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How To Set Up A Hanging Hammock Chair

Hanging Chair - Hamaca Cayo Cupcake

How do you hang a hanging chair? What is the correct height for a hanging chair? Don’t worry Cool Hammocks is here with all these answers and more in our blog post – How to hang a hanging chair! 

Denim Hanging Chair
Very Relaxing – We had some hooks installed in the RSJ

What is the Correct Height for a Hanging Chair?

There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer to offer when you’re trying to find the correct height for a hanging chair. Each model has a unique dimensional profile which you must consider. Additional variables, such as the weight of the person who will sit in the chair, must also be part of the equation.

Most people prefer about 40 to 50 centimeters of leg space when they use a hanging chair. Add this figure to the overall height of the product to reach the correct height for the installation.

The difficult part here is that the materials for a hanging chair typically stretch a little bit with use. You may want to account for this issue immediately by giving yourself a few extra centimeters of space. It can also be an adjustment that you make later on.

Hanging Chair – Video has music!

How to Install Your Hanging Chair Correctly

There are three hanging styles from which to choose when installing your new chair: pivot, swing style without spread, or swing style with a spread bar.

If you incorporate a spreader bar along the top of your chair, it will allow you to hang it in smaller spaces because it reduces the size of your anchor.

The minimum distance for the swing style hammock chair is 44 inches, while the maximum is 84 inches. If you incorporate a spread bar, then the max. recommended distance is 66 inches between the hanging points.

Then secure your chair to where it will hang. You can choose a tree branch, a hook from your ceiling, or an overhead beam above an outdoor patio. Make sure that the structure can support your full weight before use.

Then remember the correct height for the installation, and you’ll be ready to have some fun!

Relax in a Hanging Chair
This looks EXTREMELY relaxing!

You can read more from the Hammock Heaven Blog by clicking here! Click here to see our full range of Hammocks and Hanging Chairs by clicking here

How To Hang A Hammock. A Guide With 14 Easy Tips. 3 Is The Best.

Hammock Fixing Kit

A 10 minute read

Read The Ultimate Guide To Easily Hang Your Hammock So It Is Secure And Comfortable.

You can listen to Henry(7) and Winston(9) read this article so that you don’t have to!

Firstly, relax! It is not difficult to hang up a hammock. If you have a decent hammock and use suspension equipment which is suitable for your chosen location, then it will be quick and easy to make yourself a bed in the sky.

The basic principles of hanging a hammock are as follows:

  1. You need two supports strong enough to carry all the people in the hammock.
    • The main tree trunk of a living tree is almost always strong enough. Branches are more risky. I would always go for the main trunk unless it is a really substantial tree.
    • If it is supporting a house, then it is probably strong enough. You can attach hammocks to interior walls or to the support for a pergola. The wall of a standard British garden shed will probably not be good enough. Fence posts are risky. You will know if it is strong enough. 
    • Street furniture is usually designed to withstand plenty of abuse. We have hung hammocks from posts at train stations, public railings and sign posts before.
    • The tow-bar or roof rack or your vehicle can make a useful second post. The tow-bar is often low to the ground, so that will usually only work if the topography is correct. Roof racks and roof bars should be carefully assessed on an individual basis.
    • It is possible to rig up a bi-pod with a guy rope pegged into the ground for one end of the hammock. This would be most suitable for a 1 person hammock, as it is not the strongest solution, but it does solve the ‘two-tree problem’.
  2. You need something tall enough to hang it from at a comfortable height.
    • If you look at all the photos of people laying in hammocks when they are between trees, you will see that the rope is at about 30-45 degrees. So depending on the hanging distance , extend that line upwards and outwards to your hanging point. I usually find myself attaching my ropes to a tree at about head height.
    • When we set up the hammock for children, we usually have it as low to the ground as possible. That means that when they fall out, nobody gets hurt. So you can take the hanging height into consideration. Remember that a brand new hammock will stretch a little on it’s first few uses, so you will want to leave some room for adjustment. It will also hang lower to the ground with more people or heavier people in it.
  3. You need to fix it to your supports in such a way that the attachment gets stronger when there is more weight in the hammock, but can be easily undone when the weight is removed.
    • An example of this would be hanging the hammock from simple S-hooks. It is very easy to remove the hammock from the hooks when it is empty, but when you have some weight in the hammock it is perfectly secure. There is no need for carabiners until you plan to be jumping around in the hammock. Even in that case it is hard to dislodge a hammock from s-hooks.
    • When you wrap a rope around a tree, getting in the hammock will pull it tighter and hold it in place. This principle works on even the smoothest trees. This means that if you simply wrap a rope twice around a tree trunk so that it overlaps itself and then attach one end to itself and the other end to the hammock, it will be stronger the more weight is in the hammock. I hope that was explained clearly.
    • You should stick to simple knots that are easy to undo. There is nothing less relaxing than having to spend an hour trying to untie a rope from a tree. Most hammock ropes are polyester which is strong, but it is also slippery enough that it is easier to untie knots. Tree straps with s-hooks make it easy to clip on to itself, so it is very easy to untie again once the weight is removed.
  4. Your hanging points should be a good distance apart. The range is quite big, There is a clear limit when the supporting objects are too close together. This is roughly 90% of the overall length of the hammock.

