Hammocks are increasingly becoming the go-to camping equipment for most people. Campers not only find hammocks comfortable but also more portable than tents.
However, bigger guys have often had trouble picking the right hammock for the job. Therefore, this post is meant to help big guys find the perfect equipment for hammock camping.
How to Choose the Best Hammock as a Big Guy
Hammocks are quite popular today among campers, backpackers, and scouting troops. The following are some of the guidelines for picking a hammock for a big guy.
Hammocks come in varying widths ranging from 48 inches/4ft to 102 inches/8.5 ft. For a big guy, consider a hammock with a width of 6 feet or larger to give you a comfortable stay. However, it’s important to note that when the hammock is too wide, it may wrap around you making you feel claustrophobic.
The length of the hammock varies more than the width. It is recommended that bigger or taller guys look for a hammock that is 9 feet long or longer.
The Suspension Systems
To hang your hammock, you must have a suspension system which consists of straps that attach to trees and something to attach the straps to your hammock, usually carabiners. Different manufacturers produce different designs ranging from webbing straps to synthetic tree slings.
When picking out suspension straps, choose longer ones with several points of attachment. The numerous attachment points will give you better adjustability thus more choices of the trees you use. Longer straps offer you more capacity to adjust your hammock position.
There’s nothing wrong with nylon straps, but with more weight than normal, nylon tends to stretch a bit. It’s not so much that you’ll end up laying on the ground in the morning, but you should attach to the trees a bit higher than normal.
Another factor to look into is the effect of the straps on the tree. It is required that you purchase tree-friendly suspension systems which are generally 0.75 inches wide or more. They should also be flat and made of either nylon or polyester webbing.
This way, your weight will be spread over a larger area thus preserving the the tree. Ropes without webbing damage tree bark!
This is one of the most vital features to check if you are a big guy. Hammocks come in a variety of weight capacities starting from 150 lbs to 500 lbs. If your weight exceeds 280lbs, go for hammocks with a weight capacity of 400lbs or 500lbs. This should provide you with more allowance to avoid straining the nylon or the suspension straps.
You should, however, note that the weight stated above refers to the static weight capacity of the hammock. Rigorous motions such as violent rocking or jumping on the hammock will reduce its structural integrity and lifespan.
Insulation of the Hammock
When going hammock camping, consider the weather of your camping site. On summer occasions, choose lightweight breathable nylon to offer free air circulation. Chilly-condition hammocks may come with extra accessories such as under-quilts, top-quilts, and sleeping pads, which are slightly more expensive. They also tend to be bulky hence less portable.
When camping in an area infested with bugs consider getting a hammock with bug protection. They come in different designs such as a 360-degrees screen model to keep away flying insects and permethrin-treated models to fend of the crawlers.
Most hammock producers provide a weatherproof tarp to protect against unexpected rains. If you are going to spend the night camping, consider carrying a tarp.
Advantages of Hammocks over Tents
Tents are More Punishing than Hammocks
Hammocks are suspended in the air while tents are pitched on the ground. When suspended, you can be free from crawling bug attacks or any sharp stones hiding among the rubble on the ground.
Consequently, tents offer a flat and hard surface that can lead to a poor night’s sleep. Though you have an option of using inflated pads, they bring about additional costs and adds to the weight of your camping carry-on. Hammocks, on the other hand, are lightweight and literally assume your body shape, giving you the best sleeping posture all night.
Besides that, a rough terrain might restrict you from setting up your tent wherever you are hiking. This aspect forces you to scout for a perfectly flat place off-site to pitch your tent. During rainy days, you can have a terrible experience if the rain or runoff seeps into the tent. Hammocks, however, cannot suffer this problem.
Hammocks Give You the Full Outdoor Experience
With tents, you have to retire to the tent when night falls. This means you will miss the view of the beautiful stars and the surreal early-morning or late-evening view. This is not the case when sleeping in a hammock since you are basically outside, just suspended comfortably in the air. In addition to that, the air flow is much better in the hammock than in a tent.
