If you are considering buying a hammock, then you will want to get a decent amount of usage out of it.
You certainly won’t want it to be a one-summer wonder!
It is tricky to estimate the lifespan of anything you buy these days as it can be affected by so many things, but we are going to do our best to get to the bottom of it for hammocks today.
So how long do hammocks last?
Let’s find out…
The way you care for and maintain your hammock will drastically affect its lifespan. Hammocks left out in all weathers will likely deteriorate very quickly. However a good quality hammock, well looked after and used sensibly and moderately, could quite easily last ten years. If you pay attention to your hammock and don’t exceed the weight limit it will last longer than if you don’t care for it at all.
Hammock Lifespan: The Bottom Line
So how long does a hammock last?
Anything between a few months and a couple of decades.
Now I know that is a huge range and probably isn’t a particularly helpful answer, but it is true.
The lifespan of a hammock can vary wildly and depends upon several factors.
For instance when I was doing a bit of research into the subject, here are some answers I found on forums:
“I have a Dream Hammock Darien made out of 1.7oz MTN material and expect that I’ll pass it down to my grandchildren. All joking aside, I do expect it to last decades as long as I treat it well.”
“I bought my Hennessey when my son was in 3rd grade, and now he’s a Freshman in college…”
“I have had the same Eno Double Nest for 8 years and use it all the time.”
“Three (years) is about what I expect from most gear. Can vary of course.”
“I noticed on the Claytor site he states that his jungle hammock should last ‘five years of hard use’.”
So What Affects How Long A Hammock Lasts?
There are a number of factors that will influence how long a hammock lasts. So let’s start with probably the most notable…
Factor #1: Climate
You might be quick to bring your hammock in as winter is about to set in, but did you know the sun can cause just as much, if not more, damage?
The sun’s UV rays will damage the fibers in the material of a hammock that is left unprotected in direct sunlight.
The easiest way around this is to use easy slip-on/off hooks so you can put your hammock up and bring it down easily.
Alternatively, you can buy a hammock protection cover that slides over your hammock when it is not in use.
Likewise leaving a hammock out in cold and damp weather will lead to the material rotting and being weakened.
If you buy a good quality hammock and care for it and take it down when it isn’t in use, it could easily last up to a couple of decades.
If you pay no attention to it whatsoever and leave it exposed to the elements, then it won’t last very long at all.
Factor #2: Usage
It goes without saying that how often a hammock is used will have a big effect on how long it lasts.
Is it just one person using it sporadically, or will it be used all summer long by your entire family?
If people, including children, are jumping in and out of it all year round then a hammock obviously won’t last as long, compared to it being used occasionally by one person.
Also, the weight that is being placed in the hammock contributes to its lifespan.
Obviously the heavier the weight and the more often it is placed in a hammock, the more likely it is to stretch or damage the material and the quicker it will deteriorate.
Factor #3: The Hammock
The quality of the hammock you buy in the first place will affect how long it lasts. The material it is made from will play a notable role in its lifespan in particular.
As technology continually evolves we are seeing hammocks these days being made out of increasingly sophisticated material.
Some of the newer ripstop fabrics have fantastic durability and longevity, whilst still having a great weight-to-strength ratio.
But every material has its plusses and minuses. Synthetic materials won’t rot in the same way a natural fabric like cotton might, but they will be more prone to UV damage.
Another reason why top-end hammocks usually last longer is that the stitching is stronger/
Factor #4: How It Is Cared For
We’ve touched on this already, but how you take care of your hammock also has a large bearing on how long it will last.
Do you leave it out all year round? Or do you take it in each night?
Do you make sure it is kept clean and hygienic? If you do store it away, do you make sure it is dry before you do so?
If you notice damage such as a hole or a loose thread, do you fix it or just leave it? Are you careful about twigs getting in it, or knives, pens or keys in pockets damaging it?
If you really want your hammock to last and support you for years to come then it needs to be properly cared for.
How Long Do Hammock Straps Last?
The likelihood is that your hammock straps will wear out faster than your hammock.
With regular usage they are likely to stretch or gradually wear on trees.
The material your straps are made of plays a big part in how long they last.
Some straps are now made from Kevlar, and these have a really good lifespan. Another good option is nano-weaved polyester webbing straps.
But even though they may wear out faster than your hammock, they are not quite as expensive to replace!
Hammock Maintenance Tips
You can increase the lifespan of your hammock by following a few simple tips and tricks:
- Try not to leave your hammock outside for a prolonged period of time.
- If you store it away, try to make sure it isn’t close to strong chemicals. These can compromise the integrity of the hammock.
- Make sure the hammock is thoroughly dry before packing up and storing it.
- Keep it clean and free of debris which can promote the formation of mold or mildew.
- If you notice mold or mildew forming, use a vinegar cleaning solution or baking soda to treat it.
- Try not to exceed the weight capacity!
How long does a hammock last? How long is a piece of string?
In all seriousness, a good-quality hammock, used moderately and sensibly, and well cared for could easily last up for up to ten years or more.
An average hammock, used regularly, but well looked after will probably last around five years.
However, these figures are by no means set in stone!
But we can say for definite that following some basic maintenance advice and using your hammock sensibly will mean it lasts longer.