Your Ultimate Guide on Hanging Hammocks Outdoors

March 02, 2021 7 min read

A hammock hanging in between two trees in a sunlit forest.
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Follow These Top Tips for a Safe, Secure, and Comfortable Hang This Summer

With spring and summer around the corner, now is the best time to start prepping your outdoor living space to be a welcoming and relaxing haven to spend your days. A hammock is a must-have piece of furniture for ultimate relaxation. If you've never owned a hammock before, there's plenty to learn.

Whether you want a permanent hammock installation in your backyard, or you want to take your hammock with you when you go camping this summer, there are many ways to hang hammocks securely outdoors.

Read below to discover the possibilities you'll unlock with a hammock, and what you need to do to install it safely.

Before You Buy: Choose The Right Kind Of Hammock

If you don't yet own a hammock, you're in luck. Our guide below details the options you can choose from. Your dream hammock is waiting for you, and all you need to do is pick the right material, size, and format.


We offer hammocks made from high-quality cotton, polyester, and Olefin. How can you tell which one is right for you?

  • Cotton is soft and snug, and it's the perfect choice for nap enthusiasts

  • Polyester is durable, making it great for long-term use

  • Olefin is a synthetic fibre used for many home items; it's made to withstand tough outdoor conditions

You may wish to try out different hammocks to determine which material is right for you.

FEATURED PRODUCT: Nicaraguan Hammock - Deluxe


No matter how many people are in your crowd, there's hammock perfectly fitted for you. We have XL hammocks built to hold your whole family, and smaller hammocks meant for couples – or some much-needed alone time.

Standard Hammock vs Chair

A traditional hammock is shaped like a boat, and is designed in a way that lets you lie down. You may choose a hanging hammock chair instead. Like a traditional hammock, a hanging hammock chair is a comfy, suspended piece of furniture that allows you to relax and unwind. Consider whether you'd sit or lie down more often.

FEATURED PRODUCT: Colombian Double Hammock

Finding the Best Spot

Now that you've thought about what kind of hammock you want, it's time to figure out where you would place it. There are both indoor and outdoor hammock options, but no matter which option you go with, you will need to ensure that you have the right amount of space for installation. 

If your porch is the place you had in mind, there are two ways to set your hammock up. If your porch has a ceiling, you may wish to hang it up using attachments on your ceiling. Otherwise, you might want to hang it up using beams on the sides of your porch.

FEATURED PRODUCT: Universal Hammock Stand for Non-Spreader Bar Hammocks

Ready To Set Up? You’re Spoiled For Choice  

There are many ways to set up a hammock. Each method has its own set of benefits and disadvantages. The method you choose ultimately depends on how you plan to use your hammock, whether for camping, on a stand, or for a permanent set up in your backyard.

Hammock Universe chain hanging kit.

Using Hammock Hardware  

You may use one of several types of hardware suspensions, including ring buckles, finger nines, j-hook wall anchors, large s-hooks, and lengths of chain. This hardware is usually easy to adjust to find the right tension for your preferences.

While hammock hardware is easier to use than learning how to tie a perfect knot with rope, some hardware can harm trees. Combine hardware with tree straps to avoid puncturing trees.

  • Strong, solid hold

  • Easy to adjust distance

  • Hardware installations in posts and trees are not mobile

  • Can harm and damage trees

Tie The Perfect Rope Knot  

Rope is the traditional method for securing a hammock in place, but you’ll need a few additional skills to ensure a good hold.

Hanging a hammock with lengths of rope means you must first master the art of tying the perfect knot for sturdy hammock suspension. Former scouts will be right at home. Fortunately, learning to tie a decent knot isn’t too much of a challenge.

  • Easy to pack and carry rope for camping

  • Won’t harm trees

  • Very mobile option – non-permanent

  • Not as easy as using straps

  • Knots must be secure for a strong hold

    Durable and eco-friendly solid multi-ply bamboo board hammock stand with rope hammock pictured in backyard.

    Hammock stands are ideal for backyards, porches, and patios. These stands are easy to set up and can be moved anywhere you want. You may find their size to be a bit cumbersome to transport, and disassembling these stands for a camping trip can be time-consuming. If you’ve got the space, though, a hammock stand gives you a ton of freedom and flexibility with setting up the perfect space to relaxPlus, they look great when set up in your yard.

    • Portable and easy to move

    • Easy to set up

    • Attractive designs and styles

    • Self-contained support

    • Not as portable for camping

    • Stands take up space

      Using Tree Straps  

      Tree straps are perhaps the easiest hammock suspension type to use outsideWhat’s more, they won’t allow the combined weight of you and your hammock to harm the tree bark.

