Why sleep on the ground when you can sleep above it? Such is the question the Shel team is posing to outdoorsmen and women with their “ultralight hammock shelter,” now available on Kickstarter. Effectively a shelter for your hammock, the Shel hopes to protect campers from all weather conditions. Think of it as all the protection of a tent, without any of the bulk.
Promising to be an all-in-one solution that eliminates the need for a bug net, tarp, underquilt, or even a sleeping bag, the Shel can simply be pulled over your existing hammock and cinched for a warm night’s sleep. Weighing less than 30 ounces (which is to say, less than 2 pounds), you can take this shelter just about anywhere. But don’t let its negligible weight fool you — the Shel team promises that the product will keep you cozy in the snow, rain, and even protect you from mosquitoes.
Created by mechanical engineering majors Casey Messick and Caleb Lystrup, the Shel first came to fruition at Brigham Young University, where both Messick and Lystrup attended college. Lystrup was inspired to create the Shel after a particularly cold night of camping, during which his hammock simply could not keep him warm. Hence, the Shel was born.
“[The Shel is] easy to use and adds a lot of warmth. It’s ultralight, compressible, and is basically every hammocker’s dream,” Lystrup said.
Made of durable ripstop nylon and featuring high loft goose down, the Shel is nonpermeable on top, and water-resistant on the bottom. That said, it also features windows and vents to let fresh air enter your hammock, as well as mesh guarded windows to keep out bugs. When stretched out in full, the Shel measures 11 feet long and 3 feet high, and can withstand temperatures up to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
With a month left in its campaign, the Shel has already raised over $33,000, more than double the team’s original goal. If you’re interested in grabbing a Shel for yourself, you can pre-order one now for $119. Testing and verification is slated for completion in November, and shipment is expected in January 2018.