Different types of camping hammocks

9 Types of Camping Hammocks [Complete Overview]

The different types of camping hammocks can be a confusing topic for a newbie hammock camper. With so many to choose from, with different brands, models, and features – what are you even looking for, and what is right for your needs?

Well, fear not!

In this article I’ll tell you all about the different types of camping hammocks and what sets them apart. I’ve also added a very helpful table at the end, featuring a lot of the popular brands and hammock models.

Table of contents

Now, let’s explore the different types of camping hammocks.


What is a camping hammock?

According to Merriam-Webster, a hammock is “a swinging couch or bed usually made of netting or canvas and slung by cords from supports at each end”.

camping hammock

Cambridge Dictionary, on the other hand, defines a hammock as “a net or strong piece of cloth, wide enough for a person to lie on, hanging between two poles or trees to which it is attached”.

What is a camping hammock made of?

A camping hammock on the other hand is typically made of other materials, like nylon or polyester. It is held up by powerful suspension straps and carabineers, which are mostly packable and lightweight, but also strong and durable.

What else sets a camping hammock apart from a normal hammock?

This makes a strong hammock better suited for the outdoors and camping. A camping hammock is made to be slept in for longer durations, with durable and comfortable materials.

Other gear parts that set camping hammocks apart from regular hammocks

A camping hammock is typically combined with hammock camping essentials, such as a bug net, a tarp, and perhaps an underquilt.

It is also designed for extended comfort and can have extras such as storage pockets for your items while camping. Very nice for keeping your headlamp, water bottle, and other stuff.

Different brand solutions for camping hammocks

There are different designs in the world of camping hammocks, and different brands have their own twist on how they deliver camping hammocks. More on the different brand types of camping hammocks further down.

Now let’s look at the different types of camping hammocks.

Different Types of Camping Hammocks

There are many different types of camping hammocks to choose from. Each type is not always “like for like”, but that is just how the camping hammock market is organized. This article collects the different types to give you an overview.

The Gathered End Camping Hammock

The gathered end camping hammock is the image most people get in their heads when thinking about a hammock.

At each end of the hammock, the fabric is kinda bundled together – thereby the name “gathered end”.

It is a simple yet versatile design.

Each bundled end is suspended by straps or rope.

This classic design offers a lightweight and compact option for hammock campers, making it a favorite among minimalist backpackers and casual weekenders alike.

Comfort in a Gathered End Hammock

In a gathered end camping hammock, the ideal sleeping position is diagonal across the hammock, which allows the body to lie flatter and more ergonomically.

This position helps in reducing the cocooning effect and the uncomfortable pressure points often associated with narrower hammocks.

When you lie on a diagonal, you’ll be snoozing off fairly easily as it is a comfortable hammock for most people.

The gathered end hammock is good for side sleeping, and back sleeping, but you will be another kind of special to sleep on your stomach in one.

Materials Used In Gathered End Camping Hammocks

Typically, these hammocks are made from materials like ripstop nylon or polyester. Ripstop nylon, in particular, is renowned for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to tearing and ripping, making it an excellent choice for varied outdoor conditions.

Pros and Cons of the Gathered End Camping Hammock

The primary advantage of the gathered end hammock is its simplicity and lightweight nature, making it easy to pack and carry.

  • Simple
  • Basic
  • Lightweight
  • Packable
  • Customizable
  • All the way from cheap to premium choices

While the basic design lacks some of the protective features such as built-in bug nets or rain covers, gathered end camping hammocks on the more expensive side sometimes have these features.

While perfect for a sunny, calm day, you might need additional gear for protection against insects, rain, or colder temperatures.

Gathered end camping hammocks are easy to set up

Ease of setup is another perk of this hammock style. With the use of tree straps, which are often included or available as an accessory, setting up a gathered end hammock can be a matter of minutes, leaving more time to enjoy the natural surroundings.

As gathered end hammocks don’t spread out like bridge hammocks do, it is easier to get your entire camping hammock under your tarp – when using one.

Note, if you use some tips and tricks you can have it up in 10-20 seconds!

A very versatile type of camping hammock

Finally, the versatility of the Gathered End Hammock makes it a popular choice for various outdoor activities, from hiking and backpacking to simple leisure time in the backyard or at the beach.

Its ability to be packed into a small, lightweight bundle allows for easy transport on any adventure. Furthermore, they are pretty easy to handle, and get both in AND out of.

These come in cheaper variations, such as Wise Owl Hammocks or TTTM, all the way up to Dream or Warbonnet hammocks. Obviously, this makes the gathered end camping hammock available to the beginners and enthusiasts alike.

