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

It’s Time to Upgrade Your Camping Chair to a Portable Folding Hammock That Doesn’t Need Trees
Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo

If your future summer activities include 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The flat-folding aluminium lawn chairs of yesteryear have long since been replaced by modern camping chairs that collapse small enough to be carried in a bag over the shoulder.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.

Mock ONE Compact Portable Folding Hammock

WHAT IS IT?

A hammock with its own stand that folds up for easy transport and storage like a camping chair.

PRICE

Around $300

LIKE

Easy to set up and tear down, folds away smaller than some camping chairs, extremely comfortable.

DISLIKE

Does not swing from side to side, cup holders underneath can be hard to reach while lounging, anyone taller than 1.83 m will find their feet hang over when sprawled out.

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.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

When folded down the Mock ONE hammock is shorter than a folded camping chair, but it's also a little larger and doesn't include a carrying bag, just a fabric wrap that holds everything together.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

The fabric wrap does include a shoulder strap, but at 7 kg you're not going to want to bring the Mock ONE hammock along on long hikes. But carrying it from the parking lot to the beach isn't an issue.

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 7 kg 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.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

The setup and disassembly instructions are permanently attached to the Mock ONE's carrying wrap, so they're next to impossible to lose.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

The instructions are also printed on a waterproof fabric, so should survive as long as the hammock itself does.

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 memorised.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

The Mock ONE hammock's large feet help keep it very stable, even on terrain that's not perfectly flat and smooth. There's little chance you'll be able to topple it while sitting inside.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

A nylon strap with a clip holds all the Mock ONE's poles in place while it's folded down.

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.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

If you've ever assembled a tent, you've already mastered the Mock ONE's most challenging assembly steps.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

The hammock itself is suspend

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Disassembling all of the Mock ONE's components simply requires users to press spring-loaded locking buttons and pull everything apart.

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.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

A sunshade offering UPF 50+ protection is included, and securely attaches to either end of the Mock ONE using long screws.

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo, In-House Art

The angle of the sunshade can also be easily adjusted with one hand, but securely holds any position.

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.

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) 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.

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) 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.

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) 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.

The Mock ONE hammock is weight-rated to support up to 250 pounds, but taller users, particularly anyone well over 1.83 m 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 $200-300 price tag (depending on retailer). You can grab cheap camping chairs from your local hardware store for as little as $20, 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 $20 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 fireworks, a self-standing hammock suddenly feels like a very wise investment.