The 8 Best Folding Hammocks
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in January of 2016. There's no better way to tell the world to leave you alone than to stretch out on a comfortable hammock. However, rigging one up can be a pain and often suitable anchor points are hard to find, dashing your hopes of a relaxing afternoon. These convenient folding models make setting up your chill zone a lot easier, as they come with integrated frames, so no ropes or trees are required. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 21, 2021:
The fact that the hammocks in this ranking require no anchor points not only makes them far more versatile, but it also means that you can position them in or out of the shade as required and helps ensure you are not dazzled by sunlight when trying to read or nap. Those selected for this ranking are tested to be durable enough to bear heavy weights over extended periods of time and repeated uses.
For our latest revision, we included the Giantex Portable, which looks like a horizontal camping chair, albeit with far sturdier construction, and we liked the tubular spreaders and plastic endcaps throughout, as well as its quick and easy eye-pin and socket assembly.
More traditional by design are the Tranquillo SSRS and the Ban Mai 2-Person, each of which has the folding steel frame and spreader bar configuration that is most common in folding hammocks, but with a couple of notable features. The former has a strong construction that can comfortably hold up to two people and has a particularly fine canvas material, which is supported by tough nylon string. The latter is characterized by its ball-bearing anchors that allow the user to swing freely without annoying creaks and groans.
Finally, we added the KingCamp Free Standing, which is one of the more imaginative designs in our ranking, as it supports the body from underneath the canvas, as opposed to from either end, and stands on a central pedestal constructed of strong aluminum alloy. The fabric itself is 300-denier ripstop material which is particularly tough and used in all sorts of rugged outdoor gear, making this one of the more lightweight and durable options available.
March 23, 2020:
Sometimes, you just don’t have the trees or posts required to set up a traditional hammock, and many of these handy folding models solve that problem by coming with frames that allow them to stand alone. Some allow you to swing freely – just like standard hammocks do – whereas others, like the Mac Sports Portable, resemble a durable cot in nature.
Today we added in a few more sturdy models that attach to their frames at all four corners. The Republic of Durable Goods Mock One is easy to pack and take anywhere, thanks to its light weight and a design that can be opened up and taken down in seconds. Its portability makes it convenient for camping trips as well as for use right at home on your deck. It also comes in handy indoors when you need an extra bed during sleepovers. The Fold and Go Travel boasts a fun striped design, and its mesh pocket underneath is useful for storing glasses, a book, a water bottle, and more when you decide to close your eyes for a nap. It comes with a convenient carrying bag and a pillow. The Pure Garden Portable is made of a soft, yet durable, canvas material and can be lifted easily to move from the porch to the deck to the side of the pool, as your mood dictates.
If you prefer a model with spreader bars, look to the newly added Patio Watcher 14-Foot, which is great for holding two people at once, as it can accommodate up to 450 pounds. Its bamboo spreader bars can be broken down when it’s not in use, making it both portable and easy to store. Note that while it does come with a drawstring carrying bag, this one does not come with a stand, so you’ll need to purchase one separately.
While it’s quite different from the others, the Chillbo Shwaggins still has been billed as a hammock, as you’re suspended atop this inflatable couch. No pump or wind are necessary; just swoop it to the side so it can collect air. A few swoops is usually all it takes, and a helpful instructional video is available from the manufacturer. It’s available in a variety of fabric patterns from the vibrant to the subdued.
In this update, we removed the Ivation Camping Swing, Kamp-Rite Kwik Set, Driftsun Portable, and Grand Canyon Gear, all of which are unavailable at this time. No matter which choice you go with, for safety’s sake, follow the assembly instructions carefully, and always supervise young children in hammocks.
Ozark Trail Steel Folding Hammock Chair Enjoy a simple, portable way to relax outdoors with this chair that features a comfortable padded seat and an easy-folding steel frame. It’s made with an extra-tough nylon fabric and weighs only 11 pounds. Just fold it up and insert it into the convenient carry bag for storing or taking on outdoor excursions. It can support up to 300 pounds and swings smoothly for hours of relaxation. walmart.com
However, once you safely wrap yourself in its embrace, you can kick back, relax, and even gently sway in the same manner you would with a tree-hung hammock.
Originally designed for sleeping, the suspended cozy nook known as the hammock has morphed into an imaginatively adaptable item over the years. Thanks to the infrastructure and creature comforts modern society affords us, most of us no longer require an airborne bed to protect us from infectious rodents and poisonous insects roaming the ground.