    For hanging points which are further apart, the limit is more down to personal preference. I would be quite happy with a hanging distance of about ten meters. You get a nice slow swing with a longer hanging distance. However, you need more rope and you have to attach the rope quite a lot higher.
  5. You need a hammock you can trust not to break.
Fix the hammock to any wall
Fix your hammock to a wall

Fixed vs Temporary Fixings

Are you planning to keep your hammock in one place, or even move it between two or three regular places? Maybe you want your hammock at one end of your deck or terrace in the morning and at the other end in the evening. If that is the case then I would suggest setting up fixings at each location. It is much better to simply unclip your hammock from one place and clip it on to another one without having to check and adjust a rope each time. In my ideal world, I would have wall hooks attached all over the place at just the right height and spacing.

If you are planning to put your hammock in it’s handy carry bag and take it off to the forest or beach then you will find ropes a much better solution. You could start screwing hooks into every tree you use so that they are there for future visitors. Most healthy trees will not be damaged by this, especially if you use stainless steel or other rust proof fixings. Most fixings are in this category. However you are probably looking to relax in your hammock rather than setting out on a minor DIY task.

Vivere Single Hook Set
This is an S-Hook

S-Hooks Vs Carabiners

Advantages of S-Hooks

  • Quick and easy to hang and remove your hammock.
  • Cheaper
  • Easy to adjust

Advantages of Carabiners

  • Feels very secure.
  • Is more secure, especially if children are playing in the hammock.
  • You could attach two things pulling in different directions without added risk.

Moving on from the mechanics of hanging your hammock, some things to consider when aiming for ultimate relaxation and comfort in your hammock are:

  1. It is more comfortable to have a hammock that is well balanced. The most balanced hammocks are the ones that self adjust. Does the hammock have strings which can slide through the loops at the end of the hammock ?

    The Colombian hammocks have an open loop design, which many people say  enhances balance compared to the closed loop design. In my opinion, the difference is very small. But they do look nicer and are easier to hang.

    ‘Cadejos’ are continuations of the main hammock bed fabric which are woven into plaits. Logically this would spread the weight perfectly and make the hammock more comfortable. I think the difference is small, but every detail is worth considering.

  2. It is worth thinking about the comfort of the fabric against your skin. Cotton feels nice. Polycotton, which is 70% polyester and 30% cotton feels very similar, but are more durable and weatherproof. Nylon doesn’t feel quite as comfortable against the skin, but the travel hammocks pack up really small and are really strong, so it is a trade off.

  3. Durability. A hammock kept indoors will last for as long as any other furniture. If it is going to be left outside to the elements, then it should be allowed to dry when it gets wet, and man made fibres like polyester or polypropylene will last longer than cotton.

  4. Portability: How small does your hammock pack up? Will you be moving it often ? The travel hammocks are the most portable, but a single cotton hammock only weighs just over a kilo and takes up about the same space as a wooly jumper in your luggage.
Elegance Double Hammock - Ecru
The Elegance is a beautiful HAMACA famiily hammock

Other factors to consider. Although this guide is more about hanging your hammock, so this is just a quick list.

  1. Price: You don’t have to pay a fortune for a good hammock, but really cheap ones are not the best value.
  2. Design: It feels better to lay in a beautiful hammock.
  3. Fair Trade: No need to feel guilty.
  4. Environmental concerns: From an environmentalists  perspective, for cotton hammocks , recycled cotton is the best, followed by organic cotton, followed by regular cotton.
  5. Opportunity cost: You could buy some Bitcoin instead.

