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Eagles Nest Outfitters (known as ENO) and Wise Owl Outfitters are two very popular camping hammock brands, but which is best?
I purchased hammocks from both and have been putting them through their paces out in the woods and in my back yard to find out. Keep reading for my full, unbiased comparison of the ENO SingleNest and the Wise Owl SingleOwl, although the same thoughts can be applied to the double-sized equivalents.
Both the ENO and Wise Owl hammocks are ideal for camping and I can vouch for both products. However, after spending time using them together, I think that overall, the ENO hammock is better than Wise Owl.
ENO seem to have gone that little bit further to make their hammocks more comfortable and durable. Unlike the Wise Owl hammock, the fabric is silky and more breathable, it also uses nautical rope in the sling and an aluminum carabiner. The compression strap means the ENO takes up around half the space of the Wise Owl in your bag which is a significant saving.
But, the Wise Owl has got some things going for it too. I found it to be slightly faster at drying than ENO and the lower price point means you are getting better value for money, ideal for those on a budget.
ENO vs Wise Owl Review
In this review, I’ll be comparing the ENO SingleNest and the Wise Owl SingleOwl as I already had these for other reviews I’m writing.
However, I’d usually recommend opting for a double-sized hammock even when sleeping alone (which I’d also recommend).
I have personally tested both hammocks out in a camping environment and my backyard to get a good feel for them In the review, I’ll compare their comfort, durability, portability, ease of use, and vale for money.
|ENO SingleNest||Wise Owl SingleOwl|
|Ease of Use||5/5||5/5|
|Value for Money||3/5||4/5|
One thing that is immediately visible when opening these two hammocks for the first time is that the Wise Owl comes with straps included whereas the ENO doesn’t. I ended up buying some ENO Atlas straps to go with the ENO hammock which I’ll use as a comparison for the Wise Owl straps.
The Wise Owl straps are fairly decent considering the fact that they are bundled with the hammock. However, they were thinner than my ENO Atlas straps and made in a slightly different way which results in smaller loops. Still, I didn’t experience any difficulty hanging hammocks with either product.
Both hammocks are made from Nylon which is known for its weight-to-strength ratio making it a popular choice in camping gear. Other benefits of nylon are that it’s easier to clean, is resistant to mold and mildew, and slightly more elastic than polyester so you’ll get some stretch when lying in it.
Here are the two laid side-by-side:
There is a slight difference in the type of Nylon between the two (70D Nylon Taffeta vs 210T Parachute Nylon) although it’s slightly hard to tell from the photo.
The ENO hammock is made from 70D Nylon Taffeta, I found this to be silky to touch and much more breathable which makes the world of difference if you’ll be using it for prolonged periods.
Whereas the Wise Owl hammock is made from 210T Parachute Nylon, this has more of a matte feel and not as breathable. It reminds me of the material used to make the outside of tents. It would be perfectly fine for a beginner, but I suspect you would notice the difference over time. Overall, the ENO wins it for comfort in my book.
The Wise Owl has a weight capacity of 500lbs whereas the ENO has a lower capacity of 400lbs. After using both, I don’t think there is much difference in their strength, and suspect ENO are being more cautious with their limit.
With both brands, the weight capacities are identical for both single and double versions of their hammocks. Although double hammocks are wide enough for two, I wouldn’t recommend you share a hammock between two people when camping overnight, it’s just not a fun experience.
The hammock material used in both products appears to be very strong and both brands use triple stitching. The key difference is the material used for the sling at the end, ENO use a thick nautical rope whereas Wise Owl have used a nylon web, the rope feels much stronger and I do not doubt that this is built-to-last.
I didn’t experience any durability issues with either hammock during testing, I’ve also looked through numerous forums and Amazon reviews from people who have had their hammocks for much longer than me and there doesn’t appear to be any major issues with either.
One thing that was quite common across all the reviews and something I noticed myself was the cheap carabiner on the Wise Owl product. It’s made from steel instead of lightweight aluminum like the ENO product, this makes it heavier and the clip feels like it may loosen over time.
Both the ENO and Wise Owl hammocks pack away into the attached pocket which doubles up as a stuff sack.
ENO have included an additional clip attached to the pocket. Once packed away, this clip can be wrapped around the hammock to make it super compact. As you can see from the main image for this article, the ENO hammock ends up being around half the volume of the Wise Owl hammock which can free up extra space in your backpack.
As for weight, the Wise Owl was around 10% heavier than the ENO hammock, weighing 16.8oz compared to 15.2oz. This is excluding the straps to ensure it is a like-for-like comparison. The weight difference was barely noticeable between the two and I expect if you replace the heavier carabiners on the Wise Owl hammock they will end up around the same weight.
Ease of Use
Both hammocks came with carabiners pre-attached so they were ready to go. I didn’t have issues setting up either product.
The ENO hammock claims that it is fast drying so I decided to put both hammocks to the test and see which one dried fastest. I soaked them in a bowl of cold water and hung them up to dry together.
ENO’s claim stood up to the test as both hammocks dried relatively quickly, however, the Wise Owl performed better. The Wise Owl was dry enough to pack within around 20 minutes, whereas the ENO took around 30 minutes to reach the same level.
The difference in drying time was most visible at the ends of the hammock where ENO have used a rope sling instead of a nylon strap which took longer to dry.
Value for Money
At the time of purchase, the Wise Owl SIngleOwl cost $29.95 and included two hammock straps. Whereas the ENO SingleNest cost $38 and didn’t come with any straps included.
For the equivalent hammocks in a double size, the prices for ENO DOublenest and Wise Owl DoubleOwl were $52 and $39.96 respectively.
For both single and double hammocks, Wise Owl Outfitters was around 25% cheaper than ENO and came with two straps included so it offers much better value. By the time you include the cost of the hammock straps, you could pay double for an ENO hammock.
One thing I like to look at in my reviews is how sustainable the overall brand is and whether they are operating sustainably. Both ENO and Wise Owl Outfitters are US-based brands although I don’t think either brand manufactures their products in the US.
ENO are taking part in several schemes including 1% for the planet which is a pledge to give 1% of annual sales to non-profit organizations. ENO have also partnered with Trees for the Future to plant two trees for every hammock sold.
I also noticed that there was no excess packaging with the ENO hammock whereas the Wise Owl came in a single-use plastic bag.
Overall, I preferred the ENO SingleNest over the Wise Owl SingleOwl. The nylon taffeta is silkier than the parachute nylon used in the Wise Owl and it seemed more breathable.
Both hammocks have a similar design with an attached stuff sack for packing it away easily. However, ENO have a compression strap which makes it much smaller when packed away.
There are noticeable differences in the way the hammocks have been put together with ENO opting for a nautical rope in the sling and an aluminum carabiner instead of steel. Whilst both seemed very durable, the ENO gave that little bit extra peace of mind.
However, if budget is a key concern, the Wise Owl is still a good choice if you can compromise on the breathability of the fabric and the space it takes up in your backpack.
If you’d like more details and close-up photos of either hammock, check out my ENO SingleNest review.