Best Survival Hammock – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Last Updated: August 30, 2021

For most people planning a bug out bag, the choice comes down between a tent or a tarp for shelter.

However, a survival hammock is a good alternative.

Hammocks are way more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, easy to camouflage, and won’t weigh down your pack.

There’s a lot to consider before choosing a hammock as a survival shelter. Here’s what you need to know and how to pick the best one.

Best Survival Hammocks Comparison

ProductWeightWeight RatingStrapsRain FlyMosquito Net

ENO Eagles Nest
Hennesy hammock
Hennessy Expedition

2lbs 12oz250lbsYesYesYes

Everest Double

Bear Butt Double

Sea to Summit Ultralight

Our Top Pick

Best For Camping or Bugging Out

ENO Eagles Nest
Durable, light, comfortable, and a cinch to set up, the ENO Eagles Nest is our top choice.Check On Amazon

Potential Problems

To figure out the best survival hammock, you first need to know the downsides of hammock camping.  Then you can find a hammock or set up which solves these problems.

Problem 1: Cold Butt Syndrome

Hammock Underquilt
Hammock Underquilt Check On Amazon

The biggest problem with hammocks is that they get really cold.

Even if you use a sleeping bag inside the hammock, your body weight will press down on the sleeping bag allowing cold air to circulate underneath you.

Solution #1: You could use an underquilt with your hammock (basically a sleeping bag that goes around your hammock), but these are heavy, so not suitable for bug out bags.

Solution #2: Put a sleeping pad inside your hammock.

The best sleeping pads for hammocks are going to be mummy-shaped.  Otherwise, the pad won’t fit very well in the hammock and will slip around.

Problem 2: Rain

Hammocks don’t provide any protection against rain and storms.

You can use a tarp or rain fly for cover, but this will add extra weight.  Even with the tarp, you can still get wet if the rain drips down your suspension straps.

Solution: Choose a lightweight rain fly AND learn how to set it up.  Yes, you actually need to go out into the field and try setting up the rain fly!!!

As for the rain coming down your suspension straps, the easy solution is this: attach a drip cord.

This is just a piece of paracord hanging down from the straps. It will divert the rain down it instead of onto your hammock.

Here are some examples of tarp setups for hammocks.

tarp over hammock

Problem 3: Where to Keep Gear

When sleeping in a tent, you can put your gear inside.  You won’t want to sleep with your gear in a hammock.

On good days, you can just put it on the ground beneath you.  But, if it rains, your gear risks being on the wet ground and getting ruined.

Solution: One option is to get a good waterproof cover for your pack.  You could just use a waterproof backpack (which is an option worth considering for bug out backpacks anyway).

Some hammock campers will tie a ridgeline above their hammock and use this to hang gear off of.

It takes a bit of practice to tie a line tight enough to hold a heavy pack, though. Or you can use the hammock suspension straps for suspending gear.

tarp setup for hammock camping

Problem 4: There Aren’t Always Trees

Even if the terrain isn’t ideal (rocky, sandy, sloping…), you can always pitch a tent.  This is not the same with hammocks!

Solution: Plan where you will go before you pack your survival bag.  If you are going somewhere without a lot of trees, then don’t go with a hammock!

You will also want to make sure that you have enough length on your suspension straps.

If you only have short straps, then you are stuck looking for two trees that happen to be spaced at precisely the right distance.

Problem 5: Not the Best Solution for Multiple People

There are double hammocks, but I find these uncomfortable. If each person has to carry their hammock, then you might not save much weight in the end.

Solution: Actually do the math.  Calculate how much a tent setup would weigh compared to a hammock setup for your group.  Then consider where you are going and whether it makes sense to choose a hammock over a tent.

Problem 6: Mosquitoes

You don’t really have to worry about bears while using a survival hammock (any more than you’d worry in a tent, at least).

However, mosquitoes can be a HUGE problem.

Solution: Either bring along a mosquito net or get a hammock with a built-in mosquito net.  Yes, this adds weight to your gear, but it is better than getting eaten alive!

What Type of Hammock Do You Need?

Once you start looking, you’ll be surprised how many different options are available.

They range from ultralight backpacking hammocks to advanced setups for winter hammock camping.

To make your decision, these are the key things you need to look at:


As a general rule, larger hammocks are a lot more comfortable than smaller ones.  But the extra material will add weight and bulk to your pack.

Some are designed for holding two people (double hammocks). No matter how big the hammock, I find it incredibly uncomfortable to sleep two inside.  Plus, you’ll wake up your partner if you have to get up at night to go to the bathroom.

I highly advise against double hammock sleeping!  However, a double for one person means you have extra room and comfort.


Some fabrics can hold a lot of weight but will still rip easily!

You want a quality product made out of a fabric that won’t rip or puncture easily.  Otherwise, you will literally fall out of it.

Instead of trying to make sense of all of the different types of hammock materials, you could instead look at the weight rating. This will give you an idea of how sturdy the hammock is.


