How and where a hammock gets used should be at the center of a purchasing decision. The creators of the Blue Ridge Camping Hammock appear to be gritty, determined outdoor people who are willing to add weight in their pack (or on the ATV or in the canoe) simply to be prepared. Active Junky understands that mature trees don’t always grow the perfect distance apart, high winds can set in and a spring day turns into a late season snowstorm. Enter this system, tipping the scales at 4.25lbs without their Tree Hugger utility straps. With a two-piece metal spreader bar on each end, the hammock creates a more horizontal sleeping platform when attached correctly. For bug protection, use the side with integrated no-see-um netting and a double-pull zipper entry by deploying dual arched support poles. Otherwise, sleep on a flatter, less-contained hammock that doesn’t reward active (as in, always-moving) sleepers. Deployed as a ground bivvy or hammock, the rainfly is beefy and well-shaped for bad weather. At 90” long, campers over 6’2” will struggle inside while interior width is generous to allow some protected gear storage. Materials and construction complement the Lawson Hammock design that testers imagine came from years of real-world and backwoods experience. Interior touches include two pockets and loops for compact LED lanterns.
Pros: Integrated system sheds the need for ground tarp and rain fly, superior ability to deal with multiple scenarios with one system
Cons: Zipper prone to snag, elastic cord used to tension the dual poles are too light for the purpose (user needs to upgrade), length insufficient for taller campers
Tester Comments: “This one takes some practice and adaptation on the part of the user – including things like which way to face inside the structure to make entry easier. Ceiling height of the mesh top and tarp are not for the claustrophic, but I found the tighter interior comforting during a mid-summer storm accompanied by high winds. Tree slings and stakes are not included, so don’t go running off on a trip without being ready to be prepared (little wordplay there). On the right track with this approach, no doubt – and a great value if it fits your plans.”
Key Attribute: Adaptability
Best Bor: Backpacking (not fast-packing) and vehicle-supported endeavors including canoe, raft and ATV trips
- Nylon ripstop hammock
- No-see-um mesh canopy
- Waterproof nylon rain fly
- Aluminum poles
- Double coil nylon zipper
- Nylon rope
- Interior storage pockets
Capacity: 275 lb.
Weight: 4 lb. 4 oz.
Material: [Hammock] ripstop nylon, [Canopy] no-see-um mesh, [Rain fly] nylon, [Poles] aluminum