5 hammock hacks we’re not sure you need

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Thought to have been developed by the Maya 1,000 years ago, the hammock is a brilliant invention. Getting its name from the hamak tree, which provided bark that was then woven into fibres, the hammock is now a fixture of summer lounging—whether it’s on your back deck or slung up between two trees at a camping spot. And it’s a pretty simple design—a piece of fabric, with ends that tie up to create a swinging bed. And while hammocks come in a bunch of different materials and designs, there’s not much to that basic set-up that needs to be improved on.

Or so we thought. Turns out there are folks out there who are devoted to “improving” the classic hammock. Judge for yourself whether these hammock hacks are brilliant innovations or unnecessary extravagances.

Floating hammock

Photo by Instagram/Hammocraft

Hammocks are awesome. Stand-up paddleboards are awesome. Why not combine the two? You know, when you’re finished SUPping, you might be tired—so it makes sense to have somewhere to relax.The Hammocraft allows you to paddle, then swing— and even combine your SUPs together to make a multi-floating-hammock-SUP. Use it on boats. Or rafts. Or kayaks. The Hammocraft fits on pretty much anything that floats— oh, and you can set it up on land too, no trees necessary. Is the extra complexity and fuss worth it? You decide.

Hot tub hammock

Photo by Hydro Hammock

It’s the age-old dilemma—hammock or hot tub? Hot tub or hammock? With the Hydro Hammock, you no longer have to decide between warm, soothing water and gentle swaying relaxation. No, really. The Hydro Hammock is made of heavy-duty suspendible waterproof fabric that can hold up to 50 gallons of water. Add in their portable heater and you’ve got a swinging hot spring. It’s available in single or double sizes, so you can soak with a buddy if you’re so inclined. It’s only a Kickstarter campaign right now, but hey—maybe there are lots of people out there thinking their hammock would be super perfect if only it were filled with hot water. If that’s the case, Hydro Hammocks may just become the next big thing.

Hammock rocking chair

Photo by Harshita Murudkar/Behance.net

It’s a hammock! It’s a rocking chair! No— it’s both! (Mind. Blown.) The clever circular design is actually the class project by three MIT design students, and there’s no doubt that it’s attractive. (Sadly, the only one that’s available is the prototype they built for their class.) For us, though, part of the appeal of a hammock is being able to stretch out— and that just isn’t possible in this particular design. Plus, we’d miss the side-to-side swinging action—something that you can really only get in a hammock.

Three-way hammock

Photo by Trinity/Amazon

Again, there’s nothing wrong with this design— it’s pretty cool, actually. It won a design award. But the point of a hammock is that it’s simple. No frills. Nothing unnecessary. And, ideally, it should be portable. (The sun moves, and you want to move with it—or away from it.) Plus, hammocks were originally intended to be inexpensive and space-efficient alternatives to beds— and at almost $6,000 and 189 pounds, this certainly isn’t Everyman’s hammock. It’s a cool piece of garden furniture, but it’s kind of gotten away from what makes hammocks so awesome in the first place.

Foot hammock

Photo by Connect Design

This is perfect for those days you’re stuck at your desk just dreaming about escaping to your gentle, swingy hammock—ideally with a drink in hand and a view of the lake. And while you might not be able to manage a hammock at the office—although that’s not impossible, judging from this full-length under-desk hammock — you can at least rig up a hammock for…your feet. Yup. You get to sit at your computer and swing your feet, using this mini hammock that attaches to the side of your desk. Hey, any port in a storm, right?

What do you think? Do hammocks need to be improved?