Hammock Shopping Guide

Hammock Shopping Guide for Families

Have you noticed that hammocks are becoming more and more common in recent years? You may see them being used in local parks, along hiking trails, at campgrounds, at the beach, in a neighbor’s backyard, etc. But why are so many more people jumping on the hammock bandwagon?

It’s simple. They are not only fun, but they also come with some side benefits that can lead to a better life. And the best part? You don’t even need trees to reap some of those benefits! In fact, I have three hammocks hanging in my backyard and not one of them is attached to a tree. You can hang them from a hammock stand, deck poles, a climbing dome, the roof rack of two parked cars, etc.

Have we caught your attention? Good, read on for the benefits of a hammock, useful extra equipment, questions to ask when choosing one, and specific hammock recommendations from our team. We doubt you’ll regret adding a hammock (or hammocks) to your family’s adventure gear stash!

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A child reading a hammock overlooking a mountainous, forested view in the background

Benefits of a Hammock

Using a hammock has some surprising benefits, and you don’t need to be an outdoor enthusiast to take advantage of them. Here are just a few of the reasons we love to use our hammocks.

Lightweight and Packable

Most hammocks easily fold into a carrying bag and weigh just a pound or two. They can be tossed into your pack or car or added to your backyard or patio relaxation system. We often bring them along on camping trips or long hikes for some added relaxation, even if we don’t use them for sleep.

Easy and Quick to Set Up

Whether you use it for camping or backyard fun, one of the best parts of using a hammock is the quick and easy set-up. The most time-consuming part is finding the perfect spot for hanging. It generally takes just a few minutes for the actual set-up, which requires tying your tree-safe straps to a couple of trees and attaching your hammock.

Avoid “Ground” Issues

You won’t have to worry about the soggy ground, flooding, too many tree roots/ rocks at your campsite, an excess of ground bugs, hilly terrain, etc. You get to “rise” above these issues and comfortably swing into relaxation (see what I did there?).

Versatility

Hammocks are NOT just for sleeping. They’re for reading on the patio, keeping kids occupied during camp set-up, afternoon homeschool lessons on a beautiful day, relaxing on the beach, etc. With how easy they are to set up and how packable they are, the possibilities are endless!

Better Sleep in a Hammock

You read that right. You can get BETTER sleep using a hammock. The natural swaying motion of the hammock helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It also helps you reach the coveted deep sleep stage, leaving you feeling more rested once you wake up. This is partly due to the natural position of a hammock, which keeps your spine aligned and head elevated, reducing the pressure put on the joints.

A child reading "Pete the Cat Goes Camping" in a Wise Owl single hammock that is hung in a climbing dome.
Reading Practice is Less Stressful in the Hammock!

Hammock Accessories

Depending on how you plan to use your hammock, adding in some extra equipment can enhance your experience and keep you comfortable. Here are six useful extras to consider when planning your hammock adventure:

Best Hammock Stand

Finding trees that are close enough to hang your hammock can be stressful, and sometimes downright impossible. A portable hammock stand can solve that problem and allow you to take your hammock just about anywhere (including the beach!). I love the Kammock Swiftlet Hammock Stand because it can be used both as a regular hammock stand or can transform into a hammock chair. It’s super easy to set up and it’s compact and lightweight enough to not add too much weight to your load.

A Kammock Double Roo Hammock hanging in a Kammock Swiftlest Hammock stand with two Wise Owl Single Hammocks hanging on a climbing dome in the background.
Using the Kammock Swiftlet Hammock Stand and Our Climbing Dome to Hang Our Hammocks

I love using my Kammock Swiftlet Hammock Stand! I’ve taken it to the beach, camping, vacation rentals, and even use it in my own back yard since I don’t have trees that are close to each other. I love that I can put my hammock wherever I want it.

TMM Team Member Jami

Tree-Friendly Suspension System

Unless you are using a hammock stand, you will need some sort of suspension system to hang your hammock. Some hammocks come with tree straps, but many of the higher-end options require you to purchase them separately.

