What is a camping hammock?

So, what’s the difference between a normal hammock and a camping hammock? Well, a camping hammock is designed to be set up in the trees or at basecamp and are used for both sleeping in and relaxation instead of sleeping in a ground tent. Because they’re lighter, they’re often used as backpacking hammocks.

There are 3 variations of camping hammock:

  • Camping Hammock Only: Suited to warmer weather with low chance of rain.
  • Hammock and Tarp: If you’re expecting rain then you can set up a tarp over your hammock, though this might not give full protection from wind and sideways rain.
  • Hammock Tent: A hammock tent is fully enclosed and usually has a built-it insect mesh and a built-in or removeable rainfly. These are the most suitable for unpredictable weather as they offer you full protection from insects, wind and rain.

Why choose family hammock camping?

Compared to taking a tent with you, hammock camping offers quite a few benefits.

  • Versatility: Hammocks are far more versatile and can be set up anywhere you have suitable trees. This means that you can camp in places that would otherwise be unsuitable giving you access to a much wider range of possibilities and potentially stunning views.
  • Added Comfort: As they’re raised off the ground, you don’t need to worry about sticks, stones or rough ground. It also doesn’t matter if you’re camping above uneven or damp ground.
  • Adventure: Let’s be honest, kids (and adults) love camping in hammocks, there’s something about them that promotes freedom and adventure. They’re such a unique campsite addition for most campers that you’ll be able to create some really special memories.
  • Lightweight: Depending on which hammock you are using; they can be extremely lightweight and perfect for backpacking and bikepacking. However, even the heavier hammocks are often much lighter than carrying a full ground tent along with you. This means you and your family can journey further away from cars and really explore.

What to look for in a family camping hammock

Not all family camping hammocks are created equal, so there’s a few things you should consider when you’re looking for a hammock for your next family camping adventure.

  • Capacity: Firstly, if you’re camping with multiple people (say two adults and two kids) you need to be sure that the hammock is strong enough to support all of you. Especially when considering that kids like to move around and bounce a lot.
  • Size: As with the above, are you all going to fit onto the hammock? Most hammocks are designed for a single person and while there are a handful of double hammocks available finding ones big enough for more than three people will be tricky.
  • Comfort: There’s no use picking up a nice big hammock, if you’re all just going to end up squashed together in the middle. One of the biggest downsides to a hammock, is that they sag. When they sag, everyone rolls into the middle together. This can be quite cosy, like a big family burrito, but after five minutes or so, not particularly comfortable. Tentsile’s hammocks have a taut base with reinforcing straps to prevent this and create separate sleeping bays for each occupant.
  • Set-up: The majority of hammocks are pretty easy to set up, however as they increase in size and weather protection, they also increase in complexity. Also, consider that your kids may want to help out when setting up, so a simple setup is ideal. Our range of family hammocks are easy to set up as you can see below.

Best camping hammocks for families with small children

Our Safari Trillium Giant 3-Person Hammock was designed to hold up to 400kgs / 880lbs and has ample space for three adults or two adults and two children.

Not only that, but the reinforcing straps create three separate sleeping bays. So even though dad is probably heavier, you won’t all roll into the middle, but stay comfortable in your own little “pocket”.

To set up you simply attach the three straps and ratchets to the corners of the hammock, wrap the straps around the trees, pull to create a bit of tension, thread through the ratchet and tighten. Our founders have actually set up our hammocks blindfolder before in under 10 minutes, so you should have no problem getting it up just as quickly with your eyes open!

Best camping hammocks for families with older children

At 6m long (on each side), the Trillium XL it has plenty of space for six adults or four adults and four kids. This makes it perfect if you have older children or teenagers or if you want to go camping with siblings, nephews and nieces.

The Trillium XL will hold up to 550kg / 1200lbs and is more than enough for six average-sized adults.

As with all our hammocks, the Trillium XL is easy to set up and getting your kids involved is all part of the magic of camping.

Michael Parker