Ultralight Backpacking

"BEST LIGHTWEIGHT SHELTER" Pacific Crest Trail Magazine

Hennessy Hammocks are indispensable components of an ultralight camping kit.

Tom Hennessy demonstrates the Ultralite Backpacker at the ALDHA-West Pacific Crest Trail Annual Day Zero Kickoff at Lake Moreno, CA.  This yearly event celebrates the ingenuity of the long distance hiker.

Photo by Richard Hare, UK

"Rocky, wet ground? No problem if you're sleeping in a waterproof hammock. Tom's camping hammock includes a rain fly and mosquito net for comfort in variable conditions. Special supports allow you to sleep stretched out on your back, or on your side."

Hammock campers sometimes prefer to sleep outside the shelters on the AT for privacy and peace and quiet.

The Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail were the testing grounds for the best ultralight camping equipment in the United States!

Hammock campers at Kennedy Meadows on the Pacific Crest Trail. - Other hikers called them "Ewoks" because they slept in the trees. (photo - Meadow Ed)

When travelling ultralight and every ounce counts, the 1 lb. 15 oz. Ultralite Backpacker Asym Classic hammock is a winner, lightening your pack by 5-7 pounds by replacing heftier tents and eliminating the need for bulky sleeping pads. The tree-covered, sloping terrain of the trail is perfect for camping hammocks. Many hikers prefer sleeping out in their Hennessy to a night in the trail-side shelters which are continually becoming more crowded and noisy. The tree hugger straps protect trees from rope burns, and unlike a tent, camping hammocks do not leave footprints on the ground and no leveling or trenching is needed.

The goal of Hennessy Hammock is to produce the lightest, most comfortable camping hammocks on the market. Hennessy Hammocks are built with the highest quality materials including the lightest, strongest, most tightly-woven fabrics available.

Hennessy Hammock Ultralight models use high quality, polyester and spectra ropes with parallel fiber cores to minimize stretch. The ultralight hammocks are also made of 160 x 90 high thread count fabric. This fabric is extra soft and comfortable. It is also more resistant to mosquito bite-through than the 200D nylon fabric of the Expedition Classic.

In 2002, the new Ultralite Backpacker Asym was introduced at the annual Damascus, Virginia Trail Days, and despite all the exciting goings-on, folks found time to try out and be amazed at the newest, most roomy ultralight model and the just-introduced 'SnakeSkins'. 


"Hi everyone at Hennessy! First I want to thank you for such a great product! I got my Desert Rat back in late spring and can't say enough good things about it! Secondly, I have Sue Turner/Hammock Hanger to thank for referring me to you, and I wanted to let you know how I came to find Hennessy. Lastly, I have been speaking loudly to all my hiking friends about my hammock.Thanks again for a great product and especially the great customer service!!"

Wendi Merritt,
Proud Hennessy Owner!

"I'm a minimalist backpacker, and I'm always looking for a lighter, more compact way to experience the back country. I've tried those 'pocket hammocks' and ground tarps in the past, but they all have their disadvantages. When I learned of the Hennessy Hammock, I was intrigued. I'm 6' 3", 195 pounds (88.5 kg), and I also live in Colorado where the temperatures regularly dip below freezing year round. I finally got a chance to sleep in my Hennessy Hammock last night, and what a treat!

The Hennessy Hammock is a winner!"

S. B

"Tom— I met you back at Trail Days in Damascus, VA and I don't expect that you'll remember me. But my hiking partner and I decided to switch to Hennessy Hammocks around Perrysburg, VA. It was one of the smartest things I did on the Trail. I love my hammock! It changed my whole hike. It allowed me a freedom that I otherwise couldn't have with a tent; I could hike on my own. I was in tons of rain storms in it and did great. I ALWAYS found a camping spot (except on top of balds and exposed summits). And it was totally comfortable! I wanted to send you a thank you. You've got a great product and wonderful customer service.

"Ann et al,

Last weekend I introduced my brother and son to the HH. We packed into a high lake with only one real campsite and did not bring a tent, just 3 hammocks. My brother was skeptical but game to try it. When we got there we were surprised to find a group already there. They were concerned that we would not be able to find a "flat spot" to set up camp but I told them "no worries." We strung up all 3 hammocks between trees and slept well. My brother is a believer now and very likely so are the people we ran into."

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