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In the past few months, I’ve come to realize how nice it is to be outside and alone. I’m not particularly talking Chris McCandless extremes—I like people too much for the Alaskan wilderness. I’m just talking about the luxury of setting up shop with a campfire and a nice canopy of trees overhead. I also, like a bat, am intrigued by the idea of sleeping suspended above the ground.
So I invested in a portable hammock. For a while, I was deeply opposed because I worried that being a “portable hammock user” could lead to other symptoms like playing disc golf or making my own kombucha, but in reality, I was just missing out on an outdoor experience that takes a night (or even just a few hours) of solitude and cranks the relax dial up to a 10. For a really sweet ride, the ENO DoubleNest Hammock is sensibly priced, supremely easy to set up, and well-liked. Bonus: If you hate the glorious expanse that is nature but are somehow still reading, this hammock is good for all hammock-appropriate settings, whether inside or out.
It is extremely packable.
My favorite part of the portable hammock experience is the ability to roll and fold it until it neatly fits in its small carry bag. What I hate is situations where you get a product with its own self-containing bag, and then somehow the product doesn’t fit. Products like that are the fitted sheets of storage. The ENO DoubleNest is pretty hassle-free, though. Coming in at about a pound or so, it is lightweight enough so that when you toss it in a backpack or camping duffel, it’s hardly a noticeable addition, and the whole hammock rolls right back up and into the bag with ease when you’re done lounging.
It’s breezy and durable.
My main concern with my newfound portable hammock interest was comfort. I run hot, so I worried about getting wrapped up in a plastic toaster oven, but the fabric is a breezy 70-denier nylon taffeta that is way more breathable than I’d expected it to be. It also holds up to 400 pounds (or two people), meaning that you have a real sense of security when hopping into it. (Also: Don’t hop into your hammock, just, ever.) At either end, the hammock comes equipped with aluminum carabiners that should work along with whatever strap and rig system you have on hand. Which leads me to the last point…
The suspension system is simple to rig up.
Setting these hammocks up is way simpler than it probably looks. You’ll need an understanding of how to tie a secure, uncomplicated knot and two anchor posts, be it trees or supports in your own home. You do have to purchase straps to finish the outfit. I recommend the ENO Atlas Hammock Suspension System. Keep it in the family, and you know you’re getting the same high-grade product across the board. (The tear down with these is as easy as the set up.)
From there, the hardest challenge you’ll face is figuring out where to hang it so no one else is around. In a time when we’ve all been told to keep a healthy six feet of distance from one another, a portable hammock, a good shady oak tree, and the book you’ve been ignoring for too long make for a great way to spend the hot summer.
Photography and prop styling by Allie Holloway
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