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"Light" Three-Season Hammock?

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I'm with you all the way to "I could get a lighter tarp and hammock but I could also get a lighter tent." That's really my question. What lighter comparable hammock system could you get that is as light as an ultralight tent appropriate for shoulder season in Maine?

I want to be clear that I'm not basing my decision solely on weight, but that is the metric I'm looking at here in this post. I know a lot of folks will say getting a better night sleep in a hammock is worth the added weight, and I know a lot of folks will say that the added space of a tent when stormed in for a day makes a tent even more appealing.

I really appreciate everyone chiming in. It is helping!

With regards to getting a better night's sleep...

That is not a given. It took me at least 5 nights/set-ups to get it right, and some of those nights were terrible. I once woke up with a headache that lasted most of the day and I've had numb heals on more than one occasion. When it's good, it's really good though.
 
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I'm with you all the way to "I could get a lighter tarp and hammock but I could also get a lighter tent." That's really my question. What lighter comparable hammock system could you get that is as light as an ultralight tent appropriate for shoulder season in Maine?
Ultra light and shoulder season do not play well. May and October camping in any sort of UL is uncomfortable. Usually UL means lots of mesh. And hammocks need trees. The snow holds way longer in the trees than in the open. I went to Lobster Lake one fine mid May day and there was three feet of snow between me and the outhouse. I was glad my tent was in the open on the beach which was relatively dry and had no snow.
This is in Maine anyway. UL season would be June till possibly Sept.
 
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Ultra light and shoulder season do not play well. May and October camping in any sort of UL is uncomfortable. Usually UL means lots of mesh. And hammocks need trees. The snow holds way longer in the trees than in the open. I went to Lobster Lake one fine mid May day and there was three feet of snow between me and the outhouse. I was glad my tent was in the open on the beach which was relatively dry and had no snow.
This is in Maine anyway. UL season would be June till possibly Sept.

I've been there! Probably the same site. :)

Maybe it's just nomenclature, but my experience is that there are a bunch of light tents (~2 lbs mark) that are three-season tents.

It's a good point, however, about hammocks needing trees that may well be in the snow!
 
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I definitely sleep better in a hammock I have been camping in a Clark jungle hammock for 15 years. As far as rainy days, I have had 2 others camped in ultralight small tents sitting and cooking under my hammock fly on rainy days. An advantage on rainy days is being able to set up the fly first and do the rest of your setting up out of the rain and the reverse taking down. As far as having something to tie to, I have had to get creative a few times, but always found a way to do it-rocks,roots,long rope-ect. I have also hung right over the water on one side a few times. had loons right next to my bed! Turtle
 
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I definitely sleep better in a hammock I have been camping in a Clark jungle hammock for 15 years. As far as rainy days, I have had 2 others camped in ultralight small tents sitting and cooking under my hammock fly on rainy days. An advantage on rainy days is being able to set up the fly first and do the rest of your setting up out of the rain and the reverse taking down. As far as having something to tie to, I have had to get creative a few times, but always found a way to do it-rocks,roots,long rope-ect. I have also hung right over the water on one side a few times. had loons right next to my bed! Turtle
 
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Thanks! I certainly see some of the advantages to a hammock, Turtle2 , but in this thread I'm specifically interested in weight. The Clark looks cool, but it is pushing 3 lbs, right?

I love the over-the-water set-up. Do you have a picture? So cool!
 
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yes, my clark is heavy, that is why I'm interested in a superior ultra. it's probably half the weight. It also looks like you could do without a sleeping bag and snap the insulated body around you-cocoon style. Turtle
 
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yes, my clark is heavy, that is why I'm interested in a superior ultra. it's probably half the weight. It also looks like you could do without a sleeping bag and snap the insulated body around you-cocoon style. Turtle

What's the "superior ultra"? Superior Hammocks?
 
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I meant superior elite hammock. it's the lite 24oz option

Oh. I see it. It's the Superior Hammock with the Elite Superior Hammock Upgrade, right? That looks nice. If I'm reading it correctly, that brings the base Superior down from 34 oz to 24 oz by switching 900FP with a 30F rating. However, there is no insect shield, suspension system or fly included though, correct? By the time you add those, you'll be well over the weight of a lightweight tent, which bring me back to my initial question: is there a lightweight hammock that can compete with a lightweight tent when it comes to weight?

