Typically, people use sleeping bags and tents when camping. However, some individuals look for lighter alternatives they can use when they take a long hiking trip. One alternative people use is a hammock. Hammocks may not a good alternative when it’s cold outside, but they have many other advantages.
They are lighter and more compact than sleeping bags and tents, which lightens the load hikers carry during long hikes. Often, they are made from breathable materials that make sleeping in hot and humid climates more comfortable. Furthermore, they can be more comfortable than sleeping on the hard ground.
Of course, hammocks are also good for just relaxing around campsites or at home, but to go out and buy the best ultralight hammock does require some research.
What To Look For In A Reliable Hammock
Before you start shopping for your new sleeping alternative, it’s important to know what you need to look for. While all hammocks may have a similar purpose, they vary in size, durability, and materials. Therefore, your first step is to identify what want to use your hammock for.
Consider these questions: how many people will be using it? How often will you be using it? What climates will you be using it in? Once you identify what you will be using your hammock for, the second step is learning what type of hammock will satisfy your needs.
So, what should you consider when purchasing an ultralight backpacking hammock? These basic features can make the difference between sleeping peacefully in your hammock or fighting to find a comfortable position to sleep in, in your hammock:
If you plan on using a hammock by yourself, then you don’t need to purchase a double hammock. Double hammocks are designed to be used by two people at the same time, and using one by yourself could be uncomfortable, as it will swallow you instead of cradle you.
On the other hand, those who camp in colder weather might want to consider purchasing a double hammock, because they are big enough to put sleeping pads and blankets in, which will make it warmer to sleep in.
Hammocks vary significantly with how much weight they can hold. Some can only handle 200 pounds, while others can handle up to 600 pounds. If you plan to use your hammock often, you might want to consider hammocks that can hold 400 pounds.
This way it won’t feel the strain of continued use right away. Hammocks that can handle more weight are also good for families that have different people using it. Plus, knowing it can hold your weight will make it easier to sleep in.
Durability is affected by a few different aspects: the type of materials used, the weight limit, and type of stitching. Whether it is quick drying, or water and mold resistant, will also have an impact on a hammock’s durability. Therefore, if you are planning to use a hammock as an alternative to a tent, pay attention to if it can handle different types of weather.
They type of material it is made from is also important. The stronger the material the more durable it will be. If you plan to use it to relax at home, then long-term durability may not be as significant to you.
Most hammocks are made from parachute nylon, but others are made from other materials, such as polyester. It may not sound like a big deal, but you should take the time to think about the material you want your hammock to be made from.
Parachute nylon has a reputation for being strong, while also being stretchy, breathable, and comfortable. Other materials are machine washable, but might tear easily.
Carabiners are a necessity for individuals who want strong, reliable hammocks. Not all hammocks come with carabiners to hang them up with. Some use hooks, or rope. While those of suspension methods are completely reliable, carabiners can make people feel better.
They look sturdier and aren’t easy to break. There are many different types of carabiners, which are used for a variety of purposes, but basic ones should work fine for hanging a hammock.
Not all hammocks come with hammock straps, so they might have to be purchased separately. Hammock straps are sturdier and more-tree friendly than ropes. This is because the straps distribute weight more evenly than a rope does.
Finding The Perfect Hammock
Now that you understand the different types of features, and you know which features are the most important to you, it’s time to start considering the different hammocks out there. You’ll find that the eight hammock products on this list detail specific features, such as size, durability, and strength.
While you might not decide to purchase any of the hammocks on this list, they should provide you with a good idea of the types of hammock out there and which ones are better suited for your needs.
Ultralight Gonex Portable Camping Hammock
Weight: Single size: 0.93 lbs
Double size: 1.47
- Single size: 108 x 55 in, 4.13 x 3.35 x 10.83 in packed
- Double size: 118 x 78 in, 4.13 x 4.13 x 8.27 in packed
Color: Available in black, dark/light blue, dark green/khaki, light green/light grey, orange/silver grey, red/deep grey, and silver grey/red.
Features: Hammock, hammock straps, aluminum carabiners, parachute nylon, quick-drying.
Best use: Relaxing in warmer climates
With its lightweight, thin material the Ultralight Gonex Portable Camping Hammock is a great accessory to use for quick naps or just relaxing during down time. The Gonex Hammock is made from parachute nylon, which has a reputation for being strong, stretchy, soft, and comfortable.
While this hammock is not ideal for sleeping it colder climates, as the material does not provide a lot of warmth, it is perfect for hikers and campers that need short breaks while hiking. Whether relaxing at a campsite, along a river, or even in your own backyard, the Gonex Hammock will have you snoozing in no time.
