Monday, 15 October 2012

Handy Hammock - The Worlds Lightest Self Supporting Hammock Setup

Every Once In A While A New Product Appears On The Market That Makes You Think "Wow, That's Clever" And This Free Standing, Lightweight, Collapsible Hammock Ticks All The Boxes.

I was recently given the opportunity to field test and review a new portable hammock, that is completely self supporting and doesn't require the need for any tree's, which is ideal if you want to relax in comfort on a beach or in the garden.

British Design And Manufacturer...
The British company behind this ingenious hammock design is Handy Hammocks and have spent 20 years perfecting the idea of how to make a hammock stand up on its own two feet (literally !)

With hammock in hand, weighing in at just 1.53kg and all nicely contained in its drawstring bag, I set off for my local woodland hoping to learn how to set up a hammock with no trees.

I wanted to see how easily I could complete my hammock setup, straight from the bag. So I purposely refrained from checking the hammock components, prior to coming out. But I did allow myself a quick 5 minute look at the full colour instruction booklet.

So, once I had found my spot (clear of any tree's) I emptied the contents and started to follow the instructions. I have to say the instructions were a lot clearer the second time I completed the hammock set up, but were never the less fairly straight forward to follow.

Lightest Self Supporting Hammock In The World...
The first thing you notice about the hammock design, is the quality of the individual components. Like the ingenious hammock supports or struts which, in effect, form the hammock stand. These are made from aircraft grade zinc alloy, making this the lightest self supporting hammock in the world.

There is no guess work in setting up the Handy Hammock, thanks to the simple but clever idea of using base plates, connected with cord. Simply place the base plates on the ground with the cord stretched between the two and secure using the anchor pins.

Each high impact Nylon moulded anchor plate (Of which there are 4) are cleverly secured using 3 anchor pins, creating a strong fixing point for the four corner guy lines.

Then assemble the two struts, which is as quick and easy as putting up an umbrella. Insert the ends of the struts into the base plates and hang your hammock on the other ends.

Climb in and relax, free of any overhanging "widow maker" branches.

My initial setup, whilst referring to the instruction booklet and making the odd mistake, took me just under 20 minutes, straight from the bag.

However, on only my second attempt, I halved that time and set up in under 10 minutes.

Handy Hammock Details

Weight : 1.53Kg
Supports Up To 125Kg
Manufactured From Aircraft Grade Zinc Alloy With Kevlar Bracing Cords & 2.5 Dyneema Guy Lines.

When I first got into the Handy Hammock, I was to say the least, a little apprehensive, but climbing in and out of the hammock is the same as you would do with any normal setup. And I have to say was very comfortable, both in the sitting and horizontal position.

The hammock itself has good width to it, allowing you to position yourself on a diagonal for a more comfy lay.

Ideal For The Beach
This style of hammock design is perfect for using on the beach, but would require the addition of special beach anchor pins which are 600mm in length rather than the 300mm pins which come as standard with the hammock kits. This hammock would also work well in anybodies garden, where lack of suspension points are an issue.

This forward thinking hammock company are also planning to launch additional products, which will allow the "Handy Hammocker" to tailor their setup to whatever requirements they may have. Innovative add-ons such as a canopy system, heavier-duty hammocks, integrated sleeping bag, mosi-net, stowage system, extra guy sets (for marshland) and so on.

I know this particular form of hammock suspension is not going to be for everybody, as the hardened bushcrafter or backpacker likes to use the conventional setup using two trees to hang their traditional hammock from.

But I still feel that the Handy Hammock will have it's place in the market, especially for people on holiday who like to spend time on the beach or anybody who likes lounging about in the garden, as a more comfortable (and fun) alternative to the lounger or deckchair. Not only that, if you are a hill walker and want a novel way to chill out when you reach your destination, why not try the Handy Hammock. I guarantee you will have people queuing up to ask you about it, or even asking you to have a sit in it.

Hammock In A Bag...
The whole hammock setup, suspension, supports and all (hammock in a bag) are compact and light enough to be carried in a suitcase or rucksack, when traveling or walking in the hills. Which makes the Handy Hammock a great piece of kit for anybody wanting a fun and comfy way to relax when venturing outdoors.

If you have a decking area or balcony at your home, the anchor base plates can be permanently fixed using appropriate fixings, allowing you to setup your Handy Hammock in super quick time, whenever you feel the need to relax.

As I mentioned earlier, the Handy Hammock is relatively new to the market and the designers have big plans to improve on the design (if possible), the packaging and range of additional products. Making this a versatile, fun and quality hammock suspension system for young and old, serious outdoors people and those who just like to relax in style.

Learn More...

Please feel free to visit their website where you can watch a fun (but informative) cartoon video, that explains the basic details of the hammock. You can also see my review of the handy hammock in the video below, which also includes a 40% discount code, valid until the end of October 2012... Don't Miss Out !

I really like my Handy Hammock and look forward to taking it on holiday with us or just relaxing in the garden, regardless of whether there is somewhere to hang a hammock !


  1. I'm really struggling to get my head around the idea of this hammock - as I suppose it's made super light to be carried easily over longer distances, not to become a semi-permanent garden furniture, and it's for outdoor use only. I reckon it's hard to impossible to properly stretch a tarp over that using the poles it comes with, so it's pointless to use it for ordinary backpacking. My bet is it's good for luxurious camping, so quite the opposite of what we both do. For the same function, I think the Ultralite Cot is lighter, smaller and more versatile (and equally fancy) product. It won't work as a chair though.

    Anyway, thanks for the review. Cheers!

    1. I am led to believe that Handy Hammocks are going to produce a canopy (tarp/basha) that will be custom fit to the existing hammock structure and will be made available as an additional option, along with a sleep system/under blanket affair. Thank you for your comments and feedback.

  2. Looks like poles come closer by good 10-15 cm when you put your weight in the hammock, and the tarp has to go over the poles somehow. Using very small (or well-fitted) tarp, I often have problems with sag myself, when I try to use hammock ridgeline to stretch my tarp over it. Hammock goes down, trees bend, and I end up having wet tarp flapping into my forehead. Plus, if the tarp is at normal height of a ridgeline, the space inside becomes rather small, and I'm geting some unpleasant condensation. Now I'm really curious how the producers will cope with that, and, being a copycat myself, I may use their solutions. Cheers!

  3. From my point of view camping or outing without a hammock is like fish without water. After a tiredness journey everyone needs complete relaxation or a perfect sleep. Everywhere it is not possible so in this time a hammock works great. Hang a hammock using 2 points and nap or sleep on it. You will get complete relaxation. You can use those hammocks anywhere or in any whether condition.
    Brazil hammock chair