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Short Travelers! Have any of you tried those foot/leg “hammocks” for the plane?

Hello all — I am 5 feet tall and my feet and legs get awfully tired on my trans-Atlantic flights since my feet don't reach the ground.

I have seen ads for those “slings” or “hammocks” that you hook over your tray table that allow you to rest your feet/legs in them (for those of us commoners in coach class).

Has anyone tried one? Any thoughts on whether it worked for you/was worth the trouble or not?

Thanks!

Posted by
3347 posts

Kim, I have read reviews about the “slings” both positive & negative. I can empathize as I am a shade under 5’ 2. That said I have been able to place my feet on top of my bag under the seat in front of me comfortably. It will be interesting to hear from those who have tried one.

Posted by
1799 posts

Someone a few years ago gave me this one and I have started taking it with me regularly. http://www.buyfootnestnow.com/benefits.html
It really does help me. I haven’t tried it on the tray table - and I could see that some of the other styles on Amazon might be more comfortable. But I would definitely say that for us shorter (or older) travelers, something like this is helpful.

Posted by
4249 posts

I'm 5-4, but still feel like the seats are too high for me. Maybe because relative to my height, my legs are on the short side. One time I was so uncomfortable that I put my shoes in a stuff sack, flipped it over so soles were up and that worked well as a little foot stool. I've also used my small backpack, but then I need to be pretty careful how I pack it.

Sort of had to laugh when I looked at the link to the hammock when I read that the passenger in front was less likely to notice. It would be rather hard to miss, though I'm not sure a compassionate fellow traveler would care much.

Posted by
3263 posts

I'm also vertically challenged, but like Janis, if I'm flying economy I just rest my feet on my bag. Better yet are the airlines that have a built in foot rest ( yes, they do exist). The slings may work, but might be a nuisance if you're in a middle or aisle seat and have to fold up the table to allow others out of their seat for a bathroom break or whatever. (?)

Posted by
787 posts

Yes, I have the one called Sleepy Ride from Amazon. It's straps rest on the tray table arms not the seat. First time I used it I warned the lady in front of me and asked her to tell me if it bothered her. She never said anything.

I'm 5'5" and it makes coach seats more comfortable on long haul flights. I can put my feet in the hammock or the backs of my calves or one of each. Definitely easier on my back.

The only time it didn't work well was flying on an older Delta jet where the tray table released with a spring clip instead of one you turned . If I put too much weight on the footrest the tray table would pop down/open.

Posted by
113 posts

Kim,
I once read about using a semi deflated beach ball for a foot rest. I tried it once and it did work nicely. It was much cheaper and easier to pack than any other device for a foot rest on a plane. Its worth a try.

Posted by
304 posts

I'm 5'6" and tested on shorter flights. I liked it and think it would have helped on the longer flights but the 787 has a built-in footrest (drop down style like on buses). They lie flat so don't take up too much room but it'd be nicer to not have to carry one more thing.

Posted by
8612 posts

If it is hanging on the seat in front of you, I wonder how much motion transfers every time you move.

The beach ball on the floor seems to be a friendlier solution for the neighbor in front--- or just rest your feet on your bag

Posted by
7596 posts

Yes Joe, that is a good point. Even if one thinks one is being careful, inevitably one is surely moving more than one realizes.

It's funny as some have mentioned putting their feet on their bag — somehow I never seem to have enough “stuff” in my bag under the seat to provide a platform for my feet!! And yes I have been on flights with the footrests — that is absolutely ideal. Such a simple idea, I wish they would install those on all planes!

Thanks for the tips and links, I am going to check them out.

Posted by
1763 posts

I've also used a semi-deflated beach ball to put on the tray table and rest my head on for a different sleeping position (you probably have to be short like I am to have this work). I put a homemade "baby" pillowcase on it so I'm resting on cotton, not plastic.

Posted by
126 posts

Years ago I was traveling through Mexico on a bus, it was going to be an all night long commute to my destiny, but I noticed every seat on that bus had a foot rest. Even I at 5'9" appreciated them. I think the beach ball is a nice alternative.

