Best Hammock Tents

Updated December 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
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Buying guide for Best hammock tents

Lounging in a hammock feels downright luxurious, so why not try a hammock tent? It’s easy to understand the appeal of these popular hanging tents. Suspended in midair, you don’t have to worry about crawling bugs, wild animals, rain runoff, or the discomfort of lying atop hard ground, rocks, or mud. Further, you don’t disturb the ground beneath you, leaving little trace that you camped there in the first place.

However, a hammock tent is a bit unconventional, so you might be wondering if there are any drawbacks to using one. In this guide, we cover the pros and cons of hammock tents, exploring various styles, sizes, suspension systems, and other features that make this product stand out.

If you’re in the market for a hammock tent or even considering trying one, we encourage you to read on. If you’d like a few recommendations, check out our favorite hammock tents we spotlight here.

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If you plan on camping often in your hammock tent, choose one with a higher weight capacity, as these tend to have a more durable design.

Key considerations

Gathered end vs. bridge hammock tents

Gathered-end hammock tents: These hammock tents are wider in the middle and gathered at the ends, much like traditional hammocks. They tend to be lightweight and simple in design. They are generally less roomy than standard hammocks, and some people think they are less comfortable than bridge hammock tents.

Bridge hammock tents: Bridge hammock tents are more of a flat shape, courtesy of the spreader bars on the ends of the hammock. Because these hammock tents do not end in points, they offer more room than gathered-end hammock tents.

Size

If you are tall, you probably are familiar with the “feet hanging over the end of the bed” issue. In that same vein, you should be sure to order one a hammock tent that will accommodate a person of your height. Check the product specs for this information.

Capacity

Weight capacity is a key consideration, particularly if you anticipate adding a lot of weight to the tent. Note the weight capacity of a tent before buying it, and for safety’s sake, do not surpass that weight limit.

To calculate the weight capacity you need in a hammock tent, add your weight plus the weight of any other people or gear you plan to take into the tent. Weight capacity varies depending on the product. Some hammock tents can hold 700 pounds or more.

Occupancy

Some hammock tents can hold two people. While a hammock tent built for two will be larger, it will still be a tight squeeze. For more than one person, we suggest that a bridge hammock tent may be preferable to a gathered-end hammock tent.

Setup

While you won’t need to deal with tent poles, some setup challenges still present themselves with hammock tents. For one, you’re going to need trees that stand the correct distance apart, and the trees must be thick enough to support your weight. You will also need to figure out how to use the suspension system that attaches your tent to the trees and how to set up other elements that come with the tent, such as mosquito netting or a rainfly. A detailed instruction manual is a valuable aid to help you quickly and safely set up your hammock tent.

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Did You Know?
An advantage of hammock tents: you don’t need to spend time searching for a flat surface… or clearing one for yourself.
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Features

Materials

Hammock tents may be made from cotton or nylon. If you’re struggling to choose between the two materials, consider how you plan to use the hammock tent. Cotton is a super comfortable option to just hang out in, and it is great for light, occasional use. However, cotton can be heavy to carry, so if you’re hiking to your camping location, you might want something lighter.

Nylon is a durable synthetic material that is lighter than cotton and also more waterproof. If you plan to hike to your camping destination, a nylon hammock tent may be preferable.

Suspension system

While you won’t have poles and stakes to deal with when setting up a hammock tent, you will have a variety of other elements collectively known as the tent’s suspension system. While some tent setups involve simple nylon rope and carabiners, others include tree slings or webbing straps to limit damage to the trees. Regardless of the system used to attach the tent to the trees, it should be adjustable so you can easily tweak it as needed for the best tent placement.

Mosquito netting and rainflies

Some hammock tents ship with mosquito netting and/or a rainfly. For tents that don’t, you will need to supply your own, which adds to the overall cost. Of course, neither mosquito netting nor a rainfly are mandatory for use with a hammock tent, but both can help you be more comfortable.

Zippers

All tent zippers should be durable and rust-resistant. Double zippers that allow you to open a tent from either end provide better access.

Pockets

While in-tent storage space is often minimal with hammock tents, some do include pockets that can be used to store items while you are sleeping, such as a flashlight or your phone.

Carrying bag

Any hammock tent you are considering should ship with a carrying bag to store the tent when it’s not in use. A bag with a drawstring or another method for securing and carrying it is ideal.

Some hammock tents can also be set up on the ground. If you occasionally camp where trees are sparse, this is a great option.

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Hammock tent prices

Inexpensive: The simplest hammock tents cost less than $40. Many of these have neither a mosquito net nor a rainfly. These tents tend to be smaller and less durable that their pricier counterparts, often with a maximum capacity of one person.

Mid-range: The majority of hammock tents cost $40 to $70. Regular hikers and campers will find a variety of choices in this price range. These tents tend to feature a higher capacity/occupancy, enhanced durability, and other nice-to-haves such as mosquito netting and a rainfly.

Expensive: Serious hikers and campers will want to consider hammock tents that cost more than the high average of $70. These tents are often larger, super lightweight, and the very best in terms of durability and longevity.

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Did You Know?
To set up a hammock tent, you will need two sturdy trees that are about 10 to 15 feet apart.
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Tips

  • Assess the quality of the hardware when the tent arrives. It is hard to judge the quality of tent ropes and carabiners when ordering a hammock tent. If it arrives and you discover hardware or rope that is of lower quality, consider replacing them before taking the tent out.
  • Do not overload your hammock tent. Forcing the tent to hold more than its stated capacity could lead to injury if the tent falls. It could also decrease the longevity of the tent by putting undue stress on it.
  • Plan ahead to stay warm. While hammock tents are great for summer camping, they can become quite cold in other seasons. You can offset this by adding a sleeping pad, but note that this will increase the overall weight put on the tent.
  • If you’re a stomach sleeper, think carefully before purchasing a hammock tent. These are usually much more comfortable for back sleepers, particularly tents with gathered ends.
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When buying a rainfly for your hammock tent, make sure it is large enough to completely cover the length and width of the hammock.

FAQ

Q. Does the color of my hammock tent matter?

A. Yes and no. Some hammock tents only come in one color, so you don’t have a choice. If you have a favorite color and really want that color, of course, you may wish to keep looking until you find a tent of that shade. Some hikers/campers prefer to select a camo print or forest shade to better blend into nature and avoid being noticed.

Color can also play a role in how warm a tent gets. Lighter tents reflect sunlight more efficiently, making them cooler. Darker tents absorb light and may be warmer. Mind you, because a hammock tent is tied between two trees, the shade factor may limit the sunlight’s effect on its temperature.

Q. What are some of the disadvantages of a hammock tent?

A. We’ve spent a good deal of time extolling the virtues of hammock tents, but what are the downsides of hammock tents as compared to traditional tents?

  • The need for trees: Whereas a traditional tent just needs a spot of earth on which to sit, you need two trees for the majority of hammock tents. The trees must be sturdy, correctly distanced, and located away from dead trees that could fall and really mess up your camping trip.
  • Limited space: Hammock tents are mostly for sleeping. You can’t easily do something like change your clothes inside of one. You also will need another storage option for your gear.
  • Limited seasonality: Hammock tents are primarily summer tents. A traditional tent is going to be much warmer when the temperatures dip.
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