Tent vs Hammock: Which is Better for Camping?

Published August 4th, 2022 by Allen Campbell

Tent vs Hammock which is better for camping

There’s a lot to think about when picking gear for camping. Comfort is important, but so is an adventure. Tent camping has its drawbacks, but hammocks offer something new and more comfortable. There are benefits to both options that make them worth considering. 

I have a lot of expertise and insight into the matter, so I can help you decide which option is best for you. In this blog post, I’ll go over the benefits and drawbacks of each option so that when it comes time to choose between Tent or Hammock, you’ll be fully informed. So, let’s get started!

Tent vs Hammock: Which is Better for Camping?: Summary

What's a Camping Tent?

Kelty Late Start 4 Person Camping Tent

Tents have a long and varied history, with many different types of tents being used for different purposes. Today, the most common type of tent used for camping is the basic comfort tent, which can be found at local campgrounds or on private property.

From two-person models that are perfect for backpacking to large, six-person models that have enough space for the whole family, these modern camping tents come in a variety of styles to suit any need.

Tunnel and geodesic models are popular choices for those planning to do some mountaineering, while traditional half dome tents are a good option for backpackers. Also, roof-style tents that are more like small homes on wheels are perfect for car campers.

Tents provide an opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and natural surroundings without spending a lot of money. Whether you’re traveling or settled into one place long-term, a tent can offer you the protection and comfort you need.

What's a Camping Hammock?

Hammocks are one of the oldest types of hanging beds, with a history that dates back thousands of years. Mayan people in Central America are thought to be the first to use hammocks. They were later adopted by sailors, who found them to be a space-saving alternative to regular beds inside the cabin of a ship.

Hammocks are often hung between two trees in order to create an outdoor bed. Fabricated from a piece of good quality material, such as cotton or nylon. 

The fabric is woven in a way that makes it strong and durable, able to withstand even harsh weather conditions without tearing. This allows people to relax under the shade or sun with friends.

There are two main types of camping hammocks: single and double. Single hammocks are good for solo campers, while double hammocks are ideal when you want to spend time with your partner in the same space.

Tent vs Hammock: Differences

Price comparison

Price is the primary factor that runs in our minds while buying camping gear and your shelter will top the list of being expensive. They can broadly vary as per the brand or any other specifications. However, a 2-person tent would normally cost $150-$400.

If you want to camp in your tent, then you need to consider other expenses as well, like a sleeping pad. A sleeping pad will cost you between $50-$200 and is an absolute necessity if you want to be comfortable while camping.

On the other hand, if you purchase a hammock, then it will initially cost you between $50-$200. Also, add in the accessories like straps and tarps at around $80.

Best One- Although, the hammock is a much better option as it saves you from purchasing a sleeping pad and other gear. In total, it will cost you around $130 to $300, which is way cheaper than what you would spend on a tent.

Ease of setup

You’ll want to consider how easy the shelter is to set up when making your purchase. If you’re planning on spending any significant amount of time hiking, you don’t want to have to spend hours setting up your campsite every night. A quick and easy shelter is essential.

If I talk about tents, I would say that if you are a first-time camper, the most difficult thing about setting up your tent is all of the poles and stakes involved. It is true that, with practice, the process becomes less difficult.

The hammock, on the other hand, is a shelter that can be set up in just a few minutes. All you need are two trees (or any other suitable support). And there’s no need for poles or stakes. Just put up your hammock and you’re ready to go but it is easy when you find the ideal width between the trees.

The hammock also requires some level of assembly before you can use it. This is because you have to consider the tarp, which protects you from rain and sun. When done correctly, setting up a hammock takes the same amount of time or even less time than pitching a tent.

Best one- It takes the same amount of time to set up a tent as it does to set up a hammock! Both can be pitched in just a few minutes, but it takes practice to get them just right.

Comfort and Sleeping

Sleeping outside is great, but sometimes it’s just not enough – especially if you want to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for adventure.

Tents are considered more comfortable than hammocks because they provide materials that mimic home furniture, like mattresses or pillows. This is the common reason why most people choose to sleep in a tent rather than a hammock.

It is because hammock sleeping is all the rage these days and it’s not for everyone. Some find that they sleep better when suspended between two trees while others get uncomfortable in their midnight state because of the lack of support for their back or neck. 

Additionally, the wide-open exposure to the night air and any noises that come with it can be unsettling for some people.

Best One- Tents are the better choice for those who want to be comfortable while sleeping, while hammocks are more popular these days but don’t offer the same level of comfort.

