[This blog post is part of Trek Light Gear’s Sleeping In A Hammock series. If you came here first, you should definitely read the introduction to this series and find out what this is all about and why we’re doing it. Click the link above or right here!]

rope_hammock

To help you understand how to find the right hammock to sleep in (and why), I really need to begin by telling you what’s wrong with the hammocks that have led to so many bad hammock experiences over the years. If you live in the United States and had a hammock growing up or even had a neighbor with one in their backyard, chances are it looked a lot like the hammock in the picture to the right. Hammocks like this are not just found in the United States by any means, but I use the example because they have completely dominated the hammock market in the United States since their introduction.  Characterized by the wooden spreader bars at each end and a knotted rope design with widely spaced holes much like a cargo net, this type of hammock can be found from backyards to beaches and in countless paintings, photos, movies and Corona commercials.  This dominance of both commerce and culture has led them to become the accepted and definitive image of what a classic hammock looks like to most people (again I can only speak to my experience in the US, but I’m guessing the same applies to many countries).

As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, millions of people in Central and South America sleep in hammocks as their bed of choice every single night.  Yet outside of those areas and especially in the US, hammocks are generally thought of as a comfortable but momentary respite. Like your favorite recliner, lots of people I’ve spoken with see hammocks as a great place to spend some time after a busy day and maybe even take a brief nap in, but not as something they’d be eager to spend the whole night in.  Of course, since I started a business selling hammocks which I actively encourage people to sleep in, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the reason is for this disparity.  There are certainly cultural and geographic reasons, but I’m here to tell you unfortunate truth: you’ve been hammock brainwashed.

Thanks to the hammock image that has dominated our culture, what most people think of as the basic design of a hammock is actually vastly different from the hammocks that dominate Central and South America and have served as comfortable and healthy beds for 800px-Hammock_nap_on_patiocenturies (the hammock to the left is just one example of such a hammock).  In fact, the two defining characteristics that you’re likely most familiar with, the wooden spreader bars and thick rope construction, aren’t even present at all and you’ll see why they’re also the reason that the hammock you know and love is actually the least practical and least comfortable when it comes to spending any more than a short period of time in the hammock.  Once you realize how important these differences in design are, it will come as no surprise that there is such a huge disconnect in the way hammocks are perceived by people around the world and that the idea of sleeping in a hammock is generally met with so much skepticism in the United States.

Part I: The Leading Cause Of Hammock Fear (Or, Why Spreader Bars Are The Devil)

The hammock existed in its traditional forms for many centuries before the spreader bar was added to it,  so what exactly are they for and why were they added?  For starters, they function to keep the hammock spread open at all times and give it a flatter, more bed-like appearance than traditional hammocks without the bars.  The history is a bit hard to trace, but it’s generally understood that it was intended to make the hammock more accessible to the masses by making it flatter and more bed-like in appearance hammock_drawing(or, if you believe this story it was actually introduced entirely by accident because "hammocks are  hard to draw”).  If the popularity of the spreader bar hammock and its prevalent imagery in our art and culture is any indication, it was an extremely successful design change!   Actually though, this attempt to make the hammock look flatter and more bed-like for skeptical first time hammockers has to be one of the biggest illusions in product design history. Before the spreader bars were introduced the hammock didn't look anything like a flat bed on first glance, but once you got in you could stretch out, lay flat and most importantly, not worry about falling out.  It was the introduction of these spreader bars that turned the hammock from a stable sleeping device into a roller coaster ride that can easily spin, flip, twist and turn until you either wind up face down on the ground or manage to situate yourself (and anyone else still along for the ride) into a careful balance of weight, angle and a little bit of luck. That’s right, hammocks aren’t supposed to flip over and dump you on the ground, wemade them that way.

