Gear Review: ENO Nomad Hammock Stand
ENO Nomad Hammock Stand
Ah, summer. To me, that means more beach time, maybe even some paddle camping trips. My fondest memories of recent summers include loading up a touring board and paddling to one of North Carolina’s barrier islands for the weekend, or setting up on the beach to spend the day paddle surfing. Being a huge fan of portable, nylon hammocks, I have heretofore missed being able to have my favorite vehicle for reclining and resting available surf side. Think about it. Trees are a rare commodity at most beaches – and you need trees to hang a hammock.
Or at the very least, a stand.
Up until now, decorative patio-sized hammock stands were all that were available. Perfect as semi-permanent fixtures for the back yard but hardly portable. You could learn the art of lashing and make a DYI hammock stand out of bamboo which would solve the weight issue but those, while super cool, aren’t necessary portable because they don’t pack down small enough.
Enter the Nomad
Last summer while scoping out the big Outdoor Retailer trade show, I saw the prototype of Eagle Nest Outfitter’s solution to this problem, It’s now available to consumers and I recently purchased one and have used it on several car camping excursions.
It is a game changer when it comes to hammocking.
ENO basically takes the idea of the bamboo DYI stand and makes it out of large sections of aluminum tubing connected with shock cord – like tent poles.
Two four-legged stands are connected together by a long ridgepole that is also collapsable.Two segments of daisy chained attachment points hang down from the center hub of the two stands. This provides plenty of places to attach a hammock, rain fly, underquilt (for insulation) and even a gear loft.
The entire assembly packs down into a carry bag, and comes with stakes to secure the stand into the ground.
The complete stand weighs 15 pounds and is about the size of a large camp chair when packed away.
The set up of the Nomad is easy and straightforward. Assemble the legs, snap the base guide lines together then attach the ridgepole. That’s the trickiest part of the process: each end of the pole has a plastic cap with a slit in it. Feed the top part of one of the integrated straps into the slits and let it hang underneath of top hub of each leg.
Also, if you are not careful, it’s easy to pinch a finger as you connect the legs – since it’s a little but wider than a tent pole, the tension is strong.
The stand will work with any ENO hammock or hammock of similar length or design.
I used the ENO SL Pro Fly with my set-up, lining up the ridge line of the fly over the ridge pole and staking it out accordingly. The first time was a little tricky and it took some refining, but it’s easy enough to rig with a bit of fiddling. You could also simply erect a beach tarp like the Kelty Noah’s Tarp over it and have a great beach basecamp for the day.
At 15 pounds, the Nomad might be a tad heavy for a SUP camping trip, but it’s definitely going to be at the ready for those day-long surf trips or car camping at paddle destinations like Ocracoke Island.