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Home Bushcraft Kit / Reviews Hammock Cocoon - What is a Hammock Cocoon?

Hammock Cocoon - What is a Hammock Cocoon?

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Ashley-in-Hammock

A Hammock Cocoon works on the same principles as an 'underblanket' but instead goes right around your hammock.


If you're unfamiliar with hammocking or insulating yourself whilst in one, allow me to give you a brief guide to it.

When sleeping in a hammock you take away the problem of the ground sapping away your body heat, however the passing of a constant breeze on the underneath of your hammock can be just as bad and make you cold. So you still need to insulate yourself when hammocking even in the warmer months.

There are a few different ways you can insulate yourself. Quite simply by using a foam roll-mat just like you would on the ground, this provides an insulative barrier between you and the cooler air. You can also use an 'underblanket' which is a blanket that hangs around the bottom of the hammock, ideally with a small gap between the blanket itself and the hammock, this creates a cavity of still air. The cavity of trapped air beneath your hammock can slowly warm from your body heat, so now your warmth stays around your back and makes for a much more comfortable nights sleep.

My favorite way to insulate myself in a hammock is by using a cocoon, this essentially uses the same principles of a underblanket (as mentioned above) but traps air all around the hammock. It not only insulates extremely well but it has other benifits that I love too.

As far as I'm concerned the Hammock Cocoon has the following benifits:

  • It insulates very well.
  • Allows me to carry less gear (no need for a sleeping bag or roll-mat!)
  • Is a lot easier to get in and out of
  • Over all more comfortable hammocking, doesn't feel as restrictive

Hammock-Cocoon

My wife Claire demos the cocoon

Obviously in the picture above the cocoon is open but at night when it's cooler you would simply do up the zip (fully clothed or not) and leave an opening for your face. In summer time you can leave it fairly open so it  just keeps your back warm.

Here is another picture of the cocoon closed with no one in inside:

Hammock-Cocoon-500px

Click on the image above to enlarge

My cocoon was made by SnugPak, I purchased it second hand from a friend who bought it through a Group Buy on BushcraftUK. As far as I know this item is fairly bespoke and you won't find it for sale in your normal outdoor retailers. I've heard rumours that SnugPak will only produce a batch of these if you can get 10 interested people to buy them (I would like Snupak to confirm this or in fact provide any comments about the production of this cocoon - as I get asked about it regularly!)

This is the embroidery on the cocoon:

SnugPak-embroidery

I really love this cocoon, I use it all the time through all the seasons and the way I see it, it has simplified and lightened my sleep system whilst adding comfort and making hammocking even easier. Let's face it when you're in a wet woodland during mid-Winter, getting into a sleeping bag, then bivi bag, then wriggling into your hammock like a giant worm from a muddy floor can be a pain in the backside (literally if you miss the hammock!)

I have been down to -5c in this cocoon on Dartmoor with no additional sleeping-bag or roll mat, whilst admittedly this was a little nippy and a little additional blanket would have been good on that one occasion, I have on numerous times stayed in it just below -0c and have been comfortable.

Some people have even taken to making their own Hammock Cocoons out of things like old mummy sleeping bags, blankets etc. tinkers in our forum has given it a go, take a look at the thread here.

I am actually looking for someone to write a how-to style guide on how to build your own cocoon, so if you have made your own and feel like sharing with the Bushcraft community, please get in touch and perhaps you could write an article to be featured here on Natural Bushcraft.

Happy Hammocking!

 
Comments (19)
19 Monday, 25 January 2016 12:30
Andrew Hughes
http://www.snugpak.com/military/military-accessories/hammock-cocoon
http://www.funkyleisure.co.uk/snugpak-hammock-cocoon-insulation-system-7080-p.asp
http://www.amazon.com/Snugpak-Hammock-Cocoon-Travelsoft-Filling/product-reviews/B0167IYNLU
18 Sunday, 22 April 2012 19:38
james king
is it the dd camping hammock and if so is it waterproof
17 Wednesday, 04 April 2012 15:48
Moontanboy
I've just got a hammock and tarp set up together and used it for the first time the other night in the woods. There was a low of 6c that night, for the most part my camping mat and sleeping bag were insulation enough .. until the 2.30am chills set in and it was time to deploy the Army surplus parka as well.
I'm waiting for a new snugpak sleeping bag to arrive so will definitely be trying again... also toying with the idea of using an old army blanket as underblanket but not sure if this would just absorb dew and create cold via damp??
16 Wednesday, 14 March 2012 11:35
Bushcraft SA
Great idea Ashley, although maybe a bit too snug for our environment. But its amazing how much heat is lost without an insulating layer between you and the hammock. Even on balmy nights here where the temp can still be in the upper 20s c, you can still wake up with a chill. I use a roll pad and a lightweight sleeping bag which helps
15 Monday, 27 February 2012 13:52
Steve Marvell
I used to have one of those ;)
14 Sunday, 12 February 2012 08:47
mickybush
i use a thermoloft roll from screwfix, its waterproof and very very warm, and can stay in the hammock when packed away.
13 Thursday, 05 January 2012 23:23
Gary Stephen Garth
I've always used a roll mat with my hammock and never feel the cold :)
12 Sunday, 01 January 2012 11:05
Will P
Not quite the same, but take a look at the under blanket from DD...

http://www.ddhammocks.com/product/underblanket?
11 Monday, 14 November 2011 11:55
Will
Nice and snug, how much does one of these cost? Definitely considering getting one.
10 Wednesday, 19 October 2011 11:16
Howard2k7
I want one!
9 Saturday, 01 October 2011 11:06
Martin Saint
@Mark Massey. Why not pop over to the forum and start your discussion there? There are loads of knowledgeable people who would love to discuss the Henessy hammock and the under blanket.

http://www.naturalbushcraft.co.uk/forum/forum.php

Martin
8 Saturday, 01 October 2011 11:03
Mark Massey
Found this on RVOPS.co.uk

Though can't see how it would work with the underside velcro entrance on the Hennessy.

http://www.rvops.co.uk/hammock-under-blanket-2509.html
7 Friday, 30 September 2011 08:49
Ashley Cawley
That's a good question Mark, I would suspect it would. That's something you've reminded me about and I forgot to mention in the article; the cocoon itself is asymmetric, it is slightly wider at one end (with the embroidery on) which is generally the end I put my top half.
6 Friday, 30 September 2011 08:14
Mark Massey
Great article. One question though. Would it work with an asymmetric hammock, like the Hennessy?
5 Monday, 26 September 2011 19:21
David Savidge
Great write up!
4 Thursday, 22 September 2011 11:01
tinkers
nice one ashley, thats as clear and concise a description iv'e seen as to what is and how a cocoon functions. and that snugpak cocoon of yours looks like a real nice piece of kit. i have yet to test the cold weather capabilities of my diy effort, will let you know how things pan out in the new year.
3 Wednesday, 21 September 2011 20:52
Nathan Edwards
gotta get one, must admit my back was cold on recent jaunt in dd travel hammock, this would have been the business!
2 Wednesday, 21 September 2011 18:54
tony dulieu
Looks the dogs Ash
1 Wednesday, 21 September 2011 16:54
matt doughty
nice looking cocoon ashley :)

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Dandelion
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Ribwort Plantain
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Scurvy Grass
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Chickweed
Sea beet
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