Lawson Hammock Gear Review

Hammocking has always intrigued me, and no more so than the Lawson Hammock. I had met with them at the 2015 Summer ORShow, but didn’t connect again to work together until UintasHike16, when they provided Josh (Raw Trails) and I hammocks to test out.

Lawson Hammock Gear Review

The immediate difference between a Lawson Hammock and others is that the Lawson has an integrated bug netting system and also features spreader bars, similar to what you might see on a backyard hammock. These bars make the Lawson keep its shape, making it  wider and more flat than other hammocks. Shock-corded poles keep the netting off one’s face, and a rainfly allows for foul-weather comfort.

The first night, I found a beautiful little grove of trees right besides a stream, a perfect place to spend the night with the white noise of the water rushing by. Deployment of the hammock is simple – snap the spreader bars to gather to form the hammocks “floor,” then hang the rig between two trees, using tree straps and carabiners (not included). Insert the shock-corded poles into the sleeves, and use attached bungee cords to adjust tension as preferred. The rainfly goes over the entire thing, attaching with hooks and bungee cords – we were expecting rain, so I attached the rainfly, leaving a corner exposed, then easily drew it down for full coverage when the rain started. No issues with leaks or condensation – this is a great set up.

The second night we lucked into an idyllic campsite next to a lake, making it an ideal opportunity to test out the Lawson as a ground tent. Set-up is similar to the hanging of the hammock, replacing the tree straps and carabiners with two tent stakes (not included). After the quick and easy set up, I was sold on this as a ground tent. One caveat: since the floor is designed to sag a bit while hung as a hammock (which makes the netting airy and roomy), the lack of sag means that this tunnel tent has minimal headroom when set up as a tent. I’m used to sleeping in a tunnel tent, so this was no problem for me, but people with space issues might feel confined. I did not need the rainfly the second night, so keeping the corner open allowed for a well-ventilated night’s sleep.

Lawson Hammock Gear Review

Cons: At over 4 pounds, this is not a lightweight shelter to carry – this is mitigated by its all-in-one design and availability for use as a tent. Even though this covers most of the bases in its design, the lack of tree straps, carabiners, and ground stakes in the kit seems a bit of an oversight.

Overall impressions: I really thought the design, ease of set-up, and subsequent performance were top-notch. If you think that you want to try hammock camping, this is a great product to start with, as it allows for comfortable entry into that world, while also giving one the option to use as a tent. At $170 MSRP, this is fairly priced for essentially 2 pieces of gear, a hammock and a tent.

*This product was provided for editorial purposes – all opinions are my own.


3 thoughts on “Lawson Hammock Gear Review

  1. Looks like it will be a sweat lodge when rain forces you to close it up. Any design features I am missing that would make it not so?

    1. Andrew, not sure if it’s part if the intended design (though I would guess it is), but if you look at the first image, you can see that the ends are mesh and the spreader bars are connected to the carabiner via multiple ropes. While the rain hits the fly and rolls off, air can come in under the hammock, through the ropes and the mesh, and into the enclosed space. Our first night we had serious rain and I had no issues with overheating or condensation, so clearly something in the design works.

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