Gear Reviews

January 1, 2014

The Hammock Lab

My guidelines for gear reviews

I have been fortunate to review a lot of hammock-related gear over the past few years and it is here that I post most of my thoughts and reactions to gear for the public. Most of my hammock gear testing is used as research for my book, but it has expanded to provide ongoing, relevant insight on gear throughout the year.

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If you are interested in having me review gear, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

I like to take my time and be thorough.
I prefer to conduct a mid- to long-term test of gear whenever possible. Anyone can offer an opinion, but I strive to dig into the gear and prove it a little in the field. I usually test the gear indoors in a more controlled environment before I take it out in the field.Timelines are variable. With my background of experience, I’m usually looking at unique options that I haven’t experienced before or I may not have spoken about. Some reviews might turn around in a few weeks, while others may take a month or more. Scheduling field trips is the most time consuming, but there is nothing truly to compare with a field test.
I expect to keep the gear.
With only few pre-arranged exceptions, I expect to retain the gear I test. Part of the reason for this is because I often use the gear for reference in writing and research. When people write to me and ask questions, I can refer to the gear. I also often break the gear down to weigh and measure the individual components, making the gear less reusable. Probably the biggest reason I prefer to keep the gear is because I use them during hammock demos and clinics that I present. If and when the gear is no longer as useful to my research or responses, I usually donate used gear to youth groups or use as giveaways at events where appropriate.
I reserve the right to be honest.
I realize that some companies are looking for an endorsement or a positive review for their gear, but I am not here to be a corporate spokesman. I do take into consideration design tradeoffs and functional limitations and I’m conscious of recognizing my own bias while striving to make a balanced and fair review. I see my role as a reviewer to provide a close-up look at gear for folks who are looking for more than just polished marketing spin. I’m very guarded about speaking about “comfort” in a hammock simply because it is such a subjective measurement.
I provide the right of first refusal.
For most items, it is my policy to let the manufacturer see a review before it is published. This is primarily to ensure I haven’t missed any key feature and to fact check. If for whatever reason the company chooses not to publish the review, I won’t. Not all of my reviews make it on this list. Sometimes a manufacturer simply wants me to test gear and provide feedback prior to bringing a product to market.

Do you have gear you want reviewed?

If you represent a manufacturer or cottage vendor and would like me to review a piece of gear, or if you want some R&D support, please email me!

Looking for a review?

I’ve tested and reviewed a lot of hammocks that aren’t represented on this list. Sometimes that is due to the arrangement I made with a vendor or manufacturer, other times I just haven’t had a chance to write a solid review. Either way, please contact me with specific questions. I’m usually very quick to respond and I’m glad to help where I can.

New to hammock camping?

If you are new to hammock camping, I recommend checking out my post on Tips for Pitch Perfect Hammock Camping, along with this collection of start-up tips.

Gear Reviews


Anna’s Hammock



Arrowhead Equipment

  • Triangle Thingies—Coming soon
  • Jarbridge River Synthetic Under Quilt—Coming soon
  • HUG Bug Net—Coming soon
  • Cub Pillow—Coming soon
  • Flamethrower 3/4 Down Under Quilt—Coming soon

Ar•Ya Hammocks

Bakpocket Hammocks

Behold Bungee Hammocks




Byer of Maine

Clark Jungle Hammocks

Claiborne Designs

Canny Designs

DD Hammocks

Dream Hammock

DutchWare Gear

Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO)

Elevated Movement



Flying Squirrel

Gear Best

Geaux Hammocks

Go! Outfitters


Grand Trunk Goods


Hammock Bliss

Hammock Tent

Handy Hammock

Hennessy Hammock


Hummingbird Hammock

Jacks “R” Better

K2 Camp Gear



Maverick Gear



Outdoor Products

The Outdoor Trail





The Ship in a Bottle

Sierra Madre Research

Simply Light Designs

Speed Stakes

Tato Gear


Thailand Jungle Hammock


Ticket to the Moon

Treble Hammocks

Tribe Provisions

UK Hammocks

Ultimate Hammocks

Underground Quilts


Wilderness Logics

  • Tadepole Tarp and Door Mod—Coming 2015

Yukon Outfitters


    • Post authorDerek

      Yes, that one I pretty innovative. I’d love to test it.

