A good budget hammock to use on first forays into hammock camping and beyond
Simple set up
Ropes and knots suspension system demands practice
Best in fair weather conditions
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A simple hammock is good for learning skills, and the Mountain Warehouse Lightweight Hammock is as basic as it gets: a single skin and and a rope at either end, though spring clips are used to join the suspension ropes to the ends’ eyelets. It’s still one of the best hammocks you’ll find, though.
It’s a good system if you’re confident that you know the best knots for camping and hiking, as you can make numerous adjustments to take into account the different diameters of and distances between trees or other supports. The stuff sack is fixed halfway along one long side meaning it can be used to hold small items close to hand when the hammock is in use, and it’s generously sized making repacking the hammock and ropes easy.
The dimensions are generous enough to sleep diagonally – so you’re lying flat – meaning that with a mat, light tarp and a good sleeping bag the hammock is more than adequate to spend nights out in during milder seasons.
• RRP: £30 (UK)
• Weight: 558g / 19.5oz
• Size: 220 x 145cm / 86 x 57in
• Suspension system: Ropes and snap hooks
• Fabric: Nylon
• Accessories included: Integral stuff sack
• Accessories available: Tarp and various foam and inflatable mats
• Colors: Two-tone green
In the field
There’s a lot to be said for starting hammock camping with a basic piece of kit, and not just because it's cheaper. It’s a great way to learn how to use a hammock through hands-on experience. The Mountain Warehouse Lightweight might use ropes and knots for its suspension but once you can implement traditional techniques securely and safely, (check ‘how-to’ videos online and then practice until you’re confident), you’ll have the skills needed to meet a wide variety of tree diameters and spacings, and to be able to site a hammock to avoid exposure to the prevailing weather.
I was able to get the hammock suspended within a few minutes, and adjusted to just the right height and angle of hang in a few minutes more. The nylon skin didn’t have a lot of grip on my mat, but learning how to lay out sleeping gear and get into it without getting tangled up is another key hammock camper’s skill.
After a wild childhood in west Cork, Jasper Winn began embarking on long cycles, walks, horse journeys and kayak trips across five continents – adventures he’s decanted into books, magazine articles, radio and television documentaries. Keen on low-tech but good gear, Jasper is an advocate of slow adventures by paddle, pedal, saddle, boot and sail. He has circumnavigated Ireland by kayak and cycled across the Sahara. Twice. Having ridden north-to-south across Algeria he discovered the only way to get back was to turn round and pedal north again.