Just to re-iterate, I totally get that there are tradeoffs here, and there are lots of reasons that some would choose to carry a heavier hammock over a lighter tent. To experience those, I need to get out and try one, I guess.

Thanks again!
 
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When I made my initial post, I alluded to the fact that it can get difficult comparing apples to apples with a hammock system versus a tent .... it looks like the comparison you are doing is to compare a complete hammock sleeping system weight to an ultra light tent weight.

You can sleep in that hammock system, you can't sleep in just an ultra light tent ... you need to add a pad and some sort of top cover for the tent before it becomes a function sleep system. Then you can start comparing the systems for weight and volume.

It also looks like that system does indeed have a bug net in the basic list of features, additionally, most hammock folk would take the standard suspension and then just swap that out for an lighter system (materials are pretty easily available) purchased separately, perhaps immediately or at a later, date when they have a little experience to know what they want.

Another thought is you are comparing "mainstream" hammocks to "ultralight" tents ... if you start looking at the UL hammock offering, things start to change a bit IMO, here are a couple of examples:

https://www.jacksrbetter.com/product/james-river-bridge-ultralight-hammock/

https://dutchwaregear.com/product/banyan-bridge-complete/#accessories

There are several "personalities" that make down-to-earth videos on the subject of hammock camping, the Youtube channel for one is here https://www.youtube.com/user/shugemery

There are more and he does do more than hammock videos, but you can see a range of hammock topics there and get a better feel for what all the words actually mean and what stuff looks like in real life.

Brian
 
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When I made my initial post, I alluded to the fact that it can get difficult comparing apples to apples with a hammock system versus a tent .... it looks like the comparison you are doing is to compare a complete hammock sleeping system weight to an ultra light tent weight.

You can sleep in that hammock system, you can't sleep in just an ultra light tent ... you need to add a pad and some sort of top cover for the tent before it becomes a function sleep system.
Brian

A single layer warbonnet blackbird is going to be about 1.5 pounds with suspension
A CCS 10x12 Tundra Tarp weighs 1 pound 6 ounces
Total shelter weight for that hammock/tarp setup is 2 lbs 14 ounces

My CCS Lean 1+ weighs 2lbs 3 ounces and the separate floor weighs 14 ounces for a total shelter weight of 3 pounds 1 ounce.

I use the same top quilt with both so that's a wash.

My bottom quilt in the hammock (Hammock Gear incubator) weighs 1 lb. 8 ounces

My tent sleeping pad (Neoair Trekker) weighs 1 lb 7 ounces.

I consider both of those setups to be light but not ultralight. I could use a smaller or lighter tarp with the hammock but I could use a smaller and lighter tent too. I'm not sure how much weight could be shaved on my bottom quilt but if I spent as much money on my pad as I did on my quilt I'm sure I could knock off another 1/2 pound.

I was incorrect earlier in the thread when I stated my tent setup was a pound lighter than my hammock setup. I was going off memory and my memory was from planning a long trip and I'd decided that if I was going to take the hammock I'd also be bringing 2nd tarp, which accounted for the extra weight with the hammock setup. Otherwise, they're a wash (not accounting for a couple ounces either way here and there). Also, my personal Warbonnet hammock is the double bottom, but I used the single bottom weight above.

Alan
 
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My post was more to Brasenias' last post Alan, I happen to concur with you though, in the end it is going to be close to a wash, in terms of weight.

I guess the point I was making is that the hammock movement has really matured in the last 10 years and the variety of designs and purposes has really taken off. Materials available for both tent and hammock have made incredible leaps in performance, so much so that when you start to use the term "UltraLight" in conjunction with equipment, it really describes designs that are very much on the edge of being "too light" ... long term use (lifespan) starts to get questionable, so the trick is to really understand your habits and gear usage to make an informed decision on where on the scale of heavyweight/bombproof to UltraLight/MayNotSurviveAScratch, you should be aiming.

Most of my excursions are canoe/portage based, so while weight is important, a few extra ounces is not the end of the world, so my hammock setup uses a tarp that is a little larger, full length quilts, hammock fabrics a little more robust and the design is always 2 layers .... this translates to gear that while not "heavy" is certainly not Ultra light, but I do feel it has more reliability.

