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How Do You Like To Cover The Top Of Your Hammock When Backpacking


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Lorena Hague



When it comes to backpacking, having a hammock can be a game-changer. Not only does it provide a comfortable place to rest and relax after a long day of hiking, but it also allows you to experience the beauty of nature in a unique way. However, just like any other camping gear, a hammock needs protection from the elements. That’s where a hammock cover comes in.


A hammock cover is a piece of gear that is designed to protect your hammock from rain, wind, and sun exposure. It adds an extra layer of insulation to keep you warm during chilly nights and prevents water from seeping through the fabric. Choosing the right hammock cover can make a significant difference in your camping experience, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your trip.


When it comes to selecting a hammock cover, there are several factors to consider. The type of cover, its weight, durability, packability, and ease of setup are all crucial elements to evaluate. Moreover, different types of covers offer varying levels of protection and have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.


In this article, we will delve into the world of hammock covers for backpacking and explore the various options available on the market. We will discuss the pros and cons of different types of covers, offer tips and guidelines for setting up and using them effectively, and recommend some highly-rated hammock covers for your consideration.


So, whether you are a seasoned backpacker or new to the world of camping, let’s dive in and discover the best ways to cover the top of your hammock when backpacking.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hammock Cover

When selecting a hammock cover for your backpacking adventures, there are several factors to consider. These factors will help determine the level of protection, convenience, and overall suitability of the cover for your specific needs.


1. Weather Resistance: One of the most important factors to consider is the weather resistance of the hammock cover. It should be able to protect you from rain, wind, and UV rays. Look for a cover made from waterproof or water-resistant material, such as nylon or polyester, with a high level of water repellency.


2. Size and Weight: The size and weight of the hammock cover are crucial, especially for backpacking trips. Opt for a cover that is lightweight, compact, and easy to carry without adding unnecessary bulk to your backpack.


3. Durability: A hammock cover needs to be durable enough to withstand the rigors of outdoor use. Look for materials that are rip-resistant and have reinforced stitching. Additionally, check if the cover has a UV coating to protect it from sun damage.


4. Easy Setup: The simplicity and ease of setup are important factors, especially when you’re tired after a long day of hiking. Look for a cover that comes with user-friendly features like adjustable straps, quick-release buckles, and clear instructions for hassle-free installation.


5. Ventilation: While a hammock cover is meant to protect you from the elements, it’s essential to consider ventilation. Look for covers that have built-in vents or mesh panels to allow proper airflow and prevent condensation buildup inside the hammock.


6. Versatility: Consider whether the hammock cover can be used in various weather conditions and different hammock setups. Some covers are designed specifically for certain hammock styles or come with additional accessories like guylines or stakes for added versatility.


7. Price: Price is always a factor to consider when purchasing any gear. Set a budget and look for hammock covers that provide the necessary features within your price range. Remember, investing in a high-quality cover may save you money in the long run by avoiding the need for replacements or repairs.


By considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and find a hammock cover that fits your specific needs and preferences. Next, let’s explore the different types of hammock covers available on the market and their pros and cons.


Different Types of Hammock Covers

When it comes to hammock covers, there are several different types available on the market. Each type offers a unique set of features and advantages. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular types of hammock covers:

  1. Full Coverage Rainfly: A full coverage rainfly is designed to completely enclose your hammock, providing maximum protection from rain, wind, and other elements. It typically comes with guy lines and stakes to secure it, creating a shelter-like setup. This type of cover is ideal for camping in rainy or windy conditions and offers excellent protection against the elements.
  2. Tarp: Tarps are versatile and popular options for hammock covers. They come in various sizes and shapes, such as rectangular or asymmetrical, and can be pitched using a variety of configurations. Tarps provide good coverage and protection from rain and sun, and they are usually lightweight and packable. They are a great choice for backpackers who prioritize versatility and customizability.
  3. Top Cover: A top cover is a lightweight and minimalist option that provides minimal protection from the elements. It covers only the top of the hammock, leaving the sides open. This type of cover is suitable for mild weather conditions where protection from light rain or sun is needed. Top covers are compact, easy to set up, and ideal for backpackers looking for a simple and lightweight solution.
  4. Bug Net: While not necessarily a cover for protection against weather elements, a bug net is worth mentioning as it helps keep insects at bay. It is a mesh enclosure that surrounds your hammock, keeping mosquitoes and other bugs out. Bug nets typically come with a zipper for easy access and ventilation. They can be used on their own, but some are designed to integrate with a rainfly or tarp for complete protection.
  5. Insulation Cover: An insulation cover, also known as an underquilt, is a type of hammock cover that focuses on providing insulation and warmth. It hangs underneath the hammock, creating a barrier between your body and the cold air beneath. Insulation covers are designed to trap heat and keep you warm during chilly nights. They are typically made from materials like down or synthetic insulation and are suitable for camping in colder climates.

