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Nube turns any camping hammock into a suspended shelter


August 12, 2013

The Nube attaches to any camping hammock to form a completely enclosed shelter that keeps you and your gear off the ground in almost any location

The Nube attaches to any camping hammock to form a completely enclosed shelter that keeps you and your gear off the ground in almost any location

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When it comes to camping in comfort, sleeping in a hammock usually beats the cold ground, but you tend to lose the protection from the elements that a full tent normally provides. We've seen some suspended tents that address this problem before, like the Exped Ergo Combi and the Stingray, but a new product from Sierra Madre Research may have them beat in terms of all-around usefulness. The Nube attaches to any camping hammock to form a completely enclosed shelter that keeps you and your gear off the ground.

The Nube (pronounced "new-bay") is the brainchild of Richard G. Rhett Jr., who founded Sierra Madre Research following a fateful trip to Honduras, where he found himself dissatisfied with other camping hammocks and concerned at the quality of the drinking water there. Soon after, he set up a production facility in Nicaragua to manufacture high-quality camping gear, with a portion of the profits going towards drilling clean water wells in impoverished areas.

Rhett designed the Nube shelter to be compatible with any camping hammock by attaching to its suspension lines and creating a tight seal that keeps water and insects out. A series of lines connected to trees and the ground keep the top waterproof layer taut, providing a firm barrier against wind and rain. Ideally, the portable shelter can be supported by a couple of trees, but a pair of sturdy walking poles will work just as well. Once it's suspended, anyone can enter or exit the Nube using a zipper on the side that runs up almost the full height of the shelter.

The bottom of the hammock tent is mainly comprised of a mesh Insect Shield, which keeps bugs out while allowing a cooling breeze to flow through. In the center of the Insect Shield is a Gear Storage Area, which sags a little lower to the ground and is made of a slightly thicker nylon than the top. This part of the Nube is attached to the hammock's suspension lines, keeping any gear safely elevated off the ground but easily accessible. It can also be converted into a layer of insulation on colder nights by packing it with clothes and raising it right underneath the hammock.

When put together, the Nube measures 13 ft (4 m) long and 8.5 ft (3.3 m) wide, making it large enough to act as a standalone tent for group get-togethers when the bottom and hammock are lifted higher. It's also spacious enough inside to fit two hammocks on top of each other like bunk beds, and the bottom storage compartment is strong enough to support a small child if needed.

Each Nube comes with a set of eight 2 mm Dyneema cords, eight stakes, and a compression bag for the shelter. The entire shelter, minus the stakes, can be packed into a bundle just 10 x 6 x 6 in (25 x 15 x 15 cm) and weighing only 2 lbs (0.9 kg). Even with a hammock, Sierra Madre Research states the whole system will only weigh around 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) altogether..

Thus far, some prototypes of the Nube have been successfully tested in Honduras and Puerto Rico, but there may be some changes made to the design before it begins production. In the near future, Rhett hopes to add guy-line holders to keep all the cords together and an inside pocket for storing a phone and other items.

Sierra Madre Research recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring the Nube into mass production, which reached its goal of US$30,000 within two days. Anyone who contributes $250 or more while the Kickstarter is running can pre-order a Nube for its expected ship date of January 2014 in either Burnt Orange or Steele Grey colors.

In the meantime, check out the video below showing how the Nube can act as a shelter almost anywhere in the world.

Source: Kickstarter, Sierra Madre Research

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

In my experience sleeping in a hammock even if only a little cold is very uncomfortable as the cold comes up from underneath. If it's not wet sleeping on the ground is much better.

Clark Richardson

Ahh guys I don't want to be a wet end here..... But ENO (Eagles Nest Outfitting) has kinda beaten ya to the punch so to speak. This has been done and done well already :(

Arnold Stonehouse

@Arnold, if you watch the video the section that says "most hammock shelters left us feeling wet and miserable, and offered minimal protection for our gear". We show an image of the circumstances of a heavy rain, and the outcome using ENO's tarp. It is at 0:50 and 1:47 in the video if you'd like to see how the ENO tarp performs.

watch the video here: http://t.co/QC82WXOnnF

The Nube` is a single product that offers rain protection, insect protection, and storage for up to 200lbs of gear.

Juli Rhett

Clark - If you would check out hammock forrum or talk to any experienced hammock campers, or outdoor enthusiast you would find out that they make an underquilt for hammocks that prevents the cold from reaching your underside. Check out almost any you tube video on hammock camping and you will discover this.

Juli. Their are many enclosed covering systems for hammock camping. Eno and several other outfitters provide systems. I agree yours is fairly well researched and thorough. It is however not an Ultra Light or even Light setup. The cost also is not light. For those who want first class in utility your system does seem to be first rate.


I just wanted to post my experience with the Nube. I took it on the Appalachian Trail for some amazing backpacking. The weight of carrying the Pares (Sierra Madre Resarch's Hammock) and the Nube combined was not even noticeable. Many nights it rained HARD. Nonetheless we always managed to pick out a campsite that had some trees and were able to get the Nube up just before it rained. One night I had to put it up WHILE it started raining but the Nube was so easy to set up that I managed to use it as a rain free shelter to keep my gear dry and set up my Pares. If I ever needed something out of my bag I just needed to reach down and grab it from the gear sling! I slept dry every single night and in the morning my gear was dry and I had a great backpacking trip because of it. Not to mention I slept mosquito free every night. If I had to mess with a tent I would have been miserable. Thanks for the great experience SMr!

Jon Tripp

@tigerprincess you are correct, we have not marketed or claimed it as an "ultra light" shelter. It is geared towards a comfort/spacious hammock shelter that offers great protection from all of the elements. I would say that our system is still considered light. The Nubé weighs in at 2.24lbs and if you add our Solo hammock to it you are looking at a complete system for around 3.13lbs.

One advantage of the Nubé is its space, you don't feel like you are sleeping in a coffin with it. In fact it is large enough to sleep two hammocks stacked inside and maintain complete protection. That brings the weight per user down to 2lbs. Which is not bad in our opinion.

We will have a few ultra-light products coming out soon! So stay tuned!

https://www.facebook.com/SMr.gear http://www.sierramadreresearch.com/

@Jon Thanks for the great feedback!

Juli Rhett

Im a biker I travel a lot sleep on ground and in hammocks how will this be better than tarps for me and my bros? Just seen it on utube told it to my friends they laughted me out!

Terry Chandler
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