A through hiker using a hammock, would likely choose a smaller/lighter tarp (cuban fiber), 3/4 or 1/2 quilts, single layer light fabrics and ultra light suspension options, shaving weight where ever possible ... however, the ultralight gear will always be more susceptible to failure, simply because as you are moving to the edge of the scale, of the materials performance envelope.

These scenarios are applicable to either tents or hammocks generally (IMO), there are lightweight options for both systems ... it's really just a question of how far down the rabbit hole you want to travel. There will be camp sites where tents are more easily setup, there will be camp sites where hammocks are a better choice .... it comes down to evaluating where you are going, how you are going and what you expect from your gear when you get there and then picking the gear that best suits your intended environment.

Maybe a good first step might be to see if you can arrange to try or borrow some gear locally (friends/forum) .... try a gathered end and a bridge hammock. If you can't borrow, maybe see if some stores have either setup, so you could try them ... some folks have an affinity for one type, some don't and some just don't like them at all, so maybe try getting your feet a little wet first, see if you even like them at all, to start with.

IMO, a good nights sleep is one of the easiest ways to make a trip better/best and there is a learning curve to hammocks, just like there is a learning curve to tents, if you decide to switch, make sure you try the new system a few times, before you take it on the road ...

Brian
 
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When I made my initial post, I alluded to the fact that it can get difficult comparing apples to apples with a hammock system versus a tent .... it looks like the comparison you are doing is to compare a complete hammock sleeping system weight to an ultra light tent weight.

You can sleep in that hammock system, you can't sleep in just an ultra light tent ... you need to add a pad and some sort of top cover for the tent before it becomes a function sleep system. Then you can start comparing the systems for weight and volume.

Thanks again for your thoughtful input. Rest assured, I am comparing apples to apples, and the tent option seems to come out lighter still.

It also looks like that system does indeed have a bug net in the basic list of features, additionally, most hammock folk would take the standard suspension and then just swap that out for an lighter system (materials are pretty easily available) purchased separately, perhaps immediately or at a later, date when they have a little experience to know what they want.

The Superior Hammock (unbundled but with the elite option) does not include bug shield, suspension or fly, although it does include insulation and does not require a pad. Once you add the bug shield, suspension and fly, the weight goes from that 24 oz to over three pounds. I was advised you either need a top quilt or lightweight bag for shoulder season use. If my math is right, this brings the apples to apples comparison weight to around 4 lbs 6 oz (Hammock 24 oz, Elite Sling 3 oz, tarp 16 oz, aluminum stakes and ropes 7 oz, elite top quilt 20 oz). I could probably shave a little off this by bringing my 32F sleeping bag instead of the quilt.

I'm comparing the Superior Hammock bundle as outfitted above to something like the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1 Tent that weighs 30 oz (not their lightest, but one of their best lightweight tents IMO). Add something like a Therm-a-Rest Hyperion sleeping bag (16 oz) and an inflatable pad (12 oz), and I think you have an apples to apples comparison with the tent set-up weighing in at around 3 lbs 10 oz.

While the hammock set-up is heavier, it's still pretty comparable, and it's certainly a lot closer than many of the hammock set-ups at which I had been looking. Thanks Turtle2 , I do appreciate the specific recommendation.

Another thought is you are comparing "mainstream" hammocks to "ultralight" tents ... if you start looking at the UL hammock offering, things start to change a bit IMO, here are a couple of examples:

https://www.jacksrbetter.com/product/james-river-bridge-ultralight-hammock/

https://dutchwaregear.com/product/banyan-bridge-complete/#accessories

The Jacks ‘R’ Better James River Bridge Ultralight Hammock weighs in at 18.5 oz without insulation, fly, suspension, stakes/rope, or bug protection. Their tarp is 22 oz (I do LOVE their fish tarps though!) so you're already at 2 lbs 8 oz, which is more than the tent listed above, which includes bug protection. So I don't think it's a good apples to apples comparison.

The Banyan Bridge Hammock is a bit better of a comparison, but still weighs in at ~2 lbs 8 oz once you add the bugnet, the tarp and the suspension. You still need a sleeping bag and probably so under insulation.

