- Written by Ben McKinley
- Category: Gear and Tech
- Published: September 14, 2015
I admit, I’m late to the hammock party. I’ve seen the pictures floating around the social interwebs for years… people hanging out on packable hammocks in their backyards, at music festivals and in the backcountry. But those who know me know I am not that good at lazy time.
I’m working at the whole relaxation thing, though, and the CamoNest XL from ENO Hammocks was a big step towards that goal.
Being 6’5” and 210 lbs, this model was prime for me and my family. Its easily got room for my two young daughters and me. There’s room for my wife, too, but she’s even worse at lazy time than me.
My kids love playing in the hammock. It provides hours of unstructured fun. Just be careful to learn and teach them safe technique for entering and existing the hammock. In no time they’ll be doing spinning cocoon tricks like the girl in this video, but I suggest hanging it over soft surfaces for novice users. Its no fun taking an accelerated spill out of a hammock.
Made from parachute nylon, the CamoNest is cozy, breathable and tough. The extra fabric on this model also creates a nice cocoon effect when needed to protect from light and/or wind.
I’ve put it to the test this summer all over Oregon and its showing no visible signs of wear. Although, you’ll want to be careful you don’t have any sharp objects strapped to you that might cut the material. For example, a pocketknife with an exposed clip.
Throw in the Atlas XL Suspension System, and you can dial in your preferred slack from posts between 10’ and 20’ apart.
I learned some cool hacks at the Outdoor Retailer show this August from the ENO crew:
- Sleeping in a hammock can leave you with numb feet if they are above your heart. Try sleeping at an angle or place you back below your knees. Less slack in the hammock helps, too.
- You also might want to keep your hammock slung for longer periods in camp or the yard. Be sure to use the mid hammock compression strap to minimize the parachute effect in windy conditions.
- Few would consider sleeping on the ground without a pad of some sort. We do this as much for comfort as warmth. You should also consider some placing an air mattress between you and the hammock to minimize heat loss on your underside in chilly conditions. I shorter pad works best in a hammock. ENO also offers underquilts to help keep you warm.
They’ve got hanging bug screens, tarps and lanterns to round out your hammock lounging and sleeping needs. More overall system weight, but also more comfort for overnight missions.
The CamoNest XL weighs in at just over a pound (19 oz) and packs tight in the attached stuff sack with compression strap. The Atlas XL Suspension straps weigh in at 16 oz. The 2 lb combo packs nice and small for your backpacking or car camping adventures. The cost is $94.95.
Full Disclosure: The good folks at ENO sent me this hammock system to test and share my experience with the ShredHood community. Thanks again, Adam and Natalie.
Mount Hood Alpine racing dad, ski mountaineer and free ride coach Ben McKinley is the CEO of Cascade Web Development in Portland.