It's Time to Upgrade Your Camping Chair to a Portable Folding Hammock That Doesn't Need Trees

 

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Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo
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As the waves of pollen that keep many of us trapped indoors throughout the spring subside, it’s time to start gearing up for summer activities. If that includes camping, or really any inactivity that has you relaxing under the sun, it’s worth considering a camping chair upgrade. The folding Mock ONE lets you set up a comfy hammock anywhere, even if there’s not a tree in sight.

The flat-folding aluminum lawn chairs of yesteryear have long since been replaced by modern camping chairs that collapse small enough to be carried in a bag over the shoulder. They also include upgraded amenities like cup holders, smartphone pockets, and improved comfort. But for relaxing outdoors, the camping chair still can’t compete with the hammock, which has mystical powers that can induce napping in mere minutes—assuming you can find a pair of trees to hang one. With the Mock ONE Compact Portable Folding Hammock, you get the best of both worlds—the convenience of a folding camping chair with the comfort of a hammock—but in one product that can be set up almost anywhere.

As the proud owner of a well-equipped camping chair, the first thing that surprised me about the Mock ONE was that it wasn’t that much bigger when folded down.

The collapsed Mock ONE is actually slightly smaller than the Coleman camping chairs I drag all over the place during the summer, and instead of a bag, it includes a fabric wrap with a shoulder strap that securely holds all of the hammock’s various parts when folded down. But while you can buy traditional hammocks that fold up into a lightweight ball the size of a grapefruit, the Mock ONE weighs in at 15 pounds and is considerably heavier than a camping chair. Carrying it slung over your shoulder from the parking lot to the beach or a campsite isn’t a problem, but you’re not going to want to bring it camping if getting to your site involves hours of hiking.

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The fabric wrap that keeps the Mock ONE contained when it’s folded down also includes a permanent set of assembly and disassembly instructions attached, made from a weatherproof fabric so they’re next to impossible to lose or destroy. The setup process isn’t quite as easy as it is with a camping chair, and I’ll admit that the first time it felt a little complicated and daunting, but after the second or third time of working through the manual, the process of setting up and tearing down the Mock ONE hammock was easily memorized.

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With the outer wrap removed, all you need to do is unclip a strap and the Mock ONE’s four legs will more or less spread out and fall into place all on their own. It’s just a good idea to make sure you’ve found a flat, mostly level spot for the hammock as its four feet are in no way adjustable. Each foot does have a fairly large footprint, however, which means the Mock ONE can be set up on a beach in the sand without having to worry about the legs sinking.

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If you’ve ever set up a tent, then you’ve got all basic skills needed to complete the most challenging assembly steps of the Mock ONE. You insert some poles into other poles until they click in place, and then attach the head rest and foot rest bars which the nylon hammock itself hangs from—and that’s about it. It’s obvious a lot of thought went into the Mock ONE’s engineering and design, and while I’m not going to say it’s completely idiot-proof, most can have this thing set up and torn down in a matter of minutes, and faster if you’ve got someone to help.

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A bunch of add-on accessories are available for the Mock ONE, including bug nets and rain covers, but it does come with an optional sun shade that screws into place on either end (it doesn’t really matter what direction you lay in the hammock) and its angle is easily adjustable with just one hand.

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An under-hammock mesh storage basket includes a pair of fabric cup holders, but they’re not easy to reach while you’re stretched out on top.
Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo

Underneath the hammock you’ll find a mesh basket where you can stash items like clothing or sandals, and a pair of fabric cup holders which are nice to have, but in practice kind of tricky to actually reach and use while you’re spread out in the Mock ONE.

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A long, deep side pocket included on either side of the Mock ONE is easily accessible and provide enough storage for everything from phones to tablets to water bottles to sunscreen.
Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo

More useful is a pair of long, deep pockets located on either side of the hanging hammock itself that can be used to hold stuff like phones, tablets, water bottles, or sunscreen.

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The Mock ONE hammock is made from the same type of soft nylon material as parachutes, and feels very breathable and comfortable to stretch out in.
Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo

Made from the same type of strong nylon fabric as parachutes, the Mock ONE is far more comfortable than the woven hammock my family had back in the ‘80s that would leave patterned imprints across your back. And the design of the Mock ONE’s frame, which is surprisingly sturdy, means that during setup and disassembly the fabric hammock never touches the ground so it’s easy to keep clean. There’s a specific way to get in and out of the Mock ONE hammock to ensure there’s no risk of it toppling, but it’s much easier to climb in and out of than a traditional hammock since the Mock ONE doesn’t swing back and forth. That’s certainly a drawback—an afternoon spent slowly rocking back and forth in a hammock should be on everyone’s summer to-do list—but it’s an acceptable trade-off here for the sake of portability and convenience.

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The Mock ONE hammock is weight-rated to support up to 250 pounds, but taller users, particularly anyone well over 6 feet tall, will definitely find their feet hang over the end when they’re fully sprawled out. It’s not really a dealbreaker, though, because both ends of the hammock feature a built-in foam pillow, so even if your legs do hang off, they won’t be resting directly on an uncomfortable crossbar.

But the inability to swing and hard-to-reach cupholders aren’t the biggest reason to hesitate on upgrading all of your camping chairs: it’s the Mock ONE hammock’s $150 price tag. You can grab cheap camping chairs from your local hardware store for as little as $15, which means you could provide a place for 10 people to sit for the cost of a single Mock ONE. If you don’t frequently camp or visit the beach, that’s probably the better way to go, because a $15 camping chair is going to have a very limited lifespan. By comparison, the Mock ONE hammock feels like it’s been built to survive decades of use, and it comes with a lifetime warranty to back that up. It’s a premium accessory for those that love the outdoors, there’s no doubt about that, but the first time you crawl into one of these in the middle of a field to enjoy some summer fireworks, a self-standing hammock suddenly feels like a very wise investment.

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DISCUSSION

Bill

Andrew, when doing this kind of review there are two things you should always include in it:

  • Person weight limit: 250 lbs
  • Person height limit: 6'4"

It is nice for those of us who exceed societal norms to know a company is excluding us from their customer base. Or if they have an option that would suit us, to provide links to said product (which doesn’t exist with this company).