know how to make quality hammocks, whether full hammock tent shelters or casual camping hammock chairs.
Material – most camping hammocks are made out of nylon or polyester. Nylon is a more durable, premium material (parachutes are made from a lightweight form of nylon) and what most of the hammocks on this list are made from, and this material is usually very thin, yet strong.
Size and weight capacity – if you are specifically looking for a large two person hammock, check the product details on the retailer’s website to ensure it will fit you both, in terms of length, width and overall weight/load capacity.
Equally, if you are looking for a hammock tent for solo backpacking and are particularly tall, make sure you choose a hammock that is designed to fit someone of your stature. The general rule is to look for a hammock that is at least 2 feet longer than your height.
Sleeping angle – will you sleep ‘straight’ or diagonally in your hammock? If you’re thinking you’ll be more comfortable lying flat in a hammock, then make sure the one you choose is large enough to allow you to sleep at more of a diagonal angle rather in the more traditional curved banana-sling style.
Single or double layer hammock – some sleeping hammocks are made with a double layer. The reason for this design is so that you can place a sleeping pad between the two layers of material, which stops it moving around as much as it would if it was directly beneath your body.
This design can make the hammock a little heavier when you’re carrying it in your backpack during the day, but this may be worth it for the added comfort you will benefit from when trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Internal gear storage – if you plan to camp off the ground then you’ll probably want to keep some or all of your gear in there with you. Premium camping hammocks come with internal gear storage options to facilitate this for smaller items, and you can buy separate hammock gear slings for larger items of gear such as your pack and hiking boots.
Hammock camping accessories – surprisingly, some hammocks don’t come with everything you need to assemble and sleep in them.
The most obvious basic essential you will need to hang a hammock are wide tree straps that you use to sling around two trees to suspend the hammock.
Wider straps are preferable to avoid damaging tree bark. You may also want to consider buying a ‘whoopie sling’, which is essentially a lightweight rope mechanism you can use to hang a hammock, which is easily adjustable if you need to change your hammock’s height and suspension tension.
Gear you need for using in a sleeping hammock
As well as the basic components of the hammock, tarp, straps (and whoopie sling) and guy lines, you may also need or want the following to ensure a warm, safe and comfortable night’s sleep in your hammock:
- Bug net (optional depending on where you are camping)
- Sleeping quilt
- Sleeping pad for insulation and comfort and/or
- Hammock underquilt for added insulation
Having the right amount of insulation when sleeping in a hammock is very important. It’s important to recognize that hammocks are not as warm to sleep in as tents, as you are more exposed to elements, in particular wind and wind chill.
Many people will want (or need) to have a foam or air sleeping pad with them to place in the bottom of the hammock, and in colder climates (or areas where it gets cold at night), a hammock ‘underquilt‘.
Underquilts hang beneath the hammock, is an important extra to ensure you have an adequate amount of insulation beneath you that is protecting you from the cold without you lying on and compressing the insulating material.
The best hammock brands
In our list of the best camping hammocks we’ve only included options from the best hammock brands, so you can know that whichever one you decide is the best choice for you, it will be from a quality brand that stands behind their products.
Popular brands featured in this list include ENO (short for Eagle’s Nest Outfitters), Kammok, Hummingbird Hammocks, Warbonnet Outdoors and Hennessy-Hammock.
Now you’ve read our hammock buyer’s guide, click here to jump up to our list of the best camping hammocks to find the right one for you.