When choosing straps, look for ones that are at least 0.75 inches wide to help protect the tree bark. Thinner straps can dig in and damage the tree. Some straps (like the Kammock Python 10′ straps)have variable width webbing, which allows you to attach the wider webbing to the tree and the thinner webbing to your hammock.

Rain Tarp to Stay Dry

Don’t let rain prevent you from camping or relaxing in your hammock. A hammock rain fly (like the highly rated ENO Profly Hammock Rain Tarp easily secures above your hammock to keep you dry and comfy regardless of rain or snow in the forecast. Most hammock rain flies can also be used to shelter your gear, camp kitchen, or your dog. 

Underquilts for Sleeping Comfortably

If you plan to use your hammock while camping in chillier conditions, adding an underquilt will help keep you toasty warm. It’s simply a quilted material that goes underneath your hammock to help trap in heat. We like the ENO Ember Hammock Underquilt, which is built with 2 layers of synthetic insulation for a temperature rating of 40-60oF.

Top Quilts for Chilly Adventures

If hammock camping in chillier weather is your thing, you’ll also want to add in a top quilt (like the ENO Vesta Hammock Top Quilt) to protect you from the chill. A top quilt that is specialized for use in a hammock generally includes a footbox that can be closed in, while the upper portion spreads out like a blanket.

Bug Nets for Hammocks

If the only thing holding you back from buying a hammock is the fear of getting eaten alive by bugs, you’ll want to add this handy piece of equipment. Bug nets for hammocks (like the ENO Guardian Bug Net) attach easily to encase your hammock without feeling claustrophobic or obscuring your view.

A group of kids hanging in an ENO Double Hammock and using the ENO Guardian Bug Net  to ward off bugs
Using the ENO Guardian Bug Net to Ward off Bugs

How to Choose a Hammock

There are a plethora of hammocks on the market, so how do you choose the one that will work best for your needs? Instead of choosing the most popular option out there, ask yourself these questions to help you find one that best suits your needs.

How Do You Plan to Use Your Hammock?

There is a wide range of hammock quality and accessories needed based on your activity. For someone who plans to simply relax in the backyard with their little ones, an affordable double hammock with a higher weight max will do the trick.

However, if you plan to use the hammock for camping and backpacking excursions, you’ll want a higher quality option with add-ons such as a bug net and a rain fly. Generally, backpacking hammocks are lighter yet more durable and usually come in a single size to ensure all-night comfort.

There are also some quality, affordable hammocks that can be used for both camping and relaxation. If your outdoor adventures take you in various directions, look for a versatile hammock that you can buy accessories for, but doesn’t have an integrated system (it’s hard to hang and play in the backyard if the insect net won’t detach from the hammock!).

Young children playing in ENO and Wise Owl Hammocks that are stacked to save room

What Size Hammock Do You Need?

The answer to this question relies both on your intended use and your personal preference. You won’t find many backpacking hammocks in a double size since it’s difficult for two people to get comfortable in such a compact space during longer adventures. However, you can find plenty of casual-use hammocks in both single a double size variations.

For my family, my boys both have single hammocks so they can have their own space, while I have a double hammock so we can read books and snuggle together as a family. There is also the option to get a smaller, youth-sized hammock for little ones who don’t want to be swallowed up by extra fabric.

If you are a taller or bigger person, you may want to get a double for yourself so you have the extra room. TMM Team Member Jami’s 6’2″ husband prefers to use the ENO Doublenest as his solo hammock. Also make sure to check the weight limit in case you want to pile your family in for a snuggle session.

A woman snuggling with a baby in an ENO Double Nest Hammock
A Larger Hammock Means More Snuggle Room

Does Hammock Material Matter?

