How to Waterproof a Hammock

Written By Matthew Cordero

Hammock camping is a popular summertime activity. Rain may damage your hammock and dampen your trip if it isn’t waterproof. But is it possible to waterproof a hammock?

There are commercial products that are designed to waterproof fabrics, including hammocks. These waterproofing products can be washed or sprayed into your hammock, making the fabric completely waterproof. Regular reapplication may be necessary.  

Want to learn more about waterproofing your hammock with the right products? Read on below to learn more.

How Can You Waterproof Your Hammock

Waterproof hammocks are ideal for all-weather camping.

And just because you have a hammock that isn’t waterproof, doesn’t mean that it’s rendered useless during the rainy season. In fact, you can make any hammock waterproof with waterproofing products.

There are many fabric waterproofing products available on the market. The simplest to use are those that enable you to wash or spray them into the fabric.

Wash-In Waterproofing

Wash-in waterproofing is a simple way to waterproof your hammock. It also helps to improve the performance of your hammock, keeping you dry and warm.

What You’ll Need:

A container of wash-in waterproofing solution that can be used on your hammock fabric.

-   Nikwax Cotton Proof is an industry leader, known for its effectiveness in easily waterproofing outdoor gear, including hammocks. This can be used for cotton, canvas, and polycotton hammocks


Before you begin, prepare your hammock for waterproofing by holding it up to make dirt and debris fall out.

For machine wash:
  1. Shake the container of Nikwax well.
  2. If your hammock is machine-washable, place it in the washing machine and wash, following the hammock garment care instructions. Get rid of all detergent residue in the dispenser then fill up the machine with water.
  3. Add Nikwax based on the manufacturer’s directions; varying quantities of the product are required for low, medium, and high water levels.
  4. Machine wash then air or tumble dry.
For hand wash:
  1. Soak the hammock in a basin of warm water.
  2. Add 100ml of Nikwax into the water.
  3. Use your hands to agitate the mixture, and allow your hammock to soak for 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse your hammock with cold water. You will know the Nikwax residue has been washed off once the water runs clear.

Spray-On Waterproofing

Spray-on waterproofing is another easy technique to waterproof your hammock with the right product.

What You’ll Need:

A spray can of a reputable spray-on waterproofing product that can be used on your hammock fabric.

-   Thompson’s Water Seal Fabric Seal is a popular spray-on waterproofer. It can be used on a variety of outdoor fabrics.

-   Face mask to prevent the spray from being inhaled or getting into your eyes


Always do a splash test first before attempting to spray-in waterproof your whole hammock, as recommended by Thompson’s Water Seal. Sprinkle some water on a small area; if the water is absorbed, resulting in a darkened color, the hammock fabric is ready for treatment.

If water sits on the fabric surface or beads up, there is no need to waterproof it. Also, keep in mind that the spray may darken the color of your hammock fabric. Only use this spray on colorfast materials.

Last but not least: always do the work in a well-ventilated area. Use the face shield for extra protection.

  1. Begin the treatment only with a dry hammock.
  2. Hold the can 6-8 inches away from the surface.
  3. Spray generously all over the surface but be careful not to saturate it.
  4. Allow the first coat to dry for four hours before reapplying a second coat.
  5. Reapply each time you clean and wash your hammock.


Waterproofing your hammock is a straightforward process that anyone can do. With the right tools such as these, your hammock can now be waterproof.