Gear

DutchWare Brings Unrivaled Innovation to Hammock Gear & Beyond

by Mac Misseldine

dutchware

DutchWare is your one-stop shop for all things hammocks, offering everything from hammock camping gear and accessories to quilts, suspension hardware, and DIY components.

Ask any hardcore hammock camper what his favorite brands are, and chances are DutchWare will be at the top of the list.

Why? Because experienced backpackers know exactly what they want in their gear, and DutchWare understands that. Their gear embraces the minimalist mindset, delivering exactly what you need and stripping away everything you don’t. And if they don’t have the product you want, they offer the DIY components and hardware you need to make it yourself.

DutchWare has been designing and manufacturing its own equipment since 2003, and they offer a variety of third-party products to round out their product offering. Whether you go with in-house products or third-party gear, trust that you’re getting high-quality American-made products.

Company History

When Thom Ressler (aka Dutch) thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2003, he learned to take a minimalist approach to backpacking gear. By the time he completed the 2,200-mile journey, he had a pretty solid understanding of what he wanted out of his hammock camping gear.

Like many early hammock camping adopters, he was disappointed to find that most commercial vendors didn’t offer the minimalist gear he wanted. He started making his own hammock camping gear, and quickly discovered an unexpected passion for creating hammock hardware.

Dutch’s first creation was the Dutch Clip, which he invented to connect the webbing suspension around the trees he used to suspend his hammock. Next was the Dutch Biner, an ultralight carabiner that connects the whoopie sling to a steel loop. After that was the Dutch Flyz, a no-knot, quick-connection device for hammock tarps.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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As the story goes, the rest is history. Dutch opened up shop to outfit the growing hammock camping community, and his products garnered a reputation for their simplicity, weight savings, and reliability.

Today, Dutch continues to design and develop gear with the help of his buddies. His latest creation, the DutchWare Chameleon Hammock, blew past its Kickstarter goal of $22,500, eventually raising more than $190,000 from 730 backers.

The successful Kickstarter campaign is a testament to DutchWare’s loyal community of hammock enthusiasts, and we’ve got a feeling it won’t be the last innovative product they bring to the market.

Products

DutchWare produces innovative, high-quality products for hammock campers and backpackers. Their products embrace a minimalist approach to design and production, keeping everything simple, lightweight, and intuitively functional.

The company is committed to supporting American businesses and limiting their impact on the environment.

“Whenever possible, we use local or US manufacturers along with recycled materials and packaging to produce and deliver your items. We also work towards decreasing our product packaging so we can reduce our waste and lower your shipping costs.”

DutchWare is always looking to expand their product offering for the hammock camping community, and they’ve come a long way since the first Dutch Clip was manufactured over 15 years ago. Here’s a quick overview of the products you’ll find in their online store.

Hammocks

DutchWare’s flagship hammock is the Chameleon Hammock. As the name implies, this versatile hammock is designed to adapt to your environment wherever your adventures lead to. Zip on the dual-entry bug net to keep the mosquitos at bay, or swap for the all-weather cover to block out the cold, wind, rain, and snow.

Customers who want to make their own hammock can start with DutchWare’s traditional 11-foot netless hammock. It’s available in a variety of fabrics, weights, and colors, including their popular Hexon and Argon fabrics and Print2Fabric custom prints.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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There’s also the Half-Wit Hammock, the ultimate lightweight option for fast-and-light backpackers. The Half-Wit includes an adjustable half bug net that hangs off the included ridgeline.

Finally, there’s the 2T’s Hammock Chair. The Swiss Army Knife of backpacking chairs, the 2T’s Hammock Chair is lightweight, highly compact, and durable enough for years of backcountry adventures.

Quilts

DutchWare doesn’t make their own top quilts or underquilts, but they sell a handful of well-reviewed quilts from other cottage makers. These are stock models, though, so you’re better off purchasing directly from the manufacturer if you’re looking for a custom quilt.

DutchWare manufactures their own ridgeline quilt hooks, quilt hangers, and clip-on quilt hooks, all of which are reliable and fairly priced.

Hammock Suspension Systems

Fair warning — this is where DutchWare can get a little intimidating for first-time hammock campers. That said, it’s also where they shine, delivering more lightweight suspension systems for backpackers than you’ll find anywhere else.

DutchWare offers ten hammock suspension systems:

  1. Whoopie Hooks
  2. Double Hammock Whoopie Hooks
  3. Bridge Hammock Whoopie Hooks
  4. Cinch Buckles
  5. Titanium Cinch Buckles
  6. Vertex Cinch Buckles
  7. Cinch Bugs
  8. Dutch Buckles
  9. Spiders
  10. Beetle Buckles

These are advanced suspension systems for experienced hammock hangers who are looking to upgrade from traditional daisy chain straps. They’re fairly intuitive, but they definitely take a little practice.

Be sure to watch the how-to videos you find on the product pages to ensure you understand how to use a particular suspension system before you buy it.

Tarps & Shelter

Hammock tarps are another area where DutchWare shines, offering more forms of minimalist shelter than you’ll probably know what to do with.

Their tarps cater to the ultralight backpacking community, including premium options like the Ultralight Rectangle Tarp, Ultralight Xenon Hex Tarp, and Xenon Winter Tarp. For the truly discerning camper, they offer premium options like the Dyneema Asym Tarp, Dyneema Hex Tarp, and Dyneema Winter Tarp.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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DutchWare also provides everything you need to set up your minimalist shelter, including hardware, stakes, poles, pullouts, and ridgelines.

