Tent vs Hammock -- Which One is Better?

Tents are a fundamental tool for camping and hiking used across the world for both recreational and survival. However, in recent years, new trends in the outdoor industry have emerged to reinvent how people enjoy the backcountry.

One of these trends is the use of hammocks.

If you've paid close attention to how people settle in a campsite, you'll see how popular hammocks have become. There are numerous reasons as to why campers often prefer the use of hammock for sleep and relaxation, but it all boils down to the ease, portability, and convenience these sling made of fabrics bring.

In this article, we'll get into the nitty-gritty and take a closer look at the notion, which one is better -- the tent or the hammock?

Outdoor Awareness

Since hammocks are made of slings and fabrics and suspended three meters off the ground, you might come to wonder how effective it is to protect you against the harsh environment the outdoor brings. Tents, in the first place, are already effective in protecting you against cold weather, wind, rain, and other elements present in the wilderness. So, what gives?

Well, hammocks are capable of providing you the comfort, as well as tents, does. There a handful of hammock designs built to protect you from the unforgiving nature of the outdoors. There are over quilts and under quilts that are perfect for cold nights and strong winds; there are hammocks that come with tarps and mosquito nets to offer that extra support you need.

The bottom line is, both products are well-suited to protect you from all elements. They are all built to provide you the comfort you need after a day-long of exploring.

Portability: It's Size and Weight

In this category, hammocks have a clear advantage compared to tents. An ultralight tent could weigh not less than two pounds, while other heavy-duty tents could jump around six to eight pounds or more. Meanwhile, most heavy-duty hammocks weigh not more than two pounds.

Let's say you've prepared a complete set with mosquito nets, tarps, and all gears that would make your stay comfortable. That does not compromise the portability of hammocks one way or another. First, you don't have to carry poles that consume a large chunk of your storing capacity. And, second, most hammocks come in sets and are incredibly foldable into a single mesh bag that you could tie around your backpack.

Whether you're going for a much-advanced hammock, complete with all the paraphernalia that would make your stay beyond comfort, it's size and weight still appeal to as the most portable and convenient option out there.

Digging into your Pockets

For a tent to work wonderfully on your desired location, it needs to possess additional features that target a particular problem. For a reasonably dry summer tent, it will cost you around $200, while a well-built tent for all-season could go roughly around $400 to $500. But, for a hybrid tent that offers top-notch accommodation, you might have to dig deeper into your pockets as it could go for around $800 to $1000. Well, if you opt for something posh, then those said above sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

If you're more the budget-friendly type, hammocks are way cheaper than tents. For as little as $50 to $60, you could get a nice camping hammock for the dry summer nights. Some hammocks could support you during rain and mildly cold weather in not more than $200. And, for $500, you can opt for a complete camping hammock set.

Clearly, in this category, hammocks are the "cheaper option" compared to tents, yet offers the same amount of support you'll need outdoor.

Comfort Comparison

Tents' comfort is often compromised, especially on wooden areas since there's hardly a square foot of ground without roots or rock sticking out. Hence, sleeping could be challenging in such circumstances. And, bringing along air mattresses, sleeping mats, or anything that could alleviate the discomfort is an additional load to carry.

On the contrary, with hammocks, you're suspended at least three feet above the ground. All you need is a pair of trees to attach the slings, and you're all set. Also, research shows that the gentle, rocking motion of hammocks makes people fall asleep faster. So, it's a win-win.

Concluding the Debate

Hammocks offer a much better advantage compared to tents. With all of the categories we looked into, it's clear that hammocks are a better option in many situations, and that what makes it extremely trendy nowadays.

Tents are not entirely bad. Some circumstances, however, make them a better choice -- like an outdoor family gathering or group trips, for example. As we've always said in camping.org, camping is a unique experience that depends on what works for you or not. Go ahead and try a variety of gears -- even beyond the tent vs. hammock debate.

Carla Arbuckle
Carla Arbuckle

Carla is a staff writer for Fishing.org and Shooting.org. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and photographer. She can be found most weekends fishing and exploring the wilderness.