Hammock tents have become somewhat of a staple in the outdoor world, wrapping a hammock or suspended tent floor up with waterproof-breathable fabric and mosquito mesh. The all-new Tammock from Lit Outdoors puts a spin on the genre, flipping the hammock out of the trees and into a ground tent. Sandy beaches, desert sandstone, high-alpine rock and other stretches of treeless earth suddenly become 100 percent compatible with the breezy, swaying comfort of hammock camping.
Having put some hammock tents to the test, we’ve come to realize that they’re quite comfy to sleep in but can limit your options. When we packed a Tentsile on a trip to the Southern Utah desert, there simply weren’t trees available for stringing it up. On another trip to the Maroon Bells Wilderness, tree availability wasn’t an issue but camping was restricted to tent pads, no hammocks in the trees. So during an entire summer of camping, there was only one or two times we got to sleep up above ground.
The founders of Utah’s Lit Outdoors have been camping in some of the same desert campsites we visited last summer, and they’ve run into the same lack of trees. They designed the Tammock for those types of areas, doing their testing in the superlative deserts of Southern Utah, where you’ll find some of the world’s best camping and recreational opportunities, but often not much in the way of trees.
To make a more grounded breed of hammock tent, Lit has combined a straightforward freestanding tent frame with a hammock frame similar to ones used in other portable hammock designs. The hammock frame ends up working as part of the exoskeleton frame, holding the hammock inside the tent.
To prevent the tent fabric from taking away from the hammock experience, Tammock equips it with a mesh-heavy canopy and large roll-up side doors, allowing campers to enjoy a breezy hang in fair weather. The doors also allow users to sit comfortably sideways, as well as lengthwise. A separate rainfly battens the hatches should blue skies turn dark gray.
The Tammock’s hammock frame can be used independently of the tent, allowing for a fully open hang much like other portable hammocks. Lit tells us that the tent can also be used separately, for those times when you don’t want to bring along the bulky hammock frame.
Nuts and bolts-wise, the three-season Tammock tent features 70D ripstop nylon and a fiberglass tent pole. The entire hammock tent system weighs in at around 20 lb (9 kg) and measures 12 x 4 x 2.8 feet (3.7 x 1.2 x 0.9 m, L x H x W) when set up and 44 x 8 in (112 x 20-cm) when packed in the carry case. The hammock can hold up to 400 lb (181 kg).
Lit Outdoors has been developing the Tammock for nearly three years and has set up manufacturing in China. It’s now hosting a Kickstarter campaign to officially launch, offering the full Tammock kit (tent, hammock, frame, rainfly and stakes) for pledge levels starting at US$299. It’s already scorched past its goal, and if things continue going along as planned, shipments will begin in September.