Swing Low: The 7 Best Camping Hammocks

Traditional camping – where you pitch a tent on a flat piece of ground that turns out to be sloped like K2 the minute you lie down, cook meat over a fire or camping grill, and then wander around trying to get a signal on your smartphone – is dying off. Instead, more people are looking for wilderness adventures in extreme circumstances, going off the trail to where the trees are thickest and the path is far less traveled. This makes traditional camping tents useless and requires a camping hammock for resting safely anywhere they can be hung.

These differ slightly from the suspended tree tent in a few ways. First off, they rarely have a true “tent” appearance. Some are just a weather resistant bucket for your body, while others include storage pockets, a rain fly, thermal covering, and removable pads for all of the comforts of home even feet above the earth. Hammocks designed for campsites are heavily dependent on weather. Summer hammocks are breezy while winter ones are heavily lined, with a few multi-season options in between. We’ve got them all with the 7 best camping hammocks around.

Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro

Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro

Pro: Smooth, no-catch fabric
Con: No rain fly

Novice Net: The notion of a camping hammock might appeal to you, but jumping right in could leave you with an expensive piece of equipment that will molder away at the back of your garage. For a good introduction to the world of hammock camping, the Skeeter Beeter is a pretty basic array that offers just what you need to enjoy a summer night. Equipped with 360-degree bug netting that is held up and away, sitting or laying in this is equally comfortable. Big enough for anyone under 7-feet and 400 lbs. you’re sure to fit without trying too hard. The light, airy build is made for summertime so put it out when the weather is warm. No frills, but a simple tie-and-lie arrangement for napping or longer rests. [Purchase: $64]

Eagles Nest Outfitters Doublenest

Eagles Nest Outfitters Doublenest

Pro: Incredibly easy to setup and hang
Con: Does not include many basic camping accessories

Most for the Money: For a paltry sum, you can get the basic Doublenest from one of the most recognizable outfitters in the hammock industry. Add in the accessories you need, and this can transform from being a palatial lounging tool to a heavy-duty winter camping juggernaut. The basic hammock begins with a 400 lbs. weight capacity and enough room for two people, with its breathable nylon bottom and tough triple stitching. Aluminum carabiners with wiregate closures, stainless steel snap links and nautical-grade tie lines give this hidden strength that doesn’t re-invent the traditional hammock, but does make it work just about anywhere. Should you want more than this has out of the box, you’ll need to get all your bug nets, rain flies, and insulation separately. [Purchase: $70]

Sierra Madre Research Pares Hammock

Sierra Madre Research Pares Hammock

Pro: 100% nylon
Con: Tiny compression size and almost no weight

Bare Minimum: No other bed weighs less than two pounds yet brings such a high degree of comfort when you’re on the road or trail. Sierra Madre Research has included an EasySling system with strap adjustments that work as it hangs for finding the right balance and angle to suit you without taking the whole apparatus apart. Knowledge of knots or complicated tying procedures are unnecessary to get this ready for relaxation in under a minute. The fabric is soft and comfortable to lie in, stretching just enough to cradle you, but not feel insecure. Can be paired with other hammocks and tons of accessories for 3-season camping, or used alone indoors or out for fast relaxation. [Purchase: $85]

Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock

Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock

Pro: Clips for adding insulation or blankets to the interior
Con: Spreaders cause a flip risk

True Tent: Built like a single-person tent, this captures the spirit of ordinary camping without the limitations. Hang it from branches or poles or bivouac on the ground. The Blue Ridge has a raised interior thanks to a pair of aluminum arch poles to give it a basic frame for added living space. A double coil bug net forms the roof with a detachable rain fly for inclement weather. Ripstop nylon is used for the base which is entirely waterproof for ground use and secure enough to hold you aloft season after season without wearing out. A specialized stretching system avoids the sloped, scooped feeling that can cause discomfort and arch your spine for days to come. [Purchase: $170]

Amok Draumr Camping Hammock

Amok Draumr Camping Hammock

Pro: Color coded straps
Con: Perfect balance on both sides required

Dangling Futon: Tempered in the Norwegian wilderness, the Amok Draumr shows ingenuity that is surprising for such a simple piece of gear. There’s a slot specifically for holding an inflatable sleeping pad which greatly improves the comfort of your sleeping experience. When you aren’t resting, adjustment straps on the body allow you to turn this into a sort of camp chair where you can eat, read, or stare judgmentally at the fools pounding their stakes into the ground. An included bug net zips up around you whether sitting or lying down, while weather protection is handled by the rain fly. [Purchase: $299+]

Eagles Nest Outfitters Blaze

Eagles Nest Outfitters Blaze

Pro: Adjustable from a laying position
Con: Not a standalone hammock

Cold Comfort: Not technically a hammock in itself, the Blaze is an underquilt meant to add padding and insulation to any camping hammock for a wintertime envelope. It’s ready for freezing treks from the word “Snow.” This isn’t meant for relaxing between palm trees as you sip your fruity drink with an umbrella. It has a 750-fill down bottom to insulate you when the mercury bottoms out. A ripstop nylon shell with DWR coating fights off moisture and resists tears. It breathes well enough, but the underquilt style isn’t meant for hot fun in the summertime. Stuff it with a thermal sleeping bag for camping, combine it with a tarp or rain fly, and you’ll be able to fight off the bitterest of chills. [Purchase: $300]

Clark NX-250 Hammock

Clark NX-250 Hammock

Pro: Accommodates a removable liner
Con: Difficult to hang

Year Round Cocoon: Dangling between two trees, this looks more like a chrysalis than a hammock. The pod-shaped body has spacer arcs at either end to keep the netting and waterproof outer shell from draping over you as you sleep. It can be used in wet weather with or without the included rain fly. Just deploy the breathable WeatherShield over the mosquito netting and you’re covered. Numerous pockets on the interior keep your gear safely at hand and organized to avoid fumbling for your LED flashlight when answering the call of nature at night. The bed fabric is military-grade and holds up under the harshest of conditions. Add in a liner and you’re ready for some snow-covered camp-outs. [Purchase: $459]

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