Hammock stands can be argued to be one of modern man's greatest inventions. They save us from the often-grueling set-up and maintenance associated with traditional hammocks.
Before the hammock stands, you were required to find a suitable area, install screw-in hooks, and then hope nothing went wrong. Nowadays, having an awesome hammock experience is as simple as selecting the right stand, so we'll be guiding you through that process today.
What are the best materials for hammock stands?
The first and most important consideration to be made when purchasing a hammock stand is the material your stand will be made of. The material of your stand not only determines its aesthetics and how well it fits into your décor but also, it's longevity, utility and, ability to withstand the weather.
Steel Hammock Stands
Steel hammock stands are an all-round, solid purchase for most environments. Typically, they are coated in a paint that makes them mostly weatherproof, although long-term exposure to the elements can cause this paint to chip, leaving your steel frame vulnerable.
Steel frames are also most often hollow, so you won't have to worry too much about them being difficult to move. Set up is also extremely simple since most pieces fit into each other seamlessly and are secured in place with relatively few screws.
Steel frames, when maintained properly, can last a really long time and are generally pet-proof except in extreme circumstances, so you won't have to worry too much about isolating your pets from your beloved hammock stand.
Wooden Hammock Stands
Wooden hammock stands, offer more variety of choice when it comes to aesthetic appeal than steel stands. Not only can you purchase stands made from a variety of hardwoods or softwoods, but each wood can be finished to fit your décor most appropriately.
Hardwood hammock stands do involve a little more responsibility than steel stands. Of course, while most hardwood stands are finished in weatherproof resin, it's almost inevitable that resin will peel or get scratched, leaving vulnerabilities. This being the case, you'll want to do the occasional check of your hammock stand, just to be sure that there are no gaping wounds in your finish.
If you find big scratches, you need to refinish your stand as soon as possible, to prevent excess exposure to moisture and temperature fluctuations. Leaving these vulnerabilities exposed will shorten your stand's lifespan. Two treatments a year are recommended for the best results.
What's the weight-bearing capacity of hammock stands?
Steel frames have notoriously good weight-bearing capacity, but it's always a good idea to double-check. Most standard single person hammocks can hold up to 250 lbs, so if you're hoping to share evenings with your special someone or have children who'd enjoy sharing, getting a 2-person hammock is a solid bet.
It goes without saying that steel, by design and composition, can simply bear more weight than a wooden frame pound for pound. That is not to say that wooden frames are necessarily poor weight bearers, however, the more weight you want your hammock to bear, the thicker and longer your wooden frame will need to be.
This won't be a problem for people who intend to simply "set it and forget it", but for those of you with the occasional bouts of adverse weather, moving a heavy wooden hammock frame can be an issue.
In exchange for reduced weight-bearing capacity, wooden frames offer a more "natural" comfort than steel frames. Wooden frames can safely flex under your weight in ways that steel frame joints cannot necessarily imitate.
Should I be thinking of a hammock chair stand?
Among us, there are a unique few who don't enjoy the soothing rocking of a hammock. At least - they don't enjoy lying down on a hammock but wouldn't mind the unique and comforting swinging sensation in the outdoors.
If you're among this group or are simply looking for a new option for enjoying your outdoor or indoor space, then a hammock chair stand could be for you. Hammock chair stands allow for all the comforts of a hammock, except from a relaxed sitting position.
This type of hammock stand has the added benefit of taking up significantly less space than a full hammock stand, so they are suitable for apartment balconies or small decks that may not have been able to accommodate a full hammock.
What hammock stand accessories should I look for?
Now that you've decided on what type of hammock stand you'll be using let's take a look at some accessories that can take your hammock experience to another level.
Keeping a taut hammock can be a minor or major comfort depending on how you look at it. If you've chosen a quilted hammock, then you likely already have spreader bars installed. Manufacturers often choose to pair these two since spreader bars preserve the integrity of your hammock's quilts for the long-term by keeping them taut.
The tension provided by spreader bars offers the added benefit of lumbar support for those who prefer a firmer mattress. One possible downside of a spreader bar is the potential for difficulty getting into or out of your hammock. The extra tension can sometimes make balancing the hammock more difficult.
Hammocks with no spreader bar tend to mold to your body well and provide more comfort for those who require a "cozy" feel when using their hammock. There are also no issues with getting into or out of the hammock, but there is also less lumbar support.
A suspension tree strap does exactly as it's name implies and allows you to suspend your hammock from a tree in lieu of a hammock stand. These straps generally don't cause any direct harm to the tree, unlike screw-in hooks would and are an excellent choice for taking your hammock camping or just for some versatility.
Unlike their indoor cousins, outdoor pillows are designed to withstand adverse weather conditions while maintaining their comfort factor. If you want an extra bit of "cozy" from your hammock, these are a worthwhile investment.
If you frequently use your hammock at night, for camping or just have an excessive evening breeze near the ocean, then an underquilt could be a good purchase. These nifty little extras prevent drafts from chilling you from the underside of the hammock.
Rain tarps can be an incredibly fun add-on for your hammock, especially if your area is notorious for rain at a particular time of year. Not only do these lightweight tarps prevent your hammock and hammock stand from taking excessive weather damage - but you also get to enjoy the experience of lying down outside in a shower! If you're a rain-lover, definitely consider giving this a shot and be prepared to bring your favorite tea or coffee and a good novel with you.
Living in a tropical climate makes a good hammock almost necessary, but evening time hammock use can come with a lot of unwanted guests, namely mosquitoes. A bug net can go a long way to making sure your evening hammock use is uninterrupted by these pests.
- Chair Springs and Other Spare Parts
Hammock repairs, while often simple, can be very niche. That means you won't necessarily be able to get the parts you need for a proper repair anywhere other than the manufacturer. Having extra parts on hand like hammock springs can save you a lot of headache and waiting if something goes wrong.