There’s a right and wrong way to summer, and the right way demands a strict regimen of relaxing, chilling, and kicking back. For high-wattage leisure time, the first thing you need is a high-quality hammock. Choose wisely, though, because nothing spoils an afternoon hang faster than a subpar man-sling. The best hammocks serve as outdoor slings for adults, where you can read a book, take a nap, or hide out from the kids.
When buying a hammock, you must, of course, like the way it looks and feels. However, the other two primary factors are desired setup and how and where you’ll be using it. Do you want something you can string up between any two trees, or will you need an independent stand? Along those same lines, will your hammock sway forever in your yard, or do you want something that can be compressed and carried into the backcountry? Depending on your answers, you might be in the market for a plush double-wide Cadillac of a hammock, a narrow ultralight papa-pouch, or something in between.
Another consideration is capacity (one or two adults). Like waterbeds, hammocks are sensitive to even the tiniest of movements, so think long and hard about whether you’ll be lounging solo or partnered up. (To note, most one-person hammocks can easily accommodate an average-size dad and at least one tranquility-shattering child.)
Finally, make sure you pay attention to everything included in the purchase. Most pouch-style hammocks can be hung in seconds via loops and carabiners; meanwhile, hammocks with expander bars (which hold them flat and open) sometimes require freestanding bases that are (sneakily) sold separately.
This minimalist hippie-style hammock is made from hundreds of high-quality cotton and nylon strings, intricately woven for maximum comfort and stretch. Since there’s no real form or expander bards dictating shape, it can morph and flex every which way, accommodating up to three cocooned adults or 440 pounds.
Lujo specializes in dangling displays of decadence, and this model uses beautiful Kwili hardwood, slick powder-coated aluminum, long-lasting Sunbrella fabrics and marine-grade components. There’s also a luxurious liner, a cushy head pillow and a built-in drainage system. Sorry, bed: you’ve been decommissioned. The weight limit is 550 pounds.
Think of this affordable yet handsome hammock as your new poolside oasis. It's got thick cords, so you don't flip over and remain balanced. There's a pillow where you can rest your weary head. It’s long and more then strong enough to support up to 450 pounds of suspended dad mass. If you’re going to pass out and pick up an epic sunburn, you might as well do it in style.
Leave it to the Scandinavians to make a hammock look sleek, sparse, and modern all at the same time. The Headdepleck cradles its guest like the palm of a benevolent giant, and the materials are designed to resist water, dirt, and UV rays. If you love the look but don’t have a place to hang it, add a matching stand ($400) to your order. The weight limit is 330 pounds.
Weighing just 16 ounces and packing down to the size of a grapefruit, this is the ultimate portable hammock. It's 9 feet long, with a 500-pound weight limit. And durability isn't an issue, since this is made from heavy-duty 210T parachute nylon.
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