What Is The Difference Between A Single And Double Hammock?

  • October 26, 2020
  • / By Matthew Cordero
father and son in double hammock

Hammocks are a great way to relax and sleep in the outdoors. They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. When shopping for a hammock, you’ll encounter single and double sizes, and people often wonder which of these is best.

The difference between single and double hammocks is that single hammocks are meant to be used by one person, they're usually 4 to 5 feet wide, and have a weight limit of 300 to 400 pounds. Double hammocks can fit 2 people, are 5 to 6 feet wide, and have a weight limit of up to 500 pounds.

father and son in double hammock

That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy relaxing on a double hammock if you’re going solo. In fact, many people prefer using the double hammock all to themselves. These are just some of the things to consider when deciding which hammock is best for you. Let’s get to know them in more detail.

Single hammocks are ideal for people who have minimal space to carry a hammock, such as backpackers and hikers. Though the weight limit for most single hammocks range from 300 to 400 pounds, some ultralight varieties in the market can accommodate 250 pounds.

Double hammocks are great if you don’t have to worry about space or weight in your travel gear. Many people prefer sleeping on double hammocks instead of singles because it provides much more space to move about in, especially if you prefer sleeping with pillows. Double hammocks are the best option if you are sharing the hammock with a companion, since it can accommodate 2 people with a maximum capacity of 400 to 500 pounds. Ultralight double hammocks can accommodate around 350 pounds.

Double hammocks are designed for two people, but even if you’re just one, you’ll benefit from the comfort that all that extra space and fabric provides. It’s also much easier to lie flat when you’re on a double hammock compared to a single, and for many people, this spells the difference between a good night’s sleep or tossing and turning all night.

Aside from being more spacious, a double hammock has other advantages:

  • Sun protection: A double hammock has extra fabric that can give added protection from the sun. Simply arrange it in a way that part of its fabric provides shade for your head.
  • Sit or lay down in any position: No matter how you choose to sit or lay down, a double hammock will have more than enough room for you.

Single Vs. Double Hammocks: Factors to Consider

Here are other factors you should consider before deciding on either a single or double hammock:

Weight

Weight is an important factor to consider if you are traveling on foot or have limited space. First-timers may think that a few extra ounces might not make a big difference, but it will add some serious weight on your shoulders if you are carrying it on a backpack.

Purpose

Hammocks are made to function in various environments, so it’s important to consider how and where you’re going to use the hammock. For example, backpackers prefer lightweight hammocks while campers look for durable models such as those made from parachute nylon or polyethene. On the other hand, hammocks made from cotton are ideal for indoor or casual use, while woven and rope hammocks are meant for lounging by the pool or the beach.

Fabric

You’ll encounter ‘denier’ when shopping around for hammocks; this refers to the thread size that is woven in the fabric. A heavy hammock would have higher denier count than lightweight hammocks. The higher the denier number, the more durable the hammock fabric is. It’s also best to go for high-quality fabric because you can put yourself at risk of injury if your hammock will snap because it was unable to hold your weight. Look for hammocks made from durable material such as parachute nylon or polyester.

Length

The right hammock for you should be at minimum, 2 feet longer than your height. Most hammocks in the market are designed to accommodate people of all sizes. If you are exceptionally tall, it’s best to look for extra-long hammocks.

Ease of use

Hammocks vary in the way they are going to be setup. Some are easier to setup than others, so if you are new to hammocks you may want to look for starter models and those that are reputed for ease of use.

Portability

Some hammocks are lightweight enough and can easily be stuffed into a backpack while others aren’t as portable. Hammocks that are heavy, made from rope or canvas and require a stand will not be easy to transport – much less carry in a backpack.

Straps

Hammocks should be tied securely on trees or poles, and this is why straps are necessary. Don’t scrip on a few dollars just to go with cheaper straps; otherwise, you can hurt yourself if they snap off. Good hammock straps should be at least 0.75 inches in width and should be strong enough to accommodate your weight.

Pricing

When it comes down to price, double hammocks aren’t much pricier than single hammocks despite all their benefits. There is no need to break the bank just to be able to afford a good quality double hammock.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a double hammock too big for one person?

Double hammocks are not too big for one person. They are roomier and even allow you to bring many items that you need for a comfortable time relaxing or sleeping, such as pillows, your gadgets, a blanket, and more. If you find that a double hammock is too large for you, simply tie it tightly at each end to give you a more snug experience.

Does my weight impact how comfortable I’ll be?

Your weight does have a bearing on how comfortable you’ll be on a single or double hammock. Check for the weight rating, which is determined by the manufacturer after they have done testing. The weight limit of a single hammock is 300 to 400 pounds, while for a double hammock it is 400 to 500 pounds. Hammock manufacturers always share the maximum weight capacity of each model.

If you exceed the weight limit of a single or double hammock, either with your own weight or with other items you are using on the hammock, you won’t be as comfortable. This will also cause stretching on the hammock, further affecting its comfort levels as well as lifespan.

What is the correct way to lie down on a single or double hammock?

There really is no right or wrong way to lie down on a single or double hammock. However, keep in mind that you’re after a flat surface for your back. If your hammock has a strong curve, it’s going to be difficult to sleep and will cause you back pain. The goal is to achieve the perfect balance of a slight curve on a hammock that is tied tautly, in order to achieve a flat surface when you lie down.

Can you recommend a single, or double hammock?

Yes. But it depends on the type of hammock you're looking for. Check our buying guides in the menu. We have a double hammock buying guide here, and plenty of single hammocks to choose from in multiple categories.