If you plan to use the hammock for backpacking and don’t want to be left on the ground in a torn-up heap, then yes, material matters. However, if you are using it mainly to relax in the backyard, it’s not nearly as important. Most hammocks are made of some sort of nylon material.  As you can probably assume, not all nylon is created equal.

Higher-end hammocks will list the specific type of nylon used along with a “denier” rating (or just D for short). This term denotes the thickness of the individual yarns that make up the material. A higher denier number means that the material will be more heavy-duty, but it will also be heavier. Lower denier values are lighter weight but have a higher chance of wearing out.

Hammock Shopping Guide – TMM Team Recommendations

Single Hammocks – Quality on a Budget

A single hammock is exactly what it sounds like, it’s built for a single person. Here are five options we recommend, whether you’re hanging in the backyard or going on an epic backpacking trip.

A quality hammock doesn’t have to be expensive. Both of the following hammocks are used and loved by various TMM Team Members. The best part? They are priced well under $100 while also being built to last.

Wise Owl Single – Best Budget Pick!!

The Wise Owl Single (also called “medium”) is one of the most popular hammocks for casual hanging. We use ours for relaxing in the backyard (I hang them on our climbing dome) or hanging around the campsite. We have a friend who hangs his in a naval aircraft carrier to catch some shut-eye between shifts. It was strong enough to last through an 8-month deployment, and he wore his combat boots while in it. They are very versatile!

Specs:

  • Price: $35
  • Dimensions (LxW): 9’ x 4.5”
  • Weight: 16 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Materials: 210T Rip-Resistant Nylon
  • Included Extras: Folds into an attached bag, strong carabiners, tree-friendly 9’ hammock straps.
  • Best For: Casual backyard hanging, sleeping outdoors on mild nights, hanging around the campsite

Pros: For an affordable price, everything you need for quick hanging is included (straps and carabiners). They also happen to be machine washable (just remember to remove the carabiners!).

Cons: The material may be able to withstand combat boots but be wary of sharp objects. A stray sharp stick tore a hole in one of ours during a bout of roughhousing (my kids are very rough on gear). The included straps are lower quality than others on the market.

A boy eating while swinging in a Wise Owl Single Hammock that is hanging from the posts on a deck
Wise Owl Single Hammock

ENO Single Nest

The ENO line of hammocks is popular among many outdoor enthusiasts for their affordable price and high-quality materials. The single nest is a great option for one adult or one adult with a small child (or dog).

Specs:

  • Price: $55
  • Dimensions (LxW): 9.5’ x 4’10”
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Max Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Materials: FreeWave 70-denier nylon taffeta
  • Included Extras: Stuff sack is attached to the hammock, attached carabiners
  • Best For: Casual hanging, camping, hanging around the campsite

Pros: The material is incredibly quick-drying, and it packs down to the size of a mango. There is now a bonus internal stash pocket in the stuff sack to store your phone or a drink.

Cons: The suspension system (tree straps) is sold separately.

An ENO single hammock hanging between two trees in a forested landscape
ENO Single Nest Hammock

Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock

They call this hammock a “starter” hammock for a reason. It is the ultimate no-frills option to test whether hanging around in a hammock is right for you. It’s super lightweight and won’t break the bank if you decide it’s not your thing.

Specs:

  • Price: $30
  • Dimensions (L x W): 9’6” x 4’6”
  • Weight: 12 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Materials: King Rhombic ripstop polyester
  • Included Extras: Attached stuff sack and carabiners
  • Best For: Casual hanging in the backyard, campsite, or along the trail

Pros: The material is comfortable and durable, especially for the low price point. It’s super lightweight, so it can be thrown into a hiking pack or car trunk for use whenever the mood strikes.

Cons: It does not come with a suspension system. The weight capacity is lower than other casual hammocks.

Best Hammocks for Sleeping – Backpacking and Camping

If you plan to mainly camp or backpack with your hammock, the following options (and their available accessories) are sure to keep you comfortable through the night without adding much weight to your pack or car.

