The NEMO Tetrapod Hammock (MSRP $249.95) is a full-featured, gathered-end backpacking hammock with a diagonal lay that weighs 33.5 ounces, not including stakes (on the SectionHiker scale) and comes complete with integrated mosquito netting, a tarp and webbing straps. Originally designed for Special Operations Forces but now commercially available, it’s a single layer, side entry hammock, best used for warm weather backpacking and camping.
The Tetrapod is made using 40d nylon with an 8 foot structural ridgeline rated up to 300 pounds and is 109″ long by 52″ wide. It comes with 2 x 8 foot webbing straps, each with one sewn loop end, that connect to the hammock using adjustable cinch buckles, a reliable and easy to use hammock suspension system designed for use with webbing straps.
The Tetrapod hammock has two wings that can be staked out using elastic guylines that form convenient gear shelves (like those found on the Warbonnet Blackbird) to store items you want close at hand. These were added at the request of the troops that NEMO designed this hammock for.
Yes, before you ask you can indeed lie on a diagonal in the Tetrapod, with your feet on the right or left of the centerline. If you’re sleeping in a hammock today without a diagonal lay, as it’s called, you owe it to yourself to upgrade. The comfort of being able to sleep flat on your back or on your side instead of like a banana is worth its weight in gold.
Finally, NEMO has attached a webbing loop to the outside of each cinch buckle, which they claim makes it easier to hold onto the hammock when putting it up and taking it down. You can see it in the photo above, on the left strap. I find them confusing and not particularly helpful. But more importantly – these webbing loops are not load bearing, so don’t attach your suspension system to them.
The NEMO Tetrapod comes with its own tarp, a nice addition, since many hammock manufacturers make you purchase a tarp separately. The tarp is a fairly standard catenary cut hex fly. Also made with 40d silylon, it measures 130″ x 67″ with a ridgeline does not need to be seam sealed because it’s sewn with thread that expands when it gets wet.
The tarp comes complete with paracord guylines, which are attached to sewn fabric loops along the perimeter. The guylines are not reflective, however, and I’d encourage you to swap them out with cord that is, something like Lawson Glowire, because it can be very difficult to find a hammock at night in dense forest, even with a head lamp.
The tarp ridgeline is configured as a split line suspension (a separate line for each side) and you’ll need to tie some kind of friction knot to tie the lines to trees, since there isn’t any hardware provided. Given the size of the paracord, I’d suggest using two Figure 9 connectors, if knots aren’t your thing. If desired, there are multiple sewn loops on the ridgeline that would allow you to convert the tarp suspension to a continuous ridgeline suspension, using third-party products.
The ends of the tarp are a bit unusual however, with snaps that position the tarp ridgeline over the hammock’s webbing straps to block rain ingress like mini-doors. NEMO says these are designed to prevent rain from dripping down the hammock’s webbing, although I think they’re biggest benefit is to keep rain from blowing into the end of the tarp. If rain is likely, hang the tarp as close to the top of the hammock netting as possible without touching it, since the hammock will sag when you get into it.
The NEMO Hammock Tetrapod contains the following components:
- Color: Dark Green
- Tetrapod Hammock, including cinch buckles, 2 x wing guylines and structural ridgeline: 17.3 ounces
- Tetrapod Tarp, including guylines: 11.4 ounces
- 2 x 8 webbing straps: 3.9 ounces
- Bishop bag: 0.9 ounces
- Stakes: 8 included (requires 6), 4.5 ounces
The NEMO Tetrapod Hammock is a complete backpacking and camping hammock system the includes a tarp, integrated bug netting, and a structural ridgeline. Featuring a diagonal-style “lay”, the Tetrapod is designed so you can lie nearly flat (on your back or side) in the hammock at an angle to the centerline, which is much more comfortable than ultra-minimalist hammocks that make you sleep on your back and curved like a banana.
While self-contained and fully integrated, the Tetrapod is modular enough that you can upgrade some its components to make it easier and faster to set up. But if you’ve been interested in trying a real backpacking hammock but are confused by all of the customization options and add-ons offered by smaller manufacturers or you want to upgrade from a banana hammock, I recommend you check out the NEMO Tetrapod. It’s in the same league as the best cottage manufacturer hammocks in terms of comfort and gear weight, but doesn’t require that you get a PhD. in hammock fiddling to set up or use.
Disclosure: Philip Werner purchased this product with his own funds.This post contains affiliate links.