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I have long avoided hammocks as I thought they were unnecessarily complex and would be much heavier to carry, and boy was I wrong! I was looking to grab an awesome hammock set up specifically for those nice trails with enough trees to make it a sweet layout and give my back a break.
I found I preferred modular from Humingbird Hammocks but the others I checked out are listed below.
I grew up with hammocks in the backyard, which is why I had been avoiding them as that was the image that was stuck in my head; I now understand that technology and times have changed and that they can be so much more helpful for those who sleep rough on the ground!
Finding the best thru-hiking hammock is about finding the best blend of straps, hammock, bug netting, and tarp as you want to be protected from the insects and the elements.
My Choice of Best Hammocks for Thru-Hiking
I love hammock camping in general, but it has now become my favorite much more than the tent and sleeping pad I used to use; these below I found to be my favorite choices for a thru-hike, along with what others used to complete entire thru-hikes to compile a list of what I feel are the best lightweight hiking hammock options.
(Click to Check Price)
|Hummingbird Hammocks Long W Warbler Bug Net||Long: 8.2 oz (232 g)|
Warbler: 5.5 oz (156 g)
|Warbonnet Blackbird XLC With Integrated Bug Net||27.75 oz (787 g)||11′||Click Here|
|Hennessy Hammock Explorer Ultralight Asym Zip||36 oz (1021 g)||9′||Click Here|
|Dutchware Chameleon||20.36 oz (577 g)||11′||Click Here|
|Kammok Mantis Ultralight All-in-One System||32 oz (907 g)||10′||Click Here|
|Hammock Gear WanderLuxe System||33 oz (936 g)||11′||Click Here|
|Dream Hammock Sparrow RTS||25 oz (709 g)||11′||Click Here|
|ENO SubLink Hammock Shelter System||39 oz (1106 g)||9′||Click Here|
|Hammock Gear Wanderlust System||40 oz (1134 g)||11′||Click Here|
|System3: The Thru-Hiker AIO||Unstated||11′|
10 Best Hammocks for Thru-Hiking Reviewed
Below are my choice of the best hammocks for a thru-hike, based on the weight, space, and overall durability for use on the trail without the worry of gear failure.
Hummingbird Long W/ Warbler Bug Net
While researching for my hammock kit, I looked at so many options, but in the end, all of them were overly complex and looked like they would be larger and more complex than a thru-hiker typically would need when I found Hummingbird Hammocks. I fell in love instantly.
The hammocks they make are built with parachute-level effort and stitching, making them incredibly durable, strong, and long-lasting. Additionally, unlike many others, they are fully modular, which allows you to replace nearly any part with efficiency and ease.
As to ease of setup, they use a simple button loop to attach onto whoopie slings which make this incredibly fast to get up and in place once you’ve found your campsite without needing all the complexity and dexterity.
Warbonnet Blackbird XLC
The Warbonnet Blackbird XLC is one of the most popular ultralight backpacking hammocks on the market. It’s a larger, modular version of the Warbonnet Blackbird and fits users up to 6’6″.
The Warbonnet Blackbird XLC comes with your choice of continuous loops or full suspension, elastic side-guylines, built-in bug netting, shelf/footbox, and a stuff sack for storage.
The Warbonnet Blackbird XLC is a great choice for anyone looking for an ultralight backpacking hammock that can accommodate a variety of users.
Hennessy Hammock Explorer Ultralight Asym Zip
The Explorer Ultralite Zip XL was designed for anyone up to 250 lbs / 114 kg and 7' / 213 cm tall and has our patented asymmetrical shape and structural ridge line to ensure exceptional comfort and a perfect setup every time.
It also has the same high-performance materials, proportions, and protection as the smaller Ultralite Backpacker A-sym. If you are really close to 6 feet / 183 cm tall and you want the luxury of extra space, this would be a good choice.
The Hennessy Hammock Explorer Ultralight Asym Zip solo shelter is a great choice for anyone up to 7 ft. tall and weighing up to 250 lbs.
The patented asymmetric shape of the hammock bed improves comfort, while the asymmetric shape of the rainfly provides improved coverage. Additionally, the integral ridgeline design keeps your back straight and level when resting diagonally.
This shelter is lightweight and easy to set up, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a comfortable place to sleep while thru-hiking.
The Chameleon is a full-featured 11-foot-long hammock designed from the ground up. Each of the components that go into the Chameleon has been developed by us to create a versatile and modular lightweight hammock that adapts to its environment. Because you can remove and change out components, the Chameleon will be the only hammock you will ever need.
