Just Jeff's Hiking Page

"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose
we came from the woods originally."

- John Muir

How do hammock weights compare to ground setups?

I made this chart just to compare a few setups that are representative of what people actually carry. While I'm always trying to cut unnecessary weight from my pack, I'm not sure how useful these comparisons are - I think that once you get to a certain point, a few ounces won't be the deciding factor for most hikers. For example, Carol Crooker from BackpackingLight.com has posted a few sub-5 pound base weights (including pack) for her trips. Those stories are worth a read (but you'll need a membership), but here's my point - if you can get your base weight below 5 pounds, what difference does it make if your ground setup saves 3 ounces over her hammock setup? Aside from the challenge of seeing how light you can go, most hikers won't make their decisions based solely on a 3 ounce difference when they're actually choosing a sleep system.

So how do the weights compare? Pretty favorably, considering the comfort of a hammock. According to these weights, it's possible to get hammock setup weights to be equal to ground setups, even lighter in some cases, but most are a few ounces more. No big deal - it's not a contest and most hammockers say they do it for the comfort and not the weight savings - but here are some important points to consider when comparing weights:

So the big idea here is just to throw out some comparisons, not to convince folks to go either way. Everyone will find the system that works for their hiking style, and as long as we're all out in the woods it's all good...


Here are a few WB threads that I used to compile these weights:

Hammock Setup Ground Setup
Summer Temps
15 - HH Adventure Racer (w/ tarp)
02 - Stakes
16 - JRB Shenandoah Universal Blanket (Top Quilt)
33 oz total - 2 lbs 1 oz - 936 g

12 - Homemade Hammock w/ Supports (no bugnet)
16 - JRB Shenandoah Top Quilt
07 - MacCat Micro Tarp
04 - Stakes
39 oz total - 2 lbs 7 oz - 1106 g

05 - BMW SpinTarp X Pro
04 - 6 stakes
04 - Gossamer Gear NiteLite pad
04 - Tyvek ground cloth
16 - JRB SUB top quilt
32 oz total - 2 lbs 0 oz - 907 g (no bug protection)
Temperature: 40s F
11 - Homemade Speer (w/o bugnet)
29 - PeaPod
07 - MacCat Micro
04 - 4 stakes w/ cord
51 oz total - 3 lbs 3 oz - 1446 g

19 - Speer 8.0 (w/ bugnet)
29 - Speer PeaPod
13 - Speer 8x10 Tarp
04 - 4 stakes w/ cord
65 oz total - 4 lbs 1 oz - 1843 g

Medicine Man's Setup:
22 - Hennessey Lite Racer
14 - McCat Delux Fly
16 - Arc Ghost
15 - JacksRBetter Shenandoah
67 oz total - 4 lbs 3 oz - 1899 g

Bullseye's Setup:
17.6 - ID Silponcho/BMW Bivy combo
17.0 - MH Phantom (45 F)
08.9 - BMW Torsolite
43.5 oz total - 2 lbs 11.5 oz - 1233 g (no bugnet or stakes in weight)
Temperature: 30s F
11 - Homemade Speer (w/o bugnet)
03.5 - Speer SPE
10 - Equinox CCF Pad 20"x72"x3/8"
16 - Speer Top Blanket
09 - JRB 8x8
02 - 2 stakes w/ cord
51.5 oz total - 3 lbs 3.5 oz - 1460 g (37F)

Risk's setup:
23.4 - WarmHammock w/ 2" insulation, bugnet, suspension
11 - Homemade Tarp
24.5 - Homemade Quilt
04 - Stakes/line
63 oz total - 3 lbs 11 oz - 1673 g (30 F)

11 - Speer (w/o bugnet)
29 - PeaPod
16 - Top Blanket
09 - JRB 8x8 Tarp
02 - 2 stakes w/ cord
67 oz total - 4 lbs 3 oz - 1900 g (30 F)

20 - HH UL BP Asym
20 - JRB Nest Underquilt
20 - JRB No Sniveler Top Quilt
02 - JRB Connectors
09 - JRB 8x8 Tarp
02 - 2 stakes w/ cord
73 oz total - 4 lbs 9 oz - 2070 g (30 F)

Borntired's Setup:
15 - Sil Shelter
08 - Stakes
10 - CCF pad
16 - WM Highlight (35F)
49 oz total - 3 lbs 1 oz - 1389 g (no bugnet)

