What Is the Best Portable Hammock Stand for Camping?

Written By Matthew Cordero

Portable hammock stands are a convenient tool that let you hang your hammock just about anywhere. But with all the different models out in the market, people often wonder what to look for when shopping around for one.

The ideal portable hammock stand for camping should be as light as possible: 30 pounds or less. It should have a carrying case for easy storage while camping, be strong enough to carry your weight and fit your hammock. A hammock stand made of steel is best.

campfire cooking

There are other details to think about when looking for a hammock stand. Read on below to learn more.

What To Look For In A Portable Camping Hammock Stand

Have you ever arrived at a camp site only to discover that there isn’t a suitable setup for your hammock? Or have you been to a protected area to camp only to find out that you can’t hang hammocks from trees?

These are situations that can be avoided by having a portable hammock stand. For any enthusiastic camper, it’s an essential tool that ensures you can comfortably sleep in your hammock anywhere, including above the tree line. They are a practical choice because they support your hammock without the need for trees, solving a common camping issue.

Other benefits of using a portable hammock stand include:

  • Desert camping: Bringing along heavy camping gear and extreme heat can discourage you to camp in deserts. A hammock stand allows you a breathable way to sleep without relying on trees so that you can enjoy the desert’s rugged beauty.
  • Versatile: Not only are they great for camping, but hammock stands can be used in a variety of locations including backyards, patios, porches, balconies, at festivals, and even indoors.
  • Sleep in popular campsites: If you go camping only to find out that the spot is crowded, a hammock stand will let you sleep comfortably even if the good tree posts have already been taken.
  • Save trees: The traditional way to hang hammocks outdoors is to use trees. This isn’t the most environmentally-friendly option since hammock camping can damage trees, which is why it’s banned in several national parks these days. Using portable stands will help save trees.

However, there are so many options out there. Here’s what you should look for when shopping around for the best hammock stand for camping:


A lightweight stand that folds up to a small size is always best for camping. If you’ll be car camping, you can easily go with a heavier hammock stand, such as those that weigh 35 pounds or more. Some heavy-duty metal stands in the market can weigh as much as 100 pounds, though this doesn’t matter too much if your car is a short distance from the campsite.

However, if you’ll be traveling long distances with the hammock stand in a carrying case in your backpack, opt for a hammock stand that’s as light as possible – ideally, under 30 pounds. Hammock stands that weigh less than 25 pounds are considered ultralight or lightweight, and suitable for multi-day camping.

Weight capacity

Hammock stands have varying weight capacities, oftentimes from 350 to as much as 550 pounds. The weight capacity will also vary depending on the size and person capacity; a majority of hammock stand models are built for one person capacity but others have 2-3 person capacities especially the extra large options.


Steel and wood are the most common materials used for making hammock stands. But for camping, go with metal or steel since wood can easily be damaged by exposure to rain and water. Steel hammock stands are common among collapsible and portable models, since they are easy to assemble and disassemble, and are usually covered in rust-proof powder coating to protect it from moisture.

Wood can be an appropriate choice if you don’t camp often, plan to use it infrequently, or will be doing car camping. Metal and steel hammock stands are more durable, as well as resistant to rust and weather, making them a great low-maintenance choice that doesn’t need much special care. During the winter, it’s best to cover steel hammock stands which will help it look and perform well for a longer period of time.

On the other hand, if you decide to go with a wood hammock stand, it’s essential to care for it by covering it with a clear or oil stain. Doing so will help protect the wood throughout the year. During the winter, cover the wood stand in a tarp or bring it indoors.


Choose a hammock stand whose size fits your hammock length. Hammock stands should be two to three feet longer than your hammock, allowing you to hang it comfortably. This means that if your hammock is 12 feet long, you’ll need a hammock stand that is 14 feet long.

However, if the distance between the stand posts are much longer than your hammock, simply add S hooks or chains to allow each hammock end to reach the posts. Hammock stand bases are typically 4 feet wide, and there are varying lengths that come in 5, 9.5, 14.5, and 15 feet long sizes.

Other Camping Hammock Frame Features to Consider

There are several models that already cover the basic hammock stand features, but there are other handy and optional features you might want to consider especially if you intend to use your purchase frequently or for a long time:

Spreader bars

Spreader bars are an optional feature, based on your own personal preferences. These are located on each end of the hammock, and can be made of nylon, wood, or plastic. Spreader bars are helpful in keeping hammocks wide open on each end, so that you can relax or sleep on a flat, taut surface.

Spreader bars are also beneficial in providing added support and reduce tipping over. Some hammock stands are designed for use with spreader bars, while others are meant to be used without them. Choose a model that suits the hammock you will be using.

Adjustable stands

Some hammock stand bases are designed to be adjustable so that you can use them with hammocks in varying lengths. On the other hand, some are fixed, making them compatible with hammocks of a fixed length.

Adjustable stands give you flexibility to shorten or lengthen the base in order to accommodate different hammock sizes so you can use various hammocks with it. In addition, some hammock bases also come with chains and S-hooks so you can easily adjust tautness and height of the hammock.

Best Portable Hammock Stand for Camping

There are many excellent choices for hammock stands out there to suit all types of campers. Here are great examples that you can purchase online from Amazon:

-   Sunnydaze Heavy Duty Steel Hammock Stand
-   Project One Portable Heavy Duty Steel Hammock Stand
-   Amazon Basics Hammock Stand

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you install a portable camping hammock stand?

Most hammock stands in the market already come with their own specific instructions for installing hammocks and the entire setup. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for installing a hammock onto the stand

Generally speaking, choose a location with even footing which ensures safety for anyone who wants to enter the hammock. It’s also ideal to place the hammock stand in a location that reduces breezes, such as a wall or hedge if this is possible. Hammock stands are mobile and you can always choose a new location for it just by moving it around.

Can you use a camping hammock with a stand?

There are many varieties of camping hammocks that already come with a portable stand. These are terrific choices for traveling and sleeping outdoors, just be sure to choose models that are lightweight, come with metal or steel stands, collapsible, and has the right capacity for your weight.

Alternatively, if you are going to go car camping, there should be no problem using heavier camping hammocks with stands.