Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set
Review by Coy Starnes
Update: July 3, 2020
I have now spent 3 nights in the Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set. The hammock is really comfortable and I basically slept like a baby each night. I liked the open feel of a hammock without any netting and if it weren’t for bugs, I would prefer this type setup year-round. The one downside of an open hammock is that gear can easily get knocked out of the hammock. And by gear, I mean my top-quilt, pillow and any thing I might want inside the hammock. Also, without an overhead ridge-line I didn’t have a place to hang my headlamp. Fortunately, I was able to keep my headlamp, phone and other small items in the big side pocket (the one the hammock is stored in). I could also easily reach out and reach my water bottle stored on the ground.
On the March 28th and April 11th overnighters it was still early enough in the spring and also cool enough that bugs were not a problem, but I knew I would need something for bugs if I planned to use the hammock in the coming months. And so, I started seriously looking for a bug net. One of the immediate problems I ran into is that many of the bug nets were designed to be used with much shorter hammocks than this 11 foot model. I did find several that would fit over an 11 foot hammock but I found one that incorporate a bug net on top and a splash guard on the bottom that came in both a 10 and 11 foot model. I ordered the 11 footer.
My first night in it revealed it worked well but not without a few problems. The Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set does not have a ridge line and to use the bug netting I needed something overhead to hold the netting off my face. The netting I bought came with a thin bungee cord that was supposed to be rigged over the hammock but I found it was much too short. I solved this by using the extra (tail end) hammock suspension. I wish they would have been long enough to meet in the middle and just connect with a carabiner but I ended up needing to use the bungee cord to close about 5 feet in the middle of the hammock. Since this is not a review of the bug net I will only say it worked great but I had to pull myself about a foot towards the head end to cinch that end closed. The hammock suspension I had rigged overhead proved to be perfect for helping me pull myself far enough to cinch the head end closed. The foot end is already cinched down and the netting is pulled over the hammock after getting in. Here is a closeup of my make do ridgeline, well at least the head end.
As an aside, on my last overnighter on June 1 I believe a deer came up to my hammock at around 3 AM. I wasn’t sure what was making the “walking in leaves” noise but it was loud enough to wake me as it made is way towards my hammock. I knew it was some kind of animal because a human would not likely be walking in the woods in almost pitch black conditions. This eased my mind a little so I basically just laid as quite as I could, but when it brushed against my hammock I raised up to reach my light hung over the improvised ridgeline. My movement caused whatever it was to bolt but I’m sure I was even more scared, it had my heart racing. It took me awhile to go back to sleep.
That’s all for now, stay tuned for my final update.
The Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set consist of an 11 foot hammock, 2 – 1 inch wide by 10 ft tree straps and 2 – 24 Kn carabiners. The hammock is offered in several colors, but mine is a two-tone blue. The hammock body is made of 210T nylon and they also call it parachute nylon. It has a listed weight limit of 600 lbs. The hammock measures approximately 11 feet long and approximately 6 ft 6 in wide. The hammocks body is actually made from 3 sections of materials. The darker blue center section is approximately 5 ft wide while the outer light blue strips are approximately 9 in wide each. This is a gathered end hammock and it uses fairly heavy cord for the loops on either end of the hammock. The hammock is stored in a stuff sack that is attached (sewn on) to the side of the hammock. I will say this much, this is a much longer hammock than most of the typical 3 section hammocks. I actually own 2 similar hammocks and the Hiker Hunger hammock is almost a foot longer than they are as illustrated in the photo below.
The tree straps are what are commonly called daisy chain tree straps. Each strap is approximately 1 inch wide and 10 feet long. The straps have a combined weight rating of 800 lbs so each strap is rated at 400 lbs. The straps are advertised as non-stretch so I assume they are some kind of polyester as opposed to a nylon strap. There is a single loop at the tree end of the strap. It is attached to the tree but passing it around the tree and running the other end of the strap through the single loop. The hammock end of the strap consists of 16 loops that are approximately 4 inches in length, 5 if you count the bar tack between each loop. They are triple bar tacked at each end of the individual loops.
The wire-gated carabiners have the Hiker Hunger logo printed on one side and the 24 Kn rating printed on the other side. And for the recorded a 24KN rating is approximately 5400 lbs. It is important to remember that the carabiners should always be oriented in the long position and the wire-gate closed for maximum strength. Side loading is dangerous but the carabiners will almost naturally orient themselves in the proper position.
The weights listed on the website appear to be pretty accurate. Here are my weights using an inexpensive scale.
Hammock 1 lb 3.6 oz
2 carabiners 2.5 oz
2 tree straps 15.2 oz
Total 2 lb 5.3 oz
The Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set appears to be a very well thought out system. Offering the hammock as a bundled with the necessary tree straps and carabiners makes it really easy to get everything needed for a relaxing hang. This doesn’t mean there won’t be other needed items for certain situations. For example, when backpacking or any overnight use, a tarp is almost always needed. Also, some kind of insulation will be needed if temperatures will be much below 70 F. And last but certainly not least, if sleeping in buggy areas, a way to keep biting insects at bay is an absolute must. I have several tarps and the needed insulation but I normally use a hammock with an integrated bug net. Hiker Hunger Outfitters does sell self-inflating pads but I prefer under quilts and top quilts. They do not offer a tarp or any kind of bug netting.
Trying it out
When I volunteered to test this hammock, I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting it to be much different than the similar hammocks I already have. Boy was I wrong. I have spent one night in the hammock so far and I must say, I am very impressed with the comfort. The extra length seems to be the main reason. It is also a little wider but I was laying on the diagonal without using the extra strips of outer material. In fact, I’d like to see this exact hammock with just the 5 foot center section. It would be slightly lighter and there would be less material flopping around.
This concludes my initial reporting of the Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set. Please stay tuned for my next update which should follow in about a month from now.