At a glance
Plusses: Lightweight (860g) alternative to tent camping, protection against mosquitoes, easy to use.
Minuses: Sleeping mats easily slip to the side, internal pockets could be bigger.
Features: When people think of hammocks, they tend to think of reading a book or taking a nap in the shade of a tree in the summertime. But in other, generally warmer, parts of the world, hammocks are sometimes the accommodation of choice for hikers.
DD hammocks are designed to be genuine alternatives to tenting. In combination with a fly-sheet, which DD also make, the company’s hammocks offer a lightweight option to tents when camping in the bush. It includes mosquito mesh, dual base-layers between which a sleeping mat can be inserted, internal pockets and two 5m lengths of webbing to tie it up. 5/5
Design: The Frontline is made of two layers of 180T breathable polyester, each measuring 1.4 by 2.7 m when stretched out. The layers are folded over at the ends to create a tube and webbing is threaded through this, thus cinching the ends when tied up. The two layers are sewn together on one side and have three velcro tabs on the other, creating a pocket into which a sleeping mat or base blanket can be inserted for insulation. The sleeping mat pocket is a neat idea, but I found my mat often ended up on one side, and it was squeezed out on one occasion. A foam mat could alleviate this problem.
A zippered mosquito net provides protection from insects and is kept aloft with a couple of elastic cords and short poles inserted into sleeves, which also creates some headspace. The net can be fully unzipped on either side and rolled over the poles to create large windows.
There are four stash pockets, located on either side at roughly shoulder and ankle level.
In use: The hammock is ready to use straight out of the bag. I found it was sufficient in most sites, but it would pay to carry some extra lengths of webbing for large or widely spaced trees.
It was comfortable to sleep in – especially when a mattress is used. This makes the hammock less constricting.
Value: Without a tarp, the Frontline is only an option for fair weather camping. DD tarps are sold separately, starting at around $120. Combined with the cost of the hammock, it is still cheaper than most single-person tents.
Verdict: The DD Frontline is a good option for those looking for an alternative to tenting in the bush. The hammock and fly combination offers a lighter alternative to a tent and a drier and cosier option than a fly.