One of my favorite parts of camping is relaxing on my hammock with a cool breeze blowing over me. Setting up a hammock is fairly straightforward, but what do you do when you don’t have adequately spaced trees to do so. Luckily, some great portable stands are available that will allow you to set up your hammock anywhere.
Options for hanging a hammock
Hanging a hammock can be a little tricky, depending on your location. However, with the right gear, you can use your hammock wherever you camp. Let’s take a look at some of the options you have available.
Hanging from trees
The simplest and best way to hang a hammock is between two trees. While you have some flexibility in this setup, the trees need to be spaced accordingly. If the distance is too short, the hammock sides will be too steep; too long, and the hammock will be too flat.
However, this will be your only option when taking a hammock backpacking. When selecting a campsite, try to find one with a good tree setup if possible. This will be even more important if you plan to do some hammock camping and sleep in your hammock with a tarp or bug net over it.
When hanging a hammock from trees, it’s best to bring a tree hanging kit, which includes tree straps, adjustments, carabiners/clips, and tree protection. It’s important to protect the tree from damage, which is possible if you’re simply using ropes.
If you camping at an established campground, it’s always best to check to make sure you’re allowed to hang a hammock from a tree. Some campgrounds (like national parks) may not allow stepping hammocks to trees to prevent damage from regular use. In this case, a portable hammock stand may be your best option.
The most flexible option for hanging a hammock is to use a portable hammock stand. These come in different shapes and sizes, accommodating single or larger double hammocks. Some stands will be ultra-portable and won’t require much time to set up. Others will be more involved but offer extra stability and may be needed for larger hammocks.
When selecting a stand, it’s important to determine how you’ll use it. If you’re simply installing it in your yard at home, you won’t need to worry about quickly being able to set it up and break it down. However, if you plan to take it from place to place, you will want to look for an easier stand to set up.
Also, when using a stand, you will need to pay more attention to the ground. When hanging a hammock on a tree, it’s less important to have a flat surface beneath it. However, uneven surfaces can make the hammock less stable if using a stand.
Hammock stands are also versatile, allowing them to be used for both outdoor and indoor use.
A unique way to install a hammock if you’re car camping is the purchase a stand that connects to the hitch on your car. The hit provides a solid connection point for the hammock, allowing you to use it wherever your vehicle is parked.
The downside to a hitch stand is that you’ll be limited to using it with your truck, SUV, or camper van. A hitch stand is a great addition for tailgating or a car camping trip.
Chair Hammock Hanging
Another type of common hammock is a chair hammock. These usually connect with one anchor point instead of two for a lie-down hammock. You can purchase stands for chair hammocks, use a hitch mount, or install them under a large, sturdy tree branch.
What to look for in a portable Hammock Stand
When selecting a hammock stand, you want to focus on a few key things to help you make the best choice.
Ease of setup
If you plan to set up and tear down your hammock stand frequently, ease of setup will be more important. Some stands are a single piece and will simply require opening it up to attach your hammock. These stands are usually more expensive but are much easier to use.
Other stands will come in separate pieces, requiring you to put polls together to build the frame. While typically less expensive, they tend to allow for using larger hammocks and may be studied.
If you’re simply pulling the stand out of your vehicle and setting it up, the weight won’t be as much of a factor. However, if you plan to carry your hammock stand a lot, you should consider a lighter one. Lighter stands, which use strong, but light materials, are typically more expensive.
Some hammock stands are more portable than others. Folding stands will typically collapse into a small form factor and can be stored in a carrying sack or bag. Larger stands that are more permanent may not break down easily and won’t have a good option for keeping all of the parts organized.
If you’re looking for a portable stand, I suggest you look for one with an included carrying bag that holds all the pieces and tools.
The capacity of your stand will typically be indicated by the size of the hammock it holds. Some smaller stands, while more portable, may only be able to accommodate a one-person hammock. Larger stands will often allow you to install a two-person hammock. Please pay close attention to the weight limit of the stand, as this will be important when considering the person(s) who will be using it. Too much weight can cause the stand to collapse.
Some stands will be more versatile than others. While most will perform the regular function of hanging a hammock, others may allow for using a hammock chair. These are more common in hitch mounts, allowing for a lie-down hammock or two chair hammocks.
Some stands will come with a hammock. This is great if you don’t have one, but if you have your favorite hammock, like a stand, you will first want to check the length of your hammock to ensure the stand can accommodate it. Most stands will work fine with other hammocks, but super portable ones may be too small. It’s a good idea to check the distance between the attachment arms and measure your hammock length to ensure it will fit (not too long and not too short).
