The Mayans of Mexico and Central America slept in hammocks hundreds of years ago and hammocks are still used in many Central and South American cultures. European sailors recognized their comfort and adopted hammocks for use on wooden sailing ships. It was a significant improvement over sleeping on the wooden deck. Today, among the backpacking community, a camping style gaining in popularity is hammock camping as an alternative to traditional tent camping.
Hammock camping has less impact on the environment, offers increased comfort, and provides tremendous flexibility in site selection. A hammock gets the camper off the hard, cold ground and hammock campers report experiencing a much more restful sleep. One can hang a hammock virtually anywhere, vastly increasing site options beyond the often over used, popular, established, level camp sites. All one needs is two properly space anchor points, be they trees, poles, rocks, whatever. Not a problem in most places. And while there are places such as the Western United States desert and in the mountains above the tree line where the lack of trees can be a problem, many of today’s camping hammocks can also be pitched as ground shelters. The hammock also provides a comfortable camp chair during the evenings and mornings. Changing shoes and getting dressed or undressed are considerably easier. And you can cook in front of your hammock and sit comfortably while eating. For those annoyed by insects, most camping hammocks on the market today include an integral bug net.
Traditional hammocks are “Gathered End” hammocks. They are essentially a rectangular piece of material, gathered on the ends, and suspended from the ends between two trees. They create the banana shape that everyone is familiar with.
Gathered end hammocks are especially comfortable for back sleepers and people who like to sleep in a recliner position. You can lie slightly on the diagonal and get close to laying level. But when laying on your back the material of the hammock presses on your right knee and on your left shoulder sort of torqueing your body. Some people find them comfortable sleeping in a fetal position. Additionally, the nature of the suspension can cause there to be a raised ridge of material that runs down the centerline of the hammock that for some people can make it difficult to find a comfortable position for your legs.
Bridge style hammocks are patterned after suspension bridges. The trees function as the piers or towers of the bridge. The suspension system is sewn into the lateral edges of the hammock in a catenary or parabolic curve similar to the primary suspension cables on a bridge.
The material on the sides of the hammock serve as the vertical cables of the bridge supporting the roadway or in the case of the hammock the hammock bed; thus creating a perfectly level sleeping platform just like the level road bed on the bridge. A spreader bar of some sort is used on each end to hold the hammock sides out so as not to cocoon the sleeper. Bridge hammocks are typically narrow and tend to favor sleepers who lay stretched out. They are particularly comfortable for back sleepers and work well for side sleepers. Stockier and broad shouldered people may find bridge hammocks too confining.
See our Quilt Comparison Chart We do not have a validated temperature rating from formal testing. Based on the chart below, our three season models are 30° quilts. They are baffled to 2 inches, but between the baffles the down lofts to approximately 2.5 inches. We have used them as under quilts comfortably wearing only skivvies in the mid 40s and into the high 20s and low 30s wearing fleece long johns. We’ve had an evaluation from another customer who was comfortable in the mid 30s. It should be noted that although they are baffled to 2 inches, the down can be shaken to the center of the quilt to achieve 2-3 inches of loft under your body. Similarly, our winter models are 10° quilts. They are baffled to 3 inches, and between the baffles the down lofts to approximately 3.5 inches.
We do not offer a choice in colors. Fabric availability limits our options. Our preferred color is the Dark Olive pictured above but it is not always available. In any case, we endeavor to use subdued colors in order to blend into the forest background.