“I’ll fall flat on my face if I even try to get into that thing” – Too Many People

In 7+ years of talking to people about hammocks and asking many thousands of people if they’d like to lie down in one and try it out, I’ve observed a completely unexpected and unnecessary phenomenon: Hammock Fear.  I kid you not.  I meet more people some days who are afraid to get into a hammock than people who are thrilled to have a chance to kick their feet up and relax.  Not just jokingly afraid, some of these people are scarred for life and turned off by hammocks because they’ve been dumped out hard on the ground in the past (usually in front of other people which doesn’t seem to help).   To those of you living with Hammock Fear, let me repeat what I said above:

Hammocks Are Not Supposed To Flip!!!

falling-out-the-hammock

Regardless of whether you love hammocks or fear hammocks, this is a crucial point when it comes to sleeping in a hammock. If you have to worry about falling out of your hammock in the middle of the night or in the middle of your nap, you’re in the wrong hammock. You don’t stay still when you sleep in your bed and you’re bound to move around at times when sleeping in a hammock (although you’ll actually toss and turn much less thanks to a hammock’s lack of pressure points which typically cause you to shift around when you sleep on a bed or flat surface).  The last thing you should have to worry about when trying to get a peaceful and healthy rest in your hammock is that you’ll move a little to the side and suddenly find yourself having a quick meeting with the ground.

If I were to go out Family Feud style and survey 100 people for the words that come to mind when they think of a hammock, I guarantee you spinning, flippingor fallingout of them would easily make the top 10.   As you now know, those words shouldn’t even be associated with a hammock, but this hammock brainwashing has been going on for a very long time.  Keep in mind this isn’t just a hunch, it’s a conversation I’ve had with thousands of people over the years at various trade shows, music festivals and at our kiosk in Boulder.  I’ve seen so many people absolutely blown away when I show them that Trek Light Gear’s hammocks don’t spin or flip.  They’re so convinced that ALL hammocks flip, you’d think I just showed them how to get drunk without a hangover.  I even describe it in our marketing now as Trek Light Gear’s No-Flip™ design, because it was obvious that most customers identified it as an added feature rather than a given.  Of course, the inherent danger and instability is nota necessary evil required to enjoy a hammock and yet the hammock brainwashing is so strong that what’s perceived by most as a revolutionary new feature is really something that millions of people have been enjoying in their hammocks for centuries. (To be fair/proud, there are lots of aspects to the Trek Light design that make it even sturdier and more durable than traditional woven hammocks, but if you’re in just about any non-spreader bar hammock you should have a much more ‘balanced’ experience).

Hammock Time with Trek Light GearFor the casual hammock user, the benefits of having a hammock that doesn’t spin or flip are easily enjoyed even if you only spend brief periods of time in your hammock and never fall asleep.   Besides being a much safer experience, when you climb into a hammock that doesn’t spin or flip you can immediately relax in a way that you can’t do if you’re worried about staying balanced or centered.  It’s a lot like trying to get a massage or meditate while you’re still tensed up, you’re never going to get the most out of the experience if you aren’t able to completely let go and relax your body.

I’ll be the first to admit that the spinning and flipping was easily my favorite thing about a hammock as a kid and I’ll happily concede my ‘spreader bars are the devil’ point if that’s what you’re looking for in your hammock experience.  I’m also well aware that if you know what you’re doing you should be able to use a spreader bar hammock without falling and without necessarily having a bad experience.  But, you’re reading this because you want to know the healthiest, safest and most comfortable way to sleep in a hammock. If you want to get a good night sleep in a hammock and if you want to enter a state of complete relaxation without distraction, you need to break free of the hammock brainwashing, lose your nostalgia for the hammocks you grew up with and purchase one without a spreader bar (and make sure it’s designed to minimize or prevent flipping over).

Actually, the more I look at funny videos of people falling out of hammocks (very important research for this article) the more I’m beginning to think the spreader bar is not so much a design flaw but a practical joke passed down from generation to generation.  I mean, just look at that priceless picture above. I only wish we could call the unstable spreader bar hammocks by another name so it wouldn’t lead to so many cases of unnecessary Hammock Fear and Hammock Brainwashing.  Hammock Comedy, though, that’s something I can get behind…

I want to hear from you in the comments!  Share your stories of good or bad hammock experiences, step up to defend the spreader bar or just let me know what you think about this guide so far. Better yet, if you have any good pictures (or videos) of someone falling out of an unsafe hammock, send them in and we’ll include them in the post!

There’s lots more to come, next up we’ll explore more of How You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed with Part II:  The Human Waffle Effect. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

Seth Haber - Founder, CEO
Seth Haber - Founder, CEO

Over 15 years ago I started a small business with the goal of making the world a better place one hammock at a time. Thanks for reading and being part of this incredible community - never stop paying it forward.


