Review and Giveaway: Serac Sequoia XL Camping Hammock

Relaxing in camp with coffee. (PC: D. Herscovitch)
Hammock camping is becoming a more popular way to sleep under the stars. And let's be honest - whether you're spending the night in one or not, hammocks are awesome.

But not all hammocks are created equal, and if you're not careful, a good hammock along with all of the pieces and parts you need to set it up can get pricey. After the folks at Serac Hammocks helped me bust a few hammock camping myths, they sent me a hammock to test out. It's billed as lightweight, dependable, and affordable - three attriubutes that are tough to find in any piece of outdoor gear.

The Serac Sequoia, which retails for $59.95, came along on backpacking trips to places like the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia and Echo Lake in New York's Castkill Mountains for testing. Though I haven't managed to get myself to spend a full night in the Sequoia yet, I'm having a tough time thinking about leaving it off my packing list for trips of all sorts anytime soon.

Unpacking and Setting Up the Sequoia

Even been a victim of a piece of gearthat's billed as packable, but once it's out of its package, you can't get it back in? Me too. But that's not the case with the Sequoia. Everything you need to set up the hammock comes in a small drawstring compression sack  with buckles, and when you're done lounging, getting it back in the bag is a cinch.

Taking in the scenery in the Dolly Sods Wilderness. (PC: D. Herscovitch)
 In addition to the compression sack, the Sequoia comes with two six-foot tree straps, aluminum carabiners, and a five-year unlimited warranty. Other hammocks I've seen on the market don't included important accessories like the straps and carabiners. As a relative hammock newbie, I was glad to have everything all in one package.

I expected to have some trouble setting up the hammock the first time, but had absolutely zero difficulty. I found appropriately spaced trees, wrapped the straps around each tree, clipped the hammock to the straps using the two carabiners, and jumped in. Setup took less than a minute. No knots, poles, or ropes required.

Functionality, Comfort, and Durability

As a self-identified over-packer, I'm working on paring down my backpacking trip gear list. Adding a luxury item like a hammock I wasn't planning on sleeping in didn't sit well at first, but the Sequoia hammock itself weighs in at a mere 19oz. It's lighter than many other camping hammocks on the market, and I hardly noticed the added pack weight. For a hammock that's 9'10"long, 5'7" wide, and can hold up to 500 pounds, that's impressive.

(And I also rationalized adding it to my gear stash on the first testing trip by deciding I was going to sleep in it. Spoiler alert: I chickened out because it was raining!)

The compression sack is attached to the hammock, which means it doubles as a handy pocket, and you can't lose it.

 In addition to being lightweight, Serac uses strong diamondweave ripstop nylon to make sure the Sequoia lasts, and so far, so good. The six-foot tree straps are stronger than those that come with other hammocks I've seen, and they're perfect as long as the trees you're using aren't too thick. If you're not sure six feet is is long enough, having an extra pair of straps on hand is recommended. Trying to set up your hammock on a backpacking trip in a grove of thick trees could be problematic otherwise.

I got lucky with this tree, its curcumference was almost too big. Keep that in mind if you're using the hammock backpacking!
The Sequoia is also super comfortable to lay in. The fabric doesn't stretch much, which prevents you from sitting lower in the hammock than intended. The length and width is much more than I need, but having the extra room to move around was wonderful. I took many a nap in the Sequoia on my trips. I found the aluminum carabiners plenty strong enough keep the hammock in the trees, and the Sequoia's three gear loops help increase functionality if you're using the hammock for camping.

Overall Impressions and Giveaway!

Overall, I'd recommend the Serac Sequoia to anyone interested in hammocking, or hammock camping. (Read more about getting started hammock camping here.) You'll get a great starter package without breaking the bank, and the colors are a ton of fun. If the Sequoia's too large and you just need a single, Serac has you covered with their Classic hammock.

Want to win a Serac Classic Camping Hammock? Enter using the widget below, and make sure you leave a contact method so we can get in touch in case you win. By providing your email address, you agree to be added to Serac's mailing list, but of course, you can unsubscribe at any time. Open to United States residents only. Good luck!

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