For a long time hammocks were restricted to the perfect pair of trees. Then came DIY hammock stands, and more recently, heavy out-of-the box hammock stands. Now we finally have what we've been waiting for – portable hammock stand that can go wherever you want to go.
The best of the bunch is the Kammok Swiftlet. It's currently the lightest and most portable on the market. This is a detailed review of my experiences with it and why you need it in your outdoor travel kit.
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Here's what we're covering:
Why you need a portable hammock stand
You can all agree with me here – hammocks are awesome and they're taking over the world! They're comfortable, relaxing, and extremely portable. The only problem is that traditionally, you needed to find the perfect trees to hang them off of.
Depending on the hammock that you have, the tree trunks need to be of a certain girth and the distance between two trees need to be within a specific parameter. If those conditions aren't met, you can't use your hammock.
In addition to this, some places are banning the use of trees for hammock use.
This is where the portable hammock stand comes into play. This gives you the ultimate freedom to set up your hammock anywhere you want.
As an owner of one, I can confidently say that it'll broaden your use of hammocks to a wide array of applications beyond the woods.
Buy the Swiftlet Now
Check to see if the Swiftlet is still in stock and how to order one today. From now until October 1, save 20% on the Swiftlet!
Kammok Swiftlet review
If you haven't heard of the brand, Kammok is a leader in hammock outdoor gear. Based out of Austin, Texas, they've taken charge of building the highest quality products that are adventure grade while also giving back to the world through their B Corporation status.
The Kammok Swiftlet is a brand new product that elevates the portable hammock stand to new heights. The below is our in-depth review.
What comes in the box
The Kammok Swiftlet comes in a long cardboard box and once you open it up, you have the travel bag with all of the different components you need organized inside.
This is what you'll find inside:
- Two arms that form both ends of the Swiftlet and carry the hammock.
- Two base bars, 1 long and 1 short depending on the deployment mode.
- Four legs with rubberized feet, 2 for each side.
- One instruction card sewed into the bag so you never lose it.
The travel bag itself is just the right length to be able to fit the longest items of the Swiftlet – the two arms.
There is plenty of space inside the bag to place additional items including your own hammock (not included).
Lastly, the bag has an adjustable strap for either hand-holding or shoulder-carrying. The YKK zippers are have a large plastic loop for easy opening and closing.
- Short Bar Setup – 12.6 lb / 201 oz
- Long Bar Setup – 14.5 lb / 232 oz
- Total Packed Weight – 17.4 lb / 278 oz
- Short Bar Setup – Footprint: 34 in x 41 in / 86 cm x 104 cm
Ridgeline Length: 66 in / 168 cm
- Long Bar Setup – Footprint: 34 in x 74 in / 86 cm x 188 cm
Ridgeline Length: 96 in / 244 cm
- Folded Dimensions – 50 in x 8.5 in x 8.5 in / 127 cm x 21.5 cm x 21.5 cm
- Lounge Capacity – 1-2 people
- Sleep Capacity – 1 person (recommended)
- Max Weight Capacity – 400 lb / 181 kg
- Frame Materials – Aluminum tubing, UV treated nylon plastic
- Travel Bag Materials – 600D Polyester plain weave base, 210D ripstop nylon, 3mm foam, 40mm polyester webbing, YKK zipper with PU + DWR waterproofing
Carrying the Swiftlet
While packed, the included travel bag does a sufficient job at holding all of the individual pieces of the Kammok Swiftlet together. That said, there can be improvements made to the bag to make it more comfortable along the sides of the bag and the shoulder strap itself.
Once assembled, the Swiftlet is surprisingly light. Coming in at 14.5 lbs in lounge mode and 12.6 lbs in chair mode, you can definitely lift the portable hammock stand with two hands and some may even be able to do it with one.
While the intention of the Kammok Swiftlet is to be able to carry it to anywhere you want, it is by no means ultralight. The limitation becomes the length of it and being long (50 inches) and somewhat uncomfortable to carry over long distances.
Setting up the Swiftlet
You'd think this would be complicated to set up but Kammok has specifically designed this to be a piece of cake to set up and dummy proof.
I counted and it really only takes 8 clicks/snaps for it to all come together and if you watch my Kammok Swiftlet review video, you'll see that it only took 1 minute and 40 seconds to set up with the hammock.
Here are the steps that are required:
- Connect the legs on each arm.
- Snap in place the two arms to the base tube.
- Slide the adjustable slider on each arm to the slot that makes sense for you.
- Hook the carabiners or whatever type of fastener you have on your hammock to the Swiftlet arms.
What's unique about the Swiftlet is that it offers two distinct configurations – lounge and chair mode.
TIP: At first it'll take some time to get used to how the metal buttons work on the Swiftlet. There's only one hole at each joint but two buttons. The one button is meant for you to push down on and the other is meant to click and hold the two tubes in place.
This is your “standard” configuration so-to-speak when you think of your hammock.
Using the longest bar provided in your set, you'll be able to set up your hammock in outstretched position, lifting you above the ground and allowing you to comfortably lie on your hammock.