Kammock Mantis Ultralight

The Kammock Mantis ultralight all-in-one hammock tent includes an insect net and rainfly for those campers and backpackers that prefer to travel extra light. It allows you to sleep under the stars without worrying about getting eaten alive by local insects or dumped on by an unexpected rain shower.

Specs:

  • Price: $250
  • Dimensions (L x W): 10’ x 4’8”
  • Weight: 3.06 lbs (including rain fly)
  • Max Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Materials: 100 % recycled GravitasX™ 40D diamond ripstop nylon
  • Included Extras: Removable bug net, rain fly, stuff sack, 10’ straps, stakes, carabiners, and everything you need to set up your hammock paradise.
  • Best For: Camping and backpacking, though the hammock itself is great for backyard lounging

Pros: It comes with pretty much everything you need for an epic hammock camping adventure. There are also some fun extras, such as a Stargazer panel in the bug net to enhance your nighttime view and built-in pockets to keep essentials close by. If you’re camping in chillier weather, they also sell sleep systems that work with this hammock.

Cons:  Some users found it difficult to repack everything into the provided stuff sack.

Warbonnet Blackbird

The asymmetrical design, spacious size, and integrated footbox make the original Warbonnet Blackbird one of the most comfortable backpacking and camping hammocks on the market. It also happens to have a built-in bug net, so you won’t have to fight the flying pests all night. There are a plethora of options for sizing and add-ons as well, so you can find what works best for your adventure.

Specs:

  • Price: Starts at $175
  • Dimensions (L x W): Unlisted, but fits users up to 6’
  • Weight: 26 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 275-400 lbs depending on the model chosen
  • Materials: 40D Dream-Tex Nylon
  • Included Extras: Integrated bug net, stuff sack
  • Best For: Camping and Backpacking

Pros: The shape and size of this hammock make it one of the most comfortable options for backpacking. Also, the bug net is integrated into the design, and there is a large inner pocket to store essentials. There are tons of accessories from Warbonnet that fit perfectly with the design including tarps, underquilts, topquilts, etc.

Cons: The straps (suspension system) are sold separately. Also, the bug net cannot be fully removed.

Hennessy Expedition Hammock

If you’re looking for a good all-in-one option that is a bit nicer on the wallet, look no further than the Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip Hammock. It comes with an integrated bug net along with a waterproof rainfly and a suspension system. This all fits in one stuff sack so you can easily keep track of everything.

Specs:

  • Price: $170
  • Dimensions (L x W): 10’ x 5’
  • Weight: 44 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Materials: 70d high-density nylon taffeta
  • Included Extras: Integrated bug net, rain fly, 10’ straps, tree-saver webbing, stuff sack
  • Best For: Camping and Backpacking

Pros: You get an all-in-one package at an affordable price. The asymmetric design makes for a more comfortable hang (especially for longer trips). There is also a gear pocket that slides right onto the hammock and stores out of sight, so you can keep all your essentials safe and close by.

Cons: Many reviewers stated that the setup is more complicated and time-consuming than other models. Also, the integrated bug net cannot be removed, so it can get in the way during casual hanging. The rain fly is also on the small side, so it is less useful during rain showers.

Hybrid Hammock Tent: The Best of Both Worlds

Haven Tent Standard
Haven Tent Standard

Haven Tent

If you’re considering a hammock but are hesitant to leave the lay-flat comfort of your tent behind, look no further than this hybrid hammock tent. For those who prefer to sleep on their sides or stomachs, this is a wonderful option to sleep comfortably while still being suspended off the ground.

