How to select the right camping hammock if you are a big guy

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Hammocks are one of the most sought-after camping accessories. So many people find hammocks more comfortable than tents. Yet, big guys always have some concerns when buying a hammock. Will it fit? Will it be comfortable?

This guide is designed to help you find the perfect hammock for camping.

Choosing the right hammock for your size


Hammocks are popular across a range of travelers. Campers, backpackers and scouting troops find the most use for hammocks. If you are what is traditionally defined as a big person, then it might be challenging to find the right hammock that can provide adequate support and safety. While there are a variety of hammocks for big guys, how do you select the right one?

The right length

One of the first things you must check is the length. Typically, length in hammocks varies more than width. Bigger or taller people should opt for hammocks that are longer than 9 feet or at least 9 feet. Otherwise, you will find no legroom. 


Width is also an important consideration. Most hammocks available in the market or online come in a range of widths from 48 inches to 4ft to 8.5 ft. Needless to say, for bigger guys, hammocks with a width of six feet or more are ideal to give a snug fit. Don’t make the mistake of buying too wide a hammock otherwise you may end up feeling claustrophobic as the material will wrap around you. 

Sturdy suspension

All hammocks come with a suspension system that typically includes straps that are attached to trees and something that attaches or links the straps to the hammock.  


Choose hammocks that have longer suspension straps with multiple points of attachment. The more the attachment points, the better you can adjust the hammock. This means it gives you more options of trees that you can use. 

Longer straps give you more capacity to adjust the hammock’s position. 

While nylon straps are fine, it is likely that they stretch a bit more if you are on the bigger side, so tie the straps higher on the trees.


Also, remember to buy tree-friendly suspensions systems. These are typically 0.75 inches wide or higher. It is better to look for suspension systems that are made of either polyester or nylon webbing. Ropes without webbing tend to damage the tree’s bark. 


Weight capacity is perhaps the most important feature to check. Typically hammocks come in a variety of weight capacities ranging from 150 pounds to 500 pounds. If your weight is over 280 pounds then opt for hammocks with a capacity of 400-500 pounds. 


This is only the static weight capacity. The impact of any rigorous movement like rocking or jumping will lessen the structural integrity and life of the hammock.

Is the hammock insulated?

What is the weather of your camping site? For summer destinations go for lightweight and breathable fabrics to enable free air circulation. For chillier places, you may want to buy hammocks with extra accessories like under-quilts, top quilts and sleeping pads. However, this will bulk up the overall weight and will be more expensive and less portable. 

Other measures

While camping in a tropical place or a site that is prone to bug infestation, get a hammock with bug protection. These come in different designs. For example, a 360-degrees screen model to deter the flying insects and permethrin-treated models to fend off crawlers and other bugs. 

When camping in an area infested with bugs consider getting a hammock with bug protection. Luckily, most contemporary hammocks offer a weatherproof tarp for protection against rains. Do carry the tarp for extra safety.


Are Hammocks better than Tents?

This is debatable.  Some big guys find hammocks more comfortable than tents. The other benefits include freedom from crawling bugs, and sharp stones in the rubble. Hammocks also provide a better sleep posture because they take your body’s shape. 

Let’s hope you find the comfiest, most sturdy hammock for yourself and have some fun in the sun. 


Comments (1)

Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE
KLSM CPA Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX
Strategic Accounting & Tax Solutions

While I don't think I've ever braved trying to get in one, thank you for thinking of others who may need guidance on how to purchase the correct product! Truly appreciated!

Apr 01, 2020 07:37 AM

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