Current Retail: $29.95
Historic Range: $16.99-$29.95
Reviewers Paid: $22.00
6 oz / 165 g
4.5 x 2.5 in
48 lbs / 22 kg
Gear slings are mini-hammocks that go underneath the hammock or hang from tree branches to store bags and other gear. A small, lightweight, and inexpensive camping/backpacking item that adds greatly to hammocking experience by offering convenience, comfort, and protection to equipment (from rain, wind, floods, animals, etc.).
- Super practical
- Works very well
- Easy to pitch and adjust
- Adds safety and convenience to hammock camping
- Small and lightweight
- Inexpensive for what it provides
- Bright color (I prefer more muted colors)
- Could be even lighter
- Shock cord or closures would improve protection
There are some outdoor items that you don’t know you need until you use them. Once you try it, a light pops on and suddenly it becomes indispensable. A hammock gear sling is one of those items: it really makes a difference to keep our gear more protected and accessible at the same time.
Back when I used tents to camp and backpack, I’d guard my gear inside while sleeping or doing other stuff around camp, or in case I left the site for a walk, or fishing, exploring…. Keeping the stuff guarded would not warrant it from being stolen, sure. But was enough to make it less visible and also harder for wrongdoers to take, providing some peace of mind.
Above all, it would keep the gear away from rain, wind, dust, crawlies and smaller animals, and that’s unquestionably a big plus tents and bivy tents have over hammocks (my Snugpack Ionosphere can also hold my boots and backpack inside even when I’m lying in).
Hammock gear slings keep our bags and other stuff suspended underneath the hammock, allowing us hammockers to keep our bags and other gear protected from the elements, dirt, and insects (and slightly more hidden and safe from other people and animals, too).
As a big plus, the gear can be easily reached while we’re relaxing in the hammock. It’s very practical and well worth the weight, which is actually minimal especially in view of the benefits. No more spreading the stuff over the groundsheet, or rushing to cover it when starts raining.
That’s essentially what a gear sling is. They come in various sizes, colors, and suspension systems. The Sea to Summit Hammock Gear Sling is made from Ripstop nylon and only comes in flashy green. I prefer more subdued colors but anyway.
Size is 4.7" x 4.7" (1.4m x 1.4m), more than enough for a 50 or even 60L backpack, a pair of boots and lots more smaller items such as a book, headlamp, knife, smartphone, etc. I put all my stuff in there, the cookware, my food bag, jacket, radio, etc.
No mention about DWR or other treatment, but it kept my stuff dry during some storms when side winds splashed a bit of water under my tarp. It comes in a small Ultra Syl stuff sack (I love S2S stuff sacks).
Suspension is a simple reflective cord with plastic cam-hook that locks the cord. Very intuitive and effective, it really makes the sling simple to install and adjust. Weight capacity is 48 lbs (22kg).
Just wrap the cord around the strap connectors or hanging cords, center it under the hammock, adjust height and that’s it.
Alternatively, it can be used independently as a sling, suspended from a nearby tree or something, as shown in the image bellow. If the settings are safe enough and the weather is good (i.e. no rain), I find myself using it that way quite often because that way I don’t have to even enter the tarp tent to access my stuff. I just make sure to keep it in a shadow, especially if I’m using it to hang my food bag.
Room for improvement.
The only two negatives in my opinion are the color, and the fabric which could be thinner and lighter. Not that it’s heavy (165 grams / 6oz.), but it feels thick. Maybe I’m just used to thinner and lighter weight fabrics, maybe this is good for protection and durability, I guess. Other makers offer those extras, in case you think that makes sense too.
Anyway, mine’s been used a lot already, even to wrap my backpack during storms while I set up my tarp. Recently I washed it for the first time, it was kinda dirt with spots of mud and ash, but no holes nor runs in the fabric. If it stains, with time it will darken or get more camo, who knows.
It’d be also cool if it had a shock cord with adjusters to cinch down the mini hammock when it’s not being used. I can fold it up on top to keep it kinda closed, but stronger drafts will open it. Maybe I’ll stitch some velcros to add that feature someday.
I’ve ordered a new, larger gear sling from Onewind Outdoors to test, also because their model can hold a lot more weight: it doubles as hammock chair and backpack cover (and the color is a nice dark olive too). I’ve tested a hammock chair during an outdoor fair here and absolutely loved the concept: lighweight, compact and multi-purpose. Will definitely try it in real life when it arrives.
I’m always searching for doubly-duty gear and if it works, this will be a nice piece of equipment to add: I’ll be able to ditch the bag cover and have a chair to relax when I’m not on the hammock. Once I have a few months of experience on it, I’ll write a review for Trailspace community.
If only I had known how practical the gear sling can be, I’d have adopted it right when I moved from tents to hammocks years ago. It just makes everything so much easier, and all for a few ounces. Since then, it’s been indispensable for me.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: USD 22 promotional sale (local seller)