What’s the Deal with Hammock Tents?

Suspended tents are having a bit of a moment in the outdoors community. While many are gimmicks – painfully claustrophobic and finicky to set up – the Quarter Dome Air leads the pack by several miles. REI borrowed elements from a parachute to create a flat surface that holds its shape well enough that you can sleep on your side without feeling like you are sinking into a tarp taco. Lightweight stabilizer bars at each end hold the hammock open, while six webbing straps evenly distribute tension. Thank to the hanging shelter’s intuitive, versatile design, you can sleep on either side – one with a bug fly and one without. From there it is easy to adjust the fly by pulling a series of straps to snug it low or loosen it for more ventilation. The best part: The Quarter Dome Air stows small and light. The verdict: a hanging tent is definitely suitable for backpackers looking to stay off the ground.

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