EAGLES NEST OUTFITTERS
CAMONEST XL HAMMO
BY BRIAN HARTMAN
September 13, 2015
HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT
bhart1426ATyahooDOT com |
||5' 9" (1.75
||145 lb (65.80
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.
PRODUCT INFORMATION &
Manufacturer: Eagles Nest
Year of Manufacture: 2015
MSRP: US $94.95
Material: 70-denier nylon taffeta
Listed Weight: 19 oz
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
Weight Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kg)
Color: Forest Camo
Atlas Suspension Straps
MSRP: US $29.95
Listed Weight: 11 oz (312 g)
Measured Weight: 11 oz
Unfolded Dimensions: 108 in (274.3 cm) x 1 in (2.54 cm)
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.
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)
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.
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
This concludes my Initial Report
for the CamoNest XL.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND
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.
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
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.
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.
LikesThis report was created with
Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
- 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
- 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.
Read more reviews of Eagles Nest Outfitters gear
Read more gear reviews by Brian Hartman