The Envy-S Hammock
The Envy-S is the top-of-the-line hammock from Hammeck, a cottage vendor specializing in camping hammocks and accessories (the Meck family also has a pretty cool metal hammock stand, if you’re interested). Hammeck has other hammocks, but the Envy-S is distinguished by a modular design, with an interchangeable over cover and bug net. The stock cover includes a Peekaboo window, of sorts, that works much like a screened “window” in a tent. Zippers on the interior open up the window to reveal the bug netting and allow you to configure the window opening into various shapes.
- Manufacturer: Hammeck.com, made in the USA
- MSRP: US$205 (base price)
- Hammock with over cover and integrated Peekaboo window with partial bug net
- Optional full bug net
- Multiple fabric options
- Double or single-layer options
- Available in 10 or 11 ft (3 or 3.3 m) lengths
- Fixed length ridge line
- Double-sided stuff sack
- Custom-built lay direction (choose left/right or right/left)
- Custom suspension options
The Envy-S is the upgrade to the Envy, which had a Peekaboo cover—a cover with zippered, screened window or vent. The vent has been enlarged and moved to the center of the hammock to provide a more complete, all-in-one design that is more like a tent in design. The standard Envy has a basic, full-length cover and no longer features the window. The Envy-S has a small stuff sack on the ridge line to store the window once it has been completely zipped out of the way.
Due to the custom nature of the hammock, specifics on weight are variable. Choosing between single or double layer and different fabrics alter the final weight. David has provided a scale on his website to show the approximate weight calculations.
The two asymmetric side pull outs help shape the design of the hammock, similar to other hammocks on the market. Shock cord guy lines provide tension as well as stress relief so you can move about in the hammock and not worry about tearing the fabric. The D-rings provide convenient attach points.
The Over Cover and Window
Now that I’ve done a few reviews on modular hammocks that feature over covers, I thought it I should at least address the question, “why should I want an over cover in the first place?” Most people are familiar with single- and double-wall tents, which offer an enclosed sleeping space. An over cover on a hammock is really in line with how a tent is designed. These “walls” help trap dead air space, which can improve the overall temperature (warmer) in the shelter. Some claim up to 10 to 15 degrees (°F) of warmth. These covers are really useful in four-season camping with prevailing cooler temperatures, but also in places where wind can be a problem.
Over covers also provide a significant amount of privacy, which has often been cited as a downside with hammocks.
The Envy-S can be fully enclosed, but with the zippered window/vent, you can convert the hammock to be open and much more breathable than a standard cover.
The stock Envy-S over cover is about all you need for four-season camping. While you can remove the stock Peekaboo cover and replace it with a full bug net, I’m not sure it is really necessary except in the hottest, muggiest climates.
One thing missing, for me, was any sort of interior storage pockets. I’m confident you could have them custom ordered, but I’d like to see either a ridge line organizer, interior pocket, or even a peak bag included in the base price. There is a small stuff sack on the ridge line that is designed for storing the Peekaboo cover that can be used for storing items, but it isn’t as convenient. Hammeck does offer organizers and pockets by request.
The real stand-out feature on this hammock is the Peekaboo cover. While there are a few modular hammocks now on the market to choose from, the design from Hammeck begs the question of whether you really need an interchangeable cover at all. With the size of the “window” area, it provides plenty of air circulation and is a good balance between coverage and breathability. I’d almost like to see a version, or at least an option during ordering, of having the cover have a single zipper with two pulls. In other words, make the cover permanent, not interchangeable. Of course, the way the Meck’s have designed the cover, it does have two zipper pulls, both on one side, so it “acts” like most other zipper-entry hammocks on the market, so my observation only provides a small weight savings and a lack of modularity :).
I’ve had the pleasure of camping with this hammock on multiple trips, most recently into Goblin Valley State Park in Southern Utah. It has a very comfortable lay, and the fabric has a nice, supple hand. I really like the PolyD and NylonD fabrics with their diamond ripstop. Of course, Hammeck provides many other fabric options to choose from, including ordering fabric from specialty shops, so you could, theoretically, get the exact fabric of your hearts desire and just have David sew it up for you.
Disclosure of material connection: The author (Derek Hansen) was provided with a free sample from the manufacturer for testing and evaluation purposes. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the gear. I was under no obligation to publish a review of this item.