I don’t know about you, but at the end of a hard day’s work, I like to plop myself down and relax a bit. Being an accomplished multitasker, sometimes I even partake of a cold, frosty beverage while I sit. Since most job sites are short on plush seating, much of this sitting takes place on my truck’s tailgate. While it’s not exactly luxury seating, it beats standing, and it’s right there with me. The folks at King’s Pond just sent us a product to evaluate that has the potential to be MUCH more comfortable than my tailgate. Get yourself comfortably seated – on your tailgate or elsewhere – and join us as we hang out on the Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand.
The seating components we received are part of a system of pieces that can be mixed and matched to provide different seating options. The main framework is known as the Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand. It can dangle you and a companion in two Hammaka Hammock Chairs or a traditional camping hammock.
We also got two Hammaka Hammock Chairs to dangle from the Hammock Hitch Stand. Available in several colors, they are fairly fast and easy to assemble, and they’ll have you suspended in midair before you can say “break time!” More importantly, they even have cup holders!
The final seating option we received is perfect for those REALLY bad work days. Or any other time a power nap is appropriate. With a little tweaking, the Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand can be transformed to suspend the Hammaka Parachute Hammock. It’s super compact and lightweight, and the changeover process, as you shall see, is a good example of why it is occasionally beneficial to read the instructions. Meanwhile, here’s a quick video overview of the Hammaka hammock system:
Preparing To Dangle – Assembling The Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand
All the components we got came in very compact packaging. The Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand was the biggest and heaviest box, weighing in at around 53 lbs. The two chairs and the Parachute Hammock were all taped together, and relatively lightweight.
I opened the box, and actually read the instructions, which are printed on one page. The frame consists of five pieces: One fits into the hitch receiver, and there are two pieces for each “arm” that goes up. There’s a bag of hardware, and they even include a hitch pin and a little wrench to put it all together.
The instructions say assembly takes ten minutes. That may be true when it goes together for the SECOND time, but the first time took slightly longer. Not terribly so, though; it’s very well designed. All the nuts, bolts and washers are the same, and everything fits together pretty well.
After sliding the bottom piece into the receiver and pinning it in place, I started on the uprights. Each connection point uses two bolts, which fit into a recess in the bracket to keep them from spinning while you tighten the nuts with the wrench.
Here’s a special HomeFixated tip for you: After the lower upright pieces are in position, put the end caps and eye bolts on the upper poles before you install them. Otherwise, you’ll need a ladder, or have to lean out in an unsafe manner to do it.
And that’s pretty much all there is to the Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand assembly process! After the first pole is finished, repeat the process with the second. Make sure you use the washers and lock washers at each connection, and snug everything up well.
Get Ready To Assume The Position On The Hammaka Hammock Chairs
Once the stand is up, it’s time to prepare the pair of chairs for the air. The Hammaka Hammock Chairs are mostly assembled right out of the box. To make the wad of nylon and rope more closely resemble a chair, just fit the beefy dowels into the pockets, to spread the chair out into its sitting position. There’s one that spreads it from side to side, and one above each armrest, to hold it open from front to back. There’s also a dowel to keep the footrest in the open and locked position.
And here’s your Hammaka Hammock Chair assembly tip: Make sure the correct side of the seat is facing toward where your body will be. The two sides of the chair look very similar, but the Velcro strip on the top of the back should be facing outward. Ask me how I know. The Velcro is for the pillow; stick it on, flip the pillow over, and get ready to rest your weary head.
Once the dowels are in place, it’s time for the most crucial part of the assembly process: Adding the cup holder. Okay, maybe not the most crucial part, but certainly an important milestone. Just hang the cup holder anywhere along the cross dowel, and loop it through its own strap. It can then be slid into whatever easy grasping position position works best for you.
Once all the dowels are snug in their pockets, it’s time to hang ‘em high. This is the trickiest part of the process; it isn’t hard to do, but dialing in the right place to knot them off takes a bit of experimentation. A good part of the assembly time was spent getting the suspension ropes adjusted to the best height. You’ll definitely want a little ladder or step stool for this portion of the festivities.
For chair height, I pulled about two feet of rope through the S-hook before knotting it. Your adjustment will vary, depending on how high your hitch sits off the ground. If you’re piloting a Bigfoot-style monster truck, you’ll probably be using all the rope you can get… Once you’ve dialed in the perfect height, you’re set forever! Or until you upgrade to a BIGGER monster truck.
All that’s left to do is to hang the footrest. I used all the rope that came with it to suspend it; if you like to elevate your tootsies, adjustment is easy. Once the rope is knotted to the S hook, just clip it onto the overhead eye hook.
And that’s it – your Hammaka Hammock Chairs are ready for your tired body to “Climb in and hang out,” as the folks at Hammaka are fond of saying. I’m all for that! Hanging out is definitely in my skill set, so I put an appropriate beverage into the cup holder, eased myself into the chair, sat back with my head on the comfy pillow, and did just that. Ahhhhhh.
