No hammock we reviewed slept as well or was as heavily loaded with useful features as our Editors' Choice winner, the Warbonnet Blackbird
. From an integrated footbox to a side shelf/storage area, this innovative hammock has everything needed to transform a dull tent camping experience into an amazing hang under the stars.
Just another hard day at the office with the help of the very comfortable Blackbird.
Generally, the best and most comfortable way to sleep in a hammock is diagonally, and while a handful of products on the market come with an asymmetrical design to create more space for this, the Blackbird
is the only one reviewed that also comes with a footbox. This feature allows the user to fully use the extra fabric in the foot area and extend the body without restriction from the bug netting, resulting in maximum leg room. We found the best angle to sleep in it was with the feet slightly raised, which is also what the manufacturer recommends. The design of the suspension system allows for quick and easy adjustments, making it a breeze to achieve this perfect angle.
Another reason the Blackbird
has so much available interior space is that on either side of the head-end there are elastic guylines to pull the netting away from the face. Additionally, there is a storage shelf near the head that measures roughly two-feet square, a great feature that allows a book, jacket, or shoes to be tucked out of the way but still inside the hammock with you.
Comfort was our most heavily weighted rating metric, and we found that no other hammock slept as comfortably as the Blackbird
. So it's no wonder this hammock easily won the Editors' Choice Award yet again.
The only other models we rated as favorably for comfort, but for different reasons, were the ENO Reactor
and the Warbonnet Ridgerunner
. The Reactor
has an incredibly soft double layer of fabric and the Ridgerunner
is the only model we tested with spreader bars to create more of a cot shape and allow for easier side sleeping and even stomach sleeping. The least comfortable models tested were some of the ultralight models, like the Grand Trunk Nano 7
. While fantastic for saving pack weight, the minimalist design doesn't equate to as much comfort.
The Blackbird offered a really comfortable lay with a lot of great features. Here you can see how the bug net conveniently ties out of the way and also the superior insulation provided with the addition of the Yeti underquilt.
Pictured here from left to right are the Blackbird hammock, the Yeti underquilt, and the Mambajamba tarp. The full suite weighs 49.7 ounces, but the Blackbird by itself is only 20.1 ounces and includes a bug net.
While the Blackbird
beats the competition in most categories, it is not the lightest hammock reviewed. However, when you consider that it comes with an attached bug net, that changes the perspective a bit. At 20 ounces for the 1.1oz/30D fabric model, it's a competitive weight. Warbonnet also offers thicker fabric (1.7oz/70D) and a double layer floor if you need more protection and a little added weight isn't an issue.
We tested the Blackbird
with the Mambajamba Tarp
that weighs 16.9 ounces and the Yeti Underquilt
that is 12.6 ounces. The weight of the full package is 49.7 ounces, or just over three pounds. This is more in the range of a backpacking tent, and all three stuff sacks are rather bulky. However, reducing pack weight is not the only reason to camp in a hammock; the comfort and convenience of this model can definitely make up for its bulk. Do consider, however, that you will most likely also need a sleeping pad and sleeping bag if you plan to sleep out overnight.
Those looking to get the lightest hammock possible should check out the Grand Trunk Nano 7
at 7.5 ounces, or the ENO Sub7
at a mere 6.4 ounces. We tested the Sub7
as part of the ENO SubLink Shelter System
that was our Top Pick for Ultralight Versatility and weighs 44.6 ounces for hammock, tarp, bug net, and a stuff sack that converts into a pillow.
Ease of Setup
The buckle system on the Blackbird makes small detailed adjustments very easy at any point.
The suspension system included with the Blackbird is pretty novel and lightweight. It uses a simple girth-hitched webbing/buckle system rather than the more complicated system of the Hennessy
models or the uncertainty of a model that does not come with suspension at all. The buckle system is quick to install and easy to adjust to the proper tension or tweak at any point. This really helped secure the Blackbird's
second Editors' Choice win.
The integrated bug net ridgeline is also a much more user-friendly system than the separate pieces of the ENO SubLink Shelter System
(which comes with the GuardianSL Bug Net
). Additionally, the accessories we tested were also easy to set up, though the Mambajamba Tarp
does require you to have your own additional cord to set up a ridgeline. The Yeti Underquilt
simply has elastic loops on each end that fit over the gathered endpoints of the hammock.
The only disappointment for such a well-executed hammock package is the fact that the Blackbird
does not include carabiners or stakes for the bug net guy lines. The guy lines can be secured creatively with sticks or around rocks if you forget to bring stakes, and the suspension could be rigged by pulling the webbing out of the buckles, passing it around the tree and through the end loop, and then re-threading the buckles (as opposed to simply clipping a carabiner from the end loop to the webbing). It would be nice if everything was included, even if that upped the price a little bit, but the fact that the system is usable right out of the bag is a big plus.
Unpacking and repacking the Warbonnet is a breeze. The included stuff sack is very generous in room, and because the material is so light, there is no excessive bulk. On top of that, Warbonnet is the only manufacturer of those we tested that provides a stuff sack that opens on both ends, functioning similarly to the SnakeSkin
accessory from Hennessy. This allows you to open one side, get the suspension set up, and then open the other side while you walk across to your second anchor, making it that much easier to keep the hammock off the ground at all times.
