Backyard Paradise: The 9 Best Hammocks

One of the oldest modes that humankind has come up with, short of sleeping on the ground, is the hammock. To this day, they are synonymous with total relaxation and long summer days lazing between palm trees as you guzzle Mai Tais and Piña Coladas. Hammocks are still an enjoyable way to spend Sunday afternoons napping or reading books, but they are also a cost and space effective way to travel in warmer climates and places where sleeping on the ground means awakening with unholy creatures sharing your bed or sleeping bag.

Picking one is not as simple as merely finding a net you can stretch between a couple of poles. They need to have the right structure so they don’t entrap you like a hunter’s snare. They need comfortable, resilient material to achieve Ultimate Relaxation. They must have a system so that you can get into an out of it without being dumped on your face. Accounting for all of these factors we offer you the 9 best hammocks you can purchase to watch the world go by.

Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock

Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock

Ultimate Camper: There’s numerous choices that offer you the option of mosquito nets or awkward coverings to help you pass a night in peace, but none of them manage to capture the spirit of a tent as well as the Blue Ridge. It has won numerous awards from camping and backpacking groups that agree it is easier to transport than a single-person tent and more comfortable than most other so-called “camping hammocks” who believe that adding a tarp is all that a camper requires. It has it’s own rain fly and interior netting to keep out whatever nature throws at you. [Purchase: $164]

Sky Tent 2

Sky Tent 2

Bunk Hammock: Technically this is a two-person camping hammock, but using it as such is amazingly awkward and likely to cause personal injury. The way the Sky Tent actually works best is for those that are in the wilderness and need to keep their gear close at all times. You can sleep in the lower segment while putting your equipment in the upper deck where it will be kept as dry and safe as you are. The climbing ropes that keep this thing in place are 770 lbs. test, so even if you’re yoked and carrying a satellite field radio, you’ll find the Sky Tent able to accommodate you. [Purchase: $120]

Urban Balance Wave Hammock

Urban Balance Wave Hammock

Relax Your Back: The basic design of hammocks isn’t intended for anyone with back issues. The low center caused by the hateful monster of gravity can leave anyone with a delicate spine in traction after just a few hours. For those that wish to enjoy the simple pleasures of a hammock without the searing spinal pain, there is the Urban balance. It is ergonomically designed to help keep your back in alignment. It is as close to a hospital bed as you’re likely to find suspended between two palm trees. [Purchase: $756]

Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest Hammock

Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest Hammock

Backpacker’s Best Friend: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’re probably already very familiar with the North Carolina based team at ENO. This portable hammock is a must have for any outdoor adventurer. Crafted from breathable, quick drying nylon with heavy duty triple stitched seams and outfitted with a pair of aluminum wiregate carabiners, this thing is lightweight enough to go anywhere with you, but still strong enough to support a 400 pound man with ease. Maybe you want to take in nature’s beauty with your significant other? No problem. ENO also makes a DoubleNest option just for the occasion. When you’re ready to hit the trails again, just pack up the 16-ounce SingleNest into its attached compression stuff sack for easy transport. ENO builds all of their products right here in America, which is just the way we like it. [Purchase: $60]

Flyebaby

Flyebaby

For the Kids: This is so cute it should come with an airsickness bag, but in truth it is very useful if you have any intent of travelling with a baby. It works with any airline seat and can be adapted to work in cars as well for those road trips when you don’t want to pull over just to feed a screaming kid. The real convenience isn’t even for you, it is for all the other passengers who will be happy you have a way to keep your child from crying. Perhaps not the most relaxing choice, but certainly one of the most useful. [Purchase: $50]

Fatboy Headdemock

Fatboy Headdemock

Multiple Partners: Hammocks are traditionally a one-person affair, but the Headdemock proves that doesn’t have to be the case. It is touted as being able to allow a whole family to rest and relax in it, but if that idea horrifies you it can also be used for a few very good friends who are looking to add a little lovin’ to their loungin’. The hardy steel frame can handle several hundred pounds of pressure while the cushy scoop provides a cloud of comfort to help you and your guests drift off happily. [Purchase: $500]

Adam Cornish Wooden Hammock

Adam Cornish Wooden Hammock

The Firm: It is hard to tell at a glance if this is a device for relaxation or something that is used on prisoners to force a confession out of them. Despite the uncomfortable appearance, the wooden hammock is extremely easy on the body, especially if you have back issues, chronic pain, or simply need more support whilst you lounge. It takes a little time to acclimate to so that your tailbone isn’t digging into the wood, but once you have found your sweet spot, you’ll never go back to your pillow-top mattress. [Purchase]

Eagles Nest Outfitters Blaze

Eagles Nest Outfitters Blaze

Winter Soldier: Hammocks are ideal for summertime, but not everyone lives on balmy islands or wants to spend their suspended time on sun-dappled beaches. Some people want to take the simple comfort of a hammock into the battlegrounds of Jack Frost. For these frozen fighters there is no option better than the Blaze. It uses an underquilt design to help retain as much heat as possible and has been temperature tested to just below freezing. When coupled with a proper thermal sleeping bag or blanket, it will keep you toasty warm better than any other option on the retail market. If you are looking for a good suspended hammock for the summer season, ENO’s SingleNest Hammock is also a great choice. [Purchase: $300]

Pawleys Island DuraCord Rope Hammock

Pawleys Island DuraCord Rope Hammock

Classic: There is nothing special about this particular model, except that it is the best at being just what it is: a net for pure relaxation. It is made from hand-woven DuraCord cotton and can be had in either one or two person models. The hanging loops are zinc and the wooden spacers have been treated multiple times with marine varnish so it can be left outside year round, though you can expect it to rot after a few years if you don’t take better care of it than that. If you aren’t looking for anything fancy, then this is the way to go. You can even buy a steel frame to make it free-standing if you don’t happen to live near trees. [Purchase: $179]

Baru Swing Chair

Baru Swing Chair

Honorable Mention: It’s a swing! It’s a bench! It’s a hammock! It’s a canopy! It’s all of them. The modern art-deco swing chair is geared to meet the needs of people that want one apparatus to do it all. It offers a retractable shade for fighting off the sunny glare and can be switched from comfortable hammock to comfortable swing in a moment. The overall design is inspired laziness that makes having a futon in your yard look glamorous rather than trashy. The one problem is you can’t buy it anywhere, but we thought it would be fun to tease you. [Details]

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