Choosing the right hammock for your needs might be difficult. Our Hammock Buying Guide has everything you need to make an informed purchase.
The hammock is the epitome of everything that makes summer-perfect, feeling like you’re floating while a cool breeze swirls around your entire body. Add a stiff drink to the mix, and you’re ready for the greatest sleep of your life. A hammock may seem like a net tied between two trees, but it is much more than that. There are several differences between one hammock and the next. The materials, style, and weight differ with each brand, as do some smaller items. Some are basic, while others are deluxe. Some are traditional, while others are free-standing. Every brand has its own set of restrictions. Choosing the right hammock for your situation can be confusing. Don’t be concerned; this buyer’s guide will explain it all to you so that you may purchase with confidence.
A Brief History
To really appreciate hammocks, you should know about their history. The hammock dates back centuries, so this will be a brief history. According to anthropologists, hammocks date back at least 1,000 years and originated in South America. The idea is that early South Americans created these beds to sleep off the ground without being bitten by snakes, insects, or other hazardous pests.
The hammock was originally brought to Europe by Columbus, who used it as a space-saving sleeping option for soldiers and prisoners. Hammocks in the United States have almost always been used for pleasure, with the first widespread hammock manufacturer in the United States emerging in the late 1800s. The first known use of these floating beds occurred during the construction of the Panama Canal; an army physician recognized that they could be easily covered in mosquito netting, preventing canal workers from contracting mosquito-borne illnesses while they worked on the canal.
Common Hammock Terms
The term “hammock” has several meanings in the hammock community, and people that enjoy using them have their own terminology. There are numerous words that describe hammocks, many of which are listed here. They are only the ones that will aid you in the purchase process.
These shells, also known as hammock socks or travel pods, are used to provide water or wind protection around the hammock.
Mesh netting wraps around your hammock to keep pests out.
Durable Water Repellent
DWR (Durable Water Repellent) is a fabric treatment that makes your hammock more water-resistant.
Heavy-duty clips attach the hammock to the suspension system.
This lightweight alternative may replace the suspension unit’s carabiners, which attach the hammock to the suspension unit.
Any part of the hammock that is accountable for keeping it off the ground from the clip to the post.
The term refers to a metal that has been treated to resist the elements.
The term “capacity” refers to the maximum weight that a hammock can hold.
Reasons to Own a Hammock
Comfort and relaxation are reasons enough to own a hammock, but there are many reasons to buy one as a swinging bed.
Perfect for Adventurers
There are many reasons why hammocks are better than tents for outdoor enthusiasts. A hammock is considerably lighter and faster to set up than a tent, making it an excellent choice for backpacking long distances. A tent has walls, but a hammock allows you off the ground in the long run. It probably keeps you clean and safe compared to sleeping in a tent. A few camping-related items, combined with a sleeping bag, will allow you to turn your hammock into a tent. However, no tent can ever be a hammock.
The anecdotal evidence for the effect of hammocks on stress is never-ending, but a recent Swiss study quantified it. The rocking motion kept people who slept in hammocks asleep longer and deeper than those in traditional beds. Sleep is beneficial for your mental and physical health, allowing you to think more clearly and accomplish more during the day.
A hammock is a cheap alternative to a regular bed. A hammock is an excellent option for people who are just getting started in a new house and want to save money while still getting some rest.
Good for Health
A hammock for deep sleep is beneficial to your mental health, but hammocks can also improve your physical health. Many experts agree that the best way to sleep is on your back and in a hammock, but it forces you to sleep in that position. On the other hand, sleeping in a hammock relieves pressure on your spine and has several health advantages.
Awesome for Pets
Pets love hammocks, which is one of the most exciting reasons to have one. Your dogs and cats will not be able to resist resting on a hammock during nap time, whether it’s inside or outside.
Before getting into the specifications, you must first choose a hammock style. It came as a surprise to learn how many different styles of hammocks exist.
Spreader bars are used in American-style hammocks to support and expand the hammock. These are great hammocks for sunshine because they stay flattering. They are also great for indoors because they are self-sufficient. This style usually fits 1 or 2 people comfortably, but the downside of the design is that it suggests too easy. Under a hammock, two people can rapidly destroy the balance between them, and you’ll find both of you underneath it.
Many people think of a typical hammock when they imagine a hanging garden. Cotton or polyester rope is generally used to construct these hammocks, which are probably what most people consider when they think about – a traditional hammock. These hammocks are great for an afternoon nap because you sink into the hammock, and it wraps around you. If you have one or two people in a hammock, these are the ones to get. If you’re sharing a Brazilian hammock with another person, they should be quite comfortable together.