62 Responses

lightningsymphony
lightningsymphony

April 12, 2017

I've been using a hammock for camping for years, since I moved to New Mexico. I now only take a tent in cases where I won't have anything to hang from (I don't like the idea of using my enclosed hammock as a bivy), or will be going car camping with the family.

This includes winter camping, where the hammock is much more comfortable because of the low volume your body has to heat, and you don't have to worry about clearing or pitching in snow. I've been quite cozy with an air mattress and a winter bag down to about 0F.

My favorite thing about camping in a hammock, though, is the set up and take down. So long as I can find the right trees, rocks or something, I can set up or break down in far less time than my friends with tents, much to their dismay. Even in pouring rain, I can get the fly up and be in my hammock, nice and dry, in a minute or two.

The only down side is stashing my pack – during a rain storm, I have to hang my bag with another strap after I've wrapped it in a large trash bag. But I am planning to get a larger rain fly so I can cook under it.

Low to zero footprint, amazingly quick setup, warm, comfortable, light in the pack… why would you not choose a hammock for solo camping? I mean, maybe you're afraid that bears will mistake you for a nylon tamale… ;)

Jane
Jane

April 12, 2017

If I remember correctly, the old spreader bars were curved so the hammock fit your body. My new hammock has straight spreader bars and it acts like a trampoline. I tried to sit on it and it slid out from under me. I landed on my rear, rolled backward over the metal bar on the hammock stand and hit the back of my head on the ground. I am really sore and leary of using my new hammock.

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

You know I will. :)

lightningsymphony
lightningsymphony

April 12, 2017

That's awesome news! I'll keep an eye out. Gonna tweet it? @sjv =)

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

It's always great to hear from readers of the blog who have fully embraced hammock camping. I couldn't agree more with all of your points. In regards to the problem of where to stash your pack, I haven't made any announcements on the site yet but you'll be happy to know we've got a new product to solve that problem that will be available for sale very soon!

The Hammock Angle: How To Relax And Sleep Comfortably In A Hammock, Even If You’re A Side Sleeper
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Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

I'm not familiar with the curved spreader bars, every one I've seen has been a straight wooden bar. Sorry to hear about your experience, especially with it being a brand new hammock. Hopefully this post will help someone before they make a hammock purchase and have a similar experience!

James wilkes
James wilkes

April 12, 2017

the post is great so far 
i am looking to get a hammock in the near future and cant wait to give it ago. my matress might be going out the window …lol

when i was little we had this hammock in the garden a cheap one £20 i think it was and it was a sheet pull so tight it was completely flat and the one night i got on to it with my sausages and mash and the whole thing incuiding the frame flipped over onto me and when my mum pull the hammock off me i peeled the plate off my face mash and sausages every where.

Sleeping In A Hammock: Your Complete Guide to Going From Hammock Fear to Hammock Love
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Paul Ptack
Paul Ptack

April 12, 2017

I just moved to the north west U.S. and was looking into getting a hammock again. It has been years since i was in one and forgot about the flipping over part. Thinking about it now i don’t need one like that. I have so many trees on my property i can just string it up from tree to tree. Thank You for the very helpful information!

Interview: Seth Haber – CEO of Trek Light Gear… « WildernessDave.com
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[…] […]

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Bill Milligan
Bill Milligan

April 12, 2017

I’ve been exposed to hammocks since the 70’s while living in Guadalajara and later with my many travels to the Yucatan, all without really appreciating just how comfortable, practical and interesting it is to sleep suspended in air. My fiancee is from Cacacas and turned me on to the Venezuelas hammocks which are a total delight to sleep or nap in. While not inexpensive ($200.00) they are still very cost effective for someone on a budget, and they provide superb sleep. In the Yucatan many bedrooms have one at the foot of the bed…this last trip to the yucatan (2012) made a believer out of me, and as soon as we got back to the states, we had one put in our bedroom and it’s great, especially if the legs are a bit rammy or you just need personal space…these could be marriage savers. I’ll never be without one now.

andman
andman

April 12, 2017

Thanks man, I appreciate the information and share your view on the hammock. I don´t understand the spread bar. Why? Who likes it?I recently bought a hammock with a spread bar (since they didn´t have anyone without spread bar) and fell out of it after 10 seconds. 30 minutes later my 3 y.o. daughter did the same. Do you think I could just saw it off? Is the design of a hammock with a spread bar strong enough to survive without it?

