Over the past year, I have read many accounts of people's experiences using hammocks in lieu of tents. There was a grand amount of appeal behind using an age-old sleeping device modernized with present-day materials and techniques. Hesitation in taking the plunge with Trail-Son around was something that kept me relying on a tent and an air mattress. By virtue of good fortune, I was blessed with an opportunity bestowed by Grand Trunk to review a hammock, putting my anticipation and reservations to the test.
This particular hammock is loaded with impressive features right out of the gate, all of which fared extremely well in comparison with other makes and models. While it starts its hammock life in a tiny stuff pack that weighs in at twenty ounces, it transforms into a very respectable hammock that spans 10.5 feet x 6.5 feet and is capable of holding 400 pounds. Upon close inspection, the seams are triple-stitched and looked great across the entire hammock. As a bonus (particularly for those of us in wetter climates), the material is mildew-resistant.
Two nautical-grade carabiners, a pair of knotted rope loops, and a small instruction card were also tucked inside with the hammock. Each knotted rope loop is about four feet in usable length, each strand being 1/4" in diameter. The included rope and hanging instructions were concise and well-illustrated.
While happy about being able to use the car as an impromptu hammock stand, my sights for sleeping were elsewhere. With a little bit of length extension via paracord and some old knot skills, I spanned the length that eluded me earlier. I am a little paranoid about the potential impact that hammock tension has on a tree's cambium, so in the absence of TreeSlings, I made sure that the anchor points had a wide distribution.
It sounds like a lot to get a hammock up, but only five minutes had passed! I would have still been trying to straighten out tent poles had I gone that route.
After testing the hammock out with my own weight, Trail-Son was all about climbing in. He was up there in no time, swaying around, and loving how it felt when he began to lay down. This is a child that does not nap, and I was having trouble getting him up!!!
Once evening came around, we set up our sleeping arrangement in the hammock as follows:
- An old, thick Mexican blanket was spread out on the bottom of the hammock as our insulating layer
- Two cheap 30° F sleeping bags were zipped together to accommodate both of us
- We're both heavily dependent on pillows, so a Tempur-Pedic pillow made its way with us (obviously car camping)
The low temperature that evening was 52 °F, with the full range of temperatures that evening and into the morning seen below.
Waking up the next morning brought forth one of the greatest feelings I've had after a night in the woods; No aches, no pains, no stiffness. This is something that I can't say I've ever accomplished, even in my greatest attempts at glamping with an air mattress and extra padding.
This was pure win. We broke down camp in minutes, felt great, and were on our way to the trails. I foresee many more hammock-filled evenings in our future.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Parachute Nylon Double Hammock for free from Grand Trunk as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Industry Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.
Gear Test, Portable Hammocks (New York Times)
Customer Reviews (Amazon.com)
Grand Trunk Double Hammock Hangs Tough (Doug Bardwell)
Grand Trunk Goods Double Hammock & Tree Sling Kit Gear Review (OutdoorTrailGear.com)
Grand Trunk Single/Double Hammock Review (Black Scout Survival)
Tips on Hammock Camping with Kids (The Ultimate Hang)