What Are the Best Hammocks?

We spent hours sleeping in these hanging beds and stress-tested each to find out how well they held up to real-world abuse

Jun 23, 2016
Outside Magazine

Pick your spot wisely.    Photo: Mac Stone


During the past month, my friends and I have taken a lot of naps in the name of hammock reviewing. Rough job, I know. But in addition to testing ease of setup and comfort, we wanted to judge durability and strength, so I bought ten 50-pound bags of Quikrete Play Sand to load down each hammock and test their claimed weight limits. Here are the results. 

Therm-a-Rest Slacker ($70)

  Photo: Therm-a-Rest

Best for: Alpine day naps

This hammock weighs just 20 ounces, making it ideal for backpacking trips and long day hikes to beautiful napping spots. The polyester fabric (as opposed to the nylon most hammocks are made from) was the most supple against the skin. The reinforced stitching and sturdy hanging system held up well when I loaded the hammock to its 400-pound weight limit, but I wouldn’t suggest two 200-pound users cramming into this thing: It had the smallest footprint of all the hammocks we tried and is best suited for one user. Bonus points: The Therm-a-Rest Slacker Suspenders Hanging Kit was sturdy and easy to assemble.

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Kammok Roo ($100)

  Photo: Kammok

Best for: Car camping

This was the most bomber hammock of the test, thanks to details like burly hanging carabiners and Dyneema racing slings. I didn’t try it, but I would trust the hanging system to keep me up even if I was perched in a no-fall zone, like on a ledge over a river. We loved the six gear loops, which are convenient for hanging things like headlamps, and we appreciated the few inches of fabric extending from the scoop that acted like a mini sun shield. It has a 500-pound weight limit and didn’t blink when fully loaded, thanks in part to its triple-reinforced seams.

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Grand Trunk Heritage Hammock ($75)

  Photo: Grand Trunk

Best for: Festivals

At 28 ounces, this was the heaviest hammock we tested and the most bare-bones. But we all agreed that the steezy plaid print, which would look great at your local concert in the woods, made up for the weight and lack of extra features. At 6.5 feet wide, it was the most suited for two-person cuddling. Though the carabiners and rope attachment system were the least sturdy of the hammocks on this list, the hammock held fast when loaded to its 400-pound limit.

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Filed To: Camping

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