The 6 best hammocks for backyards and camping

  • Hammocks are a relaxing way to rest in your backyard, at a campsite, or in the backcountry.
  • Factors in buying a hammock include tree access, outdoorsy features, and insect protection.
  • Our top pick, the Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost, lets you lay flat and only costs $40.

Hammocks have been used for literally hundreds of years, dating back to early indigenous Americans. They’re incredibly practical, lifting you off the ground to stay cool in the heat of summer and protected from insects or, in the backcountry, wildlife.

In the modern era, hammocks are often seen swinging in backyards, campsites, frat houses, and teenagers’ bedrooms. They’re prized for their comfort and for how easily they fold up for transport and storage when the R&R session is over.

Each hammock on our list shares a couple of key characteristics in that they hang from two fixed points (not always a tree) and support a person or two. However, that’s where the comparisons stop. Some hammocks are designed for comfort, others for light travel and to withstand the elements outside. Before you buy a hammok, it’s important to think through where you’ll use it, how you’ll set it up, and who might be sharing or borrowing it, which we go into in more detail at the end of this guide.

In the meantime, we’ve personally tested the majority of the hammocks on this list and can confirm – your life can only get better after a nap in any hammock on this list.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Here are our picks of the best hammocks:

The best hammock overall

wildhorn outfitters

The Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost Camping Hammock measures 11-feet long, so you can achieve an almost flat sleeping position when spread out on a diagonal. 

Pros: Long hammock for ideal sleeping comfort, easy to set up and adjust strap system, high-quality materials

Cons: Slightly bulky when packed, not made with ripstop fabric

Most hammocks feel great when you first climb in, your body feeling almost weightless as you ease yourself into a gentle curve and rock back and forth in the breeze. But when you’re ready to shift out of that initial position, you’re basically out of luck. That’s because many hammocks are only comfortably enjoyed on your back and in near-total (but blissful) stillness.

With the Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost hammock, you have the room and support you need to shift positions and move about as you search for that ideal arrangement of your body’s various parts. The 11-foot span of the Outpost allows you to stretch out fully, with room to spare for most people, and creates a nearly flat space when you lie in it diagonally — provided you’re able to secure the ends of the hammock tautly and far enough apart.

At 1 lb 10 oz, this isn’t the lightest parachute nylon hammock, but it’s still light and compact enough for use on overland treks or during climbs. The generous size and comfort of the hammock more than compensate for those few extra ounces. Speaking of ounces, the hammock is tested to support up to 1,000 pounds, though its safety rated at a maximum of 400 pounds.

Read our full review of the Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost hammock.

The best low-cost hammock

newdora hammock

The Newdora Parachute Cloth Ultralight Hammock weighs just 17 ounces, supports up to 600 pounds, and costs less than $30.

Pros: Very low cost, large weight capacity, lightweight and compact

Cons: Inferior rope included with hammock, no setup instructions

There are a lot of positive attributes worth noting about the Newdora Parachute Cloth Ultralight Hammock, but let’s get right to the point: This hammock costs less than dinner at a casual dining restaurant. It’s less than $20 (a bit more if you want the mosquito net) yet in terms of design and material quality, it’s far from cheaply made.

The Newdora Ultralight hammock is perfect for the hiker or climber who needs a place to snooze while taking a break from the adventure. It quickly sets up and is just as easy to take down and pack away, minimizing the time you spend making or breaking camp. At just over 1 pound, it doesn’t add notable gear weight, so you can bring one along even if you’ll spend the nights in a tent and sleeping bag and just want a spot to relax.

The Newdora Ultralight measures 8.75 ft long and 5.4 ft wide. Given those dimensions and its excellent weight capacity, two adults can share it for some cozy relaxation. If you’re going to sleep in this hammock, though, we recommend doing it solo. The attached stuff sack doubles as a handy pocket while the hammock is set up, giving you a spot for a headlamp, phone, snack, and so forth. Speaking of setup, that part is easy thanks to the included tree ropes and steel carabiners.

The best backyard hammock

best choice hammock

Thanks to the included stand, you can set up the Best Choice Products Cotton Double Hammock anywhere, no trees required.