These are just a few examples of the different types of hammock covers available on the market. Each type has its own benefits and considerations. Consider your specific needs and the expected weather conditions when choosing the right hammock cover for your backpacking adventures.


Now that we’ve explored the different types of hammock covers, let’s move on to discussing the pros and cons of each type to help you make an informed decision.


Pros and Cons of Each Type of Hammock Cover

Understanding the pros and cons of each type of hammock cover can help you choose the most suitable option for your backpacking needs. Let’s explore the advantages and considerations of the different types of hammock covers:

  1. Full Coverage Rainfly:
    • Pros: Provides maximum protection from rain, wind, and other elements. Offers complete coverage and creates a shelter-like setup. Ideal for camping in extremely wet or windy conditions.
    • Cons: Can be bulkier and heavier compared to other options. Requires additional setup time and effort.
  2. Tarp:
    • Pros: Versatile and can be pitched in various configurations. Provides good coverage and protection from rain and sun. Lightweight and packable.
    • Cons: Requires some knowledge and practice to pitch effectively. May not provide complete protection against heavy rain or strong winds.
  3. Top Cover:
    • Pros: Lightweight and compact. Easy and quick to set up. Provides minimal protection from light rain or sun. Suitable for mild weather conditions.
    • Cons: Does not offer full coverage or protection from heavy rain or strong winds. Minimal insulation or warmth.
  4. Bug Net:
    • Pros: Keeps insects, mosquitoes, and other bugs out. Provides good airflow and ventilation. Can be used alone or integrated with other covers. Lightweight and easy to set up.
    • Cons: Does not provide protection from rain or wind. Additional covers may be required for full weatherproofing.
  5. Insulation Cover:
    • Pros: Provides insulation and warmth in cold weather. Traps heat and keeps you comfortable during chilly nights. Available in various materials and insulation types.
    • Cons: May add bulk and weight to your backpack. Limited protection against rain and wind.

Consider these pros and cons to match the features of each type of hammock cover with your camping requirements, personal preferences, and the expected weather conditions. It’s essential to strike a balance between protection, weight, ease of setup, and versatility when making your decision.


Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of each type of hammock cover, let’s move on to the next section to learn some tips for setting up and using a hammock cover effectively.


Tips for Properly Setting Up and Using a Hammock Cover

Setting up and using a hammock cover effectively is crucial to ensure its optimal performance and your comfort during backpacking trips. Here are some tips to help you properly set up and use a hammock cover:

  1. Choose the Right Size: Ensure that the hammock cover is the right size for your hammock. It should fully cover your hammock and provide adequate protection without being too bulky or constricting.
  2. Practice Setting Up Before Your Trip: Familiarize yourself with the setup process of your chosen hammock cover before your backpacking trip. Practice setting it up in different configurations and conditions to gain confidence and efficiency.
  3. Tension and Pitching: Properly tension the hammock cover to avoid sagging or flapping in the wind. Ensure a taut pitch by securing the cover with guylines and using stakes if necessary. This will help improve weather resistance and prevent water pooling.
  4. Consider the Angle: Set up the hammock cover at an angle, slightly sloping downward towards one end. This will promote better shedding of rainwater and prevent water from accumulating on top of the cover.
  5. Seam Sealing and Waterproofing: If your hammock cover is not already seam sealed or waterproof, consider treating it with a seam sealer or waterproofing spray. This will enhance its water resistance and durability.
  6. Proper Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation by setting up the hammock cover with adequate space between it and the hammock. This will allow air circulation, reducing condensation buildup and improving comfort.
  7. Use Additional Accessories: Consider using additional accessories like guylines, stakes, or hardware attachments to enhance the stability and performance of your hammock cover. These can help improve wind resistance and overall setup integrity.
  8. Test in Different Weather Conditions: Before embarking on a major backpacking trip, test your hammock cover in various weather conditions. This will help you become familiar with its performance and make any necessary adjustments or modifications as needed.
  9. Regular Maintenance and Inspection: Properly maintain and inspect your hammock cover regularly. Check for any damage, wear and tear, or signs of deterioration. Repair or replace as necessary to ensure its long-term functionality.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your hammock cover is set up correctly and functions effectively during your backpacking adventures. The next section will recommend some highly-rated hammock covers on the market for your consideration.


