Therm-a-Rest Slacker Hammock – Single, Double
The last in a series of gear reviews from Therm-a-Rest, including the Slacker Suspenders and Slacker Bug Shelter, are the production models of the Slacker Hammock Single and Double.
- Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest, Made in the USA
- MSRP Single: US$69.95
- MSRP Double: US$79.95
- Single Weight: 14.4 oz (409 g)
- Double Weight: 17.4 oz (494 g)
- Single Width: 63 in (160 cm)
- Double Width: 74 in (188 cm)
- Single Length: 116 in (295 cm)
- Double Length: 116 in (295 cm)
- Hardware: climb-rated carabiners (1.1 oz/33 g each)
- Material: low-stretch, fast drying diamond ripstop polyester
- Recommended load (either Single or Double): 400 lbs (181 kg)
I did a review of the Therm-a-Rest Slacker Hammock single when it was still in pre-production. The model I received is very similar in material and construction, with a few cosmetic differences so I recommend checking out my original review for the details.
The major difference between the pre-production prototype I have and these production models is that the hammocks are slightly shorter. Minor cosmetic differences include a higher-end webbing loop on the ends of the hammock, a new snap enclosure to hold the stuff sack closed, and the introduction of tribal patterns on the fabric edges.
Recommendations and Review
I was a little disappointed in finding out the hammocks were a little shorter because I was so impressed with the build of the original. Still, the hammock itself remains one of the most comfortable gathered-end hammocks I’ve tested. This is due in large part because the hammock is made from a single panel of fabric, unlike most “parachute nylon” hammocks on the market that use three panels of fabric. Because of the single panel, you can take advantage of the entire area of the fabric without restriction from seams. The polyester fabric also has a very nice hand—an almost cotton or taslan feel.
The ends of the hammock are gathered with a continuous loop that doesn’t cinch the hammock like other methods. This allows the hammock to shift slightly, opening the sides a little when laying diagonally, instead of both sides being too taut. It’s a simple yet clever approach that I like.
I can get a very nice, diagonal, flat lay in this hammock and I really prefer it to most other gathered-end hammocks I own, especially those designed for outdoor and camping use.
Suspension and Anchor System
The hammocks come with a very good illustration showing the basics of a hang.
The hammocks come with really nice, high-quality, near climbing-rated carabiners. When paired with a good strap and suspension system, the hammock sets up quickly and easily.
Price and Value
The Slacker Hammock Single is larger or the same size as most “double” hammocks on the market. To be honest, the dimensions on the Slacker Single are solid and I really can’t see any reason for purchasing the Slacker Double. I think the value is spot on, especially with the Made in the USA tag, higher-end materials and components, and backed by the Therm-a-Rest brand.
What’s also really great about the Slacker Single is that at 14.4 oz (409 g) it weighs less than most double hammocks, even though it matches or beats the competition’s dimensions.
These hammocks are ideal for every kind of recreational hammock use, including modular hammock camping, backyard lounging, and indoor hanging. It’s great for beginners, but also for veterans who may be looking for a comfortable workhorse hammock.
Recently, Therm-a-Rest has come out with multiple color options that broadens the appeal for some. I also like the subtle tribal patterns that appear on the fabric. The fabric itself is very comfortable, not only in the hand, but while sleeping. It’s a good combination of form and function.
Construction and Craftsmanship
Therm-a-Rest is known for high-quality sleep gear, and the Slacker Hammock is no exception. You can expect superior build quality (made in the USA); straight, even stitching; and solid construction.
As I mentioned before, the Slacker Hammock is one of the most comfortable gathered-end hammocks I’ve tested, and I’ve tested a bunch. The combination of the diamond ripstop polyester fabric, single panel design, and gathered loop style all contribute to a nice lay. The fabric breathes well, yet feels more substantial than you might expect. Being polyester, it doesn’t stretch as much as nylon, giving a firmer feel, but it isn’t as firm as a straight polyester fabric. It has a very comfortable, but minor stretch.
