Question about tent-hammocks

How taut can you sling a tent-hammock? I mean, how much does it sag?

I am awaiting a truck topper that probably will not be available till after I leave on a road trip. Usually, I car-camp in the topper.

I can bring a regular tent and use that. But I am considering buying an inexpensive tent-hammock and rigging it right in the truck bed, using diagonally placed tiedown cleats to secure it. The owner’s manual says the cleats are good for 200 lbs each so load is no problem. But the height of the cleats (just below the bed rails) might not allow enough clearance below for hammock sag.

Also, do you tent-hammock users use sleeping pads or do you just put the sleeping bag directly on the floor? If I don’t need a sleeping pad, that will save some space in the cab. (Boy, do I hope that topper comes in SOON.)

I’m not real thrilled about the prospect of bundling bulky items in giant drybags and lashing those in the open bed. No theft protection.

I don’t have a lot of experience
with hammock tents but I did borrow one a couple of years ago for the weekend and yes it did sag a lot.I had to tie it fairly high in the tree and make it tight so it wouldn’t touch the ground with me in it(I’m 145 lbs).I don’t think you would need a pad,just put the sleeping bag inside.You will be sleeping in a U shape,I don’t know if that would bother your back or not,my teenage daughter slept all night in it with no complaints.Also I wonder if it would be cold with air all around you.I like the minimalist concept however,let us know how it worked out if you try it.



I doubt ya
could get it taunt enough or have enough length to string 1 up. Also , use a sleep pad or similar under your bag in the hammock. It really helps keep ya from getting cold. Good luck.

Tent hammock alternative
Last week at Cabella’s I saw a tent that was designed to be set up in the bed of a pickup. Have you seen or considered such an option? I don’t mean to hijack your thread, but can anyone else comment on this option. it would seem to cut down on the lost milage you get by hauling the additional weight and wind resistance.

Just wondering,


have seen the tent / p/u
set up. We had a couple camp with us and used this set up. It was a cold ,rainy weekend. and they were wet and miserable buy the end of it. also where does all the gear go? out on the ground?

Hennessey hammock
I have one and use it often for backpacking. One of the set-up issues is that you have to string it fairly taughtly in order to deal with the nylon’s stretch and the resultant sag. I would be concerned that ther is not enough headspace to take thi into account, but then I never set mine up in a topper. A big issue with all hammocks is the underbody insulation. Great for summer, but I find that in temps below 50 or so additional insulation is needed. I recently bought a underhammock insulation system from HH but have not had a chance to test it.


I went to Hennessey’s website and was surprised at the variety of products they had. The Cub, meant for people up to 5’6" and 150 lbs, would fit the minimalist requirements very well, but I can see that rigging any tent-hammock inside the truck bed is not going to work.

Cabela’s sells a tent-cot that looks interesting and would fit in the truck bed, but it’s bulky and heavy…not something I’d use after this trip (the hammock-tent I would use for some kayak camping trips and might even entice me to do some backpacking).

I have a 23-year-old SierraWest solo tent that I think could be rigged up in the truck bed, so I will experiment with that.

It won’t work…
You can have that hammock as tight as you can get it & it will still sag too much. Been there, tried it… The truck cleats aren’t high enough to make a hammock useful…

I guess I rellay don’t understand why? Do you think that camping in a tent 5 feet from your truck is less secure than camping in your truck?

Paddle easy,


I am using Hennessy hammocks (adventure and expedition models) for my Texas Water Safari or WaterTribe paddling and racing. If somebody is shoping for a hammock I would suggest to look also at Clark hammocks - some interesting features including pockets at the bottom for storing some gear or insulation.


How about
cutting a 2x3 down to fit in the stake holes of the bed to the hight you need will that work? just a thought!

Another thought
How about having a heavy-duty cargo net sewn up fo fit the bed of your truck, with webbing and hooks for the stake holes? It would have to be tensioned fairly tightly, but it would be comfortable on hot nights.


Mud and rainflow!

Part of the trip will be in a rainy area. In the desert, I’ll just sleep under the stars (either on the ground or in the truck bed).

No stake holes
I can rig the cleats with poles to simulate stakes in stakeholes (thereby gaining height also), but one of the stakes would have to be outside of the truck bed, for the necessary line length to use a hammock. Haven’t ruled this out but it’s less appealing than something fully rigged to the truck.

Hmmm, that’s an interesting idea
I was thinking I’d buy some tent poles and connect them to make 2 large arches. Run some hose or other tube-like material over the connected poles (to protect me if the poles snapped while I was next to them), then insert the ends of the arches into the tie-down cleat openings. Then rig a large tarp over the whole shebang for rainproofing.

Your cargo net idea could be worked into the same cleats quite easily (each cleat has a hole for putting poles or straps through, plus 2 “horns” for lashing rope around). A simple idea that just might work. Thanks!

park near a tree
use 1 end lashed to the truck other to a tree. Just remember to untie before ya go.

hammocks in trucks
You need 11-15 feet between tie downs to get a hammock to work well…I don’t think your truck has that…it’s for that reason you would have too much sag to be comfortable…I have 2 different hammock tents…the Moskito, from Byer of Maine:

and a Hennessy…

You are making this way to hard.

Go to a good army surplus store,buy a jungle hammock with the built in skeeter netting,tie it between two trees and be done with it.

If not,do your “camping” at a holiday inn.

Experimentation results
I assembled an arch out of some old tent poles and “staked” the ends in 2 cleats, 1 on each side of the bed. Two such arches with a tarp over them would work for a roomy rain shelter off the ground.

Also, I did manage to set up my nonfreestanding SierraWest solo tent in the bed, so that’s another option.

Anything involving trees requires…trees! Of which there won’t be any, sometimes.

Truck to truck to tree to pole to…
Tiedown one end of the hammock to the bedrail, the other to a tree, post, pile of rocks, etc…

anyone gets that close to your gear and you don’t hear it, then you wouldn’t hear them ANYWAY.