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Reviews > Shelters > Hammocks > Eagles Nest Outfitters CAMONEST XL > Test Report by Brian Hartman

EAGLES NEST OUTFITTERS CAMONEST XL HAMMO
TEST SERIES BY BRIAN HARTMAN
LONG-TERM REPORT
September 13, 2015

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Brian Hartman
EMAIL: bhart1426ATyahooDOT com
AGE: 47
LOCATION: Westfield, Indiana
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 145 lb (65.80 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 20 years throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and most recently in Western USA. In addition to backpacking I enjoy family camping with my wife and kids and being outdoors in general. I would describe myself as a mid-weight backpacker. I use fairly light weight equipment and gear but still like to bring more than the bare essentials with me while on the trail.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Eagles Nest Outfitters, Inc IMAGE 1
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.eaglesnestoutfitters.com/
MSRP: US $94.95
Material: 70-denier nylon taffeta
Listed Weight: 19 oz (454 g)
Measured Weight: 20 oz (567 g)
Unfolded Dimensions: 112 in (284.5 cm) x 74 in (188 cm)
Folded Dimensions: 5.5 in (14 cm) x 4.5 in (11.4 cm)
Weight Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kg)
Color: Forest Camo
Warranty: 2 Years

Atlas Suspension Straps
MSRP: US $29.95
Material: Poly-Filament webbing
Listed Weight: 11 oz (312 g)
Measured Weight: 11 oz (312 g)
Unfolded Dimensions: 108 in (274.3 cm) x 1 in (2.54 cm)
Folded Dimensions: 4 in (10 cm) x 2.25 in (5.7 cm)
Weight Capacity: 200 lbs (90.5 kg) per strap
Color: Black with blue stitchings
Adjustment Points: 15 adjustment points per strap


Designed by Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) in Asheville, North Carolina (NC), the CamoNest XL Hammock (hereafter called CamoNest XL or hammock) is a lightweight, two-person camouflaged hammock made for backpacking and camping. It is 112 in (284.5 cm) long, 74 in (188 cm) wide and weighs 19 oz (567 g). The CamoNest XL is constructed from 70D breathable, quick-drying nylon and has a 400 lb (181 kg) load capacity. As seen in the above photo (and its name), the CamoNest XL comes in a forest camouflage pattern that blends into wooded surroundings. ENO also sells a narrower version of this hammock, called the CamoNest, which is 55 in (140 cm) wide for single person camping. ENO makes a number of other hammocks in addition to the CamoNest and CamoNest XL. These include the SingleNest, DoubleNest, ProNest and JungleNest. The main difference between these hammocks is their width and color, as all of the hammocks use the same materials and have similar lengths and load capacities. Speciafically, the CamoNest XL and DoubleNest are wider hammocks, allowing for a flatter sleeping position when lying crosswise and/or more room when two people are sharing sleeping space.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

IMAGE 2

The CamoNest XL arrived in a small cardboard shipping box along with ENO's latest edition Atlas suspension straps. The Atlas straps are sold separately, but in this case I'm testing the hammock and straps together as a system. One other note is that ENO hammocks do not come with bug netting or rain tarps but these items can be purchased separately on ENO's website or through their retailers.

My first impression of the CamoNest XL was quite positive. Having always been a tent camper, I was immediately struck by its small size. With no tent poles to consider, the CamoNest XL in its stuff sack is about the size of a softball, albeit heavier in weight. Both items, hammock and suspension straps, were packaged in their own stuff sacks, and each had a hang tag on the outside. Like a kid at Christmas, I went for the biggest present first and quickly opened the hammock. Upon doing so I realized that the stuff sack is an integral part of the hammock, literally sewn right onto it. Great idea ENO, as that is one less item to worry about getting lost! Upon inspection I found the hammock to be in perfect condition with no rips, tears or loose threads anywhere. The seams were triple stitched (nice touch) and at either end of the hammock were stout aluminum wiregate carabiners, something I'm sure I'll appreciate while hanging several feet off the ground. The fabric used for the CamoNest XL, and all of ENO's hammocks, is 70D nylon taffeta. It feels soft to the touch and is reported to be quite breathable by the manufacturer, but boy is it thin. As one who has never set foot in a backpacking hammock, I imagine it will take time for me to get comfortable trusting the thinly woven nylon, regardless of its 400 lbs (181 kg) rating.


