A good night’s sleep is a high priority of mine and I bet that is true for most people. Sleeping in a tent on the ground has its advantages, but overall, I sleep better in a hammock. Over the past few years, I tested many hammocks and slept great in them. A couple things nagged at me about the hammocks I tested, but comfort was not one of those things. Hammock setups tend to be a bit heavier than ultralight tents and they take up a bit more pack space. When I saw the Ultralight hammock, my interest definitely jumped. I really got excited when I saw one at the Outdoor Retailer Show last summer, so I could hardly wait for the Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock XL to arrive this past winter.
Weight and Size
The Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock XL lives up to its name. This is the lightest and most compact hammock and suspension system that I’ve tested. In fact, the hammock, tree huggers, and suspension straps tip my scales at an incredibly low 15.23 ounces. All three pieces fit into one hand and they almost fit into my 1.4 liter cook pot. I think I could have compressed the hammock enough to close the lid, but the fit was a bit too tight.
You might think that a hammock this light would not be that tough but that is not the case. Sea to Summit used a Nylon 66 monofilament fabric for the body of the hammock and the hammock is rated to hold 300 pounds. The fabric is practically see-through and it is very compressible. The hammock stores in its own compression sack and there’s enough room in there to keep the hammock straps as well. One end of the hammock sticks out of the storage sack and three compression straps hold a cover over the drawstring closure on the other end.
To hang the Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock XL, you’ll need the Sea to Summit Hammock Tree Protectors and the Ultralight Hammock Suspension straps. The tree protectors are 1.5 inches wide, so they will keep the hammock from damaging the trees where you hang. They are 4 feet 8 inches long, so they will work with pretty much any size tree short of ginormous. Specially designed high strength steel buckles attach quickly to the hammock straps.
The suspension straps use ingenious metal buckles that slip into and lock on the tree protectors at one end and the hammock at the other. The straps are 0.6 inches wide by 8 feet long so there’s plenty of adjustment to reach hanging points and get the hammock to hang just right. The modular suspension system is great because you can pack the tree protectors separately if they happen to get sap or something on them. The hammock sets up easy and fast. You just need to pay attention to the straps because they are supposed to go on one way. A simple drawing of a tree with an arrow shows the right way to hook them up.
Comfort and use
The Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock XL measures 9.8 feet long by 4.9 feet wide. I’m used to 11 foot hammocks so I needed a bit of time to get the hang right. I’m a bigger guy at 6 feet 1 inches tall and I weigh about 225. I never felt that the hammock would fail but I got shoulder squeeze. Hanging the hammock looser gave some more room and I slept just fine. Hanging the hammock loose can raise the anchor points quite a bit, so use trees that are closer together if you use this method. The only other improvement I would like is the addition of a structural ridge line. This is mainly a convenience thing and it helps to hang the hammock the same way every time. Structural ridge lines are also handy to keep bug netting up and away.
Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock XL – final thoughts and pricing
I found the Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock XL selling for $99.95 on the internet. The tree protectors are $19.95, and I found the suspension straps selling for $35.95. The hammock is super light and packs down small. For most, the size will be just fine and bigger folks like me can hang the hammock looser for a comfortable night’s sleep. Click HERE to browse over to the Sea to Summit website.
I’d like to thank Sea to Summit for the test samples. We at Industry Outsider have limited budgets and the ability to provide honest, useful information on gear hopefully benefits everybody.