How to pick the right hammock ?

FIRST LET'S DEFINE WHAT IS A QUALITY HAMMOCK

For string hammocks (Mayan or Mexican hammocks) there are 2 major factors to look at:

THE TYPE OF WEAVING 
  • The top quality Mayan hammocks are woven with each threads crossing four (4 threads). The result is a tight weave that will leave almost no marks on the skin. 
  • There are also hammocks woven Nicaraguan style (2 threads). This allow to make a big hammock with less material, so less expensive.
THE AMOUNT OF MATERIAL
  • The size of a hammock will depend greatly on those 2 factors. The type of weaving (tight or loose) and the amount of material used. The only way to measure this is by comparing weights. The heavier the bigger and the better.

As for fabric hammock the quality of the fabric itself is very important but there is no way to validate that on web stores. What you can look for are those 2 quality factors:

  • THE AMOUNT OF SUSPENSION STRINGS; The number of suspension cords contributes to the comfort and durability of your hammock or hammock chair: The more cords there are, the more even the distribution of weight – providing a feeling of utter weightlessness! it also means that the fabric ate the ends is less likely to rip.
  • THE CONSTRUCTION ITSELF OF THE EDGES; Cheaper hammocks have their edges stitched. Colombian hammock are made different; By doubling the weft threads, the selvage is reinforced, making it exceptionally tear-proof. 
      Easily damaged 8 strings                           27 strings                        24 strings with rope structure            Reinforced selvage
     

Hammock with or without the spreader bars ?

You might think that spreader bar hammocks are more comfortable but it is the other way around. Without these bars the hammock wrap around the body to give you the perfect fit. The only advantage of spreader bar hammocks is that the wooden bars keep them open for an easy in and out and a great look. They come as rope hammocks or fabric hammocks. Since the spreader bar hammocks are installed with less curve then for Mayan hammocks or Brazilian hammocks  they will usually require more distance to hang them. The spreader bars are made of hardwood with varnish. As for any piece of wood left in the sun you will have to care for it. A light coat of varnish every spring and your spreader bar hammock will last for years.

String hammock (rope hammock) ?

The string Mayan hammocks made with thin cotton yarn are the most comfortable. The weaving technique used by Mayan artisans for more then 700 years allow the hammock to stretch in all directions to adjust perfectly to the shape of your body. The feeling is compared to floating on a cloud. The Mayan weaving we prefer is called the "4 yarn" one. It means that every string crosses 4 other ones before being woven back. This allows for a hammock that will stretch much without big wholes in the net and this means less marks on the skin. This technique also produce hammocks that can hold hundreds of pounds. Although this type of hammock can hold many persons each cotton yarn individually is easy to break and will suffer from humidity.

For heavier usage try the JUMBO Thick cord Mayan hammock. The cotton used is 3 times bigger then the regular thin one. This XL Mayan hammock is perfect for the whole family.

The hammocks made with Polypropylene yarn will stretch less and are less comfortable. For more comfort we have developed with our weavers hammocks made with a thick braided polypropylene rope that will stretch enough to be more comfortable and that can stand rain and humidity, but that have to be protected from sun with a hammock saver. You will find those products (Mayan hammock and chair hammock) in the MORELOS collection. Because of the size of the yarn the Morelos can only be woven with a 2 yarn technique. to compensate we have them made so large that you will not have to stretch it at all. 

On a string hammock always BEWARE of buttons on your pants or shirt, jewels and never keep your shoes in a hammock.

When it comes to spreader bar hammocks we call them Rope hammocks. Here again the tighter weave of Mayan hammocks produce a better comfort then most American rope hammocks. American style rope hammocks are made with strings that are approximately 1/4" in diameter and the very loose weaving means large wholes . The strongest and most comfortable rope hammocks are the DE LUXE MAYAN and the CARIBBEAN hammock. Their micro-weave make them the tightest hammocks on the market and will not leave you with rope burns or marks on the skin. These hammocks stretch enough to be the most comfortable spreader bar hammock and will stand bad weather. The CARIBBEAN is soft as cotton and is our most luxurious and comfortable rope hammock.

Fabric hammock ?

Again fabric hammocks are available with or without spreader bars.