Moving on to the Atlas straps - each one is 108 in (274.3 cm) long and 1 in (2.54 cm) wide and has 15 loops, spaced 4 in (10 cm) apart, starting in the middle of the strap and extending to its end. Adjusting the hammock is as simple as moving the carabiners from one loop to the next. Ingenious design! I can only imagine how much time this must save versus systems that require knots to be tied, untied and then retied while trying to level the hammock and adjust it for the correct hang angle.



READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The hang tags included with the hammock and Atlas straps were quite informative, providing specs for each item and a brief description of how to use them.

Regarding care and cleaning of the CamoNest XL, ENO recommends first removing the carabiners, then machine washing the hammock in a front loading washer on delicate cycle with a mild detergent like Woolite. Alternatively the hammock can be hand washed using the same type of detergent. The manufacturer does not recommend putting the hammock in the dryer, preferring it to air dry.

One other note I found on ENO's website is that UV rays can cause the hammock to fade and become brittle, which can lead to tearing. Therefore, when not in use, ENO recommends storing it indoors in a cool, dry place.

TRYING IT OUT

My first time setting up the CamoNest XL with the Atlas straps was a breeze. For my initial test I found two trees in my backyard that looked to be about fifteen feet (4.6 m) apart and wrapped the Atlas straps around both of them. Securing the straps to the trees was as simple as slipping one end of each strap through the loop on the other end and then pulling them taut. Once done, I attached the CamoNest XL to the straps via the carabiners and then stepped back to see if the hammock was hanging level. As it turned out, the right side of the hammock was about six inches lower than the left, so I simply moved the carabiner on that side up two loops and was done. All told, it took me 2.5 minutes to unpack and hang the hammock. Of course, when camping in the woods, I would still need to set up my bug net and rain tarp which would take additional time.

IMAGE 3


Now, for the moment of truth; I turned so that my back was facing the hammock, grabbed the fabric with my hands and sat down. So far so good. Then I swung my legs up, laid back and well I guess I need to practice because I ended up with a fair amount of fabric bunched under me and my head about six inches (15.2 cm) below my feet. I tried to arch my back and push with my feet to un-bunch the fabric and correct my position but was unsuccessful. I guess this hammock thing will take me at least a little while to master. Overall though I'm very excited about this hammock and the opportunity to test it in the field.

SUMMARY

This concludes my Initial Report for the CamoNest XL.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

IMAGE 1 Since my Initial Report in April I've spent eight nights in the ENO CamoNest XL hammock. The first night was spent in my backyard getting used to its set up and my new sleeping accommodations as this was my first time 'hanging'. Once dialed in, I spent the remaining seven nights sleeping in the woods.

My first trip was to the Hoosier National Forest in Brown County, Indiana (IN) where I camped out for two nights. This area is heavily wooded and quite hilly with elevations ranging from 600 - 850 ft (182 - 260 m). The weather was mild and sunny on this particular weekend with highs in the mid 60s F (high teens C) and lows in the upper 40s F (upper single digits C). I covered approximately 11 mi (18 km) while backpacking in and out of my campsite.

My second trip was a four night outing to Chuluota, Florida (FL) where temperatures were much warmer, with highs near 90 F (32 C) and lows in the upper 70s F (mid twentys C). The first two days were sunny but then it rained on days three and four. During the course of this trip I hiked 26 mi (42 km) on well maintained trails that had minimal elevation changes.

