Camping has always been a strictly tent-based affair for me. Tents may have thin walls, but their shelter allows me to crawl into an insulated sleeping bag of my choosing. This summer the folks at Kammok tempted me to take their signature hammock out camping. I was skeptical. The thought of cold Mt. Hood air surrounding me all night long actually scared me a bit. Sure, the Kammok Roo hammock might be comfortable during hangout time, but sleeping?
My primary concern was heat, of course. What I quickly learned is that no hammock itself can keep you warm. The Kammok Roo hammock, for instance, is made of a parachute-like ripstop fabric that weighs 24 ounces with carabiners. It’s hard for something that lightweight to do much insulation. Instead, it’s all about the gear.
I didn’t get a chance to test Kammok’s camping quilt, but with a 29-degree rated sleeping bag I did OK. The quilt’s extra insulation would’ve been nice when the breeze kicked up. Because the material’s so thin, the wind tended to cause a surface chill pretty quickly. But I survived to sleep another day. The wind didn’t cause any swinging, which I attribute more to my weight than to the camping hammock itself, but a tent still probably would have been more comfortable in stronger gusts. Fortunately it didn’t rain — I wasn’t equipped for that — but heat-wise I did fine.
Once I (mostly) put the temperature demons to rest, my attention moved to posture-related comfort. I tend to roll around in my sleep and settle onto a side rather than lie on my back. That positioning seems less likely on a hammock, so I was curious how I’d fare. I ended up on my back all night, but the stretch of the Kammok Roo hammock kept me comfortable. One thing that really helped with that was the hammock’s 5-foot 7-inch width.
I’ve relaxed in hammocks before that felt tight any time I reclined in them. Not the Kammok Roo hammock. Even when fully wrapped like a human burrito, I always felt like I could maneuver my shoulders a bit if needed. Since I roll around at night and value freedom of movement, that was huge for me. It was strange to be “stuck” on my back all night, but knowing I could wiggle a bit if I wanted to helped my state of mind. It also therefore helped me get mentally comfortable enough to sleep.
The Kammok Roo hammock proved quite durable, and it has a nice 500-pound capacity to allow two adults to fit into it without fear. It even held-up against everything my kids threw at it — except spaghetti sauce. Bouncing, swinging, jumping … my kids were never able to rip the fabric or the carabiner connections (thank goodness). I was nervous and corrected them as much as I could, but they still got rather abusive with the hammock. The only time it suffered was when a little spaghetti sauce on the cheek wiped up against the Roo’s LunarWave fabric. Although I wiped it off as quickly as I could, the sauce stained the hammock almost immediately. This didn’t affect the hammock’s functionality, but it did leave a mark. I was surprised it stained so quickly.
If I try my hand at warm-weather backpacking camping, I can totally see the Kammok Roo hammock as an overnight staple. It packs down into a stuff sack that’s five inches in diameter, and the optional Python Straps are crazy strong for their lightweight nature and have an equally small footprint. I’d want to take out a Dragonfly mosquito net as well, which I didn’t test but imagine is just as small and light. In other words, while I may not be a full-time convert to hammock camping, my experience with the Kammok Roo hammock at least made me consider the possibilities. And the journey’s all about baby steps, right?
The Kammok Roo hammock and python straps were provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and the article contains no affiliate links.
Kammok Roo Hammock
- Nice and wide for broad-shouldered guys like me
- Holds up to jumping and swinging abuse from kids
- Python straps (optional) provide a very sturdy suspension system
- Climbing-caliber carabiners are very durable
- Packs down small, but over time it gets harder to smash down
- Stains more easily than expected, but that has no impact on functionality