Pros: Sets up anywhere, lightweight hammock and stand, all-season comfort

Cons: Not actually large enough for two adults, expensive, prone to tipping over with vigorous swinging

As the name suggests, the Best Choice Products Cotton Double Hammock is made from soft, woven cotton. You sink into the material, enjoying comfort and support ideal for an afternoon nap, a break from the yard work, or while disappearing into the pages of a great book. Add a blanket and this hammock keeps you warm and cozy in colder weather. It’s a good choice for summertime, too, as the breeze drifts over your stretched-out body.

Perhaps the best part about this hammock is that it comes with a modular steel stand. The stand can be assembled (or disassembled) in a matter of minutes and both the stand segments and the hammock tuck away into a carrying case.

That means you can set up this Best Choice Products Cotton Double Hammock in the yard, on the porch, at a campsite, at a tailgating party, or anywhere else you want — no trees, fence posts, or wall anchors required. As the stand is resin-coated to be weather resistant, you can also set it up in a permanent location.

Oh, and we also love the multiple color and pattern options. 

The best hammock for backpacking

Hummingbird Hammock

Weighing just 7 ounces, the Hummingbird Ultralight Single Hammock folds down to fit inside a pocket or bag.

Pros: Easy to set up, comfortable, durable, lightweight, compact

Cons: Pricier than similar hammocks

Several of our recommended products are ideal for backpacking but when you’re shedding as much weight as you can, the Hummingbird Ultralight Single Hammock is the best choice. It’s comparable to our overall pick in many ways but at $65, it’s pricey, which is why it didn’t nab the top spot. However, you can’t deny the lightweight and its military-grade build quality makes it very durable.

When we reviewed the hammock, our writer found it “much easier to carry than a bulky folding chair,” considering that it folds into a bag that’s smaller than the size of your palm. The size and weight are important if you’re doing a multiday backpacking trip.

Another consideration for using a hammock when backpacking: Due to the way it cradles the body, sleeping in a hammock is better for your spine than lying on rocky ground. Of course, a tent offers protection from the elements but when the opportunity allows, give a hammock a try.

Overall, the Hummingbird Ultralight Single Hammock is easy to set up. It supports a weight limit of 350 pounds, and there is an extra-long version of the hammock for taller folks (it adds 3 ounces to the overall weight) and a double version to fit two people (max weight is 300 pounds). And, the company offers a lifetime warranty. — Les Shu

Read our full review of the Hummingbird Ultralight Single Hammock.

The best hammock for camping

kammock roo double_final

Whether you want to hammock camp or just lounge at the campsite, the Kammok Roo Double packs down small for easy transport and is water-resistant, durable, easy to set up, and comfortable for two people.

Pros: Lightweight, water-resistant, packs down small, comes with lifetime warranty, fits two people comfortably

Cons: Hanging straps not included, expensive, a bit heavy for backpacking (18 oz)

Whether you want an angelic way to nap after a long, hot hike or to forgo your tent and hammock camp, you want a hammock that won’t retain heat and can stand up to the elements.

The Kammok Roo Double is slightly pricier than others on our list, but the durability and small details make it well-worth the investment.

It’s constructed with uber-strong proprietary ripstop nylon — ideal to hold up against all the wear-and-tear of many, many camping trips. The fabric is soft out of the box and treated with DWR water repellency, which means it’ll keep you cool on humid days and dry through lightly wet nights.

The Roo Double hammock is only 18 ounces, but can comfortably fit two people or one person and a dog (that ripstop nylon is also great against dog claws) with a 500-pound weight capacity. It’s also crafted with lot of thoughtful details, like fade-resistant treatment on the brightly-colored fabric and soft seams on the side so you can comfortably hang your legs off.

You can secure the hammock around basically any tree or pole with Kammok’s 10-foot Python straps, which have 20 daisy chain loops that make it easy to latch the hammock’s durable carabiners to, no matter the width of the tree. 

The only downside is the Python straps aren’t included and will cost you an extra $30. Plus, the straps and the hammock itself live in two separate bags so you have to take care to make sure you have both before you leave for your trip (I’ve made that mistake once or twice).