There aren’t many open, gathered-end hammocks made with a single panel, but there are plenty who want to join this overly-crowded space. I don’t have enough room to list them all, but here are a few of the major players:
- Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO)
- Grand Trunk Goods
- Trek Light Gear
- Hammock Bliss
- Yukon Outfitters (also made in the USA)
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.
Derek, which is it? Early in your review you say it is made in Vietnam Nam then at the end when talking about “value” you say it is made in USA ?
Sorry about that. The hammocks are made in the USA.
I was writing the Slacker gear reviews in sequence and put that in by mistake. I’ve fixed the post. The other Slacker Accessories (bug net, straps) are made in Vietnam. The hammocks are made in the USA. However, like most USA-made gear, materials are often sourced from other countries, which is true of even the Slacker hammock. If you are looking for a hammock where all components are made and sourced in the USA, the list gets very small.
Thanks for the clarification. Keep up the good wrk!
How does it perform in colder temps? How does the single layer compare to other “multi layered” hammocks?
I’m sorry for the confusion, but these are not single and double layer hammocks, but “single” and “double” as product titles. In this category of multi-functional, recreational, gathered-end hammocks (your basic entry-level hammock), they are often referred to as “single” and “double” with the “double” being slightly wider than the “single”. People often mistakenly think that the “double” is designed for two people, which is not the case. In fact (and this is true of all such hammocks), the fabric used to construct the “single” and “double” versions is the same, meaning the weight capacities are identical. It follows that both hammocks can hold the same number of people, and you will be arguably just as comfortable sitting or laying together in either hammock.
To answer your specific question, these hammocks are single layer. They perform just as well (or poorly) in colder temperatures. You’ll need insulation in all but the hottest, humid nights, depending on your comfort level.
Thank you Sir! 🙂 Great review. I’ve been sleeping in my Slacker Single indoors since May and love it. I prefer polyester for the low stretch and to compare the Slacker to another poly hammock, the Grand Trucnk UL poly doesn’t seem to stretch at all where as the Slacker stretches very slightly. Enough to be very comfortable. It pares well with the PLUQ full length underquilt too 🙂 I love the fabric feel to it and it seems to breath. I’ve only hung over night once in the summer heat and the fabric felt airy and nice. I wasn’t stuck to it and sweaty. I’m very happy with it. I have Amsteel continuous loops on the gathered ends for a Marlin spike hitch so I haven’t tried to allow the ends to shift but I’m going to try that 🙂
i have a thermarest slacker double. i also have an eno (smaller) backpacking hammock. (the smallest one eno makes i think). i like them both.
they are equally comfortable. i am 5’9″, 175 pounds. to be honest i am a little disappointed. i thought the thermarest would be way better than the eno, but they are equally good hammocks. (the eno was quite a bit less expensive though). i guess if you are a short person it does not make much difference how big the hammock is? + love your reviews Derek.
Thanks William. I think your perspective is valid. Generally speaking, taller folks will find more room in the Therm-a-Rest Slacker Hammock. However, I need to add the caveat that comfort is very personal. Every time I stick my neck out and praise the comfort of one hammock, it invariably follows that someone else will find it middling or uncomfortable. Sometimes, our first hammock experience seasons all other experiences, whether good or bad.
Let me add a few more thoughts. First, I am a fan of smaller hammocks. Typically, smaller hammocks are hung with a shallower sag since the diagonal lay is different due to diminished width and length. Larger hammocks should be hung with deeper sags, which also opens up the hammock to a more dramatic diagonal lay. If you hang a big hammock with a shallow sag, you’ll end up not being able to lay diagonally. This may be comfortable for some folks. In fact, Speer, one of the grandfathers of modern hammock camping, promoted this style of hanging and sold hammocks designed with an almost pea-pod style design.
I tend to over-promote the 1) hang with a good sag and 2) lay diagonal mantra. It’s the ideal that works with most Mayan-style hammocks, but it isn’t the solution 100% of the time, or what works for some folks.
I’m not sure how you hang or lay in your hammocks, so I want to be clear to those reading on how I hang and lay (e.g., with a sag and on the diagonal).
