How To Sleep In A Brazilian Hammock

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31 Responses

  1. Great work. I have been researching some information about hammock width this article was a lot of help. The model I was considering had three different widths (one was nearly 8′ wide) but the same length hammock as the more narrow ones. Guess its true what they say; “sometimes less is more”.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Derek says:

      I know ENO sells a few models that are all the same length but different widths. I wish they would make the wide ones longer as it would improve the overall design. All things considered, the narrower hammocks at that same width (ENO models) are the best deal since the extra fabric is wasted and just flaps in your face when you sleep.

  2. Adam Skinner says:

    I’m lying in a Brazilian hammock right now =) I think you’re right about having the correct ratio of length to width, but I also think this can be mitigated through the use of mini spreader bars, which mimic the geometry of a longer hammock.

    • Derek says:

      I’ve often wondered about mini spreader bars in gathered-end hammocks — not to duplicate a rope hammock, and certainly keep the signature deep sag, but to keep the side rails from going taut. I’ll have to give it a try.

  3. Lana says:

    Very useful instructions and tips. It helps me to answer questions which my costumers have when they buy hammocks in my store
    Often I just direct them to your website. Thank you.

  4. Geri says:

    so helpful on the Golden ratio!!! It should work fine 🙂 if we only count the fabric dimensions, I guess, the rope shouldn’t really count, should it?

    • Derek says:

      If you’re talking about the suspension, than yes. Some hammocks use nettles that should be considered part of the overall length.

  5. tigermomma says:

    Thank you for your article! I’m trying to figure out how wide the hammock needs to take advantage of the diagonal lie. The hammock I’m looking at is 9′ 10″ Long x 4′ 7″ Wide and I’m 5’5”. Wondering if it’s too narrow. Thank you!

  6. H says:

    Hello Derek. I’m hoping to get a custom small mayan made for my 5’1″ frame and was wondering about width/length. Found your website amidst my searching. A typical “single” mayan body looks to be ~3′ wide x ~6′ long with a total length of ~13′. Any suggestions for me? Don’t know how diagonal I can get with 3′ and seems like much of the length would be wasted on me. Happy hanging!

    • Derek says:

      That is a good starting point. If you’ve slept in a Mayan hammock you’ll better understand how they stretch and lay. Hammock Rada has some inexpensive Mayan hammocks if you want to try and not invest much.

      • H says:

        Have you played around with the length much? How short lengthwise do you feel comfortable in? I’ve lounged in a friend’s Mayan before but his was on the much larger scale. Just looking for something comfortable enough and compact.

  7. James Baker says:

    I’m 6’2″ any suggestions on length width hang angle

  8. ASH says:

    Hi Derek! I have a few questions I’d appreciate if you could answer. When I lived in Mexico a few years ago, I slept every night in a locally hand-crafted, cotton,10 foot(?) x 6 foot Mayan hammock purchased there in in the Yucatan. As this was my first experience with hammocks, I was instructed to lay diagonally or even vertically in the middle. I’m 5’9″ and always found a vertical lay comfortable. I would gather up the above-waist slack of the hammock with my left hand & the below-waist slack with my right then sit in the middle of the hammock, lean back, kicking up my feet and legs while releasing the above-waist slack. Doing this would ensure a very flat, slack-free, fully spread lay in the middle vertically. I will be visiting Asia in year or so & wanted a light-weight hammock that could withstand the elements but I’m unsure if I can have the same comfortable vertical lay in an ENO Double Deluxe as I did with the Mayan. Q: The ENO DD is the 2nd widest hammock I could find at 8’4″ wide. Would I be able to achieve a comfortable vertical lay in this? I also would need a rain fly with good coverage & a detachable bug net for a vertical lay. Would do you recommend if I want a vertical lay? Is my best option to have those things custom-made? Many thanks and thanks for your hammock passions! The last photo seems to describe my lay best:

    • Derek says:

      You wouldn’t be able to lay transversal or perpendicular to the hammock in any ENO hammock because they are too short. They can be very wide, but there is a point at which the extra width is a liability because those sides now have to gather together much quicker. It creates a bowl in the middle. You need a longer hammock and one at least 6 ft wide. Most Mayan hammocks like the one you used are more in the 12 to 14 foot length range. The trouble with hammocks that large is that they require much bigger big nets and tarps to cover them, which is one reason camping hammocks are smaller. There are a few modern hammocks that have been made to approximate a perpendicular lay. Check out my review of the Amok Draumr and the Hammock Tent. EXPED also sells one similar called the Ergo. I love a good Mayan or Brazilian hammock indoors where you don’t have to worry about the weight of attachment or accessories. For camping, I recommend a slight compromise by getting a smaller hammock that is better suited for that activity. Camping hammocks with integrated but nets are the most convenient and lightest, but you can mix and match different components to your liking. Check out Dream Hammock for a very comfortable and fully customizable hammock. For size, I would start with a 5×11 foot hammock.

  9. Aaron Henderson says:

    Hey Derek, I’m looking at changing from a traditional bed to a hammock in the next month or so. Is there a big difference between a Brazilian/Mayan style hammock and the modern eno/warbonnet style or is it mainly personal preference?

    • Derek says:

      Size is the first, biggest difference. Material is next. Brazilian hammock made from cotton is super comfortable. Your ENO hammock is much shorter and it makes it harder to lay diagonally and use up all the width. Jungle/camping hammocks are also smaller so you don’t have to pack big tarps. Bug nets can be annoying at home unless you need bug protection indoors. However, if you only want to invest in one hammock, is get a jungle style that I could use everywhere. Comfort is very personal and can vary. Your needs are also vary.

      • Aaron says:

        Awesome, thanks so much for getting back to me! I already have a Hennessy that I use for camping so I’ll look into a Brazilian! Thanks again and keep up to great work!

  10. Skip Taylor says:

    Hi there the one with the stand an hammock how much

  11. aiacopino says:

    Hello, I would like to thank you so much. There’s a hammock I love and wanted to buy on and your article helped me understand how it works. Thanks!!! A++

  12. Lani says:

    I’m Brazilian and I’ve always slept in hammocks my whole life. I started sleping in bed when I was a child, but gave it up definitively when I was 16, and I can assure that I stopped having back problems while sleeping in hammocks, apart from having a much better quality of sleep. And, jut FYI, I do use mainly indoor hammocks. we should thank Latin American indigenous 4 creating such genial inventions that are hammocks XD wha’ is difference of Mayan to our typical Brazilian hammocks? I didn’t do really find differences..

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