      You can also secure these straps to posts on porches and patios.

      • Lightweight, compact, and portable – ideal for camping

      • Adjustable for any distance

      • Won’t harm trees

      • Can’t be used on walls

      Hanging Out Between Trees  

      Do you plan to hang your hammock between two trees? You’ll need to keep distance and height in mind. Make sure the trees you’re using for your hammock can support your weight. You don’t want to choose two thin young trees to hang from, after all, so keep an eye out for healthy, sturdy, strong trees.

      Distance Between Trees  

      You’ll need 10 to 15 feet of distance between trees, depending on the length and style of your hammock, and how much tension you want.

      If you have a spreader-bar hammock, the length of the hammock will determine the length of the distance you’ll need between trees. For example, a 13-foot hammock will need at least 13 feet of space between trees. For more tension, you’ll need to another foot or two of space.

      For spaces that are several feet longer than your hammock, you can hang extra straps or lengths of chain to suspend your hammock.

      Height On Trees  

      The ideal sit height between the ground and your hammock is 18 inches. This is the average height of a chair, making it easy for you to sit in your hammock and get comfortable.

      When hanging hammocks between trees (or anywhere else outside), aim to have the hammock’s suspension (rope, strap, cord, chain, etc.) hang at a 30-degree angle. This angle will provide the right amount of force.

      You don’t want to set things up too tightly, though. The tighter you pull your hammock, the greater the force will be on the suspension and anchor points.

      With this height and angle in mind, you can adjust the height of your hammock on the trees. At the minimum, consider securing the tree straps, rope, or other suspension and anchors at 48 inches up the trees.

      Wrap a rope, tree strap, or other suspension securely around the two tree trunks. Then use a knot, a carabiner, or other hardware to attach the suspension to the eye (end-loops) of the hammock.

      Tree straps are the easiest to use and the most gentle on trees, whereas anchoring hardware may damage trees.

      Setting Up Hammocks On Porches  

      If you plan to set up your hammock on your porch, use an overhead beam for weight support.

      Wrap two ropes, cords, or straps around the post or beam. Then, using a knot, a carabiner, or other hardware, attach each suspension to an eye of the hammock.

      How To Safely Hang A Hammock From Your Car  

      First, you will need a solid roof rack on your car to support the weight of you and your hammock. To ensure that you are safe and don't damage your vehicle, it's incredibly important to determine whether or not the roof is stable enough to bear your weight. Find out your roof rack’s weight limit by consulting your vehicle’s owner’s manual. You’ll also want to test its security and durability first before proceeding to lay in your hammock once you set it up. Exceeding the weight limit can result in damage to your vehicle or injury.

      Once you’ve confirmed that your roof rack is capable of supporting your weight, you will have to park your car the right amount of distance from a tree. Tie tree straps, ropes, or cords around the roof rack and the tree. Then secure the eyes of the hammock to these straps, making sure there’s a safe distance to the ground and the hammock has a comfortable sag for you to sleep or relax in.

      Final Tips And Tricks   

      When hanging hammocks without spreader bars, make sure your hammock has a loose curve. Hanging loose will allow you to lie in your hammock at an angle and get flat for a comfortable, back-friendly sleep.

      The distance between the two ends of your hammock is important to consider when you set up your hammock. You should aim to have a loose curve, also known as a sag. Often, a hammock sags too low, or is too stiff and tight. Click here to read more about how to fix these problems.

      Finally, consider the type of hanging method that suits where you plan to hang your hammock outdoors. If you plan to secure a permanent suspension, consider investing in suspension hardware.

      However, if you want to hang from a tree in your backyard or while camping, tree straps and ropes are the easiest to pack, the lightest to carry, and the most gentle on trees.

      Use these tips to relax and hang out this summer in a comfortable hammock outdoors!

      Stuck? Use the Hammock Hang Calculator

      Putting up a hammock doesn't have to feel like rocket science. If you want to feel confident in your hammock placement, give our calculator a try! It will give you an estimation of whether your hammock will reasonably hang. All you need to do is type in the following:

      • Distance between your anchors or beams

      • Length of your hammock

      • How high off the ground you want your hammock to sit

      • Weight of the person using the hammock

      • Hang angle (the angle between the cord and the ground)

      The Takeaway

      Getting a new hammock is the perfect way to breathe new life into your patio or front porch. The steps above can help ensure that your hammock is installed safely and securely. Now, all that's left to do is lie back and relax.

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