Hammock Zipper Location: How Do You Spin?

Think the hammock zipper location is inconsequential? Think again. Where the zipper is sewn can make a big difference in ingress and egress on a hammock.

hammock-zipper-spin

When I sleep in a hammock, I most often lay in a diagonal with my feet shifted to the right of center and my head shifted left of center. Some hammocks are designed with an orientation one way or the another, and the placement of the zipper (for models that come equipped with a zippered bug net), determines in large part how you spin or rotate to get into position.

Getting in a hammock, I recommend you spread the hammock out and sit first, laying down on your torso and swinging your feet in last. Getting out follows the opposite approach: swing your legs out and sit up. Depending on the placement of the zipper and the orientation of the lay (feet right or left), you may have to spin a little or a lot to get ready to lay down or get up.

My personal preference is to have the zipper attached to the side of the hammock closest to my feet. In this way, entering and exiting is faster and easier because I have to spin less to get into position, since the angle I need to turn is smaller.

With the zipper on the head side, I have to spin or rotate my body much further, extending my legs high over the center ridge of the hammock, before I am in position to lay down or get up.

Now that the science is out of the way, and regardless of the tradeoffs of the two different zipper placements, what is your preferred location for a side zipper?

  12 comments for “Hammock Zipper Location: How Do You Spin?

  1. Jason Meister
    March 27, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I have the Warbonnet Blackbird so my zipper is on my head side by design. Since this is my first and only hammock so far I don’t know how I would feel about the opposite zipper position. Although, since I am a right side sleeper I have been thinking about obtaining (either making or buying-if possible) a hammock with a foot box on the opposite side.

  2. March 27, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I think I prefer feet side.

  3. March 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Not that it´s that big a deal, but head side for me. Makes it easier to open a little bit and lean out to get some gear from underneath, or get the burner going for the morning coffe.

  4. March 27, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I like my zipper head side. It is a bigger “spin cycle” but I love waking up and opening the bug net to hang my head out and greet my buddies and take in the peaceful mornings.
    Also, with the zipper on the head side, that means the opening is closer to my arms thus giving me a better reach to adjust my under quilt if necessary.

    • Derek
      March 27, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Very good points. I will update my pro list for those reasons.

  5. March 27, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    On my hammocks with a zipper only on one side, I prefer foot side. It’s much easier for me to reach across the hammock than is to reach behind my shoulder. Also, I find that my torso weighs the edge of the hammock down, making the zipper much harder to operate. It’s much easier to lift my legs than my torso.

  6. Mike
    March 28, 2014 at 9:34 am

    If a DIY project, why not BOTH!? Best of both worlds.

    • Derek
      March 28, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Yes. Although for simplicity or weight savings, one zipper is preferred.

      • March 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm

        I’m getting ready to add the double zipper bug net to my hammock by DIY Gear Supply. Seeings how my whole set up is DIY Sewn by me it’s only fitting I finish the project. I’m glad to see there is no real disadvantage unless I’m missing something.

  7. March 31, 2014 at 2:50 am

    I prefer the feet side.

  8. April 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    hmmm, this is a great discussion. I was about to finish up my WBBB wannabe DiY and I’m wondering now if I can either change the side the zipper is on (which would put it on the “shelf” side) or put a zipper on both sides (adjust UQ). I like my head on the zipper side, primarily for cranking up the stove without leaving the hammock in the morning.

  9. Niels Fribo
    July 14, 2014 at 3:58 am

    I have a Hennessy Deep Jungle with a foot side zipper, that works great, but I am planning to install just a short (eg 2 feet) and lightweight zipper at the head, so it is possible to stick my head out and also adjust the underquilt.

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