Single or Double? Hammock Length and Width Comparison
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a hammock is length and width. For a home use casual hammock, like rope hammock or Brazilian hammock, you don’t need concern too much, just choose the larger size as roomier space is more comfortable for napping or sharing with families.
But for a camping hammock also known as backpacking hammock, usually in gathered end style, you should think twice and do some research before purchasing. Because how to sleep well in a hammock is an inevitable challenge every hammocker will face, and hammock’s length and width play a vital role in it.
In the rest of this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about camping hammock’s length and width.
Why length and width are important factors for hammocks?
Length and width determine whether you could sleep comfortably in the hammock.
When you lay in a gathered end camping hammock, the best position is sleeping in a 20-30 degree diagonal to the center line, which will allow you to lay flat to reduce knee and shoulder pressure. If the hammock does not have an ideal length and width in accordance with your height, you’ll either feel hard to lay diagonally which ends in a banana shape, or in a diagonal lay but swallowed by extra floppy fabric.
For a given length hammock, more width can grant you lay in a bigger diagonal angle which means more flexibility to a flatter lay. On the contrary, more length for a given width hammock, you could lie in a smaller diagonal angle to get a flat lay.
Does hammock have a standard length and width?
Due to different manufacturers have different designs and not exist a fixed ratio between length and width, you can rarely find the same dimension of two hammocks from different brands.
Hammocks on market often range from 7 to 12 feet in length, 40 to 80 inches in width. Normally, the wider hammock is, the longer it needs to be. If a hammock has enough width but is not long enough, it will be too tight to hang in a sag, eventually you will lie lengthwise like a peapod and the extra fabric is wasted.
However, nothing is absolute. Some brands like ENO has the same length hammocks but for different width. Its Singlenest and Doublenest series have the same 9′ in length, the former one is 4’10” wide while the latter one is 6′ 6″ wide. So, the extra fabric might waste for the doublenest model, and people will have a “floppy side” syndrome. I think it could consider adding more length in doublenest model for a more comfortable laying experience.
For most people, 10-11 feet long and 60 inches wide is a safe size to go, if you want to directly pick a hammock without any hassle, you barely find any problem sleeping in this size compared with others. And many advanced hammockers on hammockforums.net also consider this size as a “standard” length and width.
How to measure hammock length?
The exact way to measure a hammock’s length is laying it on the ground and pulling it taught, then measure the fabric length between two gathered ends, not including any suspension ropes or continuous loops.
However, some vendors use hammock body plus suspension length as advertised length on their spec pages, usually they won’t point out the measurement method. Actually, this is a commonly seen misleading phenomenon at online platforms, especially on Amazon. E.g, the 11′ hammock advertised on the page usually is only 8′ or 9′ for body length. While some sellers specifically point out whether the length includes the suspension straps or not.
For example, ENO Doublenest which I talked before is 9′ long on spec page and Grand Trunk Double Deluxe is 10’6″ on spec page, they both come with a short continuous rope with a carabiner at the ends. However, the 9′ is body fabric length for ENO; 10’6″ is the length measured from carabiner to carabiner for Grand Trunk, the actual body length is around 9’4″ though.
So, if sellers didn’t specify the measurement method for the hammock’s dimension, you’d better ask them clearly before purchasing, to avoid unnecessary length problem after receiving.
Single vs Double hammock, what’s the difference between them?
You might notice terms like “single” and “double” are often listed in the gathered end hammock’s title and description, they refer to hammock’s width rather than occupancy, and have no relationship with single or double layer fabric.
Single size hammocks are often wide in 4-5 feet, weight capacity range from 250-350 pounds; double size hammocks are often wide in 5-6 feet, weight capacity range from 350-500 pounds. Without doubt, the double hammock is spacious enough for 2 people laying together, it’s enjoyable for people to take a little napping or a short time resting with others, but you will definitely not feel comfortable sharing the hammock with another person to sleep overnight. So, single and double hammocks are both designed for one person to sleep according to people’s height and weight.
Brands like ENO, Grand Trunk, and Kammok all have single and double series for sale, when you are preparing to choose one from these hammocks, pay more attention to dimension and capacity spec, not only focus on the “misnomer” of the single or double name.
What size of the hammock should I choose?
At first, additional length is more important than additional width in a gathered end hammock for a comfortable lay. See the below youtube video for a detailed length and width comparison.
For most people just consider the length of hammock is enough, anyone height above 5’7″, choose an 11′ long hammock is fine, 10′ is optional but does need a little more adjusting to get into the sweet spot. For a shorter person, 9′ or 10′ long hammock is a good choice.
Most hammocks have a width range from 45″ to 75″, 60″ is the most choice for hammockers and it’s thought as a standard width. Some people prefer a greater width, because it can lay in a shaper diagonal and more sleeping positions allowed, share with friends when they want to join in, and transform as a chair to sit upright. While others go for a narrower width, due to it doesn’t have bothering floppy side fabric, access to a better surrounding view, and less weight for backpacking.
|5ft 7in or shorter||10ft||58-60″|
|5ft 8in to 6ft||10ft||62-66″|
|6ft to 6ft 4in||11ft||64-72″|
|6ft 5in or taller||12ft||72″|
Considering fabric panel construction of the hammock:
Except for the size, you’d better choose the hammock made of one continuous piece of fabric.
Some multiple color hammocks, like “Kammok Roo Double”, are made of three pieces of fabric sewn lengthwise. These three-panel construction hammocks have two seams on the body, you will feel ridge calf pain when lying diagonally, and two side pieces of fabric will dangle out as most tension is on the central piece.
Although it is not a big factor influencing your final choosing decision, if there is a one-piece seamless fabric, like “Kammok Roo Double”, personally I prefer the latter one.