To get 2019 off to a bang, Kammok have launched a new all-in-one hammock tent to rival the lightest of traditional ground tents. The Kammok Mantis and it’s super-light cousin, the Kammok Mantis UL (Ultralight).
Launched on 12th February 2019, for a limited time, you can get the Kickstarter pre-order pricing:
Note: Clicking the above links will take you to the Kickstarter page where you can read more
Or wait for the Regular MSRP of $259 & $229 – which is pretty good, as you’ll see below.
We’re pretty excited by this, not only because it’s a good way of beating the February blues with some cool new gear, but as hammock tents go, this one’s pretty awesome.
This ships with everything you need to get going: rain-fly, bug net, all the suspension straps, carabiners, cords, and stakes. No more buying separate bits and bobs – it’s an actual camping hammock, designed for the backcountry, not just for lounging in your back yard.
What You'll Learn
Introducing the Kickstarter Campaign: Kammok Mantis Review
“Adventure grade and better made”, Kammok are a small US manufacturer operating out of Austin, TX. The lifetime warranty is a nice touch. The company was born after Greg, the founder, fell out of a sub-standard hammock. Check them out:
Initial Look & Thoughts
Arriving in a smart red stuff sack – compressed it’s 6″ x 6″ – is everything you need to get started with a hammock tent. You don’t need to buy the separate components – Kammock have supplied everything you need and made it really easy to use.
Constructed out of technical fabrics (Kammok certainly do their R&D), the “strongest, lightest hammock fabric in it’s class” – the “15 times stronger than steel” material used for the hammock straps sounds pretty impressive.
See other hammock straps for comparison.
The Mantis is great for beginners, and hopefully will encourage more people to eschew the tent for some elevated camping!
Compact and lightweight, this hammock camping kit will not take up much room in your pack and if you really didn’t the tarp or the bug net – just leave them at home!
Color options are: Midnight blue, Moss Green, Ember orange, Granite Grey.
Ease of set up
Kammok’s suspension system is easy and intuitive. They’ve got tree-friendly straps (the Python) and chunky (but light) Kanga Klaw carabiners. Even the tie outs (guy lines) don’t have knots, they use line adjusters. The reflective cords stop you falling over them in the night – and help with after-dark setup.
It’s as easy as this:
Design & Comfort
The Mantis’ symmetrical design, coupled with the ridgeline that isn’t too taut, means you can lay flat, at any angle you choose – or sleep in a banana shape if that’s what your back is used to.
The 11.3’ x 7.3’ cat-cut tarp covers the hammock with room to spare. This is a big deal, as there is nothing worse than a too-small tarp that needs super-precise pitching to keep you dry. Whilst it’s generous, it’s not massive and remains lightweight.
The bugnet attaches to the ridgeline above the hammock, keeping it out of your face and prevents – my pet peeve – it sagging over me at night. With zippers that open on both sides, it makes getting in and out convenient and easy.
Storage for small items is often a problem in hammocks and Kammok have solved this with two storage pockets either side of your head for easy reach.
With a weight capacity of 500lb (300lb for the UL version) you’re not falling out of the trees anytime soon. These are impressive numbers, and I’ve not tested them – my horse was reluctant to get in.
I like that the stuff sack remains connected to the ridgeline (it’s a two-compartment stuff sack) and really easy to get the hammock back into when breaking camp. Also, I can’t lose it if it’s not loose!
What’s cool about the Kammok Mantis is that you can leave bits out if you don’t need them – if you know you don’t need your rainfly, just leave it at home. The bugnet can be zipped out if you don’t think you’ll have any mozzies, and can even be replaced by a solid cover for winter hammock camping (sold separately).
This is where things really get interesting. Considering that you get everything you need to set up your hammock/fly/bugnet:
Packed weight: 2 lb 12 oz
Trail weight: 2 lb 8.5 oz
Trail weight w/o fly: 1 lb 11.8 oz
Kammok Mantis UL
Packed weight: 2 lb 3 oz
Trail weight: 1 lb 15.5 oz
Trail weight w/o fly: 1 lb 2.7 oz
Have a quick comparison with that old tent you’ve been lugging around – or even the ENO hammock with extra-long hammock straps – impressed? I am!