The Bridge Camping Hammock

This type of camping hammock provides an innovative design

Unlike the traditional gathered-end hammock, the bridge camping hammock stands out with its unique, flat-laying design.

Bridge hammock spreader bars

This design features a flat, non-gathered bed suspended between two spreader bars at either end. The spreader bars maintain a more uniform shape, creating a flat and stable sleeping surface, akin to that of a traditional bed.

Some bridge hammocks have saddle bags on the sides or storage pockets for items as a part of their unique design. For example the Warbonnet Ridgerunner or the Haven Tent.

Material choices and durability of a bridge hammock

Bridge hammocks are often constructed from durable, lightweight materials such as ripstop nylon or polyester.

These materials ensure a combination of comfort and long-lasting durability, essential for withstanding various outdoor conditions.

The spreader bars are typically made from lightweight metals or reinforced plastics to provide strength without adding significant weight. However, bridge hammock tend to be heavier than gathered end hammocks.

Comfort in the bridge hammock

The most notable advantage of bridge hammocks is their exceptional comfort, as they are known for getting the “flattest lay” where camping hammocks are concerned.

In other words, if you want to make your camping hammock more comfortable, you might want to try out a bridge hammock.,

The flat sleeping surface reduces the cocoon effect and the feeling of being squeezed, common in gathered-end hammocks. Gathered end hammock users who are getting shoulder squeeze can benefit from trying out a bridge hammock instead.

Furthermore, this design allows for a more natural sleeping position. Particularly beneficial for back and side sleepers. I can sleep perfectly fine on my stomach as well, in my bridge hammock.

Additionally, the reduced curvature of the hammock can help in avoiding the discomfort of ‘banana-shaped’ sleeping. You sleep straight on in this hammock, as there really isn’t any benefit of sleeping on the diagonal.

Go right ahead and spread out, as that is a perk of the bridge hammock.

Bridge hammock setup

Setting up a bridge hammock generally takes a bit more time compared to the gathered-end type due to the inclusion of spreader bars.

However, the added stability and comfort often make the extra effort worthwhile.

Bug and weather protection in a bridge hammock

Many bridge hammocks come with or are compatible with various accessories such as bug nets or rain tarps, making them suitable for a range of camping conditions.

These accessories can easily be attached to the hammock, providing comprehensive protection against insects and weather.

A slightly bigger hammock setup to pack into your backpack

While bridge hammocks offer superior comfort, they tend to be slightly bulkier and heavier than traditional hammocks due to the spreader bars, suspension, and more robust material.

This makes them more suitable for car camping or short hikes rather than long-distance backpacking or ultralight hammock camping.

Use Cases for the bridge hammock

Ideal for campers who prioritize comfort and a bed-like sleeping experience, bridge hammocks are excellent for weekend camping trips, car camping, and short hiking excursions.

That is not to say you CAN’T use them for longer hikes or camping trips, as many happy hammock campers do just that.

Nevertheless, they are perhaps especially favored by those who find the traditional hammock style uncomfortable or claustrophobic.

Examples: Warbonnet Ridgerunner, Haven Hammock Tent

Hybrid camping hammocks / 90° camping hammocks

In this category, we have some unique camping hammocks that sometimes go under different names.

The commonalities, however, is that they are combining or innovating, in some way or form, the existing type of camping hammocks.

Here you can find hammocks like AMOK, which is a transverse, unique hammock type.

You can recline in it and use it as a chair. It is also great for stomach sleeping.

The Haven tent could also be mentioned here, as it is a bridge hammock, but also doubles as a tent. In other words, a hybrid type of camping hammock.

Ultralight camping hammock

One could argue that the ultralight camping hammock setup is another type of camping hammock.

The ultralight camping hammock usually is defined by:

  • Lightweight
  • Small, packable
  • Expensive

Apart from being lightweight, these hammocks are incredibly compact. When packed, they can be as small as a softball, taking up minimal space in a backpack.

This is a camping hammock type, where the purpose of the hammock (or entire hammock setup) is to shave weight and get the most comfortable hammock you can get for as little weight as possible.

These tend to get expensive as materials are swapped for lighter ones.

They usually come with simple suspension systems like whoopie slings, tree straps, or lightweight carabiners, like for example, one of the best hammock straps – the ENO Helios Ultralight Hammock Suspension System, which many prefer.

Different layer types of camping hammocks

Single layer hammock

A single layer hammock is pretty standard. If you are worried about the grams and the ounces and the pounds, a single layer hammock could prove more effective for the gram-shaving ultralight hammock camper.

The drawback, however, is the fact that you don’t get a pocket for an underpad in your hammock. Also, naughty mosquitoes and other bugs have easier access to your bottom part, if you plan to camp without a bug net.

double layer hammock

Double layer hammock

A double layer hammock, on the other hand, will get a pocket between the layers, where you can put your sleeping pad. Bugs will also have a harder time getting to ya!

