The Sea to Summit Pro Hammock has been designed to be as convenient, light and compact as possible. With an ultra-light construction and integrated Cordura nylon compression sack and clever suspension system, it has one of the smallest overall pack sizes I’ve seen.
Starting with the design, the Pro Hammock is constructed from light but sturdy 70D ripstop nylon for the body. It includes an integrated compression sack that’s made of waterproof 30 cordura nylon, treated with silicone for waterproofness. Instead of rope or a carabiner at the tips for mounting, the Pro Hammock utilizes two flat, compact aluminum clips to attach to tree straps (not included), reducing weight and bulk. The hammock paired with the compression sack weighs 12.7 ounces, packs down to the size of an orange and retails for $69.95. The suspension straps that are pictured retail for $24.95 and weigh 6 ounces, with alternative Tree Protector straps being available for $19.95 at 4.8 ounces.
What I liked
The Pro Hammock packs up tiny. Thanks to the included compression sack, which sits nicely at the tip of the hammock when not in use, the hammock can be cinched down to about the size of a large orange after pulling down the tensioners. When paired with the compact hammock suspension straps, which also easily fit inside the compression sack, it’s still only about the size of brick. This makes it easy to pack along as a primary sleep system when backpacking, and it’s also small and light enough to pack in as a luxury item as well, given it only weighs about 1 lb including the straps.
Going back to the compression sack, it’s a fabulous feature that I wash more companies would integrate. Not only is it durable and lightweight (Cordura is tough), but it greatly reduces the pack size of the hammock and provides reliable water protection. This means a sudden downpour isn’t going to soak your sleep system, assuming your sleeping bag is protected also, and it makes the hammock much faster to pack away and set up.
Speaking of set up, you don’t get much faster or more convenient than this system. Toss the straps around a tree, and connect the hammock to the clip at the end (above)while the hammock itself is still packed away safely inside it’s compression sack. From there, toss the other strap around your next tree, and pull the hammock out of the compression sack to meet the second strap. Connect the link, pull the tensioners to the desired level, and it’s done. This method is not only fast but keeps the hammock clean and off of the ground, and can be reversed when packing it up for the same effect. This is especially desirable in wet conditions. The straps are easy to use also, as you simply slide one clip inside the other to connect them, making sure the arrow faces the tree (easy thanks to the embedded reminder). It’s mostly fool proof assuming you pay attention to the clips (or else slowly descend to the ground as the tensioners won’t lock), requires no knot tying knowledge, and has proven reliable under pressure.
The fabric is a rather resilient 70 denier ripstop nylon that only has a bit of stretch to it. This not only makes the hammock strong, but it also makes setting it up more predictable as it doesn’t sag down 3 or 4 feet once you actually crawl into it. I’ve found that the total sag is only about 1 foot under weight, making judging the needed tree height easy to figure out. It also provides a flatter, more supportive sleep surface as it doesn’t fold in half under weight. Instead, the fabric mostly holds its shape, making for a nice cozy sleep surface that feels rather natural with minimal bending of the spine. This will be particularly attractive to those who find the sag and bow of other hammocks a turn off.
What I didn’t like
While I overall enjoy the feel of the hammocks fabric, it’s worth noting that the fabric is slightly more coarse than many others, such as polyester. It’s not rough by any stretch, but it’s also not as silky as many either. I had no actual complaints about the feel of the fabric, but it’s worth mentioning as a point of comparison.
Being a tauter material, the hammock does produce some hard lines at the very edges of the fabric. Where I often hang my feet outside of the hammock when resting at an angle, the fabric here creates a rather rigid line and it isn’t particularly comfortable against the back of my leg. Instead, I found myself keeping my feet just inside the hammock at all times, happily avoiding the problem.
The system offers two primary strap systems for use, both available separately: The Hammock Tree Suspension, and the Hammock Tree Protectors. These are basically the same, with the “Tree Suspension Straps” being more packable and narrow, but actually weighing more at around 6 ounces. Alternatively, the “Tree Protectors” are wider, reducing the impact on the trees used with them, and weigh about 4 ounces despite their larger pack size. They both perform great, and other than preference, I don’t see much reason to choose one over the other. I personally chose the Tree Suspension kit as they’re smaller and more packable, and I never found them to damage any trees. You can’t go wrong with either, and the both function equally well and in the same way.
I really like the Sea to Summit Pro Hammock system. Small changes to the tried and true formula like the integrated waterproof stuff sack, the lightning fast setup via the aluminum clips, and the infinitely adjustable length adjusters make for a very convenient, easy to use system. It’s also helpful that it is so impressively lightweight and compact. I found myself tossing it into my day pack, just in case, even when I wasn’t planning on using it. When I did use it, it certainly paid off. It’s comfortable, looks great, and has held up flawlessly in my testing. It provides an innovative, convenient, and lightweight solution for those who are crave the comfort and serenity of dangling between two trees, just without the bulk and weight of more traditional systems.
For more information on Sea to Summit and their wide range of gear, check out their website, http://www.seatosummitusa.com/
For information on our rating system and our testing procedures, check out our About us/ Contact us page.
I want to extend a huge thanks to Sea to Summit for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help. Our full disclosure can be found here.
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