The hammock is a space-saving item that offers a way to relax while being suspended off the ground. Most hammocks require a method of suspending it from a tree or a rock when climbing to use them. Usually, this is done by wrapping the string around a palm tree or oak tree at one end, and then finding a way to suspend the other side of the hammock to something of a similar height.

The attraction of a good hammock is that it delivers a way to take the weight off the feet by lying down without needing to retire to the bedroom to do so. They’re easy to setup and take down again when the clouds in the sky are looking ominous.

In most cases, they need to be attached to trees or some other object to connect either end to, but a few products provide a self-supporting frame not requiring any external supports at all which some customers may find preferable.

The material and design for each hammock are entirely different. A traditional one is often made of twisted rope wrapped in a crisscross layout. The type of thick cotton used in these products is less comfortable than one made from polyester or another fabric. With that said, some people find the traditional design to be relaxing for their back, but this is usually people who are lighter so that the rope is not digging into the skin. For heavier people, a fabric-based hammock is probably a better bet.

With the fabric versions, these may use a quilted fabric or even a nylon parachute material which is ultra-light and portable. The lighter ones come in mini-packs that pack light for climbing, camping, backpacking, and other outdoor adventures.

The more luxurious, non-portable hammocks may come with a spreader bar that runs along the full width of the fabric forcing it to stay open. The spreader bar avoids the hammock wrapping around, closing up, and preventing the person from climbing onto it successfully. In a few cases, a sewn-on pillow extends most of the width of the hammock, at one end, to provide an even more comfortable resting spot.

The weight capacity varies from model to model, but it is often surprisingly high. Many products can often support a single user up to 275 pounds, with double models providing 450 pounds of support. It is important not to exceed the maximum carrying capacity to avoid injuring oneself.

Some models are designed for couples to use with a greater carrying weight capacity, wider fabric, and sturdy construction. These are better than trying to squeeze two people into a single hammock.

Depending on the material used, it may have a UV & weather resistant coating. The treated fabric is usually polyester, but other fabric sometimes has some protective properties too.

Hammocks are usually long enough to support a taller person who is 6 feet and over.

What’s Included with The Best Hammock

A hammock will come in its own packaging, usually either with string ties at either end to wrap around the trunk of a tree to secure the product in the air or a set of steel carabiners. A few hammocks have a spreader bar to assist them staying wide and flat for easy mounting. Depending on the design, a comfortable pillow may also have been sewn into the fabric with products not expressly intended for use by travelers.

A small bag to pack the product away is usually provided, particularly with travel ones designed to be lightweight and portable for backpackers.

What to Know Before Making a Purchase

There is a distinct difference between hammocks intended for use in the backyard and those to store into a backpack for travel adventures.

The ones for use locally tend to be bulkier, sometimes have sturdy bars to support their structure, and may have a self-supporting frame that doesn’t even require that they’re tied to a tree on either end.

Travel-oriented hammocks are usually made of nylon to keep them light. These will lack pillows and other niceties but fit into carrying bags that are easier to take on trips.

Other Considerations

The fabric used in the manufacture of a hammock is an essential factor in its comfort and appearance. A crisscross rope design is a basic hammock, but quilted fabrics are also used to make a hammock feel more like a suspended bed. The experience of lying on different materials while suspended in the air is entirely different with different fabrics used. The quilted versions are also likely to feel warmer on the skin than nylon travel hammocks.

Best Brands

Bear Butt, founded in September 2015, packs a lot of personality into their brand. Their multi-colored hammocks are just one example of the enthusiasm for their products.

Best Choice Products began in 2002 selling pool tables but later expanded into patio furniture, musical instruments, pet products, and hammocks.

Vivere sells wholesale outdoor products with a focus on expanding internationally.

SueSport, from Li Wei, is a sporting brand aimed at women. They sell various outdoor products including textured hammocks, armchairs, and bamboo baskets.

Yes4All, based in Anaheim, makes dumbbells, weight plates, colored fabric and hammocks, and TV wall mounting equipment.

What Consumers Say

Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:

Nylon hammocks: Ultra-strength parachute nylon hammocks are breathable and robust. The better nylon hammocks are triple-stitched to ensure durability.

Nylon weight: The travel hammocks made of nylon sometimes weigh less the 15 ounces.

Carabiners: Some products come with steel carabiners to secure them to a solid object instead of wrapping it around a tree.

Tree straps: A few companies sell optional tree straps as extras. The tree straps are usually stretchable, helping the hammock to reach between two trees successfully without breaking the straps.

Double comfort: Buying the widest possible double hammock is a good idea when two people want to use the same hammock. Usually, two people are squashed together in a double one.

Cotton warmth: The feel of cotton on the skin often feels warmer than nylon.