What to look for when buying, and how to get in one without falling out.
Now's the time to plan for those lazy days of horizontal splendor in the grass. Our hammock-buying tips will get you going (and keep you from tipping over).
Rope hammocks, with their au naturel look and feel, are the hammocks of tradition. But rope hammocks are only one of the many styles now available. Whether you want a broad-stripe fabric hammock, a quilted-comfort one, or a rope hammock for two, there's something to satisfy your backyard needs. No matter which type you choose, the hammock should weather well and feel comfortable. Following are the different styles of rope and fabric hammocks:
It's not always easy to position yourself in a hammock. You can tumble in and tumble straight back out again, or you can hop in with the correct form and spend an afternoon in comfort.
Getting into a hammock is not the acrobatic feat people make it out to be. It's simply a matter of staying balanced," says Douglas Orians, vice president of marketing at The Hammock Source.
The best way to approach a hammock is to pull it underneath you, aim your rear end toward the middle of the hammock, then gently sit down. Avoid collapsing onto the hammock or making sudden, jerky movements. Instead, reach back with one hand and grab hold of one side of the hammock, then clasp the other side with your other hand. Slowly move your legs onto the hammock and lie down. Your weight will create a pocket in the hammock that will keep you from flipping out. This is especially true of rope hammocks. "Once you're in, you'll be engulfed like a pea in a pod," says Richard McCain, product manager for Algoma Net.
Once you're horizontal, scoot your body so you lie diagonally in the hammock. "If your body weight is distributed equally, you'll feel more of a cloudlike sensation," says Mark Zickel, co-owner of Omni Swings 'n' Things.
Orians says not to straddle a hammock and plant your bottom in the middle because you won't be properly balanced. You should also resist the temptation to sit on the edge of a hammock and try to lie back because the other side of the hammock will whack you on the head and probably dump you on the ground. "It's just a pure comedy scene when you sit on the edge," Orians says.
Stop children from climbing in feet first. Little shoes and hands can easily become entangled in the loose weave of a rope hammock, which is the quickest way for someone to flip out and eat dirt.