(The Gear Loop) - We present to you best hammocks for your camping and backpacking adventures this year. Whether you’re looking for a sleeping system to enhance your wild camps, a siesta solution for your car-camping trips or just something to snooze in the back garden, these models won’t let you down. All you need is a couple of trees or similar suspension points and you’re good to go.
The hammock originated in Central and Southern America. Ingeniously woven from the bark of the hamack tree, these suspended sleeping platforms provided protection from the snakes and biting, stinging insects found on the ground.
Christopher Columbus was responsible for introducing the concept to us Europeans in the late 1400s. Hammocks later became popular with sailors, as they were preferable to sleeping on the cold, hard deck of a ship.
Today, the best hammocks fulfil the same role for campers and explorers, providing a comfortable and convenient place to chill during the day or sleep at night.
In this guide, we feature a lightweight double hammock, a hammock with an integrated net to keep the bugs at bay, a hammock that’s a doddle set up, a hammock that utilises spreader bars to enable a flat sleeping position and what we think is the best hammock when it comes to value for money.
Even in warmer months, the British countryside sees its fair share of rain, so you may be wondering whether a hammock is a shrewd purchase compared to a waterproof one-person tent. Many brands sell tarps that are fully compatible with their models, giving you a sleeping system that’ll still cut it during the British summer, whatever the weather.
The best hammocks
Sea to Summit Pro Double
- Quick and easy set up
- Lifetime guarentee
- Bug net and tarp sold separately
Weighing in at just 670g, Sea to Summit has crafted a true marvel with its Pro Double hammock. Large enough to be blissfully comfortable, yet lightweight and easy enough to set up to suit backpacking missions, this is a marvellous choice for a range of applications.
Its size is such that you can get comfy either laying along its length or sitting sideways with a friend, perfect for relaxing during trips to the beach.
The ripstop nylon is durable, while it packs down small into its CORDURA nylon compression bag and easily slots into a backpack. Set-up is straightforward, with quality, plated steel buckles ensuring a robust suspension.
If sleeping out, Sea to Summit sells its Bug Net and the Tarp separately, which is a bit of an investment, but worth it for stress-free nights in the wild.
Both are also made from super lightweight materials and compare favourably in this aspect when pitched against other fully-featured hammock systems.
There’s also the even lighter option of Sea to Summit’s Pro single hammock and both come with Sea to Summit’s lifetime guarantee.
Robens Trace Ultimate Hammock Set
- Integral mesh protection from bugs
- Packs small
- Works with a tarp for bivy set-up
- Expensive compared to rivals
One of the more obvious barriers to people committing to sleeping out in a hammock during summer is being eaten alive by midges and bugs, particularly if you’re planning on camping in the Scottish Highlands. However, Robens’ rather luxurious set-up has you covered.
The hammock is made from a nylon mix that includes 40 per cent recycled material. The material ensures a small, light packed size without compromising performance. It packs into an integral carry bag that doubles as a handy pocket when the hammock is in use.
In terms of insect protection, there's integral mesh protection against insects. For comfort, this is suspended from an apex cord to keep it away from the sleeper. Cleverly, the cord also acts as a ridge "pole" to help support the tarp when in use to protect against the weather. The tarp is constructed from ripstop nylon with a 3,000mm hydrostatic head for good waterproof protection.
Working in conjunction with many other Robens products, such as sleeping bags and self-inflating sleep mats, this Hammock Set offers a comfortable, safe and secure way to camp out under the stars. It's pricey, but Robens kit exudes quality.
Quechua Two-Person Hammock Comfort
- Great value
- Easy and quick set up
- Not as comfortable as some
- Relatively heavy
A great option for those just looking to tentatively dip their toes into the world of hammock camping. This offering from Decathlon does everything a hammock should do without overcomplicating matters.
The main fabric is a durable, super soft-touch polyester, which is lovely to bed down in, though not quite as comfortable as those found in many premium hammocks.
Set-up is a doddle, thanks to adjustable ropes that connect to the main body via a snap link karabiner. When you’re done, simply roll the fabric up as you gather the hammock in and stuff it into its carry bag.
Although it packs down quite small, this hammock is heavier than some of its more expensive competitors, which is worth thinking about if you’ve got an eye on backpacking expeditions.
All things considered, this is a solid product at a great price, certainly the best hammock for beginners.
Snugpak Tropical Hammock
- Straightforward setup
- Durable materials and design
- No mosquito net
- Have to buy tarp separately
Snugpak’s Tropical Hammock blends straightforward set-up, robustness and lightweight qualities to present a snoozing system of very high quality indeed.
Its olive green and camouflage colour options hint at a product that is well at home in bushcraft situations - whether you’re new to wild camping or a hammock veteran, you’ll appreciate the build quality of the Tropical.
First up, the ease of set-up is a real plus, with steel karabiners used to attach the "550" paracord suspension system to the main body.
Spaced out knots give you plenty of options in terms of distance from your suspension points. In terms of durability, it’s one of the best in its class, boasting triple nylon stitched seams.
Other features include an integrated stuff sack that hangs off to one side, giving you a handy pocket for items like multitools and headtorches.
Unlike Snugpak’s Jungle Hammock, there’s no mosquito net and you’ll also have to buy a separate tarp for full weatherproofing, but for its relatively low price point, we wouldn’t expect these anyway.
Eagles Nest Outfitters Skyloft
- Gorgeously comfortable
- Durable materials and construction
- Handy features like pockets and stuff sack pillow
- Very heavy
- Can’t take as much weight as some
- Doesn’t come with suspension straps
This bulky beast of a hammock isn’t going to turn the heads of fast and light adventurers, but if you’re looking for a great, durable option that boasts a flat sleeping platform, you’ve come to the right place.
US brand Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) hahasve been perfecting its hammocks since the turn of the millennium and has excelled once again with the Skyloft.
The wonderfully comfortable, flat lying position is made possible by aluminium spreader bars at either end of the main body. This isn’t the only innovation either, because with the help of your down jacket or similar, the Skyloft’s stuff sack converts into a pillow with snaps for attachment to the hammock’s webbing to keep it in place.
There are also in-built side pockets for items like multitools and head torches.
While the build quality is excellent, the nature of the design means that it can only take a maximum weight of around 115kg, meaning that two-person use is out of the question.
Suspension straps aren’t included either, though this gives you the flexibility to choose the ones that suit you best from ENO’s range.
What to look for when buying a hammock
Some hammocks feature integrated stuff sacks that double up as handy pockets. Better still, there’s no chance of you losing the carry bag when it’s attached to the main body. Models like those offered by Robens boast an integrated mosquito net, while other brands sell compatible nets separately.
Weight and packability
If car-camping is your thing, or you’re just looking for a hammock for the garden, weight and packability aren’t an issue. However, if you’re looking to go backpacking with your new sleeping system, you’ll want one that won’t weigh you down on the trails.
Hammocks that are designed for backpackers will usually pack down small into a stuff sack for easy transportation.
Many hammocks are strong enough to hold two people and every model will have a stated capacity. Just because a hammock seems sturdier and larger than the one next to it, doesn’t mean it can hold more weight.
ENO’s Skyloft is a case in point: it’s easily the heaviest hammock in our guide, yet the nature of its spreader bar design means that it has substantially less capacity than some.