Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent

Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent

First Look at a New Hammock Tent for the Mainstream

We’re excited for the new Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent. As our readers know, we believe hammock tents are a far better option vs. a conventional tent for wooded trails like the Appalachian Trail. As such, we take them on almost every trip in the Eastern US and even areas like Rocky Mountain National Park. You can read more about this in our 7 Reasons Why Hammock Tent Camping is Fantastic | How To Get Started. In summary, some advantages of hammock tents for Eastern US and most other wooded areas are:

  • Huge increase in available campsites vs. tents – stop and camp where you want
  • Sleep comfort and sleep quality – sleep the same great way each night regardless of the ground below you
  • Fast easy setup – no poles and very little staking assembly required
  • Leave No Trace – no need to clear ground of debris, or crush pants/ground below
  • More Solitude – no need to camp in popular, heavily impacted campsites with noisy campers
  • Protection against rain & ground water – you sleep above it, not in it (many established campsites become small lakes in heavy rain)

Kickstarter Campaign for Kammok  Mantis UL Hammock Tent

Kammok started a Kickstarter Campaign on Feb 12. There you can get all the details on the Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent, and the slightly heavier but higher weight capacity standard Kammok Mantis Hammock Tent. And of course you can pre-purchase them at a discount.

Regular pricing

Mantis UL MSRP: $259  |  Mantis Regular MSRP: $229

Kickstarter pre-order pricing

Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent

The Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent comes with everything you need. Hammock, bug net cover, rain fly, and all cords and stakes. No need to buy any additional parts/gear! All the gear is thoughtfully integrated to work together and it’s designed to be intuitive and easy to use and LIGHT!

What’s Different About the Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent?

The Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent is a complete setup that has everything you need to begin using a hammock tent, and in the easiest and most intuitive package we’ve seen. It includes the hammock with a full coverage bug net, a full-sized rain fly, all tie-out cords, a set of stakes, all suspension hardware (what attached the hammock to the trees), and stuff sacks.

Kammok with their Mantis UL Hammock Tent, intends to bring modern Hammock Tent camping into mainstream camping, backpacking and thru-hiking culture as viable option to traditional tent camping. The Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent is under 2 lb and $219 for a complete, easy-to-use hammock tent kit that will be stocked by major outdoor retailers like REI. As such, it’s lighter and less expensive than most solo tents but with many advantages.

To that end, being on the shelf at major outdoor retailers will hopefully bring a light and modern camping hammock tent to the attention of a much larger audience of campers and backpackers than hammocks have attracted in the past. And being backed by retailers like REI will significantly increase buyers confidence. Currently, a number of cottage manufactures like Dutchware, and Warbonnet to name just a few, make great backpacking hammocks — we like and use them. But in spite of making great hammocks, they have not penetrated mainstream camping and backpacking culture. Their products and hammock camping in general have remained fairly niche due to cottage manufactures not being carried by major retailers, limited output, long lead times, and other cottage gear manufacturer constraints. We hope that good, inexpensive backpacking hammocks like Kammok with their Mantis UL Hammock Tent, available in volume, at reasonable prices, and off-the-shelf at major outdoor resellers will change that. Many campers will be more comfortable and happier for it.

The Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent includes a generously sized but very light rain fly complete with tie-out cord adjusters, and light DAC stakes. The hexagonal Mantis fly is only 11 oz and has a modern catenary cut for a taut pitch. The protected area under the fly is surprisingly large.

First Look Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent

Almost all of the relevant specs for Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent are available on their Kickstarter Page. As such, we will focus mostly on key features and analysis of a pre-production sample. To hit the high points with the Mantis UL Hammock Tent, and standard Mantis Hammock Tent, Kammok takes the confusion out of buying and using a hammock tent. Buy a Kammok Mantis Hammock Tent and you get everything in a light, sophisticated, and easy to use package. In contrast most other hammocks offer a confusing array of options, and things you need to add to your order (sometimes you need to get them elsewhere). And everything in Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent  is easy and intuitive to use — not the case with other hammock setups.

Top New Things We Like

  • It’s light. At 1 lb 15 oz it’s lighter than most solo backpacking tents and most other complete hammock setups
  • A lower price than other hammocks (when you finally add in all the additional components to other hammock systems)
  • The suspension (stuff you need to hang the hammock from trees) is a wining combination of light and easy to use! This is important, since the suspension is usually where new hammock campers get the most confused. And the Kanga Claw carabiners and Python straps weigh only 3.9 ounces.
  • Great cord adjuster system. Hypalon-reinforced guy out points, all tie-outs have line adjusters (no knots), high quality reflective cords, and top-end DAC J stakes.
  • Integrated bug net opens on both sides. It can also be zipped out and replaced by a solid cover for cold weather camping.
  • Symmetrical design. Unlike most asymmetrical hammocks, you can switch from left-to-right and have the flattest / most comfortable lay possible. [Kammok has a slightly more relaxed ridge-line to help with this.]
  • A dazzling array of tie-outs in key locations, make pitching customization super easy.

