Spreader bars are bars at each end of a hammock which stretch out the hammock. They allow for one or more people to sit on them, as well as prevent the cocooning effect of hammocks. If your hammock has spreader bars, the posts or trees you choose to hang your hammock from should be at least as far apart as the hammock is long. If the trees or posts are farther apart, you'll need sturdy rope or chain to extend the hammock. To achieve maximum comfort, extend the hammock the same length in both directions, and you shouldn't extend the hammock more than 3 feet total.
If your hammock does not have spreader bars, the hanging distance can be less than the overall length of the hammock, but no smaller than two-thirds of the hammock length. To get the maximum hanging distance, add 2 feet to the minimum distance length. The closer together your hanging points are, the higher off the ground you will need to hang the hammock because of the natural dip in the middle of this type of hammock.
In this chart, the measurements in black type will tell you the proper height to place your tree or hammock hooks based on the distance between your hanging posts so that the hammock will hang properly.
|Hammock Length||10 feet||11 feet||12 feet||13 feet||14 feet||15 feet|
|9 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet|
|10 feet||4 1/2 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet|
|11 feet||5 1/2 feet||4 1/2 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet|
|12 feet||6 feet||5 feet||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet|
|13 feet||6 feet||5 feet||4 feet||4 feet|
|14 feet||6 feet||5 feet||4 feet|