Have you tried camping in a hammock? Neither had I, so I was happy to give it a try. In conjunction with National Hammock Day (pretty sure I didn’t get the day off), Grand Trunk offered to let me take their Double Hammock for a test ride. We took it with us on our recent trek to the Aspen Grove in the San Gorgonio Wilderness — an idyllic spot for laying back and gazing at the Universe.
The hammock comes in its own stuff sack that compresses the entire package down to about 9″ high by 5″ in diameter.
I loved that the stuff sack was sewn-into the hammock, becoming a handy side pocket when the hammock was hung. And you’ll never lose it.
Hanging the hammock was easy. I had to identify two load-worthy trees spaced far enough apart to allow the hammock to span between them. Proper hammock technique suggest that you should not hang a hammock over pointy rocks, branches or other objects that may cause injury if you were to somehow roll out (virtually impossible when you’re laying in the hammock, but potentially possible when getting in or out).
The nylon cord wrapped around the tree trunks, attaching to the hammock with a carabiner. It was my first time ever hanging a hammock, and it went up with no problems at all.
Once you’ve hung the hammock and tested the support, it’s time to climb in. Basically you back butt-first into a sitting position, then swing your legs up into the hammock. Piece of cake… for one person. Trickier for two adults (or maybe it was just these two).
Once you’re in, it’s like your own little cocoon. We really enjoyed looking up through the aspen trees at the sky. I’m looking forward to using this for a well-earned post-hike nap with a view.
- Super construction. It’s made of parachute nylon and nautical-grade carabiners
- Great design, including a sewn-in stuff sack (so you’ll never lose it)
- Good for the environment. Unlike a tent, you really do “leave only footprints.”
- Small and portable. When stuffed, the hammock compressed to about 9″ x 5″ in the sack and fit easily in my daypack.
- Insulation could be an issue on cold nights. On the ground, a sleeping pad helps keep a warm barrier between you and the cold ground. You don’t need a sleeping pad in the hammock, but as your bag compresses with your body weight, you will notice the cold more readily.
- Not suitable in areas without trees. In some desert areas or above the tree-line, this is not a practical option. If you can’t count on using it in lieu of a tent, it defeats the purpose.
- Doesn’t sleep two. Although the Grand Trunk Double Hammock can hold up to 400 lbs, when both Joan and I lay down in it, we were pretty uncomfortable. The nature of the hammock is that we were drawn the center. Not at all bad for a short spell of snuggling, but I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night that way. It worked well when we sat side-by-side in the hammock (feet perpendicular to the direction the hammock hangs).
The Bottom Line?
The Grand Trunk Double Hammock retails for about $65. It weights about 20 oz, it’s portable and very well built. Will I ditch my tent and become a hammock convert? Not quite yet. But we had a blast in it, and we will definitely bring it along for picnics, day hikes and car camping.
Thanks to Grand Trunk for providing the hammock for this review. I hadn’t heard of the company before, but now they are definitely on my radar, and hopefully yours, too.