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Sea to Summit Ultralight Review

For the weight and pack size obsessed, the Ultralight is incredible. For everyday hammock users or taller, broad-shouldered folks, there are better choices.
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Price:  $90 List | $74.93 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Extremely light, integrated compression sack, patch kit included, breathable moisture-wicking fabric
Cons:  Suspension not included, small dimensions, material is thin and not very soft, buckles don't accommodate a carabiner
Manufacturer:   Sea to Summit
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 2, 2018
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#20 of 20
  • Comfort - 40% 5
  • Weight - 20% 10
  • Durability and Protection - 20% 2
  • Ease of Set Up - 10% 8
  • Versatility - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The Sea to Summit Ultralight is a shockingly lightweight single hammock that, thanks to its integrated compression sack, stuffs down to about the size of a 12 oz can. This is possible due to small dimensions (nearly the smallest in our test suite) and thin (see-through) nylon fabric. Point being, this hammock isn't for everyone. If you're on the tall side or have broad shoulders, you will feel constrained. If you plan to sleep in the Sea to Summit, choose your bedding material strategically and accept that you won't be able to lay diagonally, which means flat. But, if you're a thru-hiker and the size and weight of every single thing in your pack are of the utmost importance, then this might be a dream come true.


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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $74.93 at REI
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$155 List$160 List$195 List$64.93 at REI
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Pros Extremely light, integrated compression sack, patch kit included, breathable moisture-wicking fabricSpacious, comfortable, easy to set up and use, integrated bug net, customizableVersatile, ultra customizable, comfortableVersatile, extremely customizable, comfortableLightweight, spacious, easy set up, versatile for day use or backcountry shelter
Cons Suspension not included, small dimensions, material is thin and not very soft, buckles don't accommodate a carabinerSuspension sold separately, can't remove bug net completelyCan get pricey depending on options, ridge-line not removableFixed ridgeline, can get expensive depending on options, long wait for customizationAll components sold separately, can only use branded suspension system, pricey for the full system
Bottom Line For the weight and pack size obsessed, the Ultralight is incredible. For everyday hammock users or taller, broad-shouldered folks, there are better choices.All the features and comfort in a lightweight package.This extremely customizable hammock is the perfect fit for even the pickiest hammock camper.If you’re looking to support a small cottage industry business and aren’t willing to sacrifice on comfort and versatility, the Dream Hammock Sparrow is an excellent option.Not willing to sacrifice on versatility in a comfortable, lightweight hammock shelter? The Pro Double is an excellent balance of all three!
Rating Categories Sea to Summit Ultralight Warbonnet Original Blackbird Dutchware Chameleon Dream Sparrow Sea to Summit Pro Double
Comfort (40%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
Weight (20%)
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Durability And Protection (20%)
10
0
2
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Ease Of Set Up (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Versatility (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Totals (%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
Specs Sea to Summit... Warbonnet Original... Dutchware Chameleon Dream Sparrow Sea to Summit Pro...
Capacity (weight) 300 lbs 350-400 lbs depending on options selected 350 lbs 275 lbs 400 lbs
Hanging Straps Included ? No no, can add onto purchase for extra $ No No No
Hammock Size 8' x 4' 10' x 5.25' 10' 8" x 4'10" 10' 7" x 4' 10" 10' x 6'2"
Size Compact 8" x 3.5" x 3.5 10" x 4" 12" x 6" 15" x 6" 4" x 6"
Connectors Buckle on webbing Whoopies/straps or buckle/webbing (sold separately) Beetle Buckle with webbing straps or whoopie slings with tree huggers (sold separately) webbing tree straps Buckles
Material 20D Nylon monofilament 40D or 70D Nylon (depending on options selected) Hexon 1.0, 1.6 or 2.4 HyperD Diamond Nylon Ripstop 70D nylon ripstop
Construction Single panel. Webbing loops are triple bar-tacked to the body of the hammock. End gathered, asymmetric hammock, single or double layer fabric, zipper along 1 side, integrated bug netting. Storage shelf and foot box 1.6 oz Hexon, end gathered, continuous loops 1.6oz HyperD Diamond Ripstop, end gathered, continuous loops Ripstop nylon, double interlocking stitching
Sizes / Colors 1 size/color 27 colors, 3 fabric layering configurations 2 sizes/9 colors/3 fabrics, 31 printed patterns 1 size /5 colors, customizable options available 2 sizes, 4 colors
Measured Weight - Package (ounces) 5.8 oz 27 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension 37 oz (double layer hammock, bug net, suspension) 26 oz 16 oz
Measured Weight - Hammock Only (ounces) 4.8 oz 26 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension 25 oz (dbl layer) 15 oz 16 oz
Measured Weight - Hammock and Suspension (ounces) N/A 26 oz hammock, bug net, webbing/buckle suspension 25 oz (dbl layer, webbing and beetle buckle suspension attached)) 20 oz (hammock, tree straps) 19 oz
Measured Weight - Shelter System (no stakes) N/A 42 oz with Mini Fly tarp N/A N/A 42 oz (hammock suspension, bug net, tarp)
Capacity (height) Not stated 6' not stated not stated Not stated
Accessories (compatible, not included) Bug net, 15D UltraSil Nano tarp, gear sling, bug net, suspension straps, hammock tree protectors Rain flies, bug net, carabiners, fish hooks, under quilts, top quilts, suspension systems Suspension straps, rain fly, bug net, top cover, side car pockets, ridgeline pockets Suspension straps, rain fly, top cover, side car pockets, ridgeline pockets, tree straps, underquilts, top quilts Suspension straps, Rain fly, bug net, gear sling, wider tree protection straps,
Accessories (included with hammock) Integrated 30D Ultra-Sil Cordura nylon compression sack, patch kit Guylines, bugnetting, storage shelf, continuous loops (for attaching suspension system to), stuff sack continuous loops, ridgeline continuous loops, ridgeline, bug net Continuous loops
Extra Accessories Tested None Mini Fly tarp, webbing with buckles suspension, Body layer 2, Beetle Buckle suspension, asym bug net 10 ft. Tree straps Rain fly, ultralight suspension straps, bug net

