When you imagine a hammock, you might just see a piece of material easily strung between two trees. Whilst this technically what a hammock is, there are a few more features that need considering before you buy one.
Hammocks are a lot more complicated than they look. Especially when you need to consider a stand (if no palm trees present themselves for use).
Portability is also an important factor to consider. You might assume that all hammocks are portable. But this isn’t necessarily the case.
There are many different types of hammocks that come with static stands. These might look portable. But they are really only intended to sit in your backyard.
So, to help you work through all these unexpected factors, here’s our guide to the best folding hammocks.
Need that relaxing rocking that only a hammock can bring ASAP? No worries, check out our top pick for the best folding hammock.
OUR TOP PICK
Our top pick for the best folding hammock is this compact hammock from Republic of Durable Goods.
It is perfect for camping and can be used in all weather conditions. This hammock is essentially an extended version of a camping chair. Which is exactly what you need.
While out on your trip, you won’t have to spend time looking for two trees to tie the hammock to. You can simply fold it out and have a relaxing spot to recline in within 60 seconds.
This hammock also has some practical additional features. One of these is a waterproof hood. This small hood can keep the sun out of your eyes. It can also stop any raindrops or leaves from falling on your face while you relax.
Despite its folding frame, this hammock still hangs in the traditional style. So you won’t have to compromise between the gently hanging support of a hammock and the sturdy support of a camp bed. This is the best of both worlds.
- Protective Hood - This will help to keep any raindrops or falling leaves off your face during the night.
- Very Lightweight - Even with the frame, this hammock is only 15lbs in weight. So it won’t add too much extra weight to your camping luggage.
- Storage - Beneath the hammock is a removable and easy to reach basket for storing your essentials.
- Slightly more expensive than other options - But this hammock is more impressive and has more accessories than the average.
This is a very simple hammock. But that definitely isn’t a bad thing. The last thing you want is to be confused and forced to spend hours trying to work out how to put together a hammock. That definitely won’t provide you with the relaxation that you need.
The frame of this hammock is made from a limited number of parts. The frame is a boat-like shape on which the hammock itself is hung. This is super simple and can be assembled and dismantled easily and quickly.
It also comes in a carry bag with a shoulder strap. This will make storing and packing it away with your other luggage much easier. This also means that you will be able to take it out and about with you. And you can set up wherever you like.
The shape of this hammock is solid and sturdy. But the hammock itself still hangs down on the frame. But, the hammock doesn’t hang in the same way as more traditional options. This hammock is flatter and shallower.
So this hammock won’t swing from side to side. It also won’t dip down in the middle as you lie on it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it is definitely different.
- Easy to Assemble and Disassembled - This hammock is one of the easiest to put up and put away.
- Includes Carry Bag with Shoulder Strap - Take this hammock with you wherever you go with the compact shoulder bag.
- Made From Nylon - This is a breathable fabric that will be comfortable in hot weather.
- Less shallow than traditional hammocks.
This is another fantastic product from Republic of Durable Goods. It is similar to the folding hammock cot that is our top pick. But it has a few important differences.
One of these differences is the overhead protection. At first glance, this hammock appears as though it is attached to a tent.
But, in reality this hammock actually has a very large waterproof tarp over its top. As well as the tarp, this hammock features a mosquito net. This mosquito net has an opening that can be zipped closed.
So, while it is a little different this hammock is almost a cross between a camping cot and a tent. This is great if you like quickly pitching up wherever you please.
That said, while this hammock is simple to fold up and pack away, it does come with quite a few parts. Most other hammocks simply require you to screw together a few poles and hang the material.
This hammock has multiple other pieces that require assembling. These parts do come with their own carry bags. This makes them easy to pack away. But there are a number of bags to remember, and they will take up space.
But, while these additional features are useful, they are not necessary for its overall construction. This camping hammock can be used as a standard hammock with only a small sun hood. Or you can choose to add the mosquito net and waterproof tarp.
So, you can happily hang out and relax during the day. And then add on the tarp and net to turn your hammock into a quasi-tent at night.
- Includes Waterproof Tarp and Mosquito Net - This hammock comes with the option of turning it into what is almost a complete tent. The waterproof tarp and mosquito net add an extra layer of safety and security to what would otherwise be a very exposed hammock.
- Hangs Like a Traditional Hammock - Despite its additional features and folding frame, the main material of this hammock still hangs in the traditional style.
- Includes Top and Under Quilt - The main material of this hammock is also padded and has a top quilt. Similar to a sleeping bag.
- More expensive than average due to additional accessories.
This hammock does need a little more work to construct than other options. But that doesn’t make it any less efficient or portable.
No tools are needed to construct this hammock. But you will need to screw some parts together.
So it’s not quite so simple as a hammock frame that can be folded in on itself. When you do want to disassemble it, however, you can easily unscrew the frame and pack it away.
This hammock comes with a neat shoulder bag that the hammock can be packed away into. This means that you can take it with you wherever you like. It also means that it can be quickly packed away if it starts raining, and you need to quickly get it under cover.
A nice feature of this hammock is that it is available in seven different patterns and colors. This is a great feature that is rarely seen for camping equipment.
Practicality is of course important. But adding some personality and some bright colors to your campsite is good fun. This hammock is, however, made from a cotton and polyester blend. So it is not waterproof.
- Available in Multiple Colors and Patterns - Add some color and personality to your campsite with a beautiful hammock pattern.
- Hangs Like a Traditional Hammock - This hammock hangs in the cozy traditional style. So you don’t have to compromise on comfort or feel.
- Double Hammock - Can fit more than one person.
