Camping Gets Cooler with New Hammock Shelter

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The Nubé will soon be coming to a forest near you. Photo: Sierra Madre Research

The Nubé will soon be coming to a forest near you. Photo: Sierra Madre Research

What happens when you cross a tent and a hammock? You get the Nubé (that means “cloud of protection”), a hammock shelter that’s poised to take the adventure travel world by storm.

Sierra Madre Research, makers of the Nubé, created a Kickstarter campaign in August with the goal of raising $30,000 to get production off the ground. They met the goal in less than three days and, thanks to 500-plus backers, have now raised more than $130,000 (the month-long campaign ends today). That means Nubé fans can expect their new gear to start arriving in early 2014.

What makes it so special? For starters, you won’t be on the ground, communing with the insects and rodents anymore. It can be set up over lakes, streams, hillsides, muddy areas or even rocks — and heck, if you miss being on the grass or forest floor with your creepy-crawly friends, you can put it there, too. The whole thing weighs about 2.24 pounds, adding a blissfully small amount of weight to your pack, and it’s far roomier inside than its weight would indicate. Both you and your gear (up to 200 pounds) are fully protected from rain and wind.

The Nubé is the product of three years of research, with the team diligently working out solutions to all the shortcomings of a traditional hammock shelter. Earth911 readers will also be pleased to know that sustainability was kept in mind each step of the way.

“Our raw materials are handpicked from manufacturers that are concerned about their environment,” says Richard G. Rhett Jr., founder of Sierra Madre Research. “They use environmentally friendly dyes for our colors and have certifications for their facilities such as Oeko-Tex and Bluesign. All of the materials we use can be recycled. One day as our company grows, we would like to pursue a sister company that recycles nylon and allows us to reuse worn-out gear.”

The Nubé passes the test in Puerto Rico. Photo: Sierra Madre Research

The Nubé passes the test in Puerto Rico. Photo: Sierra Madre Research

The Nubé, designed to work with any kind of camping hammock on the market, is made in Managua, Nicaragua, where a sewing mission teaches men and women professional stitching in a nine-month course. “We are able to hire the graduates on into full-time positions so that they can use and develop their newly acquired skill,” Rhett says. “Owning our own manufacturing company in Nicaragua is not just about the quality of our products, it’s about knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that our employees are treated with respect and are paid more than just ‘fair’ wages. In doing so, they can provide sustainability for their families.”

The Nubé will retail for $300 and will be available in three color choices: burnt orange, steel gray and spruce tip green. A portion of profits go toward funding the drilling of clean water wells in remote regions of Honduras. For more information, visit Sierra Madre Research’s website.

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Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is based in Seattle, where recycling is just as cool as Macklemore, walking in the rain without an umbrella, and eating locally sourced food. She writes for a wide range of national and regional publications, covering everything from sustainability and health to travel and retail.

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