I hope you found this guide useful. I intended to lay out the basic principles. It is not rocket science and as long as you check and test your hammock before diving in, then it should all be fine. Good luck and happy relaxation.

Hammock Heaven - Only the best Hammocks
Hammock Heaven – Only the best Hammocks

You can see our range of hammocks here, and you can see our extensive range of fixings and accessories here. We offer free shipping on most orders and you are welcome to call or email us with any questions. Hammock Heaven has been online since 2004, so we have learnt a thing or two about hammocks in the last 15 years!

This video is a reading of this article with a selection
of hammocks and fixings from our range.

How far apart do hammock posts need to be?

A Gorgeous Hammock under a Pergola

One of the most common questions asked is how far apart do hammock posts need to be?

We will answer that question with the definitive guide to hanging your hammock between posts.

Follow installation directions carefully. Prior to each use, inspect your hammock, hardware, installation points and objects supporting your hammock for wear or weakness. Proceed carefully and take your time getting into and out of your hammock. Any hammock may tip if your weight isn’t centred. Swing gently. A hammock is not a playground swing or a trampoline. Excessive swinging and other rough play may result in falls and may wear out your hammock and hardware prematurely. Small children should not play unsupervised in your hammock. Maximum safe weight limit is 450 pounds (205 kg).

Hammock Length

Your new hammock may initially be shorter than its full length (approximately 13 ft (396 – 411 cm) for a family size and approximately 11 feet for a single size). It will stretch to its proper length after a short time in use. Based on this information, how far apart do hammock posts need to be?

Hanging Your Hammock

Hammocks are versatile! Although traditionally slung between two big trees, you can also hang them between posts set in the ground, on a porch, or on a hammock stand. We recommend trees or posts be a minimum of 6″ (15 cm) in diameter or posts a minimum of 4″ x 6″ (10 cm x 15 cm) in size. Make certain the wooden supports you are using are strong enough. Do not use wood supports which are cracked, split or rotten or which are too soft to properly hold the screw hooks.

Setting posts in the ground allows you to install your hammock wherever you like, even if you don’t have trees. Post holes should be at least three feet (0.9 m) deep and carefully back-filled with concrete. Remove air pockets. While concrete is fresh, posts may be tilted slightly away from the direction of the hammock. Wait at least 24 hours before hanging your hammock.

It’s easiest to hang your hammock in a space a foot (30 cm) or two longer than the overall length of the hammock. In such a space, the hardware to hang your hammock should ordinarily be mounted five to six feet (1.5 m to 1.8 m) off the ground. If the distance between the hanging points is shorter, try mounting the screw-hooks higher, though this will make the hammock hang more bowed. If the distance between the hanging points is longer, you can mount the hardware higher and use extra chain and S-hooks, and the hammock will hang as normal.

We recommend using Tree Bands .

Drill a pilot hole where you want your hooks. This pilot hole should be approximately 1/2 the diameter of the screw of the hammock hook. For example, if the hammock hook screw is 3/8″ (1 cm) in diameter, then the pilot hole should be approximately 3/16″ (0.5 cm). Screw the hammock hooks into the pilot holes. Be sure to set the screw deep enough that the eye is against the wood but do not over tighten the screw or allow the hook assembly or eye screw to be twisted or bent. Install screw hooks only on the side of the tree or post facing the hammock. Your hammock should not pull sideways on the hook.

Safe Hammock Installation

Use one or two lengths chain and S-hooks as necessary to reach between the hammock and the hooks. See first illustration.

Hammock illustration 1
Illustration 1

It is normal for your new hammock to stretch considerably when it is new, so the first time you hang a new hammock stretch it very tight, and then be especially careful when getting into the hammock the first time! As it stretches under your weight be careful not to hit the ground, or if using a hammock stand not to hit the center pipe. Be careful not to let the hammock tip as you get in. As it stretches, keep shortening the chain. If you store it for months, you may have to stretch it like this again. After it stretches you can get into it much more easily.

How far apart do hammock posts need to be?

Once the hammock is stretched out, it should be hung loosely enough that when the hammock is in use (when there is weight in it) the angle of the chain as illustrated in second illustration is at least 25 degrees from horizontal.

Hammock Illustration 2
Illustration 2

Hanging your hammock more tightly than this greatly increases the load to the hardware and supports.