Camping Gear

DutchWare designs all of their hammock gear with backpackers in mind, so it was a logical expansion to start selling camping gear. You’ll find a mix of in-house products and third-party gear, including apparel, kitchenware, bags, lights, fire starters, hygiene products, and dog gear.

Food

Wait, DutchWare sells food?

Living up to their reputation as a one-stop shop for backpackers, DutchWare offers a wide range of backpacking-friendly food products. You’ll find freeze-dried and dehydrated fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy products, plus drinks and condiment packets.

Print2Fabric

Most cottage companies in the hammock camping market offer highly customizable products, but DutchWare takes the cake for personalization. They can take your custom graphics and print them onto hammocks, tarps, gear, and raw fabric that you can use to build your own DIY gear.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Not graphic design inclined? Don’t worry — DutchWare offers plenty of their own unique designs in the Print2Fabric Gallery.

There’s obviously an upcharge for custom-printed products, but if you’re looking for truly one-of-a-kind backpacking gear it’s absolutely worth the price.

DIY Components And Hardware

DutchWare has a solid Make Your Gear section where DIYers can create their own hammock camping and backpacking gear. The company offers a great selection of durable components, a mixture of in-house products and third-party components that you can use to build your own hammock, backpack, tent, quilt, sleeping bag, tarp, bivy, and clothing.

DutchWare offers a variety of components including fabrics, hardware, rolled goods, rope, insulation, stove materials, tools and repair items. They also sell DIY kits to help you gather the necessary materials without the hassle of piecing together a long list of items.

Whether you buy the individual components or keep it simple with a DIY kit, rest assured you’re getting fair, competitive pricing. Even better, you can get everything in one purchase and avoid wasting time making trips to multiple stores.

Company Policies

DutchWare backs all of their products with a killer guarantee that demonstrates their confidence in providing high-quality products. Their warranty covers all manufacturer defects, so you can easily return and exchange anything that doesn’t live up to their high standards.

DutchWare also offers a “free look” period on their products. If you purchase an item that you’re not 100% satisfied with, you can return the unused item for a full refund. You’re responsible for return shipping and there may be restocking fees for some items, but you can expect an easy refund in about 10-14 days.

Reviews

If you’re on the fence about trusting a small cottage company with your hard-earned cash, take a look at DutchWare’s reviews on Facebook. Not only do they boast a 4.9-star rating with over 200 reviews, their reviews exhibit an unrivaled sense of passion and loyalty.

These aren’t just two-word comments like “love it” and “awesome service” — they’re full-blown love letters from people who have clearly become customers for life. Here’s a sampling of some reviews that stood out to us:

“I’ve been shopping with Dutch and his team for about 3 years now, and every time I order I find myself commenting on how great the service is. They are one of — if not the — most accommodating cottage vendors I’ve done business with, and that’s really saying something because they are all so great! All the gear I’ve received from DutchWare has been top notch, from CRL’s to hammocks, suspensions and cook pots. The DIY section of the site is absolutely fantastic, a great resource for most of your fix-it-up needs or DIY camping stuff, not just for hammocks but all around. Great service, phenomenal product, and great community. I can’t recommend them enough.”Paydn A

“I did dozens of hours looking for the perfect hammock for my wife and I on our 5 day hiking trip. I landed on 2 chameleons for the versatility. I even emailed Dutch with questions and told him I was new to the game and he emailed back (promptly) and insisted that if I had any questions to ask away. Well, through no fault of Dutch’s, my hammock ripped on the 4th day of our hike. When I got back I emailed Dutch to tell him and they offered to replace it with a thicker one free of charge! It came in the mail a few days later. Probably the best customer service I have ever experienced. I’ve never read a bad word about them either. They are my one stop hammock shop!”Clay B

“Their site can be a little overwhelming at first. But their video library is absolute gold because Dutch can explain what something is & how to use it in less than 2 minutes whereas the average YouTuber takes 10 minutes & an annoying intro to do the same thing.”Chris F

To be fair we came across a couple of negative reviews, but they sounded like a senseless midnight rant from someone who’s had one-too-many tequila shots. There may be a handful of situations over the years where someone in customer service dropped the ball, but given the number of emphatically positive reviews, that must happen once a year.

Their products are clearly high quality, their customer service is prompt and courteous, and Dutch himself is known to personally reply to customers’ questions and concerns. It’s safe to say that when you’re shopping with DutchWare, you’re in excellent hands.

Conclusion

If you haven’t caught on to the glowing tone here, we’re big fans of DutchWare. We trust their products, we appreciate their stellar customer service, and we love the fact that they’re constantly innovating.

Don’t be surprised if they come out with a new product version a couple weeks after you make a purchase. They’re constantly listening to customer feedback and implementing changes to improve their designs.

DutchWare can be a little intimidating for new hammock campers, so we won’t blame you if you turn to mainstream brands like Kammok or ENO for your first hammock setup. But once you get your feet wet, develop a sense of what you want in your gear, and are ready to take your hammock hanging game to the next level, this is where you want to shop.

New To Hammock Camping?

Hammock camping is a great way to cut pack weight and sleep comfortably in the backcountry, but it’s a little more technical than tent camping. In addition to getting a camping hammock, you’ll need to purchase a top quilt, underquilt, suspension system, tarp, and possibly a bug net if your hammock doesn’t come with one.

Feeling overwhelmed? Check out our quick-and-easy hammock camping checklist for a rundown of everything you need to gear up for your first outing.

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