Can You Add a Spreader Bar to a Hammock? (And 3 Top Spreader Bars to Use)

Cartoon of Steve lying on grass

Hammocks are amazing because they give you a space to rest but they also allow you to deeply relax or sleep. 

They can also do wonders for your mental health

But you know what’s really annoying about them?

Sometimes, the ends can get twisted and are hard to untangle

When that happens, getting into the hammock can be quite difficult. 

So, can you add a spreader to a hammock?

Let’s find out. 

Adding a spreader bar into a hammock will help open the sheet wide and keep it that way. It is ideal for fabric or rope hammocks, which usually get twisted at the end when no one is using them. However, not all types of hammocks can accommodate a spreader bar. Make sure you check your hammock before buying a spreader. 

What Is a Spreader Bar?

A spreader bar is a general term for a piece of equipment used in many things, including industrial heavy-duty lifting, gym machines, and bedroom activities. 

Whatever it is, the goal is to spread out two points. 

In the case of industrial and gym activities, the goal of the spreader is to distribute the weight. 

It is similar to hammocks, wherein the spreader bar stretches the fabric or ropes to give users a flat sheet for lying or sitting. 

It also helps spread out the weight of the person, which is safer for the user and better for the hammock. 

When weight is concentrated in one area, that part becomes worn out and easily damaged. 

Pros and Cons of Using Spreader Bars

Hammocks are purchased either with spreader bars or not. 

And if you bought a hammock without spreader bars and want to put them on, then you can do that too. 

So, what’s the point of having spreader bars?

Advantages of the Spreader Bars

#1: They Make It Easier To Get On and Off the Hammock

The spreader bars keep the hammock open, which makes it easier for you to get on and off the hammock. 

#2: They Make the Hammock Ideal for Sunbathing

Now that you have a perfectly taut hammock, you can easily go on it for sunbathing. 

It’s a more comfortable sunbathing spot. Just make sure you set an alarm or you’ll fall into a deep sleep because you might lose track of time because of how relaxing it is. 

#3: They Make It Easier To Sit in the Hammock

It is easier to sit on a taut hammock than a loose one. 

You can even do meditation on it. 

#4: They Make the Hammock Look More Stylish

The hammock is always open and wide and not droopy and loose. 

The spreader bars make the hammock look way better. 

Plus, you can see the entire hammock design when it is fully open. 

#5: Hammocks Dry Faster, Too

Since they are open and taut, they dry easily when they get wet. 

Disadvantages of the Spreader Bars

Hammock in mist

#1: Hammocks With Spreader Bars Aren’t As Comfortable

Since the spreader bars make the hammock taut, it’s not as comfortable. 

One of the reasons hammocks are very relaxing is because the material molds into your body as if hugging you. 

As a result, they relieve pressure points, making it better for your back

#2: They Are Not Ideal for Camping

Spreader bars are too heavy and bulky to take on a camping or backpacking trip. 

Besides, you don’t want a taut hammock when camping. 

You May Flip and Fall Easily

Hammocks with spreader bars won’t cradle you, so you could easily flip or fall when you can’t balance properly. 

It’s much harder to sleep on your side when in a hammock with spreader bars. 

Can You Add a Spreader Bar to a Hammock?

Yes, you can!

But why should you?

Hammocks can be bought with spreader bars and without. 

Adding spreader bars to hammocks that don’t have them is just too much work. 

You are better off buying a hammock with spreader bars from the start. 

However, if you already bought a hammock without the spreader bars and decided you want them after the fact, then you may. 

It still depends on what type of hammock you bought. 

You can only add spreader bars to the following types of hammocks:

  • Rope hammocks
  • Quilted hammocks
  • Fabric hammocks

Check your hammock if there is space or allocation for spreader bars. 

If there is none, don’t force the spreader bars into the hammock or you may damage it. 

A damaged hammock must not be used anymore; it’s too risky. 

“Don’t Try To Repair A Damaged Hammock. When a hammock is damaged, throw it away.”

Kevin Moore, Northern Kentucky Tribune

Top Spreader Bars for Your Hammocks

Person on hammock with sea in background

Hammock spreader bars are usually made of wood. 

It makes sense since you usually have to drill holes in the spreader bars where you could insert the rope or fabric. 

Metallic ones are available too. 

So, what do you look for in spreader bars for your hammock?

  1. Strength – the spreader bars must be able to accommodate the weight capacity of the hammock. 
  1. Length – they must match the length of the hammock. 
  1. Sturdiness – the purpose of the spreader bars is to keep the hammock taut and wide open, so it must not bend with the weight. 

Here are some of the better spreader bars you can add to your hammock:

Oak Spreader Bars

For rope and fabric hammocks, these high-quality oak spreader bars are made of varnished southern white oak wood, hand-dipped in spar varnish, and kiln-dried. They come in four sizes, ideal for all sizes of hammocks:

  • 48”
  • 55”
  • 60”
  • 65”

Cumaru Spreader Bars

The Cumaru spreader bars have an unpolished finish that gives them character. Cumaru wood has always been remarkable for its graining appearance. The spreader bars are ideal for rope and fabric hammocks. 

Collapsible Steel Spreader Bars

The black steel spreader bars are powder-coated to prevent rust. The black color is perfect since it can be used with any type and color of the hammock, in case that matters to you. A black rope has been pre-threaded into the bars for convenience. The spreader bars are ideal for your Blue Ridge camping hammock. 

Final Thoughts

INFOGRAPHIC Answering the Question Can You Add A Spreader Bar To A Hammock
Click infographic to enlarge.

Can you add spreader bars to a hammock? Yes!

Should you add spreader bars to a hammock? It depends!

It’s all about preference. 

Adding spreader bars to a hammock makes it more attractive. 

The spreader bars also make the hammock wide open and more taut, making it easier for you to get on and off it. 

It also makes it easier to fall since the hammock will not cradle or cocoon you. 

On the other hand, a hammock with spreader bars is great for sunbathing and meditation. 

Know your needs and purpose and decide if you should add spreader bars to your hammock. 

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