5 Best Hammock Tents For Your Survival Pack

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: January 3, 2019

Hammock TentAt the end of the day, nothing feels better than kicking off your boots and settling in for a good night’s sleep.

That goes double in a survival situation where you’ve been on the move all day!

That’s why your choice of survival shelter makes a huge difference.

A cabin or other permanent structure allows you to have a real bed and get the best sleep. But a traditional mattress isn’t very portable, even with a vehicle.

Most people reach for a tent when the situation calls for mobility.

Tents of all kinds are getting lighter and more compact every year, with great features.

And they’re ideal IF you have space and flat ground to pitch a tent, but they leave you on the ground. Because of this, a tent isn’t always a viable option in wet conditions, on uneven terrain, and in tight spaces.

For those reasons, I’ve been testing out hammock tents for the past few years.

They combine the best features of both hammocks and tents. Leaving you with an excellent shelter option for a lot of different conditions.

Plus, hammock camping is becoming more popular for backpackers and minimalist campers.

So today, we’re going to deep dive into the world of hammock tents, specifically:

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Hammock Tent Setup In The Woods

Best Hammock Tent Features

With the explosion of hammock options available, there are plenty to choose from.

I’ve even seen them on display at home improvement stores!

But the full range of options means that many of those hammocks aren’t what you’re looking for.

Let’s look at the features you need from your hammock tent:

Lightweight

If it’s not lightweight, you won’t want to carry it anyway.

We’re talking a couple of pounds total, which is on par with a single-person backpacking hammock tent.

Compact

A compact design keeps the pack space devoted to your hammock to a minimum and allows you to carry a smaller pack.

You can compress my favorite hammock down to the size of a softball. Adding in the tent and all the lines for rigging, it’s still smaller than my water bottle!

Durable

If it’s not durable, you can guarantee that it will fail when you need it most.

Look for clean, even seams and quality materials to set your mind at ease.

Reinforced attachment points and multiple rows of bar stitches mean added durability. This is especially crucial for hammock tent longevity in harsh conditions.

Easy To Use

There are lots of intricate tent hammock designs out there that have tons of options.

Some of them look like a multi-room tents suspended from 3 or more trees. But these hammocks take longer to set up and add to their weight and volume.

Go for a simple design that you can set up with minimal effort.

You’ll appreciate the ease when you’re stumbling around in the dark with a headlamp!

Protected

A survival hammock tent isn’t made just for lazy days in the backyard; you have to feel safe and secure to doze off.

This means a well-rigged rainfly for protection from the elements. You also might want a complete bug netting system to keep the insects from eating you alive.

Comfortable

At the end of the day, none of these other things matter if you aren’t comfortable enough to get a good night’s sleep.

Look for a tent large enough to fit you (roughly 2ft longer than you are tall), and try it out with your sleeping bag and pad.

Many hammock makers offer quilted outer wraps if you want to use them in cold weather. Look for this feature to make for a warmer winter sleeping setup.

For even more tips on hammock tent setups, check out this introduction video from Survival Know-How:

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5 Best Hammock Tents For Survival

With all those factors in mind, here are some of the best hammock tents.

1. ENO Jungle Nest

The ENO Jungle Nest is an excellent option if you want it all (hammock, mosquito net, rainfly, and rigging) in one package.

Since all the elements come from one manufacturer, they fit well together and are set up quickly.

I’ve had ENO hammocks for years, which are incredibly well-built and reliable.

In the case of the Jungle Nest, I like how the bug net surrounds the hammock rather than attaches to it directly.

Also, it’s rated for up to 400 lbs, so for a couple of fit adults, it becomes a 2-person hammock tent.

2. Crua Hybrid Camping Hammock Tent

The Crua Hybrid Hammock System includes 4 essential sleep systems in one bundle:

  • Hammock
  • Tent Cover
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Sleeping Bag

The Crua Hybrid Kit is built to last.

It uses Aero-grade aluminum poles, 5000mm HH Rip-stop Nylon Rainfly for waterproofing, two vents to prevent condensation, built-in mosquito netting, and groundsheet.

This all-in-one-package makes it an excellent backpacking hammock tent!

