As mentioned in my last post, we just spent a few weeks getting in some quality camping time in a pair of Ontario Provincial Parks. I’m always on the look out for interesting camping gear, not to mention stuff to keep the kids entertained. This trip, I discovered something that covers off both bases: a DoubleNest Hammock from Eagles Nest Outfitters.
I’ve never had much time for hammocks. The ones I’ve tangled with in the past have always been heavy, time-consuming to set up, expensive and prone to turning into a big ball of hopelessly knotted rope. However, Eagles Nest Outfitters offered to send me one of their DoubleNest Hammocks and a set of Atlas suspension straps to try out and I decided to give the whole thing another shot. This trip, I packed the the hammock and it turned out to be a real hit.
The DoubleNest Hammock is made of nylon — it’s lightweight, breathable and dries quickly. It’s also free of the tangling issues that often plague traditional rope hammocks. Its a single piece of fabric (that fits inside a built-in stuff sack), with a sturdy aluminum carabiner clip on each end. The Atlas straps came in their own stuff sack, and, after looping each of the two straps around a suitable tree, it was a simple matter to clip the hammock so that it was suspended off the ground. The entire operation took only a few minutes, and that was for the first time we used it. Next time it should be dead simple. The straps work on pretty much any decently sized tree trunk (no horizontal branches needed for tying off), they won’t damage the tree and at just over nine feet apiece (plus the the nine feet+ of the hammock itself), there’s a fair bit of leeway in terms of finding a suitable location to hang it.
Once set up, I rolled on in and found it to be very comfortable. The fabric does a great job of supporting, while remaining breathable. You can also pretty much close the top if you wish, effectively “cocooning,” something that was popular given the abundance of flying pests this year. The DoubleNest Hammock is big enough to hold two people – somewhat snugly if they are adults — and does double duty as a swinging seat you can sit upright in. I had plans to spend some quality time reading in the hammock, but those were quickly dashed once our kids discovered it. The hammock quickly became the place to be, for all three of them and the kids from another family we were camping with.
Did I mention the hammock and straps are extremely strong? The seams are heavy duty and triple stitched, rated for 400 pounds. I have to admit, at first glance it looked too flimsy for me, but easily held. And it withstood days of multiple kids jumping in and out, swinging and generally pushing the limits. The DoubleNest Hammock came out looking good as new and actually packed back inside its stuff sack without a fuss.
DoubleNest Hammock from Eagles Nest Outfitters: $69.95
Pros: Lightweight, easy to set up, affordable, packs into an extremely compact bundle, comfortable, holds two (stood up to three kids wrestling around inside it), can be used as a swing-type seat.
Cons: When used in upright seat position the edge of the hammock can cause discomfort by cutting into the edge of your legs.
Disclosure: Eagles Nest Outfitters provided a hammock for the purposes of this review