More of a luxury than a necessity, the ENO DoubleNest (or SingleNest) Hammock is a relaxing alternative to camp chairs and picnic tables and nothing will make you feel more like a hippie than swinging in a hammock in the Northwoods.
What We Like:
Ever since receiving this as a (much hinted-at) birthday present, I’ve been really excited to test out this piece of gear, the super popular DoubleNest Hammock by Eagles Nest Outfitters. This isn’t the kind of thing I would take along on a canoe or kayak overnight (and give up precious hatch-space to) but traveling from river to creek, I’ve found myself doing a lot more car-camping and it’s a relaxing way to spend the evening writing up trip reports.
The DoubleNest Hammock is twenty-five inches wider than the SingleNest version, three ounces heavier and a half-inch larger in both directions when folded, so I thought for my purposes, bigger is better and I’m glad I went that route. I found it roomy without feeling swallowed up in it (in reality, I can’t imagine sharing this with two people but room does allow for it).
Getting into the the hammock is where (as Hanna Barbera has taught me) hilarity might ensue. There is that moment of “oh crap” when you hear the fabric and straps make a stretchy/stressed sound and you wonder if it’s going to bust and send you plummeting to the ground. But luckily as first-timer, I had no problem and once inside, I felt secure and snug as snap pea just swinging away.
The hammock and the straps are sold separately (which is kind of silly considering it’d be almost impossible to use the hammock sans-straps). I chose the SlapStrap Pro because, quite frankly, Pro tells me that they’re better than regular. After a few uses, I can’t completely vouch for longevity but right out of the silky bag they worked like a charm and were really simple to use. There are multiple loops on each strap which makes it easy to adjust to the different distances between trees that you’ll encounter.
Before deciding on the Pro Straps, I fell into the message board trap. There were a lot of people making a lot of good points about the longevity of the Slap Strap Pro material but it was the best available from ENO at the time. It should be noted that the company now offers what is clearly a better version (a Pro-Pro, if you will), the Atlas straps. I might opt for these because it’s a polyfilament webbing which tells me they should hold up a little longer (and they’re only $10 more). They do weigh a few more ounces though, so if you’re backpacker and a couple ounces are a deal breaker, you might consider the Pro Straps.
The hammock packs down fairly small and it’s generally lightweight (you do have two bags, one for the hammock and one for the straps). Still, if I’m backpacking or canoe/kayak camping, I might consider a backpacking chair over a hammock since you’re at the mercy of finding a couple of sturdy trees or conveniently placed poles on your adventures. But it’s a fun, super comfortable and relaxing piece of gear to own.
The Final Word:
A hammock is more of a luxury than a necessity while off the beaten trail but for car camping, I highly recommend this (and a great birthday present it is). I can’t imagine sleeping in this as my first choice over a tent but I can see taking an afternoon snooze in it. And according to the site, the setup is tree friendly which should bring happiness to your inner-hippie.
Eno DoubleNest Hammock
Folded Dimensions: 4 x 5 inches
Unfolded Dimensions: 118 x 80 inches
Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz.
Weight Capacity: 400 lbs.
Eno SlapStrap Pro
Material: Nylon webbing
Dimensions: 114 x 0.75 inches
Weight: 8 ounces
Weight Capacity: 200 lbs. (per strap)
Eno Atlas Hammock Strap
Material: Polyfilament webbing
Dimensions: 108 x 1 inches
Weight: 11 ounces
Weight Capacity: 200 lbs. (per strap)