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The Alpine Hammock is the first ever alpine-style hammock: it's fast, it's light and it can protect you in all your outdoor adventures.
The Alpine Hammock is the first ever alpine-style hammock: it's fast, it's light and it can protect you in all your outdoor adventures.
362 backers pledged $42,915 to help bring this project to life.

Alpine Hammock Product Specifications

Before we started to build our Alpine Hammock we wanted to better understand the product specifications of similar items on the market; namely hammocks and bivy sacks. 

To inform our design we took an analytical look at over 45 backpacking hammocks, over 40 bivy sacks, and a variety of accessories, analyzing ten metrics to describe each product: cost, weight, seasons (3 or 4), number of poles, size (length/width/height), stuff size (volume), top material (for bivys) and bottom material (hammocks and bivys). We also took notes on online reviews for each product from multiple gear websites to get the pros and cons from a user's perspective.

Here's a screenshot including some of our research:

This research as well as our own gear testing in New England and Colorado has led us to our current design.

The but net is not attached to the pole in this picture, but there is a piece of velcro sewn into the bug netting that will attach to the pole to keep the material off your face. I'm using a Big Agnes Air Core sleeping pad in this setup and have the unzipped rainfly rolled and secured to one side

The alpha-prototype specs are as follows:

  • Weight = 1.4lbs (without suspension but including the pole)

  • Seasons = 3 (spring, summer, fall, although we have ideas in the works for a winter version)

  • Number of Poles = 1 (you can easily use it without the pole to save on weight)

  • Length = 98 inches (comfortably fits up to 6'4" tall, ~188cm)

  • Width = 40 inches

  • Height (rainfly above your face) = 6-10" in Bivy Mode and 16-20" in Hammock Mode

  • Stuff Size = 9" x 7" x 6"

  • Top Material = waterproof breathable fabric

  • Bottom Material = silicone coated (waterproof) ripstop nylon

Our current stuff size is 9" x 7" x 6" and our next prototype will include a built-in stuff sack as opposed to the Sea to Summit bag shown here

Future Design Considerations:


In terms of material choice, for the top we are currently using Gore-Tex but are testing out two other waterproof breathable materials as well which might be lighter and potentially more breathable.

For the bottom material we initially tried 1.1oz silicone coated ripstop nylon, but it became obvious very quickly that this material would not be durable enough during use as a bivy sack. So we're looking at a range of coated ripstop fabrics that will endure abrasion as a bivy but also be comfortable as a hammock. This will invariably increase the weight of our 1.4lb alpha prototype but our goal is to end up with a product as close to 2lbs as possible. From our research, a target weight of 2lbs would put the Alpine Hammock slightly above the average weight of bivy sacks (1.5lbs) and far below the average weight of the traditional backpacking hammock/bug net/rainfly combination (3.3lbs, assuming you bought each item separately).


From using the product ourselves and from feedback we've received from other outdoor gear aficionados, we've realized that our hammock width is too narrow. It operates well as a bivy sack but as a hammock it can be a little tippy. So we'll be increasing the width of our hammock significantly to help make it act more like a hammock. From our research we found hammocks that ranged from 48" to 100" so there is a wide margin of possible widths. Ultimately we'll choose a width that is comfortable for one person to sleep in with a flat lay.

Other Features:

Ridgeline - We have been testing out various ridgeline ideas which might allow us to get rid of the pole all together. A ridgeline down the center could help pitch the rainfly more like a tent and thus helping to shed water in a more efficient manner while keeping the fabric off both your face and and your feet.

Stuffsack - Right now our stuff sack is a generic Sea to Summit stuff sack but in our next iteration we will include a built-in stuff sack in the foot of the Alpine Hammock so that the shelter can be packed up quickly and easily.



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    1. Michael Brown Creator on August 13, 2012

      Good idea on the compression straps for the stuff sack, we'll look into that as well, it'd be an easy way to reduce stuff sack volume which is always a good thing. Thanks for the suggestion @Dalen

    2. Michael Brown Creator on August 13, 2012

      There are plenty of read-made solutions for suspension but we'll likely develop our own ridgeline system, we're looking into many different options. I don't see us moving in the direction of having a removable rainfly but it's definitely something to think about considering many people use the rainfly/bivy combo.

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      Timo Voivalin on August 10, 2012

      ...There are those ready made solutions as You probably know, Whoopie systems I think.

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      Timo Voivalin on August 10, 2012

      If there will be ridge line, make adjustable one.

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      Dalen Vigil on August 10, 2012

      I've always got a silnylon tarp with me whether I'm hammock camping or in my OR bivy. Any possibility of making the rainfly on this removable? I'd rather have just the mesh up top since I'll be using a tarp anyway to keep the rest of my gear dry. Put a couple lightweight d-rings on the mesh for a ridgeline and you can leave the pole when using it as a hammock.

      If you could find a good alternative to a zipper you could shed the weight of the rainfly if you carry another option, but it's still available for those that don't use something like a tarp. If the rainfly is made out of the same material as the rest of it, it has to weigh more than my tarp to begin with, so it seems like you could cut weight right there when taking it out.

      Also, if you can figure out a good way to incorporate compression straps into the stuff sack that would be fantastic.

      Keep up the great work! I can't wait to see where this goes.

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      Timo Voivalin on August 9, 2012

      Excellent! Information update is great. Hope it will generate more Backers. Keep up the good work!

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      John White on August 9, 2012

      for what it's worth, I kind of like the idea of a ridgeline for exactly the reason you started. would/could it also keep the bug net higher? just a thought