My third trip was an overnighter to Oldenburg, IN where I spent most of my time hanging around camp with my dog, only hiking 2 miles (3.2 km) total. The weather on this trip was mild with overnight temperatures of 72 F (22 C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

EASE OF SETUP: The CamoNest was very easy to pitch, thanks to the Atlas straps and wiregate carabiners. The Atlas straps were plenty long for even large diameter trees. In addition, they were simple to use, adjustable in 6 in (15.2 cm) increments, and very strong. The carabiners, for their part, were lightweight, durable and easy to use. Together the Atlas straps and carabiners made the process of attaching the hammock between two trees effortless.

After the first couple nights of Field Testing, I decided to add a ridgeline to the hammock to ensure it hung just right, not too loose and not too tight. The ridgeline removed all of the guesswork from hanging the hammock. As long as it was taut I knew the hammock was perfectly hung. The ridgeline also supported my mosquito netting and gave me a place to hang things at night. Taking down the hammock was just as easy as setting it up and I really liked the fact that ENO made the stuff sack large enough so that packing the hammock into it was not a chore.

SIZE AND WEIGHT: When packed, the CamoNest XL and Atlas straps easily fit in my backpack. As a lifelong tent camper it was nice not having to pack tent poles and position everything else in my pack around them. Regarding weight, even though the hammock and straps weighed less than my tent, once I added the rain fly, mosquito netting and insulation, there was no appreciable difference. When hung, the CamoNest XL had plenty of leg and shoulder room. In truth, the hammock had too much room because no matter how I positioned myself there was 8 or 10 in (20 or 25 cm) of loose fabric on either side of me that drooped over my face and flapped in the wind. The extra fabric was bothersome to say the least.

COMFORT: I found hammocking to be very enjoyable and the ENO CamoNest XL was incredibly comfortable to sleep in. The fabric was soft and supportive and I was able to lie fairly straight in the hammock and had plenty of leg and shoulder room to stretch out. As a natural back sleeper I had no problems adjusting to the requisite sleeping position. Being up off the hard ground, having no worries about my tent flooding in a rain storm, and having good air circulation, were just a few of the things that come to mind when I thought about the eight nights I spent in the ENO. The only thing that prevented me from getting a good sleep each night was the fabric issue above. It got to the point in Florida that after three nights of being woken up with fabric in my face I considered surgically fixing the problem areas.

BREATHABILITY AND DURABILITY: The CamoNest XL is made from micro fiber nylon that's breathable and quick drying. When sleeping in the hot, sticky Florida weather it was nice to lie directly on the fabric as the air circulation helped evaporate some of my sweat. I also really liked being off the ground so the air could circulate around me. Having slept in tents many times in 90 F (32 C) temperatures I can definitely say that this was a better experience. The photo below shows me relaxing near one of the inland lakes after several miles of backpacking. I just kept my fingers crossed that the camouflage would hide me from any alligators that came on shore that night.

When it rained on my third and fourth nights in FL, any fabric that got wet dried out very quickly once the rain ended. The straps dried quickly as well so I never had to wait long before breaking camp each morning. I have had no problems with durability of the nylon fabric. As light as it is, the fabric is amazingly strong. Finally, all of the seams have held tight and I haven't seen any loose stitching in the field.

SPACE: One thing I'm still getting used to with hammocking is the lack of space for storing my gear when it rains. While in the tent, I was easily able to unpack and lay out my gear as well as bring in my boots and backpack so they didn't get wet. The tent also gave me a place to get dressed when it was cold or raining and I could even cook in my vestibule if I wanted. Obviously I won't be able to do all of these things in a hammock but I've already added two hang bags to my ridgeline and am working on a solution to suspend my trail shoes beneath the hammock.

IMAGE 2 IMAGE 3

SUMMARY

Lying in the ENO CamoNest XL has been a blast and I'm hopeful of finding a fix for the fabric issue so I can get a full night's sleep. After hanging in the trees for eight nights, I'm starting to understand why hammock people are so passionate. Hammocking has made me rethink how I pack, what I bring and where I camp, all in a very positive way. I still have a lot to learn about hammock camping but am excited to continue the journey.