You absolutely do NOT want a hammock with a spreader bar.  Aside from being very impractical to carry in a bug out bag,  spreader bar hammocks aren’t safe to sleep in.  You will fall out!

But sleeping in a curve isn’t very comfortable, especially for people with bad backs.

The solution is to sleep at an angle. This position helps you achieve a flat lay.

Some better quality camping hammocks are made with an asymmetrical shape.

This helps you achieve a flat lay without having to sleep at an angle.

If you are unsure how to sleep in a hammock, check out the video below.

Double Layer:

Double layer hammocks have a pocket where you can insert a sleeping pad.  This makes them much better suited for cold weather use.

Another significant (yet often overlooked) benefit of double-layer hammocks is that they stop mosquitos from getting to you from underneath.

Yes, mosquitoes can bite through the thin fabric used in most lightweight hammocks!


You’ll need a method of suspending the hammock (such as straps or whoopie slings).  You could hang your hammock with rope, but it’s more complicated than you might think.

Unfortunately, you usually have to buy hammock straps separately.

You will probably also want a mosquito net, and a tarp/rain fly cover for your hammock.


Paying $20 for a hammock might be fine if you just want to hang out in it.

If you are looking for a survival hammock, though, plan on spending much more.

You want a hammock from a reputable brand and one that will hold up through inclement situations.


Best All-rounder: ENO Eagles Nest

The ENO Eagles Nest isn’t the best hammock available, but it performs well in almost every aspect.

It is very durable, not too heavy, comfortable, and not too hard to set up.

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ENO Eagles Nest

For an all-around good-quality survival hammock, the ENO Eagles Nest is priced right.

Do note that there are no straps, mosquito net, or rain fly included in the price.  Even when you add in these costs, the Eagles Nest is still a good value.

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Most Comfortable: Hennessy Expedition

Hennessy is one of the best brands for camping hammocks, and the Expedition is their most popular model.  It has an asymmetrical design which helps you get a flat lay and sleep more comfortably.

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The only real downside to this hammock is that it is heavy for its size.  The weight does not include the rainfly or mosquito net, so the whole setup will weigh you down more.

However, the extra weight is because the Expedition holds up so well against adverse weather and abuse.

With double-stitched seams and heavy-duty nylon, this is one of the most durable hammocks available.

Note that the Hennessy is slightly complicated to set up.  If you are new to hammock sleeping, you will want to test it out at home before taking it into the field.

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Best Double Hammock:  Everest Double

There are a lot of things that I love about the Everest Double Hammock.  The main feature is that it has an integrated bug net, which saves you from hanging up a net.

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It would be nice if it had more hang points for the bug net, though.

As it is now, the net can hang on your face.  Not only is that annoying, but mosquitoes could get to your face.

The hammock advertises itself as reversible, which is a cool feature.  Unfortunately, the zippers are one-sided, so this feature is a bit useless.

Even with these flaws, the Everest is still a great hammock and an even greater value since it comes with straps.

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Best Budget Hammock: Bear Butt Double

Even though this survival hammock is priced low, it is still a great choice.

It is very comfy and large, doesn’t weigh too much, durable, and easy to set up.

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The Bear Butt does come with rope for suspending the hammock.  However, these ropes are hard to use and not very reliable.

You’ll want to buy a pair of suspension straps.  This does add to the cost but is well worth it.

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Best Lightweight Survival Hammock: Sea to Summit Ultralight

When it comes to ultralight hammocks, I don’t think you can get any lighter than this.  The manufacturer even used a special carabineer on the hammock to shed ounces!  It even packs down incredibly small – smaller than a soda can.

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Sea to Summit Ultralight


Of course, a hammock this light is going to have its flaws.  You will feel the wind coming through the material.

The featherlite nylon isn’t very durable either, so beware of thorns and sharp tree branches.

To save weight, the hammock is smaller than most others. A 6-foot person isn’t going to be very comfortable in this hammock.  Even shorter people will have a hard time getting a diagonal lay.

But, if we are talking about survival over comfort, this is a great hammock for ultralight packing.

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Do you have a survival hammock? What do you love/hate about hammock camping? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Unfortunately you have left off of your list the Clark Jungle hammocks. This company produces a line of hammocks designed specifically for different uses. Every hammock addresses every “problem” that you mention in your article. They come in 3 or 4 season models. Each hammock is completely bug proof. They have weathershields that work in the fiercest storms and some models have internal gear storage. They even have a model that can be a hammock or a tent. If you are serious about a survival hammock, this company needs to be included in your reviews. It will undoubtedly be the number one choice, as it is already for serious hammock users.

    • Hi Marc, I’ve read mixed reviews of the Clark hammocks and they are very expensive. Its all about opinions though so thanks for giving us the heads up. If any readers are interested the Clark range is available on Amazon

  2. I have been using a hennessy for 15 years. Nothing better in a heavy thunderstorm. No problem with mosquitos either. The asym design is the only one I have tried that does not give me back pain. I have an ENO double nest. I use it for lounging, but Hennesy is far superior in bad weather.


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