Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set
Review by Coy Starnes
Final Update: November 8, 2020
The hammock is still working great and I sleep like a baby in it. Since I don’t have a lot of new material to add to the report as far as how the hammock has performed I’ll just cover my last few trips with pertinent information on how the weather effected my hammock setup.
I’ve used the Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set 3 more nights but only 2 of those count. On August 12th I did a short overnighter down in the holler behind my house. I hiked approximately 7 miles total. The low was 71 F. With such warm temperatures I used the bug net I bought. I used a synthetic underquilt rated for about 50 F but was using a 15 F top quilt. With no rain in the forecast I opted to skip setting up my tarp.
My next overnighter got cut short because one member of our hiking party was only 4 and when coyotes started howling he got scared. We decided it was best just to pack up and go home. The forecasted low was around 60 F and there was a chance of showers so I did have my tarp setup. The only unusual thing to note was I had tweaked my right knee a few weeks prior to this so we set up camp just a short distance from home. Laying in the hammock was just fine as I was able to get diagonal enough for a very flat sleeping position.
My last overnighter was on November 1, 2020. My knee was still really bothering me so this was another short hike. I actually saw a doctor about my knee and will be having a partial knee replacement surgery soon. Anyways, the low was 34 F and with no rain in the forecast I didn’t set up my tarp. I used a 10 F down underquilt and 15 F down topquilt. I slept great, waking up only once to pee at around 2 AM. The hammock has a lot to do with this but having good cold weather gear also helped tremendously.
The Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set is a great hammock. It easily handled my 250 lbs. The hammock straps are very easy to set up and while not infinity adjustable, I was able to set the hammock at a good hang angle every time I used it. It is one of the most comfortable hammocks I have ever slept in. The fact that the hammock is a lot longer than most hammocks made with the three panel design is a big reason for this IMHO. The hammock is not ideal for summer use if bugs will be a problem but this can be easily remedied with a removable bug net. The hammock is not the lightest but it has a heavier weight rating then many of the ultralight hammocks out there. I hate to use the term “beater” hammock but the Hiker Hungry Outfitters Hammock Set is a great choice for anyone who is on a budget and also a great hammock to keep around for use on short trips when weight is not a big concern. That way you won’t wear out your delicate ultralight hammock because yes, hammocks do eventually wear out. It is also great to have a spare hammock (or several…) to introduce hiking friends to the blissful sleep a hammock offers. I have introduced several friends to hammock camping that now use one exclusively.
This concludes my reporting on the Hiker Hunger Outfitters Hammock Set. My thanks to Hiker Hunger Outfitters and 4Alloutdoors for this testing opportunity.
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.