Top Picks for the Best Portable Hammock Stands in 2022
Collapsable Hammock Stands
The Tranquillo Universal Hammock Stand is made of powder-coated steel, offering a high weight capacity of 550 lbs. The stand is collapsible and has an adjustable notch that allows for height adjustability. If you’re using this on hard surfaces, the stand also has rubber feet to help stabilize it (and minimize any scratching if using it on indoor floors). The stand comes with a 2-layered polyester breathable hammock with an expandable design, which can easily accommodate two people. If you choose to use your hammock, this stand will work well. The stand has a durable carry bag, making it great for easy storage and transportation. The stand is quick and easy to set up since you expand it from its folded position. You don’t need to purchase anything else, even a hammock, to use this stand. The dimensions are 116 inches long by 32.8 inches wide. It sits just over 3 feet off the ground.
This hammock stand is designed with a steel frame that can change heights if needed. It folds into a compact size in less than 5 minutes, which may be a little longer than other units. The stand has rubber grips on the bottom, so it’s great for locations where you need a little extra traction.
The stand is 86.25” in length and 30” wide when fully expanded. It can hold a total weight of 300 lbs, making it capable of holding two smaller people with a double hammock. It comes with a polyester hammock, so if you don’t already have one, you are all set.
If you’re looking for the lightest weight portable hammock stand on the list, this is the one to check out. It’s made of lightweight aluminum alloy and easily collapses and folds down to fit in a small, included backpack bag. While it’s the lightest, it also has the lowest capacity at just about 250 lbs. It is intended for a single hammock and won’t accommodate a two-person hammock.
The stand has an included hammock, which is attached at two points on both sides. If you use a different single-point hammock with this stand, you may need to use a small piece of strapping if your eyelet isn’t wide enough to reach across both hooks. The stand is 94” long by x 31” high. When folded and stored into the backpack, it’s just about 2 feet long and 7.5” wide. This stand has a great price for a collapsable setup.
The Tranquillo Universal Hammock Stand is one of the most popular ones available on Amazon. It’s made of solid inox (stainless steel) to offer high weight capacity and can accommodate a whopping 550 lbs., making it perfect for even the largest double hammock. It includes rubber feet for extra grip. It’s an upgraded version of the powder-coated model, providing added durability with the stainless steel frame.
It comes with an included carrying bag and has the same dimension as its counterpart: 116 inches long by 32.8 inches wide. It sits just over 3 feet off the ground. The stand comes with a 2-layered polyester breathable hammock with an expandable design, which can easily accommodate two people. It includes a carrying bag that takes up less space than some folded camping chairs.
The Nomad Hammock Stand take has a little different take on hanging a hammock. Instead of the banana shape stand that most other systems use, the Nomad stand uses a different design with a pole and teepee-type setup, creating two separate structures connected by a center pole on the top to support the hammock. It’s more like hanging a hammock from a tree. The stand packs down to a manageable 32 x 10 inches and is only 15 lbs., allowing you to carry it anywhere you would take a camp chair. The poles are similar to tent poles, with elastic in the middle that allows for easy assembly. The design makes it easy to install a rain tarp or mosquito net and can accommodate different types of hammocks. There is also a staking system, helping you keep the stand firmly in place when in use. The system can hold up to 300 lbs., which isn’t as heft as some other stands. The system is a bit long, so you may need more room to use it.
Heavy Duty Stands
The Eagles Nest triple hammock stand is different from the other options listed here. It’s designed for people who need a way to hang multiple hammocks. ENO Hammock pod stand advertises an easy setup of the stand, using quick-release parts to connect all the pieces. You don’t need any special tools.
The weatherproof steel frame will stand up to sun, wind, and rain and resist scratching or rust. It’s expensive, but it might be a great option for someone looking for a unique way to hang multiple hammocks.
Each section can support up to 400lbs. It measures 10.2 feet by 11 feet and site almost 4.5 feet off the ground. It’s not made for backpacking as the stand, when fully assembled, weighs over 100 lbs. It also doesn’t include hammocks, so you will need to supply your own. While different, it may be the perfect hammock stand for a family.
While not quite as portable as the other stands listed in this article, this double hammock stand is very sturdy and provides strong support for two people comfortably. It uses a simple design where the included hammock attaches by wrapping the hanging ends through the Y-frame top and connecting to a hook, creating a durable setup.
