Which is the best hammock for a beginner? Hobo Hammock vs. ENO Hammock
I am a tent camper who is also a fan of hammock camping. However, I really hate bugs–especially in the summer. I hate mosquitoes, gnats, and grasshoppers. I’ve had a grasshopper startle me awake–landing on my face. Nope and double nope! I need my tent to block out the bugs. But in early spring or in late fall, when there are no bugs to gang up on me while I sleep, I completely enjoy sleeping in my hammock.
Just so you know my biases*: I only own an ENO double-wide hammock. I have slept in it on dozens of climbing trips. I have strung it up just to sit and chill out. I even have a special set up in my basement with giant eye-bolts drilled into the joists where I can relax and watch some MMA on a Saturday night.
I went to The Outdoor Gear Lab and looked at how they rated hammocks. To my eyes, all of the specs of those hammocks look about the same. Yes, all hammocks are different; yet they are all so similar.
There are thousands of hammock reviews online, so I am not going to write about the specs and breakdown each hammock. My experience suggests that hammock reviews get way too complicated, especially for a climber/camper like myself. If you disagree, post up your comment telling me why. I’m far from an expert.
If you are new to camping or hammock camping, I am sure that cost is very important to you. But that does not mean you should buy the cheapest stuff. It also doesn’t mean that the most expensive stuff in the best. Hobo has the upper hand in price.
- Right now, you can purchase an ENO Double Nest for $69.95 (straps are extra).
- Right now, you can purchase a Hobo Double Hammock for $59.00 with 2 x 10 ft. straps included. (* Receive $5 off your Hobo Hammock with code “hcrbeta”. That’s right, your Hobo Hammock will cost $54.00!)
I do not recommend the cheapest choices (specifically from the Outdoor Gear Lab review) UNLESS you have borrowed or tested out a friend’s hammock and you enjoyed it. You can’t go wrong saving your money. But, you can go wrong buying a hammock that is not big enough for you.
How Does a Beginner Compare the Basics of a Hammock?
- Warranty: Hobo Lifetime (*unconditional) vs. ENO 2 years (*many exclusions)
- Weight Limit: Hobo 540 lbs vs. ENO 400 lbs
- Comfort: Hobo YES vs. ENO YES
- Material: Hobo Parachute Nylon vs. ENO Breathable, quick drying Nylon
- Carabiners: Hobo 2 Ultra Strength Design Steel vs. ENO 2 Aluminum wire gate
- Compression Sack: Hobo YES, attached vs. ENO YES, attached
- Hanging Straps: Hobo included in purchase price vs. ENO straps cost extra
- Cost: Hobo $59.00 (with coupon* $54.00) vs. ENO $69.95
- Shipping: Hobo free 3-day shipping on all US orders vs. ENO free shipping on US orders over $150.00
- Community: Hobo YES supports homeless shelter vs. ENO yes
- Recycling: Hobo YES recycles/reuses vs. ENO unknown
Hammock Accessories for a Beginner
Neither the ENO nor the Hobo come with a bug net or a rain fly. ENO has the upper hand in accessories. They have robust choices for bug nets and rain flies on their website. However, I appreciate that Hobo links up some affordable choices that you can buy from Amazon.
If you end up falling in love with hammock camping, you will buy these accessories. Plan accordingly.
Other Important Considerations When Purchasing Your First Hammock
Hobo Hammocks has the upper hand in what they stand for. Hobo Hammocks support their local homeless shelter. That is a BIG DEAL to me. I can get behind a small company who stands for something, has a lot of heart, and helps those in need.
ENO does not have details about what they do to support their community on their website; so I can’t say that Hobo is better. The fair thing for me to say is that I have not yet found out what ENO stands for or if they do cool stuff for their community.
UPDATE ON 2/2/16 Looks like this article forced ENO to update their “About” page. They now detail how they give back to their community. You can search the ENO site for their details.
Recycling Old Hammocks
Hobo Hammocks recycles old hammocks. The owner, Jake Andersen, says:
We take any hammocks that people want to send in! When we say that we recycle them, what we do is repair old or broken hammocks. If they don’t need any repair, we take them as they are. We take the old hammocks and donate them to people who then distribute them to the homeless. Previously, we’ve worked with Thomas Rebman, a man known as the homeless teacher. He made a few videos of himself giving the hammocks to some of his homeless friends! We are always looking for homeless camps and people who could really use these ‘recycled’ hammocks so if you know of any good resources, please let us know!
Which Hammock is Best for the Beginner?
Hobo Hammocks is the clear winner. They easily win on price. And, Hobo Hammocks win on their involvement with their community and taking care of those in need. Hobo Hammocks wins as a sustainable company–recycling and reusing old hammocks that customers and fans send to them.
Which hammock do you use and recommend?
(*HCRBeta earns a small referral fee when you use the coupon code “hcrbeta” when purchasing your Hobo Hammock. You also save $5 on your purchase! Enjoy!)
Read about more tips for beginners inside of HCRBeta’s Beginners Category.
Jason Clements is the founder of and writer for HCRBeta, Hike Climb Relax: How to… He lives in Shawnee, Kansas and also runs the cell phone recycling company, Cells for Cells, which recycles cell phones to raise money for families battling cancer. You can follow Jason on Facebook or on Twitter @jasonclements.