A hammock is a great way to stay off of the ground and comfortable when hiking, camping or backpacking. The big caveat with hammocks is that you need trees, or something like trees to rig your hammock to. Provided you have a few solid objects to tie your hammock to, however, you are fine. At least until it starts raining, which is where a hammock tent comes in. A hammock by itself is fine, but a hammock with an overhead fly is definitely better. It will keep you dry, and will also help to cut down on your exposure to things like bugs.
Hammock TentWhat to look for when reviewing hammock tents.
- Bug Protection - Just like a regular tent, it is nice if your hammock tent protects you from bugs which will otherwise eat you alive at night. A good alternative to a full bug netted hammock, however, is a bug net for your face which, in combination with a zipped up sleeping bag, will keep the bugs at bay.
- Hammock Sized - Many people use rectangular tarps for camping under when sleeping on the ground, and while you may be able to make such a tarp work for you, a tarp sized for a hammock, with a wide middle and narrower ends, will better protect you from bad weather and will also help to save on weight.
Best Hammock TentA few of the better hammock tents that you will find on the market today.
- Hammock Bliss No-See-Um Hammock - If you're not worried about getting wet, or if you already have a rain fly for your hammock, then what you need is a hammock with built in no-see-um netting. The integrated design ensures that you wont have to deal with any bugs at night, which is a definite plus when sleeping outdoors. This particular model weighs 28 ounces, or 793 grams, and will hold up to 350 pounds.
- Hennessy Hammock Explorer Ultralight - If you are looking for the whole package, including hammock, rain fly and suspension system, this option from Hennessy is ideal. You actually enter the Explorer from the bottom, which then closes behind you with velcro, meaning that there are no zippers or other weak spots where bugs might get in. The whole system weighs 38 ounces, or 1.1 kilograms, so not the lightest hammock, but keep in mind that you are getting everything you need in one package. It also holds up to 250 pounds.
- Eagle's Nest Outfitters Dry Fly Rain Tarp - If you already have the hammock and just need the tarp, then this is a great choice from Eagle's Nest Outfitters. It's big enough to cover your hammock and your gear too, and is the ideal shape for use with a hammock. It weighs 22 ounces, or 623 grams.