Alex
Alex

April 12, 2017

I grew with the correct type of hammock, we call it here ’’chinchorro’’ and venezuelans has been using it since centuries, it’s sad that in USA people grow up with such wrong idea of a hammock and it’s advantages.
The no-flipTM design really realley maked me laugh, the bar hammock illustration history was very interesting tough, I recommend you to look out las hamacas de tintorero (tintorero hammocks) they’re one of the best hammocks and are done in a very traditional way, I have one of those as a bed and it’s great!
Saludos desde venezuela! sonrísas!

Wyatt
Wyatt

April 12, 2017

my only fear of hammocks is that the bottom will rip open and leave me without a hammock to sleep in or my hammok letting my feet get cold. Other than that I trust my hammock at heights of 40 feet of the ground

Sean Rallis
Sean Rallis

April 12, 2017

You should be able to do that. I’ve bought hammocks and removed spreader bars in the past. Now, I just make my own hammocks. It’s easy to do if you can find a good strong piece of fabric and have a little bit of knowledge about tying knots.

Most hammocks have the ropes simply going through holes in the spreader bars. Removing the spreaders can be a pain in the ass because you have to cut it at every hole, being careful not to cut the hammock itself. But with patience, it can be done and the hammock is vastly improved when you’re finished.

Sean Rallis
Sean Rallis

April 12, 2017

I have been telling people for years exactly what you’ve stated in this article. When I tell people that the you should be able to toss & turn and flip around in a hammock with no fear of being “dumped” they look at me as if I have 10 heads and they all have Sarah Palin’s face. Then, I take a simple hammock I made out of a drop cloth from Home Depot and a few good ropes, string it up and jump in, and they are amazed. It saddens me that the general poplulation has seemingle forgotten how to make a simple device that mankind perfected shortly after it was invented hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. But the modern world has destroyed what a hammock should be.

I abandoned tents is lieu of hammocks for camping years ago. Now my camping pack is lighter, less bulky, and I can set up and take down my camping bed in under a minute without fussing over poles, stakes, and the like. All I need are 2 trees!

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Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Happy to hear it Draig!

Draig Schwarzman
Draig Schwarzman

April 12, 2017

I had just gotten a hammock mailed to me by a friend in China and at first I was baffled by the lack of those dreadful spacer bars.. After reading your article however I’m overjoyed that I ended up with a ‘proper’ hammock as I’ve had insomnia on normal beds for years and heard this was a nice way to sleep better. I can now say I am sleeping rather comfortably. (After getting over the fear I hooked it up wrong..!)

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Hey Brian! The shorter it is the more it’s going to limit the ability to get that nice hammock angle discussed in this series, which is what will allow him to sleep healthy and comfortable. If he’s not that tall then a shorter hammock may still fit him great but it’s difficult to say until he tries it and he can always outgrow it. My suggestion would be to go with a hammock at least ~10’ long – Trek Light Gear’s Double Hammock (http://www.treklightgear.com/catalog/pc/Double-Hammock-5p2.htm) is hands down the most popular and comfortable sleeping hammock that we sell. Just let me know if you have any other questions along the way I can help with.

Brian Powell
Brian Powell

April 12, 2017

My step-son has expressed an interest in sleeping in a hammock instead of his bed. We are very open to this idea and have been looking for possibilities. We are kind of stuck on how long a hammock we should be considering for his bedroom. How long is too long? How short is too short? Any insight you could provide?

Guest
Guest

April 12, 2017

Just out of curiosity, I looked up pictures of the Skipper and Gilligan in their hammocks – spreader bars!

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Glad to hear it! And thanks for sharing, I hadn’t seen that Lucy episode and just watched it – it’s a perfect (and hilarious) example of how unstable most hammocks are with the spreader bar design!

Guest
Guest

April 12, 2017

I came here to read about ‘how to get into a hammock’ because I’m watching the Lucy and Desi Comedy Hour on YouTube (‘Lucy Goes to Alaska’ episode). Lucy is trying to get into a hammock and keeps falling out and getting dumped on the floor. I was thinking, ‘There has to be a way to do it without getting dumped on the ground – Giligan and the Skipper had it mastered, after all….’ And here I found out how they made the ‘trick hammock’ – HUGE spreader bar. Your article is helping me get over hammock fear.