What I worry about with these hammocks or slings that you put in the seat in front of you is how much is the passenger in front of you feels if you move it?

I'm following this thread closely because I want to get one for my mom.

Posted by
2006 posts

Woman a few rows in of me on Virgin Atlantic tried to use one last week. First Flight Attendant (FA)! said “no”. So she tried to hide it under a blanket. FA still saw it “no”. Next thing I know the head flight attendant is at her seat explaining that if she continues to disobey the staff we will land to let her off. (We were still over the US). Never saw anything else but the FAs kept a close watch the entire flight

Posted by
1799 posts

joe, I know - I thought about that effect on the person in front also. I try to be extremely careful with movement; but as a check, I had occasion to sit directly behind a friend on a flight to Ireland and asked for her very honest opinion about that. She said she never felt a thing. Not saying that would be the case always but I do believe her for that one occasion, which makes me feel better. And it seems like it would be less stress on equipment than using on the tray but I have never tried that.

Posted by
950 posts

5'2" and I have tried everything. Lately I've been tucking my travel pillow under my thighs near the edge of the seat. It works for awhile like everything else it's not great

Posted by
1556 posts

I have a cheap one and it does help. I can use it over the top of the seat or on the seat back table. I can’t seem to make it work with putting my calves on it, as my feet hit the seat in front of me. Just not enough space in coach to do that. I find it helps just using it as a footrest hanging from the table ether open or closed.
It’s probably not a good idea to use in the middle or aisle seat as it could hamper emergency evacuations. I have a window seat reserved and will use it unless told to put it away.
I’m not sure if a blowup beach ball or footrest would be allowed as everything needs to be under the seat in front of you.

My guess is that ALL of these items aren’t really allowed and it’s the crew not applying safety rules consistently. Just like some allow oversized carryons, and that passenger with five shopping bags, and for that passenger not putting a backpack under the seat but rather on the floor by their feet.

Posted by
1179 posts

My guess is that ALL of these items aren’t really allowed and it’s the crew not applying safety rules consistently.

I suspect it has to do with blocking others from getting in or out in case of an emergency. That’s why the knee defender is barred. Would it be OK on a window seat? I think yes.

Posted by
307 posts

I find a small box at home, flatten it, then on-board put a packing cube full of clothes from my carry-on bag in it to make a sturdy foot rest. Recycle the box at my destination and always find a box for the return flight. Free and I don't have the extra item to take with me on my travels.

Posted by
1656 posts

I share your stature and have struggled to find a good solution. I have a foot sling that hangs over the tray table - it works ok but the location of the buckle makes it nearly impossible to close the tray table when it is hanging on it (kind of defeats the purpose). It helped some on a long flight to S. America, but was worthless on my recent Iceland trip. I agree it is often just easiest to prop your feet up on your bag on the floor - I often re-purpose my blanket to help with propping if there isn't enough stuff in my bag. My bigger problem is the location of the head rest - it is never near the location of my head! :/

Posted by
1817 posts

I bought one of the blowup foot pillows from Amazon, and it wasn't very good.
When blown up to the right size, it was too big to give me room to actually put my feet on it and still have room with the seat in front above my feet.
It would be ok in a different class as you'd have more room for it, but then there you'd probably have a footrest and wouldn't need it anyway!
I never used it again.

Posted by
1277 posts

I purchased a beach ball and drug it to Italy and back, but was able to use the edge of my backpack instead

Posted by
415 posts

My mother-in-law always carries a plastic grocery store bag in her purse. At restaurants she wraps the bag around her purse and uses it as a foot stool.

Posted by
7596 posts

Alas, my bags under the seat never seem to be full enough to provide a robust foootrest.

Posted by
186 posts

I a also a short person and have problems with the seat height on planes. A few years ago, I purchased a collapsible footrest from either Travelsmith or Magellan, It is plastic and folds down to the size of my iPad ( almost). I have used it many times and find it to be the perfect solution. When folded flat, it fits into the pouch inside the back of my backpack and its very light.

Posted by
3347 posts

Kim, since my last posting we purchased our flights on KLM for next fall. We found better pricing on the "foot rest seats." We shall see how this goes for my compromised stature!