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Wise Owl Outfitters are one of the most popular budget camping hammock brands with their signature SingleOwl and DoubleOwl hammocks. But, are they any good?
I purchased a Wise Owl SingleOwl to put it through its paces, both camping in the woods and for lounging in my backyard. In this guide, I’ll share my unbiased thoughts.
This Wise Owl SingleOwl is a very decent camping hammock for beginners and offers excellent value for money with straps included for less than $30. I didn’t experience any problems using the hammock and was impressed at how quickly it dries.
However, there are some areas that it falls short. For example, the included carabiners are made from steel which makes them unnecessarily heavy and it takes up quite a lot of room when packed away compared to other camping hammocks I own. For most amateur campers like myself, these issues shouldn’t cause you too much trouble.
If you can afford to spend a little extra, ENO is my favorite camping hammock brand without being too expensive. Both the SingleNest and DoubleNest are silky, breathable, and pack down to be very compact. I usually opt for a double-width hammock even when sleeping by myself as I like the extra material for finding a comfortable position.
For more information, I have a full ENO vs Wise Owl comparison that breaks down all the differences.
Wise Owl Hammock Review
Who Are Wise Owl?
Wise Owl Outfitters was founded as recently as 2015 by Todd and Sarah Douglass and is still based in Nashville, Tennessee today. Although their products are manufactured in China, their customer service team is based in the US and are known for their excellent customer support.
Fortunately, I didn’t need to contact support as my hammock was fully intact, however, there are countless stories across forums and reviews of the quick turnaround time for returns or replacements. They are also very helpful at general inquiries to provide advice about which equipment to buy.
Both the hammock itself and two straps were included in the purchase for less than $30 which makes it great value for money considering the straps are on sale for $20 by themselves.
Wise Owl hammocks are available in a huge variety of colorways, including dual tone and triple tone patterns. I’m not too bothered about the color of my hammock so opted for the basic black/grey option as it was the cheapest at the time.
The hammock straps don’t come with the dedicated carry case that is normally included when you purchase them separately, instead, they are neatly tucked away in the hammock’s stuff sack which works well.
Compared to my ENO Atlas straps (see image below), the Wise Owl straps were much thinner as you can see from the below image. The loops are also made differently which means they are smaller than the ENO, but I didn’t have any difficulty using them and overall they felt very strong.
The Wise Owl SingleOwl is made from 210T Parachute Nylon which is quite a standard hammock material in this price range. Nylon is known for being stronger than other synthetic materials like polyester and is fast-drying as it doesn’t absorb water.
It feels quite similar to the material used to make tents and other outdoor gear. Overall, it was quite comfortable to lie in, although not as breathable as other camping hammocks.
Keep in mind that it’s only a single-layer hammock so I wouldn’t recommend it for jungle-trekking as mosquitos tend to be able to bite through single-layer hammocks.
My biggest dislike about this hammock is the size of it. Being a single hammock, I measured the width to be 52 inches at the widest point (compared to 54 inches in the product specifications).
Ease of Use
Being such a simple hammock, hanging it was super easy and so was taking it down afterward. The included straps have daisy loops so you don’t need to know any special knots, simply wrap it around the tree (twice for a smaller tree) and pass the end through the large loop on the end.
The two steel carabiners are already attached to the hammock so it’s just a case of clipping them onto the correct daisy loop. The benefit of a daisy loop strap is that you can easily adjust the sag of the hammock without having to change where the strap is wrapped around the tree.
According to the specs, the hammock is 9ft long, however, this doesn’t include the straps and carabiners. I measured the SingleOwl from ring to ring and it came to 122 inches (10’1ft) so I’d recommend a hanging distance between trees of around 12-13ft. That being said, I had mine hung across a 14ft gap and it was perfectly fine.
It’s important to have a hammock that dries quickly, especially if you get caught out in the rain and want to pack away your things quickly.
I put The Wise Owl’s drying ability to the test by submerging it in a bucket of water and leaving it to dry, the hammock was dry enough to pack away after around 20 minutes which is better than average compared to the other hammocks I have tested in this way.
The sling of the hammock is made from nylon web, this doesn’t feel as rugged as the nautical line or Dyneema cord that some other brands use, but given the price of the product, it seems appropriate. I never felt like the hammock was going to break at all during my testing.
The suspension sling cannot be swapped out for other materials which won’t be a concern if you’re just an amateur hammock camper like myself.
The carabiner is made from airplane-grade steel which has a high breaking strength of up to 2967 lbs. of force although the limit provided by Wise Owl is a lower 500lbs. However, this heavier material is generally not necessary for hammocks and I’d usually recommend aluminum which is much lighter.
I found the quality of the carabiner to be poor with the gate often requiring to be manually closed. I would recommend you swap it out for an aluminum carabiner instead which will be lighter yet just as strong.
The pocket doubles up as a stuff sack so you can easily pack the hammock away after use. The stuff sack doesn’t have any compression straps so the hammock does take up quite a lot of room compared to others on the market. This is only going to be a problem if you have a very limited amount of room in your backpack.
You can get around this by having one of the carabiners poking out the top of the stuff sack and using it to attach to your backpack as shown in this image.
I weighed the hammock to be 16.8oz when packed away (or 23.4oz if you include the straps). This is fairly similar to my other camping hammocks give or take a few ounces. I expect that the steel carabiners are contributing to the weight so you could knock off a few ounces by swapping them out for aluminum ones as recommended earlier.
Overall, I am very impressed at the quality of this product considering the sub-$30 price tag. As someone who has used several camping hammocks, the overall design is very familiar and the experience was similar, only at a cheaper price.
The hammock seems very strong with triple stitched nylon and its 500lb weight capacity is more than adequate for a single hammock. The hammock dried extremely fast so it would be easy to pack away in poor weather.
There are some areas where it could be improved such as the steel carabiner instead of an aluminum one and the fact that it can’t be compressed down when put away in the stuff sack. Being a single-layer hammock, you’ll want to avoid using it in the jungle and there are lighter options if you’ll be carrying it for long distances.
However, I’m not a huge fan of single-width hammocks, even when sleeping alone. I’d recommend you consider the DoubleOwl (the double version from Wise Owl), or if you don’t mind spending a bit extra, ENO’s DoubleNest is a great pick that can be compressed down well and has a silky nylon taffeta material. See my ENO hammock review for more details.
Are Wise Owl Hammocks Good?
Yes, Wise Owl hammocks are good quality given their budget price tag. Although you won’t get the nautical rope sling or the aluminum carabiners of the more premium hammocks, Wise Owl have done the basics well, with an amateur’s hammock you can trust during your camping trip.
Are Wise Owl Hammocks Washable?
There are no washing instructions sent with the hammock although I contacted Wise Owl and they advised that it can be put in the washing machine on a low setting and with a small amount of detergent.
How Long is a Wise Owl Hammock?
I measured my Wise Owl SingleOwl camping hammock to be 122 inches (10’1ft) from the tip of one carabiner to the other. The length stated in the product specs is 9ft, although this is the material only and does not include the sling or the carabiner.
Are Wise Owl Hammocks Made in the USA?
No, Wise Owl hammocks are designed in the USA but they are not made there. They are made in China and imported via their headquarters in Tennesse.