If you can park a vehicle, you can sleep in a hammock. That’s the idea behind ENO’s ‘hang anywhere’ Roadie car-camping hammock stand.
Editor’s note: We originally published the ENO Roadie review in October, 2016. We’ve updated this story with video to illustrate set up.
Hammocks are, arguably, the most comfortable way to sleep outside, but they require trees, poles, straps, etc., that are sometimes absent in car campsites.
I prefer hammock camping, but when I go to a new car campsite I’m not always certain there will be proper hammock camping trees, so I usually have to bring the tent along as well. The ENO Roadie removes the guesswork and ensures I get a comfy night’s sleep.
It can be more scenic and peaceful to string a hammock in the woods. But the convenience and freedom of the Roadie open a wealth of hanging options.
ENO Roadie Hammock Stand Review
When I first saw the Roadie at Outdoor Retailer I had a “Why hasn’t someone thought of this sooner?” moment. It’s a beefy hammock stand that uses your car’s weight to anchor the stand. You can hang in a hammock anywhere you can park a car. We even awarded ENO a Best In Show award for the innovative concept.
Now, over a year later, I tested the Roadie on several occasions and love its convenience.
Setup: Once you find a spot you want to hang (think scenic overlook in the mountains), stop and get out the Roadie. Place both stands in front of your tires and pull forward onto them. Insert the pole and “Atlas Straps.” Attach your hammock with carabiners.
Boom, setup complete. Overall it takes about two minutes.
The Roadie will work easily with any hammock brand that has carabiners. For other hammocks, you could likely find a way to rig it to the pole or Atlas Strap, though we did not try. Note: the hammock is not included in the kit.
If it’s going to rain, you can set up a tarp using the top of your car and one of the Roadie’s poles to keep dry.
Who Is This For?
Car campers. Best for those that camp in or near their car. You can use it for naps, a full night’s sleep, or as a lounging chair.
It could be especially handy for desert camping or on the beach where trees are scarce If you have two people (and two Roadies), use both sides of the car.
Backpackers. Another practical use is for backpackers, or anyone else, wanting to sleep at the trailhead. If you get a late start for your trip and don’t want to night hike to the nearest campsite, you could use the Roadie, catch a few winks, and start the trip the next morning.
Roadtrips. Dispersed camping is very popular and it’s free. The quick setup and tear down is ideal for this type of camping. You could park and be in bed in just a few minutes.
Festivals. As ENO notes on the Roadie product page, “Be it at Bonnaroo or somewhere on Route 66, the Roadie is there for you.” In case you don’t get there early enough for a primo campsite with trees, you can lay under the stars wherever you park.
At $200, it’s expensive if you’re using it as an accessory, but if you use it instead of hotels and campsites it could pay for itself over time.
Put simply, the Roadie is a solid idea that was probably hacked together by dirtbags for years before ENO produced it professionally. “Hammock Life” is very real, and with more (and strange) products dedicated to helping you achieve maximum hang time, the Roadie is primed to find a spot in hammock campers’ gear closets.
ENO Roadie Hammock Stand Specs
- Weight: 56lbs
- Made of: powder coated steel
- Dimensions: (LxWxH) 1’5″ x 1’5″ x 4’3″
- Packed Dimensions: (LxWxH) 30″ x 18″ x 11″
- Minimum Vehicle Weight: 2,500 lbs
- Minimum Wheel Base: 7’10”
Note that this thing is heavy, but you will only set it up next to your car to use it, so weight isn’t really an issue. The shapes can be awkward to carry and pack, but I’ve always been able to squeeze them in among other gear. With a little finesse (and maybe yelling) you’ll make it work.
For a night nestled in and swaying in the breeze, it’s well worth it.