Instead, we use the hammock today to create a comfortable, outdoor oasis for resting or lounging, or as a tool to get some sheltered shut-eye when hiking or camping.
For those of you with a permanent location for your hammock in mind (a scenic clearing between two trees, for example), it probably makes sense to go with a classic, non-spreader hammock that must be tethered to something solid. If you have no trees or stable structures to anchor to, a hammock with a stand could suit your needs, as well.
That being said, the permanence associated with these options can be a major commitment; what if you want to lounge, nap, or even enjoy a full-fledged slumber wherever your mood takes you? If that’s you, I’d like you to meet the folding hammock.
Unlike standard models, these are designed with folding stands — many of which are detachable — that significantly enhance the hammock’s level of versatility without sacrificing much in the way of comfort.
When transporting it from place to place, you don’t have to worry about toting a tool bag with you for setting up and taking down your hammock; the process can take mere seconds, and you can probably even handle it in the dark. Once it comes time to move again, you can quickly break it down and stick it in a backpack or carrying bag.
As long as you choose a model with a reliable, stable frame, you can pop your folding hammock up on basically any flat surface you fancy. Similar to normal hammocks, you’ll have to be careful not to shift too much of your weight to the edge when you climb on — the structure may flip, and you could injure yourself in the process. However, once you safely wrap yourself in its embrace, you can kick back, relax, and even gently sway in the same manner you would with a tree-hung hammock.
Selecting A Suitable Model
One of the first characteristics to examine during your selection process is the hammock’s weight capacity, which is more important than it may at first appear. Think of it logically: the weight of the hammock and its components is aligned with the amount of weight it can support. Therefore, if you’re planning on hiking with this item frequently in tow, you’ll want to go with an option that’s close to the minimum weight capacity required to support you.
Think of it logically: the weight of the hammock and its components is aligned with the amount of weight it can support.
Of course, the materials that make up the folding hammock matter, too — in terms of weight, durability, and comfort. Many folding hammocks are designed with mesh or nylon to make them as lightweight as possible. However, cotton can feel a bit more comfortable in a cooler climate, and slightly heavier-duty canvas models are a nice choice if you may be dealing with some extreme conditions.
Before making a choice, consider the size, as well. Widths can vary significantly, with common one-person hammocks coming in as narrow as four feet and models designed to accommodate multiple individuals at more than eight feet wide. If you know you’ll be sharing your hammock with a partner, look for a nice, foldable two-person hammock.
You should also think about where you plan on using it. If you’re hauling it along on a hiking or camping trip, do you expect bugs to be an issue? Is rain — or, heavens forbid, snow — a serious possibility?
For insect protection, some models are constructed with an integrated screen, while others are treated with permethrin to repel those flying nuisances. If shelter from the elements is your main concern, some hammocks include a weatherproof tarp as part of the package. If the model you prefer doesn’t, you always have the freedom to buy one separately.
Speaking of the elements, you’ll want to ensure your new folding hammock is able to withstand plenty of long nights out in the weather. Not only do steel frames provide dependable support and stability, they’re durable and resilient. Something tells me you’ll be content enough to carry around an extra pound or two in exchange for the reassuring knowledge that your hammock won’t corrode and snap mid-slumber in the middle of the wilderness.
The Hammock: A History
The leisure apparatus we enjoy lounging in today may very well have originated in the Americas, as early Spanish conquistadores discovered hammocks woven from tree bark or plant fibers in Native American towns and cities. Eventually, the use of hammocks became widespread throughout Central America, South America, and Mexico.
To give credit where credit’s due, natives developed Mexican and Mayan hammocks several decades before Europeans arrived on the scene.
Christopher Columbus is credited for bringing a hammock from the Bahamas back to Europe, where Spanish and English locals adopted it as a new style of bed. It also became a core component of England’s Royal Navy in the 1590s, as officials used it as a space-saving alternative to beds on warships and other vessels.
To give credit where credit’s due, natives developed Mexican and Mayan hammocks several decades before Europeans arrived on the scene. In addition, the El Salvador hammock — born in San Salvador City — was a huge part of the native culture leading up to and during the days of colonization. Locals hung them from trees, in doorways, and even in living rooms, and often retreated to them for afternoon naps.
The Venezuelan hammock became popular outside of its native country in the early part of the 20th century. Initially created for protection from scorpions, snakes, and other dangerous creatures, non-natives appreciated it for its breathable material and protective netting that helped shield the user from insects.