Also, if we really want to do an apples to apples comparison, we'd also need to consider a true ultralight tent, which is just over a pound in weight.

There are several "personalities" that make down-to-earth videos on the subject of hammock camping, the Youtube channel for one is here https://www.youtube.com/user/shugemery

There are more and he does do more than hammock videos, but you can see a range of hammock topics there and get a better feel for what all the words actually mean and what stuff looks like in real life.

Brian

Thanks! I've been trying to watch a lot of hammock videos in the evening. I don't think I've seen shugemery, so I'll look him up.

Just to reiterate, I was really just looking here at weight comparisons between tents and hammocks. As I've said elsewhere, I fully get that there are tradeoffs, and while it appears hammocks are at least a slightly heavier option for solo trips, there may be advantages that justify the increased weight. I think I need to find a way to get into a couple and figure out what those might be! :)
 
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A single layer warbonnet blackbird is going to be about 1.5 pounds with suspension
A CCS 10x12 Tundra Tarp weighs 1 pound 6 ounces
Total shelter weight for that hammock/tarp setup is 2 lbs 14 ounces

My CCS Lean 1+ weighs 2lbs 3 ounces and the separate floor weighs 14 ounces for a total shelter weight of 3 pounds 1 ounce.

I use the same top quilt with both so that's a wash.

My bottom quilt in the hammock (Hammock Gear incubator) weighs 1 lb. 8 ounces

My tent sleeping pad (Neoair Trekker) weighs 1 lb 7 ounces.

I consider both of those setups to be light but not ultralight. I could use a smaller or lighter tarp with the hammock but I could use a smaller and lighter tent too. I'm not sure how much weight could be shaved on my bottom quilt but if I spent as much money on my pad as I did on my quilt I'm sure I could knock off another 1/2 pound.

I was incorrect earlier in the thread when I stated my tent setup was a pound lighter than my hammock setup. I was going off memory and my memory was from planning a long trip and I'd decided that if I was going to take the hammock I'd also be bringing 2nd tarp, which accounted for the extra weight with the hammock setup. Otherwise, they're a wash (not accounting for a couple ounces either way here and there). Also, my personal Warbonnet hammock is the double bottom, but I used the single bottom weight above.

Alan

Thanks, Alan. The specifics really help.

I do think on the whole that a lightweight (not even ultralight) tent set-up is going to be a lighter option than a lightweight hammock set-up for solo trips. When it comes to a two-person trip, I don't think hammocks can compete in the weight category, which is something it occurs to me I ought to be considering given that 50%+ of my trips are two-person trips, and we had planned to replace our 2-person tent this year. Ah the details! :)
 
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My post was more to Brasenias' last post Alan, I happen to concur with you though, in the end it is going to be close to a wash, in terms of weight.

I guess the point I was making is that the hammock movement has really matured in the last 10 years and the variety of designs and purposes has really taken off. Materials available for both tent and hammock have made incredible leaps in performance, so much so that when you start to use the term "UltraLight" in conjunction with equipment, it really describes designs that are very much on the edge of being "too light" ... long term use (lifespan) starts to get questionable, so the trick is to really understand your habits and gear usage to make an informed decision on where on the scale of heavyweight/bombproof to UltraLight/MayNotSurviveAScratch, you should be aiming.

Most of my excursions are canoe/portage based, so while weight is important, a few extra ounces is not the end of the world, so my hammock setup uses a tarp that is a little larger, full length quilts, hammock fabrics a little more robust and the design is always 2 layers .... this translates to gear that while not "heavy" is certainly not Ultra light, but I do feel it has more reliability.

A through hiker using a hammock, would likely choose a smaller/lighter tarp (cuban fiber), 3/4 or 1/2 quilts, single layer light fabrics and ultra light suspension options, shaving weight where ever possible ... however, the ultralight gear will always be more susceptible to failure, simply because as you are moving to the edge of the scale, of the materials performance envelope.

These scenarios are applicable to either tents or hammocks generally (IMO), there are lightweight options for both systems ... it's really just a question of how far down the rabbit hole you want to travel. There will be camp sites where tents are more easily setup, there will be camp sites where hammocks are a better choice .... it comes down to evaluating where you are going, how you are going and what you expect from your gear when you get there and then picking the gear that best suits your intended environment.

