The World’s Best Hammock? (The Helsdon Hammock Reviewed)

What Type of Hammock is Best?

This is the most commonly asked question on Google regarding hammocks. The “best” hammock is really the one you’ll use, but more to the point, it’s the one that has as many of the features you’ll need for your specific purpose.

The Helson Hammock is by far the “best” hammock for those interested in backwoods camping.

This assertion comes from years of looking for a hammock that is shaped for a human body, allows flat sleeping, protects from windy rain conditions, provides interior and exterior storage (so no items are left on the ground overnight), and prevents insect access from every angle.

Aside from Helsdon’s invention, I’m not sure any other hammock has all these qualities (and more).

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The Helsdon Bridged Hammock Tent is a one-of-a-kind “tarp-less hammock” design that incorporates a “floating cot” that allows back, side and front sleeping, while protecting from horizontal wind-blown rain and snow, and providing bug protection and privacy. It offers ample storage for all your gear both inside and outside the tent so none of your gear EVER touches the ground. It sets up in 90 seconds!

Why is Hammock Camping so Difficult and Awkward?

Traditionally, camping with and sleeping in a hammock requires a whole set of both skills and gear all its own. For example, you’ll need the hammock itself, as well as an underquilt for protection and heat, a rain fly for protection from rain or snow, and some area to store your other gear like clothing, life jackets, fishing tackle, etc.

It’s quite a challenge to find 2 trees that are suitable for your hammock, but also are surrounded by other trees that will perfectly fit your rain fly tie ropes, and then the ground has to be suitable to connect pegs for anchoring part of the fly.

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You can see the excessive number of straps needed to hold the fly to two trees and to anchor it to the ground, as well as the multiple connection cords for the hammock itself. It can be time-consuming and difficult to set this up and it still won’t protect you from bugs or rain blown by heavy winds.


Why Are Hammocks so Uncomfortable?

As a rule, basic banana-body-shaped hammocks are not meant to be comfortable (other than the comfort that results from not laying down on a rock). They are meant to keep you off the ground and eliminate the need for a pad or a chair.

Most hammocks offer no comfort support for your squeezed shoulders and awkwardly hunched posture.

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You can see that with a traditional “banana-body” hammock, your position is restricted to laying on your back. Your shoulders are squeezed together and the rain/bug protection is virtually non-existent!


What is the Most Comfortable Hammock You can Buy?

The answer to this question is a bit subjective, but there are some features that would make some hammocks more comfortable for everyone.

The Helsdon Hammock is the only hammock that offers all the best qualities of a tent (which allows you to lay flat), a hammock (which allows you to keep off the ground), and a storage unit (which doesn’t exist on most wilderness trips).

The Helsdon Hammock is designed for a human-shaped body rather than a banana-shaped body. You can comfortably lay on your back while experiencing NO SAG. Your shoulders will not be squeezed together and you can easily and comfortably sleep on your side!

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It’s even designed in a way that will allow stomach sleepers to lay flat on their front!

It provides storage for nearly all your gear on a canoe trip (yes, INSIDE the hammock) and it will keep all your extra items off the ground.

Most hammocks require an underquilt that wraps around your body to preserve heat. This hammock offers a double-bottom design that accommodates a sleeping pad that will insulate your backside, eliminating the need for an underquilt.

I’d say all that adds up to lots of overall COMFORT on several levels!

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Here I’m giving the hammock a sleep test on my side! It passed the comfort test and that’s a BIG deal!

Suspension Bridge Designed

Is the Helson Hammock really the best hammock you can get for camping? Well, perhaps to answer that question most accurately, we’ll need to describe this hammock as a SUSPENSION BRIDGED HAMMOCK TENT.

The bridged part refers to the spreader bars which eliminate the “squeeze” experienced by those using a gathered-end hammock (which I call “banana-body” hammocks).

The tent part is the camping shell surrounding the hammock, which allows you to camp in all weather and conditions without the need for a tarp.

Helsdon Outdoors is the only company that has designed a hammock based on a suspension bridge design. That word “SUSPENSION” is the important one since it separates Helsdon’s design from all others on the market.

Most hammocks are not “bridged” hammocks. A bridged hammock will use a separator bar on each end to prevent the hammock from squeezing you like a taco. However, a bridged hammock will not make the hammock lay flat through most of the length.