One issue to pay attention to is the fact that the delicate guy lines for the main hammock body have a tendency to get tangled up. The manufacturer recommends zipping the lines on one side into the hammock interior before packing it away to help keep them separated.
All in all, especially considering the asymmetric design and feature-heaviness of this model, the Blackbird
is quite easy to set up. It's not as easy as open models that simply clip into an anchor, like the ENO Doublenest
or the Kammok Roo
. However none of those models include a suspension system, which is something to be considered. We found the most complicated models to set up were both the Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip
and the Hennessy Ultralite Backpacker Asym Zip
. These models involve learning a tie-off system that, while quick and easy to do once you've learned it, takes a bit of practice and is not as easy to adjust later.
The Blackbird includes a ridgeline to hold up the bug netting. Here we illustrate the perfect ridgeline tension.
Durability and Protection
The Blackbird 1.1 Single Layer
balances itself pretty ingeniously between lightweight materials and burly construction. The suspension system imparts confidence when looking at it and, while there was a moment of wondering if the thin fabric would hold us up, it never failed to impress. It's not nearly as burly as the Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip
or as insulated as the ENO Reactor
, but it's also considerably more robust than an ultralight model, like the Sub7
or Nano 7
The thin fabric does mean that extra care should be taken to not damage it, and the 1.1oz/30D weight with only a single layer means that you will feel a breeze if you're not insulated enough. However, with the addition of the luxurious Yeti Underquilt
and the large Mambajamba Tarp
, you are good to go in almost any weather. If you'd rather spend less money, you could consider upping your fabric choice to the 1.7oz/70D weight and adding a double layer instead of getting the down underquilt, which isn't cheap at $200 for the three-season model (the torso-length model that we tested) or $235 for the full-body winter version.
Protection from bugs and mosquitos in the Blackbird
is ample without feeling claustrophobic, in no small part because of the guy lines that help hold the net out at the sides. Of note, though, is the fact that these lines are made of very thin material and connected to white shock cord, and while we successfully avoided tripping over them in midnight bathroom runs, we feel that reflective cord could be helpful to see them, as a hard kick could potentially snap the light material.
The Blackbird with accessories provides a superior shelter. The Mambajamba tarp is a roomy 10 feet wide and the Yeti underquilt blocked the breeze, keeping us cozy warm.
Suffice it to say, asymmetrical hammocks do not fit two people very well, nor does a permanent ridgeline running the length of a hammock make sitting perpendicular in it very easy. On top of that, lightweight fabric needs to be handled with a bit of care and attention. However, all of this aside, the Blackbird is very versatile in the right situations. The zippered bug net can be easily stowed away on the side when not needed for desert camping or star gazing, and the hammock can fit a multitude of rain fly options on the market (we tested ours with the Mambajamba Tarp
, which is spacious, at 10 feet wide). We also tested the Yeti Underquilt
, which allowed us to hang in much colder temperatures. But even without these awesome accessory additions, the Blackbird
by itself can be a fantastic way to camp and sleep in the great outdoors. It can even be used as a bug bivy if you can't find anchors — just be sure to bring a ground cloth with you so as not to damage the bottom.
The only package we rated higher for versatility was the ENO SubLink Shelter System
. The Sub7
hammock by itself was not nearly as comfortable or versatile, but when you combine it with the shelter system it allowed for the addition or absence of a tarp and bug net and a lighter total weight.
is an optimal hammock choice, offering comfort and efficiency for a plethora of outdoor adventures. It's high scores for versatility sealed the deal for the Editors' Choice Award. Whether you're laying around in your backyard, thru-hiking, or car camping, the Warbonnet Blackbird
will serve you well and turn heads.
The Blackbird has the unique feature of a built in side-shelf to place items with you inside the hammock. No other model we tested had anything like this.
This is the go-to hammock for any camper or backpacker, as it is well-constructed, comfortable, relatively light weight, and loaded with features. It easily won our Editors' Choice Award for the second time as the best camping hammock.
With the upgrades we chose, at $485 this package is by far the most expensive of anything we tested. However, you can get the Blackbird 1.1 Single Layer
by itself for $170. This is still quite expensive, but the price is more than reasonable, as it arguably sleeps better than any tent and is almost half the cost of a backpacking tent of similar weight. That said, an apprehensive camper looking to get started with hammocks may have reservations about the investment, though we feel they will not regret the purchase. For an introductory hammock at a much
lower price, check out the Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock
, our Best Buy winner. Or for something mid-range price wise that is warm and decently versatile, check out the ENO Reactor
The Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1 Single Layer
, although a lighter version from the Blackbird
we previously tested, was impressive enough to take home our Editor's Choice Award for a second time. If you're looking for a hammock that feels as at-home on a backpacking trip as it does in your own backyard, the Blackbird
offers an impressive package worthy of your consideration.
Between the integrated features and package versatility that ensure you're covered in an array of weather and environments, the Warbonnet Blackbird
would earn our purchase if we needed one hammock for all uses. Throw it up in your backyard for an afternoon chill session or put it in your pack without sacrificing your back on a lengthy backpacking trip. The Warbonnet Blackbird
is the one hammock to rule them all.
The Blackbird in a sea of other hammocks. It had no problem blowing all these other models out of the water to defend its title as Editors' Choice.