Specs:

  • Price: $185 – $315 depending on the options chosen
  • Dimensions (L x W): 6.5’ x 2’
  • Weight: 6lbs, 15.5oz (including rainfly and insulated pad)
  • Max Weight Capacity: 285 lbs
  • Materials: 70d ripstop polyester
  • Included Extras: If you buy just the hammock, it comes with a removable bug net, straps, guylines, and stakes. You have the option to include a rainfly and insulated pad for an additional cost.
  • Best For: Camping

Pros: This is a seriously cool sleeping system that takes your tent comfort and elevates it. This is great news for people who don’t prefer to sleep on their backs. With the help of a few trekking poles, it can also be used as a bivy tent on the ground. It has plenty of pockets for storage within the hammock.

Cons: It is quite heavy, so you likely won’t be using it for a backpacking excursion. It has a higher price point depending on the options you choose.

A man and child in a Haven Hammock Tent hanging between two trees in a forested landscape.
The Haven Hammock Tent in Standard Size

Two Person Hammocks

If you’re looking for a hammock that provides extra room to snuggle up with your kids, significant other, pup, or you just prefer more space, consider purchasing a double hammock. Here are three options we own and love when we need a little extra room for space or family time.

Kammock Roo Double

This hammock is made from super soft, recycled fabric that is incredibly breathable and water-resistant. The larger size allows you to hang with a loved one for backyard naps or fireside stargazing. Paired with the Swiftlet hammock stand, this hammock can go just about anywhere!

Specs:

  • Price: $85
  • Dimensions (L x W): 10’ x 5’9”
  • Weight: 17 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Materials: 100% recycled GravitasX™ diamond ripstop nylon
  • Included Extras: Attached stuff sack, carabiners 
  • Best For: Backyard relaxation, Camping, fireside leisure

Pros: This hammock is incredibly soft and comfortable. The larger size allows for relaxation or story time with your kiddos (I can comfortably fit both of my boys in there with me). It can stuff down super small and fit in your pack for on-the-go adventures. They are environmentally conscious and made from 100% recycled fabrics.

Cons: It does not come with a suspension system, so the straps must be purchased separately.

A woman with two boys hanging in a Kammock Roo Double Hammock in a backyard.
The Kammock Roo Double is Big Enough to Share!

Eno Double Nest

All the greatness of the ENO Single Nest, but with room to cuddle. It’s durable enough to withstand the wiggles and giggles of little ones, yet still soft enough for family nap time. This hammock is also a great option if you want more room to stretch out or have a pet in tow.

Specs:

  • Price: $75
  • Dimensions (L x W): 9’6” x 6’4”
  • Weight: 19 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Materials: FreeWave® 70D Nylon
  • Included Extras: Stuff sack attached to hammock, carabiners
  • Best For: Camping, backyard relaxation, campsite lounging

Pros: The internal stash pocket in the stuff sack is a nice feature to keep your essentials on hand. The price is affordable for a high-quality double hammock. The material is breathable and dries fast. It packs down small (about the size of a grapefruit).

Cons: The straps are sold separately. The weight capacity is lower than some other double hammocks on the market.

An ENO Double nest Hammock hanging between two trees in a grassy field.
ENO Double Nest Hammock

Sea to Summit Pro Double

The Sea to Summit Pro Double hammock is another great option for people who enjoy sharing their hang time with others. The highly breathable material wicks away moisture and dries fast, so rain showers and water spills are no big deal.

Specs:

  • Price: $100
  • Dimensions (L x W): 9’ x 6’2”
  • Weight: 24 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Materials: 70 denier ripstop nylon
  • Included Extras: Ultra-sil compression bag and straps
  • Best For: Camping, backyard leisure

Pros: The stuff sack is large enough to fit the straps as well as the hammock, so you can keep everything you need in one compression pouch.

Cons: The included straps are thin and can harm the bark of the trees they hang from. However, you can buy thicker straps from them that preserve the bark and better adhere to the Leave No Trace principles. The stuff sack is attached in a way that you can’t use it for storing extras (drink, phone, snack, etc.) while you hang.

