Maybe you and your new spouse just arrived home from a luxurious beach honeymoon in Brazil. Or maybe you’re a college student looking to hang with your friends on the quad between classes. You might have taken a weekend camping trip with someone who was sporting a new camping hammock. No matter what led you here, you’ve experienced hammocks in the wild for the first time, and you’re hooked. But where do you begin? And what type of hammock should you be looking at? This guide will give you everything you need to know about South American hammocks, to get you into your perfect hang in no time.
South American What?
The world of hammocks is usually broken down into three main styles of hammocks: spreader bar hammocks, modern synthetic travel hammocks, and traditional South American hammocks. Much like certain tools are suited for particular tasks, each hammock style excels in its own specific applications.
Say the word “hammock” around most westerners, and undoubtedly the image that pops into most people’s heads is the common spreader bar hammock. While many find this style of hammock to be comfortable for an afternoon catnap in the backyard, some people have difficulty keeping spreader bar hammocks stable. The perceived instability of spreader bar hammocks has even driven some to swear off hammocking entirely, when this situation is easily remedied by use of either of the other two styles of hammocks. Still, the spreader bar hammock does win out for its classic styling and “brand recognition” among western cultures.
The modern synthetic travel hammock is all about agility. Typically made of thin but extremely strong parachute nylon material, this style of hammock packs down small and won’t weigh you down—perfect for chucking in a day pack. Because their design emphasizes low weight and small volume, travel hammocks are usually shorter and narrower than their natural fiber big brothers. This design choice trades off overnight sleep comfort in favor of portability and packability.
The third style, the traditional South American hammock, incorporates features similar to both spreader bar and travel hammocks, creating a very compelling offering for many hammock users.
The Bottom Line
South American hammocks truly excel in two major areas: comfort and style. Most traditional South American hammocks are composed of 100% cotton fabric, which has an extremely soft and appealing feel to the hand. This is in contrast to the thin synthetic nylon fabrics typically used in travel hammocks to save weight and bulk. La Siesta’s South American hammocks incorporate a special weave pattern that creates a great degree of flexibility and stretch on the diagonal, providing a cradling effect as a person rests diagonally in the hammock. It’s no surprise that 100% cotton hammocks are well-known for their comfortable stretch, which eliminates pressure points and allows for a truly luxurious place to sleep, even overnight.
Another reason why South American hammocks provide a greater degree of comfort than travel hammocks is because South American hammocks are generally much longer and even sometimes wider than travel hammocks. Because weight is not a primary concern, South American hammocks often come in lengths between 11 feet and 13 feet, and widths nearing 6 feet. Both overall length and width heavily contribute to the ability for a person to achieve a flat diagonal position within the hammock, increasing overall comfort. Additionally, because South American hammocks have a lower center of gravity than spreader bar hammocks, they feel much less “tippy,” which increases occupants’ ease of relaxation.
The second area where South American hammocks stand out is in their style. Skilled craftsmen and women take pride in weaving these hammocks in a rainbow of colors and patterns. Certain models even include a beautifully hand-woven macramé fringe to accent the natural beauty of the hammock. Many consumers want their hammock to bring home a personal slice of the tropics, eliciting the vibrant memories of a vacation spent sipping mixed drinks in swimwear on the beach. Others crave a camouflaged cocoon to escape into and read a good book, opting instead for soothing earth tones and understated natural hues. However you express yourself through color, there is a South American hammock just right for you. Turn an ordinary patio into a trendy tropical getaway or two backyard trees into a soothing sanctuary of rest.There are many ways to sit in a hammock. How many of them do you know?