Safety and protection

If you are not camping with protection from the outside elements, make sure that your shelter provides ample coverage against them. You might have to face some risks like bugs or animals if you don’t have a good shelter. In terms of protection, hammocks don’t offer much. 

However, when you put them together with other accessories like a bug net or tarp, they can become a fair addition to your camping gear.

On the other hand, tents are great for protecting you from the elements, especially in heavy winds. They also provide excellent bug protection and weather resistance. It is obvious that tents have a lot of advantages over hammocks in terms of protection.

Best One- If you are looking for a shelter that can offer great protection against the elements, a tent is definitely your best bet. Additionally, you don’t need to purchase any other gear to use with it, as you do with a hammock.

Packability and portability

While planning your backpacking trip, be sure to consider the packability and portability of your shelter option. A hammock is a great choice for those who need to save space and weight, as most are designed to be easily packed up and carried on the go.

On the other hand, tents can be more difficult to transport, especially if you are traveling solo. Even the lighter weight tent (i.e two-person tent) will be significantly heavier than a hammock, so be sure to consider this. It makes them a less ideal option for those looking to save space and weight.

In a group camping situation, however, it is worth it to bring along a four-person tent instead of four hammocks. The weight savings and portability will be appreciated by your whole team.

Best One- A hammock’s packability and portability make it an ideal shelter for backpacking trips where you need to minimize your load as compared to the tent.


The hammock is perfect camping gear if you only want to camp in forested areas. However, if you find yourself traveling and camping in different landscapes and at various times of the year, a hammock might not provide all your needs. 

It is because hammocks have natural restrictions that limit their uses outside forests with tree cover. You may want to consider a tent if you enjoy going on the move and exploring new places.

I don’t suggest you use hammocks if you go camping in the winter because they’re often too thin or poorly made to keep you warm when it’s below freezing outside. The material of the hammock will do nothing against heavy snow loads. 

Even if you are available with a tarp, it is difficult to keep you dry and warm since the hammock are not made to use in the winter. If you have to camp in the winter, I recommend you use a tent rather than a hammock.

Best One- The versatility of tents makes them a good choice for camping in different terrains and seasons. However, hammocks are not as versatile and are only suitable for use in forested areas.

Extra Accessories

If you want to add a touch of glow and more comfort then a tent would be the best place, you can string lights along the roofline. This would be more helpful when you do not have a light source and also exploring nature at the night. 

The tent has many other benefits like vestibules which help to keep your belongings in one place.

But hammocks don’t have as many features as a tent, they are usually kept simple without any adornments. But the hammock will do just fine in forests.

Best One- Tents can provide a comfortable and serene camping experience by offering features such as extra room inside and doors with windows.

Tents vs Hammocks: Conclusion

Ultimately, the decision of whether to use a tent or hammock for camping comes down to personal preference. Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s important to consider what is most important to you when making your choice. 

If you want more protection from the elements and are looking for a versatile option that can be used in a variety of settings, then a tent might be the better choice for you. But if you prefer lightweight gear and enjoy the flexibility that hammocks offer, then go ahead and pack up your trusty hammock!


Why are hammocks so relaxing?

The hammock is relaxing because when you are sleeping on it your diaphragm has more room to expand and therefore you take deeper breaths. In that way, it also slows your pulse rate and decreases your blood pressure. Additionally, the hammocks help your muscles to fully relax by taking gravity’s pull off of them.

Is tent camping cheaper than RV?

One advantage of tent camping over RVing is that it is often more affordable. RVs can be expensive, and they require more equipment and hookups than tents. With a tent, all you need is some basic equipment like sleeping bags or blankets and one sturdy tent. This can save you money while still allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors.

How long does a hammock last?

The longevity of a hammock is determined by various elements, for example, the material it is made of, how often it is used, and if it is taken care of properly. Hammocks made with natural materials, such as cotton, will last longer than synthetic hammocks if they are used frequently and well-maintained.

On the other hand, hammocks that are only used occasionally will last longer than those used more often. Furthermore, it is essential to keep your hammock away from the sun and rain as well as to inspect it regularly for any wear and tear.

What should you not bring camping?

You should avoid bringing anything made of glass on a camping trip because it is fragile and can break easily. Additionally, try to limit the number of electronics you bring since batteries can die quickly in cold weather. Finally, remember to leave any valuables at home to avoid losing them or attracting unwanted attention from wildlife.

Allen Campbell with Master Canopies

Allen Campbell

Allen is a full time writer at Mastercanopies.com and enjoys traveling around the United States and exploring nature. He enjoys writing about canopies as he believes they are extremely crucial in having a successful camping trip whether it be a trip to the beach, mountains, or the open plains.

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