The hammock stand disassembles and includes a carry case for easy portability. There aren’t many pieces or tools needed to assemble, making it possible to take to the campsite. Each end of the hammock stand has six holes spaced 4 inches apart, allowing you to adjust it to fit a variety of hammock lengths and sizes. Its made with tubular powder-coated steel. The stand is 108” long, 43” wide, and 40” tall.
The ENO SoloPod Hammock Stand is a simple option that makes for a comfortable hammock experience. The SoloPod packs down for minimal storage so you can take your hammock anywhere. Simply assemble and hang your hammock. The SoloPod XL has the option for permanent setup (hardware included) so you’ll always have the perfect spot. Both SoloPod sizes are easy to set up (no tools needed), made with weather-resistant powder-coated steel, and include steel carabiners. While the SoloPod advertises that it’s compatible with ENO hammocks, if you check the size of your own hammock, it can see if it fits the regular or WX version.
Hammock Chair Stands
You can purchase a portable chair stand if you have a hammock chair and nowhere to hang it. While not quite as portable as a folding stand, the Sundaze stand provides a simple yet sturdy hanging point for your chair. The Hammock Chair is easy to assemble and doesn’t require any special tools. It provides an open area for the hammock to hang, allowing you to rotate the chair 360 degrees.
The stand is made from powder-coated tubular steel that will withstand most weather conditions.
The dimensions of the stand are 54 inches long and 45 inches wide. The stand has a height of 97 inches.
The Greenstell Hammock Chair stand can be used with almost all hanging chairs and swings. Think of it as a mini swing set. The stand is stable, sturdy, safe, and easy to install. The single hook in the center can hold just about 400lbs. If using the two-end hooks, you can hold up to 550 lbs. The dues setup design allows the stand to be used by various hammock chairs or swings. The stand also comes with stakes to secure it to the ground when used outdoors.
The downside to this stand is that it isn’t very portable unless you have enough space to carry larger pieces of the frame with you. It’s better for use at home or in a semi-permanent location. It has an inner diameter of 35.43 inches, a height of 71.25 inches, a length of 56.69 inches, and a width of 36.22 inches.
Hammock Hitch Stand
A cool hammock setup, which involves taking advantage of the hitch receiver on your vehicle, is the Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand. The stand connects directly to the receiver and opens up for hanging a hammock or two hammock chairs. The stand spans 10 feet wide so you can use it with just about any hammock. Each arm can hold up to 300lbs when in chair mode, which makes it very sturdy for just about all uses. In lounge mode, it can hold over 500lbs. This stand is an excellent choice if you want a stand that can accommodate both chairs and hammocks.
The Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand breaks down into five pieces, allowing a quick takedown and easy transport and storage. It connects to a standard 2” receiver hitch. If you have a spare tire on the back, like a jeep, you may need to use a hitch extension to keep it far enough away from the vehicle.
HAMMOCK TREE KITS
If you have a hammock chair and want to take it camping, your best bet is to use a tree hanging kit. The downside to this setup is that you need a tree with a low enough branch. Here are two popular tree hanging kits for hammock chairs (or even swings)
T Rhino StrapMate hanging kit for tree swings and hammocks is a great choice for easy installation. The kit uses a nylon strap hung over a large enough tree branch. The kit includes two steel carabiners that easily attach to the chair. It has two straps, which can also be used to hand a traditional hammock from two trees.
This heavy-duty swing hanging kit is constructed with high-quality and commercial-grade materials to ensure safety and security. Each strap holds up to 2,800 lbs. Not quite strong enough to hold a house, but you won’t ever need to worry about overloading it with a hammock chair.
The Seleware Tree Swing Rope Kit is made from strong nylon rope and uses a figure-eight-type system to allow the length to be easily adjusted. You can purchase a 40, 60, or 80-inch rope kit. I recommend getting the longer one as you can always make it shorter if needed. The rope and carabiner setup is strong and can hold up to 1,000 lbs.
The most portable option for hanging a hammock, which I must mention in this article, is simply hanging it between two trees. Tree straps are the must-have hammock accessory. While you can always use some rope, investing in a good-quality tree hanging kit is better. The benefit of using a kit is that you have strong straps that won’t damage the tree; it includes carabiners to clip the ends of your hammock and a nice stuff sack to keep everything organized. Tree straps are a must-have for a camping hammock.
My choice in a tree hanging kit is the MalloMe Hammock Hanging Kit. It includes webbing for each end of the hammock, capable of holding 2,000 pounds each. Each webbing piece is 12 ft. long, allowing you to use a variety of tree span scenarios. It also comes with a set of two lockable carabiners.