How to Choose a Camping Hammock: The Essentials
Camping is always an incredible experience, but that experience can vary widely depending on the gear, setup, and time of the year that you head out into the wilderness. From sleeping in a camper to a tent to a hammock, there are lots of different ways that you can enjoy your time away from your usual day-to-day routine.
So you want to try a camping hammock next? Do you know how to choose a camping hammock that will work for you? Don't worry because we are here to help!
How to Choose a Camping Hammock: Things to Consider
1. Size Comes First
The first thing that you want to consider when you are choosing which hammock to get is the size of the product. There are two main kinds of hammocks: single hammocks and double hammocks.
While the name suggests that double hammocks are made for two people, most people still use them solo. They are larger and wider, so they can be more comfortable to sleep in if you are not ready to go down to a single hammock just yet.
There are some basic differences between single and double hammocks, so here are tips for choosing between single and double hammocks:
- Singles: Between four and five feet wide; less spacious; hold between 300 and 400 pounds
- Doubles: Between five and six feet wide; more spacious; hold between 400 and 500 pounds
Additionally, you’ll want to think about the height of the hammock. If you are a tall person or you simply like to have some extra space around you, you may want to get a hammock that is longer than your usual camping hammocks to ensure that you are comfortable.
Generally speaking, you should try to ensure that your hammock is at least two feet taller than you are in order to be comfortable lounging in it. If you are of average height, most hammocks will fall into this range.
2. Hammock Fabric
Checking out what type of fabric the hammock is made of isn’t a top priority for most, but it can be useful to check its stat, as well. The higher the denier number that a hammock fabric has, the more heavy-duty it is. If you choose to use a hammock in very rough conditions, you’ll want to choose something with a fabric that has a higher denier number to ensure that it will survive everything that it goes through.
3. Hammock Tents and Systems
If you’re going to use your hammock overnight, the chances are that you’ll want to get a hammock tent that helps you to be more secure and comfortable while you are sleeping. Some hammocks come with a tent type cover that can be set up. This gives you a semi-shelter over your head and body so that you can sleep more comfortably without stray showers or bugs bothering you as much as they would without a tent.
You can also convert a standard hammock into a sleeping hammock. There are a lot of different accessories, such as tent covers, pillows, and side barriers, that you can add on to any hammock in order to create your own sleeping arrangements.
As you try sleeping in a camping hammock, you’ll quickly learn more about what type of accessories you might want or need to add to your personal hammock sleep system. Make sure that you keep it simple and lightweight so that you can carry it with you on any adventure that you might head out on!
As mentioned, there are a lot of different accessories that you might want to add to your hammock to be able to sleep more comfortably, but there are accessories for more than just sleeping in your hammock!
First, you’re going to need suspension straps to set the hammock up. While most hammocks include these straps, you may want to get higher grade straps or custom colored straps to suit your personal needs and preferences rather than using the standard straps.
Additionally, you may want to get some accessories to make the actual use of your hammock more comfortable such as:
- Underquilt: Can keep you warmer in cold temperature settings
- Tarps: Protect you and the hammock from the rain
- Nets: Can be added to keep some of the bugs out while you hang in the hammock
Those are just the beginning of all hammock accessories that are available on the market and to you. Ultimately, you don’t want to buy every single accessory that there is. Instead, you should add them on one at a time to see if you really need to add them or not without becoming overwhelmed or spending too much money.
5. Hammock Use and Goals
Why are you using a camping hammock? Will you be using it to save on space and weight during a backpacking trip, or do you simply want to try it out?
Depending on what your end-use goals are for the hammock, you’ll want to take the other characteristics of the hammock into consideration. For example, you won’t want to choose a hammock that is very heavy if you’re going to carry it for many miles. If you are driving to a campsite in your car, though, you can choose a hammock with as much weight and as many fun accessories as you want.
The key is that you know what situation you will be using the hammock in. If you aren’t sure yet, it’s best to get a mid-range and mid-weight hammock that will work in a variety of situations so that you aren’t stuck with something that you cannot use.
As you can see, there are a few key things that you need to take into account when you are thinking about how to choose a camping hammock.
If you take all of these aspects into consideration as you make your selection about which camping hammock to choose, you’ll be more likely to find something that will be comfortable and truly useful on your next adventure. Be smart about what you invest in now, and the payoff will be sure to come later when you actually get to start using your hammock!