You know the drill. One minute you’re trying out something new and the next your other (better?) half wants in. That’s definitely what happened when my partner decided she liked the look of the hammock when I was practicing setting it up in the garden. That led me to wondering how much weight can a double hammock hold?
The answer is of course not straightforward. It will depend on the hammock you have purchased. But, the common consensus seems to be in the region of 400 pounds (181 kgs).
How Is The Weight Rating Calculated?
Every double hammock appears to have a weight rating and this is designed as the comfort ratio. The weight rating is set by the manufacturer after the hammock has been tested. It will be dependent on what material has been used to create the hammock and whether it has ripstop technology or not.
The weight of your hammock itself will not play much part in its capabilities at holding weight. For example your hammock could weigh 1 ounce and be made off cotton without ripstop. This will have a lower weight limit than a 1 ounce hammock made from nylon with ripstop.
The key is to know how much weight you’re going to put in a double hammock and then get one that is rated higher than this. There is a cool calculator that calculates the best angle to setup you hammock. Check it out here.
Will The Hammock Break If You Exceed The Weight Limit?
The weight limit is generally considered to be a safe zone. Most manufacturers will test the hammock until it reaches breaking point. At this stage they will usually deduct 10% or more of the amount to arrive at the recommended maximum weight limit.
If you go above this weight limit then your comfort level will start to decrease. It can also encourage the hammock to stretch which will affect future hanging and its lifespan.
But, as several manufacturers point out; this is a guideline. Life span and the use you’ve made of your hammock will affect its ability to support the maximum weight. It is also possible that the fabric is defective; you are always hanging at your own risk.
Of course, a properly hung hammock has almost zero risk of causing you injury.
Is It Comfortable Sleeping In A Double Hammock?
The best way to sleep in a hammock is diagonally. This spreads the weight and prevents the hammock from folding up round you.
However, when you add two bodies to a hammock you can find it difficult to get the correct diagonally spread; although sleeping in an X pattern may work but thrust me you won’t like that.
A little research seems to confirm the real issue of sleeping in a double hammock; you’ll get squished together no matter how hard you try not to. This will probably work well if you already sleep in a spooning position. But if you prefer a bit of space in your bed at home then a double hammock is probably not the answer you’re looking for.
You should also consider whether you regularly move round or even get up during the night. There is no way you can do this in a double hammock without waking your partner. They may not appreciate that!
It does seem that there is potentially more comfort if you sleep with your heads at opposite ends; but then you’ll be hoping that your feet or hers don’t smell!
Do You Need Extra Space To Hang A Double?
This is controlled by the same factors that a single hammock is. The trees need to be further apart than the length of your hammock. A double hammock doesn’t need to be any longer than a single so this distance is likely to be the same regardless of which hammock choice you make.
In terms of width there is also surprisingly little difference. While the double hammock is certainly wider than a single it is not so significant that you would expect a larger clearing for your hammock.
- Eno single nest hammock: (L x W) 9′ 4″ x 4′ 7″ (1 person hammock)
- Eno double nest hammock: (L x W) 9′ 4″ x 6′ 2″ (2 person hammock)
As always you’ll need to go by the size of your hammock to judge the distance from other trees and bushes. In general a few feet on each side is sufficient. Combine this with the width of your hammock and you’ll be looking at a width of approximately 9 – 10 feet.
The double hammock attaches in exactly the same way as the single version. This means it is easy and quick to set up. But, you should consider a ridgeline a must. This will help to ensure the amount of sag on your double hammock is the same every time; ensuring you are comfortable regardless of what position you choose.
Advantages Of A Double Hammock
A double hammock will accommodate the weight of you and your partner and with a little trial and error it is possible to find a comfortable position. It is likely that it will never be quite as comfortable as a single hammock but there are several other advantages that I’ve discovered:
If you are camping in colder climates or one of you is prone to feeling the cold then the shared body heat of a double hammock can really help to keep you both warm.
When you’re hiking weight is important. One double hammock and tarp will be lighter than two single hammocks and two tarps. This will make the hike easier and more enjoyable or free up weight and space for other items.
There is no doubt that it is more romantic snuggling together in your double hammock than it is sleeping in single ones. This is likely to be a big factor in your eventual decision. While it may see romantic, it’s better to opt for a tent in that case.
A double hammock is not designed to accommodate two people. A double hammock is wider to give more comfort to sleeping diagonally. I don’t recommend sleeping with two people in the same hammock. If you really want to I would recommend a hammock with a spreader bar.