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How to Choose a Hammock

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Hammocks might seem like simple little pieces of fabric furniture but there is a lot that goes behind the quality of a hammock. Pick the wrong one and you might end up hurting your back or worse, breaking your bone when you fall down from that considerable height.

But how do you differentiate between a good hammock and an ill quality hammock? You need to look for a few important features and these are the factors that determine the quality of the hammock that you are going to get to your home. Go through each one of them very carefully.

First we will be looking at the preliminary factors that you should determine about your hammock like..

1. Placement of the Hammock: Where are you going to hang your hammock?

You are buying a hammock and this means that you are going to place it somewhere convenient. But where is this going to be? Is it going to be between two trees or between a tree and a wall or between two walls/pillars or are you planning on using the ceiling for this?.

This is important because it will help you understand the kind of knot based or hook based hammock you will be buying. Also the length of the hammock you need. The following images will help you understand the difference between different hammock placements

a ) Hammock Between Trees

These need to be tied down on two ends

b) Hammock Between Wall and Tree
They need tying on one end and a hook on the other end.

c) Hammock Between 2 Walls

Such hammocks need two hooks on either side

e) Hammock on ceiling

Such Hammocks can be hanged in 2 types

  • Two sided hooks
  • Single point (ideal for hammock chairs)

2. Length: How Long Should Your Hammock Be?

Hammocks come in different length types. Depending on your usage and requirement, you will be picking the size you need. They are available in Single(M), Double use(L) and Family sized (XL).

Also, It is important to check the length and width of the hammock before you purchase one. Width of hammocks range from 4 feet to 8.5 feet, but 6 to 7 feet is good enough for a single user. As far as length is concerned, an 8 feet long model is good enough for a tall person.

3. Usability: How long will you be using this outdoors?

Everybody knows that Hammocks are outdoor furnitures and this means that they need to be protected and taken care of.

Hammocks made out of cotton can withstand mild to mid rains. But make sure you dry them almost immediately after they get soaked in rain. Improper cleaning could result in mould formation which will direct to damage of the hammock.

Now that you have understood your requirements on how you are going to place and use the hammock, let us move towards the part where you understand the different parts, types and features of a hammock that are important and to look for in a hammock.

a) Type of the hammock:

There are almost a lot of different types of hammock depending on their sizes, placements and most importantly, their build material. Let us look at each one of these hammocks briefly.

Rope Hammock – Rope Hammock is the basic hammock type made using cotton or polyester materials to offer stretching and support the body. These hammocks are lightweight, easy to maintain and ideal for warm climates.

The only drawback is that it absorbs the moisture and makes it more prone to mildew. To add on, hammocks               made of polyester material are more durable and can withstand at high humid levels, UV rays and winds.

Fabric Hammock – Fabric hammocks are made from cotton fabric with attractive striped pattern and colour prints. They are more durable and ideal for cooler climates. They even come with a pillow to support neck which is beneficial for elders.

Just like other fabric types, hammocks are low in cost and designed using dry materials, making it perfect for                the beach and poolside usage.

Camping Hammock – The lightweight and portable camping hammocks can be carried and setup easily in outdoors. You’ll get attached pockets to keep the food stuff, kid toys, swimsuits, etc. As it is made of nylon material, it is highly resistant to the growth of mildew and dries quickly when you return back to home from the holiday vacation. The major disadvantage is that it doesn’t offer much support than other hammock types.

Hammock Chairs and Swings – If you’re looking for a durable hammock that makes your travelling experience awesome then hammock chairs and swings are the best option. These are best for those who just want to sit and relax, read a good book or enjoy the breeze. It’s not meant for lying down.

b) Weight Capacity of the hammock:

A very important factor when buying a hammock, weight capacity of a hammock will also help you in deducing the quality of the product.

You are buying something that is about to bear the entirety of your body weight. Hence it is always a good idea to find something that has the capability to handle a bit more than the heaviest person in your household or your living quarters.

Certain hammock brands can withstand the weight ranging from 15-200 kgs of babies, toddlers, teens, youngsters, adults and elders. But, the weight capacity only refers to standing weight and not swinging or jumping. So, it’s important for an individual to check the capacity of a hammock before purchasing online.

c) Suspension System

Setting up a hammock requires a suspension system. Sometimes hammocks come with a hammock stand while some manufacturers sell the suspension system separately. Suspension system options include nylon ropes, synthetic tree slings, webbing straps, etc. It is best to choose a hammock that comes with multiple attachment points for better weight distribution and strength.

This is so because you never know when or how you are going to use the hammock when you take it out. For trees, a rope based tying system is ideal whereas for a  attaching it to the wall, you need a hook based system.

When you have a hammock with multiple attachment points, this will not only aid in the strength and distribution, but also in attachment to uneven or unlikely surfaces. Choose wisely.

d) Material

It is best to choose a hammock made using lightweight and breathable material which will keep you cool and comfortable while you relax in it. Under quilted hammocks are better suited for cooler climates.

Cotton material is mostly preferred than nylon by all the manufacturers these days. It is mainly because of the comfort options, and is washable too.

As most of these hammocks are used for outdoor purposes, make sure that they are also resistant to rain in someway or the other. As already mentioned, cotton based hammocks handle their own against rain but need proper care to avoid mould formation and thinning of the fabric.

