Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro

4 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   3
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Reviews

6

Great entry level hammock at a decent price. The Grand…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40--watch for sales on Campmor!

Summary

Great entry level hammock at a decent price.

Pros

  • Lightweight (cuts 3lbs of gear from my pack)
  • Mosquito-proof
  • Can be set up in places tents can't go

Cons

  • Storage pockets are worthless
  • Hanging ropes are "okay." I replaced them.

The Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro has been my entry experience into hammock camping. I originally bought this hammock on a whim because it was on sale dirt cheap. It's a great entry level hammock for those curious about hammock camping, but not wanting to spend a fortune.

This is a revision of my original review, as I have used and learned much more about hammock camping in the last year.

Weighing in a 28oz. the Skeeter Beeter and fly shaves nearly 2lbs off my pack, when you take into account  the weight of a tent and footprint. While a true Ultralitest will just sleep on the ground with a tarp, I found the comfort of sleeping in a hammock is worth the extra ounces. Plus, the No-See-Um mosquito netting gives me what I need from a full tent. Adding a rain fly (in my case the Grand Trunk Funky Forest Tarp) protects from the elements.

In the past year, I have spent a total of 20 nights in this hammock in all kinds of weather. I have slept in heavy snow, pouring rain, and nighttime temperatures ranging from mid-70's down to 23°F. I've retreated to my hammock as the mosquitoes have become unbearable.

When mosquito netting is not needed. The Skeeter Beeter hammock can be flipped over and used like a traditional hammock. The picture below shows some modifications. I've added a hammock "ridgeline" made of Amsteel Blue. I replaced the prussic cords that came with the original hammock with Whoopie Slings made by Dutchware.


946385_10151450925861129_1514991057_n.jp

A note on the hanging ropes that come with the Skeeter Beeter: They're "okay." If you are car camping or backyard hanging they'll do fine. If you are planning on using this for backpacking, there are lighter and better options out there.

Another limitation are the pockets. Grand Trunk's website states:

Two interior storage pockets keep smaller items organized (like the ones in a tent)

These are basically worthless sewn on pockets. I tried placing my Android phone in one—it fell out. My headlamp in the other...it fell out. I ended up just hanging everything off my hammock ridgeline in a small stuff sack.

Finally, I'm not a fan of the shock cord system to hang the mosquito netting. Ditching their shock cord, I use Dutch Ridgeline Biners (again Dutchware) to clip it to the TARP ridgeline (clipping it to the hammock ridgeline leaves is dropping in your face.

In summary: If you are looking to try hammock camping, this is a good place to start (Do your research though. Hammock camping is not as "intuitive" as pitching a tent...but OH! so much better!).

2

Decent starter hammock, comfortable and adequate.

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: ~$65

Summary

Decent starter hammock, comfortable and adequate. If you hang out on the East Coast, get one.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Integrated bugnet
  • Comfortable
  • Comes ready-to-hang

Cons

  • Weight
  • Default suspension capability
  • Durability shortfalls

After many times watching the sun get lower and searching around for a decent tent pad in SNP and surrounding areas, I, one day, encountered a fella comfortably hanging in a hammock. Thinking back to the many times of tent pad searching and noting the huge amount of trees available, I decided a hammock was worth a try. Totally worth it, especially in SNP and I assume other East Coast parks. On to the hammock itself :

Setup:

  • Easy as any other hammock but with some amount of frustration given the limited default suspension. You'll be seeking a replacement for this soon enough and then setup will be a breeze. More exactly, the main cords are short and only provide two hang points each, so you'll have to find two trees in a narrow range of separation distance and both with suitable trunk diameters.

Stability:

  • It's a hammock, and thus, once up, stable in that it's not going to collapse or anything.
  • There are side webbing loops for staking out if one desires (widens body and stops swinging).

Weather Resistance:

  • The only item stopping this from being a "full kit" is lack of overhead weather protection, so get a tarp.
  • Speaking of tarps, get one with as many tie outs as you can.

