You may not have noticed it yet, but we are in the middle of a hammock boom in this country. According to an NPD Group report, from 2013 to 2015, outdoor retail hammock sales doubled, from approximately $26 million to $53 million, and the trend continues. Last year, one company sold 24,000 hammocks on Amazon Prime in just a single day!
Sleeping hammocks provide mobility, comfort and convenience for those seeking lightweight portable sleep solutions, and outdoorsy folks are catching on quickly. The idea of "urban hammocking" has also grown in popularity, embodying the so-called "athleisure market" of people who want to hang out outside but not rough it. They want to be comfortable, to relax or read or nap. Like the new Millennial-favored "glamping" (glamorous camping), sleeping hammocks are the latest improvement in outdoor sleeping that anyone can enjoy.
One popular brand of hammocks is emerging as a leader in this market with a clever design. Kammok was a Kickstarter concept in 2011 -- and its founders raised over $200,000 in crowd support in just 50 days. Kammok hammocks use lighter weight materials and tree-friendly straps and also emphasize other top performance details. Their newest design, the "Roo" comes with rated climbing hardware, dyneema racer slings, and is made of Kammok's proprietary diamond ripstop fabric, LunarWave, that can hold up to 500 pounds. The Roo weighs just 24 oz and fits two people. It is also designed to be quickly crammed into a stuff sack for an easy repacking experience, which is important to backpackers and day hikers alike. With the "Dragonfly" insect net on top - Kommok let's you swing bug-free from the trees.
Founder Greg McEvilly launched Kammok while pursuing a graduate degree in cross-cultural communications. He was nearing the end of his graduate thesis which centered on the eradication of vector-borne disease in Sub-Saharan Africa, and found himself concerned with three lofty passions: making a positive impact on society; utilizing a business model as an avenue for a higher purpose; and pursuing his calling of reaching and helping underserved peoples as well. When his brother introduced him to hammock camping that summer, and he woke up on the ground when his hammock ripped in the middle of the night, that he realized that he had a unique opportunity to follow his passions and address a performance gap in hammocks that would also be good for the world.
Today, the Austin-based company is "focused on galvanizing a hammock camping movement, and educating our customers on how our products are different and why that matters." Their mission is to "equip and inspire people for life changing adventures." Their focus is on the social aspects of hammock camping, and giving back. The company is a registered B Corp and a member of the charitable organization "1% for the Planet." They've also launched a Give Adventure Program this year, so that every product purchased gives an adventure to a deserving youth in the wider Austin community.
"Hammocking -- and especially hammock camping -- is a new activity for many people," McEvilly notes. "Our products are catalysts for life changing adventures. I'll never forget when a customer wrote in to tell us about the exceptional experience he had camping with his son, or another customer's favorite night with her fiancé when they laid in a hammock and dreamt of their life together while breathing in the fresh night air."
The company is growing steadily as Kammok continues to add new partnerships and products -- including their highly portable mosquito net, now sold through national retailers like REI and others. McEvilly is considering a Series A funding round for the company in the near future. He concludes: "The very idea of camping has been re-invented by replacing traditional tents and lumpy air mattresses with our superior camping hammocks. Kammok leads the world in marketing this new phenomenon. We clearly expect it to continue to grow!"