The Swiftlet comes with 11 adjustable slots on each arm that will allow you to modify how much tension your hammock needs to be at a comfortable setting.
Hammocks aren't just for lying down on but you can also effectively use it as a chair.
By swapping out the long bar with the short bar and sliding the adjustable points, you can let your hammock hang at the perfect sitting height.
As with all Kammok products, the Swiftlet is an excellent balance of using materials that allow the portable hammock stand to be sturdy while also being lightweight at the same time.
All of the core frame materials are made out of aluminum tubing. This is unbendable and unbreakable. It is also coated with a thick layer of grey paint.
The feet have a rubber shoe on the ends of the 4 legs and that allows for a bit more wear-and-tear and grip when needed.
Lastly, the arms that brace the hammock are made out of UV treated plastic. While yes, they could've been made out of metal as well, I didn't find the lighter plastic to be a problem.
When assembled, you'll notice that each of the joints have wiggle room as it's not a rigid connection. In testing the Swiftlet in various conditions (flat deck vs. varied terrain) the wiggle actually helps accommodate for uneven surfaces.
Overall, the quality is superb and again thoughtfully designed.
There's a lot to like about the Kammok Swiftlet. Here are the things that you'll really appreciate:
- Lightest portable hammock stand you can find.
- Easy and fast to set up.
- You don't need any additional straps or accessories to fit your hammock onto the Swiftlet.
- High quality construction.
- Designed for dual modes – chair and lounge.
- While not ultralight, it is still very easy to pack, move, and carry around.
- Extremely flexible thanks to its adjustable points.
- Compatible with all kinds of hammocks.
- Portable hammock stands are inherently versatile.
No product is perfect and there are a couple things that I can nitpick at:
- Not great if you're tall (6'5″ being the max) as the lounge mode bar is only so long.
- The travel bag could have more padding on the shoulder strap and sides to make it a more comfortable carry over long periods of time.
- If you're OCD about keeping your gear perfect, you might have to set your expectations. There's a lot of room for movement in the travel bag which means the tubes will inevitably scratch.
- The wiggle in the joints of the Swiftlet can feel disconcerting at first but you get used to it.
- That same wiggle also does cause rubbing between the metal so the paint will come off at those points.
Where you can use it
This is by no means a comprehensive list of where you can set up the portable hammock stand but this should give you an idea of what's possible.
- Car camping
- Living room or really anywhere at home
- Deck at home or at the cottage
- Apartment balcony
- Events and festivals
- Campsites above the tree-line
I'm sure those that are even more creative than me can come up with even more ingenious uses of the Swiftlet!
Buy the Swiftlet Now
Pick up the Swiftlet + Roo Double + Python Straps for only $262.40 USD (regularly $357) with free shipping in the US. There's also a deal to get 20% off the Swiftlet. Both offers end October 1, 2021.
Compatibility with other Kammok gear
If you're already an owner of Kammok gear or thinking about purchasing something new from Kammok, it's worth breaking down Swiftlet's compatibility.
- All hammocks – Fully compatible with everything from the Roo Jr. to Roo Double XL.
- Dragonfly – It works but without trees, the ridgeline will sag down to the hammock.
- Mantis – Not recommended for use with the Swiftlet as the hammock will sit pretty low to the ground with how it's designed.
- Ridge Organizer/Joey Gear Sling – Not compatible since there aren't dedicated attachment points built in but could be creatively installed.
- Trail quilts – They are designed to work with all Kammok hammocks since they have loops built in as attachment points so this isn't Swiftlet-specific. This means that you can use this with a combination of the Bobcat, Firebelly and/or Arctos.
- Tarps – There aren't any specific attachment points built in for tarps so you'll need you’ll need tarp poles, hiking poles, posts or trees to hang the tarp above you.
Comparing with other portable hammock stands
It's always good to know the other options that are out there. Here's a nifty table that breaks down the competitors to the Kammok Swiftlet.
Frequently asked questions
Here are a few common questions I had and you might have as well when it comes to the Kammok Swiftlet.
No, the Swiftlet is just the portable hammock stand.
Yes, you can use the Swiftlet with any type of hammock whether made by Kammok or another brand.
With the current base bar in lounge mode, the Swiftlet is recommended for users less than 6'4″ tall.
Yes, the Switflet is fully weatherproof which means that you can leave it outside. The metals used are non-corrosive so will not rust even with rain or moisture.
No they are not waterproof as the fabric is a basic nylon. The zippers have a DWR coating but rain will still penetrate.
Currently, the Kammok Swiftlet is the lightest on the market.
Currently there are no promotions for the Swiftlet.
Yes, it is designed for you to be able to set up your hammock with the Swiftlet anywhere you want and sleep comfortably while in lounge mode. Note that if you are tall (6’4” +), you may run into the issue of your head bumping the bar while laying down.
400 lb or 181 kg.
The ENO Nomad Stand is the smallest when packed by 18 inches.
No, hammock straps are not required.
The maximum weight load is 400 lb (181 kg). That is why Kammok recommends that no more than two people are using the Swiftlet at any given time.
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