Hammocks Serves the Purpose of a Tent Plus Much More
Hammocks provide more utility while you are outdoors than a tent. When you carry a tent on your camping trail, you can only use it for sleeping. Hammocks, on the other hand, can be conveniently hung on any two trees to make the perfect seat or a chill-out spot. Hammocks can also provide an ideal environment for chatting with friends before having a quick nap. Tents tend to get rather hot and stuffy during the day and may not be a good place to hang out with friends.
Disadvantages of Hammocks
Hammocks also have disadvantages worth noting.
First, they offer no room for your pets. If you brought your dog, for instance, they would have to sleep on the ground because you risk squishing them in the hammock.
Another disadvantage is that it offers less privacy particularly if you are camping on public grounds. You will have to find the nearest bush to hide when you have to change. Though some tents come with tarps, they don’t provide full coverage.
Unfortunately, hammocks do not offer a place to store your backpack full of snacks or valuables. When it rains, for instance, they will get soaked on the ground. Finally, when there are no trees especially in the alpine zone above the tree line, you’ve got to get creative to hang a hammock.
Let’s now jump straight into reviewing some great hammocks for big guys.
The Three Best Hammocks for Big Guys
This hammock from the Eagles Nest Outfitters is a perfect camping equipment for the big guys. It measures 118 inches (length) by 78 inches (width) which should provide enough room for any body size. It also supports up to 400 lbs.
It is quite popular in the market for its multipurpose-use design. The aluminum Wiregate Carabiners and a nautical grade line makes it easy to strap on trees, poles and even walls. Consequently, it is very tough thanks to the interlocking stitching design of its canvas. Here are some of its pros and cons.
- The triple stitching, as well as the 70D tenacity breathable nylon, makes it both durable and sturdy.
- It is lightweight- weighs only 2 lb when packed hence very portable
- Allows for quick and easy setup
- It can be used for a broad range of camping needs
- It is more expensive as compared to other large-sized hammocks
- The ENO straps are sold separately
Kammok Roo is another great hammock for the big guys. It is long and wide enough to offer a comfortable sleep. It measures 120 inches by 67 inches and supports up to 400 lbs.
Most people find it quite durable and cozy. Here are some of its advantages and disadvantages.
- Roo is longer than most hammocks to support taller individuals
- The hammock is easy to unstrap and to pack
- Quite sturdy and has ergonomic gear attachments loops on either end for hanging lanterns or backpacks (three for both sides).
- Very simple, no ridgeline or knotty mods hence ideal for beginners
- Kammok Roo has an integrated stuff sack for keeping simple effects.
- The stuff sac of this hammock uses a drawstring closure found within a roll-top stuff bag. This feature makes its packing neater than most hammocks.
- Some versions of the Roo can hold up to 500lbs, which is better than the other two hammocks on our list.
- It is rather basic thus pro hikers might find it inadequate
- The extra fabric might give you a choking feel or block you from seeing outside.
- It is heavier than the other two hammocks on our list.
- The python straps that work great with it are sold separately.
TNH hammock is a favorite for most campers for its premium quality. It is quite versatile hence perfect for backpacking and hiking. Also, it is reasonably priced considering that it comes with additional features not found in other hammocks. Here are the pros and cons.
- TNH is one of the few hammocks that comes with straps. The Lumin Stich Tree Straps are very easy to use.
- It is extremely lightweight, even when you factor in the straps. It weighs 1lb 8.5oz, and 2lb 5oz (with the straps included).
- It has a compression strap on top of the backpack to keep it intact when packed.
- The carabiner is ergonomically attached to the hammock in a way that it doesn’t slide around. This is a problem with other hammocks.
- It is cheaper than the other two hammocks on our list while offering the same functionality.
- The thin nylon taffeta material is both lightweight and durable.
- TNH offers a lifetime warranty for their hammock.
- It closes up when you lie in it hence may deny you some fresh air.
- The rope attachments could be made much stronger.
These are some of the reliable hammock brands in the market today. Big and tall guys can opt for the Kammock Roo on this list since it is slightly longer. To get value for your money, consider the TNH hammock which comes with its own straps. ENO DoubleNest is a people’s favorite which you also need to try out if you don’t mind the slightly higher price.
Do you have any other hammock brands in mind that can work well for big guys? Share with us below.