Thinking of a relaxing hammock? There's more to it than you might think!
People don't usually think of buying a hammock as a difficult thing to do. Surprisingly, however, there are a lot of different options out there when it comes to hammocks, and they vary greatly in style, price, and durability. Depending on your needs, it's important to make sure you get the right hammock for you!
Basic Garden Hammocks
When we think of garden hammocks, we usually think of a rope hammock slung between two trees, and if that's what you want, that's what you can get. But it's important to remember that there are actually many choices for garden hammocks, and you need to think about your best options.
First of all, consider what sort of hammock you want. There are three main types: the chair hammock, hammocks with spreader bars, and banana sling hammocks.
Chair hammocks are just what they sound like: hammocks bent into the form of a chair, making for a relaxing sort of swing. They're a great place to chill out and relax but don't allow you to stretch out full length.
Hammocks with spreader bars are the most common. You'll often see them in stores. You can recognize them because they have a solid bar (usually wood or metal) on either end, keeping the hammock stretched out in a flat formation. These can be very comfortable and durable options since the bars keep them from sagging.
Banana hammocks don't have the spreader bars. The ends tie to a tree and your weight cocoons you inside the hammock. These are definitely the most comfortable hammocks, but over time gravity can take its toll and they can begin to sag.
In addition to type, watch for materials. The most common hammock materials are cotton, string, and nylon. Cotton is by far the most comfortable: string can press into your body, and nylon is uncomfortably sticky on hot days!
Many people avoid hammocks because they aren't sure how to use them, or they don't have large trees to support them. If that describes you, you may want to consider a hammock stand. A hammock stand provides freestanding support for your hammock. They aren't cheap (usually at least $100 for a good one) but they're well worth the investment.
You can also buy some hammocks with build in stands, or lightweight camping hammocks -- not as comfortable or durable as garden hammocks, but definitely valuable for relaxing at a campsite.
Whatever you decide, don't be afraid of these traditional summer pieces. A hammock is a perfect place to stretch out and float on a hot summer day!