Best Spreader Bar Hammocks

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There are two rival schools of thought when it comes to choosing the best hammock, those who like a spreader bar, and those who don’t. A spreader bar is the wooden (or plastic) bar at the end of the hammock that keeps the hammock spread open.

Traditionally, the first hammocks made in South America didn’t have spreader bars, allowing the hammock to wrap around the occupant. However, when hammocks were first sold in western markets, it is said that the spreader bar was added to make them more like a bed and is one of the reasons that they first took off.

Table Of Contents

Quick Summary

Here are the top three spreader bar hammocks, keep reading for the full list:

Image Product DETAILS  
best overall
Ohuhu Double Hammock
  • Detachable spreader bar for easy storage
  • Straps and carabiner included
  • Great value for money
premium pick
NOVICA Fringe Single Hammock
  • Handmade by artisan creators in Brazil
  • Fairtrade and 100% cotton
  • Very comfortable
Most Durable
Zupapa Double Quilted Hammock
  • Curved spreader bar provides good balance
  • Polyester is strong and very durable outside
  • Not as comfy as a cotton hammock

Types of Spreader Bar Hammock

‘Spreader bar hammocks’ is an encompassing term for a range of different hammocks types whose common feature is the presence of a spreader bar across the top and bottom, they are the opposite of a gathered end hammock.

Spreader bar hammocks can be broken down in to four key categories:

  • Nicaraguan – This was the first type of hammock to receive a spreader bar and is an evolution of those found in South America. It’s a basic cotton fabric hammock with wooden bars either end. These are often referred to as American Hammocks as they were created in order to appeal to westerners.
  • Rope – Rope hammocks are commonly found both with and without spreader bars, so you have plenty of choice. They are great for warm weather as the air can circulate through the weaves.
  • Quilted – These hammocks are made from two layers of polyester fabric and sometimes they are stuffed with polyester too for extra comfort as it can be quite hard on its own. These hammocks always have spreader bars and are really weather-resistant.
  • Bridge – This is a very different style of hammock to those above, nonetheless it has a spreader bar, so I’ve included it. These hammocks have a curve from side to side, rather than bottom to top like most hammocks. Bridge hammocks are usually for camping and outdoors and not so much for lounging around.

Best Spreader Bar Hammock

Here are the best spreader bar hammocks:

Below are my full detailed reviews of each hammock I have suggested.

Ohuhu Double Hammock

Pros:

Detachable spreader bar which allows you to fold it away for easy storage
Great price compared to other brands at less than $40
Straps and carabiner included

Cons:

Polycotton is less breathable than 100% cotton but more durable
Comfort👍👍👍👍
4/5
Durability👍👍👍
3/5
Price💲💲
Affordable
StyleNicaraguan
Total Length10’6ft
Bed SizeDouble (6’6ft x 4’11ft)
Weight Capacity441lbs
MaterialPolyester (50%)
Cotton (50%)

The spreader bar is made from bamboo which is known for its strength and water resistance. It’s also a curved spreader bar which is designed to help add extra balance. Another nice feature is the handy clip in the middle which allows you to detach it in half for easy storing.

The material is a blend of cotton and polyester which provides a happy medium between comfort and strength. Adding polyester overcomes some of the disadvantages of a pure cotton hammock, for example it doesn’t retain as much water making it easier to clean and is less prone to tearing.

It comes with two straps and carabiners included so you’ll have it hanging in no time, plus there is a storage bag too. The total length of the hammock is 10’6ft and with a bed size of 6’6ft x 4’11ft. This is just about big enough for 2 people and the 441lb weight limit will cope with this.


NOVICA Fringe Hammock

Pros:

Bohemian style with fringe tassels
Handmade by artisan creators in Brazil
Fair trade certified
Choose from 9 designs

Cons:

Only suitable for one person at a time
Comfort👍👍👍👍👍
5/5
Durability👍👍
2/5
Price💲💲💲💲
Pricey
StyleNicaraguan
Total Length11’10ft
Bed SizeSingle (7’7ft x 5’5ft)
Weight Capacity300lbs
MaterialCotton (100%)

I always bang the drum about NOVICA because I really love the backstory of the products. NOVICA is a marketplace that connects artisan producers with those wanting to purchase sustainable products.