The suspension is a wining combination of light and easy to use! This is important, since the suspension is usually where new hammock campers get the most confused. And the Kanga Claw carabiners and Python straps weigh only 3.9 oz. Kammok also includes a first rate set of (6) DAC J stakes.

Essential Specifications | Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent

Best Uses: backpacking, ultralight backpacking and thru-hiking

MSRP: $259

Trail Weight: 1 lb 15 oz (excludes stuff sack & stakes)

Packed Weight: 2 lb 3 oz

Hammock Size: 10′ long – 56″ wide – Ridgeline length: 115″

Weight Capacity: 300 lb

Tarp Size: 11.3′ x 7.3′ (tapers down to 6′ at foot end)

Kammok designed new very light but high-tech and high-strength fabrics for the Mantis

Hammock Fabric: 1.1 oz/yd2 Levitas™ 20D nylon diamond ripstop DWR

Fly Fabric: 0.6oz/yd2 Patagium™ 15D nylon diamond ripstop nylon 1,500 PU/Silicone/DWR


Component Weights

  • Mantis UL body w/ out mesh (with mini Kanga & continuous loops): 10.9oz/ 311g
  • Mesh: 5.3oz/152g
  • Mantis fly: 11.3 oz / 321 g (comes with 6 guy outs with line locks and 2 knotless hooks)
  • (2) Python 10 Ultralight: 2.9 oz / 85.05 g (no stuff sack)
  • Mini Kanga: 13g / 0.5 oz (1 oz total for both)
  • 6 DAC Stakes: 2.3oz/ 66g (total for 6)
  • 2 shock cord guy-outs with knotless hook: 0.8oz/22.68g (total for 2)
  • Stuff sack 1.0oz/ 43g

Hammocks also make great seats, so no reason to bring a camp chair for comfort. And in the rain you can even cook dinner while seated under your tarp!

Compared to Other Hammock Tents

With the exception of the Hennessy Hammock Hyperlight Asym Zip Hammock, the Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent is the only other truly light, modern camping tent carried by REI. That is, it’s a hammock, that Alison and I would happy using. But the Mantis UL Hammock Tent while similar in weight has a number of advantages over the Hennessy:

  • Higher weight rating – 300 vs. 200 lbs – a critical difference that will cover most campers
  • Larger coverage rainfly – important! [To compare fairly to the Mantis we replaced the extremely small, stock Hennessy fly with a larger one]
  • A much more refined, easier to use feature set that requires no fancy knots or special skills to quickly hang (setup) the hammock. These include their patented suspension system (what attaches your hammock to the trees) mini 13kN Kanga Claw carabiners and Python straps. This is one of the lightest and easy to use hammock suspensions we’ve seen to date. [Hennessy uses complicated, time consuming lashing]
  • A modular replaceable bug netting that opens on both sides and can be replaced by a solid fabric cover for cold weather camping.
  • Two “storage wings” on either side of your head – many other hammocks lack sufficient pockets and storage areas for things you want to easily reach when lying down.
  • Lighter and less expensive – when you replace the replaced the extremely small, stock Hennessy fly with one of similar size to the Mantis UL, the Hennessy Hyperlight Asym Zip Hammock is more expensive and heavier.

Cottage manufactures like Warbonnet and Dutchware make hammocks similar to the Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent (see table below). But they are not available at major outdoor stores. They do however, offer a huge range of fabric weights and colors and many customizations for hardware and accessories. This is great for knowledgeable buyers but confusing to most. And when you assemble a complete kit of their gear — hammock body, bug net, rain fly, suspension and other hardware — they are usually a bit heavier and more expensive —  unless you are a very knowledgeable and sophisticated enough to find the right models and assemble the lightest component options.

Some Other Hammock Tent Options

This list is by no means exhaustive. I own and like hammocks from all these companies. I know all their owners personally. They produce excellent hammocks that have widespread use and good reputations. Most also offer all the hammock accessories you might need, top quilts, under-quilts, tarps etc.

CompanyHammockOz*Comments
KammokMantis UL Hammock Tent31.5Included in this First Look
HennessyHyperlight Asym ZipTom Hennessy is considered the man responsible for modern backpacking hammocks as we know them & has the patents to prove it. This is their lightest hammock & available at REI.
DutchwareChameleonLight & Versatile. Adaptable to every season from humid summer days to winter use. Full review here which also compares it to Hennessy and Warbonnet hammocks.
WarbonnetBlackbirdA longtime hammock manufacturer. Blackbird is their most popular hammock. A well thought out and functional design.

* Weights are approximate, and include MFR’s suspension (webbing and hardware to hang hammock and wide tree straps to protect trees—important for LNT!), and appropriate tarp when not included .

Hammock Camping — The Basics

Derek Hansen, author of The Ultimate Hang, is an advanced hammock camper and excellent illustrator. Here’s a quick illustration about the essentials of hammock camping.

hansen-hammock-basics

Disclaimer

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on the these links, a portion of the sale helps support this site at no additional cost to you. I do not receive compensation from the companies whose products are listed. For product reviews: unless otherwise noted, products are purchased with my own funds. I am never under an obligation to write a review about any product. Finally, this post expresses my own independent opinion.