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Sea to Summit Ultralight is a niche hammock, perfect for the weight and space obsessed hiker, backpacker, and camper. It compresses down to the size of a soda can and weighs under 6 ounces (without suspension). While its dimensions are small and not conducive to sleeping diagonally or piling in a thick air mattress, for the serious backcountry adventurer that counts every gram, this is worth consideration.

Performance Comparison


This ultralight hammock was surprisingly strong and comfortable for its weight and size  though getting comfortable enough to sleep was much more challenging.
This ultralight hammock was surprisingly strong and comfortable for its weight and size, though getting comfortable enough to sleep was much more challenging.

Comfort


For how light, thin, and small the Sea to Summit Ultralight is, it's still quite comfortable for smaller users — at least for uncomplicated sitting and lounging. Our main tester is 5'9" and felt fine in this hammock but wasn't able to get a diagonal lay and felt cramped when trying to add much bedding. If you plan to lounge and are comfortable sleeping on your back, this is fine. But if you are much taller than 5'10" or need to lay on your side while sleeping, this might not be a good choice.

If instead, you want to lay flat (achieved by being diagonal), and weight is still important to you, you might check out the Grand Trunk OneMade Double TrunkTech or Sea to Summit Pro Double, which are the lightest double hammocks we reviewed and still have plenty of space to get flat.

When sitting upright or laying on our backs  this hammock was fine. But it wasn't big enough to do much more than that  especially once we added gear for sleeping.
When sitting upright or laying on our backs, this hammock was fine. But it wasn't big enough to do much more than that, especially once we added gear for sleeping.

Weight


A clear winner in this category, the Sea to Summit Ultralight only weighs 5.8 ounces with its integrated stuff sack and a mere 4.8 ounces by itself. If weight and space in your pack are major concerns, you can't get lighter or smaller than this impressive model. However, this weight doesn't include suspension, something you'll obviously need. Sea to Summit does have a very lightweight and compatible option - their ultralight suspension straps weigh less than 3 ounces. They are thin though, and to be tree-friendly, you have to add their compatible tree protector straps, which adds 4.75 ounces to your bag.

Other lightweight options in our test suite included the 5.7-ounce ENO Sub6, 7.3-ounce Grand Trunk Nano 7, and the 12.5-ounce Grand Trunk Ultralight Starter Hammock, but neither of these was very comfortable or protective. If you want a full camping setup that remains lightweight, the Hennessy Ultralite Backpacker weighs in at 32 ounces, which includes an integrated bug net, rain fly, and suspension.

At 5.8 ounces for both the hammock and the included compression stuff sack  this is arguably the lightest and smallest hammock you can get your hands on.
At 5.8 ounces for both the hammock and the included compression stuff sack, this is arguably the lightest and smallest hammock you can get your hands on.

Ease of Set Up


Setting up this hammock is simple, though there are a few things to be aware of. If you get the ultralight suspension system offered by Sea to Summit, which is specific to their hammocks, all you have to do is slot the buckle on the hammock through the one on the straps. Simple as that. But, if you don't have their system and need to put together your own, it gets a little more complicated. The buckle doesn't accommodate a carabiner — the hole in it is too narrow.

Because we didn't have the Sea to Summit brand suspension that integrates with the buckles on this hammock  we had to get creative with some extra climbing gear.
Because we didn't have the Sea to Summit brand suspension that integrates with the buckles on this hammock, we had to get creative with some extra climbing gear.

