Whether hunting for waterfalls, camping or thru-hiking, it all requires the adventurer to stock up on gear to survive or to be comfortable. In fact, several pieces of equipment are always needed when going into wilderness’ embrace such as tents, camp stoves, flashlights and water purification systems, but there’s one more that should be on everyone’s list: hammocks.
Hammocks are good for a ton of reasons, from sitting on them to sip coffee on a morning hike to using them as a primary sleeping arrangement when camping. In recent years, the brands ENO and Serac have taken over the parachute hammock industry by storm with their lightweight, packable hammocks that are incredibly easy to install. In fact, both brands’ hammocks come in a variety of sizes and colors, but one thing remains the same—their ease of use and their ability to install anywhere. We don't get out as much as we want during the week because of work and things, but we like to set up the hammock in the office for some chill time.
Both hammocks are made up of rip-stop nylon that protect against any tears or rips, and coupled with the straps; they are capable of holding up to 400 pounds. Both brands offer accessories that promote the viability of the hammock as a tent alternative such as rain-covering roofs, and bug nets to protect against disease-ridden mosquitoes. The hammocks are available for purchase on Amazon and their respective websites, but the ENO is stocked at brick-and-mortar stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Although the brands may be similar, they do differ in cost at least, but not by much. An adventurer looking to buy a hammock from ENO—like the narrow, entry-level hammock the Singlenest—would have to buy the hammock itself for $60 and then also buy the Atlas straps for another $30. The much roomier ENO hammock, the Doublenest, is $70 and it can comfortably hold two people, although it is perfect for one person looking to have plenty of room. Again, however, the straps are sold separately.
On the other hand, Serac likes to bundle its hammocks and straps, but people have complained that the packaged-in straps are not big enough to go around thicker trees. One way to fix this problem is to buy the straps separately like—ironically—the very well made ENO Atlas straps. Serac has a couple of hammocks for sale too, like the single person Classic, or the two-person Sequoia XL; cost for the hammocks range from $80 for the Classic to $100 for the Sequoia XL, but the straps are included. As of the time of writing, Serac is currently having a major sale, and their hammocks are 50 percent off. There are also bundles on the Serac site for the hammock, straps, rain covering and bug net.
Setting up a hammock is not difficult, all you need are two trees or tree-like structures, and the hammock is ready for some chill time. It is important to point out, that users should set the straps at least five feet off the ground to provide stability and so that your hammock isn’t a few inches off the ground. ENO suggests that the hammock be no more than 18 inches off the ground, but then again, just use common sense. More importantly, you can set up the hammock in a park while you read a book, or on the trail after a long day of hiking. Not to mention, hammocks are an easy way to sneak in a quick nap or to quietly study under the shade of a tree for students on college campuses. Several outdoor adventurers have even let go of their tents and opted to use hammocks as their primary source with a rain covering overhead for shelter. Pricing may differ depending on the brand and size of the hammock, but it truly deserves a slot in any travelers backpack.
The verdict is that hammocks are cool, and you need one because they are awesome. Both brands, ENO and Serac, have similarly made high-quality hammocks for around the same price. ENO can be found in stores, Serac not so much, but both are sold in their respective stores and on Amazon. ENO sells the straps separately, and Serac bundles them, though some people say they are not as good when wrapping them around more robust trees. Personally, I bought the ENO Doublenest with the Atlas straps because I could not wait to have it shipped, and I love it, I cannot wait to go hiking and bringing it with me.
We like to set ours up in the office to remind us of the outdoors, and—this is between us—it is a great way to take a quick power nap when the boss is not looking. We would like to see where you have gone hammocking and your favorite places to relax on your hammock. Send us your stories or your pictures, and we will add it to this article. We will hear from you soon, but for now, get up and get going.