The Debate Continues Hammock VS Tent Backpacking

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John says that hammocks are too difficult to set up. He prefers to stick to his tents.

But Mike says the difficult of setting up hammocks is worth it.

Just hearing them debate about this is causes you to be confused.

Now we’re here to lay out the differences between backpacking with a tent and a hammock clear as day for you.

Comparison Table for Hammock and Tent Hiking

Type Weight Price Versatility Ease of Use Comfort Location Additional Equipment Required
Tent Varies Varies Low Easy Low Flat surface None
Hammock Varies Varies High Difficult High Between trees 10-20’ apart Tarp, bug net, and stakes

Scroll left and right to view the rest of the table

Some Quick Caveats

Some of you are weight weenies, or cheepos and that’s okay.

These are both things you should be concerned about, weight especially since you’re a backpacker.

But know that there isn’t a significant difference between the weight or price of these shelters. Since hammocks need more parts they end up being slightly more expensive though, this is not by much.

As long as you follow the rule of the more you spend the lighter it can be you’re going in the right general direction.

Hammock shelters are modular. Meaning you can buy a tarp from one company and a hammock from a different one, or you could get an all in one setup.

Pros and Cons of Tent Backpacking

This is usually where everyone starts.

There first time out on the trail is in a tent, and to take that one step further probably their first time camping too.

They’re battle tested. Everyone has used them and been somewhat successful.

Now where they comfortable?

Let’s get into that list I promised you.

Pros of Tents

Cons of Tents

Pros and Cons of Using a Hammock for Backpacking

Hammocks are the new kid on the block.

They’ve exploded in popularity as of late and they aren’t going anywhere soon.

And that increase in popularity is for good reason, they’re very comfortable.

Pros of Hammocks

Cons of Hammocks


If comfort is what you’re looking for and you’re willing to deal with the extra parts and the increased complexity then hammocks are your answer.

But remember after a long day on the trail you might not want to put the extra time into setting up your shelter.

For me though this compromise is worth making, so for now I’m sticking with hammocks.