3. Hennessy Expedition Hammock Tent

The Hennessy Expedition Hammock Tent is another integrated tent and hammock system.

It has a really unique “ bottom entry” design. It helps to keep bugs out while you’re getting into the tent, which everyone can appreciate!

It’s a bit lighter weight than other hammock tents. So as a backpacking hammock tent, this is a good option if that’s a critical factor for your survival plans.

However, it’s only rated for up to 250 lbs, so this is not a 2-person hammock tent for average adults.

4. Chill Gorilla Tarp Tent

If you’ve already got a hammock you like, the Chill Gorilla Tarp Tent is a simple addition to keep the rain off.

It’s a lightweight nylon shelter you can rig over the top on any hammock.

Plus, you can use it as a tarp tent on the ground if you choose not to go with the hammock.

5. Tentsile Ultralight 3-Legged Hammock

I said to keep it simple, but I have to throw one of these Tentsile Ultralight 3-legged hammocks in here because they’re interesting and could be useful in some situations.

They provide much more “floor” space than any other hammock design and feel much more like a traditional tent.

This model is built as 2 person hammock tent with independent doors for each.

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Best Hammock Tent Tips, Tricks & Upgrades

Once you’ve selected a hammock tent, take some time to get used to the setup before you use it in the field.

I’ve found a few of these things to be really helpful for me.

Tension

Try rigging the hammock at different tensions and see what feels most comfortable.

I’ve found that I like to set up my hammock VERY tight to minimize the sag in the middle.

This allows me to sleep with less of a bend, and my back feels better in the morning. However, you might like looser rigging if you enjoy the gentle swinging action.

Overhead Line

Spending a night in the hammock meant a lot of managing small items like my water bottle and headlamp.

They quickly get lost or pressed against you if you tuck them in the hammock alongside you.

If you rig a line under the rainfly, it gives you a place to clip these things, so they’re always within arms reach.

Height

Depending on the weather, I change the height at which I hang my hammock.

I set it up as low as possible in windy and rainy conditions to minimize my exposure.

I set up a little higher in hot, dry conditions to enjoy as much breeze as possible.

Rainfly Pitch

If you have a separate rainfly, try experimenting with the pitch to see what works best.

In bad weather, I stake the edges closer to the hammock. This provides a steeper rainfly angle to let the rain and snow roll off and keep the wind out.

When it’s hot, I use the rainfly for shade; I stretch it as flat as possible to maximize the shaded area underneath.

Doormat

When it comes time to get in and out of your hammock, it helps to keep your feet clean and not track dirt into the hammock.

Sitting in the hammock while getting dressed and putting your boots on is difficult.

That’s why I’ve found a simple “doormat” that makes this task far more manageable.

Even a small piece of tarp, about 2’x3’, works as a clean place to stand when wet ground.

Staying Warm

Since you’re sleeping up off the ground with more air moving around you, it’s often a colder night than in a tent.

Adding a reflective mylar blanket around your sleeping bag will trap your body heat.

tact bivvy emergency sleeping bagThe TACT Bivvy is an easy upgrade for increased warmth in frigid conditions.

The TACT Bivvy is actually a lightweight emergency sleeping sack. It’s a device you should have in the glove box of your car in case you get trapped in a blizzard.

Now take this simple, effective emergency blanket and wrap it around your sleeping bag.

This combination of a sleeping bag, TACT Bivvy, and hammock makes for a warm slumber on even the coldest of winter nights.

Also, many hammock manufacturers make quilted “cocoons.” These wrap around the outside of the hammock like a sleeping bag.

This quilt isn’t compressed under you; it retains loft and provides better insulation.

Here are a few more hammock tent mistakes to avoid:

Final Thoughts

Yes, hammock tents are more intensive than just throwing a hammock up between two trees. However, they can really expand and improve your sleeping options.

In a survival situation, this flexibility allows you to set up camp anywhere and get a good night of sleep.

Now, just for fun, go look up “port-a-ledges.”

Some people REALLY have to depend on a suspended tent system for their lives. It’ll make setting up between two trees seem like a walk in the park!

Jason K.

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