Ventilation:

  • Again, it's a hammock, so ventilation is not something you'll worry about getting enough of, rather the opposite.
  • The body material breathes quite well and laying in warm weather will not result in any clamminess at all.

Room and Storage:

  • I'm 6'4" and have no issues in this hammock.
  • No issue using a diagonal lay to get a flat lay.
  • There's not really much by way of useful storage when setup. The stuff sack/pocket is not durable and has become totally disconnected but was a useful headlamp, snack, TP storage while it lasted.
  • I should note you can easily share the space with a medium sized dog if you use a diagonal lay.

Packability:

  • Super — there are no poles or non-collapsible elements, so just stuff the whole thing wherever.

Ease of Use:

  • Quite easy in most ways, everything makes sense.
  • Again, there are limitations when selecting a hanging location given the default suspension. Get a Dutchkit or slings from somewhere and enjoy having an easier time finding suitable trees.

Features:

  • Integrated bugnet. It works as a bug net, but the shock cords are not worth the trouble or weight. Ditch them and just attach to your ridge line. Further, the sewing related to the net-hanging loops is weak — be gentle. Same goes for the net attachments to the body — be gentle.
  • Attached stuff sack / night storage pocket. It's great — while it stays attached. After it falls off, just ditch it and enjoy carrying less weight. Hang low enough to use your pack as a night table or whatever.

Construction & Durability:

  • As noted above, some parts are a bit fragile, but I've no problems with the main body — good there; it's solid and the gathered ends have seen no problems.

Conditions:

  • East Coast (plenty of trees close together) for a season
  • Wet or dry; hot to cool temps (get some insulation)
  • Used as a backpacking shelter in the backcountry (just pick two trees anywhere anytime)

Notes:

  • This is the first hammock I've used and it's been a great entry to hanging.
  • It's on the heavy side (22.8 oz for body + 3.8 oz for ropes + 4.4 oz for heavy steel carabiners), so get a Dutchkit, lose the shock cords, lose the stuff sack and definitely the biners to drop some weight.
  • I'm looking already to replace it with a more minimal hammock now that I've been introduced to hanging. But again, for the price, this hammock has allowed me to discover a great, great way to get a very comfortable night's sleep in parks with nearly no flat, non-rocky areas :) If you're curious about using a hammock, grab this one and try it out for a low price.

Edit:

  • Tiny side note to new hammockers — select a hammock-only spot if you can! The afore mentioned hammocker I encountered was using the ONLY flat spot for quite some space. If you can and if it's doable, hang where tenters/tarpers cannot and leave such spaces for those who have not yet discovered the flexibility of hanging :)
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing this helpful hammock review, Joshua.


1 day ago
0

Nice hammock for Florida. Two in one with netting.

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80

Summary

Nice hammock for Florida. Two in one with netting.

Pros

  • Size
  • Zippered side entry
  • All in one stuff sack

Cons

  • Ridgeline
  • Steel, heavy caribeeners

Other than setting it up in backyard, I have not camped with it. It does appear to have lot of room. The side entry with net makes it easy to get in.

My biggest complaint is the tree strap setup. It is not long enough and also does not go with Leave No Trace principles. They were replaced with the ENO Atlas straps.

Outside of the straps, it falls in line with most gathered end hammocks. The center ridge line could also have come with some type of hook system to make it easier to set up. 

0

Great hammock, perfect for buggy climates, quality…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80

Summary

Great hammock, perfect for buggy climates, quality materials.

Pros

  • Good bug net
  • You can flip it if there are no bugs

Cons

  • The suspension that is included is not great

Solid hammock, works as you would expect a hammock to. Dimensions are plenty long, and wide enough, although I would prefer it if it were a little wider. Bug net works, zipper seems good quality. If there are no bugs and you don't want to sleep under the net, you can flip the hammock and sleep on the other side.

Overall quite impressed. The only detractor I found was a crummy suspension that was included. This wasn't a huge issue or me because I had planned to replace it anyways, but something to consider nonetheless. 

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