The 10 Best Hammocks
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in April of 2015. The image of a hammock strung between two palm trees on a beach has inspired countless trips to tropical locations. With something from our selection, you can enjoy the same relaxing swaying motion in your own backyard. We've included options that travel well along with some best for permanent installation on a deck or in a garden. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best hammock on Amazon.
Getting Yourself A Great Hammock
Also, consider the durability of the non-fabric hardware that accompanies your hammock.
This approach is certainly more hands on, but it helps to ensure that your hammock will last for years.
The hammock may be the quintessential symbol of summertime relaxation, but the hammock need not be a staple of the summer months alone: when hung in the right spot, a hammock can be enjoyed all year long, whether suspended near a fire pit, accompanied by blankets or, of course, if the hammock is hung indoors.
Choosing the right hammock, therefore, means considering not only where you will use it, but when. Start by considering the weather the hammock will have to face. Many hammocks are made with materials designed to resist fading and fraying that can result from long-term exposure to sunshine, but these same hammocks might not resist damage caused by rain and snow. Also, consider the durability of the non-fabric hardware that accompanies your hammock.
Look for spreader bars made from rust-resistant metals or for woods varnished to resist water damage if your hammock will indeed face such climate-related challenges. Alternatively, you could consider a hammock compact and portable enough that you can easily remove it when bad weather threatens and then rehang it when fair weather returns. This approach is certainly more hands on, but it helps to ensure that your hammock will last for years.
It's relatively easy to find a hammock that is suitable for comfortable use by one person, but it can be a bit harder to find a hammock suitable for shared use. If you and your significant other want to be able to share the hammock, or if you want a hammock kids can pile into, make sure you check the rated weight capacity of a prospective hammock, as well as its width. Look for a hammock that is at least 48 inches (or four feet) wide if two adults intend to share it.
As for weight capacity, many hammocks can safely support more than 500 pounds. Still others are rated at more than 800 pounds of support capability. In fact, often enough it's not the actual hammock you must worry about when considering payload, but the trees, beams, or stand to which the hammock is anchored.
Finally, know that at the higher price range, hammocks often come with stands, which help to make sense of their cost (and which certainly help you set your hammock up wherever you want). Lower-priced hammocks normally arrive without support hardware.
A Few Hacks For Hammock Mounting
If your hammock comes with a stand, then hanging it up is a rather easy affair. Simply follow the steps included with the unit, making sure that you construct the stand properly, and then hang and enjoy your hammock. If the process necessitates a do it yourself approach, then a bit more careful thought and effort will be needed. No one who has ever had a hammock collapse beneath himself or herself wishes to repeat the experience, so make sure you properly hang your hammock the first time.
If your hammock comes with a stand, then hanging it up is a rather easy affair.
If you are hanging your hammock in the classic style, namely between a pair of trees, then first make sure the trees in question are in good health and are of a sufficient size and strength to support the weight and tension you and your hammock will create. Try to use hanging hardware that won't permanently damage the tree, avoiding screwing bolts or hooks into the tree if possible. If you use a chain to wrap around the tree, consider encasing the links in rubber or wrapping a heavy cloth such as canvas or burlap, around the section of the chain that will be pressed against the tree trunk.
Using ratchet straps is a great idea whether you are hanging a hammock between trees or securing it to the beams of a porch or deck. These straps are strong, yet won't cut into wood, they are easily adjusted, and they allow you to quickly remove your hammock when it is not needed and then rehang it later.
You can make an ad hoc hammock stand with nothing more than a metal post, a bucket, and a bag of concrete mix. Dig a hole that will allow the bucket to sit several inches below the ground, then fill the bucket with the concrete mix and proper amount of water. Slide the post down into the center of the mixture and prop it upright while the concrete sets. Then bury the bucket (or buckets), pack down the earth around it, and let the land settle for several days.
If you want to hang a hammock inside, you absolutely must locate solid studs in your walls. Use a stud finder to verify that you have identified a solid wooden beam and then use a drill to create a guide hole for the hooks you'll soon be mounting. Make sure the drill bit you use to create the hole is narrower than the thickness of the hardware you'll twist into place, and be certain to use large hooks with wide threads intended for use in wood.
The History Of The Word Hammock
Hammocks have been used around the globe for untold thousands of years. In some regions, they are used as comfortable spots for rest and relaxation. In others, they are the primary spot for sleep. Hammocks have been used on tropical beaches, in dense jungles, in the holds of ships, and everywhere in between.
The simple design of a hammock and the wide range of materials suitable for their construction -- from wool to modern synthetics -- has made the hammock a perennially popular item.
Europeans came into contact with hammocks in the first years of the so-called Age of Exploration. None other than Christopher Columbus himself noted the unique hamacas in which many natives slept.
The name was derived from the Hamack Tree, which provided the bark often used to make these suspended beds. And the name stuck. It was no large jump from hamacas to the word we still use today in English: hammock.
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