This hammock is handmade by local experts in artisan villages of Brazil. The hammocks are all fair trade, and you know it’s a brand you can trust as they have a strategic partnership with National Geographic to promote their efforts.

The hammock itself is in the Nicaraguan style, made from 100% cotton with spreader bars made from eucalyptus wood. It has a luxury fringe which is the traditional style for this type of hammock, but it still pulls it off in an elegant and modern way.

The hammock is 11’10ft and because it has relatively short suspension strings, it has a large bed size of 7’7ft x 5’5ft. This is big enough for two people, although with a weight capacity of 300lbs you’ll have to be careful not to overload it.


Byer of Maine Spreader Bar Hammock

Pros:

Sizing is very generous despite being a single hammock
Stylish design that would look great indoors or out
Doesn’t lose it’s vibrancy under the sun

Cons:

Weight capacity only suitable for one adult
Comfort👍👍👍👍
4/5
Durability👍👍👍
3/5
Price💲💲💲
Reasonable
StyleNicaraguan
Total Length10.5ft
Bed SizeSingle (4’7ft Wide)
Weight Capacity300lbs
MaterialCotton (85%) and Polyester (15%)

Byer of Maine have become one of the most well-known names in fabrics and textiles but are perhaps best known for their vibrant hammocks, as well as hammock stands and accessories.

This Brasilia hammock is made in Brazil, although technically it’s not in the Brazilian style and is more like a Nicaraguan or American hammock. Compared to the other hammocks here, it has a higher 85% cotton blend, with 15% polyester for added strength.

The hardwood spreader bar keeps the hammock open and makes it easier to get in and out. The material has a luxurious look and feel, plus the addition of polyester makes it more resistant to weather and maintain s the vibrant colors.

It’s only a single size hammock with a 330lb capacity, however with a width of 4’7ft this is still a very generous amount of space for one person. There doesn’t appear to be any alternative sizes although there are two colourful designs to choose between.


Zupapa Quilted Double Hammock

Pros:

The hammock has great balance thanks to the curved wooden spreadr bar
Most durable hammock due to the weather resistant polyester

Cons:

Not as comfy as a cotton hammock as the material doesn’t stretch at all
Comfort👍👍
2/5
Durability👍👍👍👍
4/5
Price💲💲💲
Reasonable
StyleQuilted
Total Length11ft
Bed SizeDouble (6’3ft x 4’5ft)
Weight Capacity450lbs
MaterialPolyester

You might best recognise Zupapa from their trampolines, but they are fast expanding into other products for the back yard including a huge range of hammocks. This particular hammock is known as a quilted hammock as it’s made from two pieces of polyester material that are bound together with further polyester stuffing inside that adds comfort.

This is not a traditional style of hammock, rather one that has been adapted for the western market. It is much easier to care for than traditional cotton hammocks and you won’t do too much damage if it’s left out in poor weather so it’s an ideal backyard hammock.

The spreader bar is made from bamboo with detachable pillow and can be split in half which makes it easier to store away in the included carry case. It’s also in a curved design which helps with balance, spreader bar hammocks are notorious for tipping over.

The bed size is 6’3ft x 4’5ft and it has a 450lbs capacity so you can relax on your own or with another adult. The total length, from hook to hook is 11ft.It has an attached pillow which runs across the length.

You’ll find four great patterns to choose from, however Zupapa make a lot of other hammocks including some with hammock stands included so you may want to have a browse of their full collection.


Vivere Rope Hammock

Pros:

Thick cotton ropes are comfortable and supportive
Rope hammocks allow air circulation making them great for sunny days

Cons:

At 12ft it may be too long for some spaces
Comfort👍👍👍
3/5
Durability👍👍👍
3/5
Price💲💲💲
Reasonable
StyleRope
Total Length12ft
Bed SizeDouble (7ft x 5ft)
Weight Capacity450lbs
MaterialCotton (100%)

This double sized rope hammock from Vivere has an open design thanks to two wooden spreader bars that run across each end. It has a loose weave that allows air flow through the holes; however, the thick ply cotton is supportive enough to hold your body and provide comfort.

