There's no shortage of lightweight camping hammocks, but we're smitten with a new entrant from two-year-old outdoor lifestyle brand Kammok. Its flagship product, the Roo, is a lightweight, tear-resistant, highly packable hammock that's quick to sling and dismantle. Kammok founder Greg McEviley emphasized the importance of versatility when designing the Roo and says that quality has been confirmed by customers: "One of the coolest pictures we've received was from a soldier who hung his Roo while flying in a C130 gunship at 30,000 feet," he says. Note: If you don't happen to have one of those handy, trees, rocks, and posts will work just fine as anchor points.
We've been taking our Roo out in tree-sparse Texas with the brand's Python Straps. Named for that snake's musclebound grip, the daisy-chain suspension system includes 18 attachment points on each strap and can safely suspend the hammock over a 20-foot span, allowing for high adjustability even in nonideal locales – and it holds up to 500 pounds. (You can double up on the straps for even more horizontal coverage.) Since the hammock weighs just 24 ounces, including carabiners (about the same as a full canteen), it's easy to chuck it into your napsack. It's also a great solution for when you don't have level, dry ground, or the weather is mild and you want to catch the stars – or your tent partner happens to snore like a bear. And knowing that the high of the adventure always comes at the cost of return trip and the inevitable wrangling to get all your gear back into one bag, we report happily that the Roo can be stuffed into its water-resistant compression pouch without a (big) struggle.
Because the Roo has been so well-received, Kammok is working on a range of complementary Roo-compatible gear. For instance the Dragonfly insect net debuted in June, and coming in November is the revolutionary Glider tarp, which McElivey says will be "the first-ever camping or relief shelter to include built-in rainwater retention technology" (in other words, it does double duty as a portable water fountain). Like the Roo, the Glider was developed with careful weight management, and the fully integrated system includes four BPA-free bottles that collect water quickly and efficiently from grooves in the Glider's structure. The trademark Amphibiskin fabric and heat-reflective coating mean the Glider is game for fair and foul days (pitch it with the reflective side up to say cool).
The Roo is a great, reliable product, but we're also impressed that, for each Roo purchased, Kammok donates a treated mosquito net or health education in Africa through Malaria No More! [$99; kammok.com]