Helsdon is a type of bridged hammock that DOES make the hammock lay flat using a design similar to a suspension bridge.

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The Millennium Bridge in London is a suspension bridge with a similar design concept to the Helsdon Hammock


Helsdon Hammock PROS and CONS

PROS

  • Allows for sleeping on back, side, or front
  • Eliminates the need for a tarp
  • Sets up in less than 2 minutes
  • Does not squeeze shoulders (or any other body part)
  • Supports legs and allows for bent knees while laying on back
  • Offers enough storage for all your gear both inside and outside of the hammock (so nothing touches the ground)
  • Offers 100% privacy compared to any other camping hammock setup
  • Offers full protection from wind-blown rain and gale-force storms
  • Offers 360-degree insect protection (even from the bottom)
  • Eliminates the need for an underquilt by offering a sleeping pad sleeve
  • Designed so ABSOLUTELY NOTHING needs to be pinned to the ground
  • Virtually eliminates condensation by having a double wall
  • Can be used with just a fly, just a ventilated shell, or with nothing at all on a nice day
  • Is exceptionally stable (you can sit up and turn easily without feeling like you may fall out)
  • Is the world’s first and only “SUSPENSION BRIDGE” hammock design

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A snapshot excerpt from my video review showing the INTERIOR FLY layer


CONS

  • On par with the more expensive hammocks (AKA “not cheap”)
  • Weighs around two times as much as a solo backpacker tent
  • Has a packed storage volume about the same as a 2-3 person tent

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The packed size of this hammock rivals the size of a 2-3 person tent, but it only holds 1 person.

Specifications

Product Weight2.9 kg – (6.4 lbs)
Size (set up)310 x 100 x 100 cm – (122 x 39 x 39 inches)
Size (packed)60 x 60 x 20 cm – (23.6 x 23.6 x 8 inches)
Fits # People1
Maximum body length1.95 meters – (6’5″)
Optimal Weight Maximum120 kg – (265 lbs)
Seasons for Use4
Tree Distanceup to 8 m – (25′)
Material150D Polyester Polyurethane 1000 mm F/R
Spreader Bars19 mm & 12 mm aluminum
CarabinersStainless Steel
Side and Perimeter Webbing1″ Nylon Heavy Webbing
Suspension Webbing1″ Nylon Thicken Heavy Webbing


Product Description / Promotion from Helsdon

Helsdon Hammock is a lay-flat hammock tent with a unique construction that adjusts to the shape of the human body to provide maximum sleep comfort.

You can sleep on your back, side, or even stomach. Spreader bars and a double layer bottom with room for any sleeping pad, prevent the hammock from folding up around your body.

Helsdon Hammock only takes two minutes to set up and there is plenty of room for storage inside the hammock.

The ventilated tent has an integrated bug net. By using any insulation sleeping pad you don’t need an expensive underquilt during cold nights.

During warm nights, you can open up the bug netted sides and windows. Helsdon Hammock will keep you safe, dry warm, and cool in all weather and wind, and regardless of roots, rocks, moisture, or animals and you will wake up well-rested for another adventurous day in the outdoors.


In spite of any negative qualities of the Helsdon design, the positive features so vastly overshadow them that it is quite likely this tent/hammock will replace my need for a tent.

It will most certainly make the very idea of my purchasing another type of hammock for personal use, seem laughable!

Peter Stack – Adventurer, blogger, YouTuber, canoe maniac


Key Takeaway for the Helsdon Hammock

The Helsdon Hammock is in a class by itself. It’s the only “full-service” camping shelter that never touches the ground. It’s a chair, a cot, a hammock, a bug shelter, a rain shelter, and a privacy shelter and it only takes about 90 seconds to FULLY assemble and be ready for sleep!

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The Helsdon Hammock does not hang between 2 trees. It hangs from a strap that hangs between 2 trees. This gives the hammock a consistent level of comfort that does not change with the distance between the 2 trees as does a traditional gathered end hammock

The list of unmatched features outweighs any negative qualities it might be perceived as having, and because of this, it has officially replaced (at least in the short term but I suspect for much longer) my Eureka Solitaire tent.

Pete Stack

After 40 years of experience canoeing, camping, fishing, hiking and climbing in the Ontario wilderness, Pete is eager to combine his love for the outdoors with his passion to write. It is our hope that his knowledge can be passed on through this site and on Rugged Outdoors Guide on YouTube.

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