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My girlfriend and I both like sleeping in hammocks in the outdoors. We now sleep in two separate hammocks. However, I've seen many hammocks that are designed, or at least make it possible to sleep with two people in it. Most notably these two:

Possible advantages

  • Warmth: two people sleeping together is warmer (an advantage in colder environments)
  • Weight: one hammock is lighter than two hammocks and two tarps
  • Romantic: sleeping in two separate hammocks isn't really romantic, after all :)

Possible disadvantages

  • Warmth: two people sleeping together is warmer (a disadvantage in warmer environments)
  • Space: it seems to me that you would just keep rolling into each other and won't actually be able to fall asleep; not necessarily from the lack of space, but rather from the natural effect of rolling to the middle of the hammock

My question is: has anyone tried sleeping (not just relaxing or sitting in it) with two in one of these hammocks? Is it doable? Would you recommend it?

To be honest, I'm fairly skeptical myself, but I wanted to ask this question anyway because of the potential advantages. We also can't try sleeping in it for ourselves, since we both have single hammocks and we don't know anyone who owns a double hammock (and I don't think any store is going to let us try for one night).

Please don't just say: that seems/doesn't seem to be a good idea. I'm looking for people who have actually tried it. I have heard a lot of opinions based on gut feelings already; that is not what I'm looking for.

  • 2
    Good, well-written question! – manoftheson Jan 20 '13 at 21:40
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    I tried it once and only once. Never again. You just end up facing each other and arms get really uncomfortable. – Chris Mendez Mar 20 '15 at 1:17
  • What I miss in most answers is whether it is the European style (flat) hammock or the South American style (deep and wide) hammock. Owning an South American style I would sleep in it, I would not even lay down for a nap in an European style one. – Willeke Mar 22 '18 at 18:19
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There is another post in which my answer deals with this question among other things.

I have not yet met anyone that has tried to sleep with two people in a hammock that still practices it. I have tried it, and while it's ok for a short nap or just relaxing, for overnight and/or multiple nights it's just not comfortable or practical.

I have owned two ENO Doublenests and they still squeeze two people together no matter what way you set up the hammock, whether it's with sag or not. This is subjective, and you may find that it works for you, but I'm betting you won't. I have many married friends who also hammock camp and they don't share hammocks for sleeping either, even though they're accustomed to sleeping in the same bed or tent. (Actually they usually tent camp so they can stay together.)

One of the other big problems with trying to sleep two people in one hammock is if one person has to get up in the night, it's unavoidable to completely disturb the other person. This is assuming either of you has actually managed to stay asleep while sharing the hammock. The romance factor will have quickly lost it's momentum at this point.

It's worth noting that I haven't tried the Deluxe ENO (9'4" x 8'4"), and while wider than a Double (9'4" x 6'2"), I have my doubts that it would provide any different result for sharing a hammock overnight. Sorry to confirm your doubts.

  • Thanks for your answer (can't upvote yet; requires 15 rep.). Yes, it's a pity, but I'd rather have my doubts confirmed now than after buying a hammock (and paying about $70) and finding out the hard way that it doesn't work. :) – Ben Jan 20 '13 at 21:56
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    It was a good answer that answered all of my concerns in the way I asked (the source being actual experience), so I think it was worth accepting it. I've heard the DoubleNest is great as a single hammock. I now own a DD Hammock (good review) and while it's not as wide as the DoubleNest (and I haven't actually tried a DoubleNest), I think its main advantages over the DoubleNest are that there is a built-in mosquito net and a space underneath to place a sleeping pad (which prevents the sleeping pad from slipping underneath you). – Ben Jan 20 '13 at 22:13
  • (cont.) ... + being able to use it as a tent, since the "floor" is water-proof. This has saved me a couple of times when I couldn't find trees. It's not a real tent, of course, but in case you can't find the right trees, you at least have a backup plan (without any extra weight). – Ben Jan 20 '13 at 22:16
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This is not personal experience, but I'll share anyway. I was really into hammocking a few years back and found a guy on one of the message boards who was VERY enthusiastic about sharing a hammock with his girlfriend. He had built a hammock he was very satisfied with, but it had a spreader across the top, which I assume kept their top halves from smooshing together.

So, it may be possible, but you might also have to build one yourself to make it work.

13

I did it for three nights. First night was more like intermittent napping, but my girlfriend slept great. The second night I woke up twice. The third night I was more concerned with the flapping sound from my rain fly, the creaking trees and the sideways wind. After minimizing the flapping sound I slept as fine as I would have in those conditions on my own.

The extra body heat was a benefit we used an underquilt and sleeping bag for her and a sheet for me. the sleeping bag was a nice spacer. She had zero problems sleeping and wants to double up again. I found she cramped my shoulders, prevented the perfect hang (bit more banana like) but maybe that's because I went higher up to get shoulder space. I would do it again but would prefer my own. We used a grand trunk double hammock.