The Chameleon by Dutchware is a full-featured 11-foot-long hammock designed from the ground up.
Each of the components that go into the Chameleon has been developed by us to create a versatile and modular lightweight hammock that adapts to its environment.
Because you can remove and change out components, the Chameleon may be the only hammock you will ever need. The Chameleon comes with a variety of features that make it perfect for any adventure.
With so many options, the Chameleon is the perfect hammock for any thru-hiker looking to maximize performance and tune their kit for the trek ahead.
Kammok Mantis Ultralight All-in-One System
Kammok’s Mantis Ultralight hammock tent is designed to allow you to enjoy your journey without being weighed down.
The Levitas™ 20-denier ripstop nylon provides a high strength-to-weight ratio, and the hammock is enclosed in a Dragonet™ no-see-um mesh canopy to keep insects at bay.
When the weather is nice, you can roll back the fly and look through the Stargazer™ panel at the night sky.
The Kammok Mantis Ultralight hammock tent is a great way to lighten your load and lengthen your journey.
Hammock Gear WanderLuxe System
The WanderLuxe by Hammock Gear is the lightest insulated ultralight camping kit available on the market, perfect for those who are looking to shave some weight off their camping gear without sacrificing comfort.
The WanderLuxe ultralight hammock camping kit includes the company’s ultra-soft, low stretch, eleven-foot-long Circadian Bug Net Hammock, available in a variety of colors, as well as their USA-made premium insulation and knotless Dyneema hammock shelter and bug net hammock.
This steep discount can only be offered as part of this package deal – so don’t wait any longer, get your hands on this kit today!
Dream Hammock Sparrow RTS
Every Sparrow RTS comes assembled with: a hammock, netting, peak bag, ridgeline, continuous loops, & stuff sack. Your Sparrow RTS will be shipped "Signature Required" thru USPS Priority Mail
- Width: approx 70"
- Layers: Single
- Fabric: 1.7 oz MTN XL Hybrid Ripstop Nylon
- Underquilt & Tie-out Hooks: Yes
- Color: see color choices above
- Netting: .9oz Noseeum
- Asym Lay: Right, (Left Lay may be available on request)
- Suspension: Continuous Loops
- Stuff Sack: Double Ended
- Suggested Weight Limit: approx 325lbs
The Sparrow RTS, or ready to ship, by Dream Hammock is a top-quality hammock that is perfect for anyone who loves spending time outdoors.
It is made from the highest quality materials, and it features a fully removable bug net. The Sparrow RTS is also 10 feet, 7-inches long, which gives you plenty of room to move around and find the perfect position.
The hammock is also available in a variety of colors, so you can choose the perfect hammock to match your personality and the customization options are top-notch.
If you are looking for a high-quality hammock that will provide you with years of enjoyment, then the Sparrow RTS by Dream Hammock is the perfect choice for you.
ENO SubLink Hammock Shelter System
ENO’s SubLink Hammock System is the ultralight way to hit the trail prepared for anything.
The Sub6™ Hammock and Helios™ Suspension system provide a comfortable, dry, and bug-free camping experience.
The Guardian™ SL Bug Net protects you from pesky insects, while the ProFly™ Sil Rain Tarp keeps you dry in case of rain.
With its quick and easy, knot-free setup, the ENO SubLink Hammock System has everything you need to make your next thru-hiking trek a success.
Hammock Gear Wanderlust System
This complete sleep system includes a fully suspended bug net hammock, silpoly hammock shelter, and the option to add our economy top and underquilt insulation. Each component of this kit was paired with the primary goal of helping you quickly gear down to relax at the end of a long day on the trail.
The WanderLust by Hammock Gear is by far one of their most popular hammock sleep systems in a simple-to-order package giving you everything you need without the fuss!
This hammock camping kit was designed to function at a pro-level with a price that invites everyone to get the best sleep under the stars!
This economical bundle of gear gives you the opportunity to include the HG industry-leading line of American-made economy insulation, at a steep discount that is only made available with this package.
If you’re looking for a top-quality, easy-to-use hammock system that won’t break the bank, look no further than The WanderLust by Hammock Gear!
How to Choose a Hammock for Your Thru-Hike
There are some things one must consider when choosing the perfect hammock for their thru-hike. Things like the overall weight, comfort, and durability are key factors that come into play when making this decision.
