Monday, June 22, 2009

Equipment Review: ENO Single Nest Hammock


I have just returned from a camping trip to Santee State Park in South Carolina. A great time was had by all except for the daily thunderstorms that seemed to hit the park. Nothing scarier than being in a pop up camper when Mother Nature decides to rattle the cage a bit. Regardless I put some good hours into my new hammock and it performed flawlessly.

I purchased a Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest Hammockalong with some of their famous Pro model Slap Straps.The Slap Straps allow you to safely and quickly attach the hammock to two trees, they can vary in their distance from one another because the Slap Straps are completely adjustable.

When we got to Santee, I literally had the hammock setup in less than five minutes. The Single nest supports 400 lbs. and is made of high strength woven nylon. The fabric is breathable and dries VERY quickly, which was nice especially since it rained on us a few times. The cord is nautical grade and the hammock ends are karabiners. If you JUST buy the hammock you will need to figure out your own way to attach it to the trees. The hammock does not come with any method of attaching it to a tree other than the karabiner ends.



That is where the Slap Straps come in; they are fully adjustable and only need to be wrapped around the tree and run through one of the available loops, pulled tight and then the hammock karabiner attached to the loop. They adjust fully and your hammock can be placed between trees from 10 feet to almost 20 feet apart! That is the beauty of the system, you don’t have to find that perfect set of trees perfectly spaced to enjoy your hammock.

Slap Straps are also environmentally friendly because they no damage to the trees you attach them to. They are made of high strength nylon and are UV treated (as is the hammock) to resist sun damage and fading. I thought when I ordered the system that the Slap Straps were a bit expensive but I am a true believer now and you will kick yourself if you buy just the hammock and not the Slap Straps.


ENO also makes a dry tarp to hang over the hammock and a bug net system to protect you from getting eaten alive if you chose to use this as a shelter on a hiking of camping trip. The entire system is ridiculously small and light so to be honest I would probably never even consider lugging a tent on a hiking trip ever again. No tent and no sleeping pad add up to a pretty substantial weight savings. The hammock and straps weigh a total of 26 ounces and are the size of a softball, not bad in my opinion.

A few things that scare people about hammocks are flipping it, getting into it and getting out of it. There is always a risk when using a hammock but I found the Single Nest extremely easy to get in and out of a VERY stable. I was swinging in it and never once felt even remotely that I was going to flip over. If you follow their simple recommendations you will be fine. The hammock is extremely comfortable and I must admit I fell asleep in it several times while reading.

I have been in the market for a hammock for quite awhile and I am extremely pleased with the selection I made. The hammock is just what I was looking for; easy to setup, durable, and most importantly comfortable. ENO has done a nice job with the system and I recommend it highly to anyone looking for a hammock to setup when camping or looking for a complete shelter system for their next hiking trip.

Please do yourself a favor though, if you buy one of these hammocks don't cheap out; BUY the Slap Straps as well, you will be thankful you did!

NOTE: All photos are from ENO's website.

...that is all.

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9 comments:

  1. Great post Flea. That hammock looks like a winner. I've been looking for a good one and you might have sold me.

    matthiasj
    Kentucky Preppers Network

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  2. I almost got Mr. Zen one of these for Father's Day, dangit! (I got him a new pistol instead.) But now I know what he's getting for his birthday. :)

    Thank you for the review, Flea. I probably would have foregone the Slap Straps, had you not emphasized their importance.

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  3. There is one question I have to ask; Where do you put your boots and gear when using a hammock? I want to make sure no "fauna" take up residence in my equipment. Please explain as I would love to try out a hammock instaed of lugging tent and pad. Thanks!

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  4. Anon,

    If you use the dry tarp you can just place your pack underneath it. Many people take a contractor garbage bag with them and put their pack inside that and place underneath the hammock to keep it dry and critter free.

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  5. Looks comfy, and the stowability is a bonus!

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  6. That looks like a neat idea.
    YeOldFurt

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  7. Anonymous, I tie my bootlaces together and then hang off the end nearest my head. I try and orient my hammock so that face is into the wind for more comfort.

    I like hammocks too. More comfortable to sleep in the heat, as you can catch the breeze far easier than a tent. I don't get a good sound sleep though, sleeping the 1st 3 - 4 hours very well, then waking up and sort of drifting in / out. Maybe it has to do with sleeping with feet above heart?

    If camping, a compact hammock is okay, but if you have opportunities to use a larger one, the Mayan models where you sleep diagnonally or across are more comfortable. Your body is more level, and the fabric is more comfortable than the net models. Don't have a fabric model (mine is the EZ Marina in olive drab, bought years ago at Brigade Quartermaster iirc.

    Bug net really helps me sleep more comfortably. Use springy branches to form a hoop to keep netting away from body - I really need that around my face, feels claustrophobic otherwise.

    This model sounds good. I was thinking of ordering a Hennessey with built in tarp / bug screen, but this one sounds good too - Thanks Flea for a great review.

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  8. I noticed someone sleeping in this hammock last week on the AT. I use a Hennessey but spent a lot of time looking at the different options. I wrote an article comparing them if you are interested, it is at:
    http://BackpackBaseCamp.com

    Robin

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