Hammock camping looks great, let’s not deny it. There’s no cooler picture than one with a hammock and bike resting on the same tree, a wild view of woodland reaching out into the distance. In the hammock lays a tired soul, but tired with contentedness having found the perfect spot to hang their bed for the night.
Hammocks look great but everything I’d heard about them suggested that they’re not all that straightforward to make work and use properly. First, there’s finding the right trees, pitching the line, hanging the hammock, adjusting how much sag it has, fixing a net, adjusting that, hanging a tarp, adjusting that. Then there’s actually climbing into the thing without flipping out over the other side and falling out ready for a perfect ‘You’ve been framed’ clip. It seems you’ve got to be a proper outdoors person, with knowledge of knots, to be able to actually make it work.
Ticket To The Moon promised it’d be easier and way more fun than all that. They managed to sell me on the original idea – the one of the guy in the woods – and suggested that the Lightest Pro model would be the perfect fit. Retailing at a respectable £119.98, the complete package was set to give me everything I’d need with none of the faff.
Complete with tree wraps (simple loops that you just throw around the trunk), the hammock itself clips straight to the lines and hangs on the pre-tied loops. There are no knots involved and I get to save face with my limited knowledge. Once the hammock is on the trees, a handy adjusting line which runs through the hammock means you can adjust the sag of the hammock without having to take anything apart.
So pitching is easy but what about bugs? Well, Ticket To The Moon thought of that too. With the pro model, there’s a zip-around bug net which prevents any little critters from getting into the hammock with you. Because the zip runs pretty much around the whole hammock, it can be zipped right back and hidden for chilling out with a coffee or can be closed entirely when it’s time to dodge moths and midges. A couple of storage pockets are pre-attached to the ridge-line too. It seems something trivial but means that your phone, wallet, and keys can all be kept inside the hammock with you and there’s no rummaging around looking for them when it’s time to pack down. Simple and effective design decisions like that make a product for me.
The whole system weighs just over half a kilogram which, in my opinion, is pretty amazing. Because there are no poles, the hammock trumps my Alpkit Soloist tent on weight saving and the small bag means it’s highly packable. I’ve spent a fair bit of time relaxing and sleeping in the Lightest Pro and it’s comfortable. It took me some time to figure out how best to lay so that it didn’t cocoon up around me (laying diagonally solves this) and it’s now chucked in a bag ready for all sorts of adventures even if it just means I can sit at the side of a lake and chill with a coffee.