Hammocks for Kids

Buying a hammock that is specialized to fit a child may seem like a waste, but it does have some benefits. For one, they won’t be swallowed up in extra fabric (which can get uncomfortable and difficult to maneuver for little ones). If your kids are like mine, they like having something built just for them rather than something they can “grow into”. Also, they generally come with a smaller price tag, which is a huge bonus!

Here we have listed two popular kids’ hammocks on the market, along with a fun hammock swing that is sure to put a smile on their face during your next camping or outdoor adventure.

Wise Owl Kids Hammock

The Wise Owl Kids Hammock is a favorite of the Tales of a Mountain Mama Team by far. As with the single size for adults, it is made with quality materials, yet with a price tag that can fit most budgets. In fact, many of us commonly give them as gifts during kid’s birthday parties or family holidays. The smaller size is good for kids 3+.

Specs:

  • Price: $27
  • Dimensions (L x W): 6’ x 3’6”
  • Weight: 13 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Materials: 210T rip-resistant nylon
  • Included Extras: Attached stuff sack, 9’ straps, carabiners
  • Best For: Casual camping or campsite hangouts, backyard fun and relaxation

Pros: The weight capacity is high for the size, and it can withstand the rough play of children. The price is affordable enough to buy extras as gifts to promote a love of the outdoors to our tech-heavy kids. Also fits nicely in the team favorite Lifetime Dome!

Cons: The smaller length means that kiddos will grow out of it (some faster than others). If your kids are on the taller side, I would recommend getting the Wise Owl single size rather than a kid’s size.

Two children hanging in Wise Owl Kids Hammocks that are attached to trees in a forested area
Wise Owl Kids Hammocks

Grassman Kids Hammock

Very similar to the Wise Owl option, the Grassman Kids Hammock is built with the same material at a slightly lower price tag. The included straps are tree-friendly, and they come in colors that kids are sure to love.

Specs:

  • Price: $19
  • Dimensions (L x W): 6’ x 3’6”
  • Weight: 16 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Materials: 210T Parachute Nylon
  • Included Extras: 9’ straps, carabiners, and attached stuff sack
  • Best For: Backyard relaxation, campsite hangouts, casual camping

Pros: It comes with tree-friendly straps. Also, the weight capacity is high, even with the smaller size, and the price is super affordable.

Cons: As with other kid-sized hammocks, some kids may grow out of it fast. Also, some users commented that their kids fell out if they wiggled too much due to less material keeping them in place.

Hape Pocket Hammock Swing

This may not technically be a hammock, but it is super fun to use, nonetheless! It also happens to be incredibly compact and easy to take with you wherever your adventure leads. Even on a break during a long hike, this swing is easy and quick to set up, so you can allow your kiddos to have a little fun while you recharge.

Specs:

  • Price: $17
  • Weight: 10.6 oz
  • Max Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Materials: Recycled Polyester
  • Included Extras: Hanging straps, carabiners, and a storage pouch
  • Best For: Swinging in the backyard, along the trail, at the beach, or around the campsite

Pros: It folds up nicely to fit into a hiking pack or even a purse so you can take it wherever your adventures lead you.

Cons: Some users noted that the size of the straps can make it hard to find a pair of trees that allow for optimal swinging. Also, the seat is narrower than you’d expect, so adult supervision is essential.

A young boy hanging in a hammock pointing to something he sees on the ground.

Choosing a Hammock That Works Best for Your Needs

Whether you want a place for your kids to hang out and relax outdoors or a durable all-in-one hammock system for backpacking, you’ll find a highly-rated option on this list. With the various benefits of using a hammock and the versatility of use, you won’t regret adding a hammock to your gear stash (or maybe two or three)!

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Hammock Shopping Guide for Families

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  • Rebecca has lived in five different states in the last decade with her Navy submariner husband and two boys. A former science teacher turned home educator, she now focuses on exploring her surrounding area (currently Virginia Beach) with her family as much as possible before life sends them on another adventure elsewhere. Their favorite outdoor activities include hiking, kayaking, camping, and paddleboarding.

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