When out in the backcountry, the hammock is one piece of gear I hear mentioned all the time while discussing ‘what’s new’ or I’m involved in a ‘is it worth it’ type of gear discussion. It generally starts with a backpacking trip and someone sets up their hammock. In a group, you will inevitably hear, “Man, I knew I should have brought mine” or “I’ve been wanting to get a hammock for a while now.”

Hammocks can be a great alternative to a tent, especially in the summertime. Although, it doesn’t need to be summer to enjoy the luxuries of a hammock. There are plenty of ultralight minimalists that use a hammock throughout the year. With a warm rated sleeping bag and the right accessories/weather barriers, you can use a hammock just about anywhere there is a place to set one up. If you live in an area with minimal trees, rock outcroppings work great and you just have to be a little more strategic with your location. If you live in the arctic tundra, well, you may be out of luck.

Things to consider when buying a hammock:

  1. Is this to save weight?
  2. Am I trying to sleep more comfortably?
  3. Will I be using this year round or just during warmer weather?
  4. Have I borrowed one and slept in it for a couple of nights before making the purchase? This is more important for the people who are purchasing a hammock because they think it will help them sleep better. For many, they will, but it’s better to be sure before you spend the money.

We had the chance to lounge around in some hammocks and get the down-low a few of our favorite models while at Summer Outdoor Retailer. Resident dirtbag Leo has a variety of models with him on his travels from Alaska to Argentina. We’ll have some full reviews of these items in the near future. Until then, check out videos below on each of our favorite models from the show.

There is a design for every type of hammock lounger or sleeper and any of these models will make a great gift for the holidays or for a birthday.

Lawson Hammocks – The Hammock that’s a tent. This is the hammock you want if you’re looking to completely replace your tent or want something with that is reasonably light, gives full weather coverage, and adds versatility. They are a small company that puts a ton of effort into their product. Get it here.

Kammok – Durability, strength, and accessories galore. Kammok has a crazy amount of variety and includes sleeping bags and tarps that integrate with their hammocks. From ultralight to comfort lounger, they produce the most variety we’ve seen. Get your Kammok hammock here.

Grand Trunk – The camouflage hammock (released later this fall). They’re switching all of their hammocks over to a double version. Why? Because who doesn’t want more room when they sleep? The Kryptec model is perfect for the soldier or hunter who is running solo and ultralight in a forested environment. Get your Grand Trunk gear here.

If you have experience with any of these brands or have a favorite model, please, tell us about it in the comments below, on Facebook, or through the Comms Check.