- Includes Carry Bag - This hammock can be easily packed away into a shoulder bag and taken wherever you like.
- Requires construction with screwing.
The frame of this hammock needs to be slotted and screwed together. But this is a very easy process. You won’t need any tools or DIY skills to assemble this hammock.
This hammock is the most similar in style to the traditional hammock style. In fact, it has additional ropes on either end. This means that it can be tied at any height and can be tied tightly or loosely. But it also means that it can be tied between two trees in the more traditional style.
Although this hammock does need to be unscrewed, it can be easily packed away. The frame of this hammock is thick and sturdy but still lightweight. Every piece can be easily packed away into a shoulder bag.
This bag is waterproof and will be able to keep your hammock well-protected. It can be easily packed away with your other camping luggage. The waterproof bag is especially useful as the hammock itself is not waterproof.
Another nice feature of this hammock is that it is available in three different colors and patterns. These patterns are all brightly colored and will bring a cheerful pop of color to wherever you choose to assemble it.
This hammock is a little more expensive than other options of a similar style. But this is mostly due to its high-quality materials.
Made from 100% cotton, this hammock will be comfortable and very breathable. The cotton is of a very high quality and is wear-resistant.
So, while you will be spending a little more than average, it will be well worth it as this hammock won’t need replacing any time soon. So it will save you money in the long run.
- Includes Carry Bag - Easily take this hammock with you wherever you go.
- Easy to Assemble and Disassemble - The frame of this hammock can be quickly and easily screwed together and then collapsed.
- Additional Tying Ropes - The ropes on either end of this hammock can allow it to be tied loosely or taut. They can also be used to tie to a tree.
- Multiple Height Options - Choose between 6 different heights.
- Available in Multiple Colors and Patterns - Add a pop of color and personality to your campsite or backyard.
- Slightly more expensive than average.
Best Folding Hammock Buying Guide
If you’re looking for a folding hammock, then portability is going to be an important feature. Most portable hammocks are simply large pieces of fabric that are tied to two trees or a frame. This is great if you regularly go camping or backpacking and can easily string a hammock up.
But, this isn’t always a practical option. Nor is it really the most comfortable. As mentioned in the introduction, it can be difficult to find a hammock that is both portable and comes with a frame. Most hammocks with frames are intended to be static and left in a backyard over the summer.
The frames will usually be easily dismantled. But this will involve a lot of unscrewing and trying to keep track of small parts. This isn’t ideal for a camping or hiking trip.
They might fit well into an RV. But aren’t suitable for putting up and dismantling all the time. So, it’s really important to consider just how a hammock is assembled.
It’s also useful to find a hammock that comes with its own carry bag. Most folding hammocks will come with their own carry bag. Depending on the size, style, and complexity of the hammock, it might come with multiple bags.
This is fine if you’re heading off in a big RV with lots of space. But things can get a little difficult if you’re short on room and don’t want to be packing in lots of small bags.
So make sure to double-check how much space it will take up when assembled and when packed away.
Cots vs Hammocks
When looking for a folding hammock, you will likely have come across a lot of cots. These are similar to hammocks. But they are made from much tougher material.
So they do not hang as hammocks do. The material of a cot will cause you to lie flat, rather than to sag into the middle. This doesn’t provide the same cozy relaxation that a proper hammock would.
But, the reason why cots come up so often is that they are often easy to fold away. These are great for camping as it can be easily folded up. This is mostly because the material is tough so doesn’t need very much support.
A hammock needs a much wider and longer frame. This is because of the way it sags and hangs down. So it’s more difficult to find a hammock with a foldable frame.
But, there is a compromise. This can be seen in our top pick. This hammock is essentially a cross between a traditional hammock and a cot. It is ideal for camping as it has a frame that can be easily folded up and packed away.
But the main material is made from polyester, rather than a tougher material. This means that it has the portability of a cot but the comfort of a hammock. It is the best of both worlds.
Size and Length
When considering how portable and foldable a hammock is, it’s important to consider its overall size and length. It won’t matter how foldable a hammock is if it’s very long. This will still take up a lot of room when folded.
Size is another important factor to consider. Many standard hammocks are available as a single or a double. But this is very rare for folding hammocks.
This is mostly due to practical reasons. While it might be possible to squash two people onto a single folding hammock, it’s not going to be very comfortable.
Make sure to double-check the dimensions of a folding hammock both for when it is folded up and when it’s fully opened. The best option will be a hammock that can easily fold up and be packed away.
But that is also large and strong enough to support you when you’re lying down. If you are tempted by a folding hammock because it is cheap but looks rather flimsy, it is definitely not worth it.
For folding hammocks, a sturdy frame is even more important. This is because it will be moved about a lot. Each time the hammock is folded up, the pieces will be clanged and banged against each other.
So you’re going to need a hammock that can take a little jostling. Especially if it will spend a lot of time stored away in an RV or in the trunk of a car.
Is it bad to sleep in a hammock?
Not necessarily. You definitely shouldn’t be sleeping in a hammock every night. But for a few nights on a camping trip or just every now and again won’t do any harm.
The main problem with a hammock is that they do not provide very much support. They also aren’t as comfortable as your normal bed.
Are hammocks dangerous?
This depends on how they have been constructed. A folding hammock with a sturdy frame is much safer than a traditional hanging hammock.
This is primarily because it is much harder to put up a folding hammock incorrectly. It is difficult to properly and safely tie a hammock to trees.
But, if you know what you’re doing, then you should be fine. Even then, the only real risk is falling. Unless you like to sleep at an extreme height, this won’t be a bad fall.