You may be looking at the picture of me dangling from the sky in the hammock chair, thinking to yourself “That’s all well and good, but I am a largish person; could the Hammaka Hammock Chair possibly support ME as I dangle?” The answer is more than likely Yes. Each Hammaka Hammock Chair can accommodate up to 350 lbs., so if you’re under that limit you should be fine.
I personally am a member of what is fondly known in the mountain biking world as the Clydesdale Class, meaning I am somewhat north of 200 lbs. When I first settled into the Hammaka Hammock Chair, I was pretty cautious, but after bouncing around a bit, I felt pretty secure.
The Hammaka Parachute Hammock – Like Reposing In A Nylon Cloud
Last up in our Hammaka seating tryouts is the Hammaka Parachute Hammock. I have to say I was pretty skeptical when I first saw it. The box it came in was tiny, and I’ve had hamburgers that weighed more. Nevertheless, I was willing to submit to possible bodily harm, or even death, if it contributed to the enlightenment of our HomeFixated readership.
I took down the Hammaka Hammock Chairs, and unrolled the Hammaka parachute Hammock from its little stuff pouch. I figured that was probably the last time it would ever fit inside, but it had to be done. I attached it to the upraised arms of the Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand, thinking to myself, “Hmmm…that’s not a very wide hammock.”
I gamely climbed in anyway, and it was NOT a very wide hammock. It was almost impossible to sit in, and not very comfortable at all. It was greatly amusing to my wife, who was watching the stupidity unfold, though, so it wasn’t a total loss.
I managed to extricate myself from my nylon cocoon without suffering permanent injury, and took a closer look at the instructions. Turns out there’s a totally different frame setup for the Hammaka Parachute Hammock, printed on the back of the instructions for the chair setup. Aha.
Hammaka Parachute Hammock Setup 2.0
Once I realized my
stupidity honest mistake, it only took a few minutes to set up the Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand the RIGHT way for the Hammaka Parachute Hammock. (I did, however, wait until my wife was off the premises, to decrease my odds for further humiliation). The two pieces in each of the left and right arms remained bolted together. I unbolted them from the base, and removed the end caps and eye bolts from the tops.
Now all I had to do was flip them over, inserting the tops of each piece into the base. There are two sets of holes in the base piece, but the setup is configured so the poles can only be installed one way, making it relatively idiot-proof. If only that were true for the hammock…nah, I’d still find a way.
Once the poles were in the proper orientation, I installed the eye hooks and the end caps. Zowie – suddenly the whole thing looked like it was designed to be a hammock stand! I took the hammock back out of its stuff sack (yes, it DID go back in!), clipped it to the poles, and voila – the Hammaka hammock was ready for lounging!
I clambered aboard, and enjoyed a totally different experience than my first outing. It was plenty long enough for my 6’2” frame, and there was lots of material left on both sides of me. The Hammaka Parachute Hammock is designed to hold two people, with a total weight capacity of 450 lbs. Heck, I could have fit TWO of me in there, with capacity to spare! I think the consensus would be that one of me is more than enough, though. Here’s the quick and dirty Parachute Hammock spec list from Hammaka:
• Weighs less than 1 pound
• 100% 210T lightweight and breathable Nylon
• Stuffs into 6″ by 8″ permanently attached stuff sack
• 8′ long by 6′ when fully deployed
• Perfect for camping, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor recreation
• 450 pound weight capacity
Some Final Thoughts To Hang Out There
Before the Hammaka hammock system came our way, I had no idea there was such a thing. A tailgate alternative, with a pillow and cup holder, no less? Hell, yeah!
During the evaluation process, I set the system up and tore it down about four times, switching between the traditional hammock and the hammock chairs. It really is fast and easy, and very well thought out, in that both setups use all the same pieces, and the layout of the holes makes it almost impossible to put together the wrong way. All the materials are very good quality, and the system is very sturdy when set up.
The Hammaka system is aimed at recreational users, and I can see that it would be a hit in that niche. It would be cool to have at tailgate parties, or ANY party where people are roaming around, and want to sit and have a relaxed chat. It would undoubtedly be a hit at the campsite, too.
There’s an older version of the hitch framework, still available from King’s Pond and other online sellers, known as the Hammaka Trailer Hitch Stand. It’s very similar to the Hammaka Hammock Hitch Stand, but can only accommodate two Hammock Chairs, with a weight limit of 250 lbs. per arm. The newer version is a bit stronger, and can also be used to hang a hammock.
Rumor has it there are people out there who – gasp! – actually have no trailer hitch on their vehicle! To accommodate these hitch-deprived folks, the Hammaka web site also offers a line of stands, suitable for use as a hitch substitute. Just as effective as hanging from a hitch. But nowhere near as cool.
If hanging out is part of YOUR skill set, take a gander at the lineup of Hammaka products on the King’s Pond website. They offer a pretty good variety of chairs, hammocks, stands and accessories to assist in your lounging endeavors. You can buy individual items, or save a fair bit by grabbing a combo kit, with the stand, a couple of chairs, and a hammock. Then use the money you saved to stock the cup holders, call a friend, and get dangling!
The Hammaka Hammock Combo deal: Includes the Hammock Hitch stand, two cradle chairs, and a hammock, for $399.