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How We Tested Hammocks

By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Just another hard day at the office with the help of the very comfortable Blackbird.
Just another hard day at the office with the help of the very comfortable Blackbird.

After a winter "hanging around" at backcountry campsites, campgrounds, and city parks, we were able to evaluate how all 11 models performed in a multitude of environments. Each product was rated on the same criteria: comfort, weight, ease of setup, protection/durability, and versatility. While some were easier to test than others, each time spent hanging was a fresh and exciting experience worth repeating.

We evaluated comfort for sitting, lounging, and sleeping each time a hammock was pitched. Our reviewers tested multiple positions to find the ones that were the most comfortable for each model. Sometimes the difference between a sore neck and dreamtime was scooting down an inch, adjusting the tension, or laying more diagonally. We experimented a lot and had fun doing it.

Material specs for each hammock are included, but we tell you what they feel and perform like in the real world. Throughout the reviews, we note fabrics and connectors that feel comfortable and robust and those that seem like they need to be treated with kid gloves.

We weighed each model, loaded each one into a backpack, and compared sizes to see which are the best to carry into the backcountry and which would fare better at a car camping site. We set each one up multiple times in different environmental settings to determine ease-of-use.

We tried accessories, used every pocket, fumbled with sleeping pads, and generally moved around inside the hammocks a whole bunch in order to get a well-rounded sense of their versatility. We hope our adventures and experiments inform your decisions on what gear to buy and inspire you to get outside and create amazing memories.

Yay hammocks!
Yay hammocks!

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