Guru's Setup:
09 - Gossamer Gear Spinnshelter
wt - stakes 16 - ThermaRest ProLite 4 Short
20 - WM Caribou (35 F)
45 oz total - 2 lbs 13 oz - 1276 g (no bugnet or stakes in weight)

Chris's Setup:
17 - DL Tacoma Tarp (w/ 8 stakes and CF pole)
12 - 3/4 length Z-rest
24 - WM Highlight (35 F) w/ ID silk liner
53 oz total - 3 lbs 5 oz - 1503 g (30 F - no bugnet)

Temperature: 20s F
26 - Homemade Down Hammock w/ supports
24 - JRB Old Rag Mountain
07 - MacCat Micro Tarp
03 - Stakes
60 oz total - 3 lbs 12 oz - 1701 g

12 - Homemade Hammock w/ Supports
07 - MacCat Micro Tarp
31 - 20"x72"x2.8" Exped Downmat 7 w/ stuffsack
03.5 - SPE
26 - WM Ultralite 20 F
79.5 oz - 4 lbs 15 oz - 2254g

Peter Pan's 15-25 F setup
16 - HH Extreme Light Racer
11 - JRB Tarp w/ lines and ti ul pegs
21 - JRB Nest w/ suspension system (underquilt)
20 - JRB No Sniveller (2nd underquilt)
24 - JRB Old Rag Mtn (top quilt)
00 - 11x20 CCF pad, carried as backpack frame
00 - Clothing that would be carried anyway (balaclava, down sleeves, etc)
76 oz total - 4 lbs 12 oz - g

MedicineMan's Setup:
51 - Speer Hammock and PeaPod 8.5
20 - Arc Alpinist (20 degree top quilt)
20 - McCat Deluxe/Balaclava and down socks
04 - Insurance CCF Pad torso to tail
95 oz total - 5 lbs 15 oz - g

Milesbarger's Setup:
14.5 - Gatewood Cape (w/ 8 stakes, lines, groundsheet, stuff sack)
03.3 Homemade 55" x 108" nanoseeum bug shroud
15.9 25F quilt/bag hybrid with insulated hood
05.7 Gossamer Gear NightLight torso + ThinLight 1/8"
39.4 oz total - 2 lbs 7.4 oz - 1117 g (no bugnet)

Footsloggers Setup:
23 - Six Moon Design Lunar Solo-e (w/ floor and bug mesh)
wt - stakes
10 - Thermarest Ultralight 3/4 Length
34 - 20 F down bag
67 oz total - 4 lbs 3 oz - 1899 g

Beachwalker's Setup:
26 - Tarptent Virga 1 (w/ floor)
wt - stakes
20 - Thermareset Prolite 3
26 - WM Ultralite 20 F
72 oz total - 4 lbs 8 oz - 2041 g

Happy's Setup:
33 - Tarptent Nomadlight (w/ groundcloth, ti-stakes and max ties)
32 - WM Ultralight (20 F) and Jagbag mummy silk liner
11 - 3/4 length Z-rest
76 oz total - 4 lbs 12 oz - 2155 g

Temperature: 0 F
Risk's setup:
23.4 - WarmHammock w/ 2" insulation, TravelPod, suspension
11.0 - Homemade Tarp
24.5 - Homemade Quilt
04.0 - Stakes/line*
63 oz total - 3 lbs 11 oz - 1786 g

Gardenville's Setup:
16.9 - Silk Speer w/ Bugnet
12.8 - Custom MacCat Tarp
01.8 - Stakes/line
23.0 - Homemade Down Air Mattress
23.0 - Homemade Down Top Quilt
77.5 oz total - 4 lbs 13 oz - 2197 g

Peter Pan's "single digits" setup
16 - HH Extreme Light Racer
11 - JRB Tarp w/ lines and ti ul pegs
21 - JRB Nest w/ suspension system (underquilt)
20 - JRB No Sniveller (2nd underquilt)
24 - JRB Old Rag Mtn (top quilt)
19 - Weather Shield Top and Bottom
00 - 11x20 CCF pad, carried as backpack frame
00 - Clothing that would be carried anyway (balaclava, down sleeves, etc)
111 oz total - 6 lbs 15 oz - g

wt - Ground Shelter
wt - stakes
wt - Ground pad
wt - Ground bag
XX oz total - lbs oz - g

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