Priceless Is Right: Corey, We've Got A Hammock For You
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Christopher Andreae
Christopher Andreae

April 12, 2017

Seth – I’d change the title to ‘these aren’t the hammocks you’ve been told you need, but rather the hammocks you actually want.’ But that’s just one man’s passion for word smithing talking…and possibly a minor tranquilizer…

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Definitely. The stand we like using for sleeping in a Trek Light Gear hammock is called the Byer Vario stand and can be found from a number of online retailers, just search around for the best price!

Dev Vol
Dev Vol

April 12, 2017

We have a baby on the way and strongly felt the hammock for sleeping was the best way to go. I often find my husband and daughter sleep on the one ouyside for hours. So, we said why not ditch the beds and put the whole family in hammocks? Well, my concerns are the walls. Is it possible to use stands for these larger hammocks?

Emily
Emily

April 12, 2017

I grew up with a spreader bar hammock in my yard, so I got used to them. In fact, my sisters and I played on it quite a bit. We even used to stand up and “surf” on it, with one of us on each bar and the third in the middle (talk about dangerous! Or maybe it was good for our balance?). I wish I had photos, but I don’t think I do. We usually tried to sit down when our parents came outside, haha.

Now I’ve been considering getting a hammock to sleep in, but I don’t want a spreader bar kind, mostly because they are made of rope. We used to get our hands/feet/arms caught when playing, so I’m sure I’d probably end up a tangled mess if I slept in one, or at least with my hands and feet dragging down below me. Thanks for this site, it’s very helpful!

Nikole
Nikole

April 12, 2017

I think they changed the hammocks at some point because I remember Gilligan in one w/o spreader bars.

Gift Ideas For The Whole Family - Trek Life
Gift Ideas For The Whole Family - Trek Life

April 12, 2017

[…] by the idea of a hammock that didn’t spin or flip, didn’t rot or mildew, didn’t give you rope marks in your back, and could pack up easily.  I sold out of almost every hammock I had that weekend and […]

Takelababy
Takelababy

April 12, 2017

Four years now sleeping in a hammock. Haven’t fallen out yet. Easy to sleep on my side curled up or not quite flat out on the diagonal. They are so comfortable, falling asleep even if you don’t want to is the one caveat. Mine is hangs from cargo (J ) hooks with long screws into the wall studs.

Snuggly Jeff
Snuggly Jeff

April 12, 2017

Spreader bar hammocks like the Bear Mountain Bridge and Jacks R Better Warbonnet hammocks are vastly superior to any other camping hammocks out there. You can lay on your side in them. They will not tip over if you don’t flop around in your sleep like a psychopath. This article is just more generalizations and brainwashing on your part by spreading lies.

Dan50thAE
Dan50thAE

April 12, 2017

Good suggestion, but the title is a play on Star Wars’ “These are not the droids you are looking for!”

William
William

April 12, 2017

I’ve had hammocks for years. Back yard hammocks with and w/o spreader bars. For backyard relaxing and naps I like both. About equal. I’ve slept with arms and legs hanging over the sides. Never flipped out. I have been dropped to the ground a few times. Thats because I leave them outside in the weather and after couple years of rot they fall through. No big deal. I get another and get in.
I am getting into hammock camping though. I have a Lawson Blue Ridge hammock with spreader bars. For full night sleep, this is the only way to go. I had it at a caving festival of about 200 people. Mostly there was tents everywhere. Few hammocks. I had the only Lawson. I can’t tell you how many PICs was taken of it. Someone look & take a PIC and tell someone. They’d come take a PIC. anyway.. Hope the PIC posts i tried to send. I had it infront of a cave entrance. This thing is great.
I do have a question though. I find tons of info about hammock camping with the cocoon style hammock. Any info on this type? What is the hang angle for this type hamock? Still 30%? I think it would be tighter, not sure. Also.. I have a nylon tree wrap to protect the bark. I set up where I want and after a little while, I’m on the ground. This tree wrap is stretching. Can you sugest a product that will not stretch. Did not do this when I used rope. BUT, i want to protect the trees.

This Insane Archery Video Hides An Important Lesson Inside
This Insane Archery Video Hides An Important Lesson Inside

April 12, 2017

[…] thing we’ve done to make it they way.  They’re shocked to find out that all hammocks used to be that way and that it’s simply a return to the way hammocks were originally built – it solves a […]

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

To each his own – there is no correct or incorrect way, only opinions. Glad you found what works for you!