Features such as the detachable hammock straps and aluminum carabiners allow for easy and quick, set-up and tear down. Parachute nylon dries quickly, meaning it can be used after it rains. After air drying the hammock for several minutes it will be ready to go. The Gonex Hammock comes in two different sizes: the single size and the double size.
While both sizes can hold up to 400 lbs, the single size can only fit one person, while the double size can fit two. The double size is the most popular version, as it has more room but is still compact and weighs under 2 lbs.
Rocky Peak Ultralight Camping Hammock
Weight: 1.05 lbs
Dimensions: 8.5 x 4.6 ft
Color: Available in navy/light blue, blue/gold, red/black, khaki/olive, light green/grey, orange/grey, red/gold.
Features: Hammock, 210T nylon fabric, triple stitched seams, tear resistant, 2 x 78 in. poly ropes, 2 stainless steel carabiners.
Best use: Relaxing or napping in hotter climates
The compact and lightweight Rocky Peak Ultralight Camping Hammock is an easy-to-set-up hammock, that is perfect for using in hot climates. 210T nylon fabric is a breathable parachute nylon, which means it will help keep you cool, instead of making you sweat, when it is hot and muggy out. This allows individuals to relax easier and nap more comfortably.
The Rocky Peak Hammock is form-fitting, preventing you from sliding around, and can fit two people comfortably. Features such as triple stitched seams, tear resistance, and color-fade resistance, preserves the hammock for longer and provides extra strength.
It can hold up to 400 lbs.; although, it is recommended not to exceed 275 lbs. to compensate for swing. Poly ropes and stainless steel carabiners allows for easy set up and tear down no matter where you decide to hang it. Furthermore, the hammock, ropes, and carabiners all fit into a stuff sack that is about the size of a grapefruit. Together the equipment weighs just over a pound, meaning you won’t even notice the extra weight when you bring the Rocky Peak Hammock along on your hike.
Bear Butt Double Parachute Camping Hammock
Weight: 1.5 lbs
Dimensions: 10 x 6 ft, 4.4 x 7.6 x 11.2 in packed
Color: Available in blue/grey, khaki/dark green, lime green/grey, orange/black, red/grey.
Features: Double person hammock, money-back guarantee.
Best use: Sleeping in various weather climates
With its 10 x 6 ft. dimensions, the Bear Butt Double Parachute Camping Hammock is great for relaxing with multiple people at one time. This hammock is mainly for warmer weather, but it can be adapted for colder climates as the large size makes it easy to put padding and blankets in it for extra warmth.
The storage pack is compact and weighs less than 2 pounds when all the equipment is in it, making it a great alternative to sleeping bags or tents. Made from nylon material, this hammock is soft and thin, making it more comfortable for all ages and sizes.
It can hold up to 500 lbs. without ripping, although it’s been tested to hold up to 900 lbs. Manufactured by a start-up company, the Bear Butt Hammock comes with a money-back guarantee to assure customers that they are getting a top-quality product that can compete with top brand-name hammocks.
Hammock Bliss Double
Weight: 1.4 lbs
Dimensions: 118 x 80 in, 2.8 x 8.1 x 6.5 in packed
Color: Available in purple/blue or green/tan
Features: Jungle hammock, sewn in climbing rope and stuff sack, nylon parachute, silk material, machine washable.
Best use: Sleeping in a variety of climates and places.
With its unique blend of materials, the Hammock Bliss Double is versatile, and only requires low maintenance care. Made from nylon parachute and silk, this hammock is breathable, making it great for individuals hiking in warm climates. The material is also resistant to rot and mildew, meaning it is a great choice for individuals who travel to damp and musty places.
Furthermore, it is machine washable and dryable. Features such as the sewn in climbing rope and stuff sack, allow for convenient set up and tear down by making sure all necessary parts are always together. Hammock Bliss Double is form fitting and supports the body without putting pressure on uncomfortable parts of the body or causing painful rope marks.
Whether one or two people are using the hammock, it provides maximum comfort. Although, it can only hold up to 350 lbs and has a slight reputation for being too stretchy when only one person lays in it. It is better fitted for sitting two people at a time.
Winner Outfitters Double Camping Hammock
Weight: 1.5 lbs
Dimensions: 118 x 78 in
Color: Available in dark/light green, khaki/grey, red/charcoal, sky blue/blue
Features: Double hammock, 210T nylon parachute fabric, 2 ropes, 2 tree-friendly straps, 2 solid steel carabiners.
Best use: Relaxing, or napping, with a friend or other loved one.
With 210T nylon parachute fabric, the Winner Outfitters Double Camping Hammock is a great hammock for camping just about anywhere. Included features, such as ropes, tree-friendly straps, and solid steel carabiners make it easier for experienced hammock users to set up.
