You’re lying in your hammock, swaying gently with the breeze, just drifting off to sleep when you hear it—the dreaded buzz of something about to bite you. Mosquitos, gnats, flies, bees, and wasps, not to mention no-see-ums and other multi-legged critters, are something that comes with sleeping in the open. In a hammock, you’re even more exposed than you are in a tent. That is unless you have a hammock bug net.
What is a hammock bug net? Like any other bug net, hammock bug nets protect you from creatures that bite and sting. Most are made from a ripstop mesh and pack down into a compact pouch. What makes them different from regular bug nets is that they are specifically designed to fit a hammock.
Had enough of itchy bites and painful stings? Check out our selection of the best hammock bug nets in 2021
How Do Hammock Bug Nets Work?
All the bug nets in our top five have a universal canopy-style that will fit most hammocks. All provide 360-degree bug protection – meaning that the net goes all the way around the hammock, rather than just covering the top.
The setup is simple. There’s a hole at both ends of the net for hammock straps and drawcords to close the gap. These bug nets will also work with hammock stands. The net hangs from a cord, called the ridgeline, which is strung lengthways above the hammock and a zipper on one side lets you get in and out.
If you have an extra-long or specialized hammock, it’s best to check the manufacturer’s website for compatible bug nets as a universal bug net may not offer the best fit. Alternatively, if you plan to go hammock camping but you don’t own a hammock yet, you might prefer to take a look at our selection of the best hammock tents as these have integrated bug nets.
The SnugNet from Wise Owl Outfitters is one of the best hammock bug nets on the market. It’s made from a breathable ripstop mesh that keeps pests out but allows a breeze in.
In addition, this bug net has a heavy-duty double-sided vertical zipper on one side so you can easily zip the net shut from inside or outside.
When it comes to size, the SnugNet is far from snug. In fact, at 11 x 4.5-feet, it’s spacious enough for sleeping diagonally. It will also fit most single and double hammocks. This hammock bug net is super easy to set up. The netting comes with durable clips that attach to a 30-feet ridgeline.
Although it’s not the lightest on our list, at 20 oz, it’s still lightweight enough for most outdoors lovers. The SnugNet is not the cheapest hammock bug net either. But, due to its quality materials, spacious size and 100% satisfaction guarantee, we think it’s actually great value for money.
- Spacious size
- Well ventilated
- Quality materials
- Waterproof ripstop compression bag included
- Not the lightest bug net (20 oz)
If you’re looking for a budget bug net to ease you into camping in a hammock, take a look at the Gold Armour Hammock Bug Net. Like the SnugNet, this is an extremely spacious bug net that should fit almost any hammock.
It measures 11 x 4.9-feet, making it roomy enough for lying diagonally and using with a double hammock. A double-sided vertical zipper lets you get in and out and you can pack the net away into its own compact compression sack. At just 15 oz, this is also a lightweight option for backpacking trips.
It may not be the most important feature in terms of practicality; however, we like that the Gold Armour bug net comes in a range of vibrant and low-key colors. You might appreciate this if you want to match a bug net to your hammock or garden decorations.
- Lightweight (15 oz)
- Available in multiple colours
- Not the most durable
At 12-feet long, the PYS Hammock Bug Net is the longest in our top five. If you’re very tall or you have an extra-long hammock, this might be the best hammock bug net for you. Of course, it’s also spacious enough for diagonal lay or for two people to sleep in a double hammock.
Additionally, this hammock bug net offers two ways of hanging. Either hang it from its 30-foot ridgeline or use a carabiner to clip the netting directly to a set of hammock tree straps.
Furthermore, the PYS bug net is made from no-see-um mesh that protects you from mosquitoes and other critters while you sleep. This hammock bug net also comes with a reasonable, mid-range price tag and a satisfaction guarantee.
- Compression sack included
- Heaviest on our list (21 oz)
Another of our favourites is the ENO Guardian Bug Net. It’s made from ripstop nylon SkyWeave Mesh and comes with a two-year warranty. This model is designed to pair with the ENO Hammock but, although it’s slightly shorter than other bug nets, it should fit most standard sized hammocks.
The ENO Guardian is one of the easiest bug nets to set up. The ridgeline has metal hooks on either end and LineLoc adjusters. This simple system lets you hang the included ridgeline without tying any knots and adjusts the same way as a tent’s guy rope.
Like most hammock bug nets, the ENO Guardian also has easy-adjust drawcords to close gaps at either end of the hammock. Likewise, we like that this bug net has gear loops stitched into the netting’s ridgeline. These are handy for hanging a flashlight or other small items while you sleep.
- Easy setup
- Lightweight (16 oz)
- Built-in gear loops
- Shorter than other bug nets
Weighing just 12.8 oz, the Bear Butt Hammock Net is one of the lightest hammock bug nets on the market. Despite its low weight, it still measures 10 x 4-feet making it long enough for standard hammocks and wide enough for lying diagonally.
It comes with a 16-foot reflective ridgeline so you can find your way back to the hammock after sunset. When camping in sparse forests or between thick trees, you may need to replace the included ridgeline with a longer one.
Unlike the other bug nets on this list, the Bear Butt Hammock bug net has a full-length and double-sided horizontal zipper instead of a vertical zipper. Because of this, some people will find this bug net easier to get in and out of but it’s a bit trickier to reach the zipper when lying down.
- Very light (12.8 oz)
- Easy to get in/out
- Reflective ridgeline
- Mid-range price
- Included ridgeline is shorter than most
What are the Most Important Features of a Hammock Bug Net?
The best bug nets are made from a ripstop nylon or polyester mesh. Some people might prefer cotton bug nets in hot and dry climates as they are the most breathable.
However, as cotton is heavier and absorbs more moisture than nylon or polyester, we haven’t included any cotton bug nets in our top five. Between nylon, polyester, and cotton bug nets, nylon nets offer the best balance of breathability, water-resistance, weight, and durability.
Weave – Fine vs Lose
Some bug nets have a finer or looser weave than others. Fine bug nets (with very tiny holes) are designed to keep out even the smallest bugs, including no-see-ums; however, they tend to be less breathable.
Meanwhile larger weaves are more breathable, allow better visibility, and still keep out flies, mosquitos, and bugs larger than about a millimeter. In certain climates, you may need to choose between bug bites and a sweaty night’s sleep.
While a bug net doesn’t need to match your hammock measurements perfectly, it does need to be at least as long as your hammock.
The canopy-style hammock bug nets in our top five range from nine to eleven feet in length and it’s better to have a slightly larger net than one that’s too small. Most hammock bug nets are at least four feet wide, which should give you enough space to lay at a diagonal. You may want a wider bug net if you have a double hammock.
Hammock bug nets can range from around $15 to over $100. The best hammock bug net is the one that fits your budget. There are plenty of good quality hammock bug nets available around the $25 to $40 mark. Those at the upper end of the scale tend to be more durable, include a longer warranty, or have more technical features.
Hammock bug nets don’t just make your afternoon nap more comfortable. Depending on where you live and what critters live in your local forests, a hammock bug net may protect you from dangerous diseases such as Zika, dengue, and other mosquito-borne viruses.
Whether you like the items in our top five or you plan to continue your search, make sure you’re equipped with the best hammock bug net the next time you go hammock camping.