If you want to sleep in your hammock during the summer months you will need to find the best hammock bug net for the best sleep possible. You can call it a bug net, a mosquito net or an insect net they all serve the same purpose as nobody wants to share their bed (or blood) with every flying, crawling and biting insect for miles around. Luckily there are a number of alternatives available from nets that cover just the hammock to larger enclosures that will give you a bug free area around and below your hammock.
There are 2 main styles of bug net available. The first type is integrated into the hammock base material. This is the "Expedition" type of hammock were the bug net material is sewn into the hammock material. You gain access to the hammock by using a zippered or velcro entrance. Please read the review on Backpacking Hammocks for more details on this style.
The second main style is a bug net which is separate from the hammock and you can then decide to attach the bug net or leave it at home. This is probably the best all round option for most people apart maybe from those who do the majority of their camping in heavy insect areas.
Within this second style of bug net you have two options. The first option I will call "Hammock Only" as this type encloses only the hammock itself and the bug net hangs close to the hammock material like a cocoon. This is probably the most popular type and will likely be the lightest and least expensive option.
The second option is an "Enclosure" type of net. This is typically longer and wider than the "Hammock Only" option but the main difference is that it reaches all the way to the ground. This gives you a much larger area of protection and allows you to maybe sit and eat or store your bag in a bug protected "room" , but please note this is still going to be a rather small room!
Obviously you need your bug net to be as long as your hammock, but unless you want the enclosure type then you don't need it much longer. Most hammocks are around the 8 - 9 foot length but there are some that are longer. The bug nets in this review range from 9 foot to 11 foot. But PLEASE check you are know the length of both your hammock and bug net and how they attach to one another.
You really don't want your bug net to be too narrow for you or your hammock! The bug net material only works if their is a gap between your body and the net material - otherwise the nasty critters can just bite you through the material. So if your bare arm or face is against the net then you may wake up with a few bite marks. Most bug nets achieve this separation by using cords or other method of suspension to hold the bug fabric away from your body. So check the dimensions of the bug net and the method of suspension to be sure you are happy that it will be held away from your body during the night.
The weight of the bug net really depends upon its size and the materials used. Obviously the full enclosure style of bug net will be MUCH heavier than the smaller "hammock only" style. So if you want to move fast and pack small and light then go for the smaller style at around 15 oz in weight. If you have access to a vehicle or really want more of a protected area then go for the enclosure type at 45 oz.
Bug nets are typically made from a fine mesh material - or "no see um" material. You can purchase this material if you want to make your own bug net or maybe to construct a larger enclosure for eating under. Most bug or mosquito nets available for hammocks will keep out insects as long as you observe some simple rules.
1. Don't sleep with your exposed skin touching the mesh
2. Don't let any bugs in through the opening when you climb in and out of the hammock
3. Keep the door shut!!!