However, this hammock doesn’t come with easy-to-follow instructions for beginners; so, beginners should practice before taking it hiking. This hammock can be hung in various places, including beaches, forests, and the backyard. The small and light stuff sack makes it a great accessory for backpackers- you won’t feel the extra weight and you can easily store it in a rucksack or clip it on the side.
The Winner Outfitters Hammock is roomy, can comfortably fit two people, and can hold up to 500 lbs. However, there are reported problems with shipping, such as customers being sent used hammocks. Fortunately, Winner Outfitter is usually quick to respond to and fix shipping complaints.
Rover Chill-Ino Single Camping Hammock
Weight: 1.25 lbs
Dimensions: 9 x 4.5 ft, 9 x 6.5 x 4 in packed
Color: Available only in green/grey
Features: Single hammock, military-grade carabiners, HTS woven nylon, quadruple stitching, lifetime warranty.
Best use: Alternative sleeping arrangement when hiking or camping.
With its military-grade carabiners, quadruple stitching, and HTS woven nylon, the Rover Chill-Ino Single Camping Hammock is a great option for enthusiastic hikers and campers, as it has been built for long-term use. While this hammock cannot support two people, it is a reliable single-person hammock.
The quadruple stitching provides extra strength and reduces the chance of the fabric tearing. It can hold up to 300 lbs, making it a good option for different ages and body types. Furthermore, the Rover Hammock is lightweight; it only weighs 1.25 lbs when everything is packed into the stuff sack, meaning hikers won’t even feel the additional weight.
A slight difference between the Rover Chill carabiners and other carabiners is that they are not clip carabiners. Instead they screw together, which could be a pro or con depending on how quickly you want to set up and tear down the hammock. The Rover Hammock also comes with a lifetime warranty regarding manufacturing defects.
Talonite Portable Double Camping Hammock
Weight: 1.5 lbs
Dimensions: 118 x 71 in, 3.94 x 5.94 x 9.45 in packed
Color: Available in blue/black, grey/orange, or green/dark green
Features: Double hammock, 210T nylon, interlocked triple stitched seams, 2.7 m sextuple stitch straps, quick-dry, product guarantee.
Best use: Sleeping, hiking, or relaxing with one other person.
Designed to be an alternative to tents, sleeping pads, cradles, and more, the Talonite Portable Double Camping Hammock is a good option for people who like to be together. Whether you’re planning to share space with a friend, a significant other, or kids, this hammock is meant to fit two people comfortably.
It can hold up to 660 lbs., which is a result of the sextuple-stitched straps and interlocked triple-stitched seams in the hammock itself. Furthermore, it is water resistant, making it perfect for those who take longer hiking trips and want a lighter load to carry around, and don’t mind being be suspended above the ground.
While the stuff sack may not be at compact as other stuff sacks, it is still small enough to fit into a rucksack and light enough to carry around without any hassle. The quick drying aspect of the material means individuals can use it in damp climates without having to worry about having to wait around to pack it up.
Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock
Weight: 1.05 lbs
Dimensions: 9.5 x 4.5 ft, 3.1 x 6.8 x 8.3 in packed
Color: Available in royal blue, forest green, or camouflage
Features: Polyester hammock, S-shaped hanging hooks, triple stitched seams, mildew resistant, machine washable.
Best use: Relaxing or sleeping around a campsite during warm weather.
The Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock is designed for those who have down time and just want to relax. This hammock isn’t for colder climates, and there are reports of it lacking long-term durability. Therefore, the Grand Trunk Hammock is perfect for those who want to use it to lie around and relax for a bit after a long day or a long hike.
Being made from polyester does mean the hammock is machine washable. The polyester material also makes it mildew resistant, which makes it a decent option for those who spend time in damp climates.
The Grand Trunk Hammock is a good accessory for those who like to spend days at the same campsite and need another option to relax and lay around other than a sleeping bag and tent. It weighs about a pound and can easily clip onto a rucksack. Unfortunately, it can only hold 250lbs and can easily rip if anything punctures it.
Make The Final Decision
As you can see, there are many affordable hammock options to choose from, including many others that are not included on this list. Whichever hammock you finally decide on is going to depend on how often, and what location, you plan to use the hammock. If you’re planning on just relaxing around the house, some of these options will have features that seem unnecessary.
However, if you’re planning on using a hammock as an alternative to sleeping in tents and sleeping bags, some of these options are worth serious consideration, along with some related accessories, such as mosquito nets and waterproof shelters. No matter which hammock you decide to purchase, you’re guaranteed to find one that is comfortable and durable.
Do you know of any other hammock favorites that aren’t on the list? Please let us know about them in the comments section below.