This concludes my Field Report for the ENO CamoNest XL hammock. Thanks to Eagles Nest Outfitters and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item. Please check back in two months for my Long Term Report.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

IMAGE 1 I spent four more nights in the CamoNest XL during Long Term Testing. When not hanging I read and talked to other people about hammocking and tried to use that knowledge on future trips. I often found that little things (like sleeping with my head slightly lower than my feet, increasing the length of my ridgeline ever so slightly, and choosing trees that were just a little farther apart) made a big difference in how well I slept. As temperatures are just now starting to cool down I have started reading about the best ways to insulate myself from the cold, something I took for granted when tent camping as my pad and sleeping bag were always with me.

Brown County, Indiana (IN): This was a two night backpacking trip of approximately 11 miles (18 km). The weather was warm and wet with temperatures in the upper 70s F (26 C). Rainfall during this trip was almost 2.1 inches (5.3 cm). The terrain was heavily forested and quite rugged.

Hoosier National Forest, Indiana (IN): Daytime temperatures reached 98 F (37 C) on this overnight backpacking trip through the Charles Deam Wilderness Area. I hiked approximately 5 miles (8 km) on this trip, mostly on trail with a brief bushwhack to our campsite on the shore of Lake Monroe. The terrain was forested and moderately hilly with elevations ranging from 530 ft (161 m) to 780 ft (238 m).

Franklin County, Indiana (IN): This was another overnight backpacking trip through the rolling fields and mature forests of Southeastern Indiana. I hiked 5 mi (8 km) on the first day and 4 mi (6.4 km) on the second day. The weather during this trip was cool and breezy with partly sunny skies and afternoon highs in the mid 70's (24 C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

During my three day trip to Brown County, IN constant rain showers made the ground extremely wet and muddy. Thank goodness I was sleeping off the ground in the CamoNest hammock. For one thing I didn't have to worry about my tent floor leaking and all of my gear getting wet. Second, it was nice being able to use the hammock as a chair since the ground was way too waterlogged to be sitting on.

My trip to the Hoosier National Forest saw very hot and humid weather with a heat index of 104 F (40 C). Once again I was very happy to be suspended above ground, this time so that air could circulate around me. I'm quite sure that sleeping in a tent on this trip would have been unbearable due to the sweltery conditions. The breathability of ENO's hammock fabric made a big difference as well. For example, my back was sweaty when I climbed into the hammock around 10 PM, yet several hours later the sweat had evaporated and my back was dry.

IMAGE 2
The downside to the hammock's breathability, however, came on my next trip which was to Franklin County, IN. Evening temperatures were much cooler this time around and by midnight I could feel the chilly air against my back. The intermittent chills I felt the rest of the night were mostly due to me being ill prepared and not bringing enough insulation for the weather conditions. As a newbie to hammocking I'm still learning how much insulation to bring and what kind is best. As temperatures cool down even further this fall I will most likely need to invest in a quilt. Oh well, time to clear some older things out of my gear closet so I can make room for more stuff.

Finally the CamoNest came in quite handy as a chair while cooking dinner in Franklin County, IN. Once I lowered it to the right height, an easy thing to do with the Atlas straps, it was very easy to tend my stove while relaxing in the hammock. In that regard, I really like it when items serve a dual purpose as that helps keep my pack weight down and gives me more flexibility on the trail.

Overall the CamoNest proved quite durable during my testing. It easily held my body weight and showed no signs of deterioration whatsoever. Likewise, the seams are all intact and there are no loose threads or other visible defects.

SUMMARY

Likes
- Comfort: Once I figured out how to lie correctly in the hammock it was very comfortable
- Fabric: The microfiber nylon fabric is lightweight and strong, yet very durable and breathable. A great overall choice for this hammock.
- Atlas straps: These straps are wonderful. They are simple to use and make setting up my shelter a breeze

Wish List
- I really wish there wasn't so much excess fabric on the sides of this hammock. In my opinion it takes away from an otherwise great product.

This concludes this test series for the CamoNest XL. Thanks to Eagles Nest Outfitters and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this hammock.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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