The most luxurious hammocks are Mayan hammocks, which are generally hand-woven. Like the Brazilian hammock, the Mayan hammock does not require spreader bars and will wrap you up as you sink into it. These hammocks come in various sizes, ranging from small to large. You should be quite near to them for the best comfort.
These hammocks are simple and effective for the majority of individuals. They’re generally constructed of cotton rope or durable polyester.
A quilted hammock is somewhat similar to a rope hammock, but it is more comfortable. They basically use a polyfill material that is stitched between two layers of fabric. These hammocks have a more solid base, unlike the rope style. These hammocks are often reversible, so depending on the manufacturer, you may find two designs in only one hammock to better match your other outdoor decor.
These contraptions are distinct from the rest. A hammock and a cot combined is the best way to describe one of these. They are strong and comfortable for the most part, but they have their drawbacks. Folding hammocks are light and portable, but they’re also bulky and difficult to transport. They are ideal for a camping trip but not for a backpacking excursion. They are self-contained units and require no additional setup other than opening them.
Cotton is a famous material for hammocks because it is softer and more natural than other materials. The cotton is strong but fades in the sun. If you’re concerned about the hammock lasting a long while, keep it stored inside when not in use.
Hemp is a popular material for a variety of reasons. It is all-natural and highly replenishable, making it better for the environment and cheaper to produce. Hemp’s longevity is another attractive feature contributing to its popularity as a hammock rope material.
Polyester is now softer than it used to be, but cotton still offers superior comfort. The polyester has what it takes to hold it structurally and retain its color much better against the elements. Experts still recommend storing a polyester hammock in a dry location when not in use.
Some people prefer nylon material for their hammocks, which is also known as parachute material. Nylon is a highly versatile material with several advantages, such as being water-resistant, long-lasting, and lightweight. As a result, it’s the ideal hammock for going on hiking excursions. The comfort of these hammocks can’t be overstated, as they come in various colors to complement your decor and personality. The only disadvantage of nylon is that it isn’t as strong or supportive as other materials.
The hammock’s size influences how many people may fit on the bed comfortably. It’s also a sign of how much weight a hammock can bear.
A single hammock is a hammock intended for one individual. They are typically 39 to 50 inches wide and 76 to 79 inches long. These hammocks are perfect for a single person, but larger-bodied persons may find them uncomfortable.
A double isn’t twice the size of a single, but it’s big enough to fit two people. They are typically 52 to 60 inches wide and 74 to 79 inches long. Because of the extra weight of a second person, these hammocks are usually a little more durable than singles.
Queen-size hammocks can comfortably accommodate two persons and are ideal for taking a long sleep. They are generally about 69 inches wide and 79 inches long.
The King hammock is spacious enough for the entire family, like a king-sized bed. These hammocks are approximately 79 inches wide by 79 inches long and can accommodate three people comfortably.
Various factors determine the maximum weight a hammock can support. Size, material type, and construction all play a part in the number of pounds a hammock can support. The weight capacity of a hammock is between 150 and 500 pounds; it’s vital to remember that this is static weight, and you shouldn’t jump onto a hammock.
If a hammock isn’t able to be hung from something, it’s useless. The construction of a hammock used to be relatively simple: You’d just tie both ends to two trees, but modern hammock technology has advanced.
If you did not have two perfectly spaced trees, you were out of luck, but now there are plenty of stands available. They are made up of two poles connected by a base, which form a boat-like shape in most cases. These stands are available in various sizes to suit the needs of different types of hammocks. When purchasing a stand, make sure it can support your desired weight capacity and has been weatherized to withstand the elements.
The most basic suspension technique is to make use of artificial trees. The only difference between these and ordinary trees is that they are constructed entirely from the text. You may acquire or create your own, but you should ensure that the material will stand up to the elements no matter what you do. The posts must be firmly planted in the ground to ensure their safety, so it’s crucial to consider the sturdiness of this method.
If you have the ideal trees in your yard, you may still make hanging your hammock easier. Tree straps are used to quickly wrap around a tree and connect to your hammock for fast installation. If you are going on a trip with your hammock, they can also be easily broken down.
Springs and Chains
Even though they are two different equipment, they both accomplish the same goal, so it’s a question of personal choice. Springs and chains are used to link the hammock to the suspension system. When necessary, chains are added length to shorted hammocks to connect to the suspension mechanism.
What is Spreader Bar, and Do I Need One?
The spreader bars are a pair of wooden or metal bars on both ends of the hammock that are intended to keep the hammock open and flatter rather than cocoon the user. They are not necessary for a hammock to operate, yet many individuals choose them for both looks and convenience. The main disadvantage of spreader bars is that they make the hammock easier to tip.
