This quick overview on how to choose a hammock will help you decide how to make the most of down time this summer.
How to Choose a Hammock
Hammocks have a tendency to hug your body, so you'll want the material to be comfortable. It's also important to make sure the material is designed for the hammock's intended use. Hammocks for lounging in your yard are often made using cotton rope or a tight cotton weave. While this is great for casual lounging, the weight and absorbency of cotton doesn't make it an ideal choice for camping.
Camping hammocks are often made from polyester or ripstop nylon. These materials are lightweight and can easily be packed down. Polyester and nylon also don't absorb water as much as cotton, so getting caught in a storm won't result in a soaked hammock.
This consideration isn't so much hammock positioning as it is body positioning within the hammock. Some hammocks hold you differently than others, so keep this in mind when making your decision. If you prefer sitting to lying down, look for a rope chair rather than a hammock. Some floating chairs hold you close like hammock, while others resemble more of a hanging camp chair (complete with a footrest!).
If you like lying in hammocks that encompass you like a cocoon, go for a camping hammock or one with material that bunches together at each end. Those who prefer their hammock lounging to feel more similar to lying on a bed should look for one with wood spreader bars. These bars at each end work to flatten out the hammock so it doesn't bunch and fold over you near the attachment points.
Will you be lounging solo or with a special someone? Most hammocks come in the variation of single or double, which are pretty self explanatory. Be sure to make note of the size and weight limitations, since this will give you the best idea of how the hammock will fit you and your lounging partner.
Hammock Attachment Points
The hammock itself is only half of the ultimate summer lounging equation. You will also need a hammock stand, which is often sold separately. Hammock stands come with the supplies necessary to attach the hammock to the stand, which is usually in the form of a clip and chains. Be mindful of the size of the hammock to ensure it will fit the hammock stand.
Camping hammocks require straps and hanging hardware so they can be attached to trees. Sometimes these hammocks come with hanging hardware, but this isn't always the case. Carabiners, hooks and durable rope or straps can all work to secure these hammocks to trees. Specific hammock tree straps and attachment hardware can be purchased separately.