Two of the most relaxing contraptions on Earth just got together and had an odd but potentially awesome lovechild. The new HydroHammock delivers a hot tub in the air, suspending you, your favorite hot tub companion and several dozen gallons of heated water above the ground. We can think of few better ways to relax away a hard day of work or play in the backyard or beyond.
The HydroHammock may or may not be a pain to actually set up and use, but we have to admit that the thought of a go-anywhere hot tub that sways from the trees has us daydreaming. A lot. It seems like the two archetypes of outdoor r&r were destined to be together all along.
The HydroHammock is built from sealed, high-tensile fabric designed to hold a tub-full of water. The hammock can hold two people and up to 50 gallons (189 l) of water, but the company says that 20 gallons (76 l) is enough to give you a functional tub-in-the-trees. It straps to the trees or other supports by way of heavy-duty ratchet straps and carabiners, making for quick, hassle-free set-up – or at least that's the way it goes in the promo video.
On its own, the HydroHammock is really more of a dangling cold tub. You can fill it with your garden hose and enjoy a cool down on a hot July afternoon. In fact, that's exactly how designer Benjamin Frederick came up with the idea. In the process of designing an overbuilt, heavy-duty hammock, Frederick decided to try filling it with water to cool down on a hot day. It worked, and the blueprint for the HydroHammock was drafted.
In order to create a full-blown swinging hot tub, you need a water heater. HydroHammock's available portable heating/recirculation system heats water from a hose as it fills the hammock tub, then keeps it heating and recirculating while you soak. It can also be used to pump and heat water from an external source like a lake or river. The included filtration system takes care of cleaning the water.
The current heater system is powered by propane, delivered via a home grill-sized tank or portable camp-stove bottle, and includes a removable 12 V rechargeable battery to power the pump. As a bonus, the wheeled heater box includes two USB charging ports. The company also plans to develop electric and solar heater options.
In addition to serving as a relatively affordable, low-maintenance hot tub for home use, the HydroHammock was designed with portability in mind. The heater was built to meet checked baggage requirements (minus the propane tank), should you want to fly with the system. We can't imagine many people lugging that big, 60-lb (27-kg) box (50-lb/22.7-kg if you leave the battery at home) plus 15-lb (7-kg) or 21-lb (9.5-kg) hammock around the world and back again via plane or train, but we suppose it doesn't hurt to have the option.
We could definitely see folks (including ourselves) throwing the heater/hammock package into the back of a pickup truck, SUV or RV and using it on a road trip, camping trip or other highway-based adventure. The idea of relaxing in a hammock tub in the middle of it all – think canyon rim or remote mountain valley – is one of the recurring daydreams we've been having since discovering the HydroHammock. The hot water heater can also be used as a portable shower, giving it added value at camp.
You don't necessarily even need trees. You can also use the hammock body as a hot tub liner when digging a tub into the sand, snow or other soft ground. Get creative and you could probably figure out many ways of using it to create a makeshift hot tub all over the map.
The HydroHammock is being promoted on Kickstarter now. The single-layer HydroHammock 1 is listed at a pledge level of US$280, and the double-layer HydroHammock 2 starts at $390 (both pledge levels are without the heater system). The HH 1 is smaller and lighter and can fit inside the heater box, whereas the HH 2 is designed for sliding insulation (e.g. a camping pad) between the two fabric layers in cold weather or even filling the space with water to create a portable "water bed" hammock. The water heater is listed separately at the $920 pledge level or in a HydroHammock package starting at the no-package-discount of $1,180.
All the Kickstarter pledges are solid discounts from the projected retail pricing of $480/$680 per hammock and $1,950 for the water heater. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to begin in September. You can check out the pitch video below.