How to Care for Your Hammock
If you’re unsure what the most pleasing hammock for you is, there are a few things to think about. You’ll want to look after it after deciding which one is ideal for your requirements. Here are some helpful tips for caring for your hammock and keeping it looking and operating longer.
Safety Tips of Hammock
- Make sure you keep your hammock away from direct sunlight. It will prevent the hammock from wearing prematurely due to sun exposure, and it’ll also keep you safe from UV rays if you oversleep your sunscreen.
- The weight restrictions of your hammock should always be followed. Never jump on the hammock to avoid damaging it. At worst, you will be injured, and at best, the suspension system will stretch out the hammock and result in structural damage.
- To avoid stretching or strain on the suspension system, make sure you evenly distribute the weight of your hammock.
- Don’t sit or lay on the hammock’s edge, both because it may stretch the cloth and because it’s a danger since the hammock might tip.
- Soak a cotton or hemp rope hammock in a combination of detergent and water to clean it. Please put it in direct sunlight to dry; The hammock may shrink slightly, which is normal; It will stretch back with use.
- Nylon hammocks are even easier to clean, simply remove all the hardware and wash them individually. Put it on a clothesline or lay it out to air dry if possible. Do not dry it in the dryer.
- Polyester hammocks are any way washable, but it is recommended that machine washes be performed with cool water on the gentle cycle of your machine.
- Keep spreader bars away from water to avoid them warping if your hammock is constructed with them.
- To help your hammock endure longer, refinish any wooden components of the hammock regularly with a water-resistant finish.
- If you don’t plan on using your hammock all year, it is advised that you store it and take it down somewhere dry in the off-season.
Hammocks are entertaining on their own, but adding accessories to them can make them more enjoyable and useful in some circumstances.
An under quilt is a blanket that you can use along with your hammock to keep your back warm. It’s perfect for campers who experience hot days but chilly nights and regions where you can use your hammock all year but need a bit more warmth for a few months.
You might try using any tarp to cover your hammock, but it won’t be easy, and the outcomes may not be satisfactory. Instead, purchase a rain tarp designed specifically for hammocks and, even better, one built especially for your specific hammock. These tarps are made to completely cover your hammock and keep you dry from every angle. Rain tarps are required for campers who prefer to sleep in a hammock rather than a tent.
This is an excellent accessory for any hammock, both comfort, and safety. These nets are designed to surround your hammock and keep nasty pests out. Again, this is a fantastic accessory to keep you comfortable in your backyard, but it can be a literal lifesaver if you’re camping in remote areas.
Several great braided cup holders are available that are constructed from the same rope material as hammocks. These cup holders are designed to attach to your hammock and maintain a drinking level. They can be used as a water bottle holder while hiking, which you may connect to your belt.
If your hammock doesn’t come with a bag, you have a variety of alternatives to make it more compact. It’s ideal for storing at home and ideal for backpacking.
Other Uses for Hammocks
As if you didn’t have enough reasons to acquire a hammock, here are a few more unusual uses for hammocks that show how useful they can be at home and in the wild.
It’s a Net
When you really think about it, a hammock is simply a net that has been repurposed as a bed. When not in use as a bed, a hammock is a useful item that may be utilized as a cargo net to transport goods or a net for catching fish if the situation demands it.
Make a Chair
A hammock may be turned into a comfy chair with some creativity. The hammock will lean forward and form a back while remaining just as strong as its traditional position if you attach one end overhead and the other in front.
If you have an extra hammock or another location to sleep, hang anything from it to keep other things off the ground. It can help prevent the food from getting damp or dirty by hoisting it into the trees. It also keeps bears and raccoons out of it by keeping their food in the trees.
It’s not unusual to need your hammock for these things, but having the knowledge on hand is better than nothing.
- Make a ghillie suit to protect yourself from predators and prey.
- Fashion a sail from a nylon parachute.
- Catch the rain for clear water.
- Use as a signal flag.
Buy With Confidence
You can shop with confidence, knowing what you need, whether you’re going to enjoy an excellent book on a windy Sunday afternoon or are preparing for a survivalist getaway. Once you’ve decided what you’ll use it for, pick the best suspension technique, material, and size based on your needs. You may also consider whether you want to utilize it for anything else or if any accessories are appropriate. Don’t forget that hammocks need to be clean and maintained, which is not a deciding factor but should carry some weight in your final decision. Above all, have fun and enjoy one of the best pieces of recreational equipment ever invented.