Hammock versus Tent: Which one is Better?

Let’s discuss the hammock versus tent debate and see which is better.

This article shows the pros and cons of sleeping in a hammock.

You’ll also see the pros and cons of sleeping in a tent.

After reading the hammock versus tent debate, you can decide which one you want to use for camping.

Let’s start with hammocks and see what’s good and bad about them, and then we’ll move on to tents.

Hammock versus Tent: Hammocks

A hammock typically requires two trees for it to be set up correctly.

Some hammocks come with stands, but those aren’t usually applicable if you’re hiking and backpacking.

Some areas, like National Parks and managed campgrounds, tend to disallow hammocks. So check before attempting to camp with a hammock to ensure you can do it.


Hammock Pros

Let’s see where hammocks stand in the hammock versus tent debate and check out its pros and advantages.

  • Hammocks are typically more comfortable than tents. This is because they’re’ suspended off the ground, and you don’t have to worry about sleeping on rocks and uneven terrain.
  • The comfort of a hammock usually helps you fall asleep much faster than you would in a regular tent.
  • Hammocks typically get more air into them and under them, providing a cooler sleep when the weather is hot.
  • Because air gets to more parts of your hammock, condensation isn’t usually an issue.
  • Hammocks are easier to relax in if you want to rest and not sleep. You can do so while viewing nature without enclosing yourself in a tent.
  • Fewer bugs and snakes can crawl into your hammock since it is suspended off the ground.
  • Hammocks are sometimes better for people with hip and back injuries because you don’t have to get down to get the hammock, and you’re not sleeping on a hard surface or rocks.
  • Hammocks are cheaper, lighter, and easier to carry than tents.


Hammock Cons

Now let’s look at the cons and disadvantages of using a hammock for camping.

  • Not all established campgrounds allow hammocks to be put up due to the health of trees.
  • You have to have trees spaced out a certain length to hang up your hammock, or you might be unable to get it hung up.
  • You typically have to sleep alone in your hammock instead of with someone else (like your significant other) in a tent.
  • You’ll also need to take a tarp, rope, stakes, under-quilt, sleep pad, and a bug net when conditions require it.
  • Hammocks typically sleep colder than tents which could be an issue during the winter camping season.
  • It’s hard to use a hammock to change clothes in like you can with a tent.
  • The comfort of a hammock isn’t for everyone. Some might find them to be very uncomfortable. You should try to sleep in them before you take them camping.
  • Hammocks usually just fit you in them. So, you can’t bring your gear with you or a cooler or anything like that like you would with a tent.
  • Hammocks will usually require more effort and time to set up in a hammock versus a tent situation. You might have to redo it until you get it just right.
  • In some cases, your hammock and you could fall. If you’re high enough, it could result in an injury.
hammock versus tent

Hammock versus Tent: Tents

Now that we’ve gone over hammocks, let’s move on to this hammock versus tent debate and focus on tents.

Tents are something most of us grew up camping in.

You can practically use them everywhere and get any size you want.

But they’re not always the best choice when camping. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using a tent for camping.


Tent Pros

What are the pros of using a tent for camping?

  • If you need to bring in gear such as your backpack, you can usually do it with any size tent.
  • You can practically set up a tent anywhere.
  • Tents offer privacy, like relaxing in private and changing clothes.
  • Tents will typically keep you warmer in the winter months. In addition, you can throw on your rain fly to add an extra insulation layer.
  • If you require someone to sleep with you, like a loved one, your kids, or your pets – tents usually allow this to happen.
  • Tents are usually very straightforward to set up and need extra adjustments.

Tent Cons

Now let’s take a look at the tent cons and care them to the hammock versus tent debate.

  • Tents have no padding, and they’re not suspended like a hammock is. So you sleep on the hard ground and require extra gear to make the sleep comfortable.
  • Poles and steak can break. Tent material can rip. You’ll want to take a repair kit just in case. If a pole breaks, it might make for an uncomfortable night.
  • Condensation in tents is typically higher. Therefore, drying your tent off might take a while before you leave camping.
  • Not much air gets into tents (even without the rain fly). So they can become hot during warmer days and nights.


Hammock versus Tent: My final opinion

I’m torn on the hammock versus tent debate.

I like them both.

Hammocks are more comfortable to sleep in. I find that I fall asleep faster when sleeping in them. With a tent, I’ll need an air mattress. If I’m backpacking, that’s impossible, which usually means a night of sleeping on the ground even when I use my sleep pad.

But a hammock is cheaper and lightweight.

I’ll probably keep bringing my tent on backpacking and bikepacking trips but a hammock when I’m camping from the kayak.

I recommend you try both and determine which you like the best for every situation. Then, be open-minded to using both options.


And that ends the hammock and tent debate. You’ve read all the pros and cons of each choice. Now it’s your turn to answer which you like best and why. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your other hiking and camping friends. It means a lot to me and will help this blog grow. Also, subscribe to my free newsletter for more hiking and camping tips.

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Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman

Founder, Hiking with Shawn

Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman

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