      Reply to Derek
    • Post authorDerek

      I’ve seen this hammock and tent but haven’t tested it personally yet.

      Reply to Derek
  • Ranjana

    Hey Derek! Just wanted to know what is ur current favorite hammock at the moment? I know with time, different hammocks may pop up and favorites may be different. Thanks 🙂

    Reply to Ranjana
    • Post authorDerek

      Whatever hammock I’m currently in 🙂

      In all seriousness, I do have some preferred hammocks, but they are usually trip based. There’s something to be said about kit hammocks that include the bug net, accessory pockets, suspension, and even tarps. These hammocks are what I pick for camping trips; the lighter versions for backpacking.

      Indoors, I use just about everything that will fit, but I prefer open hammocks because I don’t have to mess with all the accessories.

      Reply to Derek
  • Pingback: Upcoming Reviews for Early 2015 - The Ultimate Hang (Edit)

  • christophe berton


    I don’t see a review on the exped hangmat. Is there a specific reason for that?
    Do you know other brands that make those out-of-centre systems.
    It would be nice to have a picture next to the tested gear ,that would scroll/look easier.

    Reply to christophe berton
    • Post authorDerek

      Thanks for the ideas Christophe. All gathered end hammocks are designed to have a diagonal lay, it’s just not as obvious. The Hammock Bliss Sky Bed is one other hammock with a built-in diagonal construction.

      Reply to Derek
  • biljah

    Can you do a review on all the Yukon Hammocks?

    Reply to biljah
    • Post authorDerek

      Yes! I actually have two hammocks, a tarp, suspension, and a bug net. Stay tuned! (I really need to update my list with all the new stuff!)

      Reply to Derek
  • Bryan

    Any info on Mosquito hammocks?

    Reply to Bryan
    • Post authorDerek

      On the brand? No.

      Reply to Derek
  • Lindsey

    Hey Derek!
    I was just wondering if your BooneDox Drifter review will be posted soon. I’m considering one for places hammocks aren’t allowed on trees. I’m intrigued by the weight vs. other stands I’ve looked and I like your insights.

    Reply to Lindsey
    • Lindsey

      Drifter Hammock STAND, that is, just noticed they have some other products called Drifter.

      Reply to Lindsey
      • Matt

        I’m interested in the Drifter Stand as well. Has it been reviewed?

        Reply to Matt
        • Post authorDerek


          Reply to Derek
  • Ivan

    No exped? They released the new ergo and the scout is pretty good too

    Reply to Ivan
    • Post authorDerek

      EXPED has great gear, I just haven’t reviewed their hammocks yet–hopefully one day.

      Reply to Derek
  • Peter

    I’m new to this site and just getting started with hammock camping. Kinda surprised to not find a review on the ENO DoubleNest, which seems to be the favorite among “mainstream” hammock veterans I talk to. I know Hennessy and others appeal to hard core enthusiasts, but I’m looking for the best gear at a lower price point.

    Reply to Peter
    • Post authorDerek

      Yes, I need to get my review of the DoubleNest, SingleNest, and ProNest published. Honestly, there isn’t much to say there as they are a very pedestrian hammock. If you are looking for a lower price point but with the same (or better) quality, I would look at Yukon Outfitters or even Ticket-to-the-Moon. ENO is a major hammock brand and their prices reflect their strong presence in the marketplace. Their hammocks are a little on the small size (length) compared to all the other brands in the market.

      Reply to Derek
      • Peter

        Thanks very much. Looking to buy for myself and as gifts. I’m finding many teens and 20-somethings I know want a hammock if they don’t already have one. I was going to go with the DoubleNest simply due to its popularity, particularly on Amazon. Because of your timely reply I’ll research further. I hope recipients won’t be disappointed if I gift them a lesser known Yukon. They’re fortunately not brand label snobs. If they gripe I’ll tell them to bring their complaints to you. (Just a little joke.)

        Whatever happens I’ll sure turn them all on to this blog.

        Reply to Peter
          • Peter

            (I should point out that the OuterEQ came recommended by a college kid who uses it mainly for lounging around campus and in his dorm – not so much for camping. He’s never tried it as a double, but it’s sold as such.)

