Hammocks vs.Tents: Which Is Warmer to Sleep In?

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When camping, you want to be as comfortable as possible. Some areas can get quite cold, even in the summer, so staying warm is a priority. But when it comes to hammocks and tents, which is warmer to sleep in?

In general, it’s colder to sleep in a hammock, especially if you don’t use an underquilt for insulation. A tent is warmer because it protects you from the wind, and prevents your body heat from escaping.

The case for warmth depends on your gear, the time of the season, and also the type of person. During the summer, staying cool in a hammock may be better than being cooped up in a tent.

Hammocks vs. Tents

If you only use a sleeping bag with a hammock, your top may be warm, but the bottom part of your body may be cold. When you sleep in a hammock, airflow quickly removes built-up heat underneath you. This may be beneficial for those warm summer nights.

Sleeping in a tent can also have this effect, but most people usually use a sleeping pad. If not, the heat still stays trapped longer than it does in a hammock, keeping you warm.


Hammock Camping
Credit: Wikimedia

Camping hammocks are robust, usually water-resistant, and built to keep up with mother nature. They’re better at keeping you dry.

When it rains, it’s never any fun for a camper. Even if you have a sleeping bag with you, you can’t risk absorbing the ground’s moisture.

As an alternative, many campers have resorted to using hammocks. They’re more prevalent in areas where rain falls more frequently. Once the rain begins to fall, you’re suspended in mid-air, safe from the damp ground.

The Benefits of Hammock Camping

Not everyone likes to camp out in hammocks. But the reasons why people do make a lot of sense:

  • Comfortable – It might not seem like it, but a hammock can be as comfy as sleeping flat on the ground. Sometimes, it can even be more comfortable than a sleeping bag. What’s better than laying back while looking up at the night sky?
  • Compact – Naturally, hammocks don’t take up much space. You can easily fit one in your camping backpack along with your other items. It’s also lightweight, making it effortless to transport.
  • Setup is a cinch – There are no additional tools needed to set it up. All you need to do is to tie both ropes onto a sturdy tree.
  • Less baggage – Because they’re so portable and lightweight, this is the better choice for those who want to pack light. If there’s no space for other essentials in your backpack or you’re traveling with a group, a hammock might be a good option for you.
  • Camp under the stars – A hammock allows you to fall asleep while gazing at the beautiful night sky.
  • Cheaper – Most hammocks are affordable. Thanks to their compact and lightweight structure, they don’t need materials that could cost more to make.

This camping hammock from Wise Owl Outfitters (view on Amazon) is an excellent option for campers looking for a comfy, lightweight, and easy to set up hammock.


Tent Camping

Tents are the most common choice for camping, mainly for their durability, size, and protection from the weather. Known for it’s robust and compact build, some tents can fit up to twelve people, depending on their size.

Tents are collapsible shelters that can easily fold up into a compact size so you can take it anywhere. They appear like small houses since they all include doors, while some of them even include windows. You can last more than a few days in your tent as long as it’s well set up.

Tents are the better option if you camp out in drier areas since most protect from harmful UV rays. A bigger tent could be spacious enough to lounge inside while waiting for the heat to disperse.

It also provides protection from the rain. There’s nothing like listening to it bounce off the tent while you’re all cozy inside. And while you’re at it, you can accompany yourself and your camping buddies with fun activities, all while staying warm inside the tent.

Tents become an inconvenience if rain gets in or damp areas begin to form on the ground. Therefore, it’s usually better to camp in tents if you’re sure that it’s going to be a rain-free weekend.

The Benefits of Tent Camping

  • Reliability – With the right setup, tents can withstand a few winds and heavy rainfall. It’s the perfect temporary home away from home.
  • More legroom – Unlike hammocks, you are free to stretch your whole body out, move around, and then some. There are tents which are as tall as a person, making you feel like you’re in a tiny house. Some campers even start to decorate the inside of their tents to make themselves feel more at home.
  • Versatile – Who says you can only use camping tents in the woods? Families sometimes camp out in their backyard as a great and safe alternative to an unfamiliar area.
  • People who camp in groups – Using a tent for shelter can accompany your entire camping group. They’re also an excellent choice for families who prefer to sleep under one shade. This camping tent from Coleman (view on Amazon) can fit up to six people in it.
  • Long camping trips – If you plan to camp for two days or more, using a tent is your best option. Using a hammock for longer camping trips might get uncomfortable for you.
  • Avoid bugs and other creepy crawlies – Unless there are holes in the tent, it provides excellent protection from insects.

Hammocks or Tents: Which is Better?

Both have their pros and cons, but tents are relatively warmer than hammocks because they keep you enclosed without exposure to open air.

Even though tents are warmer, hammocks are still a great choice. Luckily, there are ways to combat the cold and keep your hammock warm like you’re in a tent.

As hammock camping continues to rise in popularity, manufacturers are coming out with some excellent quality hammocks that are even better than most tents.

Here are the features to look for in a camping hammock:

  • Underquilt – An underquilt is a separate piece of thickly woven fabric that attaches under your hammock. It acts as a layer of protection, blocking away the cold breeze and insulating your body warmth within the hammock. Here’s a great, high-quality underquilt by OneTigris (view on Amazon).
  • Inflatable Mat – As the name suggests, this is a cushion that can be inflated and inserted in your hammock. It can be very comfortable as it transforms your hammock’s curved structure to a flat one.
  • Mosquito Net – There’s nothing like a quality mosquito net to protect you from those blood-thirsty pests. Once you decide to camp out in a hammock, be prepared for the worst bug infestation as you are more exposed in the open. A useful mosquito net is your number one solution to prevent bugs from bothering you.

Conclusion – Hammocks vs.Tents: Which Is Warmer to Sleep In?

Both hammock and tent camping are good options to consider. They each have unique qualities and benefits, and offer a different experience to camping. When deciding on which one to choose, consider testing both and seeing which one you prefer.

There are some downsides to using a hammock since it doesn’t give you a lot of freedom to move around. In the same manner, using a tent might not be a good idea for those who would like to fall asleep watching the stars.

In the end, it all boils down to preference. Both hammocks and tents provide excellent ways to get a good night’s rest in the outdoors.

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