Recommended Hammock Covers for Backpacking

When it comes to choosing a hammock cover for backpacking, there are several excellent options available. Here are some highly-rated hammock covers that come highly recommended by outdoor enthusiasts:

  1. ENO ProFly Rain Tarp: The ENO ProFly Rain Tarp is a popular choice among backpackers. It provides excellent rain protection and is made from durable polyurethane-treated nylon. The tarp is easy to set up and offers versatile pitching options.
  2. Sea to Summit Hammock Tarp: The Sea to Summit Hammock Tarp is an ultralight and compact option perfect for backpackers. It offers excellent coverage, is made from high-quality materials, and has a reflective trim for increased visibility.
  3. Warbonnet Outdoors Superfly Tarp: The Warbonnet Outdoors Superfly Tarp is a full-coverage rainfly that provides exceptional protection from the elements. It is made from durable ripstop nylon, has multiple guy-out points, and is suitable for various hammock setups.
  4. Hennessy Hammock Hex Rainfly: The Hennessy Hammock Hex Rainfly is specifically designed to fit Hennessy Hammocks but can work with other hammocks as well. It offers good coverage and has innovative features like a catenary cut for better tautness and drip lines to divert water away.
  5. Eagles Nest Outfitters Guardian Bug Net: The Eagles Nest Outfitters Guardian Bug Net is a reliable and effective bug net option. It features fine mesh to keep even the smallest insects out and is compatible with most hammocks. It is lightweight, easy to set up, and provides ample ventilation.
  6. Underground Quilts WinterDream Hammock Tarp: The Underground Quilts WinterDream Hammock Tarp is an excellent choice for cold weather camping. It offers great coverage and insulation with its double-layer design and is made from durable and waterproof materials.

These are just a few examples of the many hammock covers available for backpacking. It’s important to consider your specific needs, preferences, and the expected weather conditions when choosing the best hammock cover for your adventures.


Remember to thoroughly research and read customer reviews to ensure the hammock cover meets your requirements. Additionally, consider factors such as weight, durability, and ease of setup to find a hammock cover that best suits your backpacking style.


Now that you have recommendations for hammock covers, let’s conclude our article with a brief summary.



Having a reliable hammock cover is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable backpacking experience. It provides protection from rain, wind, sun, and insects, allowing you to rest peacefully while immersing yourself in nature. When choosing a hammock cover, consider factors such as weather resistance, size, weight, durability, ease of setup, and ventilation.


There are different types of hammock covers available, each with its own advantages and considerations. Full coverage rainflies offer maximum protection, while tarps provide versatility. Top covers offer lightweight minimalism, bug nets keep insects out, and insulation covers prioritize warmth in cold weather.


Ensure proper setup and use of your hammock cover by selecting the right size, practicing setup techniques, maintaining proper tension and pitching, and considering ventilation. Additional accessories can enhance stability and performance, and regular maintenance and inspections are crucial for longevity.


Some highly-rated hammock covers recommended for backpacking include the ENO ProFly Rain Tarp, Sea to Summit Hammock Tarp, and Eagles Nest Outfitters Guardian Bug Net. Ultimately, the best hammock cover for you will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and expected weather conditions.


Remember to thoroughly research and read customer reviews to ensure the hammock cover meets your requirements. Investing in a high-quality hammock cover will enhance your comfort and protection while exploring the great outdoors.


Now that you are equipped with knowledge about hammock covers, go ahead and choose the one that suits your needs. Get ready to embark on unforgettable backpacking adventures with a reliable hammock cover by your side!