Spirit of 76
Spirit of 76

April 12, 2017

I’ve owned and slept on an off in a jumbo “Mayan” style cotton string hammock for nigh unto 25 years, mostly on warmer nights when I didn’t want to have to turn on the air conditioning. Just laying in front of the window fan would leave me nice and cool over and under. Usually slept on “the angle” so I could lay straight. Sometimes lengthwise with my feet on the edges so they could droop a bit instead of being pulled upward in the taut center. Occasionally widthwise. But I never really liked the relatively constrained feeling.

Recently, I went to an outdoor event in the city where they had a few hammocks strung up on stands to create a “tropical island” atmosphere. Rope hammocks with spreader bars. Oh, no, I thought, these will be terrible, thanks to what I had read before buying the string hammock. Then I got onto one and promptly went to sleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up, I realized I had been brainwashed the other way. I’ve always been told that spreaders were bad and always avoided them like the plague. It wasn’t the case. I felt quite stable in the hammock, never feeling like I was going to fall out. Slept on the diagonal, just like I always did with “classic” hammocks. Felt nice and flat and wide open, with none of the claustrophobic feeling. Now I’m considering making a new hammock using polyester or nylon mesh used in outdoor gear and – horror of horrors – evil spreader bars, maybe made from fiberglass tent poles. The mesh should allow me to avoid waffle effect and have high breathability unlike the parachute nylon hammocks, while the spreaders will keep the hammock spread out rather than wrapping around me.

It just makes me realize that as with most things in life, it’s best not to listen to the people at either extreme. As Bruce Lee used to say, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” Avoid the people who say their way is the one true way.

Christopher Amsden
Christopher Amsden

April 12, 2017

I am an avid backpacker, and switched from tent sleeping to hammock sleeping several years ago, and never looked back. I think the comment “generalizations and brainwashing on your part by spreading lies” is a bit harsh. Its true, spreader-bar hammocks flip over more than traditional hammocks. The bigger point is, the correct way to be able to lay flat while sleeping is the angled-position described. And I sleep on my side in my backpacking hammock all the time. Additionally, I can pack up my hammock in its own attached (small) stowe-pocket. No poles needed to pack. This is HUGE, as if I wanted to pack poles, I might as well pack a tent. I encourage folks to try hammock sleeping – you wont be disappointed.

lebalam
lebalam

April 12, 2017

Thanks for your suggestion, Christopher !

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Hi Jeff -The spreaders bar used in a bridge style hammock are very different from what’s being discussed in this post so I apologize if you misunderstood the message here. All the brands and styles you reference are definitely great for sleeping in and you’ll never hear me knocking them – everything above is referencing the standard, non-bridge, spreader. Bridge style hammocks aren’t the subject of this article at all and they certainly aren’t the devil!

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

It may be possible to remove the bars, but it sounds like difficult proposition. You’d be much better off getting a Trek Light Double Hammock, once you experience the made-for-sleeping design and feel the softness of the material you’ll never look back to your old hammock again! ;-)

rkas
rkas

April 12, 2017

So is it possible to remove those bars (with some careful sawing) and get a good result? :)

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

It sounds like you’re just looking to disagree here but I’m happy to do my best to clarify this for you: This is a blog and what’s written here represents my opinions (and those of any other authors). These opinions come from my experience of owning a hammock company the last 12 years and talking with tens of thousands of customers along the way about their own experiences. The content here, including the headlines, will never begin with “In my opinion…” because quite honestly that’s just poor writing and should be assumed. If you want to share an opposing experience or opinion here please do anytime! But focusing on attacking the original article here for sharing a confident opinion that you disagree with is a waste of my time and yours. Now go and enjoy your hammock, evil spreader bars or not. ;)

Spirit of 76
Spirit of 76

April 12, 2017

Interesting how there is no correct or incorrect yet you present your opinions in the context of “you’ve been doing it wrong” (page title) and writing “I’m here to tell you unfortunate truth: you’ve been hammock brainwashed.”

WithheldName
WithheldName

April 12, 2017

My experience years ago trying to sleep in a typical spreader-bar hammock several times was one of discomfort, soreness, lurching sways and wobbles, and ultimately flipping onto the ground. It sucked. I was done with it. I never got any lengthy or deep sleep on it. The most anyone ever seemed to get out of it was short periods of gentle rocking.

