ENO OneLink Ham­mock

Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Contents - www.enona­tion.com.au

RRP $390 (Dou­bleNest) RRP $390 (OneLink Ham­mock Shel­ter Sys­tem - Dou­bleNest) Tested by: GEMMA CHILTON

TTHERE’S SOME­THING IN­NATELY at­trac­tive about ham­mocks – per­haps that rock-a-bye baby sen­sa­tion awak­ens your in­ner child, or maybe swinging from trees taps into our in­ner ape. Ei­ther way, it was with a kind of child­ish excitement that I first set up the OneLink Ham­mock Shel­ter Sys­tem from Ea­gle Nest Out­fit­ters (ENO).

ENO was es­tab­lished in 1999 by two broth­ers who quit their of­fice jobs to travel the US east coast sell­ing their ham­mocks at mu­sic fes­ti­vals – how­ever, the prod­uct they sell to­day is a far cry from the wo­ven-rope con­coc­tion you might as­so­ci­ate with hippy gath­er­ings.

The OneLink sys­tem comes with a ‘Dou­bleNest’ ham­mock, ‘ProFly’ rain tarp, ‘At­las’ Sus­pen­sion Sys­tem, ‘Guardian’ bug-net plus a set of cara­bin­ers and pegs. With all that com­bined, you have about 2.2kg of gear – which is com­pet­i­tive with an up­per­spec two-man tent, but re­mem­ber that’s with­out the tent poles.

But that’s where an im­por­tant point comes to play – early on, I con­cluded that ENO’s ham­mocks shouldn’t be re­viewed in di­rect com­par­i­son with hik­ing tents. There may be sim­i­lar­i­ties, in­clud­ing the colours and ma­te­ri­als across the range – but this is a new and some­what quirky camp­ing sleep sys­tem that fills its own niche, and which I’ll there­fore try to judge in iso­la­tion.

As men­tioned, straight away it seemed unlikely this sys­tem would real­is­ti­cally work for any­one but a sin­gle cam­per for more than one night of com­pro­mise. Be­ing co­cooned with your bed-buddy might seem ro­man­tic at first, but it starts to feel claus­tro­pho­bic pretty fast. For sin­gles, how­ever, it could work – as men­tioned, there’s some­thing about be­ing cra­dled by a ham­mock that makes it im­pos­si­ble not to want a snooze.

There were pluses and mi­nuses to the over­all de­sign. First the pos­i­tives: ENO’s patented, treefriendly At­las Sus­pen­sion Sys­tem is re­ally clever. Made from tough web­bing, it has a series of loops through which you sim­ply thread one end around the tree, ad­justable to al­low for the fact that the dis­tance be­tween two trees is hardly pre­dictable. This sys­tem was quick, easy and felt strong and se­cure. I also liked the bug-net, which slung over a ridge­line (read: a guy rope tied to the two trees above your ham­mock) and fit over the ham­mock like a sleeve, pulling tight at the ends. The rain tarp was sim­ple enough – sit­ting over the same ridge­line rope, it’s held in place by six guy ropes, one tied to the sus­pen­sion sys­tem on each tree, and four pegged to the ground.

Now for the neg­a­tive: the guy ropes are just that, plain old ropes with no run­ners or ad­justers, re­ly­ing on your knowl­edge of knots to make it all come to­gether. That felt at odds with the speed and con­ve­nience of­fered by the At­las straps, and prob­a­bly un­suited to the mar­ket I imag­ine this prod­uct would suit best – fam­i­lies or groups on car camp­ing trips at their favourite camp­site (where they know there are suit­able trees), with a few older kids who want some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent from a bor­ing-old dome or A-frame.

The ham­mock was fun, cosy and cer­tainly has po­ten­tial – if you’re the type of per­son who has a strong urge to in­tro­duce a ham­mock to your camp­ing kit. If all as­pects of the de­sign were as re­solved as the At­las Sus­pen­sion Sys­tem, I reckon ENO could be onto a big win­ner. But time will tell whether this young brand tran­scends the risk of be­ing seen as a gim­mick to be­com­ing a se­ri­ous com­peti­tor for your camp­ing gear bud­get.

The ENO OneLink of­fered com­fort and sta­bil­ity when set up prop­erly. The bug net and rain tarp are bril­liant fea­tures.

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