Maybe a good first step might be to see if you can arrange to try or borrow some gear locally (friends/forum) .... try a gathered end and a bridge hammock. If you can't borrow, maybe see if some stores have either setup, so you could try them ... some folks have an affinity for one type, some don't and some just don't like them at all, so maybe try getting your feet a little wet first, see if you even like them at all, to start with.

IMO, a good nights sleep is one of the easiest ways to make a trip better/best and there is a learning curve to hammocks, just like there is a learning curve to tents, if you decide to switch, make sure you try the new system a few times, before you take it on the road ...

Brian

Thanks! Good advice all around.

I thought it might be helpful to provide some more detail that may give some insight into my decision matrix. I come from an "ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain" mindset from years of high altitude, alpine style mountaineering. This bias certainly clouds my judgement! I have led sponsored expeditions to the Andes using almost entirely ultra lightweight camping gear (at least for the technology of the day), and I certainly agree with your point about really considering how much you're willing/able to push the technology. I've also spent my fair share of time in hammocks and portaledges while big wall climbing, but all that is nearly two decades in the rearview mirror, and I know a lot has changed!

One other point that I mentioned above is that more than half of my canoe trips annually are with my wife. We certainly bring more creature comforts--sometimes a lot more when there are no portages!--then when we are backpacking. We shave off the weight for the routes with portages, but we still bring more than when we hike. When I'm alone, however, weight often remains one of my top priorities for whether gear comes of goes. The line between the single carry and the double is a fine one indeed.

Finally, while canoe trips represent most of our multiday outdoor recreation these days, we do hike and mountaineer, so I do think double duty when I'm thinking new gear. What does that look like? That's where the tent has the clear advantage, I think. I could purchase something like a NEMO Hornet 2 tent (~2 lbs) and use it for both solo and two-person trips while saving some money (to spend on some other piece of gear, of course).

Anyway, I think you're right that I need to try some hammocks out! Thanks again for all your help.
 
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This was the first bridge hammock I made https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...e3dccb6cd95ad5

and that is getting to the edge of Ultralight IMO .... since I make all my own gear, the cottage vendors/retailers can be a bit tricky to navigate and I don't really buy much anymore. I catch your drift with mixing camping styles and company, I also have a couple of tents and several hammocks/tarps/quilts and it all gets mixed and matched to suit the trip.

I hope your exploration of things hammocky go well.

Brian
 
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This was the first bridge hammock I made https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...e3dccb6cd95ad5

and that is getting to the edge of Ultralight IMO .... since I make all my own gear, the cottage vendors/retailers can be a bit tricky to navigate and I don't really buy much anymore. I catch your drift with mixing camping styles and company, I also have a couple of tents and several hammocks/tarps/quilts and it all gets mixed and matched to suit the trip.

I hope your exploration of things hammocky go well.

Brian

That is so darn cool! Thanks for sharing.
 
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I have been following this thread, with a single lament in mind – I wish I could comfortably sleep in a hammock. That would resolve uneven, poorly drained tent site issues.

I tried hanger-fiend JSaults various hammocks, a Hennessey, a Clarks, another high-end hammock, three exemplars all properly hung by the Master himself for my sleeping pleasure.

It was not a pleasure. I can happily lie in a day hammock for hours while reading a book, inspecting the breeze in the tree tops, even dozing off and napping. But at night I sleep on my side and cannot sleep in a hammock.

I tried my damdest, in three different hammocks. I know other side-sleepers rave about the best night’s sleep ever. JSaults included.

Nope, not happening. As a form of torture I’ll tell you whatever you want to know, just lemme outa here, my shoulders are killing me and I haven’t slept a wink.

Long way of saying, before you drop the bucks on a sleep hammock system, try one (or a few) if you can. I believe the Hammock Forum folks once held get-togethers, at least before Covid-19 and social distancing.

Even if a hammock does work for you all that Dutchware, specialty tarp, bottom quilt and other hammock stuff is worth checking out

I should note that one son uses a UL Hennessey and is a sad camper if forced to sleep in a tent.
 
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