When I started doing outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, and camping, I had always been using a tent as my outdoor shelter. With my various adventure with it, I can say that I was always satisfied with what it provides me during my trek.
But one time, a friend of mine advised me to try bringing a hammock for my next hike. Since then, I shall say that I was always confused about what to bring for my next outdoor adventure.
If you have the same experience regarding hammock vs. tent, I suggest that you read this writing piece so that you would not get stumped by choosing which backpacking equipment is the best for you to bring.
Usually, hammocks are affordable because it requires fewer gears than a tent or other larger outdoor shelters. A nylon hammock with good quality only cost between 50 USD to 100 USD online or at any outdoor gear store.
However, if you will spend your whole night at an outdoor place with a hammock, you will need more outdoor equipment such as Hammock Under Quilt (around 100 USD), Rain tarp (around 80 USD), Bug net (around 65 USD), and Suspension system (around 45 USD).
While buying a hammock requires you to buy additional gears, you don't have to worry about any extra parts when you purchase a tent as they usually come with poles, stalking system, and canopy.
Once you buy a tent, you may buy only for one person, and for more than two or more individuals. Depending on the size and the brand, the price of a quality tent is ranging between 160 USD to 300 USD.
Even though you can sleep in a tent without any additional materials, you may buy a sleeping pad (around 80 USD to 160 USD), air mattress (around 55 USD), or sleeping bag (around 50 USD to 100 USD) if you want cushion, warmth, and comfort.
If you like being compressed and cradle while you sleep, the great option for you to choose is the hammock. However, you will struggle when you use a hammock if you are a stomach sleeper or if you always toss and turn when you sleep.
Often, it is better for you to bring a hammock if you have back and arthritis issues. Moreover, you also do not have to worry about the rocks and stick into your side once you sleep.
In contrast, many people outdoor enthusiasts choose to sleep in a tent as it can help you to experience traditional sleeping still while you are in outdoors. If you are a side sleeper or want to move around freely while you rest, a tent is better for you. Since the ground is hard, you can bring a mattress or cushioned pad during your trip.
One more thing that you can get from a tent is that more than one person can sleep in it. Though some hammocks are made for two, sleeping with someone in a floating bed might cause a problem or disaster.
Size and Weight
Hammocks are the most lightweight and smallest shelter that an outdoor lover can experience. Almost all hammocks are at around one pound only.
If you have to hold a backpack for many days and packing light pieces of equipment is essential for you, the best option for you is bringing a hammock on your adventure.
However, apart from the weight of the hammock, rain tarp and the straps will increase the weight of the things that you bring since these equipment are also essential. If you want to add more comfort by bringing things such as bug net, under quilt, hammock pad, sacrificing the lightweight of the hammock will follow.
Meanwhile, tents are apparently heavier than hammocks. An average tent for one person weighs around four pounds, and it is much more than a hammock including the extra additions.
If you want to bring a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, or air mattress, the bulkiness of your pack will increase, and the weight will also go up.
Even though manufacturers use waterproof nylon when producing hammocks, they can still easily protect you from a rainstorm through a quality rain tarp. Once you get caught by an unexpected heavy rain while you are in your hammock, you don't have to worry about flooding as well.
When you use a hammock, water soaking will not affect you and your equipment while you sleep, and using hammocks can also help you feel warm a little during the winter season and cold nights. Many people don't suggest to use a hammock during harsh winter situations.
On the other hand, tents can also protect you from the different forces of nature as they can give you better protection from strong winds, harsh snow, and pelting rain. However, these outdoor shelters are not susceptible to flooding during heavy rains.
By using a tent, you can have more space in most tents where you can place your belongings so they can also receive protection from any bad weather. Apart from that, you can warm yourself in a tent during winter season without any difficulty by just using a portable heater and insulation.
Ease of setup
Once you find a perfect space where trees are, you would realize that hammocks are easier to set up than a tent. Although it takes a few practice to prepare your hammock, it is going to be very easy already once you master how to tie straps correctly and how to put the separate parts of a hammock shelter system together.
One satisfying thing about setting up a hammock is that you don't have to consider rocks and a flat surface since you will be in the air. However, it can be challenging to set up a hammock if you are camping in a place without many trees.
You can see the video below so that you would know how to set up a hammock.
Tents, on the other hand, are not as challenging as they once were because of the modern designs and advanced technology. Looking for a flat spot that has no debris and rocks around is the only difficulty that you will encounter when you assemble your tent.
If you are in a dense forest, muddy locations, rocky terrains, or sloping areas, finding the best place for your tent is not easy.
For you to be aware on how to set up a tent, you can watch the video below.
Did you learn all the details that you should know for you to decide which one to bring on your next outdoor adventure?
If you are still thinking and confused about it, I suggest that you focus on what you need based on what I discussed in this article. Whether you choose to bring a tent or a hammock, both still have advantages and disadvantages. You can always read this guide for you to decide which one you should use.
If you learned something from this writing piece about hammock vs. tent or if you think I missed other factors that can help other readers to decide, please share your insights or comments below. You can also share this article with your friends.