          • Post authorDerek

            Double usually just means it’s wider than the single. Since they use the same fabric, a single and double will have the same weight rating.

          • Peter

            I’ve ordered both a Yukon Double and the OuterEQ above. Whatever the comparison, I’m sure to find a willing taker for whichever I do not prefer. Any opinion you may offer will still be appreciated.

          • Post authorDerek

            I’ve tested most of the Yukon products. They are good quality. Their made in the USA hammocks are a bit better all around.

          • Post authorDerek

            No. But from appearances it looks like your basic parachute nylon hammock. Each company sets their own weight rating, but they generally range from 250 to 400 lbs.

  • Peter

    Excellent blog by the way. Outstanding instruction and pointers I’ve found nowhere else. Thanks!

    Reply to Peter
    • Post authorDerek

      Thank you!

      Reply to Derek
  • Eric

    Hi Derek, this website is a great resource! I was wondering what you would recommend as far as getting a hammock with good back support? The typical hammocks I lay in start to hurt my back after about an hour.

    Reply to Eric
    • Post authorDerek

      Thanks Eric. First, are you hanging the hammock with a good sag and laying diagonally?

      Reply to Derek
      • Eric

        I haven’t tried to lay in a hammock that way. I will try it out! I imagine though that you wouldn’t be able to roll around and have to stay on your back. I usually change positions frequently at night.

        Reply to Eric
      • Eric

        Ah! I think I answered my own question. I just read your review of the Maverick. I think I will try to figure out how the “ergonomic flat” of a regular hammock works for me before I try something like the Maverick. It’s good to know that those kind of hammocks exist though!

        Reply to Eric
  • Rebecca (trail name- trunch)

    I have an AntiGravityGear Quiksilver Ultralight Hammock System and I absolutely LOVE it. Totally worth adding AntiGravityGear to your go to for super light gear. For me simplicity is perfection in the good old outdoors. And majority of AntiGravityGear is simple and light but gets the job done beautifully!

    Reply to Rebecca (trail name- trunch)
    • Post authorDerek

      Agreed! Simplicity is my mantra as well, and AGG really does a great job in that regard.

      Reply to Derek
  • Thomas geffroyd

    Hi Derek, quick question for you. Just got into hammock and currently own a thermarest (with bugbest and tarp). I love it, however, I tend to be a “stomach” sleeper, or side. Back sleep is more for “siestas” 😀
    I read on your review of the Amok Draumer could do the trick, and so does the Ergo hammock combi (but this one is a bit overbudget for me).

    I would be interested in the Draumer, however I have read mixed reviews and am a bit worried about this.
    Would you have other suggestions? And I need bug nesting badly, Canadian forest are.. crowded.

    thanks in advance.

    Reply to Thomas geffroyd
    • Post authorDerek

      The only hang up I have with the Draumr is the need for the pad. The hammock doesn’t work without it. It’s an investment but it works. The Hammock Tent 90° would also work and a regular therm-a-rest would be enough. I would give back sleeping a try. It seems odd to those of us used to mattress sleeping. Because the pressure points are removed I find I sleep on my back all night. It is actually the healthiest way to sleep for lots of reasons.

      Reply to Derek
      • Thomas geffroyd

        Thanks a lot! I’ll try sleep in my therma rest another go as you suggest… Just pinged Amok to know if my current mattress would fit in (mondoking by thermarest).
        I am not doing long distances so a pad wouldn’t be a problem if this gets me hammock immaculate sleep.
        thanks for your site and reviews, they are very helpful.

        Reply to Thomas geffroyd
        • Post authorDerek

          You’re welcome!

          Reply to Derek
  • John Tobison

    Hi Derek – I’m looking for a stand system compatible with backpacking in places without trees. I see that Handy Hammock is (at least temporarily) out of business. Do you know of any other similar lightweight, packable stands?

    Reply to John Tobison
    • Post authorDerek

      Unfortunately no. I’m not sure if there is anything like it.

      Reply to Derek
  • Josh

    I recently saw that ENO (Eagles Nest Outfitters) launched a lightweight portable hammock stand called the Nomad. Pretty sure it was less than 15 lbs and comes with a travel bag! Can’t wait to try one out.

    Reply to Josh

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