Lawson Hammock First Impression Camping Hammock Review

Ok, folks. We have to be honest here and admit up front that the Lawson Hammock is a very different design than the camping hammocks that we normally use, and we […]

Ok, folks. We have to be honest here and admit up front that the Lawson Hammock is a very different design than the camping hammocks that we normally use, and we have some rather strongly held ideas already about whether we will like the Lawson design. We recognize that we may not be going into this with a completely open mind, but will do our best to remains objective. If you have tried a Lawson Hammock, don’t be shy. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page. With that said, lets jump into a quick unboxing and initial impressions review of the Lawson Hammock Co Blue Ridge Camping Hammock.

To read the product specs or purchase a Lawson Hammock, CLICK HERE.

*CLICK HERE for the long term review of the Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock.

*many of the links will take you to a trusted retail site where you will find additional product info and can purchase the Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock, if you like. has a wide selection of hammock gear here.

Hammock projects you might like:

Lawson Hammock unboxing:

Fedex delivered the Lawson Camping Hammock in this box (no additional packaging)

box front Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review Here is how they describe the hammock on the box: Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review box back closeup Lawson appears to be supporting some good causes: Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review box back closeup member   And this is what was in the box… just the bag containing the whole camping hammock setup: Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review box rolled-upThe hammock itself was protected in a plastic bag inside: Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review box plastic The direction sheet is written in English! (as opposed to a very poor translation of English like in some products that are made in China)

Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review instructions front Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review instructions back

Here are the major components removed from the storage bag.Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review unrolling

What is sooooo different about the Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock?

Well. “Different” is relative to what one is used to. I think that there are likely a LOT of Americans that envision a “hammock” as having full width spreader bars and a rectangular shaped bed area. This is the type of hammock that my Dad had in the back yard when I was growing up.

Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock (BRCH) rope hammockI suppose you can argue that the rope hammock with spreader bars on each end have some merits. AND YOU WOULD BE WRONG!!! Ok, maybe that was worded a bit too strongly. Lets just say that I have never liked rope hammocks or found them remotely comfortable. However, this review isn’t about a casual back yard hammock for quick naps. This is about a CAMPING hammock. A portable shelter that can be used on the roughest of terrain, where tents simply aren’t an option.camping hammock setup over rocksAll of the camping hammocks in the Gear Report arsenal of hammocks are of the gathered-end type. As I cut my teeth on hammock camping the momentum among those “in the know” was solidly behind the massive benefits of gathered end hammocks. So, I never cared to try a camping hammock that had spreader bars… except for bridge hammocks. Those look really interesting However, I try to be open minded and honestly can’t believe that EVERY person that I have met or read over the years singing the praises of Lawson hammocks is wrong… even if that runs counter to what the supposed “experts” in the hammock community say about how their hammocks are vastly superior to the Lawson. First impressions of the Lawson BRCH hammock:

  • The Lawson Hammock can be strung off the ground like any other hammock, or set up on the ground as a small bivy tent (we haven’t tried using it as a bivy yet, but will report how it works when we do). Try doing that with a gathered end hammock. It simply won’t work, or won’t work well at all. Assuming this works enough that we consider it a usable bivy, this is a big plus for the Lawson. And for the record, I’ve had a 1 person bivy tent for 20+ years and understand that a bivy is designed to just barely cover the occupant. It is not meant to be spacious, and I actually expect that the Lawson, with the 2 arches of equal size will have more room inside than my purpose built bivy. Hmmmm. I think this may spawn a side-by-side bivy/Lawson review at some point.
  • The Lawson Hammock is truly spacious inside, by hammock standards. Looks like it uses about the same amount of material, but because of the spreader bars, the fabric doesn’t fold up around you like in a gathered end hammock.
  • The Lawson BRCH does not have any really “tight” spots to induce cramping. Gathered end hammocks are known to have a section of fabric that lies beneath the occupants lower legs and gets tighter, due to the weight of the occupant. This creates pressure on or around the calves, which can be REALLY uncomfortable.
  • The Lawson BRCH hammock comes with a tarp, bug netting, and a seal seamed floor. All you do is supply your favorite tree straps and hammock suspension. Most of my gathered end hammocks have separate tarps. This is actually something I disliked about the Hennessey hammock, that the integrated tarp, while AWESOME for it’s quick setup, offers no protection except IN the hammock. I like that with a separate tarp I can arrange or rearrange the configuration to cover more area and keep my bag dry, give me shade or rain protection while cooking, or even just use it as a tarp to keep the rain off while I set up the hammock. The good news is that the integrated tarp can easily be replaced with a different one.
  • The sides of the Lawson BRCH hammock are held flat by full width spreader bars at the head and foot of the hammock, as opposed to gathered end hammocks where the whole width of hammock fabric is scrunched up to about the size of a golf ball.
  • While many detractors knock the Lawson Hammock as heavy at about 4 pounds. My custom “Frankenhammock” (Warbonnet Blackbird pseudo-clone) plus a modestly sized tarp comes in at about the same weight. I have a custom lightweight backpacking hammock and tarp setup that totals a bit less than 1.9 lb, but honestly isn’t as comfortable. Weight wise, the idea of backpacking with a stock Lawson isn’t turning me on, but I’m digging the idea of using it as a base camp hammock.
  • The Lawson BRCH hammock appears well made. There is likely an opportunity to reduce the weight of this setup by a noticeable amount through material and accessory selection. Maybe even enough to make it a viable backpacking hammock.
  • If not pitched at the proper angle, the Lawson Hammock can be rather uncomfortable (true of most hammocks, but less critical in a gathered end, ridge-line equipped hammock).
  • After an hour long test I am optimistic that the Lawson Hammock will accommodate my 6’4″, 210 lb frame. However, an hour isn’t enough to know how it will feel overnight.
  • The Lawson BRCH hammock had a fairly strong chemical smell when it was unboxed and setup for the first time. I had hoped to sleep in it overnight the first night, but the smell was too much and I had to get out after an hour. After hanging for a day to air out, the smell is mostly gone, so I am optimistic that the smell won’t be an ongoing problem.
  • And the feedback from the peanut gallery is rather positive so far, with one of my little gear-heads excitedly exclaiming that “This is the most comfortable hammock EVER!” after a 30 minute test nap.

I think it is fair to say that so far, I have been impressed and am surprised at how optimistic I am at how this hammock will perform as a base camp hammock.

How to setup a Lawson Hammock Co BRCH  Click Here for a pictorial step by step guide to setting up the BRCH.

To read the product specs or purchase a Lawson Hammock, CLICK HERE.

This is a long term review, so look for updates as we are able to get the Lawson Hammock out in the woods and learn more about it. How this review came about: Jeff, the Gear Report Editor, was introduced via email to Wes Johnson, the owner of Lawson Hammock Company, by a business contact. He realized that Wes and Jeff would likely have lots in common, since they both make camping hammocks. Wes called the next day and a lively hour-long discussion followed. Wes offered to send Gear Report one of his Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammocks to review.


About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits.

A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management.

Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.