What makes a hammock stable, or not?

What makes a hammock stable, or not?

Haven Tents Haven Tents
3 minute read

As a kid, nothing was better than playing in a tippy hammock. I remember pushing cousins to extreme heights trying to tip each other over… and usually succeeding.

Now as a fragile adult, my hammock goals are different. The perfect hammock should be:

1. Stable
2. Comfortable and flay laying
3. Easy to get in and out

If those are your same goals, read on. I’ll cover where traditional hammocks go wrong and what you need in your dream hammock. I’ve even made a video (with help of my kids) to showcase where camping hammocks go wrong.

As a rule of thumb, stability in hammocks comes from having the anchor points high above the sleeping platform. The bigger the differential between where you lay and where you are attached to the tree the more stable the hammock becomes.

Why does a hammock bend you like a banana? Labels for anchor points and sleeping platform

Unfortunately, there are consequences to putting the anchor points so high. Yes, you gain stability but now you are folded like a banana! To try to get the system to lay flat, most hammockers will pull the suspension tight.

With tighter suspension, the banana sag is reduced but now the hammock becomes unstable. Tricky to get in and just when you’re starting to relax. Flip! You’re on the ground. Great for kids, not so much for adults!

Camping hammock pulled tight but still sags like a banana.

Hammocks as an idea are amazing. In practice, traditional hammocks often fall short of our expectations. At Haven Tents we’ve done things differently. With our system, the anchor points are permanently fixed high above the sleeping platform. The tension is carried by two arcs down the sides, which suspend our flat sleeping platform (marked in red). So you have stability with a flat sleeping platform.

Lay flat camping hammock tent. With labels for anchor points and sleeping platform.

That covers the first two points 1) Stability and 2) Comfort. But what about access? Another major complaint about hammocks is that they are hard to get in and out of!

Again the suspension arcs of the Haven Tent system make ingress and egress quick and intuitive. You simply sit and lay. You can even use the ridgeline (the nylon strap going from hammock end to end) for support.

There are some variations like asymmetric hammocks and traditional bridges which address some of the issues with traditional hammocks. But I challenge anyone to find a hammock that is more stable, lays flatter, and is easier to get in and out of than the Haven Tent.

Finally, a hammock for our old tired bodies. And if you have a swing left in you… we can do that too!

Now time for adventure,
Derek & Wren... from Haven Tents
Dad pushed two laughing kids very high in a hammock.

🚨 Please do not attempt the super swing. All elements were tested beforehand and there were a lot of smaller swings that went before we attempted the super swing. Even then, please don't! 😅

« Back to Blog