Nick and Sarah McDonald were hiking in the jungles of Mexico when they noticed a cluster of beautiful hanging nests suspended in the trees. It was a colony of weaver birds' nests, carefully woven into water-drop designs with circular openings for easy access. The McDonalds were struck by the beauty of the form and fantasized about how lovely it would be to crawl into one. After a long flight home and many months spent on design and rigorous testing, they created the Cacoon -- a charming and utilitarian hanging hammock pod that would make any weaver bird proud.

Nick and Sarah are highly specialized textile designers. They used to design and make sails for ocean-going yachts. They are experts in architectural fabrics and textile technology for onshore structures. Also, Nick was a fine-furniture maker in a previous life.

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The McDonalds share a deep love of design, and understand how to use materials creatively. For the Cacoon, they chose a top-grade fabric made from a cotton-polyester blend able to meet the high demands of both the marine and the camping communities. The pod has the soft feel of canvas but the longevity of a technical fabric, is resistant to mold, repels water, and offers protection from UV rays. "Wherever you take your Cacoon, it'll withstand the elements; wind and rain, sun and sea," the company website explains. "Its high-quality natural canvas and weather-proof colors will resist all you can throw its way."

The design is simple and the product easy to transport. With just one hook, you can swing in a garden, the woods, or the corner of your bedroom. Cacoons come in 11 colors and three sizes, the largest of which can hold two adults or a handful of very enthusiastic kids. Because its shape is tent-like in some respects, it is also a super cozy place to snuggle up and read a book. In addition, because they dangle, a few good pokes and you have a whirling swing for active play, making a Cacoon a happy place for the whole family. Cacoons retail for $250 to $550 and can be purchased directly at www.cacoonusa.com. It's not too late to hang your nest and enjoy it before fall arrives.