10 replies
  1. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    Hi Alan. I saw the Kammok Kickstarter campaign and it looked good. Very lightweight considering it’s all inclusive. That said, I wound up backing the Sierra Madre Ninox Kickstarter a few months previous to the Kammok. Have you heard about that one yet or had the opportunity to test it? Looks very promising albeit a bit more expensive.

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Hi Andrew, I am not familiar with the Nitrox but I did take a look at their site. Not really sure that there is anything broken with a standard 11′ hammock since in my opinion there is tons of room to get a nice flat lie. And the Nitrox appears to be both heavier and more expensive than the Kammock. That being said, maybe they did something fantastic for hammock comfort. I’d be curious about your feedback once you receive yours. Warm regards, -alan

      Reply
  2. Chris Finley
    Chris Finley says:

    Greetings Alan. It looks like a well refined hammock with some surprisingly light pieces; thank you for the review. Do you find the Mantis UL more comfortable than your Dutchware (half-wit?), and why? Does the more relaxed ridge-line mean a less-flat lay?

    The comparison weights for the other hammocks are empty. Are there too many options to do a realistic comparison?

    p.s. Haven’t take off the 100wt fleece since trying it in Colorado. :)

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Hi Chris, good Q. First, this is not an apple to apple comparison. The Half-wit is a minimalist hammock targeted at an experienced hammock user. On the whole I would say the half-wit is (very slightly) more comfortable since it is an 11′ hammock allowing for a more diagonal lie if you wish — more important for taller people (over 6′). For people 5′ 10′ or less the difference might not be all that noticeable. But since the Half-wit is customizeable you can pick a heaver/stiffer fabric that will give you a stiffer less stretchy lie which some prefer. And of course you can make the ridge line whatever length you like since it is replaceable. As to the comparison table, I just need to finish filling it out. This post was on serious deadline and I didn’t have the time to pull all the component weights (tarps, stakes, etc.) to add to the Dutchware, Warbonnet, and Hennessy hammocks to make a fair comparison to the Kammok Mantis UL Hammock. I am guessing that they will be of similar weight or heavier. Hope this helps. Warmest, -alan & alison

      Reply
  3. Joshua Tremper
    Joshua Tremper says:

    I am truly a bit of a noob on the topic. How would this compare to something like one of REI’s Flash Hammock all in one kits? Obviously this is a little bit lighter.

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Good Q Joshua. I have not used the new REI Co-op Flash Air Hammock (but maybe I should buy one and test it). Anyway, you likely identified the most significant difference, weight. The REI Co-op Flash Air Hammock is almost 3 pounds and the Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent is 2 pounds. Oh and the REI hammock is rated 50 lb less, 250 lb vs 300 for the Kammok. Other than that there is a scant amount spec’s on the REI Co-op Flash Air Hammock — no length, no width, no size on the fly, type of suspension, if it comes with stakes, and if so what type etc. The structural arch over the face seems unnecessary. The interior straps to help keep sleeping pad in place might be nice for those who don’t want to spring for an underquilt. If it were me I would go and order the Kammok Mantis UL Hammock Tent for essentially the same price. It’s a pound lighter and has a known design. Hope this helps. Wishing you a great year of hiking. Warmest, -alan & alison

      Reply
  4. John
    John says:

    I’m interested in a hammock, but am concerned about comfort because I predominantly side-sleep. Can anyone who also side-sleeps comment on their first-hand experiences with hammocks?

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Hi John, good Q. Side sleeping is great in a hammock. Alison and I do it all the time. Two things are better about it in a hammock vs. the ground. 1) you do not have the pressure hot spots on your hip and shoulder. 2) When side sleeping you are essentially limited to 90 degrees from horizontal. In a hammock you have every angle from 0 degrees (on your back) up to 90 degrees (fully on your side) and fully supported at every angle. Hope this helps. Wishing you a great year of hiking. Warmest, -alan & alison

      Reply
      • John
        John says:

        Thanks for sharing your direct experiences. Their return policy looks good, but I still want to make sure before I make a purchase.

        In reading up on the topic of side-sleeping in a hammock, I’ve found that some recommend making sure that it is at least 11 feet long if you’re around 6′ tall. I’ve also read that it can help to rotate your body off center (so your feet and head are not directly under the support straps.

        I’ve also learned that there are some companies that make hammocks with a 90 degree hang (Amok Draumr. Exped Ergo. Luke’s 90 degree hammock tent). I’d be interested in hearing if anyone has tried any of these and a traditional hammock.

        Reply
        • Alan Dixon
          Alan Dixon says:

          John, 11′ helps if you are tall since it allows you to get a more diagonal lie (shoulders in one direction and feet in the other) which “flattens” the hammock. I’m 5’8″ and do fine with a 10′ hammock even on a serious diagonal. But truthfully I don’t find I need to be all that diagonal in most hammocks to be comfortable. My guess is that there is room in the Mantis for people up to 6′ to go diagonal. I would stay clear of the 90 degree hammocks unless you can get your hands on one to test AND they are not like 2x the weight of the Mantis. Hope this helps, -alan

          Reply

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