Why you should care
Because this big-ticket leisure item could also save lives.
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Have you ever found yourself resting in a hammock, soaking up the beauty of Mother Nature while wrapped in that cocoon of suspended cloth and thought, “Sure, this is great. But what this thing really needs is a hot tub.” Well, someone has. And his idea has struck a chord.
Creator Benjamin Frederick has been a licensed skipper for years. One day, he was sailing along the Atlantic in 90-degree weather and decided to shape 5 yards of rugged marine material into a makeshift hammock. Unable to get the perfect amount of shade, Frederick randomly decided to add a few gallons of water to help keep cool. Though he says the impromptu design leaked, he knew he was onto something unique, and for some, irresistible. Frederick stresses that his creation is not just a hot tub unit. In fact, he says, one of the most common uses will be as a makeshift bathtub by campers. Along with the weight-resistant hammock material, the unit comes with a portable liquid propane water heater and rechargeable battery. And yes, it has two USB chargers, so you can charge your iPhone while recharging your body and spirit.
… a hammock that simultaneously works as a hot tub.
The minds behind Hydro Hammock created a hammock that simultaneously works as a hot tub. Earlier this year, they put the project up on Kickstarter hoping to generate some interest and a handful of investors. During the first week, Frederick says, he considered taking it down. But after the news started spreading online, “we starting getting over 1,000 hits an hour and thousands of dollars in backers each day,” he says. All together, Frederick and his partners raised more than $70,000.
Despite the groundswell of support, the idea is still pretty niche. Along with the large price tag — a full Hydro Hammock package, which includes the hammock and the heating system, costs $1,495 — users will still need to find the right combination of trees, posts or other supports to mount the hammock. Even creating a large hole in the sand requires a bit of sweat, or at least willing parties to do the hard work for you. Frederick says users shouldn’t go beyond two people and 50 gallons of water, or 700 pounds of combined body and water weight.
In November, Frederick says, he’ll ship about 100 units to initial funders of the Kickstarter campaign. And the influx of cash has allowed him to hire a marketing team — which has led to some unique inquiries, including a call from the U.S. Coast Guard, which is potentially interested in using a version of the Hydro Hammock for rescue operations: to treat people with hypothermia.