Note that if you want to save weight and money, Kammok also makes the Roo Single for one person (10 ounces, $70). But the Double is only $10 more, roomy to sleep in solo, and allows for versatility on future trips with friends or pets. — Rachael Schultz

The best classic rope hammock

hammock

For idling away the hours of a summer afternoon, there’s nothing like a classic woven rope hammock like the Pawleys Island Original hammock.

Pros: Classic style, large enough for two adults, weather-resistant components

Cons: Additional hardware needed for setup, rather expensive

The name of this hammock comes from Pawleys Island, South Carolina, where hammocks were first mass-produced in the United States back in the late 19th century. Not much differs between this hammock and the ones produced more than 125 years ago, too.

It features a double-woven bed made from more than 1,000 feet of braided cotton rope, solid oak spreader bars, and steel hardware. It has a few modern updates, too. The steel is zinc-plated to help it resist corrosion and the oak bars are dipped in a marine spar varnish to enhance their weather resistance.

This classic rope hammock is at its best when one or two people are lying on their backs and doing nothing at all, though reading a book and/or sipping a cocktail or glass of lemonade are also acceptable.

This style of hammock tends to be hard to get in and out of, and others might find the rope less comfortable than a solid weave or parachute fabric. But the nostalgia is real.

The open rope design is inarguably ideal for a hot day as it promotes excellent airflow. This hammock belongs strung up between two elm trees in a suburban backyard or between two palms on the beach. Mine currently resides in the yard of its third residence, the hammock having moved around Southern California and then clear across the country with me.

The best hammock for insect protection

g4free hammock

The G4Free Portable Hammock with Mosquito Net creates a safe, insect-free shelter, keeping you protected from the nuisance and the real dangers of bug bites.

Pros: Protects the user against insects, versatile design, low price point

Cons: Not comfortable enough for multi-day use, netting rips easily

Bug bites and bee stings are up near the top of the list of things that are no fun. While most insect bites are merely annoying, causing an itch or a bit of pain, mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus, dengue fever, malaria, and more can be serious, even deadly, issues.

Whether you’re traveling to an area known for endemic insect-borne diseases or you’re just tired of having flies buzzing around you while you try to relax, the G4Free Portable Hammock with Mosquito Net is a great solution.

The hammock itself is made from smooth, supportive parachute-style nylon and generously accommodates a single adult user. Two hoop-shaped wireframes hold the insect netting up and out of the way, creating a large interior area in which you can sit up and move about without constantly touching the mesh. The netting can also be detached and moved out of the way when not needed.

The materials used to construct the hammock, mesh, and the supporting roping are all mildew and rot-resistant, making this insect shelter hammock a great choice for use in jungles, on beaches, and in various tropical locations. Your back might protest after multiple nights of sleeping in it, though, as it does dip noticeably when in use.

What to look for when buying a hammock

Hammocks are amazing for any leisurely outdoor experience, whether in the backyard or backcountry. But what you want in one is entirely different for those two situations.

We tested models from some of the most well-respected hammock makers in the industry for all types of lounging experiences. But there are a few key things to consider before deciding which to buy:

First, who will be using the hammock? Every hammock has a weight capacity and size capacity, so consider the size of the single person, or if you’ll want to lay in it with your sweetie, regularly. 

When will you use your new hammock? This issue is a bit more nuanced than you might think. Sure, saying “I’ll probably use it on Saturday afternoons” might be the right answer, but you should also consider the season (temperature and insects can be factors in choosing) and if you will be using the hammock overnight.

Where you install the hammock — will you use it camping in the wilderness or only on the patio beside the pool? Is it going to be hung in the basement playroom or in a bedroom? Will you want to set up and take down the hammock frequently and in various locations, or leave it as a semi-permanent installation? Not only do these allow you to select the right hammock but make sure you’re getting the most out of which one you ultimately decide on. 

Finally, how will you use your hammock? Is this purely a leisure investment or if you want to get into hammock camping. The latter you can also use in your backyard, but you can’t take, say, a rope hammock to a National Park and expect to get a good night’s sleep in it. Many are designed for specific use cases and using them improperly can significantly impact the experience. 

Read the original article on Business Insider