The Thermarest Slacker Hammock Bug Shelter has a large zippered opening and floor making it easy to enter and exit, while protecting your gear, shoes, and clothing from bugs and creepy crawlers at night. It also works with any camping or backpacking hammock, including the Hummingbird Ultralight Single Hammock (shown above), the ENO Sub 7 (shown below), the Thermarest Slacker Hammock, and other parachute style hammocks that don’t have a ridgeline to hang a bug net from.
The large zippered opening makes entry and exit a cinch. The zipper is bi-directional with large zipper pulls on the inside and outside, making them easy to find at night and in the dark.
Specs at a Glance
- Weight: 16.1 ounces, w/ stuff sack, 15.5 ounces, without stuff sack, 12.9 without webbing ridgeline (easy to replace with lighter weight cord)
- Materials: No See-um netting w/ 50d nylon bottom
- Height: 55 in / 132 cm
- Net Length: 132 in / 318 cm
- Floor Length: 60 in / 152 cm
The bug shelter had an integrated strip of webbing as a ridgeline with end loops that clip into your suspension system carabiners or attachment points. The webbing is exposed inside the hammock so you can hang lights or other items to it. The ridgeline length is also adjustable so you can raise the bug net off your face and body, giving you plenty of room to move around underneath.
Setup is super easy and can be done before or after you hang your hammock. The two ends of the bug net open, so you can run your hammock suspension through them, before cinching the netting closed using a cord lock to keep bugs from entering.
The Slacker Hammock Bug Net also has a floor, which I consider a major plus, because you can store gear within easy reach and off wet ground. It also provides a good way to keep critters away from your gear and clothing that you don’t want to deal with at night or the next morning like spiders and slithery things. I don’t own a dog, but the floor of the Slacker bug net is certainly large enough so that your dog can sleep inside on an insulated pad. In a pinch, you could even use the bug net as a tent (floor) if you needed to go to ground in cold weather since it’s 60″ long or a shorter person can sleep below you, double-decker fashion, using a common bug net.
While the ridegline does an excellent job at creating interior volume and keeps the mosquito netting off of your face and body, you can create still more volume by tying the sides of the bug shelter to your tarp, the ground, or adjacent trees.
So how does the Slacker Bug Shelter stack up compared to other hammock bug nets? Having a floor is a fairly unique feature, but one that adds significant weight to the bug shelter. While the side zipper entry is convenient, it also adds extra weight, bringing the Slacker in at about twice the weight (a half pound heavier), of the pull-on, sock-style, ultralight bug nets that are available from cottage hammock manufacturers. If you’re backpacking and an extra 4 to 8 extra ounces trump the benefits of the Slacker, I’d opt for a lighter weight alternative. But if you’re hammock camping and gear weight is less important, than the comfort and convenience of the Therm-a-Rest Slacker Hammock Bug Shelter is a nice upgrade that’s compatible with a wide range of hammocks.
Disclosure: Thermarest provided the author with this product for review.
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