I don’t know about you, but I LOVE sleeping in a hammock. If you’ve yet to try it, I highly suggest that you give it a go! Although you battle cold air once in a while, I find that sleeping in a hammock becomes more and more comfortable with every night.
Even more than hammocking, I love backpacking and camping…
ENO (Eagle Nest Outfitters) is the leading company that provides top-quality products for hammock camping, both in the backcountry and frontcountry. Thanks to the ENO HouseFly, I feel like I have found the perfect combination of performance and comfort!
The ENO HouseFly is a burly rain tarp for camping and backpacking that provides maximum protection from the elements. It is boasted to be a “waterproof fortress,” and my exhaustive testing confirms that it is one of the best hammock rain flys on the market!
The HouseFly has surprised me time and time again. Although it is easy to be skeptical of the duability of thin nylon tarps, I’ve seen the HouseFly battle courageously through some harsh environments. Specifically, the HouseFly held up to snagging on burrs, scraping over dead tree limbs, and being stretched over bushes. All of this without a single flaw!
The ENO HouseFly is crafted with 15D ultra-lightweight ripstop silicone nylon which, to me, seems to hold up better than many other materials that I’ve seen. The waterproofing qualities have shown no sign of failing, providing a steady run-off during every storm. When examining and testing the seams, the stitching of the HouseFly holds solid and hasn’t shown any signs of fraying after months of use.
When initially unpacking the HouseFly, I’ll be honest: it looked like a confusing setup. Although initially discouraged, I found that the tarp came with an easy-setup guide describing simple steps to enable first-time users of the HouseFly. Even with eight stake lines and various buckles and clips, the tarp doesn’t take much to setup after a little practice!
After several months of backcountry and frontcountry camping experiences, I find the ENO HouseFly setup to be an absolute breeze! Without rushing, I’m now able to setup my entire sleep system in under 10 minutes (hammock, straps, HouseFly, stakes, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag)! More than that, my tear down time is at a mere 5 minutes with all of the same elements. Sure beats most tents, in my opinion!
Several months have allowed me the opportunity to extensively test the ENO HouseFly with a wide variety of environments, temperatures, vegetation, and storms. To date, I have had the opportunity to use the HouseFly on trips in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Colorado. Even after some challenging circumstances in these areas, I’ve never been left disappointed with the HouseFly.
Here are some observations from my tests with the HouseFly that are worth sharing:
- It truly is a waterproof fortress.
I’ve battled a good number of storms with the tarp and am fully convinced of its ability to keep me dry and comfortable through harsh weather and heavy storms. Not only that, but the HouseFly provides more coverage than any other ENO fly, making it my top choice for bad-weather situations.
- “There’s tons of room for gear in here!”
I’ve loved the fact that the HouseFly has overlapping doors, a large vestibule-like space, and plenty of ground coverage! It allows me to store all of my gear and more to keep dry throughout the night. Typically, I’ll have my backpack, boots, camp gear, and personal items underneath or next to me as I hammock the night away–all within arm’s reach!
- Stake it low to minimize flow.
What I mean by this is that by having your hammock lower to the ground and by making the HouseFly nearly flush with the ground, you can maximize warmth and minimize the chance of wind, rain, and snow having a negative impact on your night.
- Diligent setup = Better night’s sleep.
Find firm positions for your stakes. Tie off the rainfly to the trees, not straps. Overlap the doors a bit. Tie proper knots. Take time to adjust cord lengths. Test hammock height inside tarp. Take time to finalize your setup–It makes for a bomb-proof setup that will keep you dry and warm through the night!
- Pack weight is a factor.
The Housefly is a mean machine, that’s for sure! But it comes at a price that should be weighed depending on your trip, location details, and personal preference. The tarp weighs in at 27oz without counting the pack weight of your hammock, straps, and caribiners. When taking the HouseFly out, I’ve always opted for the weight, even in backcountry settings…. However, the reality is that you may sometimes be lighter and more agile by splitting a backpacking tent with one, two, or even three people (this is personal preference more than anything).
- “Bah, who needs a tent anyways!”
Honestly, the ENO HouseFly is very tent-like. If I really had to shave weight or couldn’t carry my hammock, I would take the HouseFly as a stand-alone shelter in a variety of situations. By staking it flush to the ground, it works just as well as many ultra-light tents or backpacking tarps. If you weigh it against competitors, the Housefly still packs at a mere 27oz, rivaling many backpacking tarps/tents on the market! The HouseFly can also be used as a group shelter by being tied or staked out in a variety of different ways. Maybe it’s the ultralight-er side of me speaking here?
Why yes, it may seem like I’ve fallen in love a bit… But it’s for good reason!
The HouseFly has performed extremely well and continues to rival competitors, hold to its quality, keep me very comfortable at night, and provide awesome protection against the elements. While it weighs in heavier than many alternative tarps, the HouseFly boasts hefty coverage, fantastic durability, and more versatility than many others — Making it a fantastic choice for many backcountry and frontcountry travelers!
Many thanks to ENO for providing the HouseFly for review!