Are Hammocks Waterproof? All You Need to Know

Hammocks give you an exceptional camping experience. If you have already tried hammock camping, you know how it differs from tent camping. However, there are a few worries to address. One such worry is “Are Hammocks Waterproof?”

Before you take it out, hang it in your favorite spot and take a chance with the weather, here is the answer. Whether your hammock is waterproof depends upon the material it’s made of. While cotton hammocks are not waterproof, nylon or polyester-made hammocks are waterproof. These hammocks usually come with a layer of water-resistant coating.

you may also find useful: Single Hammock vs Double Hammock

Are all hammocks waterproof?

As we’ve mentioned above, not all hammocks are waterproof. It totally depends upon the material they are made out of. Cotton and similar materials are usually not waterproof while synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester are usually waterproof.

Are Hammocks Waterproof? All that you need to know
Are Hammocks Waterproof
  • Cotton Hammocks: Cotton as a material absorbs moisture and gets damp. If you expose a cotton hammock to rain, it will get soaked and may catch mould and mildew.
  • Nylon Hammocks: Nylon as a material is a good option for hammocks due to its strength and weight. This material is not totally waterproof. It will absorb some amount of water and dry very quickly.
  • Polyester Hammocks: Polyester as a material is far more water-resistant than nylon. You will get some polyester hammocks that are coated with PVC to achieve excellent waterproof properties.

Hence, if you want to get a waterproof hammock for yourself, you need to choose the right material. While buying a new hammock online, look for the specification where the manufacturer will mention its waterproof feature. While shopping from a retail store, you can ask the shopkeeper whether the hammock is waterproof or not.

PRO TIP: There are products available in the market to help you waterproof your hammock. These are mostly suitable for materials like cotton, silk, canvas, polycotton, and latex. Such products are known as wash-in waterproofing. You can easily apply them with a brush or a spray to prolong the life of your hammock by making it waterproof.

Can you leave a hammock in the rain?

It is not recommended to leave your hammock in the rain, wind, or freezing temperature. Leaving your hammock in the rain can cause mild to severe damage to it. As a result, you may have to discard your hammock.

However, if your hammock is made of waterproof material, it can handle some rain and wind. You need to ensure that your hammock gets dried out very quickly. Otherwise, fungus and mold can grow in it, which can weaken the fibres of the hammock.

Hence, for leaving your hammock in the rain, you need to understand its material. Even the synthetic fabric-made hammocks can catch mold and other harmful substances if you leave them in the rain for a long time. Also, make sure you clean your hammock occasionally.

Can you leave a cotton hammock in the rain?

Cotton is a non-waterproof material and hence, cotton hammocks shouldn’t be left in the rain. There are high chances of damage if you leave it in the rain. First, it will get very damp. Then, it will catch mold and other substances very quickly. As a result, your cotton hammock will not sustain for long.

Cotton has a very high moisture absorbance. Hence, water molecules go deep inside the material easily. It takes a long time to dry as well. However, there are products like wash-in waterproofing agents, which can help you to waterproof your cotton hammock. Once you have waterproofed your cotton hammock, it can sustain rain for some time.

How do I protect my hammock from the rain?

Protecting your hammock from the rain is a must if you want to use it for a long time. Here are some tips that you can follow to protect my hammock from the rain:


  • Cover your Hammock: First, you need to choose a tarp or rainfly that is large enough to cover your hammock properly. For ultimate coverage, look for one that extends up to 12 inches over each end of your hammock. The best way to keep your hammock dry in rainy conditions would be using a diamond-shaped rain fly.
  • Waterproof your Hammock: As we’ve mentioned earlier, you can waterproof your hammock using a wash-in waterproofing agent. It will coat your hammock with waterproof material so that it doesn’t catch water. One coat may withstand up to three or four washes. Hence, make sure you check its water-resistance power carefully before hanging it.

However, if you have a beautiful cotton hammock and you haven’t arranged any of the above materials, it would be better not to hang your hammock in the rain.

How do you waterproof a hammock?

Today, there are numerous products available that can help you to waterproof your hammock. These are basically wash-in waterproofing agents that you need to apply as a coating. These are usually transparent in color and do not change the aesthetic appeal of your hammock.

Wash-in waterproofing agents usually come in liquid form. While some products require a brush for application, others come in spray containers. You need to simply brush or spray them on your hammock as directed on the bottle. These are easy to use, safe, and high-performance products.

There are two things that you need to consider while buying these products. First, different products are suitable for different materials. You can go for one that’s suitable for multiple materials such as cotton, silk, canvas, and polycotton. Secondly, each application may sustain four to five washes.

How do you make a drip line for a hammock?

Making a drip line for your hammock can also help you to protect it from rain. Here are some best ways you can do it:


  • Take a shoelace and tie it on the suspension of your hammock. As the water will run in, it will drip off with the help of the lace. For added safety, you can take one side of the lace to tie it at a distance on the same string. The excess water will be soaked in the lace and drip off easily.
  • Attach your hammock to suspension via a Dutch pin. It works as a water break and saves your hammock from soaking. You can use an extra strap suspension and tie a knot with it on the main suspension for equal effect.

How do I keep water out of my hammock?

You can keep water out of your hammock in various ways that we have explained above. Below are all these points mentioned in short sentences:

  • Do not take your hammock out in the rain unless it’s waterproof.
  • Knowing the material of your hammock will help you to understand its water absorbance power.
  • You can use a wash-in waterproofing agent to waterproof your hammock.
  • Using a tarp or rainfly to cover your hammock properly is a must.
  • You can try the drip line techniques we’ve explained right above.


Hammock camping is the most exciting one. Whether you feel like reading a book or simply sleep on your cozy hammock while it rains, you need to know the above tips. I am sure these will help you to protect your hammock from the harsh rain and wind and I also hope that you understand that there is now simple answer to the question “Are Hammocks Waterproof?”.

If you are looking to buy a new hammock, look for a waterproof one. There are many options available online that you can choose from. Polyester is the best when it comes to choosing a waterproof material for hammocks.

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