The prime thing to consider for many will start with the pricing and how much the hammock will set you back while balancing your needs that this will be your primary residence for months.
Hammocks can range from around $20 to upwards of $300. It is important to remember that you get what you pay for, and a thru-hike is not the time to be cheap on core gear like shelter.
The lighter the hammock, the better. The last thing you want is to be weighed down by a heavy piece of gear. But you also can’t focus solely on sacrificing comfort for weight. So, find a balance that works for you.
Pack Space and Overall Dimensions
How much space does the hammock take up? You’ll want to consider this when deciding which hammock to take on your hike. The last thing you want is a bulky piece of gear that takes up too much space in your pack.
This is arguably the most important factor to consider. After all, you’ll spend a lot of time in your hammock at camp, so you’ll want to ensure it’s comfortable. Look for a hammock that has enough room to stretch out and relax.
As you will need your hammock to survive months of near-constant use, you need to make sure that it is built to last and durable. Look for a hammock made from strong materials that can withstand the elements and incidental contact damage with plant life.
Ease Of Setup
A big driver of a shelter on the trail is the ease to set up after a hard day of hiking as you may not have the same patience or, in the cold, the same dexterity to operate.
The last thing you want is a hammock that takes forever to put up, and even if it seems easy when well-rested, it may become difficult when tanked at the end of a hard push in miles over a peak.
How well can you adapt to your surroundings, how far apart can trees be and still use the hammock? This comes down to how long the hammock is, how long the straps are, and how you can adjust them.
Hammocks have a wide range of methods to help support and suspend them. Some use a single line while others have multiple lines that need to be configured in a specific way.
I love my hammock straps and whoopie slings, but there are loops and many other options on the market, and you are limited only by your want for ease versus complexity.
The bottom line is that you want to make sure your hammock can be easily and quickly set up and taken down and simple for when you are exhausted from a long day of hiking.
There is an ever-growing assortment of materials which your hammock can be made from. The lightest currently is cloud fabric which nearly looks like a bug netting but is incredibly fragile.
The most popular choice is ripstop nylon, which strikes a good balance between weight, durability, and comfort. Nylon will also provide some insulation from the cold ground in case you happen to sleep on snow or in very cold temperatures.
Vital to staying dry and comfortable, a rain tarp is an essential gear for any hammock setup on a thru-hike. When selecting a tarp, remember the size (you’ll want one that covers your entire hammock), weight, and materials.
For long-distance thru-hikes, the most common choice will feature doors on the ends as these can help reduce exposure to cold winds, rain, and element exposure.
The more ultralight backpackers, though, may switch down to a hex tarp or even a square tarp once they become comfortable with learning how to set up to manage the elements.
Not as needed when the temperatures are low, but when they begin to rise, the biting insects will explode and you will want to have protection while you sleep.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect hammock for your thru-hike. But if you keep these key points in mind, you’ll surely find the perfect one for you.
Common Hammock Thru-Hiker Issues
Some things many people don’t consider when selecting a hammock are how easy it is to set up and take down, finding the right place to put it and how to sleep comfortably and not bend like a banana.
This will take some time, and I used numerous videos with some cordage in my living room to tie knots over and over again, building up my confidence that I wouldn’t be fumbling around in the dark trying to set up my hammock for the first time.
Choosing a Hang Spot
Most hikers will have spent a lifetime looking and identifying tent-based camping spots, so you will need to change your thought process and now focus on the trees and spacing and much less focus on the ground quality as rocks and roots won’t bother you.
This can open you up to an amazing array of new and unique places that only you can camp in to grant you some pretty sweet views.
Managing a Flat Lay
Many associate hammocks with a bent “banana” shape, but this couldn’t be further from the truth with the right length hammock and learning to angle your sleeping position inside your hammock.
What you need to do is learn to angle your body with your feet on one side of the hammock and your head on the opposite side; this angle gives you more room and a much flatter lay.
FAQ About Hammocks for Thru-Hiking
These are just a few key factors you need to consider when choosing a hammock for your thru-hike. Be sure to keep these in mind when making your purchase. With a little bit of research, you’ll be able to find the perfect hammock for your needs.
Personally, my choice has been a hammock system from Hummingbird Hammocks as they are outstanding for their materials and build quality, and durability.
They keep all the parts separate, so replacing anything you damage is simple and won’t require buying an entirely new setup due to something like tearing a bug net or tarp tear.
If you are interested in other gear to maximize your thru-hike performance, I have gear broken down by type over here on my main gear page.