It's worth noting that I might wake up twice a night next to her in my own bed so I really can't complain. Bonus is that after that ive found sleeping next to her easier.

8

I own a Grand Trunk Double hammock (10.5' long x 6.5' wide), I'm 5'10" 160 lbs, my wife is 5'4" and not overweight (I'm not writing the # ;) ). Slept 2 nights so far with her in the hammock. We each had our own sleeping bag. We were definitely squished together tightly. We couldn't roll over. That said, we both slept okay.

It is definitely less comfortable than solo sleeping, but would take a double hammock over the ground any day. I definitely felt stiff from not moving, but not sore from pressing into my wife, or (compared to a tent) the ground. To summarize - it is definitely squishy, and you can't move much, but that was fine for us.

7

My husband and I backpacked around Europe for 3 months, sleeping in a hammock almost the entire time. At first we slept side by side with our heads on the same end. It was horrible. So we switched to having our heads on opposite ends, with each person slanted, forming a tight X. It was comfortable, and we are planning on exchanging our bed for a hammock.

6

Tried this for two separate trips with my boyfriend. We each have a double nest of our own. They are great because with so much extra fabric you can wrap it around yourself or even sit with your backpack.

Both nights were AWFUL. There is no angle that won't end up with some kind of pressure for you both. Both nights I ended up sleeping on top of him. This was easier than lying next to eachother (both head to toe & toe to toe, or crossed) because that just resulted in at least an arm loosing circulation for both of us. On top of him I at least kept him warm, and he is such a heavy sleeper, I could adjust & move enough that circulation was achievable (but also meaning I never really fell into deep sleep). He wants to try again, I started packing my one person tent. We share bed & tent without issue.

As far as napping, there's nothing better. I have napped in a hammock during ultra races I crew at, day hiking, and climbing. I have napped with and without other people in the hammock. It's fantastic, we even have a hammock stand in our apartment & we will set up to play video games or watch T.V.

As soon as you want to tuck in for the night though, it's time to kick everyone else out of the hammock.

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I've slept a few nights in a double hammock with my girlfriend, and it definitely works well- but you have to take into account your normal sleeping habits in a bed. We tend to sleep spooning, which is very easy to accomplish in a hammock. We have an ENO double nest, and I'd say the biggest problem we've encountered is just difficulty with bedding, which always seems to be either too hot or cold, or gets crumpled up between or under us.

2

I lived in Yucatán for a couple of years. Everyone sleeps in hammocks down there (cheaper and cooler than a bed, plus elevated so less chance of bugs, snakes, etc). I have seen a family of four in a single hammock. The hammocks are loosely woven, rather than a single piece of fabric or cloth. Also, they sleep cocoon style (head and feet near the straps, rather than horizontally spread across). If your hammock is large enough, you can spread some of it out and lie down, then your partner spreads a bit of the cloth on the other side. If you leave some slack in the middle, it will tighten when you are both reclined and create a sort of separation. If one of you gets up, it shouldn't disturb the other any more than a stiff mattress would. Granted, it isn't really romantic. In fact, it is more like being in two separate sleeping bags in the same tent, but it does work.

2

Yesterday night was my first experience sleeping together in a hammock in a single sleeping bag. While I cannot say that it's as comfy as single sleeping, there are still a lot of other comments:

  • It IS really warm. TBH I've never slept with someone together in a tent (only in different sleeping bags, so separated). This time in a hammock we were hugging each other really tight so our front parts were fine (we slept in the same direction, head to head). I'm kinda sure that you really should have to be wishing to hug each other, trying to keep distance is not gonna work here.
  • The main problem I noticed was in our legs. We didn't really manage to find comfortable position for our legs, so we were ending up with not comfortable positions with a lot of pressure to either of us' legs. But in the same time I think it can be solved with some more experiences and tries, it's just a matter of trying.
  • Also it is true that when one tries to move, partner will instantly feel it and probably wake up. For me I was feeling like I'm not really sleeping either because of my legs or because of my partner's rotation. However in the morning she said that don't remember anything like waking up during the night (just twice for rotating herself).
  • I had a feeling that we were laying in a hammock not in a proper way (it should be diagonal-like, but we ended up more in "banana-form"). But again, it's just a matter of practice IMO. I often end up in banana-form even when I sleep by myself, because getting into sleeping bag, trying to keep isomatte under it and finally trying to close sleeping bag - all it makes it somehow complicated to keep yourself in diagonal position. For sure this is much better if you have underquilt instead of sleeping bag.

Other related comments:

  • I'm a newbie hammock sleeper since last year, so far around 3-4 weeks of hammock sleeping in total.
  • My hammock is 275 x 140 cm according to the specs, not sure that it's really 2-person one.
  • Described above was really only actual sleeping, I had nothing more (if you know what I mean). However now I'm really skeptical about the phrase at one of hammock manufacturers website about "yes, you can have sex with your partner in our hammocks". For sure it's somehow doable, but it should be really inconvenient...

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