Geaux Hammock Review
The Geaux Hammock has an open style design and is a basic, gathered-end hammock, similar to the mass-market hammocks competing today. Geaux is making a name for itself by including a solid suspension system with every hammock purchase. But what also sets Geaux apart is the one-panel fabric construction and the inclusion of a very nice double-sided stuff sack. The fabric is also not your typical thick “parachute nylon” fabric (a.k.a. crinkle taffeta), but is a smooth, lightweight 1.9 ripstop nylon. It has a soft hand and feels much more like the cottage vendor fabrics but with a 400 lbs weight capacity rating.
Overall Impressions and Updates
I have watched Geaux grow their business over the past few years and really didn’t look that closely at their offering at first. I thought they were one of the many copy-cat, mass-produced “parachute nylon” hammocks that has been flooding Amazon. I was wrong. When I learned how their product was different, I was eager to try it out. What was even more exciting was to actually use the hammock in the field and discover how comfortable it was in daily use. My first surprise was how small the stuffed hammock was: not much bigger than a standard water bottle, with enough “play” to stuff a little smaller.
You’d think that Geaux was building a hammock just for my tastes — I love single-panel designs and the modularity of open hammocks and the usefulness of a double-sided stuff sack. The cinch buckle suspension is a great alternative to the daisy chain suspension system I most often recommend to new hangers. In all, they have a solid offering, which is good considering they are marketing head-to-head against the big box hammock companies like ENO, Kammok, Therm-a-Rest, and Grand Trunk. Geaux is not shy to compare their products to these other brands, if not by name, then by description.
I will note that cinch buckle suspensions are not 100% bomb proof. If there is a twist in the webbing at the buckle, or the webbing is loaded on an angle, there is a potential for slippage, or worse, abrasion and damage. Thankfully, such cases are rare [1. I hate to admit that in my own testing I had this happen. I do a lot of indoor testing and my kids often disturb my gear. I didn’t realize it until later but the strap had been jolted aside in the buckle, which resulted in me slipping to the floor], but it’s worth noting that a little more care is needed to ensure the straps are threaded flat and flush.
Interestingly enough, the design and fit of the Geaux is more in line with the cottage vendors, although Geuax’s packaging and marketing is definitely top tier. Geaux uses a high-quality ripstop nylon that makes it lighter and stronger than other brands. The cottage vendors also prefer higher-end ripstop fabrics like HyperD, PolyD, Hexon, and Argon, but sell direct to consumers, thus saving overhead. Geaux’s prices reflect their retail distribution model.
The Geaux Hammock, in my opinion, is vastly superior in comfort compared with the big box brands, due in large part to the single panel construction and the 11-foot length. Length makes a much bigger difference in comfort than does width, and I’m so happy to see vendors take this seriously. The Geaux should be considered on this alone.
Arkansas and Louisiana locals are lucky. Geaux is currently carried in 16 stores in Arkansas and Louisiana with plans to expand into other states. They are the exclusive hammock that the University of Arkansas rents to their students through their UREC Outdoor program. They are also used in three other university recreation programs and are the exclusive hammock manufactured for the Ozark Highlands Trail Association.
The lighter fabric is also more packable, thus taking up less space and weight in a pack. I am a little curious, though, on their claim of a 400 lbs weight rating. According to other vendors using 1.9 oz ripstop nylon, the safe working load limit is more commonly stated at 250 lbs, with a breaking strength at around 1,000 to 1,250 lbs. Unfortunately, safety ratings are not uniform between vendors, and while a 4:1 or 5:1 rating is recommended, companies rarely divulge their techniques. As such, I will let Geaux’s stated rating stand.
Recommendations and Review
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||The cinch buckle system is popular for its relative simplicity, light weight (compared with daisy-chain straps and carabiners), and variable adjustability. Cinch buckles aren’t 100% bomb proof and are prone to slips and abrasion if not used correctly. I love that the webbing is included in the kit.|
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||The overal construction is solid. Nice, even stitching, no loose threads. Hang tags and labeling is professional, clear, and easy-to-read. I love the single-panel design.|
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||An open hammock is the baseline for a modular system.|
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||Comes in a variety of prints and simple colors.|
|♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||Compared to mass marketing hammocks like ENO, Grand Trunk, and Kammok, the Geaux is right on par with a hammock+suspension price. However, cottage vendor prices are half this price for a basic hammock+suspension.|
- Manufacturer: Geaux Hammock, made in USA
- MSRP: US$120 (hammock + suspension)
- 1-person, gathered-end hammock
- 1-panel construction
- 1.9 oz ripstop nylon fabric
- Double-sided stuff sack
- 1 in × 12 ft (2.5 cm × 3.6 m) polyester webbing straps
- Stainless steel cinch buckle suspension system
- Hammock: 132 × 58 in (335 × 147 cm)
- Weight Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kg)
- Hammock: 16 oz (453 g) (includes cinch buckles)
- Suspension: 5.5 oz (157 g) (straps only)
- See my list of Parachute Nylon hammocks
- Dutchware Gear 11-foot Net-less ($42)
- Dream Hammock Freeboard ($40)
- Warbonnet Travelers Hammock ($60, includes buckles and webbing straps)
- Arrowhead Equipment 11-foot Single ($45)
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.