Nylon and Other such complexly woven fabric are good bet against harsh weather too. Also, they have the ability to keep you warm and provide temperature too. But washing them and comfort while lying on them might be a little bit of an issue. These can be ideal picks for camping or hiking pack equipment.

e) Flexible Options

Flexibility is referred as the ability to use hammock in different ways like at pool side, garden, beachside, hill areas, home indoors, depending on your choice of interest. They come with side pockets, and pillows to match the customer requirements.

A hammock can be a simple one or it could have a lot more playable options. For instance, pool size Hammocks sometimes come with side pockets for you to store your mobile devices and wallets. Thus protecting them from any water based damage.

The same can be said about beachside, garden side and hill area hammocks. A few of those which come with pillows are garden styled and give you enough comfort for your sunny afternoon siesta.

f) Affordable Pricing

Prices do matters while buying hammocks online. Most of the high-end models come at expensive rates and offer decent performance and comfort throughout the usage. There are some basic hammock models too that are available at cheap rates. If you are willing to invest less on hammocks for your kids then go with the entry-level models otherwise opt for expensive brands that come with flexible usage options.

But remember the golden statement. “Budget Doesn’t Mean Cheap”. The major difference between cheap models and budget models is the quality. Cheap models of products try to give you almost every possible functionality for the product that their expensive counterparts give at a very low price and this often leads to very low quality.

Budget models, whereas, give you a few limited options. Options that could be covered within the price range. They may not be able to give you everything but they assure you of the quality of the product that they give you.

Now you know the difference between budget products and cheap products. Use this knowledge wisely.

g) Brand Reputation and Warranty Details

Finally, we end up the buying guide with brand reputation and warranty services. Once you have decided to buy the hammock online, look for the available brands that are trending now. Also, make sure the product manufacturer is offering warranty services and the service center is near to the home. So that you can replace with new hammock once it has got damaged.

The top-notch brands offer excellent warranty services that the cheap brands. Hence, it’s an individual choice to go with the brand vs quality that matches with the budget.

How to hang a Hammock Indoors and Outdoors?

Now that you have successfully brought home a hammock, the next part for you is to learn to hang the hammock. How are you going to do that? By reading the following procedure on how to hang a hammock.

Here, we are giving you two different methods of hanging. One is for indoors and one is for outdoors.

1. Outdoor Hanging

First of all, you need to decide on how you are going to hang the hammock outdoors. Are you going to hang it under a tree or between two pillars or walls.

Hanging on Trees:

  • Pick a strong and sturdy tree (or two not too distant trees if you are going for a tree to tree hammock)
  • For these trees/tree, examine and choose 2 lower branches which are strong enough to hold the entirety of the body weight. Make sure that these branch is lower and near the ground and yet is strong enough to hold the hammock.
  • Take the rope of one hammock and tie a loop(enough long so that the rope can pass through the loop. Now let this loop go around the tree and then through the rope loop you just made. And now pull it tight together, Just as shown in the video below.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNxoxxCObu8
  • Now tie the other end of the hammock to the other tree/branch in a similar fashion.
  • Pull down the hammock to test its strength and quality.

Hammock to the walls:

  • Pick a strong wall or two walls or two equidistant poles.
  • Place two hook holders on two sides of the walls and make sure that they are well stuck into the wall and there is no chance of the wall giving away.
  • Now fix the hammock hooks and place them on the hooks. Your hammock should look something as shown below

2. Indoor Hammocks

Hanging a hammock indoors is simpler. You can use the wall to wall method mentioned above or you could go with the hanging hammock method mentioned below.

  • Pick the place where you are going to hang the hammock
  • Make sure that there is no obstructions on the either side of the swing to rock around.
  • Also make sure that the height of the roof is good enough for the hammock to move about
  • Now fix an immovable pole or a parallel frame near the roof as shown in the figure below.
  • Now fix the hooks to the hammock and hang it to the frame as shown below.
  • Pull it once or twice to make sure that it is not breaking down.

Frequently Asked Questions?

1. How to choose a hammock stand?

Before selecting a hammock stand, consider the length of your hammock. Now add an additional 2 feet to this number. For instance, if your hammock is 12 feet long, then add 2 feet to that and it makes it 14 feet long. Now pick a stand that is 14 feet long. It will result in a comfortable sleep and rest.

2. How bad is it to sleep in a hammock every night?

There is absolutely no harm in sleeping inside a hammock every night. As long as you are feeling comfortable and rested. Infact, hammocks are known to be one of the best known cures for insomniacs. You feel rested and a sound full night’s sleep in a hammock.
However, if you are someone with a history of back pain, it may not be suggested that you spend a lot of time inside a hammock as it may aggravate your condition in the future if not now.

3. Can hammocks be supported by studs?

Metal studs may seem like they can support hammocks and (they do), they may not be able to support the weight when an individual takes to the hammock. It might get bent and broken. Hence always go for properly installed hooks or large eye bolts.  Wooden studs, whereas, are good bet if properly installed.

4. Are Hammocks Dangerous?

If properly used, they are harmless. But often, people tend to fix them incorrectly or buy cheap quality hammocks which result in the breakage of the hammock and in turn, they get injured during the process. So it is advised that everyone be safe and secure while using a hammock. Use caution and do not overload a hammock. Always fix it properly.

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