It’s a 100% cotton hammock, this means it’s comfortable as the material will stretch to accommodate your body, although not as durable as others here sp shouldn’t be left out in poor weather. The hammock has a really large bed size at 7ft x 5ft and with its 450lb weight limit, it can hold two adults plus kids too. The total length of the hammock is 12.5ft.


Lawson Blue Ridge Bridge Hammock

Pros:

Lightweight and durable ripstop nylon
Great for hiking
Bridge hammocks are ideal for side sleepers

Cons:

This is a specific camping hammock, so it’s not designed for casual lounging
Comfort👍👍👍
3/5
Durability👍👍👍👍👍
5/5
Price💲💲💲💲
Pricey
StyleBridge Hammock
Total Length11ft
Packed Weight68oz (with poles)
Weight Capacity275lbs
MaterialRipstop Nylon and Polyester

I wanted to make sure I’ve included the top spreader bar hammocks for every occasion, so I’ve also added this Lawson hammock which is best suited for camping and outdoors.

Bridge hammocks are generally less favourable than gathered end hammocks for camping as you have the added weight and space of the spreader bar. However, they are great for anyone who prefers an open hammock and are often preferred by side sleepers.

This Lawson bridge hammock is one of the best on the market as it can also double up as a tent if you place it on the ground. It’s made from a blend of nylon and polyester with reinforcing fibres added to increase the materials strength (known as ripstop). The hammock is a little heavy for backpacking, weighing in at 4.25lbs when you include the poles. Still, that’s quite comparable to a tent.

The hammock is a single size at 3’6ft wide and with a bed length of 7’6ft. The total capacity of the Lawson bridge hammock with spreader bars is 275lbs which is just about enough for one adult plus backpacking gear provided you don’t have too much.


Comparison Table

KEY SPECSOhuhu DoubleNovica FringeByer of MaineZupapa Quilted HammockVivere Rope HammockLawson Bridge Hammock
Length10’6ft11'10ft10.5ft11ft12ft11ft
Bed SizeDouble (6’6ft x 4’11ft)Single (7’7ft x 5’5ft)Single (4’7ft Wide)Double (6’3ft x 4’5ft)Double (7ft x 5ft)Single
Weight Capacity441lbs300lbs300lbs450lbs450lbs275lbs
MaterialPolyester (50%)
Cotton (50%)
Cotton (100%)Cotton (85%) and Polyester (15%)PolyesterCotton (100%)Ripstop Nylon and Polyester

Spreader Bar Hammock Buyers Guide

Here is a brief run through of the key considerations when buying a spreader bar hammock:

Material

You will have different material options depending upon the type of hammock. Cotton is one of the more popular materials, not only is it easy to get hold of but has a slight stretchy property that makes it very comfortable. However, if untreated it isn’t particularly durable, especially if it gets wet frequently.

Then there are synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon, these are stronger and more durable, but not as comfortable. Many of the spreader bar hammocks here have a blend of materials to pull in the properties of each.

Size and Weight Capacity

Here are the meanings of the sizes and what you should keep in mind:

  • Length: You will see two lengths, the total length which is ring to ring and the bed length which is between the spreader bars. If you are buying a hammock for a specific space or stand, use the total length to determine if it’s suitable. For hanging between trees, ensure the total length is at least 2ft less than the hanging distance. For hammock stands, refer to the recommended hammock sizing for the stand.
  • Width: When you see a hammock described as single or double, this generally refers to the width. Spreader bar hammocks tend to have a slightly shorter width than the equivalent without a spreader bar. A single spreader bar hammock will generally be around 3-4ft wide and a double between 4-5ft wide.
  • Weight Capacity: Hammocks will have a specified weight capacity that has been rigorously tested by the manufacturer. A hammock designed for one person will usually have a weight limit of around 300lbs, whereas those designed for more than one will be 400lbs or more. If you are planning to use your hammock for camping, remember to account for the weight of you backpack too.

Type of Spreader Bar

Not all spreader bars are made equal. Some of the hammocks features here have a curved spreader bar, this helps push the center of gravity towards the middle of the hammock to aid with balance. You can also look out for detachable spreader bars; these have a clip in the middle allowing them to split in half for easy storing or transporting.

Featured image credit: Canva pro