I recently received a Double Hammock from Grand Trunk Goods to review. Grand Trunk Goods claims that the Double Hammock is “The world’s best portable hammock.” So, in this cursory review, I set out to find out if that claim was true. I’ve used these simple fabric hammocks before and currently own three of them. They occasionally get put up in the backyard (although this year has been too buggy to enjoy them), and now and then I like to take them along on trips into the BWCA, especially on trips to Brule Lake. There are a bunch of island campsites on Brule Lake and it’s great to paddle to one, relax for a couple of days in a hammock while reading a great book — it seems like I haven’t done that for ages.
One of the many hammocks I own is the Byer Traveller Lite Hammock. It has been used more than the others and has lasted over 10 years, including a couple of years where I set it up in the backyard and left it there for a summer. The fabric is faded and the ropes are on its last legs. It’s a light hammock, only 16 ounces, so as it deteriorated, I wondered what lightweight hammock I was going to replace it with. When the Grand Trunk Double Hammock showed up at the door, I wondered if the Grand Trunk would work as a good replacement.
The Grand Trunk Double Hammock features high-strength, mildew-resistant fabric with triple-stitched seams and nautical-grade hanging carabiners. It has a built-in stuff sack. It weighs 20 ounces, but is big enough for two people assuming that together both people weigh less than 400 pounds. The hammock comes rope and hanging instructions. The included rope consists of two loops — one for each end. On my scale, with the rope and biners, the hammock weighed 27 ounces.
To test the hammock out, I took it on a day trip to Brule Lake in the BWCA. At lunch we set it up and took turns trying it out. The rope system worked well. To use the rope, hitch it around a tree. To shorten the length, you tie a knot and then clip a carabiner into the loop or rope in front of a knot. It’s slick and simple and better than knotting rope around a tree. On the downside, the included rope can cut into the tree and hurt it — it’s much better to have a wide webbing strap that wraps around the tree. Like other hammocks in this category, it’s comfy when you lay diagonally across the hammock. The fabric is breezy, like other hammocks, which means on a chilly day, your backside can get a little cold. On a hot day, the breeze can come through the fabric and cool you down. Quality-wise, after a quick inspection everything looks solid. The stitching is good, and the fabric seems durable enough.
The price is $64.99, which is about average for a hammock this size (If you act fast, you can save a few buck on a special buy at REI: here’s the link). The single version is $54.99. A lightweight, 12-ounce version called the Ultralight Travel Hammock is $19.99. Between those three (and more — one out-of-stock option is the 7-ounce Nano-7) there are lots of options. Grand Trunk even sells a hammock sleeping bag designed not to compress under your back for adventurers that want to sleep in their hammocks.
Note: if you don’t’ know who Grand Trunk is, you might remember then as The Travel Hammock. In fact, one of my old hammocks was made under that name and it has held up fine from when I bought it in the 2002-03 date range. We used to carry them at a store I worked for.