Swayy's all-in-one hammock creates a hanging insulation bubble for your backside
You can't argue with the convenience and comfort of camping with a hammock, but you could certainly argue with the bitter cold that can accompany such a sleeping arrangement. The newly announced Swayy is an all-in-one camping hammock that takes a novel approach to insulation, by creating a hanging pocket of air around your backside to fend off what its creators call "Cold Butt Syndrome."
The MummyPod and the Shel are a couple of recent examples of improved camping hammock solutions to cross our desk. While the Shel is designed as a sleeve that can be slipped on to add warmth and waterproofing to existing hammocks, the MummyPod was an all-in-one approach that sought to combine the cosiness of a sleeping bag with the relaxation of a swinging sleeping quarters.
Swayy takes yet another approach, with a hammock made up of three layers. The first is nylon ripstop fabric that supports your weight and is the main body of the hammock. Then there is the insulation layer, which is made from two sheets of Primaloft insulation arranged to form three different air pockets that hang below your butt. And then there is the outer shell made from Argon nylon to provide protection from the wind.
The hammock is suspended by aluminum alloy cinch buckles and carabiners, along with polyester and Dyneema webbing. When zipped closed, it is claimed to keep the camper nice and cosy courtesy of the air pockets that warm up while trapped between the fibers. If being used on the summer nights, then the zip could be partially opened to allow for some fresh air through the top as the temperature remains stable underneath.
The Swayy is actually available in two versions. Both have a temperature rating of 35-70° F (1.6 - 21° C), measure 10 ft long (3 m) and can hold a maximum of 400 lb (182 kg). The pricer Eira model, however, weighs just 3.1 lb (1.4 kg) compared to the Premus' 5.1 lb (2.3 kg), and can be stuffed into a more compact sack around five inches shorter and six inches thinner. This is despite the inclusion of a rainfly that can be suspended from an included ridge line above.
The team is looking to raise funds on Kickstarter for the Swayy hammock, with early pledges of US$280 available for the Premus and $460 for the Eira, and shipping set to start in October 2018 if all goes to plan. You can check out the pitch video below.
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The Connect is an easy one because it’s more of a car/boat camping shelter. Throwing in an insulated sleeping pad is easy enough. With the more common hammock designs, though, a sleeping pad really doesn’t work well. I usually spend half the night adjusting because they try to pop out like a bubble.
This necessitates bringing some sort of under/over quilt. By the time you pack up one of these, the numbers start to look more like an ultralight tent setup (even more when looking at the volume taken up in a pack). AND very few really light weight, true cold weather quilts are available, which means the ones that are are expensive. Like, as much as a high end down bag expensive.
Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely continue to hammock camp year round as much as possible, but I’ve come to the realization that sometimes a tent is the better option for space, at least, once the temps drop well below freezing.
I guess the common sense point is Hammock camping = great down to 35-40 degrees. Insulation a requirement below about 50 (beyond your sleeping bag). Hammock camping = becomes less appealing once temps drop to and below freezing.