It will pack a bit heavier as you are carrying more fabric.

Different types of camping hammocks to accommodate several people

When choosing from camping hammocks, they can range from:

  • 1-person camping hammock
  • 2-person camping hammock
  • 3-person camping hammock

In my experience, a camping hammock isn’t practically capable of several people in one unit for any other purpose than chilling out for a bit.

When sleeping through the night, however, it is hard to share a hammock, whether it is listed as a 1 or 2-person hammock. In practicality, a 2-person hammock is often bought as a measure of getting more space for one person camping in it.

However, you DO FIND examples like the Tentsile 3-person Trillium camping hammock. It is a massive thing, and I can’t really say how comfortable it is, as I haven’t tried it myself.

types of camping hammock brands

Different types of camping hammocks – the brands

Here is a table I’ve gathered of different popular brands and model names in the world of hammock camping. It’s an insight and inspiration rather than a complete list, but it will serve as a good starting point for various types of camping hammocks.

BrandModelTypeFeaturesProsPrice (26.01.2024)
WarbonnetBlackbird XLCUltralight BackpackingWeight: 1lb 5.75oz – 2lb 1.75oz, Length: 132″, Width: 63″, Materials: Single/Dual layers, Max Capacity: 275-400 lbsVersatile setup, Built-in bug netting, High-quality materials$210 (approx.)
WarbonnetRidgerunnerUltralight Bridge HammockWeight: 1 lb 1.75 oz – 1 lb 8.6 oz, Materials: Single/Dual layers, Weight Capacity: 200-250 lbs, Includes net top, stuffsac, 4 Amsteel dogbones, apex bucklesComfortable flat lay, Durable, Versatile for different seasonsStarts from $130.00
DutchwareChameleonModular HammockLength: 11 feet, Width: 57 inches, Fabric Options: Hexon 1.0/1.6, Cloud 1.4, Customizable, Reversible zipper, Dyneema/Polyester strapsHigh-quality construction, Highly customizable, Flexible setup optionsStarts from $135.00
Dream HammockSparrowPremium HammockLength: 11 feet, Directional Lay: Right, Fabric: 1.2 Mtn-XL, 1.6 HyperD, etc., Zipper System, Customizable4 Season versatility, Customizable, Easy entry/exit$195.00 – $212.00
Amok EquipmentDraumr 5.0Flat Lay HammockWeight: 1285g – 1390g, Dimensions: SL: 16 x 22 cm, XL: 16 x 23 cm, Capacity: 180 kg max, Suspension straps: 290 cmComfortable flat lay, Versatile use, Easy setup$274.95 – $324.95
Haven TentsHaven XLLay Flat Hammock TentWeight: 6 lbs 15.5 oz, Dimensions: 78″ long, 24″ wide, Weight Capacity: 285 lbs, Includes insulated pad/mattressLay-flat design, Versatile setup options, Includes insulated pad$274.95 – $324.95
Wise Owl OutfittersSingleOwl & DoubleOwlCamping HammockMaterial: 210T Parachute Nylon, Size: SingleOwl: 9ft long, 52″ wide; DoubleOwl: 10ft long, 6.5ft wide, Weight Capacity: 500 lbsGood value, Comfortable, Variety of colorsSingleOwl: < $30, DoubleOwl: $47.23
Ticket To The MoonOriginal Pro HammockCamping HammockMaterial: Parachute Nylon 64g/m2, Weight: 950g, Maximum Load: 150kg, Width: 200cmComfortable flat lay, Effective mosquito net, Sustainable production£111.72
LesovikDrakaIntegrated Hammock SystemMaterial: Nylon ripstop, Mosquito Net: Polyester mesh, Weight: 760 g, Dimensions: 300 x 150 cm, Max Load: 250 kgSpacious, Lightweight, Integrated mosquito net€189.00
Hennessy HammockVarious ModelsCamping HammockMaterials: Tightly woven fabric, mosquito mesh, Gear loft, Detachable rainfly, Stuff sack, TreeHugger webbing strapsInnovative design, Durable, CustomizableVaries by model

This table provides a quick overview of each brand’s hammock model, its key features, advantages, and pricing. For more specific details or current prices, it’s best to visit the respective brand’s official website.

Conclusion on the different types of camping hammocks

In this article, we’ve pretty much covered everything there is to know about different types of camping hammocks.

From what a camping hammock is, to the different types of camping hammocks, and an overview of different popular camping hammock brands and models.

You can use this information to get a feel for which type of hammock is right for you, or a friend.

I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I enjoyed making it. Share it with a friend that needs it 😀

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