William, I’m curious if that is your experience with your ENO (ProNest?) and the Slacker?
i go out and lie in one or the other hammocks for a hour or two (sometimes three) in the evening. try to set sag at 30 degrees, then i vary sag up and down experimenting with different sags/tensions. i lie as diagonal as i can get and still be in the hammock. i have a neck bone pillow under my neck sometimes. both hammocks feel equally good. you might be right about the “first love” coloring my feelings. the Eno was the first time i had ever been in a backpacking hammock, and i was so excited i thought i had found a way to achieve Nirvana. both hammocks are way more comfortable than my sleep number bed.
OK i think i am getting it now!
BTW the eno is a traveler. not made anymore.
I just purchased a slacker hammock(single) based on your review. It does seems very comfy and I’m excited to have it, though I’m a noob hammoncky. Brought it on a backpack recently for a couple trial day time runs. My mistake was purchasing rope and webbing that appears to be nylon after asking for non-stretch versions of these items in store.. We nicknamed the hammock “low ryder” and had 2 people swinging an inch from the ground.Well worth it’s weight in laughter for sure. 🙂 Was trying to do the continuous loop to rope via becket hitch and used the carabiners up higher on the webbing straps then marlin spike hitch toggled to rope (if that makes sense). I found the continuous loop webbing on the hammock a little harder to tie this way.. The hammock material is really nice and soft but static-ky(guess that’s polyester for ya though). The hammock later saved my bacon as the overnight temps dropped and used it as a extra liner on my sleeping bag inside the tent at night. Now to get a proper suspension system hmmm.. Any suggestions on what kind of regular rope would work (no amsteel round here)? I will be getting Poly webbing straps for the trees… Hammock is a perfect fit for my purposes.. Thanks 🙂
I bought this hammock based on your review. I also have a smaller one with built in mosquito net. Because of shoulder issues( which are slowly resolving) the smaller hammock tends to cause some discomfort, although I am finally getting the correct sag figured out for better diagonal sleep.
Anyway, the thermarest is awesome in every way as you have said. From the “soft” feel, no stretch, seamless, and visual appeal it has it all. I sleep in it every night and have no desire to ever sleep in a bed again. I tell anyone who will listen to me that the biggest problem with my hammock is that it is so comfortable that I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.
Meant to say “get out of my hammock” in the morning.
I’m 6′ 2″ and tossing up between single and double slacker hammocks. I like a sag and a diagonal lay.
I bought a ticket to the moon kingside for my first camping hammock and found the extreme sag necessary for flat lay a bit impractical. (Puts stress on the bug net and doesn’t leave enough room for tarp between trees, or has to be hung way high)
What do you recommend for taller folks?
(And BTW, thank you for the awesome resource you have built 🙂
Thanks Lee. For tall folks you have many options, but I would look first for longer hammocks. This will give you the better diagonal, ergonomically flat lay. I would look for hammocks at 11 feet long. The Therm-a-Rest is a great hammock, one of my favorites, but I think their new production models are slightly shorter than the prototype I was first given. You may still feel very comfortable in the hammock, but I would probably compare that to an 11 foot hammock as well.
Have had the Slacker/Double for a little over a week, comparing it to my SMR Pares (11 ft x 61/2 ft) hammock. Have only tried the Slacker in cool/cold weather. The more open weave will quickly point out gaps in the down underquilt but will be cooler in warm weather. While I believe the SMR will be my go/to hammock for backpacking or colder hangs, I can certainly agree with you about the unique comfort of the Slacker.
I have found positions in my diagonal lay in the Slacker for the torso, arms, and most importantly legs and feet that I never thought possible I was amazed at the number of leg positions I was able to invent over the standard nylon three-panel SMR.
So, an intriguing comfort level is indeed the case. Interesting review, well presented.
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Hi! Thanks for your great reviews. I am on the cusp of purchasing this hammock and, since I am a quite short (5’2″) person, there seems there’s no reason not to get the single. But it’s only $10 difference and something in my brain won’t let go of the idea that getting the double would be a safer bet. They’re the same length, so in theory they hang would be the same for either… I think?
My question is: is there any reason that I might regret getting the double?
I think the single is fine. There would be no issues with the double.
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