Durability & protection
As I mentioned before, the cat-cut tarp gives more than adequate coverage for a good night’s sleep – if you pitch it as an awning (and high enough!) you could cook under it, and keep your gear dry too.
Made from Patagium™ 15D nylon ripstop with Polyurethane coating + DWR is lightweight, tough, with a little bit of give so that you can pitch with the perfect tension.
The hammock itself is made from durable diamond ripstop DWR coating to keep the water from soaking in. The UL uses a 20D fabric, whilst the standard Mantis uses 40D – this is what makes the different in weight capacity between the two.
You can see other hammock rainflys to compare.
The hammock straps – Python (or Python UL) are robust, are triple-sewn on the loops, and are tree-friendly. They are long enough for most trees you’ll encounter – if you’re camping amongst the redwoods you may have an issue with length. (You can buy python extenders separately).
The DAC stakes are rugged whilst being very lightweight at only 66g for the 6.
Considering that this really is an all-in-one hammock tent with everything you need for setup, to my mind it’s great value. At the pre-release price, it’s great value. This isn’t some fly-by-night company, or dubious import – these guys have a reputation to maintain.
Of course, if you like to make your own gear, or already have bits and pieces – you probably don’t need an all-in-one solution.
What’s in the Box?
- Integrated (removable) bug net
- Mini Kanga Claw carabiners
- Python tree-friendly straps
- DAC stakes
- Attached stuff sack
Who’s this for?
Me! You! The Kammok Mantis is a great choice for :
- Beginners starting with hammock camping who want a lightweight, good quality all-in-one solution. Easy to hang, light to carry, won’t break the bank or your back.
- People who don’t like tying knots or fiddly cords – all guy lines have cord adjusters, with reinforced tie out points.
- On trails such as the AT, where there are a lot of trees, if you’re looking for an alternative to a ground-based shelter.
- Those of us who started hammock camping on the cheap and want an upgrade without paying exorbitant prices for everything separately.
- Disorganized people who’ve got bits of tent and hammock all over their gear closet and want it all in one place.
- If you’re just one of those folk that need to get your hands on some seriously cool new gear!
What are you waiting for? Head over to the Kickstarter campaign to find out more:
Who’d be better off with something else?
Our resident ultra-light backpacking expert and self-confessed gram-weenie, Casey Fiedler – author of the Beginner’s Guide to Tarp Camping, and How to Choose a Backpacking Hammock. I’ve never met someone who can backpack with as little kit as this man, and and sleep comfortably under what looks like a handkerchief (tarp – it was a tarp!).
- If you are a very fussy ultralighter, someone who enjoys whoopie-slings, who likes to make their own gear.. Well, this may be a bit begginner-ish for you.
- If you’ve already got your knots down to a fine art, and like to spend your weekends seam-sealing cuben nylon for tarps, this won’t be for you.
- If you are really just starting to think about swtiching from a tent to a hammock, and just want to give it a try – then there are cheaper alternatives until you’ve decided to take it seriously
- If you’re looking for a recreational hammock for drinking beer in your back yard
- If you want to accomodate two people – whilst the weight capacity is high, it’s not designed for you, your SO and your pooch.
What else will you need?
The Kammok Mantis comes with the basic hammock set up – you’ll need your sleeping pad, sleeping bag (or underquilt if you’re using one). Think of the Mantis as being a bit like a tent: it’s got everything you need to pitch it, but your bedding is separate.
So consider whether you’ll be using an underquilt or your regular sleeping bag – and whether or not you’ll want to take your sleeping pad too.
Kammok supply the following extras, should you need them:
- Python extenders – for if you need longer straps for bigger trees.
- Joey Gear Sling – an extra hammock for your gear that you pitch under your sleeping hammock
- Various pillows and blankets and UQs.
- More hammocks!