Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the web’s best products. If you purchase through our links, we may receive a commission. Our editorial team is independent and only endorses products we believe in.
As a relatively new Californian (can I still say that after almost 3 years?), I'm still getting used to both having backyard space and getting the urge to go camping year-round. My budding relationship with the outdoors has, naturally, impacted my habits as a consumer. A lot of energy that used to go into fantasizing about my interior space has been channeled into coveting items I can take on outings near and far.
I recently heard about Yellow Leaf Hammocks, and between its look, comfort, and portability, the brand seemed to embody the laid-back, oft-prepared adventure dad thing I’ve been slowly cultivating since I moved West.
More Than Just Hanging Out
After learning more about the company, I was even more interested in giving one of these babies a try. Yellow Leaf works with women of the Mlabri tribe in Northern Thailand to ensure ethical job creation and security within the community. Each hammock is individually handwoven by a Mlabri craftswoman, who is paid a “prosperity wage” and provided with flexible hours and financial education. The idea is to cut out the middleman that a more traditional impact-driven company might rely on –– rather than raising money for a third party charity organization, who would ultimately control the distribution of funds, the team behind the Shark Tank success story is invested in moving capital directly and consistently into the hands of the Mlabri community.
Catch Me Outside
Each Yellow Leaf Hammock is incredibly versatile: it combines the comfort and aesthetic of an indoor hammock with the durability of a camping hammock. It can be modified to hang in your home, between two trees, from a beam, truly anywhere. When I first opened up my Signature Hammock ($199) (which comes in a cute, compact tote), it was so soft to the touch that I couldn’t fathom how it could possibly be weathersafe. The silky yarn and the tight, woven pattern (involving 150,000 loops) immediately felt unlike any hammock I’d ever touched (those painful rope hammocks? Nothing like that). I got it in the Big Sur color, a relaxing brownish-cream that goes with any interior or scenic landscape.
I recently went on a trip to Montana, where I could put this thing to the ultimate weather test. I was close to the Wyoming border, in a remote cabin on a beautiful lake. The first thing I did when I arrived was find some prime real estate next to the water. Though I had never set up a hammock before, the “Go Anywhere” Hanging Straps ($39) made setup quick and easy. I was chilling in about 5 minutes.
Incidentally, during my 10 day stay, there was a cycle of hail, snow, and torrential downpour before it climbed back up to sunny and 80°. That is to say that I truly got to see how the Signature Hammock holds up year-round. The website claimed that the woven material could get wet without growing any mold. Though my mini-seasons were only a day each, the shirt I left outside by accident ended up with a mildewy smell, while the hammock was left fresh, clean, and soft as ever.
Comfort at Every Level
If it weren’t for my friends stealing my spot every time I got up, it’d be safe to say that I spent the whole trip being cradled by this hammock. The blanket-like texture, the breathable fabric, and the perfect, breezy spot on the water made this the most idyllic scenario I’ve experienced in a long time. I’m definitely going to spring for the Hammock Stand ($249), because I’m not quite ready to not spend most of my days off in one of these.
It also makes a perfect gift –– for fake adventure dads, for real dads, and for those around you that want to make an investment in a future filled with better working conditions. Between the product and the mission to provide job stability, Yellow Leaf truly embodies comfort at every level.
5 More Reasons to Love Yellow Leaf:
1. No two hammocks are the same: handwoven and signed by each individual weaver, you can ensure –– and feel –– that each hammock is truly unique.
2. Room for one more? The Classic size holds 400lb, and the Family Size can hold up to 550, meaning there’s enough cozy to go around.
3. The “triple-weave” construction uses around 150,000 ultra-soft loops, giving a weightless feel to the hammock.
4. Yellow Leaf supports 225 full-time weavers and has returned over $2 million in sustainable income to these weavers through a partnership with micro-financing pioneer Kiva. Yellow Leaf is on track to support 400 weavers by the end of 2022.
5. Creating weaving work and sustainable jobs makes it so that people will not have to rely on destructive agricultural practices to earn a living.