Hennessy Camping Hammock: Ultimate Travel Shelter

Hammock Camping in Costa Rica

Gear Review

If you do a lot of camping while you travel, you should consider a camping hammock. Hennessy hammocks are the ultimate lightweight, packable, go-anywhere shelter.

Hammock Camping

Coming in at around 2 lbs. (depending on the model) a Hennessy Hammock is an ultralight backpacker’s dream. No need to find a flat surface to camp on, no ground tarps, no aluminum poles, and it only takes 3 minutes to set up!

With a camping hammock, you can strike camp pretty much anywhere with a few trees. Feel like camping on the slope of a mountain? No problem! What about on the bank of a river? You bet!

In fact with a few small rock climbing nuts, you can even use it to hang yourself from rock outcroppings. No trees or rocks nearby? While not perfect, it will work as a traditional bivy-sac too.

Hammock Camping

Getting Comfortable

Sleeping in a Hennessy hammock does take a few nights to get used to if you’re new to hammocks. The key is to lay in it diagonally, which allows you lay almost completely flat.

Once you get the hang of it though, I find it MUCH more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.

Where Do You Store Gear?

I stick my backpack in a large black trash bag to prevent it getting wet (and hide the bright orange color), place it under the hammock, and secure it to a zipper on my bug net with heavy-duty (50lb or greater) braided fishing line.

The fishing line is almost impossible to see unless you’re looking for it, so if anyone ever tried to run off with my bag, it would yank the hammock and wake me up. Never had a problem so far.

Some hammock campers also hang their backpacks from the line with a carabiner. Just make sure it has some kind of protection from the rain.

Hammock Camping

Lightweight & Functional

The Hennessy includes a built-in bug net, lightweight rain cover, and overhead pockets and clips for hanging your stuff. A camping hammock can work as an all-purpose 3 season shelter when used with a sleeping bag in colder weather.

I’ve personally used my Hennessy during a sleet storm in New Hampshire, stealth camping on the side of the road in Mexico, as a rainy-season shelter in Costa Rica’s jungle, sleeping behind churches while hitchhiking across the United States, and inside Panama’s notorious Darien Gap among many other places.

Conclusion

The Hennessy camping hammock is a fantastic piece of gear for travelers or backpackers who plan to camp a lot during their adventures. You’ll never go back to sleeping in a tent again!

More Information

Product: Hennessy Camping Hammock
Cost: $199
Useful Notes: I’ve had my hammock custom modified so the attached bug-net can be zipped out when not needed. If you’d like to do the same, check out a company called 2Q ZQ Hammock Specialties

READ NEXT: Ultimate Travel Gear Guide

Do you like to go camping when you travel? Have you used this hammock? Drop me a message in the comments below!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

23 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this. My life changed when I went from sleeping on the ground in a tent to sleeping in a hammock. Now I actually get some rest while camping.
    I have to say, that picture with Mt. Ranier in the background is amazing. Would love to check out that spot someday.

  2. I am thinking about getting a hammock, but I don’t know how much the overall cost would be. I want to pay around $100. Also, I can’t find what parts I would need to buy. I know that most hammocks come with a bug net and a tarp, as well as a way to hang it. I want a good quality one, too, because my family and I are spending three weeks on the AT this summer, and I would like to camp in one.

    1. With that budget maybe try ozark trail blue travel hammock from walmar $20 (I sleep in one every night they normally last a year or 2 before breaking in the middle) as far as bug net maybe eno $50 or try a mesh curtian and then a cheap plastic painters drop cloth or a weight tarp
      Some of the hennessys are around $160 on ebay !!

  3. Thanks so much for the zipper modification tip. I am leaving to travel shortly and was wondering if I should bring my camping hammock but was deterred by the bottom entry– I’m definitely going to have a top zipper installed so I can remove my bug net if needed.
    Thanks again!

  4. Have you checked out a Lawson Hammock? I love hammock camping in general and have used most brands. To me, the Lawson is by far the most comfortable because you can sleep more flat and it can also be used as a legit bivy/ground tent. Love your website and resources!

  5. Hi Matt I’m not sure if my post went through or not so I will try again I’m 6’5″ 240lb Ive never been in a hammock before so I dont want my first experience to be the last can you point me out in the right decision pls thank you

  6. For some time I’ve been planning on cammock camping, but isn’t it dangerous? Especially, when you are stealth camping on the side of the road, what are the tips to do it safely?

  7. Hey could you tell me you experience with using it as a traditional bivy on the ground? Thanks! Looking at buying one of these but don’t know if I can give up the option of sleeping on the ground.

  8. Yeah, Hennessy’s are great hammocks. They’re light and comfortable. Some of the better hammocks around. You’re right, they come with either the velcro Classic design or the Zip model with the side entry zipper. Good post. Thanks.

  9. Hennessy hammocks are pretty awesome. I was going to be getting one for my next trip up to Canada to test try it out. If it’s anything like sleeping in a regular hammock, I’m sure it’ll pan out! Thanks for the review, all my friends have said nothing but good things about these. :-)

  10. I have a Hennessy Ultralight Hammock and have used it a few times in my travels. I much prefer my Bivi bag as is easier to set up and use on the fly. My hammock is great when the ground is uneven or wet. Its so light that its worth taking even when I only use it one in every three days. Hennessy makes great products. I use the ultralight tarp even when not using the hammock.

  11. Hey Matt!
    I am just wondering, that how good is the hammock when I am somewhere near civilization. I mean, when I am nature I don’t care with may backpack and my stuff. But when I need to set up the shelter near people, I like my bag next to me, inside the tent.
    How would it work with a hammock? Would be it ok, when I would use it like a bivy?
    Thanks!
    g

    1. Hi Gery! Great question. I usually wrap my backpack in a big black trash-bag (to hide the bright orange & protect against moisture) and place it under the hammock. Then I tie some heavy duty 50 lb. test fishing line from the pack to my hammock. That way if anyone tries to run off with it in the middle of the night, it’ll wake me up.

  12. Hi Matthew, looks like an awesome way to camp. Definitely going to try this. Where do you keep your backpack and other stuff while sleeping? Seems to me leaving it on the ground could attract unwanted wildlife.

  13. Hi Matt, So the zipper mod is only so you can remove the bug net? Does it work fine without the mods? And you had to send yours off to 2Q ZQ Hammock Specialties to get it done?

    1. It works fine without it, but you just can’t remove the bug net. At least for the model I own. And when there are no bugs out, it’s nice to remove the bug net.

      I’m sure you could do it yourself or find a local seamstress, but 2Q ZQ specializes in these mods and won’t mess it up. It looks like it came from the factory that way when they’re done.

  14. This post made me laugh. I bought what I thought was a nice hammock with bug net in Vietnam, spent like 15 minutes setting it up while getting bitten by mosquitoes, only to find out the bug net didn’t have a zipper (meaning I couldn’t get inside, was exposed to the bugs, and had to sleep on the concrete floor of a bus station in Laos). This one looks a little more reliable though ;)

    1. Ha! Are you sure the entrance wasn’t underneath? This one doesn’t have a zipper either (although it’s been modified so I can take the bug net off completely using zippers). The entrance to mine is underneath, secured shut by velcro.

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