Back when I was young and responsibility-free, I owned a pickup truck that usually ran and a fishing pole that occasionally caught fish. I would often combine the two for spur of the moment expatriation from the city where I lived. Sometimes, I would go for an evening. Often that evening would turn into overnight. Once in a while that overnight would become a weekend. Usually this was dependent on my luck with the finned foe or on how much beer was in the cooler to keep fueling my high hopes of conquering that elusive prey.

On those spontaneous overnights or weekenders, I was rarely prepared with anything more than a bedroll. That is great if you have a spot you can make into a suitable campsite. When it rained or got windy, though, the truck (which had a shell on the bed) became a makeshift tent. Now, looking back, I often wonder how my back survived those nights in the hard bed of that pickup. Since trying the Jammock, I’m kicking myself that I didn’t think of this myself and put it to use on those nights.

Come to think of it, long days at the lake with the truck parked on the beach and me holding my fishing pole while lying back on this Jammock would have been pretty sweet, too. Suddenly, walking uphill both ways to school seems pretty simple compared to my own trials where I had nothing but the bed of a truck to sleep in. Kids today have it too easy with their Jammocks and fancy rigs. I’ll use my best curmudgeon voice when saying that. Perhaps with a Popeye squint for effect.

The Jammock is one of those singularly great inventions whose simplicity is what makes it so awesome. The version for a Jeep installs over the roll bars in either the front (over the seats) or back (over the cargo space) to provide a sling for holding gear or a place to lay back and take a nap. With the pickup truck version, which is the one we were given to try, it’s even more versatile.

The Jammock installs in virtually any truck bed provided there are at least four tie-down points near the corners. I happened to have a 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro as a press loan vehicle the week the Jammock arrived, so I had the perfect platform for testing. Not only is the truck capable of going anywhere you’d like, road or not, but the Jammock gives you a quick way to enjoy that space once you’re there. I drove out into the hills and put it to the test.

Installation, even on the first try, was pretty easy. The very long straps provide a lot of flexibility for finding ways to tie it down. In my case, looping it through the Toyota’s integrated tie-down rail hoops and pulling the straps together worked perfectly. Other options include using hoops inside the bed’s post holes (standard on most pickups and appearing at each corner) or adding poles to those loops to tie the Jammock to. The Jammock website showcases several ideas, including using the utility rack on a work truck as a combination tie-down point and shade.

Once installed, the Jammock becomes very comfortable. Getting into it the first time will see some settling, maybe an inch at the center, and then everything is snug and you’re good to go. It’s made of very thick and tough-looking canvas capable of holding up to 350 pounds (159 kg) of weight. That’s enough for me, my camera and selfie stick, and some cold drinks in a cooler.

For those wondering, yes, the Jammock can be fitted to smaller pickup trucks, such as the Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma. Creative types might also be thinking of ways they could secure a tent over the top of the Jammock (no more sleeping on rocks!) or adding umbrellas or other shades to the mix.

The Jammock can be installed and removed in about three minutes by a person working solo. It’s also tough enough that it could be used as a cargo cover in a pinch. For those working for a living, the Jammock would also make a great job site lunchtime crash spot.

Full installation instructions are also to be found on the Jammock website, though most will not likely need them as this is a very simple idea. Which are usually the best kind. Prices range from US$138 for the JammockBlack for Jeeps to $199 for the JammockTruck.

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