What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a hammock? We probably share the same thought, relaxing and enjoying a cool breeze under a shady tree on a warm summer afternoon. Perhaps you think of a particularly comfortable hammock overlooking an island beach paradise.

Did you know there are well over 300 different styles of hammocks to choose from? Some hammocks have spreader bars, some not. Some have fringe, some not. Some have scalloped edges, some not. Some are single width, some double. From the well-loved Pawleys Island rope hammocks which reminds everyone of relaxing on the beach in South Carolina, to a soft and comfortable Mayan woven hammock, to what I consider the hammock of my childhood, the pool hammock, there is a style and color for everyone.

The rope hammock will support your body firmly, but gently. They are made of durable and nonmildew roping that can withstand weather on the beach.

The Mayan hammock is one that is very lightweight and thinly woven yet one that will hold up to one thousand pounds. When you climb into a Mayan hammock you are cocooned in cool comfort.

The pool hammock has come a long way. I remember ours was a green canvas. Now using waterproof and sun-proof fabrics pool hammocks come in an endless choice of colors and patterns. They are known for their quick-drying ability.

After you have chosen the type of hammock that suits your needs now you have to decide on what type of hammock stand you want. Hammock stands come in designs made from durable outdoor woods, such as cypress, and also of high-quality steel with non-rusting finishes. Most steel stands hold between 450 pounds and 600 pounds. If you plan to hang your hammock between two trees you’ll want to look into hanging kits offered by the manufacturers. These kits include everything you’ll need to hang your hammock, the lag and eye bolts, spring links, and rope. If you are worried about damaging your trees with metal chains there are soft hammock tree straps made of polyester which wrap around your tree preventing damage. Check with the manufacturer to make sure that you have ample space between trees to safely hang your hammock.

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