David Cate
David Cate

April 12, 2017

We use yukons for our scouting experience. I have vertigo and some nights, the motion that I normally love causes me some issues. I also worried about failling out but found the answer very very quickly – a single tent stake with a paracord line. attach to hammock (I attached to the bag – if you want a hole, have a seamstress put an eyelet in). I use a taut line hitch tied to the stake – if i want the motion – loosen the hitch – a little tighter stops MOST of the swaying. I will say that over tightening can cause some unwanted list.

ellee
ellee

April 12, 2017

Thank you for all the helpful info. I’ve purchased a double Mayan style hammock with a standard space saver stand for my bedroom. My intention is to transition to sleeping in hammock full time. While laying in a hammock is super comfortable, I have a serious problem getting out of it. However, I refuse to give up, so I went on a quest to find a solution, and here I am. A few things I’ve tried: hanging it as tight as possible; hanging it looser (I’m hitting the floor when in it); trying to pull myself forward while legs are out on both sides; trying to get out while in a sitting position, pulling back side of a hammock with both hands toward the center. I’m seriously considering the one with bars. I understand there is an issue with flipping, but maybe I’ll come up with some solution to prevent it. It’s no fun trying to get out of a hammock in a middle of the night to go to the bathroom… to no avail. P.S. I’m 5.7’ 150 lb (if it matters at all) Any advise?

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

You’re not alone in that experience jaymaster! Glad you’ve found some inspiration to give hammocks another chance – our Double Hammock (http://www.treklightgear.com/gear/hammocks/double-hammock.html) is our best-selling and most comfortable model, give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

jaymaster
jaymaster

April 12, 2017

Nice to see this thread is still alive, as I just found it for the first time.

I wanted to add my experience. We’ve had a spreader bar/net hammock for around 15 years on our porch, and I’ve slept in it many times (hundreds) with no problems whatsoever. Until one night a few months ago when I did…

I was just getting into it, slipped a little, and POW!!! I flipped over and slammed into the floor.

The next day I was in major pain, so it was off to the emergency care center. I was diagnosed with a broken collar bone. Boo, no more hammocks for me!

But now that I’m fully recovered, I’m thinking abut giving it another try. Thanks to your informative posts on the topic, I now know what to look for.

IN LOVE WITH HAMMOCKS – beDenver
IN LOVE WITH HAMMOCKS – beDenver

April 12, 2017

[…] I learned I may have chosen the wrong kind! Find which one is best and most stable for you “These Aren’t The Hammocks You’re Looking For: How You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed” by TrekLight […]

BkWdsDrftr
BkWdsDrftr

April 12, 2017

For anyone who owns one of the ‘devils hammocks’ & thinking about taking up the time-consuming task of cutting the spreader bars off – I suggest an easier solution that may even improve the design to a point where it works as it should. Using line or rope of the same strength, add a secondary tieout to each end of the hammock, tying a pair of lines, one at each end of the spreader bars and joining each pair to a common anchor point – exactly like the main tieouts. But with these secondary tieouts, anchor the lines down at ground level below the main anchor points. I suppose a picture of what I mean would help here, if it’s not clear what I am saying. This secondary tieout will prevent the hammock from spinning around the main tieout anchor points. Another method is to run a line all the way across, above the hammock. This will be done high enough to allow hanging a tarp at a decent height above the hammock.(you don’t actually have to hang a tarp if it’s not raining) Then add the secondary tieouts to the spreader bars but use the cross line for the secondary anchor point, to make a tent-frame of lines above the hammock. What the addition of these secondary tieouts achieves is to convert the spreader-bar hammock into a well-behaved ‘suspension bridge’ design instead of a ‘flippy flat teeter totter’. If you don’t like the idea of adding all these extra lines, then a third alternative is to change the shape of the spreader bars so that they curve upwards at each end and very importantly to also shorten the outer edge lines. This will make a basket shape out of the hammock, which will keep your weight below the hammocks axis. This will still be a somewhat tippy hammock, but at least it wont be quite as bad and should prevent any accidental rollovers as long as you stay down low such as while sleeping

Lace Thomas
Lace Thomas

April 12, 2017

Have you tried the Classic Serac hammock? I’ve been using it for some time now, and it’s one of those good quality hammocks that can surely be compared to the Hennesy’s, especially when it comes to setting them up.

Christopher Andreae
Christopher Andreae

April 12, 2017

oh, carry on then.

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