Durability and Protection


While the Sea to Summit Ultralight is beyond impressive for weight and size, the natural tradeoff is durability. It's made from high-quality 20D Nylon monofilament, but it is very, very thin. A moment of not paying attention to keys on your belt loop or sharp branches on a nearby tree could easily tear the fabric. It does come with a patch kit though, so at least you'll be prepared. And yes, the super thin material is breathable and moisture-wicking, which is great for a hot and muggy summer night, but not so much for even a slightly cool mountain breeze. For just 2 ounces more, you could try the Grand Trunk Ultralight Starter which is made out of ripstop nylon and protects against wind a bit better than this model does.

For this hammock to achieve its shockingly low weight  there were some sacrifices in other areas. The material is incredibly thin and won't keep any sort of weather out  but we did appreciate the included patch kit for potential mid-adventure emergencies.
For this hammock to achieve its shockingly low weight, there were some sacrifices in other areas. The material is incredibly thin and won't keep any sort of weather out, but we did appreciate the included patch kit for potential mid-adventure emergencies.

Versatility


The Sea to Summit Ultralight is not a versatile piece of gear on its own. The small dimensions mean that there aren't as many options for how you can lay or what sleeping gear you can pile in. That's unfortunate because the thin material means you can't make it through even mildly cold nights without extra gear. The shortened length also means that anyone taller than 5'8" or so will feel constricted. If you're a thru-hiker counting every gram in your pack, however, this model offers a lot. Since it's a specialized model, it's all about how you plan to use it.

If you want a great combo of versatility and weight-consciousness, add the 13 ounce Sea to Summit Hammock Bug Net, the 10 ounce Sea to Summit Hammock Tarp, and the Ultralight Suspension Straps for a complete package that weighs just over 31 ounces. For added comfort (and weight), swap the hammock for the Sea to Summit Pro Double and you'll have our Top Pick for Ultralight Versatility.

While we got a pretty thick air mattress and sleeping bag into this hammock  it didn't leave us much room to move - and moving around too much made flipping out and onto the ground quite easy (we actually accomplished this feat twice). For sleeping  we recommend a thinner pad instead of an air mattress.
While we got a pretty thick air mattress and sleeping bag into this hammock, it didn't leave us much room to move - and moving around too much made flipping out and onto the ground quite easy (we actually accomplished this feat twice). For sleeping, we recommend a thinner pad instead of an air mattress.

Best Applications


The Sea to Summit Ultralight is a niche hammock perfect for the weight-obsessed thru-hiker and milder weather conditions. But it's not the smartest choice for the casual lounger or anyone who wants a solid diagonal lay for flat sleeping. Its dimensions are quite conservative to save on weight, so if you're tall or broad-shouldered, you will probably find yourself pretty constricted. Considering the price point on this hammock, we recommend it for people that need to save on weight and space in their pack. Otherwise, there are more durable, comfortable, and versatile options, many of which are also cheaper.

Value


This hammock is $90 without suspension. Suspension from Sea to Summit will set you back at least another $20. Also consider that, if you plan to sleep out overnight, you will need even more gear. Bottom line, this is an investment that only makes sense for those who need to cut every spec of extra weight possible. If weight isn't a priority, spend roughly the same amount or less on another model and get thicker material and more room to spread out by yourself or with a buddy. But for the right adventurer, this is a solid piece of professional gear, and the price tag makes sense.

Conclusion


We like the Sea to Summit Ultralight. It is a solid choice for anyone needing a ridiculously light setup. It offers an integrated compression stuff sack that allows it to squish down to the size of a soda can and, if you get the dedicated suspension system from Sea to Summit, set up is super straightforward and easily adjustable. However, if you don't need to stay ultralight, this hammock probably doesn't need to be on your shortlist. It's very thin, and its dimensions are small — so if you have a bigger build, too much bedding, or cold temperatures, you won't be a happy camper. This is a classic scenario of having the right tool for the job — if your job at hand involves being compact and uber light, this is a fantastic tool. But if your job is more in line with spreading out for a luxurious lounge or cuddling with friends, keep shopping.

If you're a serious thru-hiker or just someone who can't afford to add much weight or mass to your bag  the Sea to Summit Ultralight is like a dream come true. Just be aware that it's small and thin. Plan accordingly.
If you're a serious thru-hiker or just someone who can't afford to add much weight or mass to your bag, the Sea to Summit Ultralight is like a dream come true. Just be aware that it's small and thin. Plan accordingly.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Sea to Summit offers suspension systems — both ultralight and regular (which they call pro), tree protectors, a tarp, gear sling, and bug net. They also have a thicker pro single and pro double model.


Penney Garrett