What Type of Hammock is Better? Bridge vs Gathered End

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You’re curious aye?

What are these new fangled bridge hammocks? And how are they different than gathered end hammocks?

Well take a look at this.

At a Glance

Hammock Type of Sleeper Setup Weight Packed Size Popularity Price
Bridge Hammock Back, Side, & Stomach Hard Heavy Large Low Expensive
Gathered End Hammock Back & Possibly Side Easy Light Small High Cheap

Picture of a Gathered End Hammock

Picture of a Bridge Style Hammock

So What’s The Difference?

In short.

Gathered end style hammocks (extremely similar to whipped end hammocks) have the fabric bunched up at the ends of the hammocks, and when hung resemble a banana if you look at it from the side.

Bridge style hammocks (aka channel hammocks) have spreader bars at the ends, this creates what looks like a channel from one end to the other.

Now if that doesn’t make sense to you scroll back up and look at the two pictures paying close attention to where the suspension system meets the hammock.

What Type is More Comfortable?

That answer’s easy… It depends.

How do you sleep?

On your side?

Your back?

Or maybe even your stomach?

If you sleep on your back you can pick whatever type of hammock you want, you’ll be comfortable. You lucky duck.

But if you pick gathered end be sure to check out my guide on how to sleep in a hammock properly.

Now if you sleep on your side you’re kindof in a sticky situation.

I sleep on my side when I sleep in a bed but I’ve found that sleeping on my back in a gathered end hammock is way more comfortable than that.

And it’s more comfortable than trying to sleep on my side in that type of hammock too.

But if you insist on sleeping on your side I have heard that some people sleep in the fetal position in gathered end hammocks. But bridge hammocks are much flatter so I can see them being more comfortable for side sleepers.

Then the stomach sleepers. You definitely want a channel hammock, no doubt about it.


If you can bear learning to sleep on your back gathered end hammocks are the way to go.

But if you’re body just can’t seem to do it and you have to sleep on your side or stomach go with a bridge hammock. You’ll just have to deal with the increased weight and price though.

It’s possible to get comfortable sleeping on your side in a gathered end hammock but the fetal position isn’t too comfortable. But hey if it works for you feel free to tweet at me telling me I’m wrong.