Without spreader bars, the fabric hammocks offer a great form of comfort and relaxation. This style of hammock originate from South-America where they have been used for many centuries. Beware when you see Brazilian style hammocks or chairs, this means that these products are made in another country, mainly China, and the quality is really not the same.

This style of cotton hammock is widely produced in Colombia. Colombian hammocks are very strong and comfortable. We import hammocks directly from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Our own Colombian hammocks are made with recuperated cotton. This cotton comes from leftover from clothing industries and is re-threaded in the same colour. This is new material and not recycling from used goods. This means no additional dying nor whitening and no negative impact on the environment. Colombian hammocks also have polyester added for more resistance to washing. The most Eco-friendly hammocks.

We also carry top hammocks from LA SIESTA also made in Colombia. I particularly appreciate the ones made with Hamactex, a fabric designed to stay outside all summer.

Colombian hammocks differ from the Mayan hammocks in that they are made of a thigh woven cloth and are therefore less cooling in the summer heat. However, they are great for cooler climates and mild weather use. Some people prefer those hammocks to a netted one when used by kids.

Finally the parachute silk nylon hammocks (travel hammocks or camping hammocks) are light, comfortable and easy to care. They are the best hammocks to carry with you at all time. The parachute silk nylon used by Trek Hamaca is of the best quality. The main difference with this nylon is that the hammock will stretch enough for a good comfortable night of sleep but will not sag so much that you fell lost in the bottom of a bag. The strong triple stitching is also an important difference between the Trek Hamaca camping hammock and other brands. We have seen hammocks that will stretch but not the stitching ending up with broken stitches all over the hammock and a loss of strength. Parachute silk nylon will let your skin breathes so the travel hammock or camping chair are comfortable even on a hot summer day. This material is also machine washable in cold water and will dry in minutes outside. The perfect fabric for travellers and outdoors enthusiasts.

Fabric hammocks with spreader bars  that we carry come from the USA. Since those hammocks are to be left outside under the rain and sun the quality of the fabric and the wood is very important. Beside the quality of the fabric the softness of it is also an important point to consider. Polyester or Textilene hammocks are generally stiff and unstable, not good for kids. Fabric spreader bar hammocks are either made with a single layer of fabric or from 2 layers with a poly-fill inserted in between. We have decided to offer only the best of these types of fabric hammocks. Our Glentuf and Sunbrella hammocks are made in a rural cooperative of Virginia.

And which fibre to choose for my hammock ?

Cotton is by far the most comfortable but has to be protected from bad weather. Cotton hammocks have to dry completely and it is recommended to store them after usage. Synthetic fibres won't stretch as much but can resist humidity. For those who want a comfortable hammock that can be left under the rain we suggest the Morelos Mayan hammock or the Domingo Colombian hammock. Most of them will last longer if not exposed to sun rays. To protect polypropylene hammocks from harmful sun rays pick a hammock saver.

SO !

  • You want a hammock to be installed inside ? You will install it outside but are ready to store it after usage ? Comfort is the most important thing of all ? No doubt that the cotton Mayan hammock will give you the most satisfaction. Furthermore they are the biggest and some can hold the whole family. If you worry about the thin yarn because of the kids or heavy usage, consider the thick cord Mayan hammock or a most beautiful Colombian hammock. In any case get true hammocks and not a copy from China.
  • You already know that you will leave your hammock out all summer? The MORELOS, AVENTURA and DOMINGO hammocks are your best choice. remember that the Morelos has to be protected from the sun. a perfect hammock for shady areas.
  • Your goal is to take your hammock with you (camping, trekking, cycling, travelling, etc) ? You want a kid friendly hammock that is machine washable ? you do not have the necessary 11' to 13' to hang other types of hammocks ? The parachute nylon hammock is your best choice. TREK Hamaca hammocks are the best.
  • If you prefer spreader bar hammocks any one we offer is great, considering that cotton ones will last less time then the synthetics.

THINGS TO REMEMBER:

  • Cotton hammocks are the most comfortable but they have to be stored after usage.
  • When using the great Mayan hammocks and chair hammocks beware of buttons on your pants and shirt or any sharp object.
  • Traditional rope hammocks with open weave are the less comfortable. The tighter the weave the more comfort.

For more information about colours, sizes, caring and installation tips:

Mayan